Feds reeling from new vax study, lawsuits on social media censorship and COVID stat manipulation
New research estimates COVID vax causes at least 18 "serious adverse events" in young adults for every hospitalization prevented. NIH observational study finds "variety of neuropathic symptoms" post-vaccination.
Bobby Bank/Getty Images
Public health agencies are facing perhaps the most serious threats to their control over information since the COVID-19 pandemic started, playing defense in lawsuits that have already exposed substantial federal involvement in censorship and could next uncloak alleged manipulation of data that has driven COVID policy from the start.
A federal judge ordered White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre to respond to document requests in a First Amendment lawsuit alleging the feds coerced social media companies to stamp out dissenting COVID claims, some of which the feds now acknowledge have merit.
Because of an untimely sick dog, the Justice Department is behind the eight ball in resisting a "special grand jury" to investigate federal officials for decisions that "significantly compromise[d] the accuracy and integrity of COVID-related data."
Oregon state Sens. Kim Thatcher and Dennis Linthicum and naturopath Henry Ealy went to court in March to compel the impaneling, alleging that statistical manipulation caused "a significant hyperinflation of COVID-19 case, hospitalization, and death counts" and $3.5 trillion in resulting fraudulent taxpayer expenditures.
The CDC's universal promotion of new "bivalent" boosters, authorized by the FDA based in part on eight mice, and a White House plan to make the shots annual are also facing headwinds from increasingly high-profile research on vaccine risk versus benefit.
The White House plan is "is not data-driven and ignores nat[ural] imm[unity] & concerns of immune imprinting from a multi-dose vax strategy," Johns Hopkins University medical professor and National Academy of Medicine member Marty Makary tweeted.
Makary is a coauthor of a new preprint, not yet peer-reviewed, on the ethics of mandating COVID boosters for young adults that was funded by the pro-COVID vaccine Wellcome Trust charitable foundation.
Led by University of Washington applied medical anthropologist Kevin Bardosh, the study estimates that at least 22,000 "previously uninfected adults aged 18-29 must be boosted with an mRNA vaccine to prevent one Covid-19 hospitalisation" while causing 18-98 "serious adverse events," based on CDC and "sponsor-reported" data.
These include 1.7 to 3 "booster-associated myocarditis cases in males, and 1,373 to 3,234 cases of grade ≥3 reactogenicity which interferes with daily activities," to prevent one hospitalization, the study found. "Given the high prevalence of post-infection immunity, this risk-benefit profile is even less favourable."
The National Institutes of Health's own neurology researchers, along with colleagues at Harvard, Johns Hopkins and the Icahn School of Medicine, found "a variety of neuropathic symptoms" within a month of COVID vaccination in a small observational study.
Their May preprint found that all self-referred patients — 92% women, median age 40 — reported "sensory symptoms comprising severe face and/or limb paresthesias," while 61% had "orthostasis, heat intolerance and palpitations." More than half had "objective evidence of small-fiber peripheral neuropathy."
TrialSiteNews surfaced the study last week, noting that 39% of patients developed symptoms after their second mRNA dose and 17% "reported mild-transient symptoms after the first jab with full onset after the second dose, raising the possibility of immune priming to the spike protein." Only one was known to have prior infection.
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty overruled government objections to Fauci and Jean-Pierre answering "interrogatories and document requests," in their White House capacities, for their "external communications" to social media platforms. Fauci must answer in his capacity as National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director as well. Jean-Pierre's response would encompass her predecessor, Jen Psaki, who acknowledged White House pressure to censor a year ago.
Several Department of Health and Human Services officials identified by Facebook parent company Meta "as likely engaged in responsive communications" with Facebook's owner were also ordered to respond.
The interrogatories require officials to identify all communications and meetings with platforms related to "content modulation and/or misinformation" and with which platforms and employees they've communicated.
Fauci-specific requests are for communications with Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg going back to Jan. 1, 2020; any platform relating to the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration, its authors and original signatories; EcoHealth and Wuhan Institute of Virology; and anyone in the so-called "Disinformation Dozen."
Answers are due by the end of September, meaning they could be used by Republicans to hammer Democrats a full month before midterm elections.
The Oregon senators and naturopath are trying to hold the office of U.S. Attorney Scott Asphaug, whose refusal to impanel a grand jury led them to sue, accountable for sloppiness in responding to their March petition in Portland federal court, which granted a 60-day extension in June.
Asphaugh's office missed the new Aug. 26 deadline with no explanation, prompting the plaintiffs to file for a default judgment the next day. On Aug. 28 his office filed a motion to dismiss that, like previous filings, falsely characterized the plaintiffs as "three Oregon state senators."
The plaintiffs have no standing to "compel or challenge the investigation or prosecution of another person," the motion says. Their "largely unintelligible" petition doesn't seek damages as required to bring a claim against federal officers for violating constitutional rights, Asphaug argues, and they must sue the U.S. itself and exhaust administrative remedies to bring a claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianne Schweiner told the court Aug. 29 that she missed the extended deadline — five months after the case was filed — because a "medical emergency" involving her dog took nearly two days.
Linthicum mocked the explanation in his newsletter, saying "no self-respecting sci-fi editor would allow something this outlandish past his desk when trying to make a story about integrity and transparency sound believable."
Asphaug's office already violated federal rules by not notifying his clients of its 60-day extension motion, attorney Stephen Joncus told the court Aug. 31. "We all love our dogs, but this situation does not excuse counsel from failing to contact" him for an emergency extension," he said.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- federal judge ordered White House COVID advisor Anthony Fauci
- "special grand jury" to investigate federal officials
- went to court in March to compel the empaneling
- authorized by the FDA based in part on eight mice
- White House plan to make the shots annual
- Marty Makary tweeted
- new preprint, not yet peer-reviewed
- the study estimates
- Their May preprint
- overruled government objections to Fauci and Jean-Pierre answering
- Jen Psaki, who acknowledged White House pressure to censor a year ago
- "Disinformation Dozen."
- Linthicum mocked the explanation