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Should scientists be allowed to tell the truth?

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‘SHOULD scientists openly debate vaccine policies?’ This is the title of a video published by Dr Paul Offit which appeared in transcript in Medpage Today on October 20. Offit works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and he is also a member of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

The answer to this question ought to be obvious. If the policies are flawed, of course scientists should debate them, in fact it is their duty to do so. But as Offit describes, this has often not been the case when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine policies. He discusses two examples. The first has to do with the so-called ‘bivalent booster’ vaccines offered in late 2021 and early 2022. There was no evidence those so-called boosters made any difference against the new strains they were supposed to be effective against. In fact all studies showed clearly that they made no difference at all against those new strains. Still, Offit says, public health officials kept pushing them as ‘dramatically better’. And that’s a lie.

The second example has to do with the US authorities now recommending yet another booster for everyone from six months up, while most countries recommend them only to high-risk groups. According to Offit, the rationale given for the wholesale recommendation is not that the officials believe everyone should have the boosters. The rationale is that if they are recommended to everyone, the high-risk groups are more likely to accept them. Interestingly, Offit seems ready to accept this as long as the message works this way.

Let’s put this into the context of reality as it actually is. It has been known for a long time that those vaccines cause myocarditis and pericarditis in young males. Imagine a parent asking a health official if their 15-year-old boy should have the booster for a disease that is essentially harmless to him. What would the reply be? Would the official tell the parent to disregard the message? Of course not. Instead, to be consistent, he would scare the parent into having the boy injected, lying about the severity of the infection, and if asked, no doubt lying about the side-effects also. He would lie, knowing that the child would be worse off after the injection. Offit avoids discussing this scenario. In fact he avoids all discussion of the well documented harmful side-effects from the vaccines. He knows that if he discussed this the transcript would never have made it into Medpage Today, his video would surely have been removed from YouTube, and most likely he would have been kicked off the committee. Just like Dr Martin Kulldorff was kicked off the vaccine safety subcommittee after openly criticising the decision not to offer the Moderna vaccine to the elderly only, a decision that was in fact reversed a few days later. But Kulldorff had opened up the discussion of how those products might benefit some but not others, and that was an unforgivable crime.

Offit distinguishes between broad and nuanced messaging. Nuanced messaging is telling people who should have the medication and who should not. Broad messaging is telling people everyone should have the medication, whether they need it or not. In the end, all he is really doing is to distinguish between telling the truth and lying.

A more fitting title for the Medpage Today article would therefore have been ‘Should scientists be allowed to tell the truth?’ Since the start of the Covid-19 madness, they haven’t, and until recently, and to a large extent still, truth has been under the most vigorous and co-ordinated attack in recent times. Still, considering the comments under that Medpage Today article, where only medical professionals can comment, it looks as if we might be beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. A dim light, for sure, but it will grow brighter. And despite its shortcomings, Offit’s piece should be welcomed, as it serves only to strengthen that light.

This article appeared on From Symptoms to Causes on October 25, 2023, and is republished by kind permission.

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Thorsteinn Siglaugsson
Thorsteinn Siglaugsson
Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an Icelandic economist, consultant and writer. Author of From Symptoms to Causes - Applying the Logical Thinking Process to an Everyday Problem.

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