Covid vaccine safety: how correct are these allegations?

One month ago I clumsily tried to persuade my 74-year-old father that Tucker Carlson is probably wrong about Covid vaccines killing 3000 people, and if not, my father should get the vaccine anyway because he is in a high-risk group.

Well, move over lab-leak discussion, because this video is a tad more explosive: it alleges an ongoing and almost systematic censorship of information about vaccine side-effects, and it manages to do so in a way that fails to trip my BS detectors. While the LessWrong community isn’t known for its expertise in vaccine science and epidemiology, it’s usually pretty good about separating the true from the false, so here I am to ask for your comments. While the video is extremely long, the most controversial claims come near the beginning.

It’s hosted by Bret Weinstein who (says Wikipedia) ‘came to national attention during the 2017 Evergreen State College protests’ and ‘is among the people referred to collectively as the “intellectual dark web”‘. The video description says Robert Malone is “the inventor of mRNA Vaccine technology”; he doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, but he is mentioned on the page about mRNA vaccines as having ‘developed a high-efficiency in-vitro and in-vivo RNA transfection system using cationic liposomes, which were used “to directly introduce RNA into whole tissues and embryos”, as well as various cells types’ in 1989. Finally there’s Steve Kirsch, a red-tribey-sounding serial entrepreneur who mostly does tech firms but has been “researching adverse reactions to COVID vaccines”. Steve frequently interrupts the other two, but at least seems very knowledgeable and well-connected (not to mention wealthy).

At first I was going to make this a ‘question’, but there’s a lot to unpack and I think it could generate a lot of discussion, so I made it a ‘post’ instead.

Summary of the video’s main points & discussions:

  • 3:40 Prophylactic ivermectin is about “100% effective at preventing people from contracting Covid when taken properly” (an “Argentina study” is mentioned in support of this)

  • 8:00 Bret gushes in the beginning about Steve’s “article in Trial Site News”. Here is a list of Steve’s (seven) articles in Trial Site News.

  • 11:12 Steve became interested in the issue of vaccine safety because he talked to his carpet cleaner, who said he had a “heart attack” two minutes after taking the Pfizer vaccine and was “still feeling bad about it” (18:40 he talks about these side effects, how the press ignores victims of serious side effects, and how this has cost his carpet cleaner $30,000). Meanwhile, his wife started to suffered from serious hand shaking after taking the vaccine. This was like “lightning striking twice”, “impossible” if the vaccine is safe. (my thought: a ‘bad batch’ could explain clustering in Steve’s community)

  • 12:30 Steve heard from to Byram Bridle about how, according to Japanese Government data, the spike protein generated by “the vaccine” doesn’t stay in the arm like a typical vaccine, but spreads throughout the body. 14:02 The FDA knew about the biodistribution, and it’s most concentrated in the ovaries (edit: this is false), though the FDA did not believe it was dangerous at the time.

  • 13:39 Dr. Malone: “The spike protein itself, we now know, is cytotoxic” (and “very dangerous”, adds Bret) and Malone alerted the FDA about this risk “months and months and months ago, and we had a discussion”… “Their determination was, they didn’t think that was sufficient documentation of the risk that the spike was biologically active.”

  • 14:40 Bret: if the protein lodged in “the membrane of the cells doing the transcribing” as intended, it would be a lot less destructive; Dr. Malone agrees, and says the “prior literature that was put out by the people that developed [the vaccine]” acknowledges this risk. They did “limited, non-clinical studies” to show “it stays stuck, we engineered it to stay stuck, and they published it.” But “that’s generally not good enough in non-clinical data the normal situation where we’re not in a rush, we have some really rigorous tests that have to be done on animals, and revealing that spike gets cleaved off of expressed cells and becomes free is something that absolutely should have been known and understood well before this ever got put into humans.”

  • 17:08 Dr. Malone says “cellular cytotoxicity” is actually what “really provides the protection… so you’re getting CTLs against it” yada yada technical jargon.

