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Truth, power and paradigm politics in science and society

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Coronavirus Covid 19 Lockdown of Planet A GIANT MISTAKE

May 2nd, 2020

Vast damage of worldwide freeze is needless

Interview below with Professor Dr Knut Wittkowski states situation precisely

Hundreds of millions at risk of hunger and even starvation owed to ignorance of science

Here is a transcript of the first interview by John Kirby of The Press & The Public Project for Journeyman Pictures with Dr Wittkowski, for 20 years head of the Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design at Rockefeller University hospital, who earlier worked for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, a leading epidemiologist who coined the term “reproduction number”, on the Epidemiology of HIV.

Unlike those who perch on higher administrative or scientific posts Wittkowski is free to address science without political discretion, and is often amusingly short in dismissing the misguided imaginations of the non scientific community.

SPECIAL NOTE ON CENSORSHIP BY YOUTUBE:

Special note:
The above online interview I was obliterated from Facebook by whatever interns or staff the company has assigned the duty of censoring posts which conflict with ruling dogma from the authorities in the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the link to a second on line interview II posted on YouTube which has also been removed.

His third on line interview III by the site Spiked in England can be found at this link, and it is a well edited summary of his views, losing none of the key points he made in the first two interviews with Journeyman now censored from Youtube.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/15/we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing/?fbclid=IwAR0jooXTdm9jbalVWSEdj39g-NnghrhuvktAGrCX20MhaZ0U8ATwgAEzw_0

[00:10.04] JOHN: If you could just tell us your name and a little bit about your background?
[00:14.00] WITTKOWSKI: My name is Knut Wittkowski. I was at the Rockefeller University for 20 years, Head of the Department of Biostatistics Epidemiology and Research Design, and before that, I worked for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, one of the leading epidemiologists in the world in the German town of Tubingen in the Eberhard Karls University.
[00:36.03] JOHN: You gave recommendations for how best to deal with COVID-19. Could you just describe what you wrote?
[00:44.20] WITTKOWSKI: As with every respiratory disease, we should protect the elderly and fragile because when they get pneumonia, they have a high risk of dying of the pneumonia. So that is one of the key issues that we should keep in mind. On the other hand, children do very well with these diseases. They’re evolutionarily designed to be exposed to all sorts of viruses during their lifetime, and so they should keep going to school and infecting each other. Then, that contributes to herd immunity, which means after about four weeks at the most, the elderly people could start joining their family because then the virus would have been extinguished.
[01:36.02] JOHN: You mention in the piece that in fact you think containment would prolong the duration of the virus. Can you talk about that?
[01:45.00] WITTKOWSKI: With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected, or they had very, very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So, it’s very important to keep the schools open and kids mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible, and then the elderly people, who should be separated, and the nursing homes should be closed during that time, can come back and meet their children and grandchildren after about 4 weeks when the virus has been exterminated.
[02:33.24] JOHN: And so, what do you make of the policy that was enacted in the United States and England and most places throughout the world, this policy of containment, shelter-in-place, etc.? What’s your opinion of it?
[02:47.05] WITTKOWSKI: Well, what people are trying to do is flatten the curve. I don’t really know why. But, what happens is if you flatten the curve, you also prolong, to widen it, and it takes more time. And I don’t see a good reason for a respiratory disease to stay in the population longer than necessary.
[03:06.17] JOHN: And what do you say to people who just say, “We just didn’t know about the lethality of this virus and it was the smartest thing to do, to do what we did, and contain everybody, because we just didn’t have the data.”
[03:23.16] WITTKOWSKI: We had two other SARS viruses before. Or, coronaviruses. It’s not the first coronavirus that comes out, and it won’t be the last. And for all respiratory diseases, we have the same type of an epidemic. If you leave it alone, it comes for two weeks, it peaks, and it goes for two weeks and it’s gone.
[03:46.07] JOHN: You were speaking to my producer the other day on the phone, and you said, “The pandemic is over.” What do you mean by that?
[03:56.04] WITTKOWSKI: There are no more new cases in China and in South Korea. The number of new cases in Europe is already beginning to decline. The virus came later to the US, so here we see a bit of an incline, maybe, and leveling off within the next couple of days. And if we see that the cases are not increasing dramatically, that means that the number of new infections has already declined substantially and peaked about a week ago.
[04:27.09] LIBBY: Do you believe the Chinese statistics? Do you think they’ve lied to us? Do you believe the stats that have come out of China?
[04:36.09] WITTKOWSKI: The epidemic has ended there, yes. Because otherwise, we would see people emerging—and even in China, it’s today very difficult to keep information under the hood. If there were lots of cases in hospitals, if the hospitals that they built, the temporary hospitals, were still full, we would hear that. This could not be suppressed.
[05:03.25] JOHN: During the press briefing yesterday, Fauci, and the President, and the rest of the people assembled, were saying that, had they not done the containment strategy that they have done, that upwards of 2 million people would have died in the United States. What do you think of that figure?
[05:22.27] WITTKOWSKI: Well, I’m not paid by the government, so I’m entitled to actually do science. If the government, if there had been no intervention, the epidemic would have been over, like every other respiratory disease epidemic.
[05:44.05] JOHN: And how many, in your estimation, would have died? Would it have been that much?
[05:48.25] WITTKOWSKI: Okay. We have, right now, let’s take realistic numbers in the United Sates: we have about 25,000 cases every day, that is probably the upper limit—make it 30,000—who knows? But let’s talk about 25,000. 2% of them will actually have symptoms—that is 500 cases a day. Maybe a third or a fifth—let’s say half of them—will need to be hospitalized. That’s 250 patients a day. If they have been hospitalized for about 10 days, that means that we will have—our hospital system will have to deal with 2,500 patients every day for a certain period of time—that could be 3 or 4 weeks, and then the number will dramatically decrease again and the whole epidemic will be over.
[06:51.20] JOHN: And of those hospitalized cases, what, in your estimation, how many would die?
[06:59.15] WITTKOWSKI: 2% will die—
[07:03.00] JOHN: Of the hospitalized cases?
[07:05.19] WITTKOWSKI: Of all cases.
[07:06.26] JOHN: Of all symptomatic cases.
[07:06.26] WITTKOWSKI: Of all symptomatic cases. 2% of all symptomatic cases will die. That is 2% of the 250,000 a day. So that is 500 people a day, and that will happen over 4 weeks. So, that could be as high as 10,000 people. Now, that compares to the normal numbers of flus during the flu season, and we have in the United States about 35,000 deaths due to flu every year during the flu season. So, it would be part of the normal situation during the flu season.
[07:52.13] LIBBY: Are they reporting flu deaths this year or is everything just corona? Is there any statistic for flu death?
[08:01.19] WITTKOWSKI: Yeah, there is a statistic for flu. It’s currently at about 10,000-12,000. So, together with the Corona deaths, it’s about regular flu season.
[08:12.09] JOHN: You’re basing your estimate now on the latest available numbers?
[08:16.07] WITTKOWSKI: Yes.
[08:16.20] LIBBY: So, what accounts, then, for the fact that the hospitals are suddenly more overrun than they have been in a previous flu season, and for world leaders and the news media just going crazy?
[08:29.26] WITTKOWSKI: Funding for hospitals has, as everybody knows, not increased recently. So, hospitals had to cut down, and, therefore, they now have to run their emergency plans, which is not terrible. That’s what they have been planning for, for decades, so if they have to put up some tents in Central Park, that’s not the end of the world. The tents are there, they’re maintained very well, and they will be there for a few weeks—three, four, maybe, and then the crisis will be over. This is not a situation nobody has ever thought about.
[09:16.07] JOHN: Do you really think that there’s a major shortage of masks, and things like this?
[09:21.13] WITTKOWSKI: Of what?
[09:21.13] JOHN: Masks and PPE and all this? What do you think about all that? Why should there be a shortage of those things?
[09:28.00] WITTKOWSKI: Because people are getting crazy now and it’s almost like the toilet paper […].
[09:36.02] JOHN: I knew someone at a NICU who suddenly—two weeks ago, in New York, at NYU, suddenly all the masks and all the hand sanitizer was gone. So….what do you think happened there?
[09:51.18] WITTKOWSKI: Like the toilet paper. Shortages happen now and then, all the time.
[09:57.05] JOHN: Right, sure.
[10:01.02] WITTKOWSKI: And if you have somebody reporting what’s happening that day, in that hospital, possible.
[10:09.23] JOHN: Yeah. Sure.
[10:13.05] WITTKOWSKI: Does it reflect the state of the whole hospital system in New York? Not necessarily.
[10:19.14] JOHN: Right. What do you think about their latest figure that because of, they claim that because of social distancing, that we’ve saved ourselves from the 2 million dead, but that we are probably looking at 150-200,000 dead, though they’ve said that it’s possible that it could be lower, if we are really, really good about social distancing, etc. What do you think about their new estimate of death?
[10:52.12] WITTKOWSKI: Social distancing definitely is good. It prevented the sky from falling down.
[11:00.04] JOHN: Are you being ironic?
[11:01.19] WITTKOWSKI: Of course! I don’t know where these numbers are coming from—they’re totally unrealistic. There are no indications that this flu is fundamentally different from every other flu. We know what happened in China, we know what happened in South Korea, we know what happened, or is happening, in Europe. There are no indications that anything is different from a regular flu. Maybe it’s a bit worse than other flus—could be?
[11:32.02] For a respiratory disease, the flu ends during springtime, that people spend more time outdoors because outdoors, the viruses cannot easily spread. That is a form of containment, spending more time outdoors.
[11:55.00] JOHN: So, we’re now spending more time indoors. We’ve been told to go indoors. Isn’t that—doesn’t that help keep the virus going?
[12:03.17] WITTKOWSKI: It keeps the virus healthy, yeah.
[12:08.19] LIBBY: So we should be told to go outdoors?
[12:10.18] WITTKOWSKI: Yeah. Going outdoors is what stops every respiratory disease.
[12:25.15] JOHN: People will say that the reason why China came out of this okay in the end is because they went into such severe lockdown. What do you say to that?
[12:37.18] WITTKOWSKI: They had an advantage that in the beginning, they didn’t know what they were dealing with. So, it took them a long time to start the containment or social distancing, which, in the course of the epidemic is good, because there was enough time for the virus to reach herd immunity before the social distancing started.
[13:00.14] JOHN: Now, it’s interesting that you say that, because at Imperial College, you know Neil Ferguson has changed his estimate of the number of dead in England from 500,000 to 20,000 or less, and he says that that is because of social distancing. Now, we also know that the way in which social distancing was implemented in England was not very severe, or extreme, or efficient, so this was after one day of lockdown, he announced that in fact, it would be 20,000 or less. Is there any possibility that that number would have changed that way because of the social distancing?
[13:46.14] WITTKOWSKI: No. Actually, we have data for that.
[13:53.23] I looked into the claim that people make that, in China and South Korea, the social distancing had successfully helped to control the epidemic. I looked at the dates when people actually started social distancing. In China, the epidemic peaked on February 1st to February 5th, in that period. But the schools were not closed until February the 20th—that was 2 weeks later. In South Korea, we have a similar pattern. In Daegu, or however that city is being pronounced, where the Church of Shincheonji had that outbreak. The self-quarantine was ordered only on February the 23rd, but the peak in that city happened; the national distancing was not advised until February the 29th, so that’s a week later, when the national peak happened. So, both in China and in South Korea, social distancing started only long after the number of infections had already started to decline, and therefore had very little impact on the epidemic. That means they had already reached herd immunity or were about to reach herd immunity. They were very close. But by installing the social distancing, they prevented it to actually getting to the final point, and this is why we are still seeing new cases in South Korea, several weeks after the peak.
[16:02.18] JOHN: You said that this is the sort of contagion, because it’s airborne, that you can’t deal with by doing tracing or by social distancing. Explain why that is.
[16:16.20] WITTKOWSKI: One thing is tracing with an airborne disease is even more difficult than tracing with a sexually transmitted disease which is difficult enough, as we know from AIDS. Most people know who they had contact with, sexual contact with, over the last two weeks. As a human being travelling the subway in New York and doing other things in New York that we just have to do in New York, I couldn’t tell you who the two three four hundred thousand people are I came in contact with over the last two weeks. So, contrast tracing for a respiratory disease is impossible.
[17:02.23] JOHN: Why doesn’t containment work for an airborne disease?
[17:06.07] WITTKOWSKI: You cannot stop the spread of a respiratory disease within a family, and you cannot stop it from spreading with neighbors, with people who are delivering, who are physicians—anybody. People are social, and even in times of social distancing, they have contacts, and any of those contacts could spread the disease. It will go slowly, and so it will not build up herd immunity, but it will happen. And it will go on forever unless we let it go.
[17:41.23] JOHN: Let me ask you, you don’t feel this requires a vaccine?
[17:49.20] WITTKOWSKI: We don’t have a vaccine against the common cold. We don’t have—we have some vaccines against flu, but they are not that effective. Would it be nice to have a vaccine against SARS? Yeah. It would be nice. But it would help to create herd immunity a bit faster, because those who have the vaccine are already immune, and those who don’t, they just need to be exposed to become immune.
[18:31.06] JOHN: You could get this immunity naturally?
[18:34.04] WITTKOWSKI: For some reason that we haven’t fully understood yet, humankind has survived all sorts of respiratory diseases. Nature has a way of making sure that we survive.
[18:55.08] LIBBY: This morning all the TV doctors were on, saying that, because, obviously, they’re starting to read some of these pieces about the statistics being off, etc., and so there you had Doctor Jennifer Ashton on ABC, and I forget the others, saying, “This is more contagious than any seasonal flu or the H1N1, and this is why we have to take it so seriously because it’s so much more contagious.” Is that just ridiculous?
[19:22.03] WITTKOWSKI: I don’t know where that opinion comes from. We have no—the data that we have speaks against it.
[19:31.22] JOHN: And what data do we have and where are you getting your—
[19:35.05] WITTKOWSKI: We have seen—well. You can download the data from the European CDC every day, the data, all over the world, and you can analyze it. And that’s what I have done, and probably other people also have done.
[Note: from Knut M. Wittkowski: Two epidemics of COVID-19:
All data were downloaded on 2020-04-04 from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Web site at https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications-data/download-todays-data-geographic-distribution-covid-19-cases-worldwide, where data are collected daily between 6:00 and 10:00 CET. Updates were collected from the Johns Hopkins online tracker available at https://systems.jhu.edu/research/public-health/ncov/. New York City data was downloaded from https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-daily-data-summary.pdf. Population data were accessed from https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/ on 2020-03-12. Data on ages by country were accessed from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.POP.65UP.TO.ZS.
—Editor] [19:53.05] JOHN: Okay, so, what does this graph tell you, in general?
[19:57.21] WITTKOWSKI: It tells us that there are no—the numbers in Europe are not increasing anymore, of cases. The deaths follow it by about a week, and that’s normal because people die after they develop the disease. But the important thing is that the numbers of infections peaked around a week ago and is already on the decline. The European data includes the data in France where suddenly the number of cases doubled from one day to the next. This is somebody finding a box of reports in an office and sending them in and said, “Oops! We forgot to report that over the last month!” So, this, the epidemic in France is not increasing anymore, even though somebody found a couple of reports in a shoebox.
[21:04.14] JOHN: And why—when they—won’t governments just say, “that’s because we practiced social distancing?”
[21:11.00] WITTKOWSKI: I’m not a psychiatrist. I don’t know what other people think. I’m a scientist.
[21:16.02] WITTKOWSKI: We can see that in China, in Korea, the epidemic went down, and the epidemic did exactly what every other epidemic did, and it’s not that 400% of all people died. Maybe it’s 3 rather than 1%—maybe! But nothing is fundamentally different from the flus that we have seen before. Every couple of years there is a flu that is a bit worse than the other flus were, and it goes away in exactly the way the other flus went away, and this one behaves exactly the same way. The epidemic has ended in China, at least, in the provinces where it was. It has ended in South Korea. In Europe, it’s declining and will be ending anytime soon. Could be a bit longer than typically, because of the containment, which flattened and prolonged the epidemic. And so, if we really—that’s really good if we want to be affected by it as long as it gets. And in the United States we are doing the same thing. We are prolonging the epidemic to flatten the curve. But eventually, it will end.
[22:43.04] LIBBY: Speaking of the numbers, I noticed in your paper, you said that in mid-March there was a change in the reporting system. What was that all about?
[22:50.18] WITTKOWSKI: This is not the first time it happens. On March 20th, Germany changed its reporting system and suddenly, a lot of cases that had not been reported before were reported. But this is not a sudden increase in cases. Over all, this had no impact on the dynamic of the German epidemic. It increased until about March 27th or so, and has been stable or declining since. The problem in this disease is that reporting and diagnosing are not separated and recorded differently. In the AIDS epidemic, every case was reported with a day of diagnosis and a day of reporting. For whatever reason, this standard developed during the AIDS epidemic is not being employed here. So, we cannot deconvolute this data.
[24:25.22] In Italy there was a spike on one day, there was a spike on one day in Norway. But we have seen now so many of these spikes, they last for one day and then the numbers go back to where it was before. So, we are not really scared anymore if we see something changing very fast. Nature doesn’t jump. As people have known for a long time. The course of an epidemic is always smooth. There is never a ten-fold increase in number of cases from one day to the other.
[25:08.17] There is nothing to be scared about. This is a flu epidemic like every other flu. Maybe a bit more severe, but nothing that is fundamentally different from the flus that we see in other years.
[25:33.23] JOHN: What do you think accounts for the difference in response this time than say to the Swine Flu in 2009? Why are we suddenly so much more panicked and having shut the world down? What do you think is going on?
[25:50.10] WITTKOWSKI: I think at least one factor is the internet. People are using the internet now much more often, and so news, wrong or false, is spreading the globe within hours, if not minutes. And so, let’s say 50 years ago, we would read in the paper that about a week ago there was an epidemic of flu in the United States or in China or somewhere else, and at that time, it was already over. So, people would say, “Okay, that happens all the time.” Now, what we read is, “Oh! There were 785 cases in the Vatican for two days” Eh, maybe not. And even if it was a reporting error, these stories are circulating the world and contributing to chaos and people being afraid of things they shouldn’t be afraid of.
[27:05.04] JOHN: And what do you think are the possible health risks of the policy that we are following now, the shelter in place?
[27:14.01] WITTKOWSKI: Well, we will see maybe a total of fewer cases—that is possible. However, we will see more cases among the elderly, because we have prevented the school children from creating herd immunity. And so, in the end, we will see more death because the school children don’t die, it’s the elderly people who die, we will see more death because of this social distancing.
[27:43.23] JOHN: So, we keep being told now about the second wave that will come in the fall. Now, tell us what your thoughts about the second wave are and how—it seems like from everything you’re saying is that we’ll have a second wave because of social distancing—
[28:03.18] WITTKOWSKI: Yes.
[28:04.10] JOHN: Okay, so, could you say that in a sentence for me?
[28:06.21] WITTKOWSKI: Okay. If we had herd immunity now, there couldn’t be a second wave in autumn. Herd immunity lasts for a couple of years, typically, and that’s why the last SARS epidemic we had in 2003, it lasted 15 years for enough people to become susceptible again so that a new epidemic could spread of a related virus. Because typically, there is something that requires cross-immunity, so if you were exposed to one of the SARS viruses, you are less likely to fall ill with another SARS virus. So, if we had herd immunity, we wouldn’t have a second wave. However, if we are preventing herd immunity from developing, it is almost guaranteed that we have a second wave as soon as either we stop the social distancing or the climate changes with winter coming or something like that.
[29:19.10] JOHN: But, because this is an airborne illness, it sounds to me as though social distancing wouldn’t even have prevented more people from getting it, right? I mean, it already spread, because it’s airborne, because it lives on surfaces. By the time England or the US shut down, it had probably already gotten all around, right?
[29:44.16] WITTKOWSKI: Unfortunately, it seems that in western countries where the story of China was already known, people started with social distancing, as imperfect as it is, before the epidemic could reach the level that is needed to develop herd immunity.
[30:10.16] JOHN: I see. And so, to summarize, you are saying that’s going to flatten and extend the epidemic and create the second wave that we are being told to fear?
[30:21.00] WITTKOWSKI: Yes. The second wave is a direct consequence of social distancing.
[30:28.16] JOHN: That’s wonderful to hear.
[30:29.13] WITTKOWSKI: We already know that the social distancing cost the US taxpayer 2 trillion dollars, in addition to everything else that it costs, but it also has severe consequences for our social life, and depression is definitely something that we will be researching. I can say for myself, walking through New York City right now is depressing.
[31:10.17] JOHN: So, what do you think? Should we tolerate this? Should we stand for staying sheltered in house arrest till … what is it? April 30th they want?
[31:23.02] LIBBY: April 30th now.
[31:24.20] JOHN: I mean, is that what we ought to do or should we, perhaps, be resisting?
[31:31.00] WITTKOWSKI: We should be resisting, and we should, at least, hold our politicians responsible. We should have a discussion with our politicians. One thing we definitely need to do, and that would be safe and effective, is opening schools. Let the children spread the virus among themselves, which is a necessity to get herd immunity. That was probably one of the most destructive actions the government has done. We should focus on the elderly and separating them from the population where the virus is circulating. We should not prevent the virus from circulating among school children, which is the fastest way to create herd immunity.
[32:24.09] JOHN: And can you explain, just one more time, as clearly as you can, what’s the concept with natural herd immunity? What happens to the virus when it’s gone through the population in the way you’re describing?
[32:39.07] WITTKOWSKI: If 80% of people have had contact with the virus and are therefore immune, and that, typically, that contact is just a form of immunization. So, there is no disease, there’s nothing happening, and still there is immunity. If 80% of people are immune and somebody has a virus and is infectious, it will be very difficult for that infectious person to find somebody who is still susceptible, not immune. And therefore, this person will not infect anybody else and therefore we won’t have the disease spreading. That is herd immunity.
[33:29.12] JOHN: And what happens to the virus? What happens to the virus, at that point?
[33:33.23] WITTKOWSKI: Well, viruses don’t live, technically, but the virus will eventually be destroyed.
[33:41.15] JOHN: I see.
[33:44.03] WITTKOWSKI: Unless, right now, it is at the drycleaners. My drycleaner closed down because of COVID, so I can’t get my clothes cleaned. And so, if there should be viruses on my clothes, which is possible, I cannot get them cleaned at the drycleaner because the drycleaner is a non-essential service and therefore closed down. We are experiencing all sorts of counterproductive consequences of not well-thought-through policy.
[34:17.17] JOHN: Should there be a major testing regime in place where the whole population is tested, and should that be a prerequisite for us coming out?
[34:28.17] WITTKOWSKI: Any answer with two letters will do. No.
[34:36.02] JOHN: So, just describe why testing is not productive.
[34:40.18] WITTKOWSKI: Testing doesn’t stop anything by itself. Testing could give us, if we do antibody testing, not testing for the actual virus. If we do antibody testing, we would actually get an estimate of how close we are to herd immunity. That could be useful. But, testing for people who are infectious means they probably have already been, for two or three days, been in for half of their infectious period. Now, they are being tested positive what are they supposed to do? We are already having social distancing. They can’t do much more than they are already doing. Testing for respiratory disease is neither necessary nor effective.
[35:35.14] JOHN: Now, you said, you mentioned earlier that you have asthma. And I’m guessing you’re over 40?
[35:43.02] WITTKOWSKI: Yes.
[35:45.01] JOHN: Are you at all nervous about—
[35:47.15] WITTKOWSKI: No.
[35:48.09] JOHN: Why aren’t you nervous?
[35:50.05] WITTKOWSKI: We don’t die of the virus. We die of pneumonia. So, if we have a virus respiratory disease, the disease—once the body has created antibodies, the immune system has created antibodies, the antibodies, or the immune system is killing all infected cells which destroys much of the mucosa. And bacteria can easily settle on that destroyed mucosa, and then cause pneumonia. And it is the pneumonia that is killing people, if it’s not treated. I had a virus, whatever it was, maybe it was—who knows—about three weeks ago, and my physician gave me the antibiotics I should take if the disease gets better and then gets worse, because that is a sign of pneumonia and then we have to treat the pneumonia.
[36:56.06] JOHN: And pneumonia is what is treated with antibiotics—
[36:59.10] WITTKOWSKI: Pneumonia is what’s treated with antibiotics. Not the virus.
[37:04.08] JOHN: Okay. So, you feel that it’s—you may have already had COVID-19?
[37:10.06] WITTKOWSKI: Okay. At the end of that experience which reminds me of Camus’s Plague, if you ever read it, you will see lots of parallels, unfortunately. So, no, I am not scared. I may have had it, like many other people, who had a mild flu like I had, or had no symptoms whatsoever. That is the normal thing happening to 70% of the people in the end, or even 75%, and it is the remaining that get ill and need treatment. And they should seek treatment as early as possible—you shouldn’t wait. And it’s definitely helpful if you have health insurance.
[38:05.11] WITTKOWSKI: The problem in cities like New York is there are too many people who don’t have health insurance. And if you don’t have health insurance, you are hesitant to see your doctor. And if you are hesitant, you see the doctor too late, and if pneumonia has already progressed, and you see your doctor, it’s too late for antibiotics to be effective and you may die. The best way is isolate if you are old and fragile, and if you get the disease, see your doctor as soon as possible.
[38:53.07] JOHN: 75% you say won’t get any symptoms, maybe even 80%, right? Or is it more? I mean, do we know what that rate is right now?
[39:04.00] WITTKOWSKI: We don’t know what it is right now. For that, we would need to do antibody testing, and very wide antibody testing. However, we already see the epidemic declining and that is a sign that we have at least a substantial proportion of people who are immune. It may not be enough for herd immunity yet. We may not have reached the 80% that we need. But we may have 50%.
[39:34.12] JOHN: And so, what do you think we should do at this point? Should we pivot to what you suggested earlier or is it too late for what you suggested?
[39:45.18] WITTKOWSKI: It’s difficult to tell. It may be too late. It may not be too late. The problem is, if we are artificially keeping the number of infections low among low-risk people like schoolchildren and their parents, we may not have reached herd immunity yet, so if we are stopping, we may have an increase in the number of new infections. That is the downside of starting containment. We should not believe that we are more intelligent than Mother Nature was when we were evolving. Mother Nature was pretty good at making sure that we’re a good match for the disease that we happen to see virtually every year.
[40:40.09] LEE: But is this a pandemic? That’s the big question.
[40:44.07] WITTKOWSKI: It is a pandemic like every flu every year is.
[40:47.06] LEE: A pandemic, yeah?
[40:50.21] JOHN: So, is there anything else you want to say about this that—what’s been aggravating you the most? Or what would you like people to know?
[41:02.18] WITTKOWSKI: I think people in the United States and maybe other countries as well are more docile than they should be. People should talk with their politicians, question them, ask them to explain, because if people don’t stand up to their rights, their rights will be forgotten. I’m Knut Wittkowski. I was at the Rockefeller University, I have been an epidemiologist for 35 years, and I have been modeling epidemics for 35 years. It’s a pleasure to have the ability to help people to understand, but it’s a struggle to get heard.
————————

