I spoke with a friend on Thursday who's wife has had major vax complications and her doctors refuse to file her case into the VAERS system citing "the vaccine is safe" rhetoric. So he tried to do it himself and it was a 25 page long form that took an hour. If a doctor had 8 such cases per week he'd lose an entire day of work just running the forms. It is unthinkable that VAERS isn't undercounting.

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Jun 16, 2021Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

Great job, BJ. You're great explaining the math, as always. Thanks

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Nov 25, 2022Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

This article is interesting. I made a similar effort around the same time in 2021 and came out more enthusiastically pro-vaccine than you:


To be fair, we both said it was experimental. We both said it needed to be compared against getting the virus. We both said the vaccine is safer than the virus.

And we both were overly optimistic about herd immunity. You put it at 55% infected, for a total of 900k deaths.

I put it at 60-90% infected, with 1.2 - 1.8 million deaths.

Seeing as we're at over a million deaths even with vaccines, treatments, etc, I think we can conclude that the base case of letting covid rip through America in spring 2020 would have been bad, with a lot more than 1 million deaths.

There are some more interesting differences. You trusted Bret Weinstein. I used to like Bret Weinstein. I started to doubt him after the podcast with Kory and then realised he was totally full of shit after the podcast with Malone and Steve Kirsch.

Everything about Steve Kirsch's arguments has been wrong.

He had a false argument for 25,000 vaccine deaths. I debunked that. Other people debunked that. He admitted it was wrong. And then, instead of retracting it, he went on to claim 150,000 vaccine deaths. And then kept increasing it. Last I checked he was up to 750,000 deaths. You should be well aware that's impossibly high.

Bret never distanced himself from any of that stuff. And then his own case against vaccines and for ivermectin just kept getting crazier from there.

Anyways, I don't think that your 1 in 5,000 death rate estimate for covid vaccines is correct.

At the time of the EUA, 2 people had died in the Pfizer trial vaccine group (out of ~20,000) and 4 died in the control group.


There should have been 4 extra vaccine deaths in the trial, if that was the case.

There is a possible caveat that the average person in the trial was healthier than the average person in America. The trial didn't use the oldest, sickest people in America. So it could kill a higher number of people, if you include nursing home residents. We've already established that you don't care much covid killing large numbers of nursing home residents, so I doubt you should care about the vaccine killing a smaller number of nursing home residents.

I also read a lot of VAERS reports and worked with the VAERS numbers. There's a theory that all the VAERS deaths were caused by the vaccine. There's a theory that they're all vaccine deaths and they're also underreported. And there's also a theory that VAERS deaths are overreported, that many of those are just random deaths that happened soon after we vaccinated a bunch of nursing home residents.

There are ways you should be able to distinguish between the two. Like, if they're unrelated deaths, they should have the same age distribution as natural deaths. The death rate should be equal for every vaccine. If they're caused by RNA vaccines, the effect should be dose dependent and worse for Moderna than Pfizer, since Moderna uses a higher dose. If the deaths are random, they should be split about 50/50 for 1st dose vs. 2nd dose. If they're caused by the vaccine, there might be a big systematic bias towards 1st or 2nd.

Anyways, I ran all those tests and the VAERS deaths look like random deaths. They're mostly old people, half are over 75. The age distribution of the VAERS deaths is identical to natural deaths. The rates are the same for every vaccine, Moderna is the same as Pfizer. There was a slight bias towards death reporting after 1st dose vs. 2nd.

You can run all the same tests for myocarditis, something that the vaccines do sometimes cause. And the results are the opposite. Moderna causes more myocarditis than Pfizer. It's much more common for men than women. It's much more common for young people than old people. It's much more common after the 2nd dose than the 1st. It's obviously a real signal, not a random one.

I also made multiple efforts to comb through the excess death data looking for any signal of vaccine deaths, but I've never found any.

See here:


Or here:


If there are vaccine deaths, the numbers are small.

I have seen a credible argument for about 1,000 vaccine deaths in America, based on population wide tracking of elevated stroke rates, and other adverse events.


So, that would be a 1 in 220,000 risk of death, not 1 in 5,000.

You are correct that people are incentivized to lie about vaccine deaths and inflate the numbers to drive more traffic. You might not realize just how severely they have inflated the risks.

