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Turtles All The Way Down - Part One?
GPT4 Convinced Me “That Turtles All the Way Down” Was Worth Reading
Like many of my readers, no doubt, I get books with the intention of reading them and then get distracted by other things (like the 1055 articles in my Substack drafts section begging to be finished). One book that is niggling at me, calling to be read, is Turtles All the Way Down. As I’m experimenting with GPT4, I thought I would see if I could get it to do a summary of the book, and see if that short read might whet my appetite sufficiently to get me started:
Chapter 1: TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN: VACCINE CLINICAL TRIALS
Chapter 1 of the book provides a critical examination of the safety testing procedures for vaccines, particularly focusing on the use of control groups and the concept of placebos in clinical trials. The chapter argues that the current methods of testing vaccines are flawed and do not provide a reliable measure of the safety and adverse effects of vaccines.
The chapter begins by discussing the safety testing of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) 5-in-1 and 4-in-1 vaccines, which were tested against the triple vaccine (DTaP). The author points out that the older generation DTP vaccine, against which the DTaP was tested, was never tested in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a placebo control group. This leads to a situation where the safety of a vaccine is based on its comparison with another vaccine, whose safety was also not adequately tested. The author likens this to a "turtle standing on the back of a turtle, standing on the back of yet another turtle – all the way down."
The chapter also discusses the safety testing of Sanofi Pasteur's DTaP line of vaccines. The author criticizes the trials for their lack of a true control group and for the use of other vaccines as controls. The author argues that this does not provide a reliable measure of the safety and adverse effects of the tested vaccine.
The chapter then moves on to discuss the safety testing of the rotavirus vaccines, Rotarix and RotaTeq. The author criticizes the use of a "vaccine-sans-antigen" as a placebo in the trials, arguing that this compound is not biologically neutral and is likely to have side effects similar to those of the tested vaccine. The author also criticizes the high rates of adverse events reported in the control groups of the trials, arguing that this indicates the bioactivity of the compounds given to the control groups.
The chapter also discusses the safety testing of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines, MMR II and ProQuad. The author criticizes the trials for their lack of a true control group and for the use of other vaccines as controls. The author also criticizes the lack of transparency in the trials, noting that the description of the placebo in the RotaTeq trial was deleted from the licensing document submitted to the FDA.
The chapter concludes by arguing for the need for three-arm trials in the testing of new-generation vaccines. In such trials, subjects would be randomly allocated into three groups: one trial group receiving the new generation vaccine, one control group receiving the current vaccine, and another control group receiving an inert placebo. The author argues that this trial design would provide a more reliable measure of the absolute and relative rates of adverse events caused by the new vaccine.
In summary, Chapter 1 provides a critical examination of the safety testing procedures for vaccines. The author argues that the current methods of testing, which often involve the use of other vaccines as controls, do not provide a reliable measure of the safety and adverse effects of vaccines. The author calls for a more rigorous approach to vaccine safety testing, including the use of three-arm trials and true placebos.
Chapter 2: THE SCIENCE OF VACCINE ADVERSE EVENTS: A MISSING LINK AND AN EMPTY TOOLBOX
This chapter discusses the current state of vaccine safety science and its implications on public health. It uses two contrasting stories to illustrate the potential benefits of personalized vaccination schedules and the current limitations in predicting and preventing vaccine injuries.
The first story is about David, a child born with microcephaly. Before receiving his first round of vaccines, David's pediatrician conducted a series of specialized genetic, immunological, and neurological diagnostic tests. Based on the results, the doctor created a personalized vaccination schedule tailored to David's specific medical profile. David began receiving vaccinations at 12 months old, and only a handful of vaccines were administered, each one at a time and only if he had been healthy in the preceding three weeks. This personalized approach was successful, and David received all of his prescribed vaccines without suffering significant side effects. However, the chapter reveals that David's story is entirely imaginary, representing an ideal scenario that is not currently achievable with the existing state of vaccine safety science.
