Comment on Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions by Sean Pitman.
Look, I’ve read all of the articles that you’ve presented to me. Then, I presented some counter evidence that made good sense to me. You didn’t respond in kind. That’s fine, but don’t expect to simply cite the arguments of those who hold a very minority position within the scientific/medical community and expect no push back or challenge – especially when it comes to some of the arguments that have been forwarded by those such as Dr. Malone that are clearly false and/or misleading. He just loses credibility when he makes some of the outlandish claims that he has made. And, Tom Bartlett (of The Atlantic) is by no means the only one to point this out – even though I think he was pretty even-handed in his article (interesting that you start off the discussion with a Vanity Fair article that you found “interesting”, but jump all over me when I cite an Atlantic article back to you). Many scientists and prominent doctors have come out against the claims forwarded by Dr. Malone. What do you do with their arguments? Do you just dismiss them out of hand?
There are very good reasons why the vaccines are strongly supported by the significant majority of scientists and physicians around the world, to include the significant majority of epidemiologists. Interestingly, contrary to the claims of Dr. Malone, 88% of epidemiologists think that persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine-resistant mutations to appear (Link). This only makes biological sense given that the immune system doesn’t work in the same way as antibiotics work (Dr. Malone seems to be confused here). Most epidemiologists also think that health care providers should be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19:
Hospitals and other healthcare facilities should require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to a consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and six other leading organizations representing medical professionals working in infectious diseases, infection prevention, pharmacy, pediatrics, and long-term care. (Link)
Sure, as previously mentioned, the decision to vaccinate children is not as clear-cut as it is for vaccinating adults. However, this also doesn’t mean that the decision to do so is without good evidence or that Dr. Kulldorff knows something that no one else knows. That’s just not true. The evidence that he mentions is limited in that he fails to address quite a bit of evidence that seems to work against him. That’s the problem. He simply doesn’t seem to effectively address the totality of evidence that is currently available on this question.
As far as me being “hostile” toward you, what have I said that you interpret as hostility? – beyond a simple disagreement? You’re the one saying that you find my position “disturbing” and that I’m the one who “drank someone’s Koolaid” and occasionally respond in ALL CAPS like you’re shouting at me. Where have I responded to you in such a “hostile” manner?
I’m not questioning your intelligence. Graduating AOA is wonderful. The fact remains, however, that this simply isn’t helpful to me or to anyone else who might question your position on this topic. While I don’t treat patients, as a pathologist, I work in the hospitals around here on a daily basis – particularly dealing with the hospital labs. I see the COVID patients in the ICUs. I see their lab results deteriorate over time. I know when they die and why they die. We lost 10 people over the last couple of days to COVID – to include three less than 50 years old. My brother-in-law, the well-known pulmonologist Dr. Roger Seheult who works in S. Cal and runs an ICU there also graduated AOA. He directly treats COVID patients and personally holds their hands as they die – the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. This includes young otherwise healthy people as well. Roger is begging people to get vaccinated – for very good reason. He sees the devastation that COVID is causing firsthand. He’s seen his ICUs filled well beyond capacity with the unvaccinated. Rationing care has been a real problem. This is a real pandemic that has fast become a pandemic of the unvaccinated due to the influence of those like Dr. Malone and the misinformation about vaccines that he, and a handful of others like him, have been spreading around.
The risks associated with the vaccines are minimal in comparison to the risks of getting infected by COVID-19 – they truly are. This is apparently true even for young otherwise healthy people – particularly when one considers the damage that a COVID-19 infection can do to otherwise young healthy people who don’t end up dying, but end up with long-term injuries instead. So, if you still think otherwise, please do explain the mechanism to me – because Dr. Malone certainly doesn’t do so in any way that makes any sense. If you can do better, I’m all ears.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
If the DNA of a person does not get altered by the mRNA vaccines, then, by definition, these vaccines are not “gene therapy”. This is what was noted by Bayer itself in their response to the comments of Oelrich:
The Bayer group tells 20 Minutes that this is “an obvious slip.” “At Bayer, [les vaccins à] mRNA does not come under gene therapy in the sense that is commonly attributed to this expression,” adds the company. (Link)
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Come on now. The “viral genetic information” that is being used is limited to the production of the spike protein. That’s it. The mRNA sequence itself does not alter the DNA of a person – their actual genetic code. This vaccine is therefore NOT “gene therapy”. That claim is just nonsense in any meaningful sense of the term. And Stefan Oelrich never intended to suggest otherwise. He was only talking about future applications of the mRNA technology. He never claimed that the mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 function as gene-altering devices.