Special note:
The above online interview I was obliterated from Facebook by whatever interns or staff the company has assigned the duty of censoring posts which conflict with ruling dogma from the authorities in the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the link to a second on line interview II posted on YouTube which has also been removed.

His third on line interview III by the site Spiked in England can be found at this link, and it is a well edited summary of his views, losing none of the key points he made in the first two interviews with Journeyman now censored from Youtube.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/15/we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing/?fbclid=IwAR0jooXTdm9jbalVWSEdj39g-NnghrhuvktAGrCX20MhaZ0U8ATwgAEzw_0

Answers Still Too Few in Corona Planet Shutdown

March 25th, 2020

Politicians are not in the business of admitting they have no real idea what is going on

If you have been following the media on the Coronavirus causing Covad 19 it seems odd that after 14 more days since our last post on the lack of good data explaining its sometimes lightning infection rate and rapid lethality there doesn’t yet seem much more available yet.

Here is the basic briefing at the New York Times that shows how the “why” of it is still largely missing:

Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions
Updated March 24, 2020

(Click to display) NYTimes Guide to the Coronvirus and You

NYTimes Guide to the Coronvirus and You

How does coronavirus spread?
It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can be carried on tiny respiratory droplets that fall as they are coughed or sneezed out. It may also be transmitted when we touch a contaminated surface and then touch our face.

Is there a vaccine yet?
No. The first testing in humans of an experimental vaccine began in mid-March. Such rapid development of a potential vaccine is unprecedented, but even if it is proved safe and effective, it probably will not be available for 12 to18 months.

What makes this outbreak so different?
Unlike the flu, there is no known treatment or vaccine, and little is known about this particular virus so far. It seems to be more lethal than the flu, but the numbers are still uncertain. And it hits the elderly and those with underlying conditions — not just those with respiratory diseases — particularly hard.

What should I do if I feel sick?
If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

How do I get tested?
If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears. They will decide if you need to be tested. Keep in mind that there’s a chance — because of a lack of testing kits or because you’re asymptomatic, for instance — you won’t be able to get tested.

What if somebody in my family gets sick?
If the family member doesn’t need hospitalization and can be cared for at home, you should help him or her with basic needs and monitor the symptoms, while also keeping as much distance as possible, according to guidelines issued by the C.D.C. If there’s space, the sick family member should stay in a separate room and use a separate bathroom. If masks are available, both the sick person and the caregiver should wear them when the caregiver enters the room. Make sure not to share any dishes or other household items and to regularly clean surfaces like counters, doorknobs, toilets and tables. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.

Should I wear a mask?
No. Unless you’re already infected, or caring for someone who is, a face mask is not recommended. And stockpiling them will make it harder for nurses and other workers to access the resources they need to help on the front lines.

Should I stock up on groceries?
Plan two weeks of meals if possible. But people should not hoard food or supplies. Despite the empty shelves, the supply chain remains strong. And remember to wipe the handle of the grocery cart with a disinfecting wipe and wash your hands as soon as you get home.

Can I go to the park?
Yes, but make sure you keep six feet of distance between you and people who don’t live in your home. Even if you just hang out in a park, rather than go for a jog or a walk, getting some fresh air, and hopefully sunshine, is a good idea.

Should I pull my money from the markets?
That’s not a good idea. Even if you’re retired, having a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds so that your money keeps up with inflation, or even grows, makes sense. But retirees may want to think about having enough cash set aside for a year’s worth of living expenses and big payments needed over the next five years.

What should I do with my 401(k)?
Watching your balance go up and down can be scary. You may be wondering if you should decrease your contributions — don’t! If your employer matches any part of your contributions, make sure you’re at least saving as much as you can to get that “free money.”

There is much food for thought in this briefing which reflects much of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and yet tries to tie down as many rules as possible despite the lack of confirming data so far.

Given this lack what can one say for certain is the proven picture so far? According to reporting in the Times and at the CDC

1. Italy Spain and other European countries show that unless curbing action is very early and very complete there is a period of very rapid growth and spread.

2. China and South Korea however do indicate that a tyrannical clampdown on social exposure in groups of every kind does slow the spread after a week or two. Higher summer temperatures slow down spread also.

3. The vector which enables spread most effectively seems to be surfaces of various kinds, of which steel and other hard surfaces seem to be the most dangerous where the virus can survive up to 17 days, CDC now says, and cruise ship data show 18% of infected people will never show symptoms.

4. Just why the agent is so lethal in many cases such as the young where there is no reported underlying vulnerability is still unknown.

5. Even the biggest shutdown of economic activity in world history has not gone far or long enough yet to prevent the travel of the virus to virtually every country in the world.

We will drill deeper tomorrow.

More New York Times Bad Behavior on Vaccine Dispute

March 11th, 2020

Puerile Failure of Logic in Coverage Continues

Not to Mention Editorial Ignorance of the Full Dimensions of Scientific Issue

Yet another piece was run today by the NYTimes in support of vaccines as if the raw power of vaccination was the issue, and not the quality and makeup of modern vaccines.

To leave out this simple distinction is so elementary that many must wonder if the Times has lost its independence on this tortured topic.

Serious critics object to the adjuvants or ingredients of modern vaccines, not the general principle of vaccinating which is accepted as having proven over a long time its worth in helping to eradicate some major diseases.

The issue is why modern vaccines correlate too well with major problems as the rise of autism, which is multiplying so rapidly that it threatens to demolish the entire next generation of Americans and the adults who must care for it.

Then there is the blatant failure of HPV vaccination to affect cervical cancer or even provide any reason why it should, since there is no real evidence that the virus causes the cancer.

The issue of whether vaccines cause harm is magnified not only by the powerful certainty felt by many parents that they correlated with central nervous system damage to their child but also by the protection of vaccine makers from retribution by the political class with legislation absolving them from any blame and legal redress. A vaccine that killed a million people would be safe from any suit for the damage caused.

To publish such one sided and puerile coverage of such a vexed and important issue is embarrassing for a paper which has no business interrupting its considered and careful policy of caution before taking sides in any contentious public debate, and especially in a scientific dispute in which the reporters and editors appear to be seriously underinformed about the hundreds of scientific papers which now count against complacency.

In fact, inexpert general interest reporters and editors without deep knowledge of complex scientific debates never have any business taking sides in science or even in medicine, and the Times should never have strayed in this respect, because it has helped distort American public life and spending in sometime vast ways, of which its HIV as the cause of AIDS is the biggest mistake, since it has led to an expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars in entirely the wrong direction around the world and in doing so has cost or ruined many lives.

More on the Times Bad Behavior on Vaccine Dispute

—————————————————–

A Call to Arms: Under Attack, Pro-Vaccine Doctors Fight Back
Providers who defend vaccines face online death threats and negative reviews from fake patients. Now the staid medical establishment is finally speaking out.

By Jan Hoffman
March 10, 2020, 7:00 a.m. ET

Brad Bigford, a traveling nurse practitioner from Boise, Idaho, jumped at the invitation: spend an afternoon at Fred’s Reel Barber Shop in nearby Meridian, offering the flu vaccine to customers.

“Ladies, send your guys for a trim and a flu shot,” Mr. Bigford posted on Facebook. He added, “Anti-vaxxers need not reply.”

Within hours, his Facebook page was swarmed with hundreds of vitriolic comments, even violent threats from people opposed to vaccines. Vicious reviews on Yelp and Google about his urgent-care business, Table Rock Mobile Medicine, popped up from “patients” as far away as Los Angeles, Texas and Australia. Protesters circulated his cellphone number, hometown and wife’s name.

Then the e-cavalry rode to his rescue. A new group of doctors, nurses and other vaccine supporters, called Shots Heard Round the World, flooded his page with evidence-based vaccine facts, which attracted harassers spoiling for a fight to their own sites and away from Mr. Bigford’s. They taught him how to block some 600 posters and expunge comments.

“They saved me,” Mr. Bigford said. “But it’s a matter of time till I’m attacked again.”

Vaccines used to be embraced almost unquestioningly in the United States as lifesavers. But growing skepticism surrounds them as anti-vaxxers dominate the internet megaphone. Their aggressive tactics on social media have cowed the staid medical establishment into relative silence. They have sown doubt about optional vaccines like those for the flu and HPV, and angst in many new parents facing state mandates.

But now doctors and other health care providers are beginning to link arms virtually in an organized effort to defend not only each other, but also vaccines themselves, which they see as essential to their mission.

On Thursday, they held their most full-throated virtual rally, storming social media platforms with positive vaccine messages and the hashtag #DoctorsSpeakUp, #NursesSpeakUp, #ResearchersSpeakUp, #ParentsSpeakUp and #TeachersSpeakUp. The hashtag and its allies percolated throughout Twitter, many listing diseases they had never seen, because of vaccines. Doctors and nurses posted memes and TikTok videos. The U.S. Surgeon General tweeted it out.

Throughout the day, vaccine resisters used the hashtags to hurl challenges. When anti-vaxxers attacked the Instagram post of an adolescent medicine doctor who wrote about the HPV vaccine, Shots Heard rushed to her aid.

By the next morning, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health, who were analyzing the traffic, noted that the #DoctorsSpeakUp hashtag was retweeted more than 100,000 times.

Such efforts are particularly urgent now, say some medical experts, who fear an imminent perfect public health storm: The coronavirus is spreading not only simultaneously with a severe flu season but also, potentially, measles outbreaks, which typically occur in late winter and early spring.

Until recently, it was rare for doctors to post pro-vaccination messages on social media. Dozens of colleagues quietly reached out to Dr. Steven Ford, an assistant professor of neonatal medicine at the University of South Florida, after he wrote a Facebook vaccine info-post that was intended for parents of his vulnerable premature patients.

“They all said, ‘We appreciate this,’ ‘It’s very brave,’ ‘Great job,’ but very few would repost it or speak up publicly,” said Dr. Ford, who was subjected to a howling anti-vaccination barrage.

The call to arms was conceived by Dr. Zubin Damania, who practiced for a decade as a Stanford University hospital-based internist and now lectures about medical care at conferences and online as ZDoggMD.

“I particularly want to call out my own tribe — doctors,” Dr. Damania said. “They are the biggest cowards when it comes to this stuff because they feel they have so much to lose.”

Shots Heard sprang from the ashes of a scorched-earth cyberattack on Kids Plus Pediatrics, an independent practice whose main office includes the site of a converted Chinese restaurant in a small, tired strip mall in Pittsburgh. The practice has a video studio with podcast equipment. In the summer of 2017, it released “We Prevent Cancer,” a 90-second video spot about the HPV vaccine.

In short order, its social media sites were bombarded by thousands of negative comments. Its online ratings plummeted, with savage reviews by “patients” from anywhere but Pittsburgh. Anonymous supporters, who lurk on anti-vax sites as moles, secretly sent Dr. Todd Wolynn, a high-profile doctor in the practice, and Chad Hermann, the Kids Plus media director, screen shots that read: “Go get them on Yelp!” “Flood the phonelines.”

“It was coordinated terrorism,” Mr. Hermann said.

Dr. Wolynn reached out to colleagues for help. On Facebook, Physician Moms Group and many others came to his defense. Ultimately, the practice blocked some 900 attackers from its online platforms.

Dr. Wolynn, who has been a consultant on vaccine confidence and a clinical researcher for Sanofi and Merck, was alarmed by the attack and the increasing reticence among pediatricians to speak forcefully about vaccines’ benefits. He and Mr. Hermann hit the road, exhorting providers to support each other.

“We’re a horrible mismatch for the anti-vaxxers,” Dr. Wolynn tells providers. “They have no restrictions on what they can say. We do,” he said, referring to a doctor’s obligation to address evidence-based medicine. “But pediatricians have built up face-to-face trust with patients and that’s what we can work from. ”

Shots Heard grew out of those sessions. Since going online last fall, the group has grown to nearly 600 vetted volunteers worldwide, dedicated to defending other vaccine advocates against online anti-vaccine attacks. Members include clinicians, nurses, lawyers, researchers, medical students, paramedics and state legislative staff members. When an attack is reported, the group’s members are notified by email or through a closed Facebook group.

“We want them to ride to the site and do whatever they feel comfortable doing,” Dr. Wolynn said. “For some, it’s to respond to every bogus claim with a link to an evidence-based study. For others, it’s to push back at the anti-vaxxers.”

Shots Heard recently posted a free 80-page strategy guide, “Anti-Anti-Vaxx Toolkit,” that has been downloaded more than 2,000 times. In the last three months the group’s members have swooped in on about 10 large-scale attacks and about 60 smaller ones.

The cyberattacks seem to be initiated by a relatively small number of extremists, rather than the “vaccine hesitant” — often parents who are scared and concerned about the schedule of vaccines and their impact. “It’s fine to ask questions in good faith,” Dr. Wolynn said. “It’s just not okay to be hostile.”

Educators like Dr. David L. Hill, a pediatrician in Goldsboro, N.C., who lectures about patient communication, says he does not want anti-vaxxers to control the messaging to these families. “Doctors have to talk to parents in a way that doesn’t make them feel belittled or disrespected,” he said. “The conversation should start with the idea that everyone wants what’s best for the child.”

A 2019 study in the journal Vaccine that analyzed the characteristics of anti-vaccine commenters on Facebook found that while most are female and mothers, their differences were significant. Health experts, the authors said, should therefore not presume that a one-size-fits-all pro-vaccine message will be effective.

Resisters often refer to themselves as “vaccine choice” advocates, such as Larry Cook, founder of the popular Facebook site Stop Mandatory Vaccination, who wrote on Mr. Bigford’s haircut-flu shot post, “Vaccines offer zero benefit.”

One prominent anti-vaccine activist is Erin Elizabeth, who runs Health Nut News, a newsletter that challenges many mainstream health concepts and promotes a line of essential oils and products. Her post about Mr. Bigford began: “This nasty group that does mobile vaccinations on your children…”

In response to an inquiry from The New York Times, she wrote in an email that she had over two million followers across several platforms, but denied coordinating attacks.

“I believe the increased traction of the vaccine choice movement may simply be the natural byproduct of consumers becoming more educated about their health,” Ms. Elizabeth wrote.

Dr. Damania, who raps, rants and interviews guests on YouTube and Facebook, has felt the wrath of vaccine protesters. While interviewing Dr. Paul Offit, a well-known vaccine advocate, the two men heard loud thumping. Protesters were pounding on the glass walls of the Las Vegas studio.

But it was after the cyberassault on a Cincinnati pediatrician in January that Dr. Damania called for last week’s action to flood social media with pro-vaccine posts. The pediatrician, Dr. Nicole Baldwin, had posted a 15-second pro-vaccine TikTok video to reach her adolescent patients, linking it to Twitter and Facebook. Anti-vaxxers telephoned her office, labeling her a pedophile and a child poisoner. She received death threats. The police patrolled outside her home for several days.

She, too, reached out to Shots Heard. “They were invaluable,” said Dr. Baldwin, who wound up barring 5,000 attackers from her Facebook page alone.

In Idaho, Mr. Bigford has installed security cameras and alerted neighbors to look out for unfamiliar cars. His wife urged him to stop posting about vaccines.

“But if I stop posting, then the only people talking about vaccines are the anti-vaxxers,” he said. “It’s part of our mission as health care givers to keep talking about this. So I’ll keep going.”

Jan Hoffman writes about behavioral health and health law. Her wide-ranging subjects include opioids, vaping, tribes and adolescents. @JanHoffmanNYT

A version of this article appears in print on March 10, 2020, Section D, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Pro-Vaccine Doctors Fight Back.

Corona Panic – English Mathematician Can’t Help The Times Clarify Data Yet

March 10th, 2020

Young and healthy? Probably 1 in 1000 you will die from contracting COVAD-19.

Mathematician in London fails to enlighten James Gorman of the Times with much more than the obvious on contagion – it is too early to measure

Treated as guru by the Times’ James Gorman and printed in the Tuesday Science section today, the youthfully unshaven author of The Rules of Contagion simply lists what we don’t yet know, which is everything important (fatality rate – anywhere from 0.5 to 2 per cent he estimates, but see more below) in the DOTS list: Duration – probably a week or two; Opportunity and Transmission probability still unknown – though surely being helpfully lowered by government edicts and panic behavior; Susceptibility still unknown.

Fatality rate he actually uggests ranges from among the young perhaps 0.1 per cent fatal, to as high as 5 or 10 per cent fatal in over 70s and over 80s – though only after a lifetime of sitting disease and adulterated junk food courtesy of the food processing industry we suppose, though he doesnt speculate.

Being well off, and a lifetime of exercise and organic food, and you should survive corona panic even in your 80s as long as the food distribution network remains functional.

However, Adam’s UK book The Rules of Contagion which is due out in September here will likely be a questionable guide even if it is on firmer ground on all these factors given that the coronapanic may be over.

Research methods of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine apparently include asking colleagues

For the interview reveals that like the Times he is underresearched on the important fact about HIV/AIDS which is that Nancy Padian found not a single instance of transmission of the so-called cause of AIDS (to quote the endlessly affirmed belief of the editors and reporters of the Times) among the hundreds of heterosexual discordant couples (one testing positive, one negative) she observed in the biggest study of its kind ever conducted, in the nineties on the West Coast.

