All the Devils, All the Time

In this epilogue to my five-part series, I wanted to provide a few recent updates and analyze some problematic, ongoing issues.

Herd Immunity and Spike Protein Concerns

On Monday, health experts publicly confirmed what I stated in part 5 last week (i.e., that we will not reach herd immunity with vaccines). This was their first admission, but had been obvious for quite some time. The Covid vaccine was developed based on the original virus that is now almost defunct given the most recent CDC report on variants dated April 10th, 2021 shows only 4% of current U.S. infections are from the original viral strain while almost 60% are from the U.K. variant.

The vaccine is designed around one spike protein on the original virus. As soon as this protein alters in any of the variants, the virus can become either difficult for the immune system to spot or, if a change to the spike protein is great enough, the virus will become entirely invisible to the vaccine. This is what is known as vaccine escape and, as I mentioned in part 3, is why boosters have now become necessary.

There was a huge hubbub on Wednesday when it was announced that President Biden was discouraging patent protections for the current Covid vaccine. But, this is actually not dramatic at all. The variant landscape makes a patent on the original vaccine formula completely unnecessary, as it is based on the original (wild type) virus strain that is nearly out of circulation. Having a patent on that formula would be like having the patent on 8-track tapes.

Also, early this week, the Salk Institute released a summary of a study that found Covid spike proteins alone, without the virus itself, cause tissue damage in mammals. The study placed spike proteins from the Covid virus on a lab constructed pseudovirus with no viral properties. When introduced into the system the spike proteins alone caused tissue damage. Given that the current mRNA vaccines place spike proteins in an mRNA envelope, this study does suggest the need to look closely for any effects of the spike proteins in vaccinated individuals. While the study does not definitively prove damaging effects from the spike proteins in vaccines, it absolutely raises a question about the possibility for adverse effects and is something that should be examined going forward.

Information Games Continue

I’ve seen two news outlets in the last 24 hours claim 56% of the U.S. population has been vaccinated. That is flatly a lie. Official data shows approximately 32% have been fully vaccinated and 44% have received at least one dose.

This is yet another game to try to manipulate people by making them feel like they are in the minority now if they haven’t been vaccinated. This is not even close to being true as not even one-third of the population is fully vaccinated to date.

Additionally, stories covering the vaccine hesitant continue to be limited to the most extreme and least articulate individuals who are held out as the template for who isn’t getting the vaccine. This is absolutely not a full representation of the group. There are a number of individuals (including some Ph.D. scientists, even virologists) who both take Covid seriously but also have vaccine concerns. But, how many times has anyone like this been interviewed for a vaccine hesitancy news segment? None, zero, zip.

There are many unvaccinated people who are limiting their activities and wearing high quality masks when they are around others to limit exposures and spread. I wear an N95 whenever I am indoors around people which controls spread as much if not more than just being vaccinated. The line that the unvaccinated are irresponsible individuals who are spreading the virus is not universally correct. Frankly, if given the choice to be near an unvaccinated individual wearing an N95 or a vaccinated person wearing no mask, I’d choose the person in the N95, as they are the least likely to transmit any virus.

Altruism or Money?

One television program I was watching recently depicted the drug companies as angelic lifesavers who quickly organized solely for the benefit of the American people. Um…What? I don’t hardly think so.

Lest we forget, the U.S. government paid huge sums of money during the initial phases of Project Warp Speed to get the drug companies to put all their efforts into developing a vaccine. And, drug companies knew full well that, if they landed on a workable formula, there were huge profits in store for them as the government was also going to pay for hundreds of millions of doses.

Keep in mind, these are some of the very same entities who have recently been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for pushing opioids. It was very clear they were selling like hot cakes because people were addicted. But they were just fine with letting more and more people take them because it was good for their profits.

Drug companies are far from benevolent angels. They didn’t make a vaccine to be good samaritans. They did it to make money. I certainly haven’t noticed any of the drug companies telling the government they don’t want the payments for the vaccine doses. Have you? No, of course not. To top it all off, they required immunity from any responsibility for any adverse vaccine effects. All of the profits with no responsibility for problematic effects. Sounds like a self-serving bonanza.

A Carrot and Lots of Sticks

The latest assortment of messaging tactics to force vaccination seem to center around opportunity costs for the unvaccinated. “If you don’t get it, you won’t be able to….” Air travel and concerts or other large venue activities are primary examples of items being used as leverage. This whole line of influence is reminiscent of childhood tropes about Santa Claus not bringing toys to kids on the naughty list.

