"Constant repetition carries conviction." -Robert Collier
New readers can refer to Systemic Vaccine Efficacy Part I, Part II, and Part III.
A few weeks ago while on vacation, my wife told me about a reviewer's comment about a research paper she did some work on (supporting the work of another researcher in her lab). Without going into details, the paper tested a hypothesis using around 20 different techniques. It is rare to see such a paper in biology (or any field) where the researchers examine the evidence from so many angles and vantage points.
The reviewer went on to critique each of the various methods and its weak points and then went on to say how the paper could hold back the field for decades were its conclusions wrong. Aside from the generic and vacuous truth of the last statement, it amazed me to hear what sounded like an argument that many techniques were to be viewed by the sum of their weaknesses or ranges of doubt. On the contrary, the natural way to view a summary of evidence is through a sort of meta-Bayesian sense: when each test slices away realms of doubt while the hypothesis remains intact (or consistent), we should feel better and better about the hypothesis.
If you non-science folks out there are thinking, "Isn't that a big duh?" you are right to think so, and you don't need a scientist to do your basic thinking for you. And you may now be coming to understand the problem of the narcissistic mind virus that inhabits professional science (which is its own breed, to be sure). There is a very good chance that this particular reviewer was protecting territory for any number of reasons [aside from science].
Yes, science has long been manipulated as a tool for power. But The Science™ is currently in a truly terrifying state.
The Initial State: Priors and Biases
We should form and make judicious use of biases we form based on past events. In doing so, we should begin with the simplest and most important observations. Ready? Here goes…
After years of many attempts, vaccinologists had been unable to produce a single functional vaccine for a single coronavirus (and they apparently had a few hundred coronaviruses to choose from, but we can stick with the usual six prior to SARS-CoV-2).
After years of working on the details, scientists had never produced a functioning mRNA therapy of any kind, with many experiments ending in disastrous mortal failure in animal models.
Pfizer is perhaps the most criminal modern corporation in American history, so long as we aren't going up the hierarchy of corporate ownership. Managing their reputation apparently requires a massive lobbying arm, a revolving door with regulators, and placing people in the right relationships in major media. They've also piled up a reputation for "arranging" trials in a way that seems to allow for easiest manipulation of participants.
Moderna spent years fumbling around desperatiely without ever producing a viable product, chasing away top talent in a caustic, secretive corporate culture driven by an apparently psychopathic CEO willing to task others with stealing from a children's hospital.
But here's the kicker: it should have been a stretch for anyone to believe from the start that an extremely fast spreading respiratory virus that enters the body through ACE2 receptors, then into the lungs, and then into the bloodstream...would be beaten by an intramuscular injection that produces the wrong antibodies in the wrong place.
Nobody should be shocked that research keeps piling up showing viral loads and infection rates (Salvatore et al, 2021 preprint) looking the same. It would have been surprising for a non-mucosal "vaccine" to work the way we want. Even worse, the forms of "vaccines" we have accepted allow the virus to take root in the body, including in immunocompromised patients who can carry it for months on end, which is likely the driver of variant roulette.
We should have been more skeptical when the self-reported Pfizer trial involved a massive imbalance of exclusions that overwhelmed the effect size, untested suspected cases of COVID-19 that overwhelmed the effect size, and a massive pre-trial testing bias that appears designed to bias results. Of course, we should have known about the Ventavia whistleblower, but we have no real investigative media anymore.
The mistake was entering their labyrinth in the first place.
In a Complex System, Consistency is the Best Judge of a Hypothesis
Consistency is something like a hallmark of science. Or so I hear.
Let us consider the two competing hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: The very first mRNA vaccines (and other COVID-19 vaccines) are all the first several dozen vaccines to ever work on any coronavirus.
Hypothesis 2: The COVID-19 vaccines (mRNA and others) have no substantial efficacy, but kill and injure lots of people.
These hypotheses are miles apart, and that is to our advantage when testing each against the available evidence. It is possible to come to some conclusion in between, of course. We'll see if that's necessary.
For the purpose of hypothesis testing, I'm going to completely ignore the self-reported trial results (oops, we lost the control group, intention-to-treat analysis is lacking, and all-cause mortality favors the control arm) of all vaccine manufacturers. The best looking data is purely black box, and the existence of a fight to obscure the never-released raw data and follow-up research for 55 years suggests we look elsewhere. Besides, if a combination of excellent typesetting and strangely unskeptical and unified pronouncement of "well run clinical trial" by the "science media" is all you need to trust a product injected into your body (or your child's), then I don't assume you'll have the independence of will to follow what comes next.
All the Analyses, Part I
After the trial reports, some retrospective analyses came out examining Israeli data.