Bayer has responded noting that Stefan Oelrich was only talking about future applications of mRNA technology – not that the current mRNA vaccines alter the genetics of a person – which clearly doesn’t happen. The suggestion has been made that he misspoke regarding terms that he used, but that he never intended to suggest that the current mRNA-based vaccines modify the DNA of a person.
In any case, if you think otherwise, by all means, do share the mechanism by which this is likely to happen to any significant degree…
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
That would be concerning if it actually occurred, to any significant degree, in white blood cells – like T-cells and B-cells. However, contrary to the suggestion of the authors, this just isn’t the case and there is no reasonable mechanism whereby this might be the case.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Dr. Walter Veith and the anti-vaccine arguments of Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche
I’ve very glad that you survived! Keep spreading the message. Some will listen and more lives will be saved.
Pastor Ivor Myers and Medical Panel Discuss COVID-19 and Vaccines
Dr. Veith is mistaken here because he’s listening more to conspiracy theories rather than looking at the weight of good scientific evidence.
Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
Assuming the 90% efficacy figure for the Pfizer vaccine holds up, vaccinating one million 5- to 12-year-old children would prevent 33,600 cases and 170 hospitalizations over 120 days. The CDC puts the figure about 58,000 cases and 226 hospitalizations prevented. During the same period of time, there would be around 21 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis (Link, Link). There is also the argument that the significant majority completely recover from vaccine-related myocarditis/pericarditis without any long-term effects. Recovering from a COVID-19 infection requiring hospitalization, however, often results in long-term injuries.
Are mRNA Vaccines for COVID-19 helpful or harmful?
I don’t know about Dr. Botha, in particular, but others have made similar claims. Of course, I see no credible evidence to support such sensational claims…
Why Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19?
While vaccinating children is certainly more of a gray area as compared to vaccinating adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions, there are benefits to vaccinating children that Dr. Martin Kulldorff failed to mention – such as injuries that happen even if a child doesn’t die. These injuries and longer-term problems aren’t exactly rare either – as described in my article above. There is also the issue of children spreading the virus to others who are more susceptible.
Even death, while relatively uncommon among children compared to older adults, is still a problem. Almost 700 children have died from COVID-19 in the US so far. While this might seem to be similar to a normal flu season where between 34-200 children die during a given year, keep in mind that these numbers are affected by flu vaccinations that are given to children every year. Flu shots are widely available to all kids, while no COVID vaccines have been authorized for children under 12. More than half of children, around 60%, get their flu shot each year. This significantly reduces the death rate for children who are vaccinated since the vast majority (~90%) of kids who die from the flu each year are unvaccinated. That means, if you compare apples to apples, the flu death rate for children would be much higher without the annual flu vaccine – which is the reason why a flu vaccine for children has been made available. Why then should we not make a COVID vaccine available for children as well?
“Among children age 1-14, COVID-19 was in the top 10 leading causes of death through August and September 2021. Among children age 5-14, COVID-19 ranked as the number 6 leading cause of death in August and September. Among children ages 1-4, COVID-19’s rank rose from number 13 to number 7 among leading causes of death in August 2021 and held there in September.” (Link)
As far as the known risks of vaccines for children, these risks are still far less than the risks of getting infected by the live virus – for every significant risk one can list.
It is for this reason that the FDA advisory panel unanimously voted, yesterday, to approve the reduced dose Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 (Link).