Compromised Science: Propaganda Posing as Medical Research

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A basic tenet of public health practice is that it is underpinned by evidence and human rights.  Has public health been replaced with something else over time?  We look at the use of propaganda published as “science” and consider whether science, academia and medicine have been misappropriated.

Corporate Propaganda Marketed as Medical Science

The replacement of rigorous science with corporate-sponsored propaganda is not a new phenomenon to those working in the field of medical research and academia. It is also openly admitted by those engaging in the practice of posing propaganda as public health evidence.

Perhaps the most well known paper on the issues around corrupted scientific research is Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, by Professor John Ioannidis in 2005. He specifies the multiple ways in which trial design, methodology, result interpretation and human interference phenomena can falsify results.

Also in 2005 Richard Smith, a BMJ editor for 25 years and editor/chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group for 13 years, wrote an essay titled Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies. He repeated his concerns in a 2021 BMJ Opinion piece.

Former editor at the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr Marcia Angell wrote a book: The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It in 2005. She explains that pharmaceutical companies are directly involved in the design, analysis and publication of clinical trials, with academic physicians paid to conduct trials as directed and sign their names to ghost-authored reports. This is confirmed by multiple academic sources, including Yale epidemiologist Professor Harvey Risch and Harvard physician Dr John Abramson, author of Sickening: How Big Pharma Broke American Health Care and How We Can Repair It

In 2015 Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet wrote in a short opinion piece, What is Medicine’s 5-sigma?. He describes being at a symposium at The Wellcome Trust where the idea that science has gone fundamentally wrong was presented and discussed, under condition of “Chatham House Rules” of secrecy and non-attribution.

It was also at Chatham House where Marc van Ranst, the Belgian Flu Commissioner presented with confidence to an amused audience in 2019, on the various propaganda strategies he used during the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak, to exaggerate the disease threat and encourage fear amongst his fellow citizens. He declares at least six pharmaceutical company associations as his conflicts of interest.

1. An Awakening to Propaganda: Dr Pierre Kory

Current day corruption of medical science and literature has been described eloquently by Dr Pierre Kory. He spoke on this in September 2022, at the Better Way Conference in Austria and again in an interview with Veronika Kyrylenko.

A leader in the renaissance of medical research referencing the totality of evidence, Dr Kory has written about the pharmaceutical industry’s methods of warfare against generic drugs, and ways in which high impact medical journals manipulate published material. This includes a reliance on the fact that for a variety of reasons most physicians will read a study’s conclusion without analysing the full manuscript.

2. The Lancet: Ongoing Corruption?

After “Lancetgate” (Lancet, May 2020) and before the “Together Trial” (NEJM, March 2022), The Lancet published an observational study of a large cohort of the Israeli population in May 2021. Authors concluded that the Pfizer Comirnaty product (tozinameran) had 95% efficacy. This information was relied upon around the world by governments promoting the product as “safe and effective”.

Professors Norman Fenton and Martin Neil reviewed the study, finding fundamental flaws in its design and conclusions. They wrote a brief rapid response letter to The Lancet expressing their concerns directly after publication. The letter was only acknowledged last week; a hiatus of 20 months. The full story is available at their substack articles on 17 May 2021, 11 January 2023 and 14 January 2023.

The lead author of this paper, Dr Sharon Alroy-Preis, is Head of Public Health Services at the Israeli Ministry of Health (IMOH). Her refusal to reply to the response letter led to The Lancet’s delayed and dismissive feedback to Fenton and Neil. Alroy-Preis declared no conflicts of interest on the paper but evidence shows direct collaboration with Pfizer, including jointly approved publications and that IMOH would not disclose adverse safety information without Pfizer’s approval. In discussing this collaboration, Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Philip Dormitzer referred to Israel as “a sort of laboratory“.

Propaganda Disguised as Science to Promote Hatred

In April 2022 David Fisman, professor of epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto published a hypothetical mathematical modeling paper with colleagues, speculating on transmission dynamics between individuals based on vaccination status. They claim an increased risk of Covid-19 to vaccinated individuals due to mixing with, but also the mere existence of, unvaccinated individuals. The fact that this was yet another modeling study was not mentioned in subsequent news headlines and the paper created a storm of publicity.

Viral immunologist Dr Byram Bridle described the Fisman paper as “thinly veiled hate speech” based on “garbage in, garbage out“. His detailed peer review highlights the study’s numerous errors. He recommends an investigation of the authors and editor, public naming of the peer reviewers, and retraction of the paper, none of which has happened. At approximately 40m into this video podcast, Dr Bridle gives a presentation on his findings of all that is wrong with the piece.

Physicists Professor Denis Rancourt and Dr Joseph Hickey of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association wrote a substantial statement expressing their range of concerns about the paper. They discuss the authors’ introduction of a brand new parameter named “unvaccinated contribution to infection risk Ψ” (Ψ = psi), which appears to have never been used before and which Rancourt and Hickey explain is incorrectly characterised leading to false conclusions. Introducing a new parameter to an already dubious speciality which has been used to cause so much harm (see our section Brief History of Mathematical Models) seems to serve the sole purpose of building upon the growing framework of propaganda.

In a May 2022 video podcast, preceding Dr Bridle’s presentation (above), Professor Rancourt gave an insightful interview discussing the paper. In describing the errors of Fisman’s paper, Rancourt compares the thorough understanding of modeling that physicists have, with the lower level training of epidemiologists. He describes why he sees this as “a despicable … highly devious paper” in which Fisman et al “want to do incorrect mathematics, make incorrect interpretations of that mathematics, and then … conclude … basically a political statement“.

