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Academics Raise Concerns About UK Covid-19 Inquiry

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From the Brownstone Institute

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Over 50 prominent UK academics have signed an open letter to Baroness Heather Hallett, chair of the UK Covid-19 Inquiry, calling for urgent action to address the shortcomings of the probe so far. The signatories of the letter say the Hallett Inquiry suffers from bias, false assumptions, and a lack of impartiality.

“The Covid Inquiry is not living up to its mission to evaluate the mistakes made during the pandemic, whether Covid measures were appropriate, and to prepare the country for the next pandemic,” they write.

Kevin Bardosh, lead signatory and Director of Collateral Global has been following the Inquiry closely. He’s concerned it has focused too much on “who said what and when,” rather than homing in on key scientific questions about the evidence (or lack thereof) underpinning policy decisions.

Prof Kevin Bardosh, Director of Collateral Global. Photo credit: Shutterstock

“The Inquiry was pre-designed on the assumption that the government ‘didn’t do enough’ to protect people during the pandemic,” says Bardosh. “But the thing about the pandemic is that more measures, didn’t mean more lives saved. It’s a paradoxical aspect of health policy that more doesn’t necessarily mean better.”

Bardosh, who is affiliated with University of Edinburgh Medical School, says because the Inquiry’s starting position is that non-pharmaceutical interventions (e.g. masks) and lockdowns were necessary and effective, it’s not actually interrogating the trade-offs of these policies.

“If you go back to pre-Covid, policies like lockdowns, extended school closures, and contact tracing for a respiratory virus, were not the ‘scientific consensus’ for how to respond rationally to a pandemic,” he says. “In fact, the reverse was true. The goal was to minimise the disruption to society because it would have all these short and long-term unintended consequences.”

In December 2023, when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was questioned at the Inquiry, he admitted the UK government had failed to discuss the costs and benefits of pandemic policies.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunk questioned at UK Covid Inquiry

Sunak pointed to a peer-reviewed report by Imperial College London and the University of Manchester that applied a Quality-Adjusted Life Year analysis to the first lockdown in the UK and found “for every permutation of lives saved and GDP lost, the costs of lockdown exceed the benefits.” [emphasis added]

Bardosh has also called out the Inquiry for its double standards in scrutinising experts.

Take for example, Neil Ferguson, professor at Imperial College and former SAGE member. He was the architect behind lockdowns after his March 2020 models warned that 500,000 Brits would die unless tougher restrictions were put in place to curb spread of the virus.

Bardosh says, “The Inquiry hasn’t really questioned Ferguson’s mathematical model in any substantial way. But if you compare that to the questioning of Professor Carl Heneghan, who’s based out of Oxford, it was very confrontational, and they used provocative language to suggest he didn’t have expertise in this area.”

Heneghan, the director of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, was among 32 senior UK academics who urged then-Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to think twice about plunging Britain into a second lockdown in the autumn of 2020.

It was revealed during evidence to the Inquiry, that the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Dame Angela McLean, called Heneghan a “fuckwit” on a WhatsApp chat during a September 2020 Government meeting for his dissenting views on lockdowns.

Prof Carl Heneghan, director of Centre of Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford

Later, Heneghan penned a scathing article in The Spectator, calling the Inquiry a “farce – a spectacle of hysteria, name-calling and trivialities.”

“Lockdown was the most disruptive policy in British peacetime history, with huge ramifications for our health, children’s education and the economy,” wrote Heneghan.

“This is an opportunity for the inquiry to gather evidence and ask whether lockdown and other interventions actually worked…Instead we have a KC [King’s Counsel] who seems uninterested in substance and obsessed with reading out rude words he has found in other people’s private messages.”

Bardosh and the other signatories have also raised concerns about the structure of the scientific advisory groups in the Inquiry, which have omitted key experts in child development, schooling impacts, social, and economic policy.

“The Inquiry must invite a much broader range of scientific experts with more critical viewpoints. It must also review the evidence on diverse topics so that it can be fully informed of relevant science and the economic and social cost of Covid policies to British society,” write the signatories.

So far, Bardosh is unimpressed with the ‘political theatre’ of the Inquiry, but hopes Baroness Hallett will urgently address its shortcomings to avoid compromising the credibility of future public inquiries.

