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Dissecting The New Plea for COVID Amnesty
Recapping the mistakes that were made throughout COVID-19, and what can be done to prevent them from happening again.
Many of you may remember Emily Oster’s disingenuous plea for amnesty in The Atlantic. The responses to it were almost all “How about [insert your preferred profanity].” My favorite response was someone choosing to pay to fly this over her house after the article came out:
In Oster’s plea for amnesty, I felt she was providing an excellent example of a pseudo-apology—she “asked for forgiveness” but simultaneously refused to admit she was in any way at fault for any of her previous actions, and used a variety of linguistic constructs to try to both have her cake and eat it too. I really hate when people do that, so I decided to write a response to her article:
Many people suspected this article was a test to see if the public was open to a very conservative apology, and it appears that whoever commissioned it got their answer—they would have to offer a bit more the next time around.
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Three months later, that appears to have happened, and this time we received a better offer:
Note: the entirety of Newsweek’s article will be presented in screenshots to differentiate it from my commentary.
Before we go any further, I want to be clear that this piece, like Oster’s (who was also not a doctor), was primarily written for an educated liberal audience (hence why it uses so many of the academic constructs they love). I believe the goal of this piece is to test out soundbites that could be used to address the major issues that the medical establishment has created for itself as a result of how it handled COVID-19. The goal essentially is to have their cake (say something nice that makes everyone happy) and eat it (not have to actually admit what they did wrong or relinquish any of their power by changing the core problematic policies they put forward).
Because of how much things have changed in the last 3 months, we are now in the position to ask for a lot more than before, which is why a much more candid apology is being given. Nonetheless, I still feel that Emily Oster made a disingenuous apology. However, since there is a lot more nuance here than in Oster’s (as this one attempts to be more persuasive), I felt compelled to place Oster 2.0 under a microscope.
Although there are many public objections to how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled, far and away the greatest concern is the extreme toxicity of the vaccines. In a recent article’s conclusion, I tried to present the best explanations I have found to explain the potential reasons why these vaccines are so dangerous.
We likely will never know why, but the fact remains that their danger was enough to awaken the public to the issue, and as a recent polling shows, it appears we are at the point where the majority of the country is seriously concerned about them (e.g., 49% believe the vaccines may be causing a wave of sudden unexpected deaths, and 28% know someone they believe was killed by them). I am always awed by what propaganda can accomplish, but I do not believe there is any type of propaganda or censorship that can overcome those types of public opinions, so, sooner or later, governments and pharmaceutical companies will need to admit that there is a problem.
I was thus very curious to see which reference Newsweek would cite. They chose to cite the paper written by faculty from numerous Ivy League institutions that argued that the risks of the booster mandates for young adults in college outweighed their benefits (it was also discussed by Steve Kirsch here). As this was a surprisingly controversial position four months ago, the authors were very conservative in their claims of harm from the vaccines, and placed them within the context of the minimal benefit of this policy. In short, Newsweek was quite tepid when choosing how they could address the elephant in the room.
The next passage illustrates why people hate when writers use the passive voice in an attempt to get around a difficult topic (e.g., “mistakes were made” being widely used as the soundbite to whitewash how England’s horrendous policies directly caused the death of many of the elderly throughout COVID-19):
This is a great passage that cuts to the core of many of the issues I’ve observed in science and politics for years. Because so much scientific data exists, it will always be possible to arrange some of it to prove you are correct (this is why I’ve spent my entire life studying this question—the ephemeral nature of truth is absolutely fascinating). Since many people are primarily motivated by their emotional patterning and pre-existing ideologies, this results in science consistently using data to arrive at a predetermined position rather than the true one. This has always been a problem, but in the last 15 years, it has become much worse.
The broader question, however, is “why” was this allowed to happen? I knew the response it would create (and did everything that I, as a single human being could do to make sure that happened), so I can’t see how they didn’t know that this would occur as well.
