Saturday, June 5, 2021

MSM Wastes No Time Using Senate UFO Report To Promote Arms Race

MSM Wastes No Time Using Senate UFO Report To Promote Arms Race

After more than two years of UFO 'evidence' via the New York Times detailing dozens of encounters between Navy pilots and unidentified aerial phenomena, the punchline - according to an upcoming government report, is: 'we don't think it's aliens, but it's not Americans' - and therefore America should probably spend untold billions on figuring out how to make 90-degree turns at mach 5 and disappear into the ocean, after disabling a nuclear installation.

Or, as journalist Caitlin Johnstone puts it: The MSM is wasting no time using the UFO report to promote an arms race.

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via substack:

The New York Times has published an article on the contents of the hotly anticipated US government report on UFOs, as per usual based on statements of anonymous officials, and as per usual promoting narratives that are convenient for imperialists and war profiteers.

Together with one voice, the anonymous US officials and the "paper of record" which is supposed to scrutinize US officials assure us definitively that the mysterious aerial phenomena that have reportedly been witnessed by military personnel are certainly not any kind of secret US technology, but could totally be aliens and could definitely be a sign that the Russians or Chinese have severely lapped America's lagging military development.

"The report determines that a vast majority of more than 120 incidents over the past two decades did not originate from any American military or other advanced U.S. government technology," NYT was reportedly told by the officials. "That determination would appear to eliminate the possibility that Navy pilots who reported seeing unexplained aircraft might have encountered programs the government meant to keep secret."

Oh well if the US government has ruled out secret US government weaponry programs, hot damn that's good enough for me. Great journalism you guys.

One senior official said without hesitation that U.S. officials knew it was not American technology.

He said there was worry among intelligence and military officials that China or Russia could be experimenting with hypersonic technology

— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 4, 2021

"Intelligence officials believe at least some of the aerial phenomena could have been experimental technology from a rival power, most likely Russia or China," the Times reports. "One senior official briefed on the intelligence said without hesitation that U.S. officials knew it was not American technology. He said there was worry among intelligence and military officials that China or Russia could be experimenting with hypersonic technology."

"Russia has been investing heavily in hypersonics, believing the technology offers it the ability to evade American missile-defense technology," NYT adds. "China has also developed hypersonic weaponry, and included it in military parades. If the phenomena were Chinese or Russian aircraft, officials said, that would suggest the two powers’ hypersonic research had far outpaced American military development."

The article goes on to describe how the US military have been "unsettled" by aircraft moving and behaving in ways known technologies cannot explain. The implication of scary foreign adversaries having "outpaced American military development" to such an extent is of course that the US military is going to require a far bigger budget with far more intensive weapons development.

This would be the same New York Times that has consistently supported all of the US military's devastating acts of mass murder around the world, by the way.

This won't be the last time we hear the imperial media warning us that UFOs may be a sign of a frightening gap in technology leaving the US defenseless against far more powerful foreign foes, and they've already been priming us for it. Republican Rachel Maddow aka Tucker Carlson has been shrilly pushing this narrative for weeks now and demanding that the US government do more to address the fact that in alleged encounters with these aircraft, "our military was completely outmatched technologically by whatever these were."

"UFOs, it turns out, are real, and whatever else they are, they’re a prima facie challenge to the United States military," Carlson said on a segment last month. "They’re doing things the U.S. military does not allow, and they’re doing it with impunity. And they appear to be focused on the U.S. military."

"Why isn’t the Pentagon more focused on this? It seems like a threat if there ever was one," Carlson huffed.

In another segment Carlson had on military intelligence veteran Luis Elizondo, a leading figure in the steadily intensifying new UFO narrative which kicked off in 2017, claiming the aforementioned Senate report on the subject will reveal "an intelligence failure on the part of the US intel community on the level of 9/11."

"If there's a foreign adversary that can put a nuclear warhead within moments over Washington DC, okay, that's a problem," Elizondo told Carlson's Fox News audience.

All this over some completely unverifiable testimony, and a few videos being confirmed by the Pentagon which can all be explained by easily identifiable mundane phenomena.

I can't predict the future, but I won't be at all surprised if we begin seeing this arms race angle become the dominant aspect of this UFO story in the coming months/years. It would certainly fit the pattern of the US war machine and mass media promoting completely unverifiable allegations about foreign governments to justify further cold war escalations.

In the early sixties President John F Kennedy falsely promoted the "missile gap" narrative, telling the public that the Soviet Union had surpassed the United States in nuclear weapons when he knew full well the US nuclear arsenal had always far surpassed the USSR's in number, quality and deployment. Kennedy used this hawkish narrative to win an election and advance the largest peacetime expansion of US military power ever, leading directly to the events which gave rise to the Cuban Missile Crisis which came far closer to ending our world than most of us like to think about.

I have no idea what if anything is going on with these UFO phenomena, but I do know the world-threatening new cold war the US is waging against Russia and China is insane. There is no valid reason our planet's dominant power structures cannot at the very least cease brandishing armageddon weapons at each other and begin collaborating toward a better world together.

Reject the propagandists and cold warriors, no matter how elaborate or bizarre their manipulations become. Keep an eye on these bastards, and help spread awareness of what they're about.


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Tyler Durden Fri, 06/04/2021 - 17:40


State department officials say they were told not to open 'Pandora's Box' by probing Wuhan lab leak

'It smelled like a cover-up': Four state department employees reveal how they were repeatedly told not to open 'Pandora's Box' and probe if COVID originated from Wuhan lab At least four State Department employees said in separate interviews that they repeatedly were 'warned' that an investigation in


Are Your Eyes Playing Tricks on You?


The act of vision and seeing seems so effortless that it may be difficult to appreciate the sophisticated, and yet poorly understood, neurological processes that underlie the mechanism. In the past several decades neuroscience has found there are nearly 30 different areas of the brain that process visual information1 sent from the retina through the optic nerve to the brain.

There are dozens of diseases that have ocular symptoms, which means ophthalmologists and optometrists may be the first to help you recognize certain medical conditions.2 Data from one study3,4 of 120,000 patients suggest an eye exam may be the first indication of problems in 39% of people with high blood pressure and 34% of people with diabetes.

Dr. Rachel Bishop, chief of the National Eye Institute’s consult service, who was not involved in the study, affirmed the research results when speaking with a reporter from CNN Health, saying:5

“If the retinal blood vessels are unhealthy, there's every reason to think the brain blood vessels are unhealthy as well. The blood vessel supply is essential to all function — the function of all organs — and so if the blood vessels are unable to do their job, there's no way the brain can be functioning as well as a brain that has a good [blood] supply."