Of course, the people that are lying know exactly what game they're playing:



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I had major problems with a lot of Bret's angles during Covid, particularly in the latter phases. He and Rogan both had guests (Malone perhaps?) who were still saying that natural immunity was permanent when it obviously wasn't. I think both he and his detractors missed the most important part of this piece, which was the Hippocratic Lie section. The CDC is not in the business of issuing health advice, they're in the business of social manipulation. The easiest way to see this is by looking at their approach on nicotine vapes, which is to try and make them seem as bad as smoking as a social manipulation tool to reduce nicotine use instead of being honest about the health differences between that and tobacco use. This mindset permeates the entire building, and during Covid that mindset led them to suppress any sort of non-vaccine treatment. It's the same mindset that caused the progressives to poison the industrial alcohol during prohibition and killed thousands of people for their own good, as a social manipulation tool to reduce alcohol use.

Ivermectin was in my opinion obviously not a cure all for Covid, but I do think that the entire "frontline protocol," which was a sort of a kitchen sink approach to early treatment to prevent the cytokine storm probably worked relatively well, and if adopted widely could have saved lots of lives. I think the CDC and FDA went hard in the paint against ivermectin as a way to scare people into thinking there was no such thing as treatment, as a way to increase vaccine numbers. I think the attacks on ivermectin were an extension of the attack on all early treatment - they were social manipulation. I knew many people who went to the doctor with Covid well after the frontline protocol was out, and were told "there's nothing we can do, go home, drink chicken broth, and go to the hospital if you can't breathe," all the while most members of Congress and most wealthy people were getting some flavor of the frontline protocol proscribed to them by rich private on-call doctors.

Generally speaking, I took the vaccine when I thought it was 90% effective and I only ever needed 2 shots. Now that the vaccine is down to 30% against infection and 0% against spread and it only lasts 6 months, I'm not at all interested in getting it and there's no way I'm going to give it to my kids. If Moderna came out with an AIDS vaccine tomorrow that was only 30% against infection they wouldn't even be allowed to call it a "vaccine."

I think there are a lot of deaths that aren't going into the VAERS system. I think myocarditis isn't the only side effect. I think that in certain people, the vaccine is doing permanent damage to their circulatory systems. I had a perfectly healthy no alcohol no tobacco friend of mine die on Thanksgiving this year, keeled over with a heart attack. They're going to do an autopsy. Might be unrelated, but in cases like this of late folks are starting to see very curious long stringy blood clots that aren't explainable by other means. We know that the vaccine screws with your blood in a way Covid doesn't even do, as evidenced by the menstrual issues from it.

A friend of mine's wife is immunocompromised, they were hiding out avoiding Covid during the entire wave, and she was first in line for the vaccine. The vax kicked off her immuno condition and left her bedridden for six months. Their doctor refused to enter it into VAERS because "the vaccine is safe and effective." The husband tried to enter it in by himself because he was so angry at the doctor, and the government bilged his entry out, so she's not in the database. She can't be the only one.

There's a lot going on here that's not reflected in the numbers we do have access to, and the EUA was only issued on the premise that those numbers were going to be meticulously collected. They are not being collected. Nobody has any idea of the IFR for Omicron because the public quit getting tested. But I do know it's miniscule compared to Delta. And the fact that nobody has thrown Peter Daszak into a cell in Guantanamo to ask him about the fact that he proposed to add a spike protein to the S1S2 cleavage site of an existing coronavirus in 2018 to DARPA, and was going to do that research in Wuhan, tells me we're never going to get an honest look at what happened.

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How old was your friend that died? Do you have a source for "long stringy blood clots" other than BS like "died suddenly" or Steve Kirsch's blog?

I'm in agreement that the risk vs reward changes, when we're talking about a 90% effective vaccine vs a 30% effective one. When we're talking about a booster vs a primary shot. When it's well tailored to the circulating strain or not.

I'm aware of vaccine side effects, including something that resembles long covid. I'm aware of people with chronic conditions like dysautonomia getting relapses after vaccination.

It would honestly be enough to make me anti-vax, except that covid seems to cause exactly the same problems and most likely at a higher rate.