Computational biologist / immunologist Dr Jessica Rose also weighed in on the scandal, calling the paper “a low level piece of writing … to create division” and recommended its retraction. Human rights advocate & criminal defence lawyer Knia Singh gave a very balanced spoken statement via Canadian Covid Care Alliance, against the study. “Read the paper. You’ll see that it’s not based on anything but a projection … we should not be divided based on pseudoscience. We should be united in health“.

Analysing Propaganda : Science Simplified by The Fat Emperor

A proficient public health analyst, biochemical engineer and metabolic science expert Ivor Cummins (known on social media as The Fat Emperor) has persistently questioned pandemic responses including lockdown and vaccine policies. Somehow he still has a YouTube channel and more recently publishes his interviews and analyses on Simplified Science at Rumble. In his most recent video Insane Vaggzine Propaganda, Cummins discussed The Lancet study which we wrote about here, and the following two Covid-19 vaccine propaganda stories.

1. Effectiveness of the Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccine

On 21 December 2022, physics engineer and molecular biologist Dr Doug Corrigan posted a Twitter thread reviewing findings from a retrospective cohort study of 51,000 employees at the Cleveland Clinic Health System in Ohio, USA: Effectiveness of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Bivalent Vaccine. The bivalent vaccine in this study, which is now being marketed, includes spike protein antigens from the original Wuhan strain and more recent Omicron strains.

Dr Corrigan highlighted a number of points from the study including the researchers’ inability to calculate the effectiveness of the bivalent vaccine in reducing severe disease because not enough study participants experienced severe disease. He concluded his thread with a pertinent question.

Corrigan Bivalent Vaccine Tweet

The study findings confirm a lack of benefit from the Covid-19 vaccines which was also demonstrated in the Israeli Ministry of Health data as early as mid-2021. Cummins shares official Israeli government data demonstrating that the more doses of the novel mRNA technology are taken, the more likely over time a person is to be infected with Covid. Even vaccine developer and recipient of Fauci research funding, Dr Paul Offit has called the results of the bivalent vaccines “underwhelming”.

2. A Piece of Extraordinary and Threatening Propaganda

Professor and Founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas USA, Dr Peter Hotez is a regular recipient of multi-million dollar vaccine research grants from Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has spoken against the “anti vaccine movement” since at least 2017. Nevertheless, in March 2020 he testified to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee Hearing on Coronavirus in Washington, acknowledging the risk of vaccine associated enhanced disease (VAED) in development of respiratory virus vaccines.

In July 2021 Dr Hotez published an article, Mounting antiscience aggression in the United States, calling for legislation to criminalise criticism of vaccine scientists. He falsely claimed that more than 99% of Covid deaths were occurring in the unvaccinated. A staunch critic of the ongoing congressional probe into gain-of-function research, Hotez helped fund the Wuhan laboratory gain of function study associated with the release of the SARS-CoV-II virus. It seems difficult not to conclude that his conflicts of interest run deep, if not into criminal territory.

Cummins discusses a tweet by World Health Organisation on 15 December 2022 featuring a video of Dr Hotez talking about “anti-science aggression” as “a major killing force globally“, and calling for “political solutions“. Describing the video as absurd, Cummins calls it “pseudo-terroristic“, which seems more than appropriate. An excellent review of Dr Hotez’ conflicts and motivations was published by A Midwestern Doctor on 26 December 2022 at Why Does Peter Hotez Think We Are Mass Murderers?

Medical Propaganda Turns to Comedy

In December 2022 The American Journal of Medicine published a paper, COVID Vaccine Hesitancy and Risk of a Traffic Crash. This longitudinal cohort analysis reviewed the Covid-19 vaccination status of people presenting to 178 hospitals in Toronto, Canada, following traffic accidents over a period of one month in 2021. Researchers concluded that Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy is associated with significant increased risks of a traffic crash and recommended that physicians counseling vaccine hesitant patients discuss these risks.

Professor Norman Fenton described this as a study in stupidity. He is not alone in his criticisms of the absurdity. Childrens Health Defense published an analysis at New Study Claims Unvaccinated More Likely to Crash Cars — Critics Call Findings ‘a Joke’.

Dr John Campbell also reviewed this study, describing it as an “obviously absurd” but “clever piece of work” before explaining why with his uniquely wry humour. The complications of independent analysis include an absence of available raw data. The study misses confounders such as increased driving requirements of the unvaccinated and reduced driving needs of population groups with higher vaccination rates, during Canada’s vaccine mandate enforcements .

What Are The Solutions?

An aggressive destruction of medical research and literature is revealing itself, as propaganda usurps scientific rigour and ethics. The situation is not hopeless and there are things we can all do to reduce further harm.

It is important that medical and health professionals become aware of the propaganda onslaught, which is supported and promoted by the global political regime establishing itself. Only when we are aware, can we rally and push back.

In the above few examples alone, thorough and accurate peer review has come from a wide array of scientific disciplines. Multi disciplinary collaboration beyond the limitations of health and medicine are an important facet of the scientific process. Transparency about conflicts of interest and independence from corporate and political influence are imperative.

Solutions will evolve as the situation evolves. We outlined previously:

Reading and interpreting medical journal articles is a skill which requires education and attention. Even those who have the skill will often only look at an introduction and conclusion without analysing the full manuscript.

Understanding that the most esteemed institutions, highest impact publications, dominant media outlets and government officials are all vulnerable to influence from pharmaceutical industry power and funding is the first step in differentiating propaganda from quality science. The solution is to seek out independent peer reviews of papers making claims which sound too good to be true and / or do not appear to match real world data.


Propaganda Health Professional Solutions
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