We can report that we ran into this highly respected general of HIV/AIDS research later at a Washington NCI conference drinks party in the early 2000s and congratulated her on her unexpected finding, and when she asked what we meant, said “You proved that HIV is not transmitted between heterosexuals even in sex without prophylatics of any kind!”

She blanched at this and said feebly “Well, it is transmitted more in Africa,” where like so many white middle class researchers in the US she apparently imagined that the natives enjoyed a far more exotic sex life than the humdrum routines practiced on her home turf.

———————-

More- NYT piece referred to Mar 10 2020 Science section

More- NYT piece referred to Mar 10 2020 Science section

The Coronavirus, by the Numbers
A mathematician who studies the spread of disease explains some of the figures that keep popping up in coronavirus news.

NYT Science section James Gorman
By James Gorman
Published March 5, 2020
Updated March 10, 2020, 6:37 a.m. ET

Adam Kucharski studies how diseases spread, but he’s not handling viruses in the lab or treating sick people in the hospital. He’s a mathematician at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and he uses math to understand outbreaks of diseases like Ebola, SARS, influenza and now Covid-19. His goal is to design better ways to control outbreaks.

In an eerie coincidence, he wrote a book called “The Rules of Contagion,” before the current outbreak, which has been published in Britain and will be released in September in the United States. In it he talks about the math of contagion involving not only physical diseases, but also ideas, rumors and even financial crises.

In a recent experiment for the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu, he worked with another mathematician and BBC presenter, Hannah Fry, of University College London, and collaborators at the University of Cambridge, to create a documentary, “Contagion: The BBC Four Pandemic,” using a phone app to track social contacts and map how an infection might spread.

The news of coronavirus epidemics around the world involves a flood of numbers that are a challenge for any nonscientist to digest. I asked Dr. Kucharski to help us navigate some of these numbers, and to tell us which ones we should pay attention to. We talked on the phone and corresponded by email this week. This is an edited version of our back and forth.

We hear a lot about the percentage of sick people who are dying. Is that the case fatality rate?

The case fatality rate measures the risk that someone who develops symptoms will eventually die from the infection.

And how is that rate calculated?

Ideally, we would monitor a large group of people from the point at which they develop symptoms until they later die or recover, then calculate the proportion of all these cases who had died.

So can we just look at the total number of deaths and the current number of cases?

The problem with just dividing the total number of deaths and total number of cases is that it doesn’t account for unreported cases or the delay from illness to death. The delay is crucial: If 100 people arrive at hospital with Covid-19 on a given day, and all are currently still alive, it obviously doesn’t mean that the fatality rate is 0 percent. We need to wait until we know what happens to them eventually.

Get an informed guide to the global outbreak with our daily coronavirus newsletter.

Any deaths will be people who got sick two to three weeks ago, so it’s not simply deaths at the moment divided by cases at the moment. Plus some cases might be missed: If you have two deaths from two cases, as happened in Iran last month, that most likely means you’ve missed a bunch of cases.

We’ve seen all sorts of numbers for fatality rates. Does the latest estimate of 3.4 percent globally make sense?

Early on, people looked at total current cases and deaths, which, as I said, is a flawed calculation, and concluded that the case fatality rate must be 2 percent based on China data. If you run the same calculation on yesterday’s totals for China, you get an apparent CFR (case fatality rate) of near 4 percent. People are speculating that something is happening with the virus, where it actually is just this statistical illusion that we’ve known about from Day 1. I’d say on best available data, when we adjust for unreported cases and the various delays involved, we’re probably looking at a fatality risk of probably between maybe 0.5 and 2 percent for people with symptoms.

I had a short Twitter thread explaining this (and predicting the rise) a couple of weeks ago:
Adam Kucharski
@AdamJKucharski
If the number of reported confirmed cases of #COVID19 continues to slow down, the 2% fatality rate people have been quoting will appear to rise. But it will be a statistical illusion. Let me explain why…. 1/

What about another number we hear about all the time, R, the reproductive number, or how many people a given patient is likely to infect. Why is it important and what goes into calculating it?

At its simplest, R is the answer to the question: How worried should we be about infection? If R is above one, each case, on average, is giving it to at least one other person. You’re going to see growth.

If it’s less than one, then a group of infected people are generating less infection. From a policy-planning point of view, it gives you a very clear objective. For example, in the Ebola response in 2014, it was a really prominent part of the response. The aim was to get R below one.

That seems very simple and straightforward, but you write that it’s more complicated than it seems. In your book you say that to calculate R you’ve got to know duration, opportunity, transmission probability and susceptibility (the “DOTS”). Let’s take them one by one. What is duration?

How long someone is infectious. If someone is infectious twice as long, then that’s twice as long that they are around to spread infection.

Do we know what the duration is for this coronavirus?

On average, we’d probably be looking at a week or two. Of course, if people get hospitalized, then they’re not in the community spreading infection in the same way.

The second component is opportunity. How do you determine that?

That’s a measure of how many people you come into contact with for every day you’re infectious. With something like flu, you’re not infectious very long but a lot of your interactions could potentially spread it. Whereas with something like HIV, the duration is much longer but the number of sexual partners you have relative to the number of conversations you have is obviously much lower.

And transmission probability?

This is a measure of the chance the infection will get across during an interaction. For example, during a sexual encounter, the virus won’t necessarily get across.

Finally there’s susceptibility. How do you determine that?

Susceptibility measures the chance the person at the other end of the interaction will pick up the infection and become infectious themselves.

Once you’ve got numbers for these four components, what’s the equation to come up with R?

If you multiply them together, you get the reproduction number. So if you scale up or scale down any one of these things, it directly affects the value of R.

How does this knowledge help public health planning?

Generally, susceptibility is the easiest one to reduce if we have things like vaccines. If we don’t, then we have to think about targeting the other aspects of transmission, such as reducing opportunities through social distancing, or probability of transmission during things like handshakes by encouraging hand washing.

What if you’re not in public health, but are thinking about your own personal chances and what your behavior should be?

If you imagine you’ve got a reproduction number of two, each person’s infecting two others, on average. But some situations are more likely to spread infection than others. We’ve found for things like Covid-19, it’s close-knit interactions that seem to be most important.

What we need to think about — and what a lot of our modeling is certainly thinking about — is not just how much transmission is happening, but where is that transmission happening. If you’re going to change your behavior, think how to reduce those risky situations as much as possible.

If you were the average person, what would you pay attention to — in terms of the news and the numbers?

One signal to watch out for is if the first case in an area is a death or a severe case, because that suggests you had a lot of community transmission already. As a back of the envelope calculation, suppose the fatality rate for cases is about 1 percent, which is plausible. If you’ve got a death, then that person probably became ill about three weeks ago. That means you probably had about 100 cases three weeks ago, in reality. In that subsequent three weeks, that number could well have doubled, then doubled, then doubled again. So you’re currently looking at 500 cases, maybe a thousand cases.

I think the other thing that people do need to pay attention to is the risk of severe disease and fatality, particularly in older groups, in the over-70s, over-80s. Over all we’re seeing maybe 1 percent of symptomatic cases are fatal across all ages. There’s still some uncertainty on that, but what’s also important is that 1 percent isn’t evenly distributed. In younger groups, we’re talking perhaps 0.1 percent, which means that when you get into the older groups, you’re potentially talking about 5 percent, 10 percent of cases being fatal.

In thinking about social behavior and thinking about your interactions, the question should be, “How do we stop transmission getting into those groups where the impact could be really severe?”

Atlantic’s PeoplevsCancer Conference Takes Lid Off Cancer Cure Struggle

November 13th, 2019

Today the new annual Atlantic Magazine public meeting on the outlook for a cure for cancer took place in the relatively inaccessible hotel Conrad on the south east corner of Manhattan, with frosty weather threatening by the late afternoon. But the interesting and revealing sessions are being/were streamed at http://peoplevcancer.theatlantic.com/, where they will be maintained from now on with any luck, as last year’s were.

Here is the program, at http://peoplevcancer.theatlantic.com/?sf112323624=1, with live video available by moving up and down the full stream.

Agenda

Note: All times are ET

9:00 a.m.

Welcome

Margaret Low, President, AtlanticLIVE

The Program

What’s on the Horizon?

Laurie Glimcher, President and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
WITH Alison Stewart, Host, All of It, WNYC; AtlanticLIVE Contributor

My Story: All of Us Against Cancer

Dara Richardson-Heron, Chief Engagement Officer, All of Us Research Program, National Institutes of Health

Bristol-Myers Squibb Presents: Giving Patients a Voice

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Samit Hirawat, Chief Medical Officer, Global Drug Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Linda House, President, Cancer Support Community
WITH Justin Birckbichler, Educator and Founder, aBallsySenseofTumor.com

Finding Meaning in the Moment

Kate Bowler, Author, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved; Associate Professor, Duke Divinity School
Sunita Puri, Author, That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour; Medical Director, Palliative Medicine, Keck Hospital and Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California
WITH Jeanne Meserve, Journalist

Can Immunotherapy Scale Up?

David Chang, President, Co-Founder, and CEO, Allogene
Alex Marson, Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, UCSF; Scientific Director of Biomedicine, Innovative Genomics Institute
Sara Nayeem, Partner, New Enterprise Associates
WITH Ross Andersen, Deputy Editor, The Atlantic

American Association for Cancer Research Presents: Driving Progress Against Cancer

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Raymond DuBois, Past President, American Association for Cancer Research; Dean, College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina
WITH Charles Graeber, Author, The Breakthrough

Your Data Could Save Your Life

Kathy Giusti, Founder, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation; Co-Chair, Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, Harvard Business School
Andrew Norden, Chief Medical Officer, COTA
Dara Richardson-Heron, National Institutes of Health
WITH James Hamblin, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

A Preventable Cancer

Marcia Cross, Actor, HPV Educator, “Anal Cancer Thriver”
Marshall Posner, Director, Head and Neck Medical Oncology; Associate Director, Cancer Clinical Investigation, The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai
WITH Alison Stewart, WNYC

When Music Makes a Difference

Allen Louis, Member, Broadway Inspirational Voices
Michael McElroy, Founder and Musical Director, Broadway Inspirational Voices

11:30 a.m.

Breakouts

Aflac Presents: The New York Premiere of ‘Moments of Joy’

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Andrew Levy, President, Chispa House
WITH Jon Sullivan, Director of Corporate Communications, Aflac

American Association for Cancer Research Presents: Collaborations Against Cancer: Patients Partnering with Scientists

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Aime Franco, Director, Pediatric Thyroid Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Thyroid Cancer Survivor
Emil Lou, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, University of Minnesota
Brian Rivers, Director, Cancer Health Equity Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine
Col. (Ret) James E. William, Jr, Prostate Cancer Survivor
WITH Erin Schumaker, Health and Science Reporter, ABC

Amgen Oncology Presents: It’s Personal–Advancing Precision Medicine

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Hossein Borghaei, Chief, Division of Thoracic Medical Oncology, Professor, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center
I-Fen Chang, Executive Medical Director of Global Oncology, Amgen
Linda House, President, Cancer Support Community
Jordan Laser, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

Bristol-Myers Squibb Presents: Survivorship Today

Produced by our underwriter and not The Atlantic editorial team

Rose Gerber, Director of Patient Advocacy and Education, Community Oncology Alliance
Xenia Rybak, Cancer Survivor, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
WITH Adam Lenkowsky, General Manager, Head, U.S. Commercial, Bristol-Myers Squibb

12:15 p.m.

Networking Lunch

Underwritten by Amgen Oncology

1:00 p.m.

Welcome Back

Steve Alperin, Co-Founder and CEO, SurvivorNet

My Story: Cancer as Metaphor

Ibram X. Kendi, Author, How to Be an Antiracist; Director, The Antiracist Research and Policy Center, American University

How Medicaid Expansion Saved Lives

Blythe Adamson, Senior Quantitative Scientist, Flatiron Health
Yousuf Zafar, Associate Professor, Medicine and Public Policy, Duke Cancer Institute, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University School of Medicine
WITH Olga Khazan, Staff Writer, The Atlantic

The Truth About Food and Cancer

Nagi Kumar, Senior Member, Moffitt Cancer Center
Yael Vodovotz, Professor and Director, Center for Advanced Functional Foods, Research and Entrepreneurship, Ohio State University
WITH James Hamblin, The Atlantic

My Story: From Surviving to Thriving

Amy Armstrong, U.S. CEO, Initiative

Preventing the First Malignant Cell

Steve Kafka, Executive Chairman, Thrive Earlier Detection
Robert Nussbaum, Chief Medical Officer, Invitae
Diane Simeone, Director, Pancreatic Cancer Center, NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center
WITH Jeanne Meserve

Magic Mushrooms and Mental Health

Alyson Moadel-Robblee, Director, Psychosocial Oncology Program; Founding Director, Bronx Oncology Living Daily Program, Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care
Stephen Ross, Director, NYU Addictive Disorders and Experimental Therapeutics Research Laboratory; Co-Director, NYU Psychedelic Research Group
WITH Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

The Community Embrace

Patrick Dempsey, Actor and Producer; Founder, Dempsey Center
Wendy Tardif, Executive Director, Dempsey Center
WITH Alison Stewart, WNYC

3:00 p.m.

Closing Thoughts

Margaret Low, The Atlantic

Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation

Though it was founded and partly funded by Bristol Myers Squibb, along with other corporate stalwarts of the profit making sector, the program contained some interesting examples of movement towards understanding and exploitation of plant phytochemicals in fending off cancer, as well as sad examples of the fact that identifying potential genetic mutations as the trigger of cancer is still a specious element in the luring of patients into radical prophylactic interventions.

People Power! Left Forum Flips History, Politics into Daylight as Parade of Exploitation

July 3rd, 2019

The irreplaceable Left Forum 2019 featured once again a panoply of panels, fluent speakers, original books, activist periodicals and pamphlets galore, all essentially with the same fundamental message, which is that if the scales of corporate media and government propaganda are removed from our eyes, we will see all our naive assumptions overturned like stones in the Garden of Eden to expose the wriggling worms of exploitation and slavery that have overcome us unawares, owing to the incessant bombardment of our minds from birth by both blatant and subtle propaganda on behalf of capitalism and parallel structures of exploitation by the strong of the weak in human society, even in this supposed great democracy we always understood to be leading the world forward by example into a paradise of welfare via warfare, and material riches for all.

For us the highlight of this massive choral harmony of leftist theory and analysis of our times and previous times was the brilliant exposition of the panel of American Exceptionalism vs American Innocence, and the book of the same title that accompanied it, together with another for sale by Dan Kovalik, one of the four panelists who turned out to be a speaker with a whole dictionary of provocative castigation of the sins of our current rulers which he had already used in his current paperback, The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela – How the US is Orchestrating a Coup for Oil, with a foreword by Oliver Stone (Hot Books, Skyhorse Publishing, 2019, US 18.99).

Session 2: Saturday June 29th, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Dismantling the U.S. Empire’s Fake News: Lessons from the Book “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News–From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.” Black Agenda Report Speakers:
Margaret Kimberley, Danny Haiphong, Dan Kovalik, Glen Ford
Room:LLC 124

Margaret Kimberley is Editor and Senior Columnist at Black Agenda Report. She is a regular guest on radio and internet talk shows and has appeared on Al Jazeera English, RT, WBAI, KPFK, Presstv Iran, The Real News Network, Govorit Moskva (Moscow Voice Radio) and GRITtv. She was a contributor to the 2014 book Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence. Ms. Kimberley serves on the Administrative Committee of the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), the Coordinating Committee of the Black Alliance for Peace and the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.org. She is writing a book about racism and the American presidency. She is a graduate of Williams College and lives in New York City. @freedomrideblog https://freedomrider.blogspot.com/
margaret dot kimberley at black agenda report dot com
patreon.com/margaretkimberley
Danny Haiphong is a regular contributor to Black Agenda Report. He has been involved in anti-war and anti-imperialist organizing and journalism since 2010. He is currently a graduate student in social work and lives in New York City.
Daniel Kovalik is Senior Associate General Counsel of the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO (USW). He has worked for the USW since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. While with the USW, he has served as lead counsel on cutting-edge labor law litigation, including the landmark NLRB cases of Lamons Gasket and Specialty Health Care. He has also worked on Alien Tort Claims Act cases against The Coca-Cola Company, Drummond and Occidental Petroleum – cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. The Christian Science Monitor, referring to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination, recently described Mr. Kovalik as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States.” Mr. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford University School of Law and was the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his article exposing the unprecedented killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects.
Daniel Kovalik currently teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He also served for over 25 years as Associate General Counsel of the United Steelworkers, AFL-CIO (USW). He began working for the USW after graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. While with the USW, he served as lead counsel on cutting-edge labor law litigation, including the landmark NLRB cases of Lamons Gasket and Specialty Health Care. He has also worked on Alien Tort Claims Act cases against The Coca-Cola Company, Drummond and Occidental Petroleum – cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. The Christian Science Monitor, referring to his work defending Colombian unionists under threat of assassination, recently described Mr. Kovalik as “one of the most prominent defenders of Colombian workers in the United States.” Mr. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford University School of Law and was the recipient of the Project Censored Award for his article exposing the unprecedented killing of trade unionists in Colombia. He has written extensively on the issue of international human rights and U.S. foreign policy for the Huffington Post and Counterpunch and has lectured throughout the world on these subjects. The books he has written are: The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran; The Plot to Scapegoat Russia: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Putin, and The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World
Glen Ford Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report. He is a veteran journalist who co-founded America’s Black Forum in 1977. ABF was the first nationally syndicated Black news interview program. He is author of “The Big Lie: Analysis of U.S. Press Coverage of the Grenada invasion.

Left Forum 2019, Now in Brooklyn, Smells Blood

June 26th, 2019

Crack Commentators Such as Glen Ford Are Realistic About Potential Gains, But Moment is Now

A Parade of Possibilities If Only Trump Can be Defeated

Vast Program Ranges Far and Wide, Blunts Ability to Choose Among Rival Panels

The upcoming, political, uniquely enlightening global conference called The Left Forum gathering over this three day weekend in Brooklyn has the usual overcrowded agenda, where too many appealing panels occur simultaneously to allow you to pick out which ones to give first priority to, let alone plan full attendance without keeping several in hand to switch to if necessary.

So once again the necessity of simultaneously also working through the many interesting table offerings outside the panel rows makes the final conference outcome for each attendee more a matter of serendipity than careful planning.

In view is the same phenomenon that has distinguished the Forum in previous years at the insoluble maze of John Jay College over on the West 60s where in one participant’s description “lost souls could be seen wandering blindly from one panel door to the next searching for the one they had in mind to try next”.

But no doubt given that all topics are approached from the left – ie the standpoint of human values instead of unthinking support of the current predatory system – it will yield the same bounty of new thinking and fresh printed matter as ever, certainly on the newly prominent issues of social and economic justice that Trump has succeeded so splendidly in bringing to the fore over the last two years.

Never before has the Left Forum been so relevant as a forum for progressive ideas which have to be worked out for implementation in 2020 if all goes well, and the Democrats produce a candidate who can beat Trump.

The best way to work through the program and pick out panels, and films to attend is to go to the Left Forum Website where each mention can be clicked to reveal the names of participants and each name clicked for a full bio.

But here below is a text list for immediate use and comment:

Program 2019**************

Continuing a tradition begun in the 1960’s, Left Forum convenes the largest annual conference in the United States of a broad spectrum of Left and progressive intellectuals, activists, academics, organizations and the interested public. Conference participants come together to share ideas and offer critical perspectives on the world; to network and strengthen organizational ties; to better understand commonalities, differences, and alternatives to current predicaments; and to develop dialogues about social transformation and Left, progressive, radical, and social movement building. Featured speakers have included Noam Chomsky, Cornel West, Arundhati Roy and Slavoj Zizek. Each year Left Forum has 1,000+ speakers, and involved 4,000 attendees and more than 350 panels.

Beginning with the celebrated Arab Spring and the explosive revolts in Greece and beyond uprisings against dictators, crony capitalism, corporate greed and neo-liberal state austerity regimes have spread across the globe. Tactical innovation in the new movements from Tahrir Square to Madison, Wisconsin are breaking down old barriers in the fight for a better future for the world’s people and the planet.

Although it has been a long time coming, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s message is clear: one percent of people living in the wealthiest nation in the world have grabbed most of the country’s wealth and used it to corrupt politics, while unemployment, mortgage foreclosures, strangling student debt and rising poverty grip the rest of the population. The world is changing, the people are rising, and new possibilities for the Left are emerging.

As it has done for many years, the conference gather civil libertarians, environmentalists, anarchists, socialists, communists, trade unionists, black and Latino freedom fighters, feminists, anti-war activists, students and people struggling against unemployment, foreclosure, inadequate housing and deteriorating schools from among those active in the U.S. and many other countries, as well. We will again share our activities and perspectives with special attention to all that has changed in recent years and what it means for the prospects of progressive change.

Once a year, the Left Forum creates a space to analyze the great political questions of our times. Activists, intellectuals, trade unionists, movement-builders and others come together to identify new strategies for broadening the anti-corporate capitalist movement. In the wake of a persistent crisis of the international economic and political system, a new left politics in the United States and around the world is taking shape. Will the mass movements in Egypt, Greece, Latin America, the United States and elsewhere further extend their participatory democratic, community-building, non-capitalist, and caring forms of struggle into the institutions of everyday life? Will the movements confront and disrupt the complicity of neo-liberal state elites with corporate capital? Are there alternatives to the increasingly brutal capitalist system on the horizon? Join us in exploring such questions and moving forward left agendas for social change.

#LEFTFORUM2019
June 28th Fri-30th Sunday
Location: Long Island University in Brooklyn One University Plaza in Brooklyn, NY.
By Subway: IRT: 4 or 5 train (Lexington Avenue Line) or 2 or 3 train (Seventh Avenue Line) to Nevins Street Station; BMT: B, Q, or R train to DeKalb Avenue Station; IND: A, C, or G train (Eighth Avenue Line) to Hoyt Schermerhorn Street Station.
For subway information, visit: http://www.mta.info/nyct.