“Not having an inquiry that really asks those questions is very damaging to the idea of accountability. We need to hold to account the policy decisions that were made because if we don’t, the next time there’s a public health emergency, these measures will come back into place whether or not they actually work,” says Bardosh.

The Hallett Inquiry is slated to run until 2026 and is reported to be one of the largest public inquiries in UK history. The cost of the UK government’s Covid measures are estimated to be between £310bn and £410bn.

Republished from the author’s Substack

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  • Maryanne Demasi

    Maryanne Demasi, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, is an investigative medical reporter with a PhD in rheumatology, who writes for online media and top tiered medical journals. For over a decade, she produced TV documentaries for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and has worked as a speechwriter and political advisor for the South Australian Science Minister.

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Brownstone Institute

Pfizer Lied to Us Again

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From Brownstone Institute

BY Ian MillerIAN MILLER 

There used to be a time where claims from pharmaceutical companies may have been treated with some degree of skepticism from major institutions and media outlets.

Yet in late 2020 and into 2021, suddenly skepticism turned to complete blind faith. But what changed? Why, political incentives, of course!

Initially, Covid vaccines produced by Pfizer were seen as dangerous and untested; they were considered a Trump vaccine that only idiots who were willing to risk their own health would take. However when the 2020 election had been officially decided, and Biden and his political allies represented the Covid vaccines as the pathway out of the pandemic, a moral choice that would help yourself and others, narratives and incentives changed dramatically.

Pfizer became a heroic symbol of virtue, and all questioning of Covid vaccines was grounds for immediate expulsion from polite society, regardless of the actual efficacy of Pfizer’s products.

Much of the blame for the vaccines’ underperformance could be placed on Pfizer itself; the company relentlessly promoted hopelessly inaccurate efficacy estimates and supported efforts to unnecessarily mandate mRNA shots.

Sure enough, on the back of progressive orthodoxy, corporate and institutional incompetence and media activism, they proudly reported record revenues.

We all know how that turned out in 2022 and 2023.

Skepticism towards Pfizer’s vaccine was obviously quite well warranted. And it turns out that now we, and of course, Pfizer’s chief promoters in the media and public health class should have been even more skeptical.

They weren’t.

Pfizer’s Claims On Covid Treatments Were Wildly Inaccurate

As the Covid vaccines failed spectacularly to stop the spread of infections and did nothing to lessen all-cause mortality or even decrease population level Covid-associated deaths in highly vaccinated countries, Pfizer saw another opportunity.

Sure, their signature product failed to perform as expected. So why not create another one as an antidote?

Enter Paxlovid.

Paxlovid, an antiviral drug, was supposed to help individuals with symptomatic Covid, who’d already been infected, recover more quickly and lessen the risk of severe illness. Sounds great right?

It would appear that it sure did to Anthony Fauci and the cadre of media-promoted “experts.”

Fauci praised Paxlovid in 2022, after the mRNA vaccines and booster doses failed to prevent him from contracting Covid. Bizarrely, Fauci implied that the same Pfizer products that he demanded everyone take would not have been enough to keep him healthy, saying that he believed Paxlovid had kept him out of the hospital.

Never mind, of course, that Fauci had a “rebound” case of Covid-19 after taking Paxlovid and getting vaccinated and boosted. Acknowledging imperfections would undercut his desire to get everyone to take more of his preferred products.

Paxlovid made headlines again later in 2022 as Rochelle Walensky also praised Pfizer’s efforts, despite once again testing positive for “rebound” Covid after Paxlovid treatments.

Even today, the CDC’s own website says Paxlovid is an “effective” treatment for those who’ve contracted the virus and want to avoid severe illness.

There’s just one problem; it’s not true.

A newly released study on Paxlovid on randomized adults with symptomatic Covid; one subset was given Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir-ritonavir) or a placebo every 12 hours for five days, with the intent of determining how effective it was at “sustained alleviation” of Covid-19 symptoms.