When asked for her opinion related to screening the eye and retina for potential negative conditions in the brain, such as memory loss, Bishop said, “I share a common hope we could detect things early enough and have interventions early enough to change the course of a negative [brain] event."6

Have you ever thought that being tricked by an optical illusion means your eyesight has changed? It hasn’t. Illusion is not a function of disease, but is the difference between what your eyes see and your brain perceives.

Interestingly, this is a function of vision that marketers use and psychologists have been testing for years. Some suggest it plays a role in your perception of the pandemic.7

White’s Illusion Created With Light Dark Patterns

One of the first illusions used in testing is now commonly referred to as White’s Illusion. Michael White, from the University of Adelaide, Australia, was reading a book in 1976 in which a design of an 11th grade student was published.8 The design was made of black, white and gray elements that appeared to have different shades of lightness and darkness.

He was intrigued by the effect and went on to explore further, discovering that when stripes of black and white are partially replaced by gray, the brightness appears to shift. It's an optical illusion. Colored versions of the illusion were published by psychologist Hans Munker in 19709 and became known as the Munker Illusion.10

Using this trick, colors can completely change before your eyes. It works even when you know that it's wrong. The illusion relies on your brain's perception of color. As in White’s Illusion that uses black, white and gray, Munker’s Illusion relies on three colors.

One color covers the background, a second color offers tinted shapes, and the third color presents bars that go over the entire picture. In one picture, the background is dark and the bars are bright, and in the second picture this is reversed. The color of the shape doesn't change, but it appears to change as you look at it. Even when you know the trick and see it done before your eyes, you still see the shape change color.

Today, the phenomenon is known as the Munker-White Illusion. David Novick, professor of engineering education and leadership at the University of Texas at El Paso, described the process to a reporter at Live Science.11 He said that although the shape appears identical, the color “bleeds over, or assimilates, to adjacent spaces.”

The illusion depends on the color of the stripes in the foreground and not the color of the background. When the stripes are removed, the illusion disappears. There are competing theories as to how the shift in perception happens. Some believe the illusion happens at the retina, before signals reach the brain, while others believe the illusion takes place while the brain processes the data.

Novick has discovered that the illusion appears to be more vivid when spheres are used on the image and not flat discs. In 2017 he began working on a new version for fun and posted some to his Twitter account.

One of these images received nearly 17,000 likes and 6,700 retweets in two weeks. He was surprised by how quickly his optical illusion became a viral image. He said in a press release:12

“These sorts of illusions are really the domain of specialists in visual perception. My illusions typically get just a few likes. The most popular ones might get 40. The point of disseminating the illusions was to share my research results and correspondingly to get feedback from other people working in this area.”

Gorilla Business Tests Selective Visual Perception

In a now famous experiment from the late 1990s, Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris asked participants to count the number of basketball passes between people dressed in white and in black. You may have seen the original video in which a gorilla saunters among the players, pounds his chest and then leaves the screen. In the study, nearly half of the participants didn’t see the gorilla.13

Simons used the notoriety of the video to test whether knowing about the gorilla would increase or decrease the viewer's ability to see other unexpected events. Simons showed the above video to the participants in the study. Before reading on, you may want to test yourself by watching the short video. Simons suggested:14

“You can make two competing predictions. Knowing about the invisible gorilla might increase your chances of noticing other unexpected events because you know that the task tests whether people spot unexpected events.

You might look for other events because you know that the experimenter is up to something. [Alternatively,] knowing about the gorilla might lead viewers to look for gorillas exclusively, and when they find one, they might fail to notice anything else out of the ordinary.”

The results were interesting. Just as in the past experiment, nearly half of the people who had never heard or seen the video did not see the gorilla in the new video. However, there were participants who had seen the original video. In this group all of them spotted the gorilla in the new experiment.

However, the new experiment also included two other unexpected events. Only 17% of the people who expected to see the gorilla noticed one or both, yet 29% who did not expect the gorilla saw at least one of the unexpected events.

The researchers said this was not a statistically significant difference, but it did demonstrate that knowing beforehand that there may be unexpected events did not improve your ability to perceive other unexpected events. Simons explained:15

“The main finding is that knowing that unexpected events might occur doesn’t prevent you from missing unexpected events. People who are familiar with the purpose and conclusions of the original study — that people can miss obvious events when focused on something else — still miss other obvious events in exactly that same context.

Even when they know that the experimenter is going to fool them, they can miss something that’s obvious, something that they could spot perfectly well if they knew it was there.”

The Difference Between Vision and Perception

Visual illusions demonstrate that our vision and brain have the potential to misperceive reality. The Munker-White Illusion reinforces the idea that your brain sometimes generates a story that does not match the physical world.

Neuroscientist Patrick Cavanagh from Dartmouth College spoke with a reporter from Vox, saying, “It’s really important to understand we’re not seeing reality. We’re seeing a story that’s being created for us.”16

According to one published paper,17 your visual experience is likely based on input from the retina to the cerebral cortex, while your perception of what you are seeing is more complex than “a simple topographical representation of the visual world.” In other words, what your brain perceives that it sees is more than the image delivered by the retina. 

Science has shown us that what your brain perceives as reality may not always be right. And, as the Vox reporter then asks, “Shouldn't we be curious about, and even seek out the answers to, how that reality might be wrong?”18

Evidence suggests the brain can unconsciously change your perception to meet your expectations using your past experiences. In other words, what you see may be biased by what you've experienced in the past. How the brain perceives color is also impacted by life experiences.

Sam Schwarzkopf from the University of Auckland talked about how the eye differentiates color, saying,19 “We’re not trying to measure wavelengths; we’re trying to tell something about the color. And the color is an illusion created by our brain.”

Life Experiences and ‘The Dress’

Have you seen the optical illusion called “The Dress?” In 2015, a photo of a dress taken in a U.K. store circulated the internet. It appeared that many people saw the dress as black and blue, and others saw the image as white and gold. Pascal Wallisch, a neuroscientist at New York University, dug deep into why people's brains may interpret this image differently.20

He believes that the brain uses different filtering schemes based on life experiences that lead you to see the dress as black and blue or white and gold. He did a study of 13,000 people using an online survey and found some interesting correlations, including that people who like to go to bed late and wake up late in the morning are more likely to report the dress was black and blue.

Conversely, people who went to bed early and got up early were more likely to see the dress as white and gold. Wallisch hypothesized that people who wake up early spend more time in daylight, and when looking at a poorly lit image they are more likely to filter out the blue light from sunlight. When the brain assumes it's daylight, your eyes see the dress as white and gold.

