I’m not a fan of censorship (at least not within …

Comment on Review of “The Surge” with Dr. Lela Lewis and Friends by Sean Pitman.

I’m not a fan of censorship (at least not within reason). However, public media platforms, in this country, are free to make their own rules regarding what ideas they want or do not want to offer their platform as a means of broadcast. I might not agree with their decisions, but that’s their free choice.

As far as ivermectin is concerned, I’ve had many people send me this very same meta-analysis paper that you reference, along with the argument that it works “if given early enough” following infection. The problem with these “meta-analysis” studies is that putting together an analysis on a bunch of small studies that individually have limited predictive power doesn’t necessarily make the overall meta-analysis any better than the largest and most statistically significant single underlying study. As Gorski and others point out, meta-analyses are only as good as their raw material – a phenomenon Gorski labels “garbage in, garbage out.” That’s the reason why larger double-blinded placebo-controlled trials are seen as more reliable, generally speaking, compared to meta-analysis papers. The problem here is that the preliminary results from such a trial, known as the “Together Trial” (consisting of nearly 2300 participants in a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial), showed no significant effect on reducing emergency room visits or hospitalizations – despite “early treatment”.

Another smaller double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled trial, involving 476 patients, also failed to show any advantage for ivermectin use (Lopez-Medina, March 4, 2021).

Now, you suggest that this lack of evidence from this trial might be due to some sort of bias in these trials. Perhaps, but I don’t see how this is likely. This is especially true given that this particular meta-analysis paper that you reference (by Dr. Pierre Kory, et. al.) was published April 22, 2021. Why might this be a problem? Because, it was published before the paper published by Dr. Ahmed Elgazzar from Benha University in Egypt, was withdrawn because it was shown to be fraudulent (originally published on the Research Square website in November, 2020) (Link). Dr. Kory’s meta-analysis paper depends heavily upon the Elgazzar paper – which is now known to be completely worthless. If one removes the Egypt data and re-runs the meta-analysis, “the benefit…largely loses its statistical significance.” (Link)

Now, I really wish there were clear evidence that ivermectin and/or hydroxychloroquine worked, but so far, I just don’t see the claims in this regard as being supported by the weight of evidence that is currently in hand.

Do I think Dr. Kory was lying? No. I think he really believed in and probably still believes in ivermectin as a useful treatment for COVID-19. I just think that various treatment protocols, that I think have shown some good success, which are attributed to ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine, are far more likely the result of some of the other drugs being used – such as steroids, monoclonal antibodies, etc…

As far as your understanding of natural immunity, it’s actually the opposite of what you imagine. Sure, while natural immunity derived by a full-blown infection by COVID-19 will produce a broader spectrum of antibodies and T-cells, this doesn’t mean that such immunity will be better at fighting off a COVID-19 infection or subsequent variants of the original virus. The reason for this is that natural immunity is, in fact, so broad-spectrum that it doesn’t produce the concentration of targeted antibodies that vaccine-based immunity produces, against a small target. It is precisely because the target for vaccine-based immunity is so much smaller than the many targets for naturally-acquired immunity, that the vaccine-based immunity is, in fact, better able to stop mutational variants – since the sequence space open to variations of a small target region is much smaller (without a complete loss of function for that target sequence). There is, however, an advantage to naturally acquired immunity. If someone with naturally acquired immunity get vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine, the resulting immunity, for that person, will generally be better than someone who only has vaccine-based immunity (as explained in more detail in my article above).

As far as the argument that “natural immunity lasts – usually for a lifetime” that’s sometimes true and sometimes not true – depending upon the type of infection that produced the natural immunity. The big advantage of vaccine-based immunity is, of course, gaining useful immunity without the body having to go through a potentially lethal or debilitating infection first. You reference “tested vaccines” like polio and smallpox vaccines, but many other “tested vaccines” require boosters. Again, it all depends. And, it’s not like the mRNA vaccines haven’t been “tested”. They have been extensively tested via double-blinded placebo-controlled trials in both humans and animals. And, even before these tests, they have been around and have been carefully studied and used for over 30 years.