  • 19:07 Bret says groups about vaccine side-effects are censored. Steve says “200,000 users were wiped off the planet” (Facebook?); Dr. Malone jumps in to say “the censoring has been going on for well over a year, it’s well documented, it’s unequivocal, and my argument is that by implementing censoring, what we’re doing is making it so that signals can’t be detected, people’s voices can’t be heard [...] we have to have full disclosure of risks, and when you censor this, you cannot have this.” Steve argues that because everyone is trained to think the vaccine is safe, doctors routinely deny that any side-effects were caused by the vaccine and do not enter information in the VAERS system as they should (note: the CDC web site says that “FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS,” but I don’t know if there are any reporting requirements for other side-effects.)

  • 21:28 Bret was talking to everyone he encountered—Dentist, Doctor, hairdresser—and “the number of people who had a frightening story was alarmingly large. In fact, I believe it is the case that the only people who didn’t have some anomalous reaction was my parents and Heather’s mom” (this is the most BS-sounding thing in the video, but it could be that Bret misspoke and actually meant that “most people who are public-facing [interact with many people] in his community know someone who has had an anomalous reaction to a Covid vaccine”, which is still a big allegation).

  • 22:30 Dr. Malone says his FDA friends “in senior positions… were aware back when we were doing [RCTs] that these adverse events were occurring—many of them were oddly delayed and atypical for a vaccine trial. …. one of our assumptions here is that this is like every other vaccine...and it’s not”

  • 23:57 Dr. Malone talking about his alarm about a “data package...that Canadians acquired from foya (?)”, and he shared it with a “regulatory affairs professional” who found more issues, like the absence of the “reprotox” (reproductive toxicology) package and genotoxicity package. But he’s heard “Pfizer has submitted a new data package in the last couple weeks, so...we have to take those data with a little bit of a grain of salt because they may have been updated”

  • 26:52 The FDA lied by telling people that no corners were cut (they used an analogy of a road in which they have straightened out the curves and reduced paperwork); informed consent is being elided. Bret: “everybody who is getting these vaccines is part of an experiment that we are running, which is actually wildly overgenerous of me to say, because in order for it to be an experiment, we would have to systematically collect data on what happened to them, and our … system isn’t so systematic … voluntary reporting with stigma attached”

  • 28:23 Steve “did a survey on Nextdoor, and 3% had persistent troubling symptoms that haven’t gone away” (Lizardman constant, one wonders? Coincidental illness? But I wonder which state these three people are in, and whether one vaccine is implicated more than the others. Pfizer and Moderna are both mentioned in the video and, for the most part, they don’t clarify which vaccine(s) they are talking about.)

  • 28:47 “Nobody knows about [the VAERS system] and people aren’t reporting” and “we’ve had reports reversed without the doctor’s consent”

  • 30:32 Chart showing death reports in the VAERS system. There are less than 205 deaths every year before 2021, then 4561 for “Covid vaccines”.

  • 32:07 Steve: “Nobody can explain why they’ve removed reports from the VAERS system, because what we found is that the reports that were put in by people and [snaps fingers] they disappeared, so this is a conservative estimate, because what about those reports that they took out that we can’t see?”

  • 32:35 Dr. Malone “this morning” called friends at the FDA about “the databases and database analysis” who said “it’s chaotic, it’s disorganized, they are not analyzing the data efficiently, they’re understaffed, they’re overwhelmed” …. “If our goal is to ensure safety, the bias has to be to assume that there is some association and then take the time to track it down, and therein lies the rub … the FDA had the latitude to require that the vaccine sponsors/​developers implement more rigorous data capture for safety … and they made a conscious decision not to … [after] authorization for Emergency Use Authorization [EUA] … under an [EUA], normally … the sponsors are still required to carefully capture safety and efficacy information; you’re still an experimental product … in this case, I’m not aware they implemented any requirements for the sponsors to capture those data.” (I wonder: what about the rest of the world?)