In this phase 2–3 trial, we randomly assigned adults who had confirmed Covid-19 with symptom onset within the past 5 days in a 1:1 ratio to receive nirmatrelvir–ritonavir or placebo every 12 hours for 5 days. Patients who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and who had at least one risk factor for severe disease, as well as patients without such risk factors who had never been vaccinated against Covid-19 or had not been vaccinated within the previous year, were eligible for participation. Participants logged the presence and severity of prespecified Covid-19 signs and symptoms daily from day 1 through day 28. The primary end point was the time to sustained alleviation of all targeted Covid-19 signs and symptoms. Covid-19–related hospitalization and death from any cause were also assessed through day 28.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t effective at all.

Their measured results revealed that there was effectively no difference whatsoever in the “sustained alleviation” of symptoms between Paxlovid and a placebo. Those taking Pfizer’s miracle antiviral treatment saw their “signs and symptoms” resolve after 12 days, while the placebo recipients took 13 days.

The median time to sustained alleviation of all targeted signs and symptoms of Covid-19 was 12 days in the nirmatrelvir–ritonavir group and 13 days in the placebo group (P=0.60). Five participants (0.8%) in the nirmatrelvir–ritonavir group and 10 (1.6%) in the placebo group were hospitalized for Covid-19 or died from any cause (difference, −0.8 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, −2.0 to 0.4).

This is the product that to this day is relentlessly promoted by the CDC, the media, and politicians as an effective tool to reduce the severity of symptoms and the length of illness. And it was virtually meaningless.

Even with regards to the most severe outcomes, hospitalization, and death, the difference was negligible. Confidence intervals for the difference in outcome even stretched to a positive relationship, meaning that it’s within the bounds of possibility that more people died or were hospitalized after taking Paxlovid than a placebo.

Succinctly, the researchers confirmed in their summary that there was no difference between the two treatments.

The time to sustained alleviation of all signs and symptoms of Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants who received nirmatrelvir–ritonavir and those who received placebo.

But who are these researchers, you might ask…surely they’re fringe scientists, desperate to undercut a big, bad pharmaceutical company, right? How else could their conclusions so thoroughly undermine Pfizer?

Let’s take a look at the disclosure to see who funded this study, designed the trial, conducted it, collected the data, and analyzed the results. Surely, that will reveal the nefarious intentions behind this dastardly attempt to cut at the heart of Pfizer’s miracle drug.

Pfizer was responsible for the trial design and conduct and for data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The first draft of the manuscript was written by medical writers (funded by Pfizer) under direction from the authors.

Oh. Oh no.

Pfizer created the trial, conducted it, collected the data, and analyzed it. And it found that Paxlovid made no difference to the resolution of symptoms or with keeping people alive or out of the hospital. That has to sting.

Even worse, Covid vaccination was once again proven to be almost entirely irrelevant where results were concerned. Results were the same between “high-risk subgroups,” meaning those who had been vaccinated but had an elevated risk for more serious symptoms, and those who had never been vaccinated or had received the last dose more than a year ago.

Similar results were observed in the high-risk subgroup (i.e., participants who had been vaccinated and had at least one risk factor for severe illness) and in the standard-risk subgroup (i.e., those who had no risk factors for severe illness and had never been vaccinated or had not been vaccinated within the previous 12 months).

So not only did Paxlovid not make a difference, but vaccination status AND Paxlovid wasn’t enough to create a sizable gap in outcomes between healthy, unvaccinated individuals.

But wait, there’s more.

Viral load rebounds were also more common in the Paxlovid group, and symptom and viral load rebounds combined were more common among those taking Pfizer’s treatment. While percentages were generally low, other studies have pegged Paxlovid-associated rebound as occurring nearly one quarter of the time.

So it’s not particularly effective at reducing symptoms or resolving them more quickly, doesn’t lead to statistically significant improvements in the most severe outcomes, and is more likely to result in a rebound case of the illness it’s supposed to be protecting you from.

Sounds exactly like the type of product that Fauci, Walensky, and the CDC would praise, doesn’t it?

Paxlovid is the entire Covid-pharmaceutical complex summarized perfectly. Created to solve a problem that was supposed to be fixed by another product…understudied, overhyped by the “experts,” and prematurely authorized by a desperate FDA…and ultimately shown to be mostly ineffective.

Once again, the actual science disproves The Science™. And once again, we’ll get no acknowledgment of it or apologies for the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted. Can’t wait to see what Pfizer does for an encore.