The chapter then discusses the real-world implications of the current limitations in vaccine safety science. It highlights the medical establishment's inability to anticipate who will be hurt by vaccines, associate specific side effects with the specific vaccines that caused them, and adjust vaccination parameters to account for individuals' genetic makeup and specific health conditions. This lack of knowledge and tools can lead to catastrophic vaccine injuries that cannot be prevented.
The chapter also criticizes the current approach to vaccine safety research, which is largely based on statistical methodology with limited practical benefit. It argues that this approach does not contribute biomedical information that could lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. The chapter emphasizes the need for more basic scientific research on vaccine side effects, especially as new vaccines are added to the vaccine schedule.
The chapter concludes by discussing the consequences of the lack of knowledge and tools for predicting and preventing vaccine injuries. It points out that doctors cannot test an infant's sensitivity to most vaccine ingredients, recommend a particular brand of vaccine over another, or suggest a safer vaccination schedule. This lack of tools also contributes to conformity with the recommended vaccine schedule and hinders efforts to improve vaccine safety.
In summary, the chapter calls for more research into the biological mechanisms underlying vaccine adverse events and the development of practical tools for preventing them. It argues that understanding these mechanisms is crucial for devising effective treatments for vaccine injuries and improving the safety of vaccines.
Chapter 3: DEFICIENT BY DESIGN: VACCINE ADVERSE EVENT REPORTING SYSTEMS
Chapter 3 of the book delves into the topic of post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring, focusing on the limitations and shortcomings of the current methods. The chapter begins by acknowledging the importance of closely monitoring vaccine safety after new vaccines are released to the market. It explains that health agencies carry out post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring through two main avenues: collecting reports of adverse events in a specialized database and periodically analyzing the collected data to identify patterns, and performing statistical studies which explore any association between the vaccine and specific adverse health events.
However, the chapter argues that closer examination of the design and operation of vaccine adverse event reporting systems paints a radically different picture. The author criticizes these systems for their lack of reliability and comprehensiveness, arguing that they do not achieve their stated objectives.
The chapter then spotlights a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) study of the safety of Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which was published by CDC researchers. The author criticizes the study for its lack of reliability and accuracy. The study analyzed all VAERS reports filed since Gardasil’s mid-2006 approval through the end of 2008, a period of two and a half years. The researchers found that over two-thirds (68%) of reports were submitted by representatives of Merck, the vaccine’s manufacturer. The author points out that manufacturers are required to report any adverse events that come to their attention but have little motivation to do so. As a result, Merck’s Gardasil reports were largely incomplete or inaccurate. About 90% of Merck’s reports lacked information essential for conducting medical assessments.
The author also criticizes the unreliability of VAERS rates. As a passive reporting system, VAERS suffers from “underreporting”, and the rate of this underreporting is “unknown”. The author argues that this makes it difficult to accurately assess the safety and adverse effects of vaccines.
The chapter concludes by arguing for the need for more thorough and rigorous research on vaccine side effects. The author criticizes health authorities for their claim that vaccine safety has been thoroughly researched, arguing that vaccine safety research, for the most part, is based on a statistical methodology with limited practical benefit and does not even attempt to contribute biomedical information that could lead to the development of diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
In summary, Chapter 3 provides a critical examination of the post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring procedures. The author argues that the current methods of monitoring, which involve the use of vaccine adverse event reporting systems and statistical studies, do not provide a reliable measure of the safety and adverse effects of vaccines. The author calls for a more rigorous approach to vaccine safety monitoring, including the use of more reliable reporting systems and more thorough research on vaccine side effects.
Chapter 4: EPIDEMIOLOGY 101
The chapter primarily discusses the field of epidemiology, its methodologies, types of studies, and the potential sources of error in these studies.