To be anti-vax, I would have to believe that there's an alternative solution that worked just as well as the vaccines did. And there's just not. There's Chinese style lockdowns -- wouldn't work here, not even working great there anymore. There's widespread N95 masking, not very popular either. There's monoclonal antibodies, but they don't work anymore. There's early use of remdesivir, highly expensive and IV only. There's paxlovid. Fairly effective with a chance of rebound.

I'm not the least bit convinced by any of the ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine data, and most of the people peddling it are also pushing transparent lies. Like the one you mentioned about natural immunity lasting forever, and many more like that.

One easy way to see this is to look at how these people react to any approved "early treatment" that's not those 2 drugs. They're opposed to all of them:


As a general rule, if the establishment approves of something, they disapprove. If the establishment bans something, they tell you it works. That's the whole game. It's a grift. It's also related to politics. It's about making people stop trusting the authorities. It's not about saving lives.

Another way to see this is to look at the handful of generics that do show some promise. Like, metformin had a positive trial result this summer. Guys like Weinstein and Kory were totally silent about it. They're not pushing for "generics that work". They're pushing IVM and HCQ because that's what their audience wants to hear about, and those have established conspiracy theories that make people hate the authorities.

A third way to see it is to look at their own methodology for evaluating drugs:


They think that quercetin is as effective as ivermectin. That melatonin is more effective than hydroxychloroquine.

If you were a podcaster or a rogue scientist that wanted to save lives, you'd get on and tell people to take quercetin and melatonin and vitamins and zinc and aspirin and pepcid. You'd say that every day, you'd shout it from rooftops, you've save hundreds of thousands of lives.

But you got almost none of that. A little bit of promotion of vitamin D and zinc. For the most part, you got endless podcasts about ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine being banned. Those make for better conspiracy theories because you can tell people that they work and the government won't let you have them. Then people hate the government. The government can't ban you from taking quercetin, though, so you can't make a conspiracy theory about that.

And yes, I would take some vitamins if I got covid, because the risk is low, even if the benefits probably are too. When my wife got sick, I gave her vitamins and zinc and quercetin and aspirin and all that crap. None of it seemed to do anything, she kept getting sicker. After a few days, we got her on paxlovid. She took her first dose in the evening and woke up almost 100% healthy the next morning.

N=1 anecdote, yes, but I'm pretty damn sure the people running the website that says paxlovid is less effective than vitamins are full of shit.

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39. Could be entirely unrelated. Who knows.

You and I have more overlap than you may realize, to be honest.

The biggest problem with the "vax causes blood clots" crowd's arguments is that Covid might do the same thing, and might be worse, and the only way to differentiate would be to do a seroprevalence style study among a large cohort that differentiated between nonvaxxed noninfected, vaxeed noninfected, vaxed infected, and nonvaxed infected populations, and then compare the vascular issues of each of those four cohorts against each other. Nobody is doing that study.

It's the CDC's job to do studies like this, and nobody is doing that study. So nobody knows. The conspiracy minded crowd thinks the CDC is intentionally not doing that study. I just go with "the CDC aren't particularly competent at their jobs." There's lots of evidence for that already, like how they completely screwed the pooch with testing in early 2020. These sort of fabulous early pooch-screwings are what laid the groundwork for the really fringe stuff in the antivax movement.

I found HCQ unconvincing. I think "IVM may contribute to some of the success of the overall frontline protocol" is a completely reasonable statement. The frontline protocol was a kitchen sink protocol, throw everything at it that might work and in combination adjust your outcomes. I do think it worked noticeably if not perfectly, and I do think it was suppressed by the CDC and FDA to try and boost the vax numbers, for a vax that it turned out only has a 30% reduction in spread, pre Omicron.

I also think Paxlovid works and the other stuff in your link works, and may work better than IVM, and some of the dirty science I've dug into it seems to indicate that Paxlovid and IVM work by a similar mechanism. I also see no reason Paxlovid shouldn't be sold over the counter, except to squeeze money out of dying people.

I managed to avoid Covid entirely through Delta and caught first wave Omicron on an airplane. Three days of severe flu like symptoms, then it went away. It was not quite as bad as my reaction to my last flu shot.

