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Researchers refine estimate of COVID vax-related deaths of young athletes, blast media hypocrisy

Reporters tout credulous explanations for rise in cardiac events, use disingenuous fact-checks to distract, researcher says. Congress correcting false Walensky claim, staffer says.

Published: May 10, 2023 12:17am

The mainstream media have provided varying explanations for the unexpected rise in blood clots, cardiac events and early death in the past two years: skipping breakfast, falling asleep in front of the TV, "exposure to a sudden gush of water," napping and high noise levels.

One possibility they continue to rule out or simply ignore: COVID-19 vaccination in populations at negligible risk from SARS-CoV-2 itself.

The authors of a December analysis that found a massive rise in athletes' cardiac-related deaths coinciding with the global vaccination campaign have issued a revised version that more carefully delineates causes and age range in response to scrutiny.

The original version drew wide attention in the wake of NFL safety Damar Hamlin's Jan. 2 on-field collapse from a routine tackle.

One of the authors of the analysis, Italian National Council researcher Panagis Polykretis, also published a blistering response Friday to the media's fixation on "19 words" in the analysis he coauthored with cardiologist Peter McCullough while touting farfetched explanations and ignoring repeated false claims about COVID vaccines by federal officials.

The House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the CDC is taking the initiative to correct a COVID-related falsehood by outgoing Director Rochelle Walensky from a hearing last month.

Initially faulted for contradicting her own agency's from-the-start uncertainty on whether COVID vaccines stop viral transmission, Walensky also falsely claimed the international research collaborative Cochrane "retracted" the summary of the latest results from its ongoing mask metastudy, which affirms face coverings have little measurable real-world impact.

Cochrane's editor-in-chief issued a different interpretation of the results in response to heavy pressure from the media to discredit the authors, but didn't retract their summary.

A committee staffer told University of Oxford epidemiologist Tom Jefferson, the metastudy's lead researcher, it would correct the hearing record at his request and notify members, according to a Friday email posted by former Senate Finance Committee investigator Paul Thacker.

The CDC didn't answer Just the News queries for its response.

McCullough and Polykretis, who researches "neurodegenerative disease caused by protein aggregation," published their research letter calling for "rational harm-benefit assessments by age group" for COVID vaccination in the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology just before Christmas. 

That letter was itself responding to criticism of Polykretis' earlier analysis in the same journal of the "antigen presentation process in the immunization mechanism" of COVID vaccines and the need for "biodistribution studies" to determine "in which tissues and organs an injected compound travels and accumulates."

The Christmas paper cited 1,101 publicly reported incidents of cardiac-related deaths in athletes in less than two years as of Dec. 24, which they attributed to GoodSciencing, a blog run by an anonymous "small team of investigators, news editors, journalists, and truth seekers." 

That's the same number of deaths reported from 1966-2004 in athletes under 35 (half of whom had "congenital anatomical heart disease and cardiomyopathies") in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, the duo noted.

Then-Fox News host Tucker Carlson touted their analysis, prompting the Associated Press to emphasize the GoodSciencing tracker included all ages and some deaths primarily attributed to other factors, such as cancer. 

Polykretis told Just the News at the time he was working on a response. He and McCullough published an updated version in the same journal Feb. 20 that identified the deaths by age range, athletic status and primary cause. 

The revised figures: 697 professional or semi-pro athletes "still active in their sport" under age 50 who "collapsed and died due to cardiovascular complications, such as primary cardiac arrest or electromechanical dissociation from suspected venous thromboembolism or other cause." Among those, 558 were under 35.

"Such number of documented events is likely largely underestimated, because of the difficulty to gather data from countries where the script/alphabet is not translatable," the update says, calling for creation of a "research registry for athletes with sudden unexpected cardiac arrest" that includes COVID vaccination data.

The duo also added a new study from Science Immunology that found mRNA boosters induce a "class switch" to worse antibodies, and they updated a section on EuroMOMO data from 27 countries that show "a substantial increase in young age excess mortality since the end of 2021." The mortality-monitoring network's "linear assumptions ... may introduce some bias in cumulating data," the revision says.

In his newsletter Friday, Polykretis apologized for using the unaltered GoodSciencing data while defending it as one of the only sources tracking media reports of fishy athlete deaths.

But the mainstream media used that single sentence "to smear the content of the whole paper," which emphasizes the failure to investigate "the repercussions of the autoimmunological response against human cells expressing non-self proteins" amid the "indiscriminate vaccination" of ever-younger children and the naturally immune, he said.

Polykretis recited a litany of false statements throughout 2021 by Walensky, President Biden, then-White House COVID adviser Anthony Fauci and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in which the "fact-checking apparatus" showed little interest.

The mainstream media are responsible for "spreading fear in society" by uncritically parroting COVID death numbers based on nonsensical definitions and telling anxious people they are probably infected despite repeated negative tests, he said.

Polykretis singled out AP for trying to "pervert the meaning" of Pfizer executive Janine Small's admission before the European Parliament that it never tested the vaccine for transmission before its emergency use authorization. 

Rather than acknowledge governments imposed vaccine mandates based on the false assumption that they stopped transmission, AP's fact-check said "Pfizer never claimed to have studied" the effect on transmission, so social media posts pointing to Small's testimony were "misleading." 

It didn't mention that Bourla told CNBC in May 2021 that Pfizer had yet to find a variant "that escapes the protection of our vaccine." A month after AP's defense of Pfizer, the U.K. pharmaceutical regulator determined Bourla misled the public by portraying COVID as a "severe" risk to children in a BBC interview before approval of the Pfizer vaccine for youth.

The mainstream media have a tendency to "endorse every kind of pandemic policy (regardless its sense), to propagandize vaccination, to minimize any possibility of adverse reactions related to the genetic vaccines, and to normalize heart attacks and sudden deaths among young and healthy people," Polykretis wrote.

"Suddenly, it looks like everything in this world is causing heart attacks and blood clots, except one thing," he concluded.

The Associated Press didn't respond to queries for its response to the updated paper and Polykretis' allegations.

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