Program
*****************************

    Session A: Friday June 28th, 5:00pm – 7:00 pm

Lenin: His Works’ Pertinence Here and Now
Election Integrity: Publicly Verified Elections and Informed Public Are Key to De-Corrupting Our Democracy!
Coordinating Twitterstorms to Win on Social Media
The Shared Stories of Religion and Socialism
Lessons from the Warzone: A New Model for Engaging Campuses, Creating Dialogue, and Fighting Extremism
Anti-Fascism, Anti-Communism, and the New Anti-Semitism
Drinking the ‘Trope’-icana: Weaponizing Anti-Semitism Against the Left
Confronting Race and Racism in Education
Historians and the Current Crisis: Old/New Ideas for Organizing against Wealth and Power
Going forward with the Media in the Left today: The Pacifica Case
The Rise and Demise (Hopefully) of Toxic Masculinity
The Housing Question
Combating US War and Regime Change Threats against Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.
Muslim Political Prisoners and the EGO Relief Act
NYC Libraries: A Public Realm And Democratic Commons Under Siege As A Panoply of Interests Align To Dismantle Them
Writing Dissent in Crime Fiction
The Politics of Pesticides: Some things too many Leftists don’t think about and should
Friday June 28th, Film Screenings 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Screening: “The Corporate Coup d’Etat”

OffCenter: The Emergence of a Counterculture Linked to POC and Queer Folk Existing in Small-Town Texarkana

SATURDAY *******************************

    Session 1: Saturday June 29th, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Black Liberation Strategies in the Empire of Exceptionalism
How America Became Capitalist: Race, Class, Gender, and Empire
Solving Climate Change: Tools for the Emotional Work
Between Earth and Empire: International Movements for Social and Ecological Regeneration with John P. Clark and Matt Meyer
Race, Class, Gender, and the University: Struggles Within and Beyond the Campus Walls
Xinjiang Reconsidered: Chinese Terror Capitalism, Internal Colonialism, and Neoplatonism
The History of the NYC Tenant Movement–An Interactive Workshop
Understanding Right Wing Internationalism
Views on Women´s Rights and Resistance from Literature, Education, Poetry, and Activism
Towards Building a Poor People’s Army: Organizing and Fighting for Our Lives!
Pan Africanism: A Solution to the Neo-Liberal Disaster
Disaster Capitalism, Colonialism and Climate Change: Puerto Rico in Crisis and Resistance
The Left Project in Psychiatry: Past, Present, and Future
Activists United: Free Bedouins From Israeli Occupation Death Grip
Continuing Solidarity with Cuba in the U.S.
Resisting the Anti-Defamation League’s Attacks Against Communities of Color—Nationally and Internationally
Jazz and Self Determination: A Social History #4
Is There a Socialist Case for Reparations?
Beyond Utopias, Beyond Partial Fixes: Envisioning the Structure of Socialism
100 Years Ago: Revolution in Germany
A Necessary Conversation about -Isms: Institutional Racism, Colorism, Internalized Racism and Social Mobilization in America
What Is Fascism and How Do We Fight It.
Birth Strike: The Hidden Fight Over Women’s Work with Jenny Brown and Laura Tanenbaum
The Rising Movement for a People’s Party
The Green New Deal

***************************************************

    Session 2: Saturday June 29th, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

Dismantling the U.S. Empire’s Fake News: Lessons from the Book “American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News–From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.”
Panopticon and Piecework: A Lyft Driver’s View of Gaming in the Gig Economy
International Efforts to Save the Planet
Public Education’s Racist High School Admissions Practices and the Historic Parent/Community/Neighborhood-Led struggle for Control of Our Public Schools
W.A.R Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney
Rebuilding and Re-imagining Energy Sovereignty in Puerto Rico Post-Maria
Claiming Back the City: Strategies and Examples from Montreal
Russia-U.S.: From Establishment’s Conflict to People’s Dialogue (Reflection in a Red Eye)
Sex. Sexy, Patriarchy and Feminism
Radical Lawyers and Advocates Convening: Supporting Grassroots Organizing and Movement Building
Black Workers’ Key to Communist Revolution
The Political Economy of a Long Depression
Book Launch: Celebrating the Life of Rod Bush and His Revolutionary Contribution to the Struggles for Black Nationalism, Human Rights, Freedom, Justice, Equal Rights, Dignity and Emancipation.
Venezuela and Iran: The Left’s Role in Curbing U.S. Imperialism
Decolonization 2.0(19): The Rising Movement to Dismantle Francafrique
A Season of People’s Uprisings in Africa
Activist-Minded Writers’ Workshop
Pete Seeger at 100–Insights from Some Who Knew Him
Conversations on Strategies for Total Transformation
We All Need the NEED Act: Dennis Kucinich’s Bill for a Total Change of our Money System
War by Other Means: Understanding and Challenging U.S. Sanctions Policies
For Workers Mobilization to Defend Immigrants and Crush the Fascist Threat
A Socialist Defector: From Harvard to Karl-Marx-Allee with Victor Grossman
“Are We There Yet?” Dramatic Progress and Challenges in the Single Payer, Improved Medicare for All Movement Nationally and Locally

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    Session 3: Saturday June 29th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Combatting the Corporate Media Machine
The End of the “End of History”: The Left Alternative to Conservative Liberalism. The Failure of Fukuyama’s Forecast
Budget for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal
The World Turned Upside Down? Launching the 2019 Socialist Register
The 411 On Mumia Abu-Jamal & Our Freedom Fighters
Crouching Ancien Regime, Hidden Emerging New Order, the U.S. and China
Solidarity with Cooperation Jackson
The Yellow Vests Movement –“We Want to Live Not Just Survive”
Marx and the Feminist Question
Seattle+20: From Free Trade to the Green New Deal
Looking Back, Building Forward: Putting Reparations in Perspective
Left Perspectives on the European Elections
Learning to Love in a Neo Liberal Age
Confronting Fascism in Brazil: The Left Stand Up and Fight Back!
The Situation in Venezuela Today and the Fight Against U.S. Intervention
Reparations to African People: A Socialist Demand
Poetry Open Salon: Expressions and Challenges from a Radical Imagination
Food Sovereignty in the Global North and Global South
Fighting to Learn, Learning to Fight: Supporting Transformative Social Struggles as a Student and Young Scholar
The History of the European Socialist Movement Through the Eyes of Their Activists
Beyond the Rank-and-File Strategy
Donald Trump and the New Grassroots Fascism
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Reading Capital Today: Booklaunch for “A Reader’s Guide to Marx’s Capital”
Book Reading Cover “A Reader’s Guide to Marx’s Capital”
International Socialism journal (UK)
Speakers: Joseph Choonara
Room:4th Floor Humanities Lounge
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How a Basic Income Affects the Welfare Rights Movement, from the 1960’s to Today
Technology and Revolution: the U.S. Left’s Program for Action

Plenary: Saturday June 29th, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Saturday Plenary – Stonewall and Beyond: Queer Liberation

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***************SUNDAY***********************************

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    Session 4: Sunday June 30th, 10:00am – 12:00pm

Double Jeopardy: Crises in Economic Life and in Relationships in the U.S. Today.
Cities and Climate Justice, Global and Local Strategies
Teachers Strikes Up Against the Labor Bureaucracy: For Class Struggle Leadership
My Mis-Education in 3 Graphics
Perspectives of the Venezuelan Left Opposition
Socialist Humanism: Its Legacy for the Present
End the War on Black and Indigenous Women and Girls
Urban Genome Project
Black Liberation and the Universal
The New York Left: What Happened the Last Year and What’s Next?
From Rojava to U.S.: Lessons in Feminism, Radical Democracy and Social Ecology
The Situation in Ukraine
Cuba Speaks for Itself: The Cuban Revolution and U.S.-Cuban Relations Today
Leftism in Africa Today: Sierra Leone’s African Socialist Movement
Experimental Fiction and the Representation of Political Crisis: Four Writers and Publishers Discuss Attempts to Speak the Unspeakable
Art and Politics After Platforms
Freedom Dreaming: A Call to Imagine
Beyond Sect or Movement: What Is a Political Center?
Social Movement Forces, Electoral Politics & the Revolutionary Process: Consciousness, Vision & Strategy
Parties of Autonomy: Exploring the Party-Form Today
Session 5: Sunday June 30th, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Three Marxist Takes On Climate Change
The National Educators Revolt and its Lessons
Farmworker Justice and the Fight for Worker-Driven Social Responsibility in U.S. Agriculture
Student Debt Boycott: Organizing the Power of Economic Withdrawal
The Peace Congress
Russia Gate and the New Cold War: Critical Perspectives
Social Reproduction/Feminism for the 99%
We Refuse to Be Left Behind: Disability-Led Disaster Activism
Black Workers: Our Last Labor Revolution and Our Next
Should the Green Party Stand Down in 2020?
Is Capitalism Driving Us Crazy? The Mental Health Crisis
Continuous Cold War: U.S. vs USSR / U.S. vs Russian Federation
Resistance, Rebellion, and the Rising Tide of Fascism in India.
Women & LGBTQ Struggles in the Caribbean
Theater of the Oppressed as a Fight Back Tool: Some Practical Skils for Activists – Part I
Poetry of Refuge, Flight and Immigration
Growing the Solidarity Economy: Theory and Practice
The New Deal and American Socialism
Why Socialists Need to Fight for Proportional Representation and Ranked Choice Voting
Confronting the Resurgence of Authoritarianism, Right and “Left”
Acid Communist Literature
Trotskyist Youth in the Fight for Socialist Revolution vs. “Sanders Socialism”
Unanimous is Not Enough: Abolish the 13th Amendment – Free the Angola 2000

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Session 6: Sunday June 30th, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
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Anti-Capitalism in the 21st Century
Mueller and Me and Bianca Make Three
How Will the Left Vote in the Presidential Election?
Will Sex Workers See the Light of Day? Prospects for Decriminalization
Building Left Unity: Means and Missteps in the Age of the Intellectual Dark Web
Vulgar Complexity: How Can Complexity Science, Computation, and Evolution Inform Left Political Strategy?
The Fight for Reproductive Justice and a Radical Feminist Movement
Debt Relief. Economic Development and Human Rights: Reforming U.S. Foreign Policy in the Post-Trump Era
Overcoming Barriers to Solidarity: Reflecting on Contradictions in Our Movement
Occult Features of Anarchism – With Attention to the Conspiracy of Kings and the Conspiracy of the Peoples
How the Haitian and Venezuelan Revolutions Are Intimately Linked Today, as They Were in the Early 19th Century
Neocolonialism and New Democratic Movements in West Africa
Theater of the Oppressed as a Fight Back Tool: Some Practical Skils for Activists – Part II
Courage to Speak
The Lincoln Brigade and the Spanish Civil War: Feel-Good Story of 20th Century Idealism? Or the Good Fight of Anti-Fascist Resistance and Proletarian Internationalism?
Decline and Fall of the U.S. Empire
State and Local Strategies to Strengthen Workers’ Rights
How Do We Confront Trumpism Now, and Going Forward?: Marxist-Humanist Perspectives
Insurgent Supremacists: Understanding and Fighting The U.S. Far Right with Matthew N. Lyons
Reparations and Its Discontents

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Plenary: Sunday June 30th, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
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Sunday Closing Plenary: What is Left to be Done?
OUR VISION
We envision a world in which the radical imagination becomes a tool for self-empowerment that challenges society to build a process for collaborative and emancipatory leadership.

THE PLACE FOR PEOPLE WITH RADICAL IDEAS
Left Forum Inc
P.O. Box 763
New York NY 10272

Top scientist debunks HPV vaccine at major conference as useless and dangerous

April 14th, 2019

Berkeley’s virologist Peter Duesberg, despite thirty years of political abuse, demonstrates yet another health strategy is a scientific boondoggle

HPV vaccine shown by official statistics to have no effect on cervical cancer rates, but risks cancer and death among young girls

Duesberg explains true source of the cancer, according to his firmly established and influential new theory

Peter Duesberg, the Berkeley scientist who demonstrated thirty years ago that two highly funded beliefs in cancer and in AIDS were mangy dogs barking up the wrong theoretical tree, presented a paper at the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) Conference in Indiapolis last weekend (April 5 Fri to April 7 Sun) which was equally damning to a third notion which is now a major money tree in the health industry.

The audience of medical professionals was shocked to learn from Duesberg’s analysis of the topic “Can Papilloma virus vaccine prevent and cure cervical and oral cancers?” that not only do the HPV vaccines have no discernible effect on cervical cancer rates, which makes perfect sense since the papilloma virus shows no proven signs of actually causing cancer; but along with this result the vaccine itself evidently risks cancer and possibly fatalities among the population of young girls it purportedly benefits.

Well qualified critic

Duesberg was not only applying his own deep expertise in virology, which had led to his debunking of the notion, new thirty years ago, that the tiny 9 kilobase retrovirus HIV was causing the havoc of AIDS. He was also using his equally deep research into the way cancer develops, carried out over the last quarter century, and he finished his slide talk by elucidating the real cause of cancers he has developed in a hypothesis that is notoriously rerouting the path of cancer research following his initiative.

Duesberg’s paper started with the history of the HPV as cause idea in 1989 when a German cancer researcher named zur Hausen from Heidelberg launched a claim in Cancer Research, the most “prestigious” journal in the field, that the common wart virus caused the majority of “vulvar, penile and perianal cancers”, where fragments of its DNA were often present. They were not always there, but by 2002 the notion was popular enough that zur Hausen launched another rocket in 2002 in Nature, suggesting that the prospects for efficient vaccines were “excellent”.

There were various problems with the whole idea, however, including the fact that HPV apparently needed mysterious “co-factors” to induce cancers and then only after “20 to 50” years, while the intact virus actually replicated in cells within days and caused warts within weeks, and, moreover, was completely missing in 20-30% of such cancers, when unspecified carcinogens and “co-factors” were meant to do the dirty work.

Theory as Swiss Cheese

Obviously the theory remained a hypothesis as full of holes as Swiss cheese, and its support was muted. But then political factors fried the cheese sandwich into an appetizing meal for both science bureaucrats regulators and industry. The NIH and Merck had developed a new cancer-vaccine and were testing it after 2006, according to a NIH Fact Sheet Cervical Cancer of 2010. Moreover, zur Hausen won the Nobel prize for zur Hausen in 2008, without any additional proof of his supposed triumph.

So the NIH Fact Sheet 2010 scared America about an imminent HPV-cancer epidemic, the FDA approved the vaccine, and now 7.5 million adolescent and approximately 2.5 million adult American females have been vaccinated since 2006 according to the CDC Fact sheet Aug 2018. The cost was $500 per vaccination (three shots over a year), or $5 billion in revenue for Merck, the vaccine maker.

Merck is the pharma which was also responsible for the introduction of the arthritis painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib) in 1999 which according to the FDA caused over 27,000 deaths by heart attack by 2003, and perhaps half a million since, according to some estimates, and forced a payment of $4.85 billion to settle the lawsuits that resulted, which discovered that the company’s own studies had raised warning flags as early as 1999, which Merck had ignored in launching the drug in the US.

How to kill children

Merck is also fighting a rearguard action since the beginning of the century on doubts surrounding the MMR, the triple vaccine administered early to newborns now linked by some to the onset of autism, even though as many as ten studies are invoked to show that there is no evidence to connect the two, contrary to the very strong belief of many parents that it was the vaccine that damaged their child.

Meanwhile, as far as the HPV vaccine is concerned, the newest form of which has been marketed since 2014 under the name Gardasil, which is more directly aimed at the cancer, the results achieved in reducing the onset of cervical cancer are, as Duesberg points out, somewhat remarkable. So far, they amount to zero. There has been no payoff whatsoever in any reduction of cervical cancer cases or deaths twelve years into the mass vaccinations initiated by the NIH, CDC and Merck in 2006, or even from 2004, according to figures published by the CDC and the American Cancer Society in 2019.

Worse than that, however, the record shows that Gardasil is positively dangerous. The federally funded Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) counts it as having produced 61,060 adverse events, including no fewer than 464 deaths, since 2006 to the beginning of this year.

Why is the vaccine ineffective?

Duesberg points out that there is, in fact, no reason to suppose it would have any value at all, because it is directed against a human papilloma virus that causes warts but doesn’t actually cause cancer. HPV meets none of the four basic requirements, known since the nineteenth century as the Koch Postulates, for being a valid candidate for causing cancer.

In 1882 Robert Koch discovered that TB was caused by a microbial germ, named bacillus tuberculosis, and founded what is still the most popular theory of disease, the germ theory, said Duesberg. This idea now leads everyone in medicine to search for a germ as the cause of every disease, including cancer. But is the presence of HPV in cervical cancer cause or correlation?

Correlation but not cause: HPV and cervical cancer

The most intelligent man in the field once again speaks out against crowd delusion.

According to the four Koch postulates, to prove a microbe is the cause of any disease, you must find it in every case of the disease, isolate it from the disease, culture it and show it causes the disease all by itself, and get it back again from the disease. HPV magnificently fails all four tests. So HPV is absolutely not the cause of but only something which correlates with cervical cancer, Duesberg told the hundreds listening to his slide talk.

The claim that HPV causes cancer is utterly contradicted by the ghost of Koch. No intact wart-virus microbe has ever been found in or isolated from any case of cervical cancer in 1989 or since, Duesberg found; “zur Hausen had to isolate it for his studies of “HPV-cancer” from conventional warts.” As to the final postulate, the intact virus has never been shown to cause the disease all by itself; in fact in 20-30 per cent of cases even fragments of the virus, let alone antibodies to it, are missing.

Global Warming Threat Over, If Only Fossil Fuel Industry Would Accept Defeat

March 15th, 2019

Rescue from dramatically cheaper wind and sun is already here, says Bill McKibben in key review essay

Fossil fuel plants now a money losing proposition that banks won’t finance.

Shortsighted fossil fuel executives and Trump are dragging us into a climate furnace needlessly

Amos Coal Power Plant, Raymond City, West Virginia, 2004; photograph by Mitch Epstein from his ‘American Power’ series

The truth about climate change, writes Bill McKibben in the New York Book Review, is finally this: it all depends on getting the failing fossil fuel industry to stop fighting its current major price DECLINE in the face of MUCH CHEAPER sun and wind. Already, to all intents and purposes, fossil fuels are economically conquered. They are, in fact, financially speaking, the walking dead.

For the price of sunshine and batteries and windmills and electric cars has fallen so far that coal, oil, gas and even fracking are basically investment also rans heading for a total wipe out, with banks everywhere already refusing to lend for new electrical plants because they know they will never get their money back.

The only thing left in the balance now is whether facing long term reality will overcome short term myopia. Will the shortsighted shareholders and the owners and managers that run coal, fracking and other fossil fuel companies and their fellow traveling leaders and politicians like Obama and famously Trump that they so easily sucker punch hold on long enough to ruin the planet?

Will these fossil fuel denialists go for broke like GE, which has lost seventy per cent of its share value trying to stay alive in a dead industry by continuing to make equipment for new power plants, and fail in the end, but succeed long enough to push human life onto the planetary grill?

Keep your fingers crossed that fossil fuel disinformation gets turned around by activists like AOC and the Green Deal in time or we are done for. – AL

===========================================================

New York Review of Books April 4, 2019 Issue Vol 66 Number 6

A Future Without Fossil Fuels? by Bill McKibben

Books Reviewed:
1. 2020 Vision: Why You Should See the Fossil Fuel Peak Coming a report by Kingsmill Bond 41 pp., September 2018, available at carbontracker.org
2. A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation a report by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation 88 pp., January 2019, available at irena.org

“Kingsmill Bond” certainly sounds like a proper name for a City of London financial analyst. He looks the part, too: gray hair expertly trimmed, well-cut suit. He’s lived in Moscow and Hong Kong and worked for Deutsche Bank, the Russian financial firm Troika Dialog, and Citibank. He’s currently “new energy strategist” for a small British think tank called Carbon Tracker, and last fall he published a short paper called “2020 Vision: Why You Should See the Fossil Fuel Peak Coming.” It asks an interesting question: At what point does a new technology cause an existing industry to start losing significant value?

This may turn out to be the most important economic and political question of the first half of this century, and the answer might tell us much about our chances of getting through the climate crisis without completely destroying the planet.

More

Based on earlier technological transitions—horses to cars, sails to steam, land lines to cell phones—it seems possible that the fossil fuel industry may begin to weaken much sooner than you’d think. The British-Venezuelan scholar Carlota Perez has observed that over a period of twenty years, trains made redundant a four-thousand-mile network of canals and dredged rivers across the UK: “The canal builders…fought hard and even finished a couple of major canals in the 1830s, but defeat was inevitable,” as it later was for American railroads (and horses) when they were replaced by trucks and cars.

Major technological transitions often take a while. The Czech-Canadian academic Vaclav Smil has pointed out that although James Watt developed the coal-powered steam engine in 1776, coal supplied less than 5 percent of the planet’s energy until 1840, and it didn’t reach 50 percent until 1900. But the economic effect of those transitions can happen much earlier, Bond writes, as soon as it becomes clear to investors that a new technology is accounting for all the growth in a particular sector.

Over the last decade, there has been a staggering fall in the price of solar and wind power, and of the lithium-ion batteries used to store energy. This has led to rapid expansion of these technologies, even though they are still used much less than fossil fuels: in 2017, for instance, sun and wind produced just 6 percent of the world’s electric supply, but they made up 45 percent of the growth in supply, and the cost of sun and wind power continues to fall by about 20 percent with each doubling of capacity. Bond’s analysis suggests that in the next few years, they will represent all the growth. We will then reach peak use of fossil fuels, not because we’re running out of them but because renewables will have become so cheap that anyone needing a new energy supply will likely turn to solar or wind power.

Bond writes that in the 2020s—probably the early 2020s—the demand for fossil fuels will stop growing. The turning point in such transitions “is typically the moment when the impact is felt in financial markets”—when stock prices tumble and never recover. Who is going to invest in an industry that is clearly destined to shrink? Though we’ll still be using lots of oil, its price should fall if it has to compete with the price of sunshine. Hence the huge investments in pipelines and tankers and undersea exploration will be increasingly unrecoverable. Precisely how long it will take is impossible to predict, but the outcome seems clear.