For example, before COVID-19, I read industry publications that stated vaccination could never be allowed to turn into a polarized political issue because that would alienate the vaccine manufacturers from 50% of their customer base. However, as you can see, that is not what happened, and because of that, for the first time in my lifetime, a large portion of the American population no longer trusts vaccines.
I believe this process started after the global players (e.g., Gates and the WHO) decided they wanted to push for a decade of vaccination, beginning with more mandates for children and gradually expanding that violation to adults. This campaign was largely pushed through the Democrat party with Obama realigning his party’s focus to support these interests. This ended up creating an odd situation where, over and over, state childhood vaccine mandates (which met heavy protest from the public and parents of vaccine-injured children) were almost unanimously voted for by Democrats and vetoed by Republicans, and the issue became much more politically polarized.
This was a hot issue at the time Donald Trump ran for president, so I am sure he saw the window to capitalize on it. Additionally, Trump had some personal experiences with significant injuries following childhood vaccination (beyond what he’s stated publicly, I have verified this to some extent from friends of his friends), so he was more willing to open this topic for discussion during his presidential run and did not back down on it when challenged (better seen in longer clips of his debates).
Trump, unfortunately, backed off from his promises to address this issue not long after this presidency began, which was something Bill Gates subsequently took credit for doing:
I believe that the larger issue was Trump having a very limited pool of staff members who supported his policies (especially regarding the pharmaceutical industry), so they immediately succumbed to lobbyists. For those interested, I summarized exactly what transpired to make mandatory vaccination the political position of the Democratic party here, and exactly what led to the COVID-19 response being mishandled here.
At this point, I am not sure if the political polarization of the vaccine issue was something that broader political forces made impossible to avoid. Alternately, it is also possible that it was decided that the only way to convince the public to take a highly questionable and unsafe vaccine was if a large part of the public mindlessly supported it purely for political reasons that allowed their political tribe to “win.”
This is why, near the end of Trump’s presidency , we saw many prominent Democrats and news outlets insist that they would never take Trump’s rushed vaccine (as it was unlikely to be safe or effective).
These are amazing examples of “this did not age well.”
Yet, the second that Biden won, the entire Democratic party flipped and endorsed them to the point that they were willing to ruin people’s lives with vaccine mandates.
In short, the entire subject was heavily politicized to the point that no facts or evidence really mattered. This is what led many to state a “mass formation,” like those frequently observed in totalitarian regimes (which lead otherwise normal and often well-intentioned people to do very bad things), appeared to have emerged within the Democratic party. This is why I and many others felt that the way forward was to find a way to break that hypnosis rather than confrontationally accuse them of being evil.
The lockdowns disproportionately affected the poor, and this was one of the primary reasons I and other lockdown skeptics used to argue against them (as the educated “progressives” pushing for the lockdowns always uses addressing social disparities as the core justification for their policies). Unfortunately, since their attempts frequently worsen rather than improve those disparities, this goal often ends up just being something that gets lip service and makes people feel good about themselves and not much more. I suspect this is why our attempts to argue against abusing the working class with the absurd pandemic policies fell on deaf ears even though in principle it should have been a winning argument against those policies.
One of the results of the pandemic response was the largest shift in wealth in history from the lower class to the upper class (e.g., many small businesses were forced to close and their market share was transferred to large corporations such as Amazon):
The World Inequality Report produced by a network of social scientists estimated that billionaires this year collectively own 3.5% of global household wealth, up from slightly above 2% at the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Although I have always been a bit cynical, it still amazed me to see numerous politicians (and progressive members of my social network) who had spent their entire careers advocating for protecting the working class from financial exploitation, going all in on policies we all knew would create profound wealth inequalities:
I really hate how they try to make all of this into a race thing when it’s not. People from a higher social class could work from home when the lockdowns happened, whereas people in the lower classes were the ones who actually suffered across the nation from the lockdowns:
That said, I believe that the reason “Blacks and Latinos” were identified was due to a longstanding issue that the public health system has not been able to address: Blacks are well aware of what the government will do to citizens it deems as disposable (especially through medicine), so they were not as enthusiastic about vaccinating. As a result, a lot of work was made to sell the vaccines to them under the guise of “improving vaccine equity” (Peter Hotez loves this phrase). Nonetheless, the gap still exists:
However, there is also a much more important point that this passage touches upon. One of the things I found fascinating about the pandemic policies was that those who benefitted from them (e.g., a teacher who got to work from home, while going to hot springs or a beach in the Bahamas) tended to adamantly support them, while those who suffered from them always opposed them (I got into a lot of arguments with people over this). I thus was in a rather small minority: I personally benefitted from the lockdowns, but worked really hard to stop them because I felt the “gain” I got was inconsequential relative to the harm I saw them causing.