He believes the brains of night owls assume artificial lighting, which makes the dress look black and blue. Another study21 used functional magnetic resonance imaging and found those who thought the dress was white and gold had higher activation in their brain regions that were involved in higher cognition.

Although scientists have not completely answered the question of why people see the dress differently, it's important to remember what illusions teach us — our brains fill in ambiguity with our past experience.

In 2003, scientists had the opportunity to test some of these theories using a man who had lost his sight at 3 1/2 years of age and had it restored when he was 40.22 What they found was that without a lifetime of visual experiences to make predictions, he was not fooled by illusions.

Test Your Eyes and Exercise Your Brain

On the surface, it may seem as if this research has no functional application. Yet, it may be that some of the processes that define your perception of sight explain emotion-biased reasoning that produces justification for decisions rather than decision-making based on empirical evidence.

As the reporter from Vox points out,23 a variety of experiments have demonstrated that when the information is unclear, we tend to see what we want to see.24,25 Wallisch named the phenomenon that generates different perceptions based on individual characteristics “substantial uncertainty combined with ramified or forked priors and assumptions yields disagreement” (SURFPAD).26

In other words, when you are exposed to a stimulus that isn't perfectly clear, your brain fills in gaps with your prior experience and makes a presumption about reality. Because each of us have different prior experiences, it can lead to a disagreement about what is happening in an image or an event. In June 2020, Wallisch commented on how people's prior experiences have colored their perception of COVID-19, saying:27

“If there is a spike, it will be hard to discern whether it was reopening or protests, so people will go with their prior. As the priors are different, there will be massive disagreement ... What’s truly terrifying is that given this framework, no matter what happens, [people] will feel vindicated, reinforcing the strength of the prior and increasing polarization.”

It is important to remember that you are not limited by your past experiences. Instead, you can incorporate evidence-based data and seek out verified sources and information for any event. Instead of accepting what experts or the news media may be telling you, it's important to question the information and compare it against historical data. Illusions remind you that reality is not always what you see.



German Study Finds Lockdown "Had No Effect" In Stopping Spread Of COVID

German Study Finds Lockdown "Had No Effect" In Stopping Spread Of COVID

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major new study by German scientists at Munich University has found that lockdowns had no effect on reducing the country’s coronavirus infection rate.


“Statisticians at Munich University found “no direct connection” between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country,” reports the Telegraph.

The study found that, on all three occasions before Germany imposed its lockdowns in November, December and April, infection rates had already begun to fall.

The R rate – the number that indicates how many other people an infected person passes the virus to – was already under 1 before the lockdown restrictions came into force.

As we highlighted last year, a leaked study from inside the German Ministry of the Interior revealed that the impact of the country’s lockdown could end up killing more people than the coronavirus due to victims of other serious illnesses not receiving treatment.

This is by no means the only study to have concluded that lockdowns are completely useless and don’t work.

A peer reviewed study published in January by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.

Back in March, Stanford medical professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”

Earlier this year, academics from Duke, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins concluded that there could be around a million excess deaths over the next two decades as a result of lockdowns.

Other research has concluded lockdowns will conservatively “destroy at least seven times more years of human life” than they save.

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Tyler Durden Sat, 06/05/2021 - 09:20


Fauci Emails: How Top Public Health Officials Spun Tangled Web of Lies Around COVID Origin, Treatments


Guest Post by Meryl Nass MD

Could four key public health officials have been intimately involved in the creation of the pandemic, as well as the prolongation and improper treatments used during the pandemic?

Fauci Emails: A tangled web of lies.

In early 2020, there was a lot of chatter about where the virus, later named SARS-CoV-2, actually came from.

In an excellent, detailed article written earlier this month for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, former New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade described how two short pieces published in March 2020 — one in The Lancet and one in Nature Medicine — determined how this chatter would be channeled to the public.

These two extraordinarily influential pieces, each published under the heading “correspondence,” were parroted by mainstream media for a year. Both were plainly intended to shut down any discussion of the possibility that the virus originated in a lab.

Listen here as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and I discuss these issues:

As I read both the Lancet and Nature papers in March 2020, it became immediately apparent each was designed as a propaganda tool. Neither was based on science.

I was so intrigued by these articles, I searched the web to better understand them. That’s when I discovered Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who had blogged on March 26, 2020, about the Nature article, suggesting the article should put an end to conspiracy theories about lab origin.

Collins wrote:

“Either way, this study leaves little room to refute a natural origin for COVID-19. And that’s a good thing because it helps us keep focused on what really matters: observing good hygiene, practicing social distancing, and supporting the efforts of all the dedicated health-care professionals and researchers who are working so hard to address this major public health challenge.”

I wondered why five otherwise credible scientists would sign their names to the Nature article — and why Collins would endorse the article’s conclusion — when the arguments made in the paper were nonsensical, in my opinion.

I eventually concluded the authors had been put up to writing the paper by a “hidden hand.”

How had I reached that conclusion, even before Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails were uncovered Wednesday?

Months ago, in another email drop obtained by U.S. Right to Know, we learned Peter Daszac, CEO of the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, was the primary but hidden author of the Lancet article.

Daszac was also the primary beneficiary of the article’s conclusion — that the virus evolved in nature — as his organization had been used as the pass-through to send money from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Fauci, to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, in Wuhan, China. (Some might consider this method of giving out grants as a fancy way of money laundering.)

Daszac, like Fauci, earned more than $400,000/year. He was also a member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID origins investigative team, and had been selected as the head of the Lancet COVID origins investigative team, which appears now to be dead in the water.

The WHO and the Lancet thus seem to be co-conspirators, choosing the fox (Daszac) to guard the henhouse (the theory that COVID evolved in nature).

The release Wednesday of Fauci’s emails, obtained by BuzzFeed News through the Freedom of Information Act, help to further clear up some of the mystery behind why five well-known scientists co-authored drivel — which the venerable Nature journal published, and which was then used as the foundation to support the natural origin theory.

One of the emails strongly indicates Andersen, lead author of the Nature paper, knew he was participating in a con job. In a Feb. 1, 2020, email to fauci, Andersen expressed his own concerns about some of the “unusual features of the virus.” Andersen appears to be worried these features suggest laboratory tampering.

But Andersen then reassures Fauci these “unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”

Fauci email

In another email to Fauci, Andersen thanks three incredibly important people — Fauci, Collins and Sir Jeremy Farrar — for their “advice and leadership” regarding the paper. All three are M.D. researchers who dole out more money for medical research than anyone else in the world, with the exception perhaps of Bill Gates.