This transition is already obvious in the coal markets. To understand, for example, why Peabody, the world’s largest private-sector coal-mining company, went from being on Fortune’s list of most admired companies in 2008 to bankrupt in 2016, consider its difficulties in expanding its market. India, until very recently, was expected to provide much of the growth for coal. As late as 2015, its coal use was expected to triple by 2030; the country was resisting global efforts like the Paris Accords to rein in its carbon emissions. But the price of renewable energy began to fall precipitously, and because India suffered from dire air pollution but has inexhaustible supplies of sunlight, its use of solar power started to increase dramatically.

“In 2017, the price in India of wind and solar power dropped 50 percent to $35–40 a megawatt hour,” said Tim Buckley, who analyzes Australasia/South Asia for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. “Fifty percent in one year. And a zero inflation indexation for the next twenty-five years. Just amazing.” This price drop occurred not because India subsidizes renewable energy (it doesn’t), but because engineers did such a good job of making solar panels more efficient. The cost of power from a newly built coal plant using Indian coal is, by comparison, about $60 a megawatt hour. If you have to import the coal, the price of power is $70/megawatt hour. And solar’s $40/megawatt hour price is guaranteed not to rise over the thirty-year life of the contract the suppliers sign—their bids are based on building and then running a facility for the life of the contract. No wonder that over the first nine months of 2018, India installed forty times more capacity for renewable than for coal-fired power.

Much the same is happening around the world. President Trump has spared no effort to help the coal industry, but more coal-fired power plants shut down during the first two years of his presidency than during President Obama’s entire first term. American coal consumption fell 4 percent in 2018. In 2017 Kentucky’s coal-mining museum installed solar panels on its roof in order to save $10,000 a year on electric costs.

And it’s not just coal that’s on the way out. Natural gas was supposed to be the planet’s next big fuel source, since it produces less carbon than coal (although its production releases great clouds of methane, another potent greenhouse gas). While fracking has produced high volumes of natural gas—especially in the US, where it was pioneered—wells tend to dry out quickly, and despite enormous investment, the International Energy Agency estimates that between 2010 and 2014 the shale industry operated with negative cash flows of more than $200 billion.

Even “cheap” natural gas is now starting to look expensive compared to the combination of sun, wind, and batteries. In an essay for Vox, the energy reporter David Roberts listed all the natural gas plants—many of them designed to provide quick bursts of “peaking power” on heavy demand days—whose planned construction has been canceled in recent months, as utilities and banks began to figure out that over the projected forty-year life of a new plant, there was a good chance it would become an uncompetitive “stranded asset” producing pointlessly expensive electricity. The chief executive of one US solar company said in January, “I can beat a gas peaker anywhere in the country today with a solar-plus-storage power plant. Who in their right mind today would build a new gas peaker? We are a factor of two cheaper.”

You get some sense of the future from the stunning fall of General Electric. “They were the world leader, the thought leader, the finance leader, the IT leader,” said Buckley. “And their share price is down 70 percent in the last two and a half years, in a market that’s up 50 percent. It’s a thermal power–reliant basket case.” That’s in large measure because manufacturing turbines for coal- and gas-fired power plants was a significant part of the company’s business; in 2015, it hugely expanded that capacity by buying its largest European competitor, Alstom. But then the bottom dropped out of the industry as proposed new generating plants couldn’t find financing. GE makes wind turbines, too, but that’s a lower-margin business with many more competitors. The fall in GE’s stock has meant “hundreds of billions of dollars of shareholder value reduction,” according to Buckley. Last June, after more than a century, General Electric was dropped from the Dow Industrial Index, replaced by a drugstore chain.

Oil was believed to be better protected than coal and gas from competition because cars have long needed liquid fuel to run. But electric cars are becoming affordable for more and more consumers. In 2017 only three million out of a worldwide total of 800 million cars were electric, but they accounted for 22 percent of the growth in global car sales. The world’s leading car companies have become convinced that electric vehicles will account for all the growth in demand by the early 2020s. That’s why, by January 2018, they had committed $90 billion to developing electric vehicles—and why, by 2017, Tesla was worth more than GM or Ford. And for every Tesla that rolls off the assembly line, Chinese manufacturers are producing five electric cars. Auto analysts are already warning consumers to think twice before buying a gas-powered car, since its resale value may fall dramatically over just the next three years.

The oil companies tell investors not to worry. In mid-February Exxon announced that it had found huge new deepwater oil deposits off the coast of Guyana, and that overall it planned to pump 25 percent more oil and gas in 2025 than it had in 2017, which, it claimed, would triple its profits. In September, OPEC released a report predicting higher oil demand due to increases in jet travel and the production of plastics, which are made from petrochemicals. Analysts like Bond are skeptical of such claims. Although oil has been the planet’s most important industry for over a century, over the last five years it’s been the slowest-growing sector of the stock market. Petrochemicals and jet fuel are indeed harder to replace with renewable energy, but they make up a relatively small part of the market for oil—even if demand for them grows, it can’t offset the losses in core uses like pumping gas for cars.

The recent history of European utilities may provide a more realistic preview of what will happen in the rest of the world. In the early years of this century the German government increased the pace of decarbonization, subsidizing solar and wind energy. As more and cheaper renewable supplies became available, the existing utilities were slow to react. They had built new gas plants to account for what they assumed would be rising demand, but solar and wind cut into that demand, and the price of electricity began to fall. So far, European utilities have written down about $150 billion in stranded assets: fossil fuel installations that are no longer needed. “In the Netherlands, by the time the last three coal plants were turned on, their owners had already written them down by 70 percent,” said Buckley. And they’re scheduled to close by 2030.

One obvious question is why the fossil fuel companies don’t simply transform themselves into renewable energy companies and use the huge cash flows they still have to gain control of future markets. “They’re putting under ten percent of capital expenditures into renewables,” says Bond, which translates into about one percent of their balance sheets. As Exxon’s CEO recently told The Economist, “we have much higher expectations for the returns on the capital we invest” than sun and wind can provide. From their point of view, there’s some money to be made from putting up solar panels, but once they’re on the roof the sunshine is free. For corporations that made vast profits by selling their customers fuel every day for a century, that’s not an attractive business model.

Another important question is whether this transition will crash the world economy. Investors have money at risk, and not just in fossil fuel shares: a shift of this size will affect car companies, machinery companies, and many others. But as the climate activist and billionaire investor Tom Steyer has pointed out, most technological transitions damage existing industries without wrecking the economy because they create value even as they destroy it. “Look at the communications industry over the last two decades, as the Internet came of age,” Steyer said. “Some of the most valuable businesses on the planet that had been around for more than a century got decimated. I mean, Newsweek sold for a dollar. But a lot of new businesses got created that were worth more.”

And banks have had at least some warning to prepare for this enormous shift. In 2015 Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, began issuing strident warnings about stranded fossil fuel assets, urging the banks he regulated to begin taking close account of their exposure. He gave a memorable speech on the trading floor of Lloyds of London, pointing out that if countries made serious efforts to meet climate targets, vast amounts of money spent on oil wells, pipelines, coal mines, and tankers would be written off. He had to issue the warnings, he said, because the normal time horizon for financiers was too short. “Once climate change becomes a defining issue for financial stability, it may already be too late,” he said, noting that “the exposure of UK investors, including insurance companies, to these shifts is potentially huge.” He urged them to start preparing for a lower-carbon world. Companies, he said, should “disclose not only what they are emitting today, but how they plan their transition to the net-zero world of the future.”

Carney’s warning—which reverberated out from the financial center of London—seems to have spurred a reevaluation of fossil fuel exposure by many big financial institutions. “The major banks are now addressing this risk, whereas three years ago they were asleep to it,” Buckley said. “Now in Australia all our banks have climate policy, where they didn’t three years ago. We didn’t even have data.” A report in late February from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis showed that since 2013 a hundred major banks had restricted coal lending or gotten out of the business altogether.1

A far more important question, of course, is whether the changes now underway will happen fast enough to alter our grim climatic future. Here, the answers are less positive. Scientists, conservative by nature, have routinely underestimated the pace of planetary disruption: the enormous melt now observed at the poles was not supposed to happen until late in the century, for instance, and the galloping pace of ocean acidification wasn’t even recognized as a threat two decades ago. That means that we have very little time to act—not enough, certainly, for business cycles to do the job alone. The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released last autumn, laid out a strict timeline: we need to effectively halve our use of fossil fuels within a dozen years to prevent the worst damage, which is why activists and politicians have called for dramatic government interventions like the Green New Deal recently proposed by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her Democratic colleagues.2

Government action is required because, for one thing, there’s vast inertia in the energy system. Plants are built to last decades, and even if plants that use fossil fuels aren’t built today, banks will insist that existing ones operate long enough to pay back their investments. And in some parts of the world, fossil fuel expansion continues: China, for instance, is trying to close down its own coal-fired power plants because its cities are choked in smog, but Chinese companies are using their expertise to build coal-powered plants abroad. Buckley noted that the opportunities for bribes on colossal projects mean, among other things, that a number of developing countries may indeed continue down the fossil fuel path.

In countries like the US or Canada, the political power of the fossil fuel industry is still considerable. Barack Obama boasted to a Texas audience last year that during his administration the US had passed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the biggest producer of hydrocarbons; even the progressive Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau recently spent billions in tax dollars to finance a pipeline designed to increase exports from the country’s environmentally ruinous tar sands.

That’s why the most important aspect of the decline of fossil fuel companies might be a corresponding decline in their political influence. The coal, oil, and gas industries have been the architects of the disinformation campaigns that kept us from responding earlier to scientists’ warnings about climate change, and they are using every trick they know to keep us from making a quick transition. History indicates that “the oil majors—and those who invest in them—will…bribe and fund Trump-type candidates and use their money in any other way” to slow down change, Carlota Perez said.

But change is here. While engineers are doing their part by making renewable energy cheaper, activists are mounting efforts to weaken the companies directly, and there are some signs that the pressure is working. An effort that I helped launch beginning in 2012 to persuade universities and churches to divest their fossil fuel shares has spread rapidly and become the largest divestment campaign in history. Over the last five years, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds have joined in, raising the total value of endowments and portfolios involved to over $8 trillion, and prompting Shell to declare the campaign a material risk to its future business. (Early last year, the governments of New York City and London pledged to divest their pension funds, and the entire nation of Ireland joined in midsummer.) Campaigns have also targeted banks like Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase to force them to stop supporting particular pipelines.

The bottom line is clear: to the degree that the fossil fuel industry is weakened by some combination of technological change and furious activism, the chances for serious change increase. If energy barons like the Koch Brothers and Exxon remain flush with cash, they can probably delay or undermine initiatives like the Green New Deal. But if their businesses are under strong pressure from a rapidly changing energy economy, polities around the world would be freer to take the steps that scientists insist are necessary with the speed required to prevent global catastrophe. Should these changes happen quickly, they could do more than save us from planetary peril.

“A New World,” the January report on the geopolitics of energy transformation from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), is one of the most hopeful documents I’ve read in a long time: it points out that for the 80 percent of the world’s population that lives in countries that are net importers of fossil fuels, the transition to renewable energy means the end of a crushing import burden. “The long-term consequences of a switch to renewables are very positive,” said Bond, who helped write the report. “Fossil fuels are produced by a small number of companies and countries and the benefits flow to a small number of people. With solar and wind you get a lot more local jobs, a lot more local investment. You get a whole new geopolitics.”

Take India, the poorest large nation on earth. It imports 80 percent of its oil and 40 percent of its gas, along with much of its coal. Currently that costs the country $240 billion a year; if, as its leaders hope, its economy grows 7 percent annually, that figure would double in a decade—which is economically unsustainable. “Renewables also offer developing economies an opportunity to leapfrog, not only fossil fuels, but, to some extent, the need for a centralized electricity grid,” the IRENA report concludes.

Countries in Africa and South Asia have a golden opportunity to avoid expensive fixed investments in fossil fuels and centralized grids by adopting mini-grids and decentralized solar and wind energy deployed off-grid—just as they jumped straight to mobile phones and obviated the need to lay expensive copper-wired telephone networks.

The changeover, of course, would be rocky. Beyond the effects on the global economy or on particular companies and their investors, countries like Russia or Saudi Arabia (and increasingly parts of the US) are essentially oil companies themselves. As these petro-states face a fall in the value of their only real asset, there is a risk of destabilization on a vast scale; in fact, it’s possible that we’re in the early stages of this process, with mischief and cruelty increasingly on display as countries with no other source of economic power struggle to maintain profits while they can. The worst damage will, as usual, be inflicted on the poorest oil producers: Kuwait might be able to manage the transition, but could Angola?

Yet overall the benefits would be immeasurable. Imagine a world in which the tortured politics of the Middle East weren’t magnified in importance by the value of the hydrocarbons beneath its sands. And imagine a world in which the greatest driver of climate change—the unrelenting political power of the fossil-fuel industry—had begun to shrink. The question, of course, is whether we can reach that new world in time.

1
“Over 100 Global Financial Institutions Are Exiting Coal, With More to Come,” February 27, 2019; available at IEEFA.org.? ?

2
See my “A Very Grim Forecast,” The New York Review, November 22, 2018. ?

End

A remarkable article that should be read by all concerned with one of the primary political issues of our time.

Vaxx Industry Entrains Governments to Quash Dissent

March 13th, 2019

In contrast with the above statement during the period six years ago when she first published her book, the intellectual activist MD Suzanne Humphries talks a lot less extreme, less provocative and at least at first reading apparently good sense about the current science of vaccination or lack of it on her site.

This is the link to her core stand on the issue.

However, at first it appeared that in line with its new policy to ban anti-VAXX posts stated by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook wouldn’t take the above two lines as a post on Mar 13 2019 last night. Clicking “share” repeatedly resulted in a notice saying “Oops. Something went wrong. We’re working on getting it fixed as soon as we can.” Soon enough it transpired that this was a widespread hacking attacks which interfered with basic functions at Facebook and Instagram at that hour, however.

So it appears that the new policy of censoring any comment or books arguing against 100% acceptance of vaccinations, which is in line with corporate statements from Amazon as well, is not yet in place.

This text with videos below is a copy of the page above, Suzanne Humphries’ current statement on vaccine ideology and science, in case her books and web site disappear from current hosting:

Vaccination
I was once a medical professional who would have said that ‘vaccination science was settled long ago, and is now laid to rest’. After all, that is what I was taught. But after my experience in the hospital system and thoroughly examining the medical literature, it became obvious that most medical professionals who parrot such statements have read almost nothing on vaccination and are just following orders. I know, because that was also formerly true of me.

Doctors want to do what is right, but who creates their curriculum or continuing education modules?

The medical curriculum is devoid of important information on vaccines.

What is the real truth? What is not told to doctors and the public?

The claim that ‘the science is settled’ is a factually, intellectually, and morally dishonest attempt to silence debate and discussion about the evidence and science in the medical literature, which speaks against the mainstream mantras.

Hopefully, the paragraphs, videos, medical articles, and links that follow below will open some eyes and ears to information that is not taught in medical schools nor allowed in mainstream media.

The history of vaccination is more complicated than most people realize. The anti-vaccine movement is hundreds of years old, and heated up in the 1800s, when parents in the UK became fed up with watching their healthy infants and children become ill or die shortly after the smallpox vaccinations or get sick from smallpox despite being highly vaccinated. The smallpox vaccines were made from pus scraped off of diseased cows’ belly sores, contaminated with disease matter from a variety of animals and in some cases, humans.

Parents and doctors who refused smallpox vaccines, risked losing their homes, their furniture and their livelihoods if judges ruled against them.

Smallpox vaccine history is not what you have been taught to think it is. This video

describes the issues well.

I do not consider it my place to tell anyone whether to vaccinate or not. I never tell people to NOT vaccinate.

It is my place as a doctor, to understand as much as I can about vaccines and to give people a more complete understanding from which to make INFORMED choices.

Informed choice is not the stance of the public health services. There is ample documentation that their priority was and is to quell “any possible doubts, whether well founded or not” regarding vaccines.

(Click for more Suzanne Humphreys till end]
The following document is the American 1984 DHHS federal register, which listed final rules pertaining to the polio vaccination campaigns in USA after three decades of controversy.

This American 1984 DHHS federal register screen shot shows the political rule that any possible doubts about the safety of a vaccine cannot be allowed to curb its use in accordance with public health objectives.

This American 1984 DHHS federal register screen shot above shows the political rule that any possible doubts about the safety of a vaccine cannot be allowed to curb its use in accordance with public health objectives.

That priority has placed many lives in jeopardy as major problems with vaccination were and are overlooked by vaccine policy makers.

There are many problems with the science that underpins information given to both parents and doctors. I’ve yet to meet a pediatrician who understands both sides of the debate enough to give fully informed consent. Many doctors don’t even understand the vaccine inserts, or know what is in vaccines.

Immunology literature admits that infant immunity has been misunderstood by immunologists in the past, and even today. Only recently have some important questions been answered about why infant immune systems don’t function like adult ones. Words like “deficient” or “immature” have been used to imply such ‘shortcomings’ of the infant immune system, and therefore infants must need numerous vaccines in order to survive.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The immune system of a baby has the full capacity of an adult’s immune system. But a baby has a superimposed additional ‘program’ which temporarily curbs certain aspects of the adult immune system from working fully while the baby develops a healthy microbiome and learns which environmental proteins, antigens, and pathogens should be tolerated, and which ones should not.

The core tenet of the superimposed program is to keep systemic inflammation to a minimum within a crucial transition period from in-utero to around two years of age, at the same time that human milk provides broad-spectrum disease protection.

One example: human milk contains a molecule called H.A.M.L.E.T. and many other immune components that assist the baby’s immunity during its anti-inflammatory phase, while successfully protecting from capsular bacterial infections.

Optimal sequential induction of immune tolerance requires the normal programming. Vaccines are in complete opposition to this programming. There are aspects of immunity that vaccines could never help with. For some infants, the interruption of the normal immune clamped process with aluminum and vaccines, has the potential to cause life-long serious consequences.

HERE is my infant immunity series video to view for more information.

There is a paucity of studies comparing never vaccinated children, with partially or fully vaccinated children. In 2017 two important articles were released regarding vaccinated and unvaccinated homeschooled children. The results should make any thoughtful scientist step back and ask exactly what vaccines are achieving. Please read both articles in full, Mawson 2017 pilot study, and Mawson 2017 preterm birth, vax, neuro disorders.

In terms of safety studies, a major issue is that most vaccine studies use another vaccine or the background substance of the vaccine, as the control placebo.

There is one study (Cowling 2012) where a true saline placebo was used, rather than another vaccine or the carrier fluid containing everything except the main antigen.That study showed no difference in seasonal influenza viral infection between groups but astonishingly it revealed a higher pandemic strain infection rate and a 5-6 times higher rate of non-influenza viral infections in the vaccinated. It is no small wonder that more true placebos are not used in vaccine research.

In this article Steinhoff, Influenza vax preg we see a clear example of how false placebos are regularly used.

Vaccinations themselves and the ever growing schedule, is a medical experiment, and in my opinion, violates the core principles of the Nuremberg Code (informed and unambiguous consent).

Most vaccines have never undergone carcinogenicity testing for example, and likewise are rarely studied in pregnant women, which results in people taking vaccines, either by a proclaimed “emergency”; by a “public health” order from the WHO; or by threat of loss of rights over one’s children or of imprisonment; or by threat of being abandoned by the medical professionals supposedly providing care. This has also been extended to medical staff who lose their jobs if they refuse to take any mandated vaccine.

“Informed consent” is devoid of all meaning when people are tricked into taking vaccines by the use of misleading or frightening “information.”

“Informed consent” is devoid of all meaning when people are tricked into taking vaccines by the use of misleading or frightening “information.”

Vaccines that are on the market, can also be unknowingly contaminated.

Repeatedly over the decades, published medical articles, which threaten the vaccine industry are often attacked, and where possible discredited, or journals are forced to retract the articles. Therefore doctors never get to use them as part of informed consent. Drs Gatti and Montenari wrote an article on their research findings in 2017. The the article, New Quality-Control Investigations on Vaccines: Microand Nanocontamination was systematically attacked from time it was printed. In February of 2018, Italians lost their rights to choose not to vaccinate their school age children. Shortly thereafter, Gatti and Montenari’s laboratory in Italy was raided, and all data and computers and personal devices in their homes was confiscated. HERE is a short article in English detailing what occurred. How can informed consent happen in this sort of environment? This isn’t the first time this has happened. My series, “Honesty vs Policy” describes historical examples. Dr Anthony Morris had similar trouble. This VIDEO tell some of his story, which is reflective of what vaccine whistleblowers from any era have had to endure.

Parents must learn the ways to take care of their children when they get the common childhood illnesses, whether they vaccinate or not, since children can still get the diseases they were vaccinated against. In the case of unvaccinated children who experience childhood maladies, effective home-nursing allows children to recover naturally, and in most cases, the child will have long-term immunity. Infectious fevers must not be lowered as this does not help the child. HERE is a short video on the subject.

Some vaccine policies have robbed teenagers and adults of the opportunity to have solid, multi-layered, long-lasting natural immunity. For example, in mothers who were vaccinated against measles, placental transfer of antibodies is limited to a few months instead of over a year in most naturally immune mothers.

Reduced placental transfer of antibodies is but one of the many potential consequences we face as a result of mass vaccination for measles and the other childhood illnesses, such as rubella.

Vaccine contents, dangers, effectiveness of, or necessity of vaccines is not taught in medical schools. Most medical doctors are fearful of the natural childhood illnesses because they have no idea how to safely assist patients through them. The limited mainstream treatment options I was taught, often resulted in the diseases becoming worse than they would have otherwise been.

To my surprise, I later discovered other methods which work extremely well, but were never presented as part of my medical education.

In a short article Tapping the immune system’s secret the limitations of immunology are plainly spelled out. The public is repeatedly misinformed, underinformed, or frightened in order to maintain their participation in vaccination. All sorts of tactics are used. One of the most popular, is to say that everyone should get vaccinated in order to protect the unvaccinated. This is commonly known as “herd immunity.” Here is a video series I made on herd immunity.