Omicron should have changed the conversation, and it just hasn't. Post Omicron, everyone in the world should have moved on with their lives, every anti-Covid measure should have been dumped, Paxlovid or similar should have been over the counter, and we should have taken a deep hard look at what sort of things we did in 2020 and 2021 that were fabulously evil and stupid in response to this virus. None of these things has happened. Instead China's baking children in apartment fires to try and reach Zero Covid, and anyone on Facebook knows that about 30% of their own personal contacts would have done the same thing in 2020 if they were allowed to.

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Nov 30, 2022Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

I'm strongly in agreement that the CDC isn't very competent. That's a far better explanation than conspiracy for why we haven't found generic drugs that help, haven't investigated vaccine injuries, haven't found treatments for long covid, took almost a year to update vaccines for Omicron, etc.

It wouldn't even take a lot of funding to fix this. Subtle rule tweaks would make huge differences, like approving human challenge trials.

Hard disagree on the "ivermectin works the same as paxlovid thing". I read all the papers and wrote about that too:


There's zero chance that you can dose ivermectin highly enough for it to be a 3CL-protease inhibitor.

The drug might have some other mechanism of action against covid. It's easy to prove that it doesn't have that one mechanism, but it's hard to prove that it has effect all. Like there's the effect on importin, which might possibly be relevant (I'm actually not sure that covid's life cycle even involves importin). Or it could have some off label effect as an anti-inflammatory or something.

I'm not sure the drug's supporters are even consistent in how they think it works. I recall reading one blogger claiming it had 20 different mechanisms of action. Truly a miraculous drug.

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The early CDC failure on testing could have been avoided entirely by simply stripping them out of the loop, but when the U of Washington identified Covid in their local Seattle population the FDA and CDC's first and primary instinct was to censor them for doing clinical tests out of an experimental lab and for violating HIPAA. The only way we got tests at all was because Pence (who I don't like) stepped in and kicked the tables over at the FDA, voiding permit approval for independent testing.

SK and USA both found our first Covid case the same day. SK had issued all corporate test development permits in one week. Took us months. Our government, generally speaking, is simply awful at doing anything productive.

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As I said, I'm not certain what the total free market solution looks like. It would definitely produce tests faster. Would it produce a better covid treatment? A cheaper covid treatment? Some supplements that do nothing but are advertised really well on Youtube?

As bad as the government response to covid has been, listening to contrarian takes would typically get you even worse information, through most of the pandemic.

As usual, Sam's take here is pretty good:


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OTC paxlovid is an interesting idea. I suspect some people would get severely fucked up by one of the drug-drug interactions. But it might still be a net positive in terms of lives saved. And it's not like doctors are great at pointing out those interactions, either.

I think I heard that you only needed a pharmacist to prescribe it, in many places? That seems like a reasonable compromise.

I do wonder how a fully libertarian/deregulated society would deal with the pandemic. Like, you'd probably get vaccines approved much faster, and save lives on net.

But you'd also get tons and tons of people selling snake oil cures, from hydroxychloroquine to herbal supplements to straight up fraudulent products with no active ingredients.

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Jun 16, 2021Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

A few questions and comments.

Where did you get your data on fatality rate of COVID-19 vs Flu for different age groups? This is something I've been interested in and have casually searched for but couldn't find.

I believe a significant number of the vaccine fatalities occur in extremely sick individuals. I recall a study in Norway where a large number of people were dying from the vaccine and all of them were literally already on their deathbed prior to being vaccinated. I would expect fatality rate for younger and healthier individuals to be significantly lower than the rate for older and sicker people.

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Got those from the CDC. I think I tweeted the analysis out three or four months ago. You can dig it up yourself with appropriate google fu and compare to similar tables for influenza.

Here's a table that's different from the one I used that might produce different numbers. You could go off that:


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There is no way it’s 1 in 5,000 because of the vaccine, that rate is just insanely high. It’s possible that 1 in 5,000 people who got the vaccine died, since over 50% of the American public has received it, and many of them have been vaccinated for months. Since “vaccinated” status lasts forever, and “COVID” status lasts only the duration of the infection (~2 weeks), I expect more and more of these mismatched-denominator comparisons.