Epidemiology is a branch of medicine that investigates diseases at the population level using statistical tools. It seeks statistical correlations between different phenomena in an attempt to elucidate relationships between them. However, while epidemiological studies can demonstrate statistical correlations, they cannot provide insight into a physiological mechanism by which one factor causes another (causal link). To prove a causal association in science, physiological (biomedical, mechanistic) studies must be performed.
The chapter explains that in medicine, a causal link between two phenomena is often ambiguous and difficult to identify. A certain condition may be caused by several co-factors operating synergistically, each required for its development, but none causing it on its own. This makes it challenging for modern medicine to explain the origins of many diseases. It is quite common, therefore, for medical bodies to make recommendations without a thorough understanding of the mechanism underlying a specific health condition.
Epidemiological studies come in several varieties. In an interventional study (trial), subjects are asked by researchers to take specific actions (e.g., take a drug), while in an observational study, researchers only gather information about the subjects. A prospective study tracks a group of people for a specific period of time and collects relevant data about them. A retrospective study analyzes existing data. Interventional studies are more expensive to perform than observational studies, but their results are generally of higher quality. Prospective studies are more expensive and take longer than retrospective studies, but they suffer less from selection and information bias, which makes their results more reliable.
The chapter also discusses the four main categories of observational studies: Cross-section, Ecological, Cohort, and Case-control. Each of these types uses different statistical methods to look for correlations between phenomena in a population.
The chapter then delves into the potential sources of error in epidemiological research, which can impair the quality of the research. These include selection bias, information bias, and confounders. Selection bias occurs when researchers select a group of subjects that does not accurately represent the research population or does not suit the study’s research questions well. Information bias occurs when researchers fail to gather accurate or complete data on subjects. Confounders are separate variables, not included in the initial analysis, which are associated with the two phenomena examined. These can create an optical illusion of a statistical correlation between two phenomena.
The chapter provides an example of a confounder in a study investigating the connection between alcohol consumption and lung cancer. The study found that the apparent link between the two stems from the fact that heavy drinkers are more likely to smoke, and smoking, rather than alcohol consumption, is the true risk factor for lung cancer. This example demonstrates how statistical techniques in epidemiological research can reveal confounders and highlight their impact.
In conclusion, the chapter emphasizes the importance of understanding the methodologies, potential pitfalls, and sources of error in epidemiological research. It underscores the need for careful data collection, analysis, and interpretation in order to draw valid conclusions from epidemiological studies.
Chapter 5: PURPOSELY BIASED SCIENCE: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND VACCINE SAFETY
This chapter provides a critical examination of several studies related to vaccine safety, with a particular focus on the potential link between vaccines and autoimmune diseases or autism. The author scrutinizes the methodology, execution, and interpretation of these studies, highlighting potential biases and conflicts of interest that may have influenced their outcomes.
The chapter begins with a detailed analysis of a study conducted by Grimaldi 2014, which investigated the potential link between the Gardasil vaccine and the development of autoimmune diseases. The author raises several concerns about the design and execution of this study. One of the main criticisms is the selection of the control group. The author suggests that the control group may have been chosen due to its high incidence of autoimmune disease, which would make it difficult to establish a clear link between the vaccine and the development of such diseases.
The author also criticizes the lack of information provided about the health profile of the control group. The study does not provide clear information on how many control subjects suffered from autoimmune diseases, which the author argues is essential for interpreting the results. The author suggests that this omission could indicate a bias in the study's design, as it could make it appear as if the vaccine has no effect on the development of autoimmune diseases.
The chapter then moves on to discuss a study by DeStefano 2013, which aimed to investigate the potential link between the number of vaccine antigens a child is exposed to and the development of autism. The author criticizes this study for its simplistic approach, arguing that it fails to address the real concern of parents: the potential link between the number of vaccines received and the risk of autism.
The author points out that the study did not consider the role of adjuvants, which play a key role in the strength of the immune response to vaccines. This omission, the author argues, makes the study's findings scientifically worthless. Furthermore, the author notes that even if we ignore the study's flaws, its findings do not provide clear evidence of a link between the number of vaccine antigens and the risk of autism.