Doctors repeat the advice, “We have to vaccinate them while they are young so the ‘take rate’ is high.” A case-in-point is an article for which I was interviewed where one of Maine’s supposed top experts is giving misleading advice. In the article titled, “Bangor Metro: “A Shot to The Heart”, ”he says: :

Concerns about how much a young child’s immune system can handle at one time have prompted some parents to stagger vaccinations. But Fanburg points out that there is no medical data to support the practice, adding that it’s actually more beneficial to vaccinate infants, rather than wait until they are older. “Children have a better ‘take’ of vaccines in their first two years of life,” he says. “There is a higher rate of immunogenicity, which is the child’s ability to produce antibodies to the vaccine antigen.

This ‘vaccine expert’ seems to lack understanding as to how an infant’s immune system develops and why. If he understood, he would pause for some time, before making such a dogmatic statement. It’s a well-established fact that three-year-olds require fewer vaccine doses to create the same level of antibodies as a baby.

A baby’s immune system produces only very small amounts of IL-1B and TNF-alpha. There was a time when experts thought that this was simply a defect in all newborn humans. In 2004, a study by Chelvarajan suggested that if vaccine manufacturers added various immune system kickers into vaccines, this would solve the problem and fix these children’s immune systems.

Subunit vaccines like HepB, Strep Pneumo, Hib and Meningococcal have potent “adjuvants” – such as aluminum. Without them, the baby’s immune system does not respond. An adjuvant creates a red-alert situation forcing the infant’s innate immune system to respond in the opposite manner to the way it should function in the first year of life. Pro-vaccine immunologists see nothing wrong with this.

By 2007, Chelvarajan was seeing things differently, as noted in the last paragraph of this article. In the past, what Chelvarajan considered a “defect”, is now rightly considered part of an important developmental program:

This anti-inflammatory phenotype may be beneficial to the neonate at a time when tissue growth and remodeling events are taking place at a rapid pace… thus the inability of the neonate to respond to infection with encapsulated bacteria may be the risk the organism takes for successful development.

An ARTICLE by Elahi in 2013, showed that infant immune cells have full functional capacity, but are clamped down to allow the infant to learn what is self, what is a healthy commensal micro-organism, and what should later be attacked.

This anti-inflammatory phenotype is crucial to the neonate at a time when tissue growth and remodeling events are taking place at a rapid pace… thus the possible inability of the neonate to respond to infection with encapsulated bacteria, (particularly formula fed infants) may be the risk the organism takes for successful development.

Breast milk acts as a stand-in innate immune system, which protects the baby from toxin-mediated and other diseases, by supplying anti-inflammatory substances in the milk along with other immune particles which prevent bacteria and viruses from adhering, or kills them outright.

This protects the baby, acting as in loco defense, while the infant immune system is being programmed to learn self from non-self. During this period of ‘clamping’ which is approximately 2 human years (extrapolated from animal studies), the breastfed infant is well compensated by the mother’s milk, which continues the educational process and kills unwanted organisms.

This same pattern of development is seen in laboratories studying non-human mammals, and is ubiquitous across mammals, showing that the anti-inflammatory phenotype is crucial to successful survival both short and long term.

What then, could be the effect of vaccines, which interfere with the quiescent state of the infant’s immune system master plan? Do the large amounts of aluminum create additional problems?

With breastmilk support, an infant immune system develops appropriately and systematically – at a regulated pace, according to the genetic program which started from the day the child was conceived.

What is the purpose of that master plan?

To enable the infant to safely transition into immunological independence with the minimum level of inflammation possible.

Can that master plan be derailed? Yes it can.

What can derail the neonatal immune system master program? Anything which triggers an inflammatory response in the mother while she is pregnant or in the baby after it is born, such as the use of a vaccine.
Ironically the medical research is very clear about one thing. It’s not the infection per se that causes the problem. It’s the activation of the immune system. How do they know it’s not just the infection? Because stress, toxins, and other non-infectious antigens can trigger the immune system cascade, in very similar ways to infection, with the same results.

If it is important for successful development of a baby to allow the RISK of infection by NOT allowing two key parts of the primary infection defense to fire, what’s the OTHER risk you might take, if you force an immune system to do something it’s not supposed to do? A vaccine by definition, causes increased inflammation at repeated time intervals. Vaccines are designed to create peripheral and systemic inflammation. Vaccine adjuvants and antigens can cause brain inflammation, create allergies, and through molecular mimicry, provoke autoimmunity.

So, you might now be thinking . . . if a baby’s default position is to NOT respond to toxin-mediated bacterial diseases, what chance does a baby have to survive in this world? That is what human milk was, and is for. Medical literature from the past and present shows the huge physical cost to babies of not giving them human milk, as well as the cost in both lives and money in developed countries.

If you would like to learn more about neonatal immunity, read this 3-part blog series, and take note of the medical articles used.

Provaccine doctors sometimes cite “peer reviewed literature” to supposedly prove their point, yet a closer look at their own literature often proves otherwise —as does a closer look at the sick population of the vaccinated children in their medical practices.

Furthermore a careful study of medical text books over decades, reveals a very interesting trend. In the 1920s and 30s, doctors were often quite relaxed over diseases which today are presented as more deadly than the plague. Many grandparents today are completely bemused at the way the medical profession describes infections which were straightforward holidays from school for most children.

This is not stating that there were never serious consequences. There sometimes were. However, today, most parents erroneously believe that every child will die from diseases which most grandparents found were nuisance value only.

The medical system now considers measles more dangerous than plague or ebola, and the most dangerous disease known to man. Yet there is little need to be afraid of measles, because well-nourished children who get adequate vitamin A have an unremarkable course to recovery. Boredom might be their biggest complaint. Here is a relevant VIDEO SERIES discussing the corruption and misinformation in medical literature and media.

I have discovered that whooping cough isn’t something to be scared of either. In the days when my only tool was an antibiotic, whooping cough occasionally caused me considerable concern, but not today. I’ve watched many parents all over the world treat whooping cough very simply by using high doses of vitamin C and occasionally homeopathy. They see slow steady improvement in the cough, and no serious complications. But you will not read about these cases in “peer reviewed literature” and your doctor doesn’t know about them, because the sick children those doctors treat are the only ones counted in the morbidity statistics. Healthy children who recover uneventfully because parents know what they are doing, are not seen by the medical system and therefore are not counted.

The serious consequences from most childhood diseases come from just a few things; infant formula, cow’s milk, common medical drugs (especially antibiotics), malnutrition, and vaccines, as well and a lack of knowledge about simple methods of home nursing.

All of these medical system barriers to recovery are completely avoidable. That is WHY when we take the time to look, we see so many never-vaccinated healthy children, nursed by intelligent parents who know what they are doing and why.

Here are a few common misconceptions about NOT vaccinating:

First misconception: You are putting other people at risk by not vaccinating. At risk for what? Chicken pox? Ask your grandmother if she knew anyone who died from chicken pox or measles. Different diseases have different degrees of severity in different age groups. The misconception that “if you don’t vaccinate, you place others at risk” is based on an assumption that vaccinated people do not get the disease they were vaccinated for. Did you know that a controlled study published in BMJ in school age children showed that of all the whooping cough that was diagnosed, over 86% of the children were fully vaccinated and up to date for the whooping cough vaccine? There are similar studies showing that mumps and measles breakouts often affect the vaccinated. People who are vaccinated can have their immune systems altered in a manner that leads to susceptibility to other infectious diseases, and can also leave them vulnerable to the disease they were vaccinated for due to a phenomenon called “original antigenic sin”. What is “original antigenic sin”? This is where an injected vaccine antigen programs the body to react in a manner that is incomplete, and different to the natural response to infection . When the vaccinated contact that disease again, they are unable to mount an effective response to the pathogen because vital first steps are missing. The whooping cough vaccine is an example of this.

A very noteworthy study was published in 2013, looking at baboons, which are susceptible and manifest whooping cough like humans do. In the study by Warfel, baboons that were either vaccinated or not vaccinated were later exposed to pertussis bacteria, something that cannot be done experimentally in humans (due to ethical considerations), but which yields very important data.

As expected, the baboons that had never been infected got the cough and remained colonized with bacteria for a maximum of 38 days. But unexpectedly, baboons that were previously vaccinated and immunized vaccine-style, became colonized upon later exposure for a longer time than the naïve baboons; 42 days. However unvaccinated baboons that recovered naturally and were later exposed to the bacteria did not become colonized at all – zero days.

Recuperated and vaccinated baboons were also exposed to pertussis bacteria and then placed in cages with naive baboons. Only the vaccinated baboons infected them. The naturally recovered baboons did not infect their naive cage mates.

The following video contains relevant information that every parent should know.

So, who is providing better herd immunity in the face of whooping cough bacterial exposure? Vaccinated individuals who presume they are immune, yet remain asymptomatically colonized for 42 days spreading bacteria? Unvaccinated kids who get infected and remain colonized for 38 days? Or the naturally convalesced who are not able to be colonized and therefore do not spread bacteria at all upon re-exposure? Better still: natural convalescence makes for solid immunity which lasts decades longer than vaccination.

Many vaccine enthusiasts like to invoke the term “herd immunity” to make the argument that the non-vaccinated pose a risk to the vaccinated. But the concept of herd immunity has no relevance to the vaccinated as it was coined in reference to natural immunity in populations and what level the least epidemics occurred. There is no evidence whatsoever that having an 85% or 95% childhood vaccination rate necessarily protects from outbreaks.

Second misconception: The non-vaccinated spread disease. Actually it is the opposite. Live vaccines are known to spread to close contacts. Here is one example.There has been a plethora of mumps outbreaks in mostly-vaccinated populations. The spin put on the data by the vaccine-religious is often downright amusing. One such amusement can be seen in this VIDEO of mine.

We also know that in pertussis (whooping cough), those who are vaccinated are more likely, due to original antigenic sin, to be carriers of the bacteria longer than the non-vaccinated, even when asymptomatic. In his ARTICLE published in Clinical Infectious Disease in 2004, Dr. James Cherry pointed out that adults, re-vaccinated against pertussis, don’t develop any antibacterial activity whatsoever. He went on to explain why. The current vaccines contain a few antigens, which create “original antigenic sin”, whereby the immune response to the vaccine is abnormal. That first-learned response then becomes the default position the immune system takes, on future booster shots. So in the case of the whooping cough vaccines there are key protein virulence factors which have not been included in the vaccines including ACT, TCF, TCT, as well as BrkA and DNT. This is also explained in the video above.

Because the first three are not included, the default immune response does not prevent colonization, and furthermore, Cherry stated that the “original antigenic sin” results in the vaccinated being unable to clear the bacteria from their lungs. The non-vaccinated have immunity to all the front line virulence factors and very quickly clear the bacteria on re-exposure.

Mothers who have been vaccinated, may develop surrogate markers which can be measured in a laboratory, but these do not guarantee efficient immune responses after exposure to the natural disease, because their first “learned response” was incorrect. Furthermore, they are still not sure “what” the surrogate marker actually is for pertussis.

There is similar information on measles, the other disease that has been portrayed by the media as a danger to the population due to non-vaccinated children. But this information is not accurate, nor is measles a dangerous disease in healthy people who have sufficient vitamin A. Damien et. al pointed out in this ARTICLE that the vaccinated are 5-8 times more susceptible to asymptomatic infection than the immune non-vaccinated. How then, are the non-vaccinated solely responsible for the recent outbreaks in measles?

Many vaccines are said to be “attenuated” or modified-live and supposedly do not infect, but over the decades we have seen how those attenuated viruses mutate once they are in a human and can spread more virulent disease than what is being vaccinated for. The oral polio vaccines in Nigeria today is a case in point. But this can happen with any attenuated viral vaccine.

The original Salk polio vaccines were supposed to be killed vaccines and yet they infected thousands of people, the household contacts and the community, killing and paralyzing over 200 people. The published figure is thought to be a gross underestimate of the true number of people affected.

It is not uncommon to see a child recently vaccinated for chicken pox develop shingles or chicken pox. We see this often enough. I’ve also seen shingles vaccine (which has 14 times the amount of virus as the chickenpox vaccine) provoke shingles in an elderly woman days after the vaccine was given. And strangely enough, the doctors taking care of her had to go and research to see if shingles vaccines can cause shingles, because doctors know almost nothing about vaccines.

Here are things to consider when you hear of an outbreak of an infectious disease: “How many of the affected were fully vaccinated and how many people died or were hospitalized? Were the cases verified with laboratory tests or are the reports based on community doctor reports? What drugs were given prior to death?”

Other questions to bear in mind is, “Were the people hospitalized because”: The disease was really serious:The family didn’t know how to deal with it:The family responded to a medical profession hard-wired to believe everyone with that disease can die? In other words, was the admission to the hospital really necessary?

Influenza vaccines are continuously advertised as helpful even when the efficacy is very low. The science speaks against such helpfulness, but the science seems to be unread by those who make vaccine recommendations. Here is a VIDEO CLIP of my opinion of the influenza vaccine hype of 2017-18.

Third misconception: Deaths from these terrible diseases that once plagued humanity will return to pre-vaccine levels, if we do not keep up the vaccines. We can see from the graph at the end of this page, that the mortality from these diseases was drastically declining prior to vaccination. But in addition, you might want to know the more rational explanation for deadly disease decline in modern times. It’s not vaccination. It has been shown to be hygiene. In this article, “What is the causal link between hygiene and infections?” the authors offer the epidemiological evidence that vaccines played a minor role.

Here is something else you may not have been informed of: All the reduction even for TB in USA, was achieved BEFORE any vaccines of any sort were offered, and most of the reductions for all diseases, were achieved before antibiotics became commercially available in about 1950 as well. So what did that? It wasn’t vaccines. Yet all the countries which used the BCG as front line “protection”, saw an identical decline to the one which we saw in USA using no TB vaccine.

Mortality for several common illnesses had already declined significantly long before the vaccines were created. The downward trend of the curves is completely unaffected by vaccine introduction.

If you compare graphs for death decline in diphtheria and scarlet fever, they are almost identical. Yet there never was a widely used vaccine for scarlet fever. Scarlet fever and its resulting complication, rheumatic fever —has clearly been shown in the medical literature, to be nutritionally driven. This is why if you do find someone who says they had scarlet fever, it is primarily in more impoverished, war-torn, hungry and poverty stricken countries. In developed countries where rheumatic fever is an issue, it’s primarily seen in the less educated groups, whose nutritional understanding is lacking, or their access to good food is limited.

Yet under-educated people in stable social environments, without much money, who understand and follow effective nutritional pathways, will be on the scale of low susceptibility because nutrition and well being, is what really counts.

Poor nutrition, is historically correlated with higher rheumatic fever and death. All of us carry Strep A regularly, but the well-fed amongst us don’t get scarlet fever, let alone its complication, rheumatic fever.

This point is well studied enough to lay aside any concern over whether or not correlation implies causation.

Historically, in the case of all infectious diseases, good nutrition has been and still is, a major preventive factor, that has led to enormous declines of morbidity and mortality from most infectious diseases. When I suggested to my chief of medicine in the hospital, that nutrition was an important factor in disease prevention, he outright scoffed at me.

It is no coincidence that in the UK, scurvy and measles mortality were closely correlated, as seen in one of our graphs from Dissolving Illusions.

-UK-Scurvy-Measles-1901-1967

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Suzanne Humphries, MD

Gary Null and Richard Gale publish on the vast corporate corruption of modern medical science

January 16th, 2019

A hard hitting paper unpeeling the rotting onion of modern science and medicine and finding how little there is untouched by the corruption of money politics has been posted by Gary Null on his Progressive Radio Network show page. We back it up here in case it is subjected to the disappearance which is overtaking more and more of the voices of critics of mainstream beliefs courtesy of Facebook and Google.

SUMMARY: The paper is an excellent summary of how far the power of money is overcoming truth in science, written with the practiced, judicious vocabulary of seasoned critics of the status quo, and covering all the bases in describing where corruption of the values of professional science is rampant. These include:

1. Massive expenditure with no significant progress in defeating disease.
2. Abandonment of prevention in medical treatment for 100% focus on disease management as a profit center.
3. Corporate science has taken over from independent science in most minds of officials, media reporters and editors, investors, academics, and legislators.
4. Big Pharma has hijacked regulators and legislators with revolving door politics and fines for drugs that kill instead of cure are minimal, while profits soar over them.
5. The health risks and dangers of new electronic technology are ignored by profit makers.
6. The peer review system is failing and the bulk of studies are biased and cannot be reproduced.
7. Drugs are pushed on healthy people as preventing disease without proof.
8. Wikipedia is now the largest open source site for medical information but as in the mainstream media its editors typically lack medical or scientific qualifications and routinely attack non-conventional therapies as unproven pseudoscience and ignore positive scientific studies.
9. More patients die annually from iatrogenic (medical treatment) causes than from war – some 900,000 currently, as health agencies and medical schools, insurance providers and professional associations serve drug makers and profit enterprise.
10. Propagandized doctors and other health providers are taken over by what amounts to a religious cult of beliefs.
11. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1991 expanded corporations to the international stage as transnational behemoths which have dominated government institutions ever since.
12. Reagan gutted the EPA as industry pollution brake and freed pharma from any vaccine liability in 1986, launching the boom which will reach $60 billion in 2020.
13, Clinton freed biotech from proper oversight with GMOs proliferating since.
14. Manipulating and fudging scientific data is detected often by the FDA and buried, withheld from media, public and even Congressional committees, so that drugs are marketed and many medical publications print favorable articles based on fraudulent drug trials (research of Charles Seife of NYU reviewed 600 trials).
15. Following review by Marcia Angell of her twenty years at the New England Journal of Medicine. concluding that “it is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published”, Richard Horton editor of the Lancet warned that “perhaps half” of the scientific literature “may simply be untrue.”
14. In 2012 a team at Amgen were able to reproduce only six of 53 published cancer studies. Another study in Nature found only 39 of 100 psychology studies could be replicated.
15. In 546 drug trials reviewed at Childrens Hospital Boston it was found that industry funded trials with positive results were 70 per cent more likely to be published than research from federal health agencies.In 2010 Harvard and other researchers found of multi studies of twelve antidepressant drugs tested on 12,500 patients, 36 of the 37 favorable trials were published by the NEJM, and only 3 of 36 unfavorable trials.
16. Conflict of interest admissions in authors of articles on drugs produced by companies with whom they have financial ties are now mandated, but avoided by a booming business in ghostwriters from pr firms who submit favorable articles.
17. Monsanto has employed ghostwriters for over a decade to defend its flagship weedkiller Roundup (glyphosphate) especially now after a court reversal in California which ruled that it caused a plaintiff’s cancer, and in 2016 Montsanto was found to have secretly reviewed and amended articles in the journal Critical Review in Toxicology on the chemical as a carcinogen.
18. Coca-Cola founded and initially funded the professedly independent Global Energy Balance Network which recruits prominent scientists and professors to promulgate the message that lack of exercise is more important than junk sugary beverages in causing obesity.

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How the Corruption of Science Leads to the Collapse of Modern Civilization

Richard Gale & Gary Null
Progressive Radio Network, January 15, 2019

This new year will likely mark another milestone in science and medicine. Again, Americans will spend more money on diagnostic tests, surgeries and other medical procedures, and patients will consume more drugs and receive more treatments than any other time in US history. We will continue to be inundated with television drug advertisements with the reassuring message, “you don’t have to fight this battle alone. We are with you.” There will be images of laboratories, medical research and happy patients to strengthen viewers’ faith that medical science is progressing and working on our behalf. We will be promised that new cures for life-threatening diseases are on the horizon.

The US will also spend a minimum of $3.5 trillion on healthcare, in addition to a $1.5 trillion loss in work and wages due to illness. Five trillion dollars total. Approximately 18 percent of the US GDP. And tens of millions of additional dollars will be spent to advertise Big Pharma’s message.

And herein lies the fundamental problem. There are more doctors, more hospitals, more pharmaceutical drugs and medical procedures than ever before and yet we have not conquered nor made any significant progress in curing any major disease. Instead of making efforts to fund disease prevention and educate the public, prevention has been abandoned altogether. There are volumes of excellent peer-reviewed studies documenting research and clinical experience showing a healthy diet, physical exercise and stress management regimens can either completely prevent or be incorporated into medical treatment protocols successfully. However, there is no profit to be made in prevention. Modern medicine is solely devoted to disease management.

How did we reach this threshold where trillions of dollars have been tossed into the abyss? One reason is that few voices have been able to reach the public to address the widespread corruption in corporate science, especially medicine, agriculture, and environmental issues. Honest, independent science is ignored in favor of proprietary pharmaceutical drugs and genetically modified foods. Fraudulent research has been used to justify nuclear power as a clean green energy. Political officials working on behalf of fossil fuel interests convince us with junk science that hydro-fracking poses no health risks and is environmentally friendly. A single Big Pharma corporation with thousands of employees and billions of dollars in sales and profits is deeply connected to investors, public relations firms, federal health officials and the media. All of these externally-invested parties are in turn dependent upon the corporation’s revenue stream. Money that trickles down is spent bribing medical schools to push the conventional drug agenda’s regime, or funneled to front groups and foundations to buy off so-called experts to debunk critics. Revenues received by the mainstream media networks for drug advertisements are payoffs assuring that no reporting appears that might show the company and its medical products in a bad public light.

The benefit Big Pharma receives from hijacking the federal regulators and legislators is protection from the nation’s judiciary so that when a drug like Merck’s anti-arthritic Vioxx conservatively kills over 60,000 patients and injures an additional 130,000, there is no immediate FDA recall and deaths are permitted until the crisis reaches a tipping point and health officials are forced to step in. Never is a drug executive prosecuted. Vioxx sales earned Merck $18 billion and they only had to pay a $5 billion settlement. Everyone who knew Vioxx was a defective product had engaged in malice aforethought with no deleterious consequences. The company merely paid a fine and returned to business as usual, and the media simply whitewashed the seriousness of Merck’s crimes.

More

Science creates artificial intelligence, geoengineering, and 5G wireless technology. These are held up as great achievements. We never hear anything about their downsides from mainstream media, and private corporations will not disclose evidence of their risks and dangers. If a scientific invention appears in the peer-reviewed literature, it has already reached a gold standard. Any controversy has been settled. However, we are now finding that the entire peer-reviewed journal system is utterly corrupt. In fact, as we will recount, it is all a fraud, and it will worsen without any efforts made to reform it. Quite simply, there is neither concerted will nor ethical standard to improve the peer-reviewed system because it generates too much profit.