Fauci email

Fauci runs the NIAID, Collins is the NIH director (nominally Fauci’s boss) and Farrar is director of the Wellcome Trust. Farrar also signed the Lancet letter. And he is chair of the WHO’s R&D Blueprint Scientific Advisory Group, which put him in the driver’s seat of the WHO’s Solidarity trial, in which 1,000 unwitting subjects were overdosed with hydroxychloroquine in order to sink the use of that drug for COVID.

Farrar had worked in Vietnam, where there was lots of malaria, and he had also been involved with SARS-1 there. He additionally was central in setting up the UK Recovery trial, where 1,600 subjects were overdosed with hydroxychloroquine.

Even if Farrar didn’t have some idea of the proper dose of chloroquine drugs from his experience in Vietnam, he, Fauci and Collins would have learned about such overdoses after Brazil told the world about how they mistakenly overdosed patients in a trial of chloroquine for COVID. The revelation was made in an article published in the JAMA in mid-April 2020. Thirty-nine percent of the subjects in Brazil who were given high doses of chloroquine died, average age 50.

Yet the Solidarity and Recovery hydroxychloroquine trials continued into June, stopping only after their extreme doses were exposed.

Fauci made sure to control the treatment guidelines for COVID that came out of the NIAID, advising against both chloroquine drugs and ivermectin. Fauci’s NIAID also cancelled the first large-scale trial of hydroxychloroquine treatment in early disease, after only 20 of the expected 2,000 subjects were enrolled.

What does all this mean?

  1. There was a conspiracy between the five authors of the Nature paper and the heads of the NIH, NIAID and Wellcome Trust to cover up the lab origin of COVID.
  2. There was a conspiracy involving Daszac, Fauci and others to push the natural origin theory. (See other emails in the recent drop.)
  3. There was a conspiracy involving Daszac to write the Lancet letter and hide its provenance, to push the natural origin theory and paint any other ideas as conspiracy theory. Collin’s blog post is another piece of this story.
  4. Farrar was intimately involved in both large hydroxychloroquine overdose trials, in which about 500 subjects total died.
  5. Farrar, Fauci and Collins withheld research funds that could have supported quality trials of the use of chloroquine drugs and ivermectin and other repurposed drugs that might have turned around the pandemic.
  6. Are the four individuals named here — Fauci, Daszak, Collins and Farrar —  intimately involved in the creation of the pandemic, as well as the prolongation and improper treatments used during the pandemic?

For more background, read by two earlier posts on this subject from March and April 2020. I don’t want to take credit improperly for these discoveries — Dan Sirotkin noticed and wrote about the Nature article before I did, and wrote lucidly about it. I did not see his writing until much later.


Latest VAERS Data Show: 5,165 Deaths Reported Following COVID Vaccines


Via Children’s Health Defense

VAERS data released today showed 294,801 reports of adverse events following COVID vaccines, including 5,165 deaths and 25,359 serious injuries between Dec. 14, 2020 and May 28, 2021.

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S.

This week’s number of reported deaths among all age groups following COVID vaccines passed the 5,000 mark, up 759 from last week, according to data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data comes directly from reports submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

VAERS is the primary government-funded system for reporting adverse vaccine reactions in the U.S. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a causal relationship can be confirmed.

Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date. Today’s data show that between Dec. 14, 2020 and May 28, a total of 294,801 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 5,165 deaths — an increase of 759 over the previous week. There were 25,359 serious injuries reported, up 3,822 compared with last week.

Among 12- to 17-year-olds, there were 40 reports of heart inflammation and 16 cases of blood clotting disorders.

From the 5/28/21 release of VAERS data.

In the U.S., 292.1 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered as of May 28. This includes 123 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, 158 million doses of Pfizer and 11 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine.

Of the 5,165 deaths reported as of May 28, 24% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, 16% occurred within 24 hours and 38% occurred in people who became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

This week’s data for 12- to 17-year-olds show:

This week’s total VAERS data, from Dec. 14, 2020, to May 28, 2021, for all age groups show:

Seven cases of heart inflammation reported in teen boys, new study shows

On June 4, The Defender reported seven boys between the ages of 14 and 19 in the U.S. reportedly developed chest pain and heart inflammation within four days of receiving a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to a study published today in Pediatrics.

Heart imaging tests detected a rare type of heart muscle inflammation called myocarditis and pericarditis. None of the teens were critically ill but all were hospitalized.

Only one of the seven boys in the Pediatrics report displayed evidence of a possible previous COVID infection, and doctors determined none of them had a rare inflammatory condition linked with COVID or pre-existing conditions. It is possible myocarditis or pericarditis may be an additional rare adverse event related to systemic reactogenicity, but currently no causal association has been established between this vaccine and myopericarditis, the authors concluded.

A search in VAERS revealed 628 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, among all age groups reported in the U.S following COVID vaccination between Dec.14, 2020 and May 28. Of the 628 cases reported, 392 cases were attributed to Pfizer, 206 cases to Moderna and 27 cases to J&J’s COVID vaccine.

Of the 628 total cases of heart inflammation, 40 cases occurred in children ages 12 to 17, all attributed to Pfizer’s COVID vaccine.

Israeli health officials find probable link between Pfizer vaccine and heart inflammation

As The Defender reported June 2, Israeli health officials found a probable link between Pfizer’s COVID vaccine — which the country has relied on almost exclusively in its vaccination drive — and dozens of cases of heart inflammation in young men following the second dose.

A study by Israeli health officials identified 275 cases of myocarditis in Israel between December 2020 and May 2021, including 148 cases that occurred within a month after vaccination. Of those 148 cases, 27 occurred after the first dose and 121 after the second dose. About half of the cases involved people with previous medical conditions.

Many of the cases were reported among men 16 to 30 years old, and most often in 16- to 19-year-olds. Most of the patients were discharged from the hospital in less than four days, and 95% of the cases were considered mild.

New research shows COVID vaccine spike protein travels from injection site

On June 3, The Defender reported on research obtained by a group of scientists showing the COVID vaccine spike protein can travel from the injection site and accumulate in organs and tissues including the spleen, bone marrow, liver, adrenal glands and in “quite high concentrations” in the ovaries.

COVID vaccine researchers had previously assumed mRNA COVID vaccines would behave like traditional vaccines. The vaccine’s spike protein — responsible for infection and its most severe symptoms — would remain mostly in the injection site at the shoulder muscle or local lymph nodes.

The new research for the first time provided scientists the opportunity to see  where messenger RNA [mRNA] vaccines go after vaccination.”