Similarly, once the vaccine mandates were introduced, they disproportionately harmed the poor and members of the working class who had no choice except to submit to the vaccine mandate.
This has been a central point trumpeted by Ed Dowd—immediately after Biden instituted his completely unscientific and--more importantly--illegal vaccine mandate (to the point it was struck down by the Supreme Court), the working class experienced the largest wave of death ever experienced in American history.
There were three important points I wanted to highlight in regards to this part of Newsweek’s argument.
The first was that the Great Barrington Declaration proved itself correct:
Note: It was signed by almost a million people, many of whom took great risks to their careers to sign it, so you can’t really argue you couldn’t have known about it.
The second was that Scott Atlas attempted to push a policy similar to this through the COVID-19 task force, but Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, working in concert with the entire media did everything they possibly could to sabotage it (I tried to summarize what happened here).
The third was that at the start of the lockdowns on 4/22/2020, two doctors from Bakersfield, California had a press conference explaining why the lockdowns were a very bad idea (and were subsequently featured in the national news):
Each of these three parties essentially made the same points and was proven entirely correct as events moved forward. Unfortunately, each time their points were raised, the media, and in turn, most of my colleagues, went hysterical about the fact that these parties wanted to sacrifice (and kill) large numbers of Americans for the greater good to create herd immunity.
I was quite frankly disgusted by what was said and done behind closed doors to each of them (especially the Bakersfield doctors), and spent a long time going back and forth on whether I wanted to publish it (I ultimately chose not to because I don’t support doxxing regardless of the justification). I also could not help but notice that most of the people who previously believed that it was unacceptable to sacrifice people for the greater good had no issue with forcing large numbers of Americans who already had natural immunity to become vaccinated so that we could achieve herd immunity, and that any injuries that occurred were outweighed by the benefits of vaccination.
As many of you know, one of our major fears came true. In addition to the dangerous vaccines being a dismal failure (the protection they offered was very brief and often left the recipients with a permanently impaired immune system), they also destroyed our ability to develop herd immunity against COVID-19. I can’t prove it, but I believe the reason why there was such a rush to get the vaccines to market was so that the COVID-19 market would not be lost by the population becoming immune to it.
It was initially predicted that there would be three waves of COVID-19, and then like previous pandemics, it would disappear. The best proof for the argument that vaccination prevented that from happening is what occurred in Africa. Africans had both very low vaccination rates and—unlike the rest of the world—now has much lower COVID-19 rates.
I realized how dangerous COVID-19 was at the end of 2019, and I hoped that people would recognize the scope of the problem and focus on working together to fix it rather than focusing on scoring political points and advancing their own interests.
That was of course not what happened, and I believe many of the disasters we faced could have been avoided if an actual collaborative model had been followed (rather than being forced to follow someone else’s consensus). Instead, we saw a situation where everyone tried to take advantage of the situation for their own benefit. One of the things I find interesting was that although Trump had almost no public health knowledge, the policies he tried to push forward were dramatically better than almost anything the experts put forward.
