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WATCH: The state of medical science in the Covid-19 response

Watch (or read the extract below) an interview between Dr Peter McCullough and Brett Weinstein. The pair discuss a number of interesting topics surrounding Covid-19, including child vaccination and the general Covid-19 policy response. 


“No healthy society takes health from young people to protect the old and infirm. That is not an acceptable ethical trade, and yet we are doing it without discussion.”

When Dr Peter McCullough, one of the most published clinicians in medicine, is interviewed by Brett Weinstein, the professor of evolutionary biology famous for standing up to an outbreak of wokeism at Evergreen State College in 2017, things are bound to get interesting. The interview, The Path not Taken, covers child vaccination and the general Covid policy response. It lasts more than an hour, so some may prefer to read the extract below, which also provides links to the various studies cited.

Dr McCullough is an acclaimed academic internist, a cardiologist and a trained epidemiologist in Texas. He is one of the leading lights of the campaign for recognition of the dramatic success of early treatment for Covid. If you enjoy this and want to hear more from this exceptional thinker, his latest appearance on the most prolific podcast in the world, the Joe Rogan Experience, goes into greater depth and further elements of the Covid policy response.

Nick Hudson, PANDA

BW: Doctors are supposed to be scientists, meaning that they don’t simply dispense wisdom from on high but use, often informally, a version of the scientific method to learn how to treat phenomena. But we find that those who have reached conclusions at odds with the public health narrative appear to be gaslit. 

PM: We change our conclusions daily based on what we learn. Science is ever-changing. We can’t wait for randomised trials that take two to five years and then guidelines that take many years after that. I’ve been involved from very early on in early treatment of Covid-19. In the last year I’ve turned my attention to vaccine safety and efficacy. History is replete with examples of innovative doctors being gaslit. It’s a sign you’re on the right track.

BW: How dangerous is Covid-19?

PM: There’s probably no other infection that is so amenable to risk classification. It can be very deadly in an octogenarian but completely benign in school children.

BW: That is obviously at odds with a public health response that seems to be one-size-fits-all almost to a cartoonish degree—that vaccines are inherently the right response and that we should be vaccinating the entire world in an irresponsibly uncontrolled experiment.

PM: 80% of children have already had Covid-19 and now the CDC has acknowledged that they don’t have a single case of someone who has recovered from Covid-19 getting it a second time and passing it on to someone else. 120 studies support natural immunity. It’s a “one and done” phenomenon. The only confusion that exists is a second positive test that is a false test and some early confusion on the original CDC assay that could not distinguish between flu and Covid-19. Immunity is robust, complete and durable. That natural immunity is going to carry us. We don’t carpet bomb with other vaccines. They’re appropriately risk-stratified, and those principles should have been applied to the Covid-19 vaccines.

BW: It looks to me as if every normal medical standard and convention has been thrown out. The right to informed consent is nowhere in evidence. Something has started with the conclusion and worked backwards. It has the added horror of putting human health and wellbeing in jeopardy. The idea that anybody would think to vaccinate children who are safe from this disease even if we did not have evidence of harm, which is not the case … is preposterous. The explanation for why we’re doing that is expressed in vague, almost childish terms, absent anything that looks like an adult risk-benefit analysis. The interface between the public and medicine looks more like public relations and customer service than it looks like medicine.

PM: CNN medical correspondents were on Sesame Street seducing children into taking the Covid vaccine without presenting a fair analysis of risks and benefits. There’s been a giant abrogation of medical ethics, pharmacovigilance and regulatory principles and it’s extraordinarily dangerous. Historians will write about how we went off the rails for years to come. We should have had teams of doctors focusing on (1) reducing the spread, (2) early treatment, (3) in-hospital treatment and (4) vaccination. Such teams should have issued monthly evidence reviews and scientific updates. We didn’t have any of that. For vaccines we should have had a data safety monitoring board, a critical event committee and a human ethics board. The mortality signal emerged on the vaccines on 22 January 2021. I have chaired data safety boards and have even shut down big pharma programmes. Our Covid vaccine programme would have been shut down in February. This would have been similar to the swine flu vaccine in 1976. We probably would have found that there were susceptible people—we now know that it is mainly the seniors who die with the vaccine. Analyses by [Jessica] Rose and [Scott] Mclachlan have shown that 50% of the deaths occur within 24 hours and 80% within a week. Nursing home studies from Europe and Scandinavia show that 40% of these deaths are directly due to the vaccines. They are clearly biologically related to the vaccines. Young people are also dying. Normally, five deaths gets a black box warning. Fifty deaths, and it’s off the market, with a deep dive on safety. On three occasions we’ve seen the CDC review the deaths and just dismiss them as not to do with the vaccine. Scientists in my circle don’t buy that at all.