Woman who almost died after J&J vaccine stuck with $1 million in medical bills

As The Defender reported June 2, a 38-year-old woman who suffered multiple organ failure from J&J’s COVID vaccine said victims should be compensated by the government for taking the risk.

Kendra Lippy was diagnosed with severe blood clots resulting in 33 days of hospitalization. She suffered organ failure, and was left without most of her small intestine — and with crippling medical bills.

Lippy’s case was one of the six that led federal agencies to temporarily pause the J&J shot in mid-April.

Because the government shielded vaccine makers from liability, Lippy can’t sue J&J. She also doesn’t have a legitimate legal route to sue the government. The only current option for people who have suffered COVID vaccine injuries is the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which turns down most applicants. Fewer than one in 10 people receive compensation after applying.

According to data from CICP, more than 701 claim filings since 2010 have been received from individuals requesting compensation for injuries. Of the 701 claims, only 29 claims were compensated totaling $6 million. Another 452 claims were deemed ineligible. There are 210 cases pending. As of May 26, CICP had received 152 claims involving COVID vaccines, and 293 involving other treatments.

Moderna applies for full FDA approval of its COVID vaccine

On June 1, CNBC reported Moderna asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for full U.S. approval of its COVID vaccine — the second drugmaker in the U.S. to seek a biologics license that will allow it to market the shots directly to consumers. The mRNA vaccine is currently only approved under an Emergency Use Authorization, which was granted by the FDA in December. The FDA approval process is likely to take months.

On May 10, the FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorization for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to include 12- to 15-year-olds. On May 7, the vaccine maker also applied for full approval of its vaccine. Currently, only Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for emergency use in the 12 to 15 age group.

88 days and counting, CDC ignores The Defender’s inquiries

According to the CDC website, “the CDC follows up on any report of death to request additional information and learn more about what occurred and to determine whether the death was a result of the vaccine or unrelated.”

On March 8, The Defender contacted the CDC with a written list of questions about reported deaths and injuries related to COVID vaccines. After repeated attempts, by phone and email, to obtain a response to our questions, a health communications specialist from the CDC’s Vaccine Task Force contacted us on March 29 — three weeks after our initial inquiry.

The individual received our request for information from VAERS, but said she had never received our list of questions, even though employees we talked to several times said CDC press officers were working through the questions and confirmed the representative had received them. We provided the list of questions again along with a new deadline, but never received a response.

On May 19, a CDC employee said our questions had been reviewed and our inquiry was pending in their system, but would not provide us with a copy of the response. We were told we would be contacted by phone or email with the response.

On June 4, the CDC employee we contacted said our request was pending in the system, but nobody had responded to our inquiries. We were advised to submit our questions again, which we have done numerous times.

It has been 88 days since we sent our first email inquiring into VAERS data and reports.

Children’s Health Defense asks anyone who has experienced an adverse reaction, to any vaccine, to file a report following these three steps.


BREAKING: High-Ranking Chinese Defector Working With DIA Has 'Direct Knowledge' of China's Bioweapons Program—and It's Very Bad

In an exclusive story at RedState, Jen Van Laar reports that sources inside the intelligence community say a high-ranking defector from China has been working for months with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).


Friday, June 4, 2021

Trump Suspended From Facebook, Instagram for Two Years

Facebook said Friday that Donald Trump’s accounts with the social giant will be suspended for two years — until January 2023 — and will only be reinstated “if conditions permit.”


Weiss: What Happens When Doctors Can't Tell The Truth?

Weiss: What Happens When Doctors Can't Tell The Truth?

Authored by Bari Weiss via Substack,

Whole areas of research are off-limits. Top physicians treat patients based on their race. An ideological 'purge' is underway in American medicine...

Several hundred health-care workers protest against police brutality on June 5, 2020, in St Louis. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

I always thought that if you lived through a revolution it would be obvious to everyone. As it turns out, that’s not true. Revolutions can be bloodless, incremental and subtle. And they don’t require a strongman. They just require a sufficient number of well-positioned true believers and cowards, like those sitting in the C-suite of nearly every major institution in American life.

That’s one of the lessons I have learned over the past few years as the institutions that have upheld the liberal order  our publishing houses, our universities, our schools, our non-profits, our tech companies  have embraced a Manichean ideology that divides people by identity and punishes anyone that doesn’t adhere to every aspect of that orthodoxy.

This is wrong when it happens at a company Apple or Condé Nast. But there are sectors where the stakes of the ideological takeover are higher. Like K-12 education.

Readers of this newsletter know that I’ve been particularly focused on it. In part, this is because the legacy press is ignoring or lying about the story. In part it’s because the stakes feel so high.

But if any area is more urgent, it is the world of medicine, where the ability to speak truthfully is quite literally a matter of life and death. Without being able to discuss reality and take intellectual risks, it’s impossible to get to the truth. No truth, no medical progress.

For several months, I have been talking to a group of doctors who are alarmed at what they are witnessing in some of the top medical schools and hospitals in the country. It was clear that this was a story that deserved to be told. And Katie Herzog was the perfect person to pursue it.

Katie could have had a career as a stand-up, but for some reason she decided to become a journalist. And she is a fearless one. I first learned of her work when she was writing for The Stranger in Seattle, covering topics including detransition, the scandal at Evergreen State College, and the impact of what we now call cancel culture on some small businesses in the Pacific Northwest. She is now, along with Jesse Singal, the host of a podcast called Blocked and Reported

This story is the first in a series.

*  *  *

‘People Are Afraid to Speak Honestly’

They meet once a month on Zoom: a dozen doctors from around the country with distinguished careers in different specialities. They vary in ethnicity, age and sexual orientation. Some work for the best hospitals in the U.S. or teach at top medical schools. Others are dedicated to serving the most vulnerable populations in their communities. 

The meetings are largely a support group. The members share their concerns about what’s going on in their hospitals and universities, and strategize about what to do. What is happening, they say, is the rapid spread of a deeply illiberal ideology in the country’s most important medical institutions. 

This dogma goes by many imperfect names — wokeness, social justice, critical race theory, anti-racism — but whatever it’s called, the doctors say this ideology is stifling critical thinking and dissent in the name of progress. They say that it’s turning students against their teachers and patients and racializing even the smallest interpersonal interactions. Most concerning, they insist that it is threatening the foundations of patient care, of research, and of medicine itself.

These aren’t secret bigots who long for the “good old days” that were bad for so many. They are largely politically progressive, and they are the first to say that there are inequities in medicine that must be addressed. Sometimes it’s overt racism from colleagues or patients, but more often the problem is deeper, baked into the very systems clinicians use to determine treatment.