Numbers from where I live are confirming the known 1 in ~100,000 to die of a weird rare type of blood clot after taking one of the adenovirus-vectored vaccines (https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccine-safety/). The mRNA-based vaccines used in the US haven’t shown such a problem, and they should be even safer, as there really isn’t anything in them that could cause an adverse reaction in the body. It’s reasonable to be concerned about long-term impacts, and promote caution towards vaccinating the young, but I think basing an article on this comedically suspect rate is irresponsible. The bureaucratic overreaction (imo) to the 1 in ~100,000 clotting issue in J&J by shutting down that vaccine (which probably killed more people than it saved) really gives me a lot of confidence that the medical establishment is taking vaccine side effects seriously, and there isn’t mass underreporting.

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I believe the folks I referenced were using VAERS, and I believe VAERS tracks "deaths within two weeks of being vaccinated" as part of its database, although it's not very robust, and I think the VAERS numbers were saying "5000" not "25000," and they obviously include all cause death and don't include a lot of differentiation. The screenshot is from an overall effort to try and get at this number from many different angles and see if there's any consensus. AND the number could be bullshit. I hope I was clear in the article, when I used the phrase "complete bullshit." :)

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That said, the establishment commonly used "excess all cause deaths" as a corollary for covid deaths during 2020, so using "excess all cause deaths" within a couple weeks of being vaccinated seems at least intellectually consistent if not extremely robust.

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Excess all cause deaths worked for the virus since we are comparing the deaths this year with deaths in a previous year, and attributing it to a single cause. With the virus still killing people as well as vaccinations being rolled out, it gets more complicated. I’m not sure how you can get the numbers you need for just the vaccinated sub-population, as well as control for the fact that vaccines were prioritized for the weakest population first. Anyway, if you have more details on the source of those excess death numbers, I would be interested in looking at them, maybe I’m missing something.

I took a quick look at the VAERS numbers: in March, ~50,000,000 doses were administered, with 955 deaths reported within 30 days after receiving a vaccine in March. So that’s a rate of 1 in 50,000, without accounting for either underreporting to VAERS or people dying of unrelated causes while vaccinated, which are both meaningful but unknown factors.

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I spoke to a friend last Thursday who's wife had a major reaction to the vaccine. Her doctor refused to enter it into VAERS because "the vaccine is safe" etc. My friend decided to try and enter it himself, he said it was 25 pages long and took over an hour to complete. If a doctor had 8 patients with reactions per week he'd be losing one day per week of work just keeping the database current. When my friend entered it, it sat a month and then he got a notice that it had been kicked out because he didn't enter the vaccine lot number, so he had to go through the process again.

VAERS is seriously undercounting vaccine reactions. We don't know by how much, but we do know it's a drastic undercount.

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curious what you consider major complication to vax? the spectrum of what is considered a reaction is very wide, very varied

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"Major" is a loose term, but the comment you're replying to is clearly a major reaction IMO.

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The article is a pro vax article because even at that high a rate the vax is still worth taking. 😉

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"The mRNA-based vaccines used in the US haven’t shown such a problem, and they should be even safer, as there really isn’t anything in them that could cause an adverse reaction in the body."

I know a Pfizer scientist, and of other Pfizer scientists, that have worked on mRNA based vaccines who disagree vehemently. They will not get the jab, and neither will their families.

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The spike protein itself is a cytotoxin. The mRNA vaccines are designed to hold a bundle of spike proteins at the injection site so the body develops antibodies to them. If for some reason the spike proteins don't stay in one spot, and migrate throughout the body, that can cause problems. That's the thing the EUA is supposed to be testing, but instead it's being used as a culture war bludgeon while nobody tests it for fear of what they may discover.

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As it turns out, most of the fearmongering about "mRNA gene therapy" was misdirected.

We now have data from the Novavax vaccine, and it causes more myocarditis than Pfizer or Moderna. It looks like it probably also causes more blood clotting, more strokes, etc.


The best explanation is that some people react poorly to the spike protein. Myocarditis looks like an auto-immune response. It's less clear exactly how the clotting cascade begins.

But, of course, if spike is the issue, you're left choosing between a harmful virus and a harmful vaccine. You still have to work the odds and compare both of them.

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I think your takes here tend to align with mine. I also think that Omicron should have changed the conversation, and we are all still stuck having the 2020 conversation instead of the Post Omicron conversation. Omicron, at a minimum, must have a drastically lower spike protein profile due to its much milder symptoms, and if we were going to do the vax math at this point we need to be comparing to Omicron, not Delta. But there's no IFR data on Omicron because people stopped getting tested for it, because Omicron is so mild.