The chapter also discusses a study by McKeever and colleagues, which found a strong correlation between the MMR and DPPT vaccines and the incidence of asthma and eczema. However, the authors of the study dismissed this correlation, suggesting that it was due to bias in the data. The author of the chapter criticizes this dismissal, arguing that it is puzzling and that the correlation should have been taken more seriously.
The author suggests that the authors of the study may have dismissed the correlation because it would have had an adverse impact on public support for vaccination. The author argues that this potential bias could have influenced the interpretation of the study's results, leading to the dismissal of a potentially significant finding.
The chapter concludes with a broader discussion of the issues with vaccine safety research. The author argues that the way science is currently funded can lead to biased research, as researchers may be dependent on their funding source, whether it be a government or a pharmaceutical company. The author suggests that this dependency can influence the design, execution, and interpretation of studies, leading to potentially biased outcomes.
The author also discusses the issue of conflicts of interest in vaccine safety research. The author argues that researchers may have personal or financial interests that could influence their research, leading to biased outcomes. The author suggests that these conflicts of interest are often not disclosed in published studies, which can make it difficult for readers to evaluate thevalidity of the studies' findings.
The author also criticizes the scientific community for its acceptance of these flawed studies. The author argues that these studies are often cited without any mention of their flaws or the researchers' conflicts of interest. This, the author suggests, is a result of the institutional immunity afforded to these studies, which ensures that they conform to the ethical norms of vaccine safety research accepted by the scientific community.
The author argues that this fundamentally flawed research is a direct consequence of the current funding system for science, which ensures researchers' dependency on their funding source. This, the author suggests, guarantees that vaccine safety science is almost never carried out objectively. The author argues that the public is generally unaware of this mechanism and its inherent flaws, which allows the vaccine establishment to rely on flawed research to support their claims about vaccine safety.
The author encourages readers to exercise caution when reviewing the conclusions of vaccine safety studies. The author suggests that these studies often suffer from serious methodological flaws and are fraught with conflicts of interest, which can make their findings unreliable. The author argues that it is important to critically evaluate these studies and to be aware of the potential influence of funding sources and conflicts of interest.
In conclusion, the chapter provides a critical examination of several studies related to vaccine safety, highlighting potential methodological flaws and biases. The author argues for a more cautious and critical approach to interpreting the findings of such studies, given the potential influence of funding sources and conflicts of interest. The author suggests that a more objective and independent approach to vaccine safety research is needed to ensure the validity of its findings.
Chapter 6: THE STUDIES THAT WILL NEVER BE DONE
The chapter begins by discussing the incidence of autism among the Amish community, which is significantly lower due to their lower rate of child vaccination. The author argues that this should have prompted an investigation from the CDC, given that autism is a major public health concern. However, the CDC, which is responsible for both determining vaccine policy and investigating the root causes of autism, did not respond to these findings. The author finds this particularly striking given the CDC's quick response to outbreaks of infectious diseases in Amish communities.
The author then discusses the work of Dr. Mayer Eisenstein and colleagues at the Homefirst clinic in Chicago, who took an unconventional approach to medical care involving home birth and minimal use of prescription medications and vaccines. The doctors at Homefirst reported no cases of autism among the thousands of unvaccinated children they had cared for over more than 30 years. Again, the author criticizes the CDC for not investigating these findings.
The chapter then discusses a 2013 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which confirms that the safety of the vaccination program as a whole has never been tested. The report states that the field needs valid metrics of the entire schedule and clearer definitions of health outcomes linked to stakeholder concerns. The author argues that this report contradicts the widespread institutional claim that the vaccine program has been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective. The author also points out the discrepancy between the lack of science verifying the safety of the vaccine program and the medical establishment's claims of safety.