“There’s a calculator that people have used for decades that predicts the likelihood of having a successful vaginal delivery after you've had a cesarean,” one obstetrician in the Northeast told me. “You put in the age of the person, how much they weigh, and their race. And if they’re black, it calculates that they are less likely to have successful vaginal delivery. That means clinicians are more likely to counsel black patients to get c-sections, a surgery they might not actually need.” 

There’s no biological reason for race to be a factor here, which is why the calculator just changed this year. But this is an example of how system-wide bias can harm black mothers, who are two to three times more likely to die in childbirth than white women even when you control for factors like income and education, which often make racial disparities disappear.

But while this obstetrician and others see the problems endemic in their field, they’re also alarmed by the dogma currently spreading throughout medical schools and hospitals. 

I’ve heard from doctors who’ve been reported to their departments for criticizing residents for being late. (It was seen by their trainees as an act of racism.) I’ve heard from doctors who’ve stopped giving trainees honest feedback for fear of retaliation. I’ve spoken to those who have seen clinicians and residents refuse to treat patients based on their race or their perceived conservative politics.

Some of these doctors say that there is a “purge” underway in the world of American medicine: question the current orthodoxy and you will be pushed out. They are so worried about the dangers of speaking out about their concerns that they will not let me identify them except by the region of the country where they work. 

“People are afraid to speak honestly,” said a doctor who immigrated to the U.S. from the Soviet Union. “It’s like back to the USSR, where you could only speak to the ones you trust.” If the authorities found out, you could lose your job, your status, you could go to jail or worse. The fear here is not dissimilar. 

When doctors do speak out, shared another, “the reaction is savage. And you better be tenured and you better have very thick skin.”

“We’re afraid of what's happening to other people happening to us,” a doctor on the West Coast told me. “We are seeing people being fired. We are seeing people's reputations being sullied. There are members of our group who say, ‘I will be asked to leave a board. I will endanger the work of the nonprofit that I lead if this comes out.’ People are at risk of being totally marginalized and having to leave their institutions.” 

While the hyper focus on identity is seen by many proponents of social justice ideology as a necessary corrective to America’s past sins, some people working in medicine are deeply concerned by what “justice” and “equity” actually look like in practice.

“The intellectual foundation for this movement is the Marxist view of the world, but stripped of economics and replaced with race determinism,” one psychologist explained. “Because you have a huge group of people, mostly people of color, who have been underserved, it was inevitable that this model was going to be applied to the world of medicine. And it has been.”  

‘Whole Areas of Research Are Off-Limits’

“Wokeness feels like an existential threat,” a doctor from the Northwest said. “In health care, innovation depends on open, objective inquiry into complex problems, but that’s now undermined by this simplistic and racialized worldview where racism is seen as the cause of all disparities, despite robust data showing it’s not that simple.”

“Whole research areas are off-limits,” he said, adding that some of what is being published in the nation’s top journals is “shoddy as hell.” 

Here, he was referring in part to a study published last year in the Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. The study was covered all over the news, with headlines like “Black Newborns More Likely to Die When Looked After by White Doctors” (CNN), “The Lack of Black Doctors is Killing Black Babies” (Fortune), and “Black Babies More Likely to Survive when Cared for by Black Doctors” (The Guardian).

Despite these breathless headlines, the study was so methodologically flawed that, according to several of the doctors I spoke with, it’s impossible to extrapolate any conclusions about how the race of the treating doctor impacts patient outcomes at all. And yet very few people were willing to publicly criticize it. As Vinay Prasad, a clinician and a professor at the University of California San Francisco, put it on Twitter: “I am aware of dozens of people who agree with my assessment of this paper and are scared to comment.” 

“It’s some of the most shoddy, methodologically flawed research we’ve ever seen published in these journals,” the doctor in the Zoom meeting said, “with sensational conclusions that seem totally unjustified from the results of the study.”

“It’s frustrating because we all know how hard it is to get good, sound research published,” he added. “So do those rules and quality standards no longer apply to this topic, or to these authors, or for a certain time period?”

At the same time that the bar appears to be lower for articles and studies that push an anti-racist agenda, the consequences for questioning or criticizing that agenda can be high. 

Just ask Norman Wang. Last year, the University of Pittsburgh cardiologist was demoted by his department after he published a paper in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) analyzing and criticizing diversity initiatives in cardiology. Looking at 50 years of data, Wang argued that affirmative action and other diversity initiatives have failed to both meaningfully increase the percentage of black and Hispanic clinicians in his field or to improve patient outcomes. Rather than admitting, hiring and promoting clinicians based on their race, he argued for race-neutral policies in medicine. 

“Long-term academic solutions and excellence should not be sacrificed for short-term demographic optics,” Wang wrote. “Ultimately, all who aspire to a profession in medicine and cardiology must be assessed as individuals on the basis of their personal merits, not their racial and ethnic identities.”

At first, there was little response. But four months after it was published, screenshots of the paper began circulating on Twitter and others in the field began accusing Wang of racism. Sharonne Hayes, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, implored colleagues to “rise up.” “The fact that this is published in ‘our’ journal should both enrage & activate all of us,” she wrote, adding the hashtag #RetractRacists.

Soon after, Barry London, the editor in chief of JAHA, issued an apology and the journal retracted the work over Wang’s objection. London cited no specific errors in Wang’s paper in his statement, just that publishing it was antithetical to his and the journal’s values. Retraction, in a case like this, is exceedingly rare: When papers are retracted, it’s generally because of the data or the study has been discredited. A search of the journal’s website and the Retraction Database found records of just two retractions in JAHA: Wang’s paper and a 2019 paper that erroneously linked heart attacks to vaping.

After the outcry, the American Heart Association (AHA), which publishes the journal, issued a statement denouncing Wang’s paper and promising an investigation. In a tweet, the organization said it “does NOT represent AHA values. JAHA is editorially independent but that’s no excuse. We’ll investigate. We’ll do better. We’re invested in helping to build a diverse health care and research community.” 

As the criticism mounted, Wang was removed from his position as the director of a fellowship program in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and was prohibited from making any contact with students. His boss reportedly told him that his classroom was “inherently unsafe” due to the views he expressed.

Wang is now suing both the AHA and the University of Pittsburgh for defamation and violating his First Amendment rights. To the doctors on the Zoom call, his case was a stark warning of what can happen when one questions policies like affirmative action, which, according to recent polling, is opposed by nearly two-thirds of Americans, including majorities of blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. 

“I’m into efforts to make medicine more diverse,” a doctor from the Zoom group said. “But what’s gone off the rails here is that there is an intolerance of people that have another point of view. And that's going to hurt us all.”