I suspect that one of the core issues we are facing now is that the medical “experts” have effectively been publicly shamed for pushing an incredibly bad policy onto the public, and as a result have lost their ability of having people adhere to whatever they say just because they said so. No one likes to lose power, so it’s very difficult for them to come to terms with this, and they are doing everything they can to hold onto it.
Fortunately, we appear to be living in an era where the traditional propagandist form of governance no longer works (this is where leaders decide on a policy that much of the populace may not like, and then use propaganda to force it on them). It has failed because traditional propaganda cannot compete with the internet. For this reason, sooner or later, we will have to move to an actual collaborative model where our leadership sells policies to the public on the basis of them making sense rather than because they forced us to accept them.
Since I am sure you’ve all seen videos of Anthony Fauci lying throughout the pandemic, I wanted to share this video instead (you can also find remixes of the Fauci song online):
I have nothing against this singer, but I cannot say the same for the public health officials who paraded him around to promote their interests.
This specific passage is why I do not believe this is a genuine apology; rather, it’s a forced apology and an attempt to minimize the losses of the vaccine pushers who have discredited themselves to the general public. Throughout this essay, he attempts to say we had “valid concerns” (that I must emphasize were not political in nature) but nonetheless, in a backhanded way dismisses all the actual objections (e.g., the alleged “conspiracy theories” that all proved themselves true).
Similarly, to help people who have been injured by their vaccine, I have been forced into the very “cottage industry” he lambasts. This is not my preferred “cottage industry” to be in. Due to the political nature of the subject, you take on a lot of professional risk as a physician if you try to treat these injuries. Everyone I’ve talked to says the same thing: we’ve been forced to do it because the medical profession is doing nothing to help these victims (other than to gaslight them), and they really need help.
This is a pretty standard critique of this political class, but while it sounds nice, as far as I know, it being mentioned has never corrected their behavior. One of the things not appreciated about this point is that America has almost always had a populist political party that advocated for the interests of the working class, and a different one for the more privileged members of society.
When Obama became president, the Democrat party was that populist party, but during his presidency, its interests realigned to fully supporting the upper class and corporate America. Because of this, at the time Trump ran, there was no real populist party that supported the working class, and he created an insurgency within the Republican party to create that populist movement.
Since the shift happened quite recently, the net result is that everything is extremely disorganized, and many people on the left have political positions that they believe are based on social justice but in reality are due to their social class. Because of this, a large number of contradictions exist within the political sphere that will likely remain a mess while people try to sort out why their political affiliation advances the opposite of their values (e.g., Democrats used to be incredibly cynical of Big Pharma and now you see stuff like this):
On that note, let’s look at the actual reason I believe this Newsweek article was written:
One of the things I have come to appreciate from researching my series on the Pfizer whistleblowers is just how sales oriented many of these companies are, and how completely unacceptable it is to them to lose a long-term source of revenue. Mandatory vaccine are one of the best examples of a guaranteed source of recurring revenue (the same could also be argued for a lifetime of medication to manage their complications). This is why we always see new vaccines getting added to the immunization schedule that are rubber-stamped by the FDA and CDC.
Once I realized how dangerous the COVID-19 vaccines are, I seriously pondered why they were still being pushed. Due to the political polarization on the issue, continuing to push them would likely make many people never want to vaccinate again. In my eyes, this meant that the industry was either blinded by its greed and making very short-sighted moves (which seemed odd, as I frequently see elaborate plans to increase their market share conducted sequentially over very long timeframes), or the “benefit” of pushing the COVID-19 vaccines to them outweighs losing the childhood vaccine market.
In general, most of the negative comments I receive (I try to read all of the comments I receive and respond to most…although I am starting to have too many to consistently do that) are for a few similar reasons. One of them is that I insist on calling the mRNA injections “vaccines,” rather than referring to them as experimental gene therapies. I have three reasons for doing this:
•The cutoff between what is a vaccine and what is a gene therapy is quite vague. For example, what do you consider the recombinant “vaccines” (J&J and AstraZeneca), which are composed of an adenovirus that was genetically modified to express the spike protein and thus fill your body with spike proteins as it replicates in the body? That is technically a gene therapy (and one of the most frequently explored approaches for doing so), but at the same time, vaccines using this approach already exist and are universally considered to be vaccines.