Naturally, we don’t want infected people coming into a situation where they can infect a large number of others. However, a negative Covid test result is much better than simply showing you’ve been vaccinated, given that some vaccinated individuals can still catch and spread the virus. So, the idea that only the vaccinated should be allowed to do these activities is absurd. People should not feel forced or bullied into taking a vaccine. Testing negative should be the benchmark, not being vaccinated.

My feeling is that when the rubber meets the road, corporate entities are too greedy to stick to requiring a vaccine. They want everyone’s money, not just the vaccinated. Some have already started to cave and have said either proof of vaccination or a negative test would be needed. It’s good that some are moving in a more reasonable direction but despicable they were trying to use this manipulation in the first place.

Freedom of Speech…If You Support the Vaccine

It’s been clear that some of my content has been slowed and suppressed. Certain images were delayed. Some posts had labels added to redirect folks to the platform’s vaccine information. I was also booted from a Covid Facebook group for “misinformation” when I quite correctly noted existing vaccine trials don’t tell us the real world effectiveness percentage when everyone tries to go back to normal without masks and other health measures and vaccine challenge trials would be needed to provide that data. It’s a plain fact you can’t take data from a population in masks who were limiting activities, distancing, etc. and claim the numbers will stay the same when the health measures stop. It’s clear that in this instance “misinformation” just means anything that doesn’t align with the sanctioned vaccine talking points.

Many others (including Ph.D. virologists) who are raising reasonable concerns about the Covid vaccine based in science are being demonized, labeled anti-vaxxers, and having their content censored or “fact-checked”, which is completely ridiculous. One very informative episode of the DarkHorse Podcast I mentioned in part 5, was “fact-checked” by Facebook and had a warning label applied because they found someone to disagree with the Ph.D. virologist who was the guest on the program. That’s not a fact-check; that’s just a debate which happens all the time in science.

In my own case, Twitter has been worse than Facebook particularly when it comes to comments. It is clear on both platforms that there are either paid trolls who are being compensated to attack anyone who isn’t conforming to vaccine talking points or bots programmed to do the same. Some on Twitter will say there is no evidence of things like breakthrough infections in the vaccinated. If you provide an article to prove them incorrect, then it’s not the right article (according to them but for no legitimate reason) and you are a bad person doing a bad thing by sharing information that is contrary to vaccine cheerleading. So, I’m the devil bitch from hell who is keeping people from being vaccinated because I’m sharing data about efficacy for different levels of infection, breakthrough infections, and various potential concerns.

Frankly, I don’t give a flip about these ludicrous comments. I have a spine of steel and enjoy arguing. So, this BS doesn’t dissuade me from making important points and sharing information that I strongly believe people need to know. However, not everyone has my temperament and I do worry that some people are being browbeaten and abused by these ravenous psychos who are pushing an anti-information agenda.

What is extremely disturbing about the overwhelming push of the pro-vaccine narrative is that some members of Congress have actually begun to apply pressure to social media companies, Facebook in particular, to scrub a large amount of anti-vaccine content from their platform. This was actually the final straw that prompted me to write this series. When I saw members of Congress speaking to Mark Zuckerberg in a Zoom meeting arguing to remove anything that wasn’t Covid vaccine cheerleading from Facebook, I was appalled. Talk about Big Brother from Orwell’s 1984 come to life! Does it really seem like a good idea to have some group policing what information you can see?

As I’ve mentioned, I am not an anti-vaxxer in the larger sense even though I have some specific concerns about Covid vaccines and feel people need to be fully informed about all benefits or shortcomings before making their decision. However, I believe strongly in First Amendment rights to free speech and, if someone is against any or all vaccines, they should have the right to say so and discuss the topic. Censoring what a group in power sees as “wrong” merely because they don’t want anyone seeing the information is unacceptable.

If we start going down this censorship path as a country, it could be catastrophic to free and open discourse. And, even if you agree with the group of the day who wants to ban a certain topic because it’s “wrong”, you can rest assured there will come a time when the makeup of the group in power is different and the content on the chopping block is something you hold dear. We need free speech and open dialogue — not propaganda and brainwashing.

Ruckus Panelist on KCPT, Opinion Columnist, Political Consultant, Former Candidate for U.S. Senate and Kansas Senate, Former Educator