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Health

‘Shocking cover-up’: DOJ lawyers committed fraud in vaccine injury case, CHD attorney alleges in motion

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24 minute read

From LifeSiteNews

By Brenda Baletti, Ph.D., The Defender

“The evidence submitted in support of the motion clearly shows that attorneys from the Department of Justice concealed and misrepresented highly relevant information from the special masters in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the judges in the courts”

Rolf Hazlehurst, a Children’s Health Defense (CHD) staff attorney and father of a son with autism, filed a motion in federal court on April 2 alleging lawyers representing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fraudulently concealed evidence that vaccines can cause autism.

In a motion filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Hazlehurst alleged that U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers who represented HHS in vaccine injury cases repeatedly defrauded the judicial system – from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

That fraud led to thousands of families of vaccine-injured children being denied the right to compensation and the right to have their cases heard, according to the motion.

“This motion makes very serious and well-substantiated allegations of a massive scheme of fraud on the courts,” said Kim Mack Rosenberg, CHD general counsel who also is of counsel to Hazlehurst in the federal case.

“The evidence submitted in support of the motion clearly shows that attorneys from the Department of Justice concealed and misrepresented highly relevant information from the special masters in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the judges in the courts,” Mack Rosenberg told The Defender.

Hazlehurst’s son Yates regressed into autism after being vaccinated as an infant. In the early 2000s, his family and thousands of others filed cases seeking compensation for vaccine-induced autism through the NVICP.

Unbeknownst at the time to the petitioners and the NVICP special masters, the DOJ’s star expert medical witness, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman informed DOJ attorneys during the ongoing omnibus proceedings that he had reversed his original opinion and determined that vaccines can and do cause autism in some cases.

In what Hazlehurst alleges was “a shocking cover-up,” instead of allowing Zimmerman to share his revised opinion, the DOJ attorneys relieved Zimmerman of his duties as a witness.

However, they continued to use excerpts from his unamended written opinion to make their case that vaccines did not cause autism – misrepresenting his position and committing “fraud on the court.”

According to the motion, the DOJ’s first act of fraud snowballed into a scheme of deception with far-reaching implications in which DOJ attorneys repeatedly misrepresented Zimmerman’s opinion and concealed other evidence that emerged during the test case hearings in the OAP in subsequent cases before multiple courts.

“As a result, thousands of cases in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding were denied compensation and the impact beyond the OAP is enormous,” Mack Rosenberg said. “This fraud affected the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program – especially the Omnibus Autism Proceeding – the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and even the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Hazlehurst said he is “asking the court to give this motion the serious attention it deserves.” He added, “At a minimum, the court should allow discovery and hold a hearing on this motion.”

Overturning a ruling due to fraud on the court is an extraordinary remedy reserved for extraordinary cases but according to Hazlehurst, “This motion we filed shows that this indeed is an extraordinary case.”

The DOJ has until April 30 to respond to the motion.

CHD CEO Mary Holland told The Defender, “Vaccines most definitely do cause autism, and the government has been lying about this reality for decades.”

Holland added:

With others, I published a law review article in 2011 showing that the government absolutely knew that vaccines cause autism – and yet they have covered it up and lied about it since the inception of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

How many hundreds of thousands of children and families would have been spared the heartaches and crushing financial burdens of autism had the government come clean?

‘Exceptionally difficult’ to obtain compensation through NVICP

In the late 1980s, a substantial number of lawsuits for vaccine injuries related to Wyeth’s (now Pfizer) DPT vaccine, combined with “grossly insufficient compensation” for victims of vaccine injury, threatened the vaccine program’s viability.

In response, Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which established the “vaccine court.” The law gave the pharmaceutical industry broad protection from liability and proposed to compensate vaccine-injured children through the new NVICP.

The NVICP originally was designed to be a “swift, flexible, and less adversarial alternative to the often costly and lengthy civil arena of traditional tort litigation.”

To receive compensation, parents file a claim with the program.

The Court of Federal Claims (which oversees the program) appoints “special masters” – typically lawyers who previously represented the U.S. government – to manage and decide the individual claims. Attorneys may represent the petitioners, and the DOJ represents HHS.

NVICP proceedings are more informal than a typical courtroom. Unlike regular court proceedings, petitioners in the “vaccine court” have no right to discovery.

If a petitioner files a claim for a vaccine covered under the program and listed on the Vaccine Injury Table – the list of known vaccine side effects associated with certain vaccines within set time frames – it is presumed that a vaccine caused the petitioner’s injury and the petitioner is eligible for compensation without proof of causation.