  • 39:44 the info we have (e.g. VAERS) is almost worthless. In the vaccine cost-benefit equation, the “benefit” calculation requires you to look at the full set of alternatives; Steve talks about how elites are ignoring major results showing fluvoxamine and ivermectin “works”. Steve: “This information is being suppressed, and it’s unfair...” says Tess Lawrie submitted something (at 51:14 he says it’s a “systematic review and meta-analysis” for ivermectin) to a journal and got it peer-reviewed and “it’s probably going to be published tomorrow”. He says there’s been systematic review and meta-analysis—“the highest level of evidence” and Bret adds that “the evidence is overwhelming”. It sounds like ivermectin has stronger evidence than fluvoxamine. But at 40:38 Steve raises my eyebrows by saying a p=0.05 result “proves that it really works” as Bret nods vigorously. Edit: Lawrie’s paper was published 7 days later with 6 co-authors, concluding “Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin”. I notice that Lawrie is also the Director of the “Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy” that calls for “an immediate halt to the [Covid] vaccination programme”; notably, this document lacks cost/​benefit analysis and ignores base rates (the number of adverse health events that would normally occur in a large population in the absence of any vaccines). Theresa Lawrie also founded the BIRD website (registered 2021-03-07), which “[brings] together clinicians, health researchers and patient advocate for the use of ivermectin”. Co-authors Dowswell and Fordham are affiliated with the EBMC and BIRD respectively.

  • 43:19 Dr. Malone says, at doses effective against Covid-19, ivermectin is safe. Masks are mandated under the precautionary principle despite a low level of evidence for efficacy, and yet for ivermectin all authorities are saying we can’t use it despite all the evidence. Note: the FDA has published an article titled “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19” — don’t take my word for it, but its arguments are weaksauce.

  • 51:35 Steve alleges that NIH doesn’t take ‘saving lives’ into consideration when making decisions; Dr. Malone disagrees, but before he can explain is interrupted by Bret who speaks of an “emergent phenomenon” similar to regulatory capture but without the usual hallmarks. “We are trying to grapple with what it is that’s doing this. It is very tempting to imagine that there must have been a meeting in which people decide it was okay for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions to die needlessly given a pandemic we might be able to end if we just simply decided to do it [...] but [instead] it can be a function of the underlying drivers.”

  • 56:37 Bret: “Merck...very conspicuously attacked the safety of its own drug ivermectin even though they knew from four decades of work” that it was safe, citing no evidence to the contrary. “Why? Well, it turns out they have another drug headed rapidly for an [EUA]. Well, what does the [EUA] require? It requires that there is no safe and effective therapy existing because if there was, you wouldn’t take the risk of fast-forwarding this process” and also they’re partnered with Johnson & Johnson to produce their vaccine. Dr. Malone suggests that the usual “rigorous terms and conditions” for disclosure of conflict of interest were not followed in this case.

  • 59:20 recap by Bret. Dr. Malone adds “my colleagues are telling me they’re extremely frustrated because they can’t make heads or tails out of the data”; Steve says the U.S. government commissioned a study on VAERS that estimated “there could be only 1%” of adverse events being reported, and alleges that none of the deaths in VAERS have been explained or investigated. Also says Tess Lawrie’s study is self-funded, so no conflict of interest.

  • 1:07:55 Steve asks “the OpenVAERS people” what they think the true number of deaths from the vaccine is, “and they told me that of course nobody truly knows, but based on their analysis they put it around 20,000 deaths”. (edit: it turns out Steve asserted on May 25 that the vaccines “likely killed over 25,800 Americans” [edit 2: omitted ‘likely’ in first edit, sorry]). My objections: one, if this were true, where are the lawsuits against the vaccine makers? and two, how likely is it that all vaccines are equally dangerous? Steve seems to have done nothing to try to distinguish the safety of each vaccine individually.)

  • 1:11:10 A UK document of “The Evidence-Based Medicine Consultancy Ltd” shows a high rate of adverse events and says “The MHRA now has more than enough evidence on the Yellow Card system to declare the COVID-19 vaccines unsafe for use in humans.”