JAHA isn’t the only journal issuing apologies. In February, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released a podcast hosted by surgeon and then-deputy journal editor Edward Livingston, who questioned the value of the hyper focus on race in medicine as well as the idea that medicine is systemically racist. 

“Personally, I think taking racism out of the conversation will help,” Livingston said at one point. “Many of us are offended by the concept that we are racist.”

It’s possible Livingston’s comments would have gone unnoticed but JAMA promoted the podcast on Twitter with the tone-deaf text: “No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?” 

Even more than in the case of Norman Wang, this tweet, and the podcast it promoted, led to a massive uproar. A number of researchers vowed to boycott the journal, and a petition condemning JAMA has received over 9,000 signatures. In response to the backlash, JAMA quickly deleted the episode, promised to investigate, and asked Livingston to resign from his job. He did.

If you try to access the podcast today, you find an apology in its place from JAMA editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner, who called Livingston’s statements, “inaccurate, offensive, hurtful and inconsistent with the standards of JAMA.” Bauchner was also suspended by JAMA pending an independent investigation. This Tuesday, JAMA announced that Bauchner officially stepped down. In a statement, he said he is “profoundly disappointed in myself for the lapses that led to the publishing of the tweet and podcast. Although I did not write or even see the tweet, or create the podcast, as editor in chief, I am ultimately responsible for them.” 

Shortly after this announcement, the New York Times reported that “JAMA’s reckoning” led to a backlash from some JAMA members, who wrote in a letter to the organization that “there is a general feeling that the firing of the editors involved in the podcast was perhaps precipitous, possibly a blot on free speech and also possibly an example of reverse discrimination.” Bauchner’s last day at JAMA is June 30.

Calling Out Patients

What happened to Norman Wang, Edward Livingston, and Howard Bauchner contribute to what one clinician described as a “a chilly atmosphere.” That chill extends to teaching the next generation of doctors. 

“Some attending physicians are hesitant to provide constructive criticism to trainees over fears of being perceived as racist,” a doctor in the Northeast said. “You ask yourself, ‘Is this worth bringing up?’ You second guess yourself.”

The doctor said this ideology has impacted how some trainees and physicians respond when they encounter bias from patients, which is hardly uncommon for people working in health care. Female doctors are mistaken for nurses. Black doctors are mistaken for aides. Patients refuse care from doctors who aren’t white. 

A Jewish doctor in the Northeast told me about encountering antisemitism at work. 

“Years ago, I had a guy slowly roll up his sleeve and put his arm down on the table in front of me and he had a big swastika tattoo. And he says my name and repeats it slowly three times. Clearly he is saying he knows I’m Jewish. And I looked at his arm and said, ‘Does it hurt to get a tattoo? I never learned much about that.’ He actually chuckled.”

The doctor kept seeing the patient, who gradually stopped doing drugs, got a job, and pieced his life together. “Twelve years later,” he said, “I was leaving that program and on our last visit, he had a terrible rash on his arm. I said we had to treat that rash, and this big, tough guy started crying. He said, ‘I knew I was going to see you. I was trying to rub it off.’ How about that? People are changeable, but it takes time and it can’t be done by scolding.” 

This was what he was taught in his training years ago: You meet patients where they are, help them as much as you can, and hope they are better off for the encounter. 

That philosophy, however, is changing. Increasingly, the doctors told me, this next generation of trainees seem to believe it’s also their duty to confront patients about their own prejudice — whether they’re open to it or not. 

Last year at Harvard Medical School, a seasoned psychiatrist interviewed an elderly white patient about his battle with substance abuse on Zoom. The patient talked about shame. He felt so much guilt over his drinking and his past behavior, he said that the only person he could have ever confided in was an Eskimo in Alaska who didn’t speak English — and even then, he would have to slit his throat.

It was the sort of thing health-care workers occasionally hear. Historically, the guideline in a situation like that would be to ignore it: They were there to discuss addiction, not the patient’s insensitivity. But a Native American student named Victor Anthony Lopez-Carmen observing the session on Zoom was disturbed. He wrote about it later in Teen Vogue: “His words sparked an immediate, visceral reaction. I felt my blood pressure rise and anxiety overtake my mind and body. My next reaction was to look at how the rest of my classmates were responding. The blank, remote expression on some of their faces, and the silence that followed, remains burned into my psyche.”

When neither the psychiatrist nor any of his fellow students paused in the moment to educate the elderly man about his “violent and racist language,” as Lopez-Carmen described it, he complained. In response, the school organized a session for faculty and students on, Lopez-Carmen writes, “confronting anti-Indigenous racism in the field of medicine.”

Should clinicians police their patients’ language to protect the feelings of their health-care providers? One doctor from the Zoom chat said, unequivocally, no. 

“How would chastising, and possibly shaming, a patient — however expertly — affect their comfort in confiding sensitive information important to their care? Patients' life experiences, stories, attitudes, beliefs, whatever they may be, are data that help us take good care of them.”

As major medical institutions formalize their commitments to social justice ideology, the sentiment that medical professionals need to put aside their feelings in service of treating patients seems increasingly old-fashioned. Some institutions, including Harvard Medical School, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association (AMA), the largest association of physicians and medical students in the U.S., have released statements acknowledging their own history of racism, a trend one of the doctors described as “confessional.”

In an 83-page report released in May, the AMA pledged address its “white supremacist” past, which includes horrific 19th-century practices like performing surgeries on enslaved people without anesthesia as well as the organization’s endorsement of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. But it’s not just ancient history the organization is concerned about: the report also mentions the JAMA podcast that cost Edward Livingston and Howard Bauchner their jobs, referring to the podcast as an “egregious, harmful error.” 

The report recommendations rely heavily on diversity training, but as one of the doctors on the Zoom call said, “more diversity trainings are not going to change anything, but they are going to waste time we already don’t have to spare.”

There are, of course, an array of diversity trainings, including some that simply lay out anti-discrimination laws and others that require white people to confess their privilege. Trainings that may have seemed obviously racist just a few years ago — like separating employees into “affinity groups” or “caucuses” based on race — are now commonplace, including at large corporationssmall non-profits, and medical institutions. (My wife, a nurse in Seattle, recently joined the “white caucus” at her hospital, and noted that she felt very strange asking to join a whites-only group.) 