•I wanted a concise term everyone could understand, and which was universally applicable to the various products on the market (finding that term is quite challenging). The best I’ve come up with is “spike protein vaccines” so that is what I use.
•I do not believe the other vaccines are “safe,” and I believe the entire vaccine brand deserves to be tarnished because everyone decided to brand the mRNA gene therapies as “vaccines” to sell them to the public.
Although the data is still preliminary, there are a lot of signs that because of COVID-19, general vaccine use is beginning to drop globally. This is completely unacceptable to the pharmaceutical industry and medical establishment (as it will cost them a lot of money and create a control group that allows the public to recognize the harm of vaccination—we are so habituated to the harms they create that many don’t realize they are abnormal). Because of this drop, I am beginning to see pleas essentially stating that “we are sorry we messed up here, but please trust us on the other vaccines.” I do not believe they should be allowed to have their cake and eat it here.
If you have any doubts about my assessment, you should consider the source that was cited for that line. It was a hotly debated study that argued that people in geographic areas that vaccinated less were more likely to die from COVID-19 (when in reality, significant data exists that argues the exact opposite). Since I can’t read minds, I won’t really know what his motivation was. However, given the number of rhetorical tricks in Newsweek’s “opinion piece,” I am not sure if I can take this claim on face value.
The major problem with this passage is that like many other things in the article, the terms are vague and undefined. For example, how do you determine if a voice is “critical” as opposed to just being misinformation? Instead, it is almost certain that somewhat controversial limited hangouts will be used as the “unpopular voices” that must be tolerated, but the underlying censorship that prevented critical ideas from being heard remains ignored.
The Central Mistake
Modern medicine conditions those who train in it to believe it is the greatest triumph of mankind, and anything that sees the world differently is inferior and must be converted to its truth (this is a common trait of organized religions). People who are trained in modern medicine thus are often quite unwilling to question its foundational axioms (unquestioned beliefs), which is quite problematic because many of those axioms only exist as a result of a pharmaceutical company paying to create them.
One of the core rules is that you cannot treat most viral infections (other than giving Tylenol to suppress the fevers the infections create—which is not a treatment for the infection and often significantly worsens it). If you think about this for a moment, it doesn’t make sense; people have very different responses to a viral infection, so it must be possible to do something to help those who get quite ill. Because this rule held throughout the pandemic, every single treatment that was brought forward for COVID-19 was blacklisted (I know now dozens of treatments that I am relatively certain are effective, including many I have personally used).
This false rule created the sad state where the hysteria to lock down the planet for COVID-19 could be justified, and any rational arguments against it (e.g., the very low chance most of the population of dying from it) were vilified. In reality, this policy made no sense because even if lockdowns prevented the spread of COVID-19 (which they didn’t), due to their immense costs, they could not be sustained indefinitely (even the Chinese Communist Party doing everything they could were not able to sustain them). Once the lockdowns inevitably ended, any transmission that had been delayed would still happen.
The solution to the false belief that viral infections essentially cannot be treated is that we must vaccinate before exposure. As both the COVID-19 vaccines have shown, and many vaccines before it have as well, this approach often completely fails for respiratory viruses. Until the medical community is willing to question this belief, I am doubtful it will be possible for them to truly “learn from their mistakes,” and it is virtually inevitable they will return to the only approach they know for these diseases—forcing the public to vaccinate.
This is particularly sad because if you believe in vaccination, then you must also believe in natural immunity. However, that doesn’t sell products, so a lot of rationalizations must be made to only permit vaccination. As we have seen throughout the pandemic, natural immunity to COVID-19 is vastly superior to vaccine immunity (even though earlier in the pandemic we were repeatedly told the opposite by every healthcare authority).