Drugs are being pushed upon healthy people not because they treat a disease, but because we are told they will prevent a disease. Such is the case for new HIV prevention drugs, such as Truvada and PrEp, and statins. There is no definitive science that these drugs are effective enough for anyone to take them. Imagine being healthy and told that starting chemotherapy will prevent cancer. That would be insane.

And now we discover that the world’s largest open source site for medical information is Wikipedia. Articles about medical products and therapeutic regimes are penned by completely unqualified editors with no medical background and many who prefer to remain anonymous. Yet Wikipedia editors state with authority that there are no proven health benefits from non-conventional and natural medical therapies. After reading any Wikipedia entry about chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy, Chinese medicine, naturopathy or energy medicine, the reader will walk away believing it is all pseudoscience or fraud. However, collectively there are hundreds of thousands of studies to support these therapies’ efficacy and safety. Legitimate scientific inquiry has already shown their efficacy. Independent board-certified physicians have been using complementary and alternative medicine for a long time with excellent results, but you will not find any of these qualified physicians being invited to lead a committee at the FDA, CDC or any other national health agency or department. Nor do we find special reports about successful advances in natural health regimens appearing on Dateline, Sixty Minutes, CNN, nor in the New York Times and Washington Post.

So where exactly in the cesspool of modern medicine, food science, and the agro-chemical industry are we to find truth? No one in the scientific and federal health agencies can be trusted anymore. They are all compromised. No mainstream journalist is trustworthy, and no one can be certain whether a paper appearing in a peer-reviewed science journal is reliable. Even the clinical physicians on the front lines of healthcare work in the dark. It is only after large numbers of deaths and injuries, such as with Agent Orange, DDT, aspartame, mammography, etc, that a light goes on – and even then only for a short time before returning to the dark.

Our research shows that the majority of pharmaceutical corporations have settled lawsuits, some of which are described in this article. At the same time our analysis confirms that over 900,000 Americans die annually from iatrogenic causes. How is it that the pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment has killed more Americans than those who died in Vietnam without any serious consequences? Now wrap your mind around this: if we take a conservative figure of preventable deaths from medicine, 500,000 per year during the last four decades, that would account for approximately 20 million deaths. That is more than all those killed in wars throughout America’s history.

The reason American medicine has turned into the nation’s largest and deadliest battlefield is that for scientific corruption to succeed with impunity, everything must be interconnected. The Surgeon General, the heads of federal health agencies, drug makers, the insurance industry, medical schools and professional associations, and the media operate as a single army waging a war on health against Americans. Corporate interests control everything. Modern medicine has morphed into a religious cult which cannot contemplate the potential of its own vulnerabilities. And numerous patients have been played for fools. As we will see, medicine profits from keeping patients sick.

We understand that you may be confused about this message because it goes directly against everything the medical establishment tells us. The fact is that science is completely vulnerable to corruption, and this has always been the case. Private industry and government know this perfectly. The checks and balances separating private and public interests have collapsed. Today, a sincere person who blows the whistle on government and corporate malfeasance and crimes can find him or herself going to jail. The medical regime is now a single entity. All of its parts are consolidated and entwined into a monolithic behemoth dedicated to protecting its bottom line.

Is it not time we said “enough”?

When we consider Marx’s statement that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce,” it requires little effort to look back upon history and witness a long legacy of scientific horrors and tragedies. Yet today, matters have worsened. Ever since the Rockefellers privatized American healthcare back in the 1930s, science in the hands of powerful private interest groups and corrupt government agencies has spiraled downward to its current state today: a sad and virulent burlesque spectacle.

If medical corruption had been conducted with the results of vastly improved health in the nation, we might close our eyes. However, as corruption throughout the medical establishment and federal health agencies increases, so has the health of the nation substantially decreased. The monster the Carnegie Foundation unleashed in its Flexner Report to set the standard for medical education back in 1910 has since opened its jaws wider to swallow the little integrity that might remain in American medicine. The nation’s health statistics and annual rise in preventable diseases proves the case.

The US is the world’s most medicated country and yet ranks at the bottom of the pack of developed nations for quality of health. It is also the only nation in the developed world with the average lifespan in decline. A Consumer Report survey estimates that 55 percent of Americans regularly take a prescription drug, and among those, the average person takes four drugs. In 2016, over 4.5 billion prescriptions were filled, earning the pharmaceutical industry over $200 billion.[1] An earlier estimate conducted and published by the Mayo Clinic found that 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug and over 50 percent are on two. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more.[2] Over 17 percent of citizens 45 years and older take antidepressants, including one in four women.[3] A multi-year population-based survey conducted by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that 32 percent of adults diagnosed with depression were taking medications with depression listed as an adverse effect! These drugs include proton pump inhibitors, analgesics, beta blockers and synthetic hormone contraceptives.[4]

For anyone who cares to take a broad, objective and panoramic view of the illnesses plaguing the American landscape, the situation will be found shocking. Clearly it needn’t be this way. Most people enter the sciences for noble reasons and because of a passion for discovery. So then why do they so often emerge out of the end of the institutionalized treadmill as proponents of products that do more harm than good?
The Dismal State of Modern Science

There have been prophetic voices in the past who have warned about the dire direction in which modern scientific advancement is headed. In his 1924 essay “Icarus or the Future of Science,” the British mathematician and moral philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote, “I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups, rather than to make men happy. Icarus, having been taught to fly by his father Daedalus, was destroyed in his rashness. I fear that the same fate may overtake the populations whom modern men of science have taught to fly.” Later in his essay Russell continues, “whether, in the end, science will prove to have been a blessing or a curse to mankind, is to my mind still a doubtful question.”

For Russell, those who can sincerely call themselves scientists pursue their discipline out of a love for knowledge. Science is supposed to improve conditions necessary to foster our well-being and happiness, and to preserve the planet’s environment in an ethical manner. A scientist who truly pursues knowledge out of love, Russell argues, will desire the fruits of his work and craft to be expressions of kindness for the greater good. On the other hand, science is perverted when knowledge is pursued solely for power and domination over others. He warned about the trends of his day increasing whereby the holders of scientific knowledge become “evil” and science solely serves the ambitions of the powerful and those who control scientific inventions’ utility. “Scientific knowledge,” Russell wrote, “does not make men more sensible in their aims, and administrators in the future will be presumably no less stupid and no less prejudiced than they are at present.”[5]

Since the days when science broke free from religion during the European Renaissance, the blind faith in perpetual scientific progress as humanity’s best of fortunes has persisted to the present day. In fact, in the 21st century, scientific materialism has largely replaced religious beliefs and morals altogether. This is especially evident in the contemporary regressive movements of Skepticism, the New Atheism, Science- and Evidence-based Medicine, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, Randian Objectivism, and scientific positivism, which have all been chained to corporate capital and science’s bureaucracies. This myth of perpetual scientific progress, says Russell, “is one of the comfortable nineteenth-century delusions which our more disillusioned age must discard.” In the end, Russell foresaw that science may be the ultimate cause behind “the destruction of our civilization.” From our own perspective, given our governments’ and corporations’ utter disregard towards climate change, insensitive destruction of the natural world and other species, medical abuse of prescription drugs, and brushing off the lives of those in dire economic and social straits, we have to agree.
Modern Medicine: The Exemplar of Scientific Nepotism

Throughout its history, the practice of medicine has been associated with humanitarian and compassionate efforts to relieve the suffering of others. In modern times, we assume that medical science is serving us to find new miracles to save our lives. In ancient systems, medicine was perceived as a divine art and knowledge brought down to humans by the gods. A healer who lived by the ethical codes of his craft was held in high esteem by rulers and peasants alike. Although there have always been medical pretenders who took advantage of the ignorant, the medical arts themselves retained their integrity…. until our modern era. Before outlining the many ways that conventional corporate medicine has become the paragon of a science turned enemy against its essential moral code and the people it is supposed to serve, we might begin with a recent example depicting just how low the medical discipline has sunk into Hades. The state of modern American medicine was accurately summarized in April 2018 when Goldman Sachs released its financial projection report, “The Genome Revolution,” to biotechnology companies. The report doesn’t hesitate to state clearly that for future investment, corporate profits far outweigh the curing of disease.

Goldman Sachs is one of Wall Street’s largest investors in high-growth technologies, particularly pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare services. The report presents the frightening question, “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Even for the most hardened proponents of natural medicine and opponents of Big Pharma, there are times when a drug developer hits the nail on the head. Such is the case with Gilead Sciences’ drugs Harvoni and Epclusa, which have achieved over a 90 percent cure rate for hepatitis C. This is an extraordinary cure rate. But for Goldman, this is a bad sign for investors and shareholders. The drugs’ success has steadily drained the pool of patients requiring treatment. At their peak in 2015, these drugs earned $12.5 billion. Three years later, they are expected to earn under $4 billion, and revenues will continue to decline. Goldman writes, “In the case of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, curing existing patients also decreases the number of carriers able to transmit the virus to new patients, thus the incident pool also declines … Where an incident pool remains stable (eg, in cancer) the potential for a cure poses less risk to the sustainability of a franchise.”[6]

Goldman’s report confirms an observation that we have been voicing for many years. That is, modern medicine is no longer about treating disease; rather, it is all about disease management to keep patients on drugs for life. How did this trend of an amoral medical philosophy and a betrayal of Hippocratic principles come about, since billions of dollars are spent annually to discover cures for disease?

Before the arrival of the Reagan era, most scientific pursuits remained relatively free of commercial efforts to deceive and corrupt. Although federal health agencies have in the past funded witch hunts to squash non-conventional medical theories and practices, such as Chiropractic and more recent homeopathy, overall ethical standards were upheld to approve drugs’ efficacy and safety to the best of their capabilities. Certainly there were serious oversights and failures costing many lives, such as Quaalude-300, PTZ for convulsive therapy, thalidomide and the acellular pertussis vaccine. There were also cases of gross conspiracy and scandal that destroyed numerous lives, such as the 1932-1972 Tuskegee experiment to secretly withhold penicillin from untreated African American males with syphilis. However, it was only during the past three decades that private corporations were able to successfully and rapidly subdue the nation’s health agencies in order to control their executive functions and administrations.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day in 1991, governance was dictated in a bipolar world between two military giants. The governments of the US and the Soviets, and their respective allies, were the sole stakeholders moving the pawns on the world’s chessboard. On the global scene, private industry and civil society would have to wait to grab a seat at the table of governance until American global hegemony was established. Therefore, the collapse of the Soviet bloc opened the floodgates for commercial interests. Large corporations serving primarily domestic interests went international. New markets increased exponentially and private corporations and investment banks took advantage of the openings in these markets. Exploitation of these opportunities commenced unimpeded. Once-national corporations morphed overnight into transnational behemoths, with values competing with national economies, resulting in widespread commercial influence over practically all of our institutions in government, higher education, professional associations and the media. In addition, science became embedded in private economic interests and the governments of the developed nations, notably the US and Britain, were eager to throw in their support to assure unlimited corporate growth could continue. The emerging corporate aristocracy were not perceived so much as uncontrollable rogue entrepreneurs necessitating strict government oversight and regulation to stay in line; rather they became partners as their agendas melted into one and the same.

Ronald Reagan, the first Deregulator-in-Chief, opened a pathway for private interests to gain greater control over the sciences. According to Leslie Janka, a former White House deputy press secretary under Reagan, his entire presidency “was PR.” “This was a PR outfit,” stated Janka, “that became president and took over the country. And to the degree then which the Constitution forced them to do things like make a budget, run a foreign policy and all that, they sort of did. But their first, last and overarching activity was public relations.”[7] Reagan, who consulted astrologers for decision-making, was a scientific illiterate who favored private economic growth over altruism and consumer safety. This meant gutting the Environmental Protection Agency, stripping it of its ability to combat industries’ propensity to evade regulatory hurdles and pollute the environment.

It was also during the Reagan era that pharmaceutical firms infiltrated the halls of the federal government. Through concerted lobbying and persuasion, Reagan signed the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act to protect vaccine makers from financial liability due to vaccines’ adverse effects. Before this bill, only a few firms continued to manufacture vaccines; the financial risks and compensation burden from vaccine injuries were too high for most drug companies. Reagan is therefore credited for launching the current vaccine boom, estimated to be worth $60 billion by 2020, with no legal liability placed upon companies for pushing unsafe and minimally effective vaccines. This trend entered hyperdrive under President Clinton, who perceived himself as the first “biotech president” and invited more corporate executives with conflicts of interest into his administration than any previous president. If the proliferation of GMOs is regarded as a contagion and curse on human and environmental health, then Clinton is ultimately to be blamed.

There are three primary avenues by which science becomes corrupted and thereby damages the public’s health and the environment. These include: 1) corporate influence over scientific discoveries that are developed into products for public consumption; 2) corruption within the scientific community itself; and 3) the emergence of a positive philosophy towards science that displays to all of the dogmatic trimmings of fundamentalist religious faith and seeks full protection from government to become the reigning ideology of the state.

This latter trend has been termed “scientism,” an incoherent ideology that identifies rationality and reason with science itself. Scientism embraces the premise that science can explain everything. One of the more common criticisms against scientism is its “claims that science has already resolved questions that are inherently beyond its ability to answer.”[8] This scientific hubris particularly plagues the biological disciplines such as mental health, immunology, drug-based conventional medical therapies, neurobiology, the genetic etiology of disease, nanomedicine and genetic modification of plants for industrial agriculture.

One unrecognized consequence of scientism is that it plays directly into corporate hands to advance its financial interests and commercial control over a population. By tossing aside philosophical and ethical considerations over natural scientific discoveries and findings, scientific truths stand alone as sterile and amoral tools that can be used as economic weapons of destruction. This is most evident in the pharmaceutical industry that pushes questionably effective and unsafe drugs to treat physical and mental disorders, or the agro-chemical corporations poisoning the public with carcinogenic pesticides and environment-damaging genetically modified crops.

According to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Corporations attempt to exert influence at every step of the scientific and policy-making process, often to shape decisions in their favor or avoid regulation and monitoring of their products and by-products at the public expense.”[9] In order to achieve their goals, private interests make every attempt to win over the White House, Congressional legislators, senior federal agency officials and even the judicial courts. One of science-generated industry’s greatest threats is independent evaluation of the scientific research supporting their products. Winning over or buying the allegiance of the heads of congressional committees and the executive tiers of federal agency regulators is therefore a high priority in order to ensure the gears of bureaucracy remain oiled, the licensing channels for product approval stay wide open, and regulatory due diligence and scientific scrutiny don’t intrude on profits.

There are several ways that private corporations succeed in influencing the government to do their bidding, ensuring the judicial terrain is safe for corporations to perpetrate scientific malfeasance and fraud. This includes manipulating and fudging scientific data, preserving and exerting control over scientists, and taking control of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Although these tactics are found in many industries, it is the medical and food sectors that are today the most corrupt, acting with blatant criminality.

Charles Seife and his students at New York University sought to determine to what extent the FDA covers up evidence of fraud and corruption in medical drug trials. They reviewed FDA documents for about 600 clinical trials. How often do federal health officials discover flagrant and intentional misconduct and subsequently decide to bury the evidence out of sight of the medical community? Seife discovered such actions were an official pattern within the agency. Given the high rate of content deleted or blacked out from the documents the FDA provided, the investigators could only determine which pharmaceutical company or drug was involved in 1 of 6 of the reviewed trials. For one trial alone, where FDA inspectors found significant fraud and misconduct, 78 different medical publications printed articles based upon that single study. In an article for Slate, Seife writes,

“Nobody ever finds out which data is bogus, which experiments are tainted, and which drugs might be on the market under false pretenses. The FDA has repeatedly hidden evidence of scientific fraud not just from the public, but also from its most trusted scientific advisers, even as they were deciding whether or not a new drug should be allowed on the market. Even a congressional panel investigating a case of fraud regarding a dangerous drug couldn’t get forthright answers.”[10]

In one case, a new anti-blood clotting drug, rivaroxaban, was tested in four large trials, which recruited thousands of patients in clinical sites in over a dozen countries. According to Seife, one of the trials “was a fiasco.” In half of the sixteen clinical sites, the FDA discovered “misconduct, fraud, fishy behavior or other practices so objectionable that the data had to be thrown out.” One Colorado site falsified data. In the Mexican site, there was “systematic discarding of medical records.” Despite these overwhelming problems, the drug trial was published favorably in the prestigious British journal The Lancet. The FDA found similar problems in the three other trials; in one the data was ruled “worthless.” The FDA advisory committee of “expert” reviewers were only informed that inspectors discovered “significant issues” at two sites in one of the trials. Rivaroxaban was nevertheless approved in 2011. Since then, lawsuits for wrongful death from rivaroxaban have piled up.[11]

In another case from 2010, Cetero, a private research company that contracts to Big Pharma, faked data for over 1,400 drug safety and effectiveness trials conducted for roughly 100 drugs, mostly generic knockoffs, that were being considered for the US market. Although the FDA uncovered this fraud, it has refused to make these 100 drugs known to the professional medical community and public.[12]

A possible reason some federal health agencies have been squeezed into an administrative straitjacket pulled ever tighter by private industry is the excessive downsizing and withdrawal of funds during the current and past two presidencies. A decade ago, Jessica Washburn reported on the dire situation at the NIH’s Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction for Discover Magazine. The Center is responsible for the evaluation of chemicals and their impact on reproductive health. With continual deregulation following the Koch Brothers agenda to permit private industries to flood the environment with toxic substances, this is an enormously important department tasked with assuring the health of pregnant women and protecting their fetuses. Yet the Center only employed three people, one of whom was part-time. The vast majority of the workload was outsourced to a private consulting firm, Sciences International. For almost ten years, this firm, which had been receiving funding from over forty chemical companies, was the primary evaluator of the environmental toxins mothers-to-be were being exposed to.[13] Publication Prejudice, Fraud and Deceptive Favoritism

During the past decade, scientific prejudice, bias, and outright deceit have been endemic to peer-reviewed scientific literature, especially in the medical and psychiatric fields. Medical journals have been thoroughly hijacked by the pharmaceutical industry, as have university departments and research institutions that are principally funded by private interests. It is no longer a secret that industry-funded studies inordinately convey positive results. Positive research is published; negative research is suppressed and buried. Consequently, the reality of robust and honest medical research is skewed and distorted. Physicians and medical clinics thus get only a peek into the actual safety, efficacy and contraindications of the drugs later peddled to them by pharmaceutical sales reps.

In 2009, Harvard’s Dr. Marcia Angell, a former editor for the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, wrote,

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor.”[14]

Later, the editor of The Lancet, Dr. Richard Horton stated, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” A large percentage of published studies and trials have either not been reproduced or failed to be reproduced. For example, in 2012, a scientist and his team at Amgen attempted to reproduce 53 published cancer studies and only succeeded in reproducing six. In another project published in Nature, only 39 of 100 psychology studies could be replicated.[15] Although Horton is optimistic that the proverbial cat is out of the bag and the medical community has been warned, he despairs that “the bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.”[16]

Doctors at Children’s Hospital Boston undertook the task of reviewing 546 drug trials listed in the government’s Clinical Trials database. They found that industry-funded trials showing positive results were 70 percent more likely to be published than research funded by federal health agencies.[17]

In 2010, a multi-institutional review of studies for twelve antidepressant drugs that cumulatively enrolled over 12,500 patients was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The group, representing researchers from Oregon Health and Science University, Harvard, the University of California Riverside and others, identified a deeply biased and deceptive trend in publication of these drugs’ respective trials that was highly selective. Thirty-six of the 37 favorable studies were published. On the other hand, only 3 of 36 unfavorable trials found their way into print.[18] The consequences are obvious. By giving the false impression that over 90 percent of studies confirm the value of antidepressant drugs while burying almost the same number of adverse trials, the entire risk-benefit ratio of these drugs is skewed.

There’s also the matter of private corporations reaching out to public relations firms and independent technical writers to ghostwrite articles on behalf of their research and commercial products, which first came to light about a decade ago. Despite growing awareness, the practice continues and in fact has become more common during the last several years. Ghostwriting has become a global cottage industry. Although ghostwriting is generally regarded as improper, it is not illegal. Parallel to the alarming revelations that scientific journals were publishing increasing amounts of junk science, there was the problem of scientific authors’ personal biases due to their financial ties to private interests (and hence the very research and products they were positively writing about). For many decades, this was not considered a serious problem, but increasingly authors would hide their financial conflicts of interest. Consequently, the most respected science journals require authors to reveal their associations and conflicts of interest with private companies and private for-profit institutions that may compromise the objectivity of their articles. To get around this requirement, companies reach out to ghostwriters who can paint themselves as independent and conflict-free to submit favorable articles.

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, stated, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Unfortunately this millennium-old tenet was forgotten long ago. Enter the agro-chemical giant Monsanto, which has its fingers in the majority of food products consumed in the US. Monsanto has become notorious for relying upon a wide network of ghostwriting resources to intentionally undermine governments’ regulatory agencies and deceive the public. The company has made a habit of contracting public relations firms and wooing compromised writers for over a decade. Following a California court ruling in favor of a plaintiff who developed cancer, the company’s flagship weed-killing chemical glyphosate, trade name Roundup, is under growing international scrutiny as a carcinogen. Monsanto again is relying upon its army of ghostwriter goons to conduct damage control.

