Our Public Health Agencies are Still up to Their Old Tricks

Maybe you thought our public health agencies would undergo some contrite introspection after blowing it on basically every major COVID-19 policy (masks, lockdowns, school closings, vaccine safety, and efficacy, therapeutics, etc.).  Yeah, sure.  They did it all on purpose, their only regret being they didn’t do it to us gooder and harder.  (Shortly before stepping down, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said she regretted the messaging, not getting the policies wrong.  Masks forever, boosters galore, follow the teachers’ union science, as long as the messaging is clear and forceful.)  And they’re still at it.

From Newsmax, this about Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, an economist at Columbia University, regarding NIH:

A prominent "lifelong Democrat" scholar and economist who chaired a COVID-19 commission blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci and others for promoting "massive government lying" regarding the coronavirus, and accused Senate Democrats of refusing to investigate the virus' origins...

"And I began to really see close up that there was so much lying coming out of NIH [National Institutes of Health], coming out of Fauci, coming out of, unfortunately, the government protecting all of this and now it’s spilling out."

From the Epoch Times on the CDC, FDA, and Pfizer regarding the RSV vaccine:

Pfizer failed to inform pregnant women participating in its clinical trial for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine that the clinical trial of a similar vaccine by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was halted after a safety signal revealed a potential risk of preterm births leading to neonatal deaths.

Even though Pfizer knew about the potential safety signal and was studying preterm births as an “adverse event of special interest,” it continued to enroll women in its clinical trial and did not fully inform participants of the risks the vaccine may pose to their babies—and in some cases, provided misleading and contradictory statements, according to an investigation by The BMJ

According to Ms. Latypova [a retired pharmaceutical industry executive with FDA experience], what was once considered a harmless cold has since been rebranded as RSV.

"The vast majority of parents have not heard of RSV if they have not been exposed to CDC fear-mongering and renaming of otherwise harmless common colds. The incidence or prevalence of RSV is not known precisely because it poses no danger to anyone,” Ms. Latypova said. “In the U.S., RSV is attributed as a cause of death to about 17 infants per year out of 4,000,000+ babies—based on a review of 12 years' worth of death certificates."

That’s less than 1 in 235,294.  Would you risk RSV vaccine side effects on your unborn child for that?

The FDA’s VRBPAC [Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee] committee cleared the shot even though four of the 14 committee members…said Pfizer’s data was inadequate to support its safety...

Dr. Hana El Sahly, VRBPAC chairwoman, said the signal showing an increased risk of preterm births associated with Pfizer’s RSV vaccine was “significant” in phases two and three of its clinical trial and "in a very similar product that was given, you know, on another study."

From the Epoch Times again, this time on the CDC regarding the flu vaccine:

…the seasonal influenza vaccine was only 48 percent effective overall at reducing the risk of influenza-A-associated emergency department (ED) or urgent care (UC) visits, and only 40 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations.

Many of my acquaintances say, “Okay, the flu vaccine is not perfect, but I’ll take whatever protection it offers, and 50 percent isn’t so bad.”  Well, first of all, “50 percent effective” does not mean 50 percent risk reduction as many lay persons think.  What it means is risk reduction as compared to not getting the vaccine.  So for example, if 2 out of 1,000 in the control group go to the ED due to the flu, and 1 out of 1,000 in the vaccine group go to the ED due to the flu, then the ED visit risk reduction due to the vaccine (assuming the single additional unvaccinated sick patient wasn’t random noise) is 1 - 0.001/0.002 = 50%.  But the absolute gain in probability attributable to the vaccine (which may be a better measure for decision making) is just 0.002-0.001 = 0.001, or 1 in 1000.  Do you want to risk vaccine side effects for that difference?  Furthermore, they didn’t even use the standard efficacy definition.  In the old days, after being vaccinated for polio, you almost never got polio.  But when dealing with the flu (as with COVID-19), you can still commonly get the flu after vaccination, so they redefined efficacy using another method called test-negative design, where efficacy is measured by “comparing influenza vaccination status in patients testing positive for influenza with those testing negative for influenza.”  Well, "particular care" must be taken to ensure there is no bias due to differences between groups, but the researchers did not control for many of these factors, effectively rendering the results useless:

Linda Wastila, professor and Parke-Davis chair of geriatric pharmacotherapy with a doctorate in health policy, told The Epoch Times in an email that she found the study a bit confusing and the authors’ claims of effectiveness against preventing emergency room and hospital admissions a "bit of a stretch."

…without randomization and/or matching of cases with controls, we cannot rule out explicit and/or implicit biases made at the site, principal investigator, and provider levels in identifying subjects," she said. "In sum, based on the lack of matched cases/controls and lack of statistical control for covariates and confounders, at best, this study’s findings reflect descriptive findings demonstrating associations, not causal or inferred effectiveness."

But that’s not the CDC’s message in enthusiastically promoting the flu vaccine.  Recently I wondered aloud whether Taylor Swift could knock some sense into Travis Kelce on the stupidity of taking two vaccines at once (let alone either a COVID booster or a flu shot), as promoted in his commercial.  The article wasn’t intended as cheap clickbait, but rather a means to warn Americans who idolize and blindly follow those two.

Trifecta from the Epoch Times, this time on the CDC having a second, hidden VAERS:

[The British Medical Journal] revealed the fact that the CDC has actually been running two parallel VAERS systems: a public one with limited data, and a real one that only the government has access to.

Our public health agencies are like an FBI for public health with a monetary incentive.  At the very least, they need a massive overhaul in how they do business.

W.A. Eliot is a pseudonym

Image: Defense Visual Infromation Distribution Service 

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