Mark Reeder adeptly pointed out that the efficacy effects seen in the Dagan study could be seen in a saline solution with a model that took informative censoring into account. Even before Reeder's paper, we should have noted that the paper was rapidly put together by researchers with piles of Pfizer and NIH grants, which puts it very near to the control-trust pool of the trials we should not have expected to succeed. And who estimates mortality 14 to 20 days after injection for a virus that takes a median of 18.5 days to kill? I can't stop you from believing this study demonstrates 73% vaccine efficacy, but Reeder shows the study to be consistent with Hypothesis 2. Dagan and company could release their data to settle the issue, but they're too busy publishing more research promoting the Pfizer flag narrative to engage with the need for transparency [FROM SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE, JUST ANYWHERE EVER].
The Haas study purported to demonstrate Hypothesis 1. I've noted the obvious lack of risk adjustment in the paper. But any of the biases we talk about in Part II, along with the same informative censorship Reeder points out, could be enough to explain the exciting effect size, making Hypothesis 2 consistent with the data. I recognize this claim as tougher than most, but it will be explained further.
To Be Continued…
I will be busy working on part of a book for a few days, but promise that Part II will be solid when I get back to writing.
Very interesting. Thanks for that great reference to Reeder's work.
I started work at NASA-Goddard in 1980. At that time the climate modelers were working on a model that explained the triggering of ice ages ("global cooling"). Many of the modelers were contract personnel, hence their salaries had to come from research grants obtained by the principal investigator (PI). Others', civil servants' salaries, were paid out of annual appropriations enacted by Congress to cover the NASA budget. Already you can see how money figured in. In 1980, people seriously were fearing another ice age any minute. Then in that decade we entered a period of warming. Things started to look bad for the coming ice age.
In 1988, Washington DC had a miserable hot summer, worse than normal and that year Congress was unable to recess on schedule and many of the congressmen were held over in DC for the hot weather. People like James Hansen at Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS) in NYC had been thinking maybe "global warming" was the actual threat, and managed to obtain a Congressional hearing on that topic that very summer. Hansen is on record gloating that he had the set point in the hearing room bumped a few degrees higher than normal, so that the congressmen could sit and sweat and fully experience "global warming". He made his point and the bandwagon henceforth was fueled by ample appropriations for research in global warming.
My own work was then in novel infrared sensors that could be used in imaging detector arrays. The big money, thanks to Hansen and others keeping everyone afraid we were all going to fry, was in earth viewing remote sensing. I had an instrument on STS-85 that successfully obtained infrared imagery of earth from Shuttle altitude. The funding for my part of that (some instrumental development, then part time another 9 years of image processing) was obtained by my PI from the flood of research dollars devoted to global warming. We focused on the infrared imagery of clouds, whose role in global warming was still uncertain. Our published papers always had ample reference to global climate as the reason for our interest and effort. We were on the funding bandwagon. (And our take was chicken feed compared to some. We did a lot of that work on a shoe string.) But I saw up close how it worked.
Since then, global warming has morphed into "climate change". That is so wonderfully vague. You just cannot fail to justify your research now. Warming? Ok, polar bears afloat. Bangladesh underwater. Deep ocean currents slowing down and causing the heating to run away and turn Earth into a half baked Venus. Increased heart damage in newborns. Cooling? Ok, crop failures, ice sheets obliterating NYS, etc. Whatever you want. But keep the panic enflamed and the dollars roll in to feed your grad students and pay your salary and give your University its cut for "administrative" costs.
Now it's medical panic. I see this as an even bigger bonanza, kept alive by all the racketeering you mention here. It all seems strangely familiar. This time the human race is being terrified and bullied into being test subjects in a giant experiment that enriches Pfizer and Moderna in the US. It's going to run its course but I wonder what will be left of us at that point. Will we be so mutated and crippled that we will end up maintained on meds from the same psychopaths that destroy us?
Another excellent dissection.
As a scientist myself (theoretical physicist) I've lost count of the number of times I've had to scratch my head in bafflement over this last 20 months or so.
It's easy to run foul of stats and make simple, stupid mistakes (did it myself recently - ignored the warnings of that paradoxical Mr Simpson - I can be an idiot). But some of the ridiculous assertions we've had passed off as "science" have been spectacular - and I don't mean that in a good way.
It's like we threw away all our previous knowledge and experience (our a priori positions) and just went with a ton of crappy associational studies and extremely dubious post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning.
I wrote a somewhat sarcastic piece on the radical transformation of our scientific understanding wrought by covid
There are obvious absurdities everywhere (safe when seated - deadly dangerous when you go for a pee) - but it's more serious when those absurdities are present in the scientific literature - it has the official academic "seal of approval".
For those swayed by the number of degrees someone has I would say that a rectal thermometer also has lots of degrees - and you know what you can do with one of those!