However, if a petitioner experiences an “off-table injury” – an injury not listed on the table or that didn’t happen in the recognized injury time frame – the petitioner must prove by “a preponderance of evidence” that the vaccine caused the injury. Evidence includes medical records and expert witness testimony.

Claims must be filed within three years of the first symptom or two years of death.

Petitioners must provide a medical theory of the cause, a sequence of cause and effect, and show a temporal relationship between vaccine and injury.

However, the NVICP does not specify the required volume and type of evidence, so meeting the “preponderance of evidence” standard is largely at the discretion of the special master.

Petitioners can appeal NVICP cases to the Court of Federal Claims, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is “exceptionally difficult” to obtain compensation within the NVICP, Hazlehurst told The Defender. The proceedings are often turned into drawn-out, contentious expert battles and the backlog of cases is substantial.

The Vaccine Act of 1986 is unjust for petitioners, Hazlehurst alleges. And that injustice reached its zenith with the OAP, when the DOJ perpetrated fraud right under the noses of the special masters, signaling the beginning of the fraud on the courts that continues to this day.

Hazlehurst told The Defender he hopes his motion will shed light on the damage inflicted by this law and that it will ultimately help end the autism epidemic.

“The Vaccine Act of 1986 is one of the fundamental causes of the autism epidemic,” Hazlehurst said. “Understanding why this is true, and how the United States Department of Justice perpetrated fraud upon the courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, is the key to ending the autism epidemic.”

A short history of the autism omnibus proceedings

By 2002, to address a “massive influx” of petitions alleging vaccine-induced autism, the Office of Special Masters combined over 5,000 claims into the OAP to determine whether vaccines cause autism and if so, under what conditions.

Initially, the NVICP planned to investigate causation issues and apply those general findings to individual cases. However, the program changed its strategy and instead selected six “test cases” by which it would examine the evidence for injuries caused by the measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine, thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCV), or a combination of both.

Then it would apply the findings of the test cases to other similar cases.

In doing so, Hazlehurst alleges, the court conflated general causation evidence with specific causation evidence from a few cases, without allowing for rules of discovery or evidence that would apply in an actual court.

This, Hazlehurst said, “was a recipe for disaster” as each test case was then used to determine the outcome for the remaining 5,000 cases.

Three cases – Cedillo v. HHSHazlehurst v. HHS, and Poling v. HHS – are at the center of the alleged fraud by the DOJ.

Fraud #1: the Zimmerman testimony

Hearings for the first OAP test case, Cedillo v. HHS, began in 2007. Zimmerman had worked with the DOJ to prepare an expert report on behalf of HHS finding that Michelle Cedillo’s autism had likely not been caused by the MMR vaccine.

Zimmerman later wrote in a 2018 affidavit that he attended the Cedillo hearing and listened to the testimony of Dr. Marcel Kinsbourne, another world-renowned expert in pediatric neurology.

On that basis, Zimmerman stated, he decided to clarify his written expert opinion about Michelle Cedillo, concerned it would be taken out of context.

Zimmerman spoke with DOJ attorneys to clarify that his expert opinion in the Cedillo case “was not intended to be a blanket statement as to all children and all medical science,” according to the 2018 affidavit.

He specified that advances in science, medicine and his own clinical research had led him to believe there were exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.

He also referred the attorneys to a paper he published with colleagues in 2006, the Poling paper, describing the case of an unidentified child who suffered regressive autism following vaccine adverse reactions. The paper suggested a possible association between mitochondrial dysfunction, vaccinations and regressive autism.

After communicating this evidence to DOJ attorneys, the DOJ dismissed Zimmerman as a witness but continued to use his written opinion as general causation evidence.

The DOJ was also allowed to use that report, submitted in one test case, as general causation evidence in other test cases.

None of the petitioners in the test cases could cross-examine Zimmerman, because he was no longer a witness. This was only possible because the federal rules of evidence do not apply in NVICP proceedings.

Yates’ case, Hazlehurst v. HHS, was the second test case in the OAP. His treating neurologist, Dr. Jean-Ronel Corbier testified Yates’ autism was likely caused by a genetic predisposition combined with an environmental insult in the form of vaccinations administered when Yates was ill. (Yates was a patient of Zimmerman in 2002.)

Corbier’s theory of causation in Yates was similar to the theory developed by Zimmerman in the Poling paper and shared with DOJ attorneys.