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We discussed this a bit on Twitter. I said Omicron was at least 50% milder than delta, but possibly still as bad as the original Wuhan strain. I glanced at one paper since then which put it at 80% lower than Omicron, which would make it ~50% milder than the original strain.

Peak omicron deaths in the US still exceeded 3,000 per day. That's not the flu.

You can't explain that without either positing: it's still in the same ballpark at the original covid virus OR it caused vastly more cases than the original.

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Deaths per day is a function of two things not one. Lethality and transmissibility. Covid is novel.

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Also, the spike protein that in some rare cases causes side effects (Myocarditis etc) is the exact same spike protein they would be facing if they got natural infection. So those people who are unlucky enough to see an adverse reaction would have had the same experience if they faced this “flu” naturally. I haven’t seen good reasoning that the mRNA vaccines present any risk which wouldn’t already be present in the original virus.

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I highly suspect that children's general immunity to Covid-19, and how quickly they get over it after they do get it, has to do with viral load and the fact that prepubescent kids have small lungs. I also highly suspect that vaccine injection is giving them a significantly higher spike protein load than natural infection from the lungs would. Given how easily kids get over Covid and how little (near zero or zero) they spread it, I can see zero justification for giving the vaccine to children. Vaccination of prepubescent children should be ended immediately and those vaccine should be shipped to countries that are under vaccinated, particularly Canada to shore up the United States steel supply.

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You don’t want to keep the spike proteins at the injection site. Ideally you would introduce them where you expect the virus to be most likely to appear (that’s why intranasal vaccines work so well).

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BJ: How is it you have a better understanding of how science works than some of our official scientists? Looks, too, like we made a similar decision on the vaccine. I'm having some second thoughts now given persistent cramping issues, but I'm confident my body will eventually adjust. Lord knows it adjusted to a lot of other drug use in my college years.

As for children, where does the Hippocratic Oath kick in here, ie. "First, Do No Harm?" The data at this point says there is no threat to healthy children, ie. those lacking serious, serious co-morbidities. How do doctors justify giving an experimental vaccine to children who face no risk? Yes, it could be safe. But we really have no way of knowing that at this point.

Predicting future outcomes is a flip of the coin no matter whether you're a doctor, an economist, a political pollster or anyone or anything else.

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Doctors aren't scientists. Most doctors, like most people, are NPC robots running scripts. Our job as thinking people is to understand that we swim in a sea of people who don't, and make individual decisions as best as we can.

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“First off, this could be complete bullshit. It’s a statement on a discussion board with no references and no math shown. I have not independently verified any of these numbers, and if some journalist wants to actually do the legwork to do so themselves, I highly encourage it. But this number, one in five thousand vaccinated people die from the vaccine, seems reasonable to me and I’d like to move forward pretending it’s true”

I stopped reading after this. Can you really not see yourself?

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You stopped reading at the exact wrong time sir.

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re: Bret's censored YouTube discussion

this audio only version seems to still be available:


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Might have agreed if there "weren't" safe and effective treatments and prophylactics available for treatment (see the interview with Bret & Kory): https://www.bitchute.com/video/qHjNQIynVb5O/

Given that their 'are' treatments and alternate ways (proven in other countries) to prevent getting this illness, the prick isn't a wise course of action.

Unless I misunderstand the situation, the emergency use authorization REQUIRES that there not be a Safe and Effective treatment and if one was then found (it has been) then the emergency use authorization would no longer be valid. It is my assumption that THIS IS WHY the information about treatments is being buried and banned on the Interwebs, i.e if their is a treatment they'd have to Can the rollout of said pricks and the pricks are the science/medical communities favorite new toys and 'You can't take our toys away!!!/snarl'.

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I think you (and Bret W. and such) may be attributing malice to something which his equally explainable by incompetence and by the modern tribal social dynamic. Basically HWFO style media/cultural analysis shows how and why we should expect this thing to be all about vaccines instead of treatment, and why the media would control the narrative in the way it's being controlled.

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in fla prior to med cannabis i could use cannabis because there is NO other treatment for what i have. thats simply the emergency use standard rather than the vax for covid standard. some laws are more generally applied rather than specifically

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