We’re told repeatedly follow the money, follow the money, follow the money. But when it comes to misinformation and disinformation and sheer blatant lies, you really have to follow the crazies.
So right from the start, please note that your author is a scientist and an educator, and a critic of medicine as well as science. One can be fascinated by science and advancements while still being critical, and I believe that a scientist is not honest if they are not critical of their science.
We must all be on our toes looking for the truth and in medicine the truth is often hidden behind piles of money.
And of course, some of you will recognize this image I created for an article (or two or three) at this site.
And I have been a critic of vaccines because they are like any medicine in that their effectiveness is not 100% (what is?) and there can be side effects—just like all medicines.
To see just exactly how critical I am of science in general and medicine specifically, you need read the article Studies Show. It is all there.
Additionally, behind these piles of money are hidden deaths due to corporate malfeasance and government institutions protecting the medical industry (and let us not forget that the pharmaceutical industry spends more on lobbying Congress than any other industry).
If your drug kills someone, do you go to jail? In 2020 more than 16,000 Americans died from prescription opioids. Did anyone making, distributing, over prescribing, or over selling opioids go to jail?
Here’s a great story about someone from a pharmaceutical compounding company getting five months in prison for lying to regulators about operations at the company she worked for. Over 100 died, and she gets five months in prison. Two more got 14 ½ and 10 ½ years.
There is a meme that circulated the web years ago that went like: I’ll believe a corporation is a person when Texas executes one.
And yet, in 1984, a gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, spread over a populated area, resulting ultimately in 15,000 to 20,000 deaths and nobody went to prison.
In China, the head of their FDA was corrupt and people died. He was tried and executed.
What stimulated me to write this is that there are people whom I respect, people with above average intelligence who have bought into the anti-vax conspiracy. And it pisses me off.
When the pandemic started, I had people sending me the silliest things. A YouTube video made by a physician had him smoking, putting on a mask, and blowing out the smoke to prove that masks do not work.
Ahh, x’cuse me. THAT AIN’T SCIENCE. Science is proving something using statistical data or computer modeling, not a freaking video.
From cohort studies, there is absolute and undeniable proof that masks work, I don’t care how many videos you send me. Medicine plays the odds. When you visit a physician with a complaint, that doctor will play the odds in your treatment protocol.
In Florida, DeSantis, in his bid for the presidency is going after the one thing he’s got on his predecessor: vaccines.
You see, the former guy did one thing right during his presidency and that was to put money into getting the vaccine out to the American public. In interviews, he told everyone he was vaccinated. DeSantis, in an effort to step away from the former guy’s shadow, is now planning to take on the vaccine manufacturers and the CDC. And we know this is political because in 2020 DeSantis told everyone the vaccine was safe and everyone really should get vaccinated.
Weird how he’s willing to risk the lives of the people who will vote for him.
Now, please remember that I am not a fan of the FDA or the CDC. The FDA protects the medical industrial complex. It has a revolving door with the AMA and pharm industry. The CDC is not a government office. It’s a nonprofit. However, I often tell the story of BACO, a safe disinfectant/anti-pathogen that can be drunk by animals and humans and sprayed on plants safely. The CDC studied it but refused to release the study because it would be “detrimental to markets.” You can read about it here.
The CDC has collected statistics during the pandemic (which, by the way, is not completely over) and people do not trust them. However, statistics are nonpartisan. Even if you hate the CDC, the FDA, the Supreme Court, the President and First Lady . . . there are real statistics out there that are completely neutral.
In fact, anyone getting vaccinated during the pandemic was able to participate in the CDC’s V-SAFE program and check in regularly after being vaccinated to take a short survey on how you’ve responded. The data gathered helped determine the success of the vaccines and the danger of the vaccines.
You can get their data on them by going here: Vaccine Safety Publications https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/research/publications/index.html
Please do not go to just any site. Sure, the CDC and FDA have their faults, but when it comes to epidemiology, the CDC is not going to make up crap. The antivax sites are not to be trusted and promulgate a lot of misinformation, disinformation, as well as pure lies.
I joined this program and reported regularly and recently received an update and a thank you by the CDC. They’ve published their results, and they’ve shown that the two mRNA vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, were among the safest vaccines in history and extremely effective in keeping people alive. That’s the bottom line. (Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine has had issues and is prescribed with care.)
I’ve had intelligent friends send me to websites rife with conspiracy theories and ridiculous, pseudoscience not to mention outright lies.
There is a website called MBFC, or Media Bias/Fact Check that is worth visiting/supporting. One drawback is that they consider only conventional medicine sites to be the only trustworthy sites for medical information, which would normally be a good thing, except that they rate the Quackbusters (quackpots) as being perfect, when one of the biggest quackpots has posted lies, disinformation, and was called out by a judge to not be an expert in anything. So, there is a bit of bias in their bias checks. But, nobody’s perfect.
If you’d like to see a site ranked “strongly” on the conspiracy level and full of pseudo-science, take a look at this: https://greenmedinfo.com/blog/weaponizing-covid-promote-collectivism
If you go to a site with anything about COVID or the vaccines, you’ll want to go to the MBFC website to check them out.
Because I’m not an idiot, for this piece, I went to the Commonwealth Fund’s website and took a gander at their take on the vaccines and the pandemic.
They are a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to affordable, quality health care for everyone.
The Commonwealth Fund was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good. Its founder, Anna M. Harkness, is among the first women to start a private foundation.
Here is the first part of their mission statement:
Today, the mission of the Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing, equitable health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society’s most vulnerable, including people of color, people with low income, and those who are uninsured.
The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.
Having established who they are, I’m going to now refer to a study they just published on December 13th:
And here are the findings:
From December 2020 through November 2022, we estimate that the COVID-19 vaccination program in the U.S. prevented more than 18.5 million additional hospitalizations and 3.2 million additional deaths. Without vaccination, there would have been nearly 120 million more COVID-19 infections. The vaccination program also saved the U.S. $1.15 trillion (Credible Interval: $1.10 trillion–$1.19 trillion) (data not shown) in medical costs that would otherwise have been incurred.
Medical News Today has always been a good source for current news to the editors here. We looked through their archives and found this from June of 2022:
Once again, no vaccine is perfect, just as no drug is perfect. Have there been problems? Of course. But when you take into consideration how many across the globe have been vaccinated and the problems that have occurred, this mRNA vaccine has proven itself to be among the safest vaccines ever invented, and that includes the polio vaccine. For information on the safety of this vaccine, check out Johns Hopkins.
And for the wild and crazy history of the mRNA vaccine, take a look at this PDF.
Please, people. If you find something from an anti-vax site ignore it. The only way we will ever get herd immunity to COVID-19 is with vaccines.
The misinformation out there is deadly and because of its circulation, were we to get hit by another pandemic, our country is in a worse place than we were when COVID-19 hit us. We could easily and quickly lose over a million lives simply because of the crap and the stupidity and the fear promulgated by conspiracy mongers.
Yes, there are people in our communities for whom vaccines can be dangerous. They have immune system issues, etc, but we’re not about to list them here.
SEE A DOCTOR. That is our best advice. Some in our community will need special care and help to avoid contact with people who are sick. But to know if you can or shouldn’t get vaccinated: SEE A DOCTOR.
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