Yet, despite knowing Zimmerman had concluded that in a subset of children like Yates, vaccines can cause autism, the DOJ “intentionally and fraudulently” misrepresented Zimmerman’s expert testimony in its closing statements in Yates’ case, Hazlehurst alleges.

DOJ attorneys selectively quoted Zimmerman’s expert report from the Cedillo case, telling the court that Zimmerman found there was “no sound evidence to support a causative relationship with exposure to both or either MMR and/or mercury,” when Zimmerman had explicitly told the DOJ that his opinion was the opposite, according to the affidavit.

Fraud #2: the Hannah Poling case

Three weeks after closing arguments in Yates’ case, the DOJ quietly conceded Hannah Poling’s case, which was on the verge of becoming the fourth test case.

Hannah regressed into autism over several months after being vaccinated against nine diseases at one doctor’s visit.

In 2003, Poling’s father, Jon, a physician and trained neurologist, and mother, Terry, an attorney and nurse, filed an autism petition against HHS under the NVICP for their daughter’s injuries.

Jon Poling was a co-author of the 2006 paper with Zimmerman that analyzed an unnamed child, later revealed as Hannah Poling, who had a mitochondrial disorder – a condition with which Yates was later diagnosed.

In 2007, just three weeks after the lead DOJ attorney misrepresented Zimmerman’s opinion during the hearing in Hazlehurst, the same DOJ attorney submitted a report to the special masters conceding that in the case of Poling v. HHS, Hannah’s “regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder” (i.e., regressive autism) was caused by a vaccine injury, based upon a preponderance of the evidence standard.

This was the same neurological diagnosis Zimmerman had made for Yates in 2002.

According to court documents, if HHS had not conceded Poling, Poling v. HHS would have been designated as a test case. However, because the DOJ conceded the case, it was taken out of the omnibus and the DOJ had the case records sealed – although they were later leaked to the press and published in the Huffington Post in 2008.

In March 2008, Hannah’s parents moved to make the proceedings transparent and available to the public, but the DOJ opposed the motion and the NVICP deferred a ruling on the motion for 60 days.

During those 60 days, the DOJ filed amendments to its report conceding the Poling case. It retroactively changed the basis for compensation to say that Hannah had a “table injury.”

This meant that instead of conceding that the petitioners had proven with a preponderance of evidence that the vaccines caused her autism, they said she had a presumptive injury on the vaccine table, in which causation is presumed.

By conceding the Poling case, opposing the parents’ motion for complete transparency and changing the basis for compensation, the DOJ was able to conceal fraud and critical material evidence of how vaccines cause autism, according to Hazlehurst.

Fraud #3: appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court

On Feb. 12, 2009, the special masters denied compensation in the first three cases. They found the petitioners failed to establish causation between MMR or TCV vaccines and autism.

In Hazlehurst’s case, the NVICP explicitly relied on the portion of Zimmerman’s expert report that DOJ attorneys misrepresented.

The Hazlehursts appealed to the Court of Federal Claims and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, both of which upheld the special master’s decision – by relying on Zimmerman’s misrepresented opinion and knowingly fraudulent statements made by a DOJ attorney, according to Hazlehurst.

Those prior decisions directly influenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Bruesewitz v. Wyeth.

In that case, Wyeth, now Pfizer, argued that a decision favoring the Bruesewitz family – who was attempting to sue the company for their daughter’s vaccine injury – would lead to a “flood of frivolous lawsuits,” including by the families from the omnibus.

Amicus briefs from the American Academy of Pediatrics, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck and Sanofi Pasteur on behalf of Wyeth relied on Hazlehurst v. HHS and other OAP decisions that were based on the misrepresentation of Zimmerman’s testimony that there was “no scientific basis” that vaccines cause autism.

The Supreme Court ruled that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and the NVICP it created, preempt all design-defect claims against vaccine manufacturers by individuals seeking compensation for injury or death.

In oral arguments and in their written opinions, the justices explicitly cited the portions of the amicus briefs citing Hazlehurst v. HHS and other OAP rulings that relied on the DOJ misrepresentations in their rulings.

Since that ruling, the special masters have continued to rely on the DOJ’s fraudulent claims to deny compensation to families filing complaints in the NVICP.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., CHD chairman on leave, and Hazlehurst in September 2018 filed a complaint with the DOJ Office of Inspector General outlining what they then knew about the DOJ’s fraud during the OAP.

The DOJ Office of Professional Misconduct investigated and responded in a June 2019 letter that it found no wrongdoing.