  • 1:14:43 Bret: “it is becoming clear to clinicians that long-haul Covid, Covid and post-vaccine syndrome are closely related.” Dr. Malone: “for me the thing that’s alarming is that there’s no alarm.”

  • 1:16:39 The V-safe system is not transparent at all, not even to FDA data analysis specialists (or 1:19:18 “responsible, qualified third parties”)

  • 1:19:22 Discussion of “unprecedented” social media censorship. Also, lamentation of political polarization.

  • 1:25:30 Steve: “when I posted this to Trial Site News I had a scientific advisory board of 14...very high-powered academics, all of them resigned...saying that what I was doing was irresponsible, that it will cause vaccine hesitancy… that they didn’t want to associate me any more.… I said ’I’m sorry you’re resigning, but could you please point out an error, and I will correct it… and they gave me nothing… factual that was wrong with my article.”

  • 1:28:19 Lamenting people being sent home from the ER without treatment, possibly infecting family members, being told “don’t come back until your lips are blue”. Steve refers to a “little practice” of “George Fareed and Bryan Tyson” having treated 6500 patients averaging 60 years old with “like zero” hospitalizations except in cases where “somebody comes up to us really late”; they use a treatment protocol with hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin and fluvoxamine. Dr Malone stresses that Steve isn’t just talk, he walked the walk, having funded a fluvoxamine study at Wash U.

  • 1:33:09 Dr Malone: Some front-line doctors are doing a great job trying to understand what’s going on and tinkering with ways to treat their patients.

  • 1:38:38 Dr Malone, in a discussion on perverse financial incentives, says “I lived this. I set up a company, Theric Pharmaceuticals, for Zika, and I worked closely with the DoD and developed a portfolio of drugs, repurposed drugs, many of which are now being applied to Covid because they’re antivirals, okay? I went bankrupt. The investment community had zero interest because there was no way to make a buck… so I have direct personal experience validating the thesis that the financial incentives around drug repurposing are such that it doesn’t get done.” Steve adds that “we” called drug companies and offered to “pay for all your expenses” and they still weren’t interested. “even if I had their phase-3 trial that they need, which I do have now, I still would not be able to get an [EUA] on a repurposed drug.”

  • 1:40:50 Bret asks Malone about doing a quick RCT on ferrets to show safety and efficacy of ivermectin for Covid. Malone says we really need evidence in humans. He says Andy Hill tells him “there are large trials pending” but he’s decided to stop releasing interim results, and results are “scheduled to come in in September”. Steve says there’s never been a case where a systematic review and meta-analysis has been overturned by another one, so existing evidence for ivermectin is sufficient.

  • 1:49:19 Dr Malone says a common criticism of ivermectin data is that small studies across the world on ivermectin have not been peer-reviewed, but this is because “it has become wicked hard to get anything through peer review involving repurposed drugs”. Malone set up a “special edition of frontiers of pharmacology for repurposed drugs, and then it got killed” arbitrarily. He doesn’t clarify this point, but adds “we’ve never encountered a situation like this, where it has become this difficult to get anything through peer review, and anything that has to do with repurposed drugs is...almost impossible”. Malone agrees with Steve that there is a negative reporting bias where only negative reports can be published, noting that this is the opposite of the usual bias.