More importantly, developing natural immunity is also much safer. This is especially true if you use reasonable measures to mitigate the severity of the infection so that it can be cleared up and full immunity develops naturally.
If we want to move forward, the medical community must be willing to recognize that their rules on viral infections are beliefs that need to be critically re-evaluated.
As institutions become progressively more dogmatic and corrupted, they will push policies increasingly at odds with reality. I hope that contrasting our experiences with Africa's may be the issue that opens their eyes. Africa’s “primitive and inadequate” healthcare system which we are always seeking to aid utilized almost none of our “advanced” approaches, and spent a tiny fraction of what we did on COVID-19, and yet it fared, far, far, better than we did. There isn’t any way to reconcile that difference in outcomes other than accepting you are working from bad procedures.
One of the things I have come to appreciate as the years have gone by is how much of what people say are not their own thoughts. The current structure of our educational system (discussed here) is largely about replacing critical thinking with the illusion of intelligence, where you are seen as smart if you copy what the most authoritative sources or voices say instead of formulating your own opinion.
Because of this, whenever I hear someone proudly share an argument or train of logic I have already seen numerous times, one of the most common replies I give is “are you sure those ideas are your own?”
If you look at this article within the context of Oster’s previous plea and its response (both of these articles are essentially trying to do the same thing), I believe a strong case can be made that these were tests to see what narrative needs to be pivoted to. Likewise, Germany’s minister of health (and a well-credentialed scientist) finally made a limited apology for the disastrous policies he pushed on the German people without acknowledging the worst mistakes while simultaneously shifting the blame for his decisions to unnamed scientists who gave him bad advice.
Similarly, let’s consider Malcom Kendrick’s recent commentary on another leading advocate of this insanity:
With the resignation of Jacinda Ardern [two weeks ago], my thoughts were dragged back to Covid once more. Jacinda, as Prime Minster of New Zealand was the ultimate lockdown enforcer. She was feted round the world for her iron will, but I was not a fan, to put it mildly. Whenever I heard her speak, it brought to mind one of my most favourite quotes:
‘Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.’ C.S. Lewis
At one point she actually said the following:
“We will continue to be your single source of truth” “Unless you hear it from us, it is not the truth.’
Yet, there are still many who believe her to have been a great and caring leader. She certainly hugged a lot of people with that well rehearsed pained/caring expression on her face.
In many ways it’s remarkable that we have been able to move the dialogue this far in just a few months, and to be honest, I would have given almost anything for a compromise like what this article presented to have been made any time in 2020 or early in 2021. However, any time a negotiation occurs, you must keep in mind that whatever is initially offered is much less than the party is willing to agree to, and the fact that something like this is being openly offered means we are in a very strong bargaining position.
Any type of promise or apology (especially disingenuous ones) will not prevent what we saw happen over the last few years from happening again. Laws, and ideally constitutional amendments (initially at the state level and ideally at the national level) can prevent such tragedies, and many people I have spoken to feel we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to correct many of the systemic issues within medicine that have poisoned our culture.
In my own opinion, if these people are actually sorry for what they did to us, they would be willing to relinquish some of their power so it could not happen again and I believe moving forward it is critical for us to hold them to that. Anything less should not be considered acceptable for them to be granted amnesty.
Postscript: Although many people dislike Bass due to his previous harassment of individuals who challenged the nutritional orthodoxy (see the pinned comment and the post plus comments on Meryl Nass’s page), I made a decision not to attack the author directly as I feel he is simply a mouthpiece for Newsweek.
Note: One reader (a physician) who has extensively followed Bass on Twitter stated this article was written in a different style from Bass’s writing. I have also written a more detailed article on how PR firms frequently hire trusted third parties to promote their client’s message (something we saw extensively throughout COVID-19).
That all being said, I felt I needed to post this:
Sometimes the memes write themselves…
For reference, these are the individuals Bass stated were not real scientists:
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