Sean Pitman Also Commented

Review of “The Surge” with Dr. Lela Lewis and Friends
First off, Dr. John Barthelow Classen (as discussed in the comment just above yours with Inge Anderson), while being an immunologist, is also a well-known anti-vaxx conspiracy theorist. He has a long history of claiming that other vaccines also cause “more harm than good” (Link). He also wrote an article (February 8, 2021) arguing that mRNA vaccines can produce “prion disease” – which is sheer nonsense. Many of his other anti-vaxx conspiratorial papers can be found on his website (Link).

Also, the papers that he publishes, that he claims are “peer-reviewed”, although supposedly in different journals (such as the journal of “Microbiology & Infectious Disease” or the journal of “Trends in Internal Medicine”) show exactly the same format – strongly suggesting that he is, in effect, self-publishing these papers while claiming that they are “peer-reviewed” – by using what is known as a “predatory journal”. And, surprise surprise, it turns out that the actual publisher of these papers, Scivision Publishers, is included in Beall’s list of publishers of predatory journals.

“Predatory publishing (also write-only publishing or deceptive publishing) is an exploitative academic publishing business model that involves charging publication fees to authors without checking articles for quality and legitimacy, and without providing editorial and publishing services that legitimate academic journals provide, whether open access or not.” (Link)

In any case, if you actually read through the paper that you reference, claiming “more harm than good”, that claim simply isn’t supported at all. It all depends upon what one defines as “severe”. Regardless, when it comes to actual hospitalizations and deaths, for the Phase 3 clinical trials of the mRNA vaccines, there is no evidence to counter the conclusion that the mRNA vaccines ended up being highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 compared to the placebo arms of these trials.

In short, this guy just isn’t credible and his arguments make no sense given the data that we have in hand. There simply isn’t anything in the mRNA vaccines that would make them remotely comparable to the risks associated with the actual viral infection itself. The actual “spike protein” produced by the mRNA vaccines is modified to make it much less biologically active (i.e., frozen in the “pre-confirmation state) and almost all of it remains local at the site of injection. In comparison, the live COVID-19 infection also makes spike proteins that are much more biologically active and the live virus goes everywhere throughout the body involving and disrupting pretty much every organ system you have. Where then is the mechanism whereby the vaccine could be more harmful than the disease? There just isn’t such a mechanism. It just doesn’t exist. So, the mRNA vaccines are not only amazingly effective at preventing severe COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and death, they also are far far FAR safer than getting infected by COVID-19 – when it comes to every single risk factor one can name.

Review of “The Surge” with Dr. Lela Lewis and Friends
The dosage doesn’t matter much within this range (and the TOGETHER Trial used a dose of 400 μg/kg/day). There is also no evidence for “synergism” between ivermectin and other drugs used in McCullough’s early-treatment protocol (or other such protocols such as the MATH+, I-MASK+ and I-RECOVER Protocols) – despite him making this very same argument (Link).

The problem, as mentioned in my article, “You can’t just throw together drugs that don’t work at all by themselves and expect that they will suddenly work if used in combination – Dr. Vincent Iannelli explains (Link). There just is no scientific evidence or any kind of mechanism for this when it comes to efforts to save ivermectin as providing some kind of benefit against COVID-19.

See also a recent review of the Cochrane Review of ivermectin: Link

Review of “The Surge” with Dr. Lela Lewis and Friends
Yes, I generally agree with Dr. Damania (Dr Zdogg) and have watched many of his videos. He’s a good place to start researching a topic if he has actually made a video about it.

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I fail to see where you have convincingly supported your claim that the GC leadership contributed to the harm of anyone’s personal religious liberties? – given that the GC leadership does not and could not override personal religious liberties in this country, nor substantively change the outcome of those who lost their jobs over various vaccine mandates. That’s just not how it works here in this country. Religious liberties are personally derived. Again, they simply are not based on a corporate or church position, but rely solely upon individual convictions – regardless of what the church may or may not say or do.

Yet, you say, “Who cares if it is written into law”? You should care. Everyone should care. It’s a very important law in this country. The idea that the organized church could have changed vaccine mandates simply isn’t true – particularly given the nature of certain types of jobs dealing with the most vulnerable in society (such as health care workers for example).

Beyond this, the GC Leadership did, in fact, write in support of personal religious convictions on this topic – and there are GC lawyers who have and continue to write personal letters in support of personal religious convictions (even if these personal convictions are at odds with the position of the church on a given topic). Just because the GC leadership also supports the advances of modern medicine doesn’t mean that the GC leadership cannot support individual convictions at the same time. Both are possible. This is not an inconsistency.