In that letter, however, the Office of Professional Responsibility conceded the DOJ had in fact kept Zimmerman’s testimony while dismissing him as a witness in order to avoid creating the appearance that he had changed his opinion and to prevent the petitioners from cross-examining him, according to Hazlehurst.

The ‘fraud on the court’ doctrine 

It has taken 17 years, Hazlehurst said, since the DOJ’s first alleged act of fraud upon the court, for him to gather all of the admissible evidence necessary to “connect the dots and reveal the DOJ’s web of deceit” to make this claim under the “fraud on the court” doctrine.

Under this doctrine, codified as Rule 60(d)(3) in the rules of the Court of Federal Claims, there is no time limit for the court to overturn a judgment made on the basis of fraud on the court.

The petitioner must demonstrate that there was fraud, intent to defraud and that the fraud affected more than one instance of litigation – putting the integrity of the judicial process at stake.

Hazlehurst alleges DOJ attorneys committed fraud by knowingly making false statements and offering evidence they knew to be false and that they did not take remedial action to disclose information they knew to be false and misleading to the court.

The special masters themselves have an obligation to consider all relevant evidence, but didn’t, in this case, Hazlehurst said. Instead, they ignored the contradictions in Zimmerman’s opinions and ignored the Poling evidence.

This is particularly problematic for NVICP cases, where petitioners can’t conduct meaningful discovery or cross-examination and the special masters’ oversight is the only meaningful safeguard to prevent the DOJ’s abuse of power, according to Hazlehurst.

“There is nothing fair about a government proceeding where the government controls the admissibility of evidence,” he said.

Hazlehurst said that by forcing people injured by vaccines into an administrative program, petitioners are deprived of the basic constitutional rights to due process and equal protection under the law. “It should be declared unconstitutional,” he said.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

Fraser Institute

Enough talk, we need to actually do something about Canadian health care

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From the Macdonald Laurier Institute

By J. Edward Les for Inside Policy

Canada spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP than almost all other OECD countries, yet we rank behind most of them when it comes to outcomes that matter.

I drove a stretch of road near Calgary’s South Health Campus the other day, a section with a series of three intersections in a span of less than a few hundred metres. That is, I tried to drive it – but spent far more time idling than moving.

At each intersection, after an interminable wait, the light turned green just as the next one flipped to red, grinding traffic to a halt just after it got rolling. It was excruciating; I’m quite sure I spied a snail on crutches racing by – no doubt making a beeline (snail-line?) for the ER a stone’s throw away.

The street’s sluggishness is perhaps reflective of the hospital next to it, given that our once-cherished universal health care system has crumbled into a universal waiting system – a system seemingly crafted (like that road) to obstruct flow rather than enable it. In fact, the pace of medical care delivery in this country has become so glacial that even a parking lot by comparison feels like the Indianapolis Speedway.

The health care crisis grows more dire by the day. Reforms are long overdue. Canada spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP than almost all other OECD countries, yet we rank behind most of them when it comes to outcomes that matter.

And we’re paying with our lives: according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, thousands of Canadians die each and every year because of the inefficiencies of our system.

Yet for all that we are paralyzed by the enormity and complexity of the mushrooming disaster. We talk about solutions – and then we talk and talk some more. But for all the talking, precious little action is taken.

I’m reminded of an Anne Lamotte vignette, related in her bestselling book Bird By Bird:

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

So it is with Canadian health care: we’ve wasted years wringing our hands about the woeful state of affairs, while doing precious little about it.

Enough procrastinating. It’s time to tackle the crisis, bird by bird.

One thing we can do is to let doctors be doctors.  A few weeks ago, in a piece titled “Should Doctors Mind Their Own Business?”, I questioned the customary habit of doctors hanging out their shingles in small independent community practices. Physicians spend long years of training to master their craft, years during which they receive no training in business methods whatsoever, and then we expect them to master those skills off to the side of their exam rooms. Some do it well, but many do not – and it detracts from their attention to patients.

We don’t install newly minted teachers in classrooms and at the same time task them with the keeping the lights on, managing the supply chain, overseeing staffing and payroll, and all the other mechanics of running schools. Why do we expect that of doctors?

Keeping doctors embedded within large, expensive, inefficient, bureaucracy-choked hospitals isn’t the solution, either.

There’s a better way, I argued in my essay: regional medical centres – centres built and administered in partnership with the private sector.