  • 1:52:18 Steve is frustrated at hospitals avoiding repurposed drugs, giving an anecdote (not about Covid?) of a drug treatment where “you go from lungs that are like, dark, to fully clear in 48 hours, and the physicians say ‘we’ve never seen anything like this’… happens about 50% of the time”, but he personally jumped through hoops and couldn’t get El Camino hospital to prescribe this for a hospitalized acquaintance in “bad shape, on ICU”. “People have gone to court to force doctors to give ivermectin and the hospital doesn’t want to do it, because if the hospital gives a drug which has not been approved by the NIH, they are liable if something happens… so the hospital doesn’t want to give you stuff that would save your life”. “Outpatient doctors are always trying new things, so if they reported to the FDA, that’s all we need… can see, holy moly, the doctors that are giving the ivermectin-fluvoxamine, they’ve got like no hospitalization, repeatedly.” Dr Malone says the idea of a “system to enable patient-reported outcomes and physician-related a profound statement. We have nothing like that. My friends at the FDA also came to that conclusion, and they’re frustrated because it doesn’t exist.” Malone blames administrators/​MBAs for preventing drug repurposing at hospitals, not just because of liability but also because they make more money prescribing in-patent drugs like remdesivir (“6 or 8 thousand dollars… for a treatment course”) rather than older ones.

  • 2:01:41 Steve says there’s another drug “which we funded the work on, which is GS 441524”, an antiviral “sort of the precursor to remdesivir, and it works really really well, but it’s being pursued by Victoria Yan (?) who’s just an individual, [who has] raised some money privately to do this”; one patient was amazed how effective this was as treatment for her severe long-haul Covid… “and Gilead is doing nothing!” even though it’s “much safer and much easier to produce”.

  • 2:03:15 Bret: doctors had fewer tools in the past, but they had the virtue of acting as scientists, being able to gather more local information and being allowed to do more with that information. Modern legal and corporate structures have shut down those virtues.

  • 2:08:04: Steve argues multiple drugs should be used at once as a Covid treatment. “Treat this virus like your life depended on it” (because it might just). Dr Malone agrees and is pursuing multi-drug trials but facing “immense” challenges. In their strategy they would “learn form David Ho”. “Almost all the agents you’ve been talking about are acting at the level of anti-inflammatories, not antivirals”, because antivirals have a poor track record of treating pulmonary viral infections, because it’s too hard to treat early enough, so the second phase of dangerous inflammation must be treated. But “the thought leaders who have set public strategy in the drug space have emphasize direct-acting antivirals, and they have sought to test those, most often, in a late-stage Covid doesn’t work”.

  • 2:14:13: Dr Malone “In my correspondence with the agency advocating for an ivermectin-containing arm in this study, I had to write...the justification for mechanism of action for ivermectin… I’ve never disclosed this publicly, I don’t have...authorization to say so… but the truth is, that I wrote this big long section, summarized the different potential mechanisms of action of ivermectin, most of which are anti-inflammatory. The agency wrote back and said ‘you have to do the studies in cell culture to prove the mechanism of action before we will allow you to proceed with the trial’, and our decision was to just drop it.… and it gets to this point of another data point” (apparently he means ‘another anomaly in how authorities are acting’.)

  • 2:17:34 discussion of reproductive harms begins with chart from a article by Steve. I looked up the displayed URL, which begins with a statement that “these vaccines have killed over 25,800 Americans and disabled at least 1,000,000 more”, which links indirectly to a blog post by Austin G. Walters. Steve and Dr. Malone agree that the graph (for “Pfizer mRNA Vaccine BNT162″) is “consistent with the primary data”. It shows the concentration of a “lipid nanoparticle” that is the delivery mechanism of the vaccine, “the box in which the mRNA” is housed. The graph shows about 10 times higher concentration in the ovaries than most other organs after 48 hours. (edit: this is very misleading) “On some level it’s not safe for women at all,” Bret says. The high concentration in bone marrow is also worthy of study. There is no signal in the testes.

  • 2:28:30 Bret asks Malone about “the hazard of the vaccines because they create a very concentrated evolutionary push on spike protein alone, that vaccinating into a pandemic rather than in advance of a pandemic, is liable to cause the evolution of escaped mutants, and that it could...make a much worse pandemic in the end”. Malone immediately responds “this isn’t a theoretical, this is a real.” (I will leave this argument in the video because it doesn’t make sense to me; evolution doesn’t have goals and shouldn’t evolve its spike protein appreciably faster just because people are getting vaccines. I don’t think this is meant as an anti-vax argument, though I would assume some people will use it that way.)