Journalist Carey Gillam has been tracking Monsanto’s shenanigans for many years. In 2016, the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology published a “special series” of science articles reviewing glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential. The World Health Organization had already ruled the chemical might cause cancer, and European health officials were seriously deliberating on banning the herbicide from the continent. “Four independent panels” from the journal declared, “Neither any Monsanto company employee nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel’s manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.” However, Gilliam’s investigation into manuscripts released during the litigation found this was a complete lie. One of Monsanto’s leading scientists not only reviewed the manuscripts, but also edited them. In one internal email within the company, the Chief of Regulatory Science had admitted he reviewed an entire document with suggestions for omissions and a few edits of his own. Other internal documents identify ghostwriters and strategies for recruiting outside scientists to compose articles giving the weed-killer credibility. Attempts to have the papers retracted from the journal have yet to be heeded.[19]

Besides ghostwriters, corporations hide behind shadowy non-profit organizations, front groups and shill think tanks that project the public image of being legitimate and expert scientific institutions. This strategy has been a means to covertly get corporate messages out under the illusion of being generated by independent scientists. For example, a flurry of studies have appeared in recent years proving that sugar-loaded sodas and beverages are substantially contributing to the nation’s obesity and Type 2 diabetes crises. This message is reaching the public. Soda consumption has dropped by 25 percent. To counter the scientific assault on its revenues, Coca-Cola — the world’s largest manufacturer of junk sugary beverages — teamed up with a corporate sponsored non-profit, the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), to promulgate the message that “weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise.” GEBN, which has recruited many prominent scientists and health professors, swears by its independence from Coke’s influence. However, Coke started the non-profit initiative with a $1.5 million startup donation. Since its founding, the partnership has unleashed a media blitz across medical journals, professional conferences, mainstream media and social networks to get Coke’s message out. New York University professor of nutrition and food science Marion Nestle has labeled the GEBN as “nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s agenda is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”[20]

While it is easy to blame private industry for producing the junk science appearing in peer-reviewed journals, we mustn’t lose sight of the corruption within the publications and among senior editors as well. The reason is simple: There is far too much financial incentive for professional journals to approve and publish corporate funded research. An article confirming the therapeutic value of a new drug, for example, can go a long way to bring enormous revenues to publishers. Pharmaceutical firms will order thousands of copies of the article to be disseminated throughout their sales force and sent to physicians, medical schools, clinics and hospitals. The Lancet receives 41 percent of its income from reprints purchased by drug makers. The American Medical Association’s journal gets a whopping 53 percent.

Finally, Big Pharma engages in a form of bribery to get journal editors to ensure their research gets into print. Jessica Liu at the University of Toronto’s Medical School conducted an analysis of payments US drug makers made to 713 editors employed by 52 high impact medical journals. Fifty percent of editors were identified as playing this corporate game and received payments for services that included preferential treatment towards article submissions and appointing peer reviewers. Liu and her colleagues estimated that the mean payment for general articles was $28,100; for research submissions, $37,900.[21] The worst example is the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, with all of its 35 editors on the take. Cumulatively, the journal’s editors received almost $15 million in “bribes” from Big Pharma.[22] Corporate Control of Scientific Information

Private corporations have full and complete control over the proprietary research and trial data in their possession. This means they have the discretion to decide what data to release. In the case of the pharmaceutical industry, the US government makes no demands for a company to release all its clinical trial data and results for any given drug or vaccine submitted to the FDA or CDC respectively for approval and licensure. This is also true for “selective publication” of studies in medical journals. In 2008, the French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi completed 92 studies on drugs in their pipeline. Only 14 were submitted and approved for publication. What should we think about the remaining 78 trials that were withheld?[23] Clearly it would be foolish for financial reasons alone that Sanofi would want its negative trial results to appear in peer-reviewed literature. The professional medical community and institutions rely heavily on the scientific publications to keep abreast of the latest studies and news. Nevertheless, federal authorities would not require Sanofi nor any pharmaceutical firm to submit research data that might jeopardize its approval on issues of safety, serious adverse effects and clinical efficacy. Consequently, federal reviewers are only being provided with trials and data favorable to Big Pharma’s bottom line.

Dr. Steven Nissen is a highly respected cardiologist at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic who worries about the demise of independent research outside of pharmaceutical control. Among the targets he has investigated is Glaxo’s blockbuster diabetes drug Avandia. Unable to acquire original patient information from the drug maker, Nissen turned to the internet and “stumbled upon a cache of data belonging to Glaxo,” which had been submitted during a lawsuit filed by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.[24] In addition to discovering that only 15 of 42 clinical trials for Avantia had been published, the company had been suppressing the data that the drug increased risks of heart attack by 43 percent. Nissen published his findings in the New England Journal of Medicine; two days later the FDA slapped a “black box” warning on the drug.

Nissen also uncovered a story about Glaxo’s antidepressant drug Paxil that was equally disturbing. The company’s research had shown that children on Praxil were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts than kids taking a placebo. Nevertheless Glaxo had withheld this information from health officials and the medical community.

However, Nissen’s challenges did not end there. Among the deplorable tactics corporations adopt to protect their commercial interests, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, is “scientific coercion.” This includes harassing scientists and institutions that bring to light corporate misconduct or raise obstacles to their revenue flow. Companies will go a long way to silence their opponents in the scientific community, including litigation threats and putting pressure upon institutions and universities to impose demotions, loss of tenure, or blatant censorship. In retaliation, Glaxo let lose its attack dogs to defame and discredit Nissen. The hitmen included Dr. Valentin Fuster (Chairman of Glaxo’s educational foundation), Peter Pitts (senior vice president at the Manning Selvage and Lee public relations firm that represents Glaxo), and Douglas Arbesfeld (and FDA communications consultant). Scathing articles against Nissen appeared in the Washington Times, Nature and Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine. A caustic email was also sent out to the wider media deriding Nissen’s credibility.[25]

Others stories include direct covert bribing of countries’ health officials to get sympathetic support for a drug approval. This was the case when Eli Lilly bribed Swedish officials to get its antidepressant drug Prozac approved. Dr. John Virapen, a former Eli Lilly executive in sales, blew the whistle after personally bribing the Swedes.[26] In 2012 the US SEC slapped the company with a $29 million settlement for bribing government officials in Russia, Brazil, China and Poland through offshore accounts to push its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa and antidepressant drug Cymbalta.[27] The corporation later in 2013 repeated a similar crime, bribing Chinese physicians to start prescribing Prozac.[28]

These are only a few examples among many that have been reported upon extensively by sincere investigative journalists and alarmed scientists. We mustn’t take lightly the extreme measures private corporations will descend to in order to silence critics and remove barriers to maximizing their economic bottom line.
Manipulation of the Media

Turning to any major television network, we inevitably find advertisements for pharmaceutical drugs. Even the drugs that are being promoted tell us something about the networks’ viewing audience: middle years and older who are aging and at a higher disease risk are more receptive to the drugs being shilled to their eyes and ears. There is no law that prevents the mainstream media from taking fees to advertise products from the pharmaceutical industry. What we are less clear about are the contractual conditions between the private advertisers and the networks over journalists reporting health news or negative findings about the specific drugs being plugged in the ads. Only the US and New Zealand governments actually permit drug advertisements on television networks, so this is once again an example of the special relationship that exists between federal agencies and the drug companies. Big Pharma had to first succeed in seducing federal FCC officials to win access to America’s airwaves.

In 2016, the FDA had a major announcement and selected a small group of media firms, including National Public Radio, to release the news. But there were conditions, known as close-hold embargoes, that demanded journalists could only interview and ask questions to sources that were officially sanctioned by the federal agency. Seeking outside comments was forbidden. The FDA’s intention is clear: to control the flow of information and assure that press reports are stamped with the agency’s seal of approval. Upon hearing of the FDA’s repression of journalistic integrity in the science media, the journal Scientific American filed a Freedom of Information Act request. The publication uncovered the FDA’s attempt to mislead the media and public by creating “a coterie of journalists” who would do the FDA’s bidding. These journalists are given the privilege of receiving advance notice about science news before anyone else. Reliable independent journalism relies on pursuing outside sources to receive comments and verification for accuracy. Although the FDA claims it has ceased close-hold embargoes on reporters, the practice has continued unabated and is now embedded in the FDA’s media strategy. Many of the medical and health stories coming out of the FDA have followed this principle, and as a result, all of the media outlets parrot the same FDA directive. Journalist watchdogs, according to the article’s author, become the FDA’s “lapdogs.” Reporters are then reduced to “stenographers.”[29]

Shortly after the release of the controversial documentary Vaxxed, co-directed by the discredited British physician and GI specialist Dr. Andrew Wakefield, we undertook and published our investigation into the shadowy forces pulling mainstream media’s strings to demonize the film. The film was not intended be an anti-vaccine diatribe. Rather, it told the true story about a senior vaccine scientist at the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. William Thompson, whose guilty conscience motivated him to turn whistleblower. Dr. Thompson released thousands of pages of classified documents to an independent professor and House Representative Bill Posey that contained unquestionable evidence that the CDC had intentionally covered up data showing a direct correlation between the MMR vaccine and rising autism rates among African American boys – as much as a 240 percent increase. In fact, Rep. Posey spent years trying to get Thompson to testify under oath before a House subcommittee and was consistently blocked by CDC pressure on his colleagues. The CDC had committed an enormous crime against the African American community. If Thompson were permitted to give testimony to the American people, the entire vaccine industry would have been jeopardized. The industry’s profits and survival are far more important than the lives of small Black children. And the media was equally criminal in whitewashing this story.

The question we asked ourselves was: how can a film that had not been released for public viewing become the target of such vicious attacks by numerous news outlets within a 72-hour period? In addition, beneath all of the media’s criticisms, we identified a single suspicious written template that all the journalists had been relying upon for their reports. What might account for this anomaly? Clearly, there was no independent journalism being permitted within ABC, CNN, MSNBC, the UK’s Guardian, Time Magazine, the Washington Post and LA Times, New York Times, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and many others. Nor did any of the journalists ever view the film. The entire case was noxious.

Many federal agencies have sophisticated public relations departments. In the case of the CDC, its media activities have more in common with an intelligence operation. Seeking an explanation for why so many mainstream journalists could pen identical screeds to denigrate the film Vaxxed, as well as vaccine safety and vaccine-autism associations in general, we identified a joint program between the agency and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Scores of health editors and reporters through the nation’s leading mainstream media corporations have passed through the CDC’s Atlanta campus through this alliance to be indoctrinated in national public health policies. Journalists who complete the program receive special privileges, including access and instructions to the CDC’s surveillance database and publications to assist in their investigative reporting. In addition, these journalists join the CDC’s exclusive club and receive advanced notices about stories to report and prepared scripts to work from. An example of a CDC script disseminated to these journalists instructs what and how to report collective fear during the influenza season in such a way that people will rush with their kids to their local pharmacies to get their flu shots.[30]

Fear-mongering is one of the more successful strategies to seduce the public into adhering to a specific message that benefits the fearmonger. Monsanto succeeded in this emotional scheme to persuade California’s electorate away from voting in favor of GMO labeling. By shifting the debate away from GMO’s health issues to an economic threat that would increase families’ food bills if labeling were to be approved, people voted on their financial rather than health fears. Political candidates from both parties engage in this practice consistently. Yet perhaps the largest dose of propaganda to generate fear ritually takes place during every annual flu season. The media barrage warning the public of their pending death from a flu infection is completely orchestrated out of the CDC, its advisers and consultants, and its broad network healthcare affiliates.

Ironically, on its website, the CDC vows “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data.” Yet as Dr. Peter Doshi at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine points out, when it concerns the flu vaccine, the CDC’s motto couldn’t be further from the truth. Among all public health policies, flu vaccination programs are not only the most aggressively forced upon the public, but also the most scientifically deceitful. Doshi notes that upon close examination of the CDC’s flu vaccine policies, “although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality and do not substantiate official claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated.” In his evaluation published in the British Medical Journal, the flu vaccine is an example of government “disease mongering.”[31] During the 2016-2017 flu season, the government purchased as many as 168 million doses of the vaccine; that is a lot of doses of an ineffective drug to dispense.
Conclusion

In the early 1990s, there was a glimmer of hope that safe and effective drug development might get on the right track. The emergence of a movement within the medical establishment known as Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) has been touted as one of the great medical advances of the twentieth century. EBM has become a dominant paradigm in the modern medicine and all medical research institutions and medical schools adhere to it. It is most prevalent theory in use today to determine the accuracy of peer-reviewed journal articles, clinical trials and medical claims to improve healthcare decisions.[32]

One of EBM’s early and greatest achievements was the creation of the world renowned Cochrane Database Collaboration, a network of 37,000 professors, doctors and researchers from over 130 countries that performs meta-analyses on existing scientific literature for pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, medical devices and supplemental products to determine the veracity of their health claims. As we have detailed, the journals increasingly fail to maintain high standards for the research they publish and are riddled with authorship violations with author conflict-of-interests and ghostwriting that have threatened the integrity of reliable medical literature reaching those who daily diagnose and treat patients. Although many excellent Cochrane meta-analysis reports were released to show that drugs and medical procedures were in fact ineffective, unnecessary and even dangerous, the citadels of medical bureaucracy and national health ministries paid little heed. This was the case for reports on human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza vaccines, many antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs, and statins, which fell on deaf ears.

 the internationally recognized co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, Dr. Peter Gotzsche at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Gotzsche is the author of Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare, a devastating and documented condemnation about our broken healthcare system, which earned the British Medical Association’s first prize book award in 2014.

The internationally recognized co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration, Dr. Peter Gotzsche at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Gotzsche is the author of Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare, a devastating and documented condemnation about our broken healthcare system, which earned the British Medical Association’s first prize book award in 2014.

However, today the Cochrane project, once an optimistic international and independent grassroots effort to bring sanity back to clinical medical practice and national health drug policies and regulatory processes, has fallen to the same level of corruption that now infects the entire Big Pharma-controlled medical establishment. A recent scandal indicating that the organization has been hijacked by private pharmaceutical interests is the removal of Cochrane’s internationally recognized co-founder, Dr. Peter Gotzsche of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Dr. Gotzsche is the author of Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime: How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare, a devastating and meticulously-documented condemnation about our broken healthcare system which earned the British Medical Association’s first prize book award in 2014.

His ouster from Cochrane’s Governing Board this year, and the subsequent termination of his job at the Rigshospitalet medical facility, are indications that dissent based on sound medical science is no longer tolerated. Witnessing a trend that Cochrane was progressively becoming less independent, less transparent, and compromised by a growing faction of pro-Big Pharma and its allies in government health ministries, Dr. Gotzsche made efforts to restore the organization back to its founding principles. The “power struggle between two factions,” as he explains, was waged between himself and “Cochrane’s CEO Mark Wilson [who] opposes open scientific debates on the quality and reliability of Cochrane reviews and emphasizes ‘brand’ and ‘business’ rather than getting the science right.” After receiving email correspondence acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, it was Wilson who orchestrated Gotzsche’s firing in retaliation.[33]

Thus comes to an end the single ray of hope within that has persisted within the corporate and state-mandated medical regime.

When the Roman Catholic Church ruled over Europe, its mission was to grab and sustain absolute control over kings and queens and the masses. Dissent resulted in excommunication and even death under threats of eternal damnation in the infernos beneath the earth. This kept the population in line until brave souls, Russell’s lovers of knowledge, staked their lives to publicly expose the delusional world the Church lived within. Has that much really changed over the past thousand years now that science has replaced the Church?

Rachel Carson was labeled “hysterical” by the chemical industry for bringing attention to the documented health risks of DDT in her 1962 book Silent Spring. An editorial campaign was launched to persuade the public that the book was deceitful and filled with fallacies. Dr. Andrew Wakefield exposed an association between the gastrointestinal inflammation found in autistic children with the MMR vaccine. He never stated the vaccine actually caused autism; nevertheless he was pilloried, tried in a kangaroo court, and banished by the Glaxo-controlled British health ministry. And now there is Dr. Peter Gotzsche, and there are hundreds more whom the church of medical science has demonized and destroyed for speaking up about scientific errors and against power and corruption among medicine’s priesthood and its corporate lords.

The average person is hypnotized by the images science projects through newspapers, television news, serials and mainstream media health stories. Repeatedly science and medical news begins with “Experts say,” or “Scientists have confirmed,” or “All doctors agree…” Who are these experts, doctors and medical authorities? And why should any of us believe them? Wearing a white coat has become a sign of authority because these people are glorified and idolized to create the impression that they possess an esoteric scientific knowledge beyond the masses’ comprehension. And with mainstream media incessantly bombarding us with this fallacious image, we come to believe in their message. This is the medical Matrix in which most Americans find themselves, and the only pill worth taking is the red one offered by Morpheus to free us from the medical fascism that is ruling our lives.

At the conclusion of his essay, Bertrand Russell writes, “Science is no substitute for virtue; the heart is as necessary for a good life as the head.” If Russell were to witness the rotten state of medicine today, he would undoubtedly conclude that medical science had surgically removed its heart years ago. This has led to the “collective passions” of our medical aristocracy being “mainly evil” giving rise to “hatred and rivalry directed towards other groups [eg., scientific and medical dissenters].” He would also acknowledge that our situation now threatens “the destruction of our civilization” as he predicted.

Russell might also opt for his second option to this regime of scientific power and control; that is, he writes, “the collapse of our civilization would in the end be preferable to this alternative.”[34] NOTES

1 https://www.webmd.com/drug-medication/news/20170803/americans-taking-more-prescription-drugs-than-ever-survey
2 https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/nearly-7-in-10-americans-take-prescription-drugs-mayo-clinic-olmsted-medical-center-find/
3 https://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.pn.2017.pp9b2
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2684607
4 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2684607
5 Russell, Bertrand. “Icarus or the Future of Science,”
6 https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/11/goldman-asks-is-curing-patients-a-sustainable-business-model.html
7 Mark Hersgaard On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency
8 Hughes, Austin. “The Folly of Scientism,” The New Atlantis.
9 https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/how-corporations-corrupt-science.pdf
10 https://slate.com/technology/2015/02/fda-inspections-fraud-fabrication-and-scientific-misconduct-are-hidden-from-the-public-and-doctors.html
11 Ibid.
12 https://www.propublica.org/article/fda-let-drugs-approved-on-fraudulent-research-stay-on-the-market
13 http://discovermagazine.com/2007/oct/sciences-worst-enemy-private-funding
14 https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/
15 https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/a-scientific-look-at-bad-science/399371/
16 https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1/fulltext
17 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20679560
18 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa065779#article_references
19 https://www.ehn.org/monsanto-science-ghostwriting–2597869694.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1
20 https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift-blame-for-obesity-away-from-bad-diets/
21 https://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j4619
22 https://medium.com/@drjasonfung/the-corruption-of-evidence-based-medicine-killing-for-profit-41f2812b8704
23 https://medium.com/@drjasonfung/the-corruption-of-evidence-based-medicine-killing-for-profit-41f2812b8704
24 https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/scientific_integrity/how-corporations-corrupt-science.pdf
25 http://discovermagazine.com/2007/oct/sciences-worst-enemy-private-funding
26 https://leoniesblog.com/2011/08/03/prozac-eli-lilly-and-bribing-the-swedish-government/
27 https://www.iol.co.za/business-report/international/eli-lilly-to-settle-us-sec-bribery-case-1444006
28 https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/eli-lilly-bribery-china-glaxosmithkline-sanofi-500822
29 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-fda-manipulates-the-media/
30 Gale R, Null G, “Why is the CDC Petrified of the Film Vaxxed?” Progressive Radio Network, April 3, 2016
31 https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3037
32 Gale R, Null G. “Wikipedia: Our New Technological McCarthyism, Part Two,” Progressive Radio Network, May 10, 2018
33 https://www.madinamerica.com/2018/12/institute-scientific-freedom/
34 Russell, Bertrand. “Icarus or the Future of Science,”

This paper found Jan 16 2018 at http://prn.fm/corruption-science-leads-collapse-modern-civilization/

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Annual Left Megabash at John Jay Shows More Sense Than Passion – Huge Gathering Lacks Political Momentum

June 9th, 2018

The Vast Left Wing Gathering Misses Its Moment

Crippled by Barring Panels on Israel’s Lethal Gaza Injustice

Is Momentum Lost As Too Many Ideas and Solutions Gain Attention?

Brochure Clearer but Panels Still Lost in Numerical Labyrinth

Why is the oomph gone out of the great socialist powwow at John Jay College just at the moment the political tide is turning in its direction?

As Trump slowly digs himself into a pit of ignorance and bluster on the home front as he dismantles much of the political progress US society has achieved in the last half century, his unpredictable aggression in international diplomacy has removed much of the basis for US leadership abroad, even while it promises to force concessions out of North Korea.

His support for Israel’s lethal clamp down on Palestinian protest, his undoing of the US concessions to global warming, his abuse of the rights of immigrants culminating in the forcible separation of children from their parents, and his domestic tax cuts and many other moves to benefit corporate America and the well off at the expense of the bulk of the population, all have given rise to a vast groundswell of resistance and the movement of grass roots support in the direction of better leadership to restore true American values in terms of justice and equity for all.

Yet the Left which stands for just that set of values of fundamental kindness to others and support for the disadvantaged is apparently, judging from the atmosphere of this gathering and the many points of view and oratory expressed in it, not riding the kind of group wave of excitement and optimism which one would expect, and if anything is less cohesive and unified in momentum than it was a year ago, when the passion and attention aroused by Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nomination fight and the election that followed seemed likely to grow as Trump proceeded to prove it right.

Has the breakthrough in understandng of and attention to inequity and the promise of more socialism punctured the Left’s dam of stored up rejected wisdom and reduced the frustrated righteousness that strains on the leash to flip the world view of men and women in the system that currently rules minds everywhere?

Regardless of this loss of political momentum the great forum for socialist enlightenment in the face of capitalist domination of the minds of Americans remains as rich in ideas as before. The range and power of their critique of the current system of unrestrained greed personified by Trump at the expense of human values was evident not only in the list of panels and their speakers but also in the printed material available in leaflets handed out and the books and booklets available at tables on two floors.

Here is a selection of key examples we collected of general interest to newcomers to the field of capitalist reform and displacement, and to specialists in various topics:

Theoria – A Journal of Social and Political Theory Jun 2017 Vol 151 Peer Reviewed Quarterly. Special issue ‘Turner and his Times’, on Richard ‘Rick’ Turner, the banned as ‘the most dangerous man in South Africa’ in 1973 but intellectually distinguished South African political philosopher and theologian who was assassinated by gunshot in 1978. (Berghahnjournals.com/theoria)
Social Analysis – The International Journal of Cultural and Social Practice Vol 61 Issue 2 Summer 2017 Peer reviewed journal exploring the analytical potentials of anthropological research. Special issue on Multiple Nature-Cultures, Diverse Anthropologies.
Democratic Theory – An interdisciplinary Journal

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