Such centres would allow practitioners currently practicing in the community to ply their trade unencumbered by the nuts and bolts of running a business; and they would allow us to decant a host of services from hospitals, which should be reserved for what only hospitals can do: emergency services, inpatient care, surgeries, and the like.

In short, we should let doctors be doctors, and hospitals be hospitals.

To garner feedback, I dumped my musings into a couple of online physician forums to which I belong, tagged with the query: “Food for thought, or fodder for the compost bin?”

The verdict? Hands down, the compost bin.

I was a bit taken aback, initially. Offended, even – because who among us isn’t in love with their own ideas?

But it quickly became evident from my peers’ comments that I’d been misunderstood. Not because my doctor friends are dim, but because I hadn’t been clear.

When I proposed in my essay that we “leave the administration and day-to-day tasks of running those centres to business folks who know what they’re doing,” my colleagues took that to mean that doctors would be serving at the beck and call of a tranche of ill-informed government-enabled administrators – and they reacted to the notion with anaphylactic derision. And understandably so: too many of us have long and painful experience with thick layers of health care bureaucracy seemingly organized according to the Peter Principle, with people promoted to – and permanently stuck at – the level of their incompetence.

But I didn’t mean to suggest – not for a minute – that doctors shouldn’t be engaged in running these centres. I also wrote: “None of which is to suggest that doctors shouldn’t be involved, by aptitude and inclination, in influencing the set-up and management of regional centres – of course, they should.”

Of course they should. There are plenty of physicians equipped with both the skills and interest needed to administer these centres; and they should absolutely be front and centre in leading them.

But more than that: everyone should have skin in the game. All workers have the right to share in the success of an enterprise; and when they do, everybody wins.  When everyone is pulling in the same direction because everyone shares in the wins, waste and inefficiencies are rooted out like magic.

Contrast that to how hospitals are run, with scarcely anyone aware of the actual cost of the blood tests or CT scans they order or the packets of suture and gauze they rip open, and with the motivations of administrative staff, nurses, doctors, and other personnel running off in more directions than a flock of headless chickens. The capacity for waste and inefficiencies is almost limitless.

I don’t mean to suggest that the goal of regional medical centres should be to turn a profit; but fiscal prudence and economic accountability are to be celebrated, because money not wasted is money that can be allocated to enhancing patient care.

Nor do I mean to intimate that sensible resource management should be the only parameter tracked; patient outcomes and patient satisfaction are paramount.

What should government’s role be in all this? Initially, to incentivize the creation of these centres via public-private partnerships; and then, crucially, to encourage competition among them and to reward innovation and performance, with optimization of the three key metrics – patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and economic accountability – always in focus.

No one should be mandated to work in non-hospital regional medical centres. It’s a free country (or it should be): doctors should be free to hang out their own community shingles if they wish. But if we build the model correctly, my contention is that most medical professionals will prefer to work collaboratively under one roof with a diverse group of colleagues, unencumbered by the mundanities of running a business, but also free of choking hospital bureaucracy.

I connected a couple weeks ago with the always insightful economist Jack Mintz (who is also a distinguished fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute). Mintz sits on the board of a Toronto-area hospital and sees first-hand “the problems with the lack of supply, population growth, long wait times between admission and getting a bed, emergency room overuse,” and so on.

“Something has to give,” he said. “Probably more resources but better managed. We really need major reform.”

On that we can all agree. We can’t carry on this way.

So, let’s stop idling; and let’s green-light some fixes.

As Samwise Gamgee said in The Lord of the Rings, “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”


Dr. J. Edward Les is a pediatrician in Calgary who writes on politics, social issues, and other matters.

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Brownstone Institute

The Trouble with Testing

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From the Brownstone Institute

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Deborah Birx is at it again, urging mass testing for the detection of bird flu. She wants cows and dairy workers examined to ferret out asymptomatic infections and exposures in animals and people. We have the technology so why not use it, she demands to know. We are making the same mistake we made with Covid early on, she argues.

The role of testing is relatively uncontroversial but it probably should be. Early on in the Covid crisis, though completely against the lockdowns, I was an enthusiast for testing simply because I thought doing so would overcome the epistemic void that was driving public panic.

If you are scared of a disease and have no means to discover whether or not you have it, what is your choice but to hop around in a frenzy and comply with every edict? That was my thinking in any case. We live and learn.

What’s left out of the testing issue is the great question of why. Is it track, trace, and isolate? That has been proven impossible – and long known to be impossible – in the case of a fast-spreading and fast-mutating respiratory virus with a zoonotic reservoir. They tried it anyway with many states quickly hiring tens of thousands of contact tracers.