  • 2:31:55 Bret worries about “antibody-dependent enhancement”. Normally antibodies are supposed to stick to antigens to neutralize them, but apparently there are cases where antibodies make the infection worse, and “this is why the second bout of dengue [fever] is worse”. Dr. Malone responds that “all of the prior attempts to develop human coronavirus vaccines have failed due to ADE.… The [interesting thing] about the current ones is they are showing so much efficacy … I was watching for an ADE signal, I’m not seeing it”.

  • 2:39:29 Dr Malone chose to take the vaccine. He had Covid already, and only took the vaccine to meet travel requirements, after waiting for an ADE signal.

  • 2:44:29 Dr Malone: “The thing that is the hallmark of the modern FDA is the response to Thalidomide… that has guided the whole legislative structure and organizational structure of the FDA, and that’s all about reproductive toxicity… and I hope that Pfizer has submitted to Peter a comprehensive genotoxicity and reproductive toxicity panel in the nonclinical studies, but even then, rats are not humans. What we’ve learned is that reproductive risks don’t always manifest in the first generation. So I don’t mean to scare, but I do mean to speak honestly and with integrity, and...if you were to ask me, ‘Robert, do you know what the reproductive consequences are for this signal?’ I would have to tell you ‘no I don’t’… if you then ask me ‘has there been any examples in the past of reproductive effects of agents in female reproductive tissue that were not anticipated by the animal model testing?’ I would have to say yes there is.… My position on all of this goes back to the bioethics… there has to be full and open disclosure… it’s your body… the burden is on the government… to convince us… they do have an obligation… to full and open disclosure.… we as a public health community should err on the side of transparency and disclosure, and trust the American people and the people all over the world … to make decisions for our own health… I do feel pretty strongly … the strategy ‘we’re going to give out ice cream to get the kids to get vaccinated’, that’s just wrong.” Bret adds, “it’s tantamount to evil.”

  • 2:49:59 Steve: “If I had known what I know today, I never would have vaccinated my three young daughters...” … “I know one of the cabinet ministers of the Biden administration, and I brought this to his attention numerous times, and he has tried to get the attention of the proper people, and … it doesn’t register because it’s against the narrative...” … “If you want to criticize what I’ve written, tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it.” … “This is why people can’t speak out, because the narrative is so strong...”

  • 2:56:57 Dr Malone: “This is always the case when you’re at the tip of the spear. There’s the parable ‘don’t be a pioneer; all you get is arrows in the ass’. This is a paradigm-shift problem, and the lovely thing about medicine is that we’ve been through multiple cycles of this. The classic one is gastric ulcers, and the bacterial basis for gastric ulcers.” (hm, years ago a climate dismissive used ‘ulcers’ on me to justify his eternal support of the minority position on climate, but point taken.)

  • 2:58:38 Bret: “the work I did that revealed there was a flaw in the drug safety system [what flaw, Bret?], that bell still hasn’t rung, that was 2002… this is par for the course except the stakes are really high here”… “you’ve got all of these anomalous signatures… I can make a defense for [EUAs] for a vaccine is not well-enough tested in the face of an emergency… [but] I can’t make that argument when there’s perfectly safe therapies that are available for us off-the-shelf, and I never could have made that argument for people that have already had Covid...” … “we’ve got all these signals of...‘extended regulatory capture’ where regulatory capture reaches into not just regulatory agencies, it reaches into media...organizations of doctors...the [WHO]… it is self-censorship, but the point is but the point is, I don’t think there’s any way to beat that going through the front door… what you’re finding out [Steve]… is that that’s not going to work because there are so many layers protecting it” [the others agree].