The diversity industry is now worth billions of dollars, but there have been surprisingly few evaluations of whether or not such trainings actually work. The research that has been done is not encouraging. One study found that these trainings can be counterproductive; another found that positive effects don’t seem to last

What’s more, the doctors said, statements like the AMA’s seem destined to create backlash. “You have to wonder about the unintended consequences of these organizations falling over themselves to declare that they're structurally and systemically racist,” one of the doctors said. “Clearly, they think they’re going to get virtue-signaling points. But is it possible these claims are also playing into vaccine hesitancy among people of color? I mean, would you want to get vaccinated at an institution that’s enthusiastically broadcasting to the world, ‘We’re racist!’ I wouldn’t.”

‘I’m Not Going to Treat That White Guy’

There’s clearly a generation gap between these doctors on Zoom, the youngest of whom has been practicing for at least 10 years, and doctors just beginning their career. The older clinicians are more likely to appear politically neutral, at least at work, while younger students and clinicians are more likely to prioritize activism. Those differences can be a major source of tension. 

One prominent organization, White Coats for Black Lives, was formed by medical students in 2014 and now has at least 75 chapters all over the U.S. In addition to publishing a Racial Justice Report Card that grades medical schools, the group encourages medical students to make specific demands of their institutions, including that medical schools and hospitals end all relationships with local law enforcement. 

When asked what severing ties with police would do in his urban emergency room, one ER doctor said it would be a “total disaster.” Police, he told me, are a vital part of emergency operations, from securing crime scenes so emergency responders can see victims to helping transport patients to keeping hospital staff and patients safe when private security is inadequate. 

“I was in a situation once where an ambulance brought in a gunshot victim,” he said. “We brought the patient in, and about 15 minutes later, a group came looking for him. They came to finish him. They were going from room to room, looking for him, and when a couple of guys from hospital security tried to get them to leave, one shot a gun in the air. Luckily enough, we heard police sirens bringing someone else in, and when they heard the sirens, they ran. If not for the police, I don’t know what would have happened.”

As another example of the generation gap, an ER doctor on the West Coast said he sees providers, particularly younger ones, applying antiracist principles in choosing how they allocate their time and which patients they choose to work with.  “I've heard examples of Covid-19 cases in the emergency department where providers go, ‘I’m not going to go treat that white guy, I'm going to treat the person of color instead because whatever happened to the white guy, he probably deserves it.’”

Some in medicine would like to see such race-conscious bias mandated on an institutional level, particularly in regards to Covid-19, which has killed black, Hispanic, and Native American people at three times the rate as whites. These discrepancies are likely due to an array of factors, including income, housing, work, language, pre-existing conditions, access to health care, and, yes, possibly some degree of racism. 

But some politicians and public health officials decided the remedy was to distribute vaccines by race.

In April, Vermont’s Republican Governor Phill Scott announced that any resident over age 16 who identified as a black, indigenous, or a person of color would be eligible for the vaccine before white people, a decision that, according to some legal scholars, likely violated federal law. The CDC itself considered recommending that states prioritize essential workers over the elderly despite the fact that the number one risk factor for dying from Covid is age. The idea had plenty of supporters. Harold Schmidt, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times, “Older populations are whiter. Society is structured in a way that enables them to live longer. Instead of giving additional health benefits to those who already had more of them, we can start to level the playing field a bit.”

Ultimately, the CDC did recommend prioritizing vaccines by age, but race-conscious policies go beyond Covid. In May, the Boston Review published an editorial by physicians Bram Wispelwey and Michelle Morse entitled “An Antiracist Agenda for Medicine.” In it, the doctors argue that in order to address discrepancies in health-care access and outcomes, hospitals should commit to “preferentially admitting patients historically denied access to certain forms of medical care.” That is, they should admit people to health services based on their skin color. 

This idea is not coming from people with no power.

Michelle Morse is a physician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was recently appointed to be the first Chief Medical Officer of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. “Dr. Morse’s experience has combined the best of public health, social medicine, anti-racism education, and activism,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi in a press release.  “Health equity requires leaders who propel change and I am grateful that she has joined the Department to help us create a healthier, more equitable, city.”

In the same article in the Boston Review, Dr. Morse and her co-author write that because a study they conducted found that white heart failure patients are more likely to be referred to cardiology specialists than some minority groups, in their own practice they have developed “a preferential admission option for Black and Latinx heart failure patients to our specialty cardiology service.” So when these patients seek care, they are now far more likely to be referred to specialists and admitted to an inpatient service, regardless of whether that’s the most appropriate strategy for their condition, or their primary care providers’ recommendations, or their own personal preferences. 

What the authors don’t mention is that while their own study does show that white heart failure patients are more likely to be referred to specialists, this alone doesn’t demonstrate they’re more likely to have better outcomes: More whites in that very study died soon after discharge. This, according to one physician, is exactly what’s wrong with race-conscious policies.

“We have been working for almost a decade now to keep people from getting unnecessary care and unnecessary hospitalization because there are all these unintended consequences,” he said. “You can get infected with an antibiotic-resistant bug; you can get the wrong medication; errors happen. We’re trying to keep people out of the hospital if they don't need to be there. So when you enact a policy like the one proposed by Michelle Morse, you’re just opening that person up to all these potentially negative consequences.” 

In other words, in an effort to address racial disparities, it’s possible the very patients they are attempting to help will suffer more, not less.

A Moral Panic

The day I spoke to the doctors, I’d spent the morning caught in a labyrinth of hold calls, trying to find a new primary care doctor after my insurance had changed for the fourth time in five years. And I was one of the lucky ones: At least I have insurance, something nearly 30 million Americans in this country lack. Besides the problems with accessing health care at all, the doctors themselves told me the disparities in medicine aren’t imagined. Minority populations, especially poor ones, do have worse outcomes than whites in all sorts of metrics. 

“We’ve got this opportunity right now to advance really important, progressive reforms,” one doctor said. “Every American understands that the system doesn’t work, that we need better public health, we need better primary care.” But this physician is concerned that “the people leading the woke effort have a deeply unsophisticated understanding of how change occurs in this country. It’s dangerous. I’m fearful there’s going to be a counter-reaction that's going to be huge and vicious and ugly.” 

Others fear the same. Another doctor on the call, a psychologist, called the new orthodoxy a “moral panic” and “symbolic crusade,” like Prohibition, in which the outcome is less important than the sacredness of the movement.

“What happens with symbolic crusades is they overreach and you get a tremendous backlash,” he continued. “If hospitals actually adopt a policy of what can be construed as favoring black people in the ICU, can you imagine what conservative media would do with that? It would play into every fear that what this is really about is suppressing liberty, chilling free speech. I didn’t used to think those fears were legitimate. Now I do. I get it.”

Tyler Durden Fri, 06/04/2021 - 16:22