BW: What you’re describing is an apocalyptic failure of the multiple layers of fail-safes that are supposed to protect us from these things, but this doesn’t even begin to get to the horror of it. Not only do we have a failure to remove the product from the market even with a safety signal that is orders of magnitude bigger than it would need to be to alert us, but we are turning civilisation upside down and playing with the idea of mandates to essentially bully anyone who wishes to protect themselves and their families, so that they are stigmatised and punished, and have their civil liberties removed. This is a failure that has breached the walls of medicine and is now toppling the most basic elements of our societal agreement with each other. It is setting off every alarm bell that I’ve got. 

Myocarditis and vaccination of children

BW: That picture is even more stark, because, for example, most people don’t even know what myocarditis is. They’re told “There has been a certain amount in young people but they tend to recover, so it’s not such a serious concern.” What do you as a doctor think when you hear a claim like that?

PM: I think people around the world are saying that Covid is a bad illness and I’m willing to take a vaccine to help everyone get through it. But the mortality rate by all expert analysis is unacceptably high. We’re at 18,000 [deaths] in the US CDC VAERS system. The underreporting factor is about 5. Who is making the decision on the mandates? Does anyone really care if there are going to be deaths among employees or students? People are walking away from their jobs because they know they might die. Rates of vaccination plummeted in April as the word got out. Everyone knew. Then we saw a degree of gross, distorted incentives to vaccinate. Anybody in a position of authority should have been completely neutral on the vaccines because they’re investigational. Promotion [of experimental vaccines] is a violation of the Nuremberg Code. If I said to a patient, “Listen, you have to be on my diabetes research study,” and I force them into it using high pressure coercive tactics, I would be put up before an ethics board and sanctioned. Good doctors never promoted the vaccine.

They tried to provide fair and balanced information. Now we have a situation where non-fatal conditions, acknowledged by the CDC, are evident among children. Tracy Høeg reported from UC Davis thousands of cases—explosive myocarditis after the second shot of mRNA vaccines, more among boys than girls. She found 86% required hospitalisation. The most shocking thing is that a child is more likely to be hospitalised with myocarditis than from taking their chances with Covid-19. This is shown in the Høeg analysis as well as a parallel analysis by Ron Kostoff. This is important because, when someone takes a vaccine the chances are 100% that they are exposed to the risk of injury. If one takes their chances with the illness, it’s not 100%. Many people dodge Covid and many have already had it and are naturally immune. Both of these analyses were presented to the external reviewers at the adolescent and childhood vaccination meetings and were not disputed. This is really extraordinary. It is a better proposition to defer on the vaccines and manage Covid-19 if it comes up.

BW: Does it strike you as a fair statement that young people who’ve left the hospital after myocarditis are going to have normal lifespans?

PM: Before Covid, Arola and colleagues in Finland showed a background rate of myocarditis of 4 cases per million per year in people below 15. In the US we have 160m such people, so we should have 640 cases of myocarditis per year. So far our VAERS system has 11,000 cases, so we are far beyond the background rate. We know from Avolio, that the spike protein itself is the injurious element of the vaccine, affecting the cardiac pericyte. Tshöpe and colleagues, from 2019, again before Covid-19, looked at myocarditis, finding a rate of permanent damage of about 13%. If that holds for vaccine-induced myocarditis, that is an extraordinary number of young individuals that are going to have permanent heart damage. With vaccine mandates for children we are going to see that number skyrocket.

BW: The 11,000 is a VAERS number, dramatically underreported. This is an extraordinary harm. 