  • 3:01:06 Bret suggests this is the perfect opportunity for Elon Musk to gain practice saving planet Earth. “the greatest defect [in] our economic and political system [is] it can allow you to evaporate trillions of dollars of wealth in the pursuit of billions of dollars of wealth.” … “there’s a bitter pill here… we can’t solve the problem perfectly, we’re going to have to accept something ugly… we need to buy out the interests of those who are doing it. If they’ve got an [EUA] for an untested, dangerous new drug and that’s the reason they’re thwarting our ability to talk about the solutions that are available to us, let’s just fuckin’ buy them out already.” … “it’s a hell of a lot easier than going to Mars… [Elon] is way smart enough to look at the same data we’ve looked at and reach the only conclusion you could reach if you looked at it...”

  • 3:06:31 Dr Malone: “we’re facing a future where pharmaceuticals and vaccines are largely produced offshore… as a consequence of this kind of kookiness” (um … why would regulatory capture drive big pharma away?)

  • 3:08:56 Steve’s solution is simpler: Elon should tweet a link to the video saying “Everybody should watch this. This is very very very important.” Another solution… “everybody has a social...moral...ethical responsibility to retweet this, share it...” (wow, the longest chain letter I’ve ever seen) “The doctors who want to speak out, cannot, because they don’t have a voice, especially if you got any kind of NIH funding… you will never see a dime… I just got a tweet yesterday from a woman who runs a support group and ‘one of our members committed suicide’ because no one is listening to her...”

  • 3:13:42 Dr Malone: “the irony is, the RNA story went through this same thing where it got suppressed and shut down, it was considered to be crazy talk… I’m in close contact with the long-hauler community, and like your story a member of that community recently committed suicide… if we can’t allow these people to even have a voice, then they’re completely disempowered… we must let these people who have no voice to at least speak to each other.”

Edit: After reviewing everything, I’m seeing some signs of BS, mainly centered around Steve, who takes some rather extreme interpretations as fact (the summary above omits Steve’s many interjections demonstrating this). One example is that he acts like it’s crazy that everybody hasn’t already accepted the greatness of ivermectin, even though the best evidence is said to be in a paper that hasn’t been published yet. Also, his May 25 article (linked twice above already) has even more extreme claims than this video. And yet, Bret thinks Steve’s article is great (assuming the URL at 2:17:34 is the one he gushed about in the beginning). While Dr. Malone occasionally disagrees, it’s rare; for the most part he explicitly agrees, nods, or expresses no skepticism. So my main point of concern is that the three of them are very credulous about the strongest claims, and don’t take seriously the possibility that they could be wrong. Plus, they show no interest in possible differences between the vaccines. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are both mRNA-based, but this hardly guarantees the same risks for both.

As I noted a month ago, it is required to report deaths after vaccine administration to VAERS, so if it’s more common to give a Covid vaccine to elderly and ill patients than it was to give seasonal flu vaccines to elderly and ill patients, this could explain the VAERS data. If the reporting requirement is new or more publicized, that could help explain it too. And if a vaccine is causing these deaths, where are the lawuits? Alleging “the” vaccine has killed tens of thousands of people, with no sign of having considered any alternative hypotheses, is a big red flag and if Steve proves to be incorrect, his efforts will probably cause deaths, because surely there are many elderly people like my parents who have chosen to stay unvaccinated due to messages like this. If Steve is correct, it is still important to do a cost-benefit analysis of vaccination vs no vaccination, particularly in regard to high-risk groups like my parents, and Steve did not attempt to do that either in the video or on his blog.

Also important is how little evidence is directly presented; mostly it’s just alluded to. Don’t extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence? They seem to think that they themselves having seen some evidence is enough, so there’s little need to present it to their audience. Since the number of views has topped 350,000, I encourage interested people to see if they can debunk, support or clarify some of these claims. While I suspect the claims about vaccine deaths are overstated (perhaps dramatically), I think there’s a lot of common-sense reasoning in this video that will stand the test of time.

The video was deleted for ‘Violating YouTube’s Terms of Service’. See below for alternate links.

P.S. Here are the results of Canada’s voluntary Covid-19 vaccine safety survey. It would be nice if they offered more detail on the more major side-effects, but...