The author then presents a hypothetical scenario in which the US health authorities of the 1950s endorsed cigarette smoking and reassured the public it was completely safe. The authorities presented a long list of epidemiological studies that confirmed the safety of cigarette smoking, all of which concluded that no association was found between smoking and adverse health issues, including lung cancer. The author uses this scenario to draw a parallel with the current situation regarding vaccines.
The chapter concludes with a question posed to the reader: if a study were to show that children who received all routine vaccinations were less healthy than children who received no vaccines, would you still tell parents their children are better off getting all routine vaccinations? The author leaves this question open-ended, inviting the reader to consider the implications of the information presented in the chapter.
In summary, this chapter critically examines the lack of comprehensive safety testing for the vaccination program and the potential link between vaccinations and autism. The author uses examples from the Amish community and the Homefirst clinic to illustrate the potential risks of vaccination and criticizes the CDC for its lack of response to these findings. The chapter also discusses a 2013 IOM report that confirms the lack of testing for the vaccination program and presents a hypothetical scenario to highlight the potential dangers of blindly accepting institutional claims of safety. The chapter ends with a thought-provoking question about the potential risks and benefits of vaccinations.
Chapter 7: UNSUBSTANTIATED VACCINATION GUIDELINES
The chapter begins with a hypothetical dialogue between a parent and a doctor. The parent expresses concern about the number of vaccines being administered to their baby in a single visit, questioning whether the infant's body can handle them all. The doctor reassures the parent, stating that the vaccines have been thoroughly tested and are safe, and that an infant's immune system can handle up to 10,000 vaccines in a day.
The chapter then critically examines the practice of administering multiple vaccines simultaneously, a practice that has become increasingly common with the addition of numerous vaccines to the routine childhood program in recent decades. Each vaccine contains a number of potent chemical and biological substances, some of which are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. The chapter highlights that while the CDC asserts that vaccine combinations have been tested as part of the process of approving a new vaccine, in practice, most of them have not been tested.
The chapter cites an Israeli study that found that administering two vaccines at the same time, as recommended by the Israeli Ministry of Health, increased the amount of side effects by 50%. This study was reportedly ignored by health agencies in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere. Despite this, authorities continue to maintain, without adequate scientific proof, that administering multiple vaccines simultaneously poses no additional risk because “an infant’s immune system can handle up to 10,000 vaccines at one time.”
The chapter also addresses the practice of vaccinating infants with mild illnesses. It notes that many parents believe it is best to wait until full recovery before administering vaccines, fearing that a round of vaccines could exacerbate the child’s illness or cause worse side effects compared to vaccinating a fully healthy child. However, the medical establishment insists on vaccinating infants who are physically unwell, likely due to apprehension that delaying vaccinations may disrupt their vaccination timeline and leave them vulnerable to diseases from which they could have been protected.
The chapter critically examines the scientific evidence underlying these guidelines. It argues that the official guidelines from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics do not provide any medical references supporting the recommendation to vaccinate mildly ill children on time. The chapter suggests that these guidelines may stem from an institutional “gut feeling” or administrative whim rather than robust scientific evidence.
The chapter concludes by posing several questions to doctors, such as whether they know of any studies that have examined the safety of the simultaneous administration of 9 vaccine injections against 13 different diseases to a 15-month year-old infant, or whether they believe that administering 10,000 vaccines in one day to an infant is safe.
In summary, this chapter critically examines the guidelines and practices surrounding the administration of multiple vaccines to infants, particularly those who are mildly ill. It questions the scientific evidence supporting these guidelines and encourages parents to engage in informed discussions with their healthcare providers about the safety and necessity of these practices. The chapter suggests that the current guidelines may not be based on robust scientific evidence and may instead be driven by administrative convenience or institutional assumptions.
Chapter 8: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DISEASE
This chapter is a critical examination of the role of vaccinations in public health, particularly in the context of the United States. It presents a counter-narrative to the commonly held belief that vaccinations have been the primary driver of the decline in mortality from infectious diseases in the 20th century.