Republished from the author’s Substack

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Japanese study finds ‘significant increases’ in cancer deaths after third mRNA COVID doses

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From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

Cancer deaths started rising again in Japan in 2021, and one study concludes it ‘may be attributable to several mechanisms’ of the mRNA-based COVID vaccines.

A new study has found “statistically significant increases” in cancer deaths after taking a third dose of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, according to a Japanese study published April 8 in the journal Cureus.

The study looked at age-adjusted mortality rates for multiple types of cancers from 2020 to 2022 in Japanese government data. “No significant excess mortality was observed during the first year of the pandemic (2020),” it says. “However, some excess cancer mortalities were observed in 2021 after mass vaccination with the first and second vaccine doses, and significant excess mortalities were observed for all cancers and some specific types of cancer (including ovarian cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, lip/oral/pharyngeal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer) after mass vaccination with the third dose in 2022.”

Notably, the rollout of the COVID vaccines coincided with an interruption and slowing of declines in cancer mortality rates that had been observed across all age groups over the span of the preceding decade. Third mRNA doses correlated with “significant excess mortalities” of all cancers, including breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer as well as leukemia. Almost all of the COVID vaccines at issue were mRNA-based, with 78% of those being from Pfizer and 22% from Moderna.

“For all cancers, we estimated the excess mortalities to be -0.4% (-0.9, 0.1), 1.1% (0.5, 1.8), and 2.1% (1.4, 2.8), respectively, indicating no excess in 2020 and statistically significant increases in 2021 and especially in 2022,” the authors write.

Changes in 2020 can be attributed to the height of the lockdowns forcing delays and cancellations of surgeries and other cancer treatments, but the researchers note several potential causal links between the vaccines and cancer deaths in 2021 and beyond.

“Some studies have shown that type I interferon (INF) responses, which play an essential role in cancer immunosurveillance, are suppressed after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-LNP vaccination,” they write.

“SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has been shown to cause immunosuppression and lead to the reactivation of latent viruses such as varicella-zoster virus (VZV, human herpesvirus 3; HHV3) or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) in some cases,” the add. “These phenomena could also help explain the excess deaths from lip/oral/pharyngeal cancer in 2022 when mass vaccination with third and later doses was underway.”

The researchers conclude that “[t]hese particularly marked increases in mortality rates of these ERα-sensitive cancers may be attributable to several mechanisms of the mRNA-LNP vaccination rather than COVID-19 infection itself or reduced cancer care due to the lockdown. The significance of this possibility warrants further studies.”

“I have long suspected a cancer link to the vaccines just based on the science of immunology,” MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff told The Epoch Times in response to the study. “What I think is happening, broadly speaking, is that the vaccine is causing impairment of the innate immune response, which leads to an increased susceptibility to any infection, increased autoimmune disease, and accelerated cancer progression.”

In 2021, Project Veritas shed light on some of the reasons for such under-reporting with undercover video from inside Phoenix Indian Medical Center, a facility run under the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Indian Health Service program, in which emergency room physician Dr. Maria Gonzales laments that myocarditis cases go unreported “because they want to shove it under the mat,” and nurse Deanna Paris attests to seeing “a lot” of people who “got sick from the side effects” of the COVID shots, but “nobody” is reporting them to VAERS “because it takes over a half hour to write the damn thing.”

An analysis of 99 million people across eight countries published February in the journal Vaccine–the largest analysis to date–“observed significantly higher risks of myocarditis following the first, second and third doses” of mRNA-based COVID vaccines, as well as signs of increased risk of “pericarditis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis,” and other “potential safety signals that require further investigation.” Earlier this month, the CDC was forced to release by court order 780,000 previously undisclosed reports of serious adverse reactions.

In Florida, a grand jury impaneled by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is currently investigating the manufacture and rollout of the COVID vaccines. In February, it released its first interim report on the underlying justification for Operation Warp Speed, which determined that lockdowns did more harm than good, that masks were ineffective at stopping COVID transmission, that COVID was “statistically almost harmless” to children and most adults, and that it is “highly likely” that COVID hospitalization numbers were inflated. The grand jury’s report on the vaccines themselves is highly anticipated.

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