The iTunes and Google app stores had contact tracing programs you could download. That way if you came close to someone who had tested positive, you would be alerted. It worked like a digital leper’s bell. In fact, even now, the airlines are still doing Covid contact tracing for flying in and out of the country.

Another possible rationale is likely the one in the mind of Birx. She was formed in the AIDS era where the goal was zero infections. Early on, she was a proponent of zero Covid and made that very clear. She is a virus exterminationist: every policy is structured to drive infections, cases, and even exposure to zero, despite the utter impossibility of this goal.

Another possible rationale would be to discern early intervention therapies for people who need them. But realizing that goal is contingent on two other conditions: having therapeutics available and knowing with some sense of confidence that an asymptomatic infection is certainly going to get worse.

Think of the movie Contagion (2011) in this way. It was a killer virus that you get and get worse and then die, all rather quickly. In the movie, the job of the health authorities was always to find the infected and notify everyone with whom they had contact. By the way, this didn’t even work in the film but we are presented with some impressive disease forensics that ended up isolating patient zero.

Again, the question beckons: why are we doing all this? The goals of stopping the spread, driving exposure to zero, and actually treating the sick (if they are sick versus just exposed) are certainly in tension with each other. If you are going to embark on an elaborate and invasive scheme to find and isolate every instance of the pathogen, it’s a good idea to know what precisely you are trying to achieve with the effort. No interviewer has been smart enough to ask this fundamental question of Birx.

And keep in mind that Birx does not want to limit testing to people. She wants cows and chickens tested too, and there’s no particular reason to limit it to that. It could include every member of the animal kingdom, every four-legged creature, and every fish and foul. The expense would be enormous and truly unthinkable, driving the cost of meat production sky-high, especially given the inevitable slaughters that would be mandated.

This is made worse, as we learned last time, by PCR tests that can be set at any cycle rate to discover the mere presence of a virus in just about anything. The last time, this led to unwarranted assumptions of contagiousness, up to 90 percent in 2020, as reported by the New York Times. Because there was and is so much confusion about this piece, let’s quote it directly.

The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.

This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.

In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.

On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.

While it’s not quite precise to say that the PCR tests generate 90% false positives, it is correct to say that in those tests looked at by the NYT at the height of the pandemic, 90 percent of positive results did not warrant concern at all. They should have been thrown out entirely.

That’s a serious problem for the test, track, trace, and isolate regime that Birx is proposing. Is it any wonder that people today are highly suspicious of this entire idea? Rightly so. Nothing is to be gained by throwing the whole of society into a mysophobic panic when the tests themselves are so poor at discerning the difference between a mild exposure and a medically significant case.

For more on this, see my interview with Jay Bhattacharya, who was onto this problem very early on.

Indeed it was precisely the PCR tests that created this wild confusion between an exposure, an infection, and an actual case. The word case in the past had been reserved for someone actually sick and needing some medical intervention. For reasons never explained, that entire language was blown up, such that OurWorldinData suddenly started listing every documented PCR exposure as a case, creating the feeling of disaster when actually life was functioning entirely normally. The better the authorities got at testing, and the more universal the testing mandates, the sicker the population seemed to be getting.

This all depends on the conflation of exposure, infection, and cases.

Once the disease panic is created, what’s left to do about it remains entirely within the realm of public health authorities. Already last week, the authorities ordered 4 million chickens to be slaughtered. Already more than 90 million birds have been killed since 2022.

As Joe Salatin points out: “The policy of mass extermination without regard to immunity, without even researching why some birds flourish while all around are dying, is insane. The most fundamental principles of animal husbandry and breeding demand that farmers select for healthy immune systems. We farmers have been doing that for millennia. We pick the most robust specimens as genetic material to propagate, whether it’s plants, animals, or microbes.”

This is precisely where this obsession with testing gets us. Whether it is animals or humans, the power of government to compel disease tests and act on the results has led to destructive policies in every instance. You might think we would have learned. Instead, reporters just let Birx ramble on without asking fundamental questions about severity, purpose, viability, or consequences.

There has probably in the history of government never been a more presumptuous aspiration than for bureaucrats to seek to manage the whole of the microbial kingdom. But that is where we are. There’s never been a better time for every citizen of a would-be free nation to proclaim: my biology is none of the government’s business.

Author

Jeffrey Tucker is Founder, Author, and President at Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Life After Lockdown, and many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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