The chapter begins by presenting data on mortality rates from infectious diseases in the United States from 1900 to 1996. It includes specific figures on death rates from dysentery and typhoid, as well as the impact of the introduction of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. However, it challenges the notion that these declines in mortality can be attributed solely or primarily to vaccinations. It suggests that other factors, such as improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare access, may have played a significant role.
The chapter also critiques the narrative that our collective health, and children's health in particular, has never been better due to modern medicine and public health initiatives. It argues that while major infectious diseases of the 19th century have largely disappeared, there has been a consistent rise in chronic illnesses among children in the Western world. This rise coincides with the increased use of vaccines.
The chapter suggests that public health authorities have shown a lack of concern and a sense of helplessness in the face of this rise in chronic illnesses. It calls for an exploration of the historical circumstances that led to the disappearance of infectious diseases and the rise of chronic illnesses.
To delve deeper into these points:
The chapter presents a historical overview of major infectious diseases of the 19th and 20th centuries. It discusses their causes, impacts, and the measures taken to control or eradicate them. It emphasizes that while vaccinations have played a role, they are not the sole reason for the decline in these diseases.
The development and introduction of various vaccines, including the MMR vaccine, are discussed. The chapter highlights the impact of these vaccines on disease rates but also questions the extent of their contribution to overall public health.
The chapter critically examines the statement that vaccinations do not account for the significant decline in mortality in the first half of the 20th century. It reviews other factors that may have contributed to this decline, such as improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare access.
The rise in chronic illnesses among children in the Western world in the second half of the 20th century is explored. The chapter discusses potential causes, including the increased use of vaccines, and the implications for public health.
The response of public health authorities to the rise in chronic illnesses is examined. The chapter suggests that there has been a lack of concern and a sense of helplessness in the face of this issue.
Finally, the chapter considers the future of public health in light of these trends. It discusses the ongoing role of vaccinations and the challenge of managing chronic illnesses.
In summary, the chapter presents a nuanced view of the role of vaccinations in public health. It acknowledges their contributions but also highlights other factors and challenges the narrative that vaccinations are the primary reason for improvements in public health. It calls for a more comprehensive understanding of public health trends and a more proactive response to the rise in chronic illnesses.
Chapter 9: HERD IMMUNITY
The chapter discusses the concept of herd immunity, the effectiveness of vaccines, and the implications of their use. It begins by discussing a study conducted by Warfel and colleagues on baboons and the pertussis vaccine. The study found that the vaccine did not prevent infection or transmission of the bacterium, contradicting previous scientific understanding. This finding suggested that even if vaccinated individuals do not come down with pertussis, they can carry the bacterium and infect others for weeks after exposure. This implies that the current pertussis vaccine does not confer herd immunity. The researchers concluded that to protect the most vulnerable members of the population and achieve optimal herd immunity, it would be necessary to develop a vaccination strategy that effectively blocks pertussis infection and transmission.
The chapter then discusses the pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar, and its successor, Prevnar-13. It notes that these vaccines generate herd protection against the serotypes included in the vaccine but do not reduce the overall spread of the bacterium, as other serotypes fill the niche evacuated by vaccine serotypes. The reduction in the incidence of pneumococcal disease since the introduction of the vaccine is probably due to the fact that, so far, the replacement serotypes have been less virulent than the vaccine serotypes.
The chapter also discusses the limitations of herd immunity threshold estimations. It notes that these estimations are based on simplistic models and arbitrary assumptions, making them crude estimates rather than accurate numerical values based on robust scientific data and meticulous calculation.
The chapter also discusses the measles vaccine, noting that its efficacy is estimated at 90–95 percent and that it confers herd protection by reducing the spread of the virus among the vaccinated and unvaccinated. The vaccination coverage threshold required for herd immunity is estimated at 92 to 95 percent.
In conclusion, the chapter emphasizes the importance of providing conclusive proof of the net benefit of vaccination to both the individual and society before implementing widespread vaccination programs. It suggests that while vaccines can confer herd immunity and reduce the spread of certain diseases, they are not a panacea and their use should be based on a careful evaluation of their benefits and risks.
Chapter 10: THE MYSTERIES OF POLIO
The chapter discusses the widespread use of DDT, a potent insecticide, in the post-war years and its potential health implications. DDT was used in all phases of food production and distribution, including farming, storage, processing, packaging, and transportation. Its residues were found in fruits, vegetables, cow's milk, and meat. A researcher in Texas found DDT residues in every dairy and meat product sample analyzed over a six-month period.
From the beginning, some studies indicated that DDT was toxic to humans. In 1944, researchers at the FDA's Department of Drug Research examined its effect on laboratory animals and concluded that the unlimited use of DDT solutions on the skin was not free of danger. Another team tested DDT's toxicity for oral consumption and found that it could cause subacute toxicity when given in small amounts in the diet for periods ranging from 3 days to 20 weeks. They also noted a wide variation in individual susceptibility to DDT poisoning, making the estimation of a safely tolerated dose extremely difficult.
The first report of DDT poisoning in humans appeared in a 1945 paper published in the British Medical Journal. A lab worker who applied DDT powder to his hands to test its toxicity developed pain in all four limbs, weakness in his legs, and spasms and tremors throughout his body. He was confined to bed for several weeks and could not go to work for several months. Even after a year, his recovery was not complete.
The chapter also discusses the ambiguity and imprecision of polio's clinical definition. Flaccid paralysis, a symptom of polio, has always been caused by numerous and varied agents and was given dozens of different names in the medical literature. Physicians in the first half of the 20th century did not have tools for accurate differential diagnosis. Even today, physicians are unable to diagnose polio with certainty based on the patient's clinical symptoms or the course of the disease and must rely on virus-detection lab tests to differentiate between polio and "polio-like" disease (AFP).
The chapter questions the foundations of polio science, which it describes as inadequate and sketchy, despite more than a hundred years of intensive research effort. It also critically examines the alleged success of polio vaccines in eradicating the disease, suggesting that there are substantial reasons to doubt the role polio vaccines played in the disappearance of the disease.
The chapter concludes by discussing the development of newer, more potent insecticides in response to insects acquiring resistance to DDT. It warns that safety studies have never examined the aggregate effect of these compounds on the human body, although people are exposed to many of them on a daily basis. The chapter calls for a thorough investigation of the health effects of pesticides, a call that remains unanswered.
Chapter 11: THE VACCINE HOAX
The chapter begins by discussing the era of witch-hunting vaccine critics. It highlights how anyone who dared to criticize any aspect of the vaccine program was rebranded as an “anti-vaxxer”. This led to critics being delegitimized, marginalized, and derided, regardless of their credentials. The chapter mentions instances where leading scientists, accomplished physicians, a Nobel Prize laureate, and even lay-people asking questions were all branded and brutally attacked by the media, as well as by the medical establishment and industry henchmen, the moment they spoke out about vaccine reservations.
The chapter then delves into the role of the media in this issue. It mentions how in 1976, the CBS network’s famed 60 Minutes show aired its prime-time investigation on the fabricated “swine flu” epidemic. Only one person died of the flu, while millions received a rushed vaccine, which was later withdrawn. More than 450 vaccinated people developed the paralyzing Guillain-Barré syndrome, and at least 25 died. In 1982, NBC aired DPT: Vaccine Roulette, an hour-long documentary on children who had been hurt by the DPT vaccine, produced by journalist Lea Thompson. This type of program, which created a public outcry at the time, is unfortunately no longer allowed on US television.
The chapter also discusses the issue of vaccine-related diseases and their reporting. It mentions ADEM, an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis, and transverse myelitis, a neurological disease in which inflammation of the spinal cord leads to loss of the myelin sheath of the nerves, and subsequently to organ numbness and loss of motor function. The chapter also discusses the vaccine approval process and the use of various tests by unconventional doctors to treat side effects of vaccines.
The chapter further delves into the history of vaccines and their manufacturers. It mentions how three companies that produced vaccines during World War II eventually merged to create the vaccine and drug giant Novartis. It also discusses the issue of DDT exposure and its potential link to polio.
Towards the end, the chapter discusses the principles applied in analyzing the results of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), which is the comparison of different quantitative parameters between trial and control groups. It also touches upon the ethical objections to a three-arm trial and the potential safety issues with a vaccine that has been in use for many years.
The chapter provides a critical examination of the vaccine program, its critics, and the media's role in shaping public perception. It also discusses the potential health risks associated with vaccines and the need for more rigorous and unbiased testing.
The chapter also discusses the vaccination of children in Israel and many other countries with the Prevnar vaccine at their 12-month visit. It mentions the practical limit to the number of vaccines currently approved for use, with very few restrictions on specific vaccine combinations. It also discusses the issue of vaccination during an acute illness, which is not recommended by health authorities.
The chapter also discusses the use of three live attenuated vaccines currently included in the US vaccination program: rotavirus, MMR, and varicella. It also discusses the use of sulfonamides, a family of medicines used for treating infectious diseases that preceded the development of antibiotics.
The chapter also discusses the role of the McKinlays in estimating the decrease in tuberculosis mortality since 1850, even before the introduction of drug treatment for the disease. It also discusses the official mortality data recorded in the United States since 1900.
The chapter also discusses the role of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), later known as the March of Dimes, in raising donations to fund polio research as well as the treatment of polio patients. It also discusses the Improved Hygiene Theory, which attributes the increase inallergic and autoimmune diseases in the West, and more recently in developing countries, to the reduced exposure of infants to bacteria and viruses in the first years of life, due to “excessive” hygiene.
The chapter also discusses the issue of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP), a condition characterized by muscle weakness of rapid onset. Unlike other paralysis syndromes, the muscles are relaxed or soft (hence the term flaccid), as opposed to being rigid. It also discusses the transmission of enteroviruses, which are viruses that mostly multiply in the gut and are transmitted through feces.
The chapter also discusses the issue of polio-related concept of “too much hygiene”. It also discusses the role of the Salk and Sabin vaccines in the fight against polio. The Salk’s inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is given by injection, while Sabin’s oral polio vaccine (OPV) is given by mouth drops.
The chapter also discusses the issue of vaccine coverage for the entire population, which increases with every new vaccinated cohort, was supposed to gradually reduce the incidence of pertussis in young infants even after 2008. It also discusses the issue of the poliovirus being found in higher rate in samples of unvaccinated patients and in lower rate in samples of those vaccinated with three or more doses.
The chapter also discusses the issue of the US switching to exclusive use of the Salk (IPV) vaccine in 2000, the UK in 2004, Israel in 2005 (until early 2014). It also discusses the issue of the SV-40 virus, a virus of monkey origin, being found in human cancerous tumors.
The chapter also discusses the issue of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a federal program intended to compensate people who are injured by vaccines on the childhood immunization schedule. It is known colloquially as “Vaccine Court.”
In summary, the chapter provides a comprehensive and critical examination of the vaccine program, its critics, the role of the media, the potential health risks associated with vaccines, the need for more rigorous and unbiased testing, the history of vaccines and their manufacturers, and the principles applied in analyzing the results of a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). It also discusses various diseases related to vaccines, the use of various tests by unconventional doctors to treat side effects of vaccines, and the role of various organizations and theories in the fight against diseases.
Assuming that GPT4’s summary is at all reflective of the content of the book, it looks like it really will be worth reading.
Skimming through the book, it looks like it’s going to take me ages to check all the 447 references to papers and other books. Perhaps I should set a goal to review one chapter each week on my Substack. I could go page by page checking all the facts and reasoning. What do my readers think? Interesting or boring?