Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Jill Chapin
Special to the Observer 

News Not Fit to Print?

No one who got a polio vaccine got a breakthrough case and then felt lucky that they only ended up with a limp and not in an iron lung

 

I read an article in the Observer with the headline stating that 80% of covid deaths in a one-week period in Los Angeles County in March were among the vaccinated. Although this was astonishing enough, what caught my attention even more was that the statement was allowed to even see the light of day. I've been searching everywhere and have seen no counterpoint in any media related to questioning the safety and efficacy of the covid vaccine.

I wanted to first verify the numbers, needing to understand how their reporter arrived at this statistic, so I contacted Alyssa Erdley. Her raw source was taken from seven URLs from the LA County Department of Public Health, giving us a window as to how she arrived at her findings.

She spent many hours collating her own spreadsheets using LA County Health data to show the relative ineffectiveness of the vaccines in preventing infection – something the County Health Department was not telling the public.

She admits that statistics are highly manipulable. For example, you could describe a 0.1% vs 0.2% variance in data as either being just a 0.1% difference (negligible) – or – that there is a difference of twice the amount (significant).

It shouldn't have to involve such exhaustive research to come up with the bottom line of the number of deaths among the vaccinated. Most laymen couldn't tease out the data as Ms. Erdley did, but maybe her engineering degree from MIT gave her a tenacity that most of us lack.

More thorough reporting across the nation could alert the population to these kinds of numbers, because they are surely not just an aberration for L.A. County. People were initially told that these shots would prevent covid; later reporting assured us that at least breakthrough cases wouldn't cause severe illness or death. But no one who got a polio vaccine got a breakthrough case and then felt lucky that they only ended up with a limp and not in an iron lung.

The point here is to showcase what is becoming rarer every day. We are losing the dissemination of information that used to be more freely and accurately available to us. Worse, the powers that be have no reservations about telling us what they won't be telling us in the future.

Documents released by the FDA in late 2021 revealed that there were 1,223 deaths in the first three months of the covid vaccine rollout, yet the public was never informed of this. It is all the more astonishing when you consider that the 1976 swine flu vaccine was pulled after only 25 deaths.

The CDC has been holding back how much covid bacteria has been discovered in wastewater since the start of the pandemic. Health experts such as Jessica Rivera, an epidemiologist involved in the Covid Tracking Project said they "have been begging for that sort of granularity of data for two years." And Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert and adviser to the FDA, urged more openness.

This lack of transparency is nothing new for the CDC. Last year, Kristen Nordlund at the CDC actually admitted they would stop publishing cases of mild vaccine breakthrough cases on their website, but will save it in a separate database. Instead, they will only share with us those cases resulting in hospitalization or death. Why? Shouldn't we have the right to know that gathering with other vaccinated people might be a bigger risk than we realize?

To be fair, we aren't the only country shutting down the free and open discussion of this virus. The UK Health Security Agency reported that the effectiveness of the vaccine to protect against covid is in the negative, meaning that the vaccinated are now testing positive for covid more than the unvaccinated. Now as of this month, they will no longer reveal data on infections, hospitalizations and deaths based on vaccination status. Again, why?

Even more disturbing is what is happening in Australia. Doctors are now being warned by the Medical Indemnity Protection Society which provides professional insurance coverage for doctors that they must follow public health messages, even if what they are saying is evidence-based. Also, they may even face investigations for authoring papers that health authorities do not like. Once again, ask yourself why? Describing this stifling of vital information as Orwellian would not be hyperbole.

None of this is comforting to know, but more alarming than the assault on our freedom of expression is the apparent complacency of those who have no inclination to demand more transparency about a virus that affects every aspect of their lives.

 

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