PM: The FDA review said two things that were reckless and reprehensible. They said myocarditis is mild and they said it was rare. Well, it wasn’t mild then, because 90% of the kids were in the hospital. That’s never classified as mild. They said it was rare, because they took 200 cases and divided by the universe of people who got the vaccine! We can’t do that in safety [assessment] because we didn’t assess everyone who got the vaccine. So we don’t know if it’s rare. When we see a signal like this, it’s the tip of an iceberg. People say, “Anybody can report to VAERS.” But falsification of VAERS reports is punishable by imprisonment or federal fines. I can tell you that 11,000 cases is serious and the real number is going to be much larger. 40% of kids present with fever as high as 40 degrees, muscle aches and body aches. That constitutional syndrome could mask myocarditis. I am suspicious and think that the rates of myocarditis are going to be astronomical.

BW: What people really need to think carefully about, is that we are considering mandating for children, who suffer very little harm from Covid, and walk away with natural immunity, and we would be vaccinating them from catching the disease and developing this robust, broad immunity to Covid-19 until later when they’re older and the disease is more dangerous to them. When you really push people and say “Why are we vaccinating children for a disease that does not threaten them?” the best answer that comes back is terrible—that effectively this is to control the pandemic. Now we can argue all day about whether this actually does control the pandemic better than children contracting Covid-19, having very low symptoms and letting them walk away with permanent immunity, but what we can’t argue is that that rationale effectively borrows health from young people to protect the old and infirm. You mentioned the Nuremberg Code before and unfortunately I really think we need to think about what’s going on in those terms. No healthy society takes health from young people to protect the old and infirm.

That is not an acceptable ethical trade, and yet we are doing it without discussion. That means that effectively, the bottom has dropped out of the bucket. The commitments we have to each other, the idea of medical ethics has all been subordinated to a reckless top-down campaign focused on a single remedy, that we now know, amazing as it is at a technological level, is composed of unfortunate features and full of design failures. You mention the spike protein—that was a very poor choice of a protein to alert the immune system to the presence of Covid-19 because the spike protein is itself dangerous. Now I’ve gotten in trouble—I’ve been “fact-checked” for saying this on my podcast. But this is what you’re telling us. The spike protein is doing damage to the body, sometimes to the heart tissue which has a very low capacity for self-repair, and that we would do this to children for no benefit to them is simply unconscionable.  

PM: Fact-checkers have stopped going after me because I quote the literature! Nuremberg Code, which you mention, says that under no conditions should anybody receive any pressure, coercion or threat of reprisal for having something injected into their body, as happened in Nazi Germany. The Helsinki Declaration indicates that everyone should receive informed consent. This situation is just like Tuskegee. I think this is very similar to the Nazi doctors’ crimes. All the same techniques are being used—propaganda, false information from those in a position of authority, malfeasance by those in positions of authority. You get signs of this—there have been a couple of FDA officials who just can’t stomach any more and they’ve resigned. Dr [Marion] Gruber, who signed the biological licensing agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech. Francis Collins is retiring. People ought to be absolutely triumphant over their victory over a public health problem, yet they’re heading for the exits. This ought to tell you where we’re going right now. You’re right. The bioethical principles are off the wall as historians will record.  Did you know that the WHO recently said that a child, by showing up at school, is consenting to vaccination?

BW: My child certainly isn’t. I’ll tell you that much. I’ve been wrestling with the Nazi and Tuskeegee parallels myself and I feel, like many people do, an absolute obligation not to invoke those things unless it is absolutely warranted. But the problem is, though it isn’t a perfect parallel, it’s the closest we’ve got. The vaccination of children under false pretences is very Tuskegee-like. This time race is not the issue, but I don’t see how there is any ambiguity on this point at all, and I don’t think you need to be all that informed or all that smart to see the problem with vaccinating children who are not at risk. It’s not that complex. It should open your eyes to all the other things that are wrong with what we’re doing.

Early treatment

BW: For example, the vaccine program is riding on the claim that we don’t have alternatives. Now at the beginning of Covid we did not know what to do, but that’s no longer the case. We’ve learnt a tremendous amount about how to treat it and how not to treat it. Let’s say that the vaccines were off the table and that the environment was hospitable to using every tool at your disposal. How empowered do you feel as a doctor to treat a vulnerable patient who shows up with a positive test but is not very sick? 

PM: Every doctor should feel fully enabled to treat this illness just like a pneumococcal pneumonia, just like influenza pneumonia. We do this as internists, as family doctors, as medical specialists and I’ve done it from the very beginning. I testified under oath that I have never denied a high-risk patient early treatment for Covid-19 using my best medical judgment. The Chinese were telling us right out of the gate that this could be fatal in some individuals. I can tell you as a doctor that I took an oath. I took an oath to do the best I can. I would never let someone acquire a fatal illness and do nothing. I just never would do that. That’s called failure to treat. That’s called malpractice.

BW: I want to stop you there because I think people will not necessarily know what you’re talking about. What you’re talking about is that the “standard of care” actually involves essentially sending you home if you’re not sick enough to require medical help. We do not treat those who have just tested positive because it is not acknowledged that we have useful tools. Is that fair?

PM: We know that the illness takes two to four weeks to become fatal. We may not have known this in February of 2020, but we know it now. When we start early we have the best chances of quelling the infection before it becomes fulminate and ultimately fatal. Now the interesting thing about Covid-19 is that not everybody needs treatment. Roughly 25% of the population needs treatment for Covid-19. The Iranian program, which is a hydroxychloroquine-base, is enormously successful. They give relatively brief courses of hydroxychloroquine with other drugs in combination to individuals who are at high risk. Risk stratification is so sophisticated by this point in time. Anyone can go to the Cleveland Clinic website, type in their age and their medical problems, and calculate their risk of hospitalisation and death with Covid-19 at the time of testing positive. This is so easily risk-stratifiable.

The first paper I published on this the in American Journal of Medicine in 2020 and the follow up in Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine in December of 2020—these are the most frequently downloaded and utilised papers on the treatment of Covid-19 and they were the basis for the very first treatment protocol that was supported by a physician organisation that’s chartered in every state in the United States—the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. We’ve been ahead of every other group on this, using what’s called sequence multidrug therapy, provided through referring doctors or through telemedicine services. Getting back to the issue of a patient in front of me who is sick with Covid-19, the first step is risk stratification. If I have somebody who’s clearly over age 50 with medical problems, the risk of hospitalisation and death rises and that’s a threshold to start doing something. If we take somebody over 65 with heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and obesity, who have risks of 20 to 40% for hospitalisation. That’s clearly enough to do something on day one as opposed to day 14.

PM: So I testified in the US Senate in November and I commented on [standards of care]. The NIH is not a guidelines organisation and they are not in the business of giving treatment recommendations. But they tried, and prior to that the Infectious Diseases Society of America had three or four versions of guidelines. Both the NIH and the IDSA focused on in-patients. They had no approach for out-patients. What the NIH said I thought was particularly impressive, and historians will write about this. They specifically said that if a high-risk patient gets Covid-19, they should go home. They do nothing. They literally wait until they can’t breathe anymore. Then they go to the hospital and you still do nothing until the point of requiring oxygenation. Only at that point can the first milligram of remdesivir be given. I can tell you, as a senior doctor who has treated many Covid-19 patients, that I would take those guidelines and tell them that they are going to cause harm to the population. It is a harmful document we’d be better off without. We’d be better off with our other sources of guidance, using risk stratification, and just start treating patients.

I’ve always said that there are only two bad outcomes—hospitalisation and death. It’s clear. I think if people knew they could get Covid-19, but make it through at home, that home treatment would always win. We shorten the infectivity period from 14 days to four days and reduce the intensity and duration of symptoms. The drugs aren’t perfect—we need four to six drugs in combination just like with other viral infections. By that mechanism we allow the virus to terminate in the house and not let it spread elsewhere. If we let it brew in the house for two weeks followed by a panicked trip to the clinic or hospital, we infect other care workers and family members. So every hospitalisation in the United States has actually been a super spreader event. Recently [footballer] Aaron Rodgers was criticised because he got Covid-19. I’m going to recap this on Joe Rogan’s show shortly. Rodgers did the right thing—the same thing I did. I went home and took a multi-drug treatment protocol. I was in research, so I was doing swabs every day and I shortened my infectivity down to four days, I did all my contact tracing and so did my wife, and we didn’t spread it to anyone, and we were done. Now we’re naturally immune. Aaron Rodgers can return to the Packers and he can never get Covid-19 again and he can never spread it again. That’s very different from taking a vaccine. If he’d taken a vaccine he clearly could have gotten it anyway, and somebody who’s vaccinated clearly can spread it to others. Our CDC director and all the data suggest that in fact that’s the case.

Incompetence or a vaccine agenda?

BW: The central thing for me, trying to understand this terrible public health response to an admittedly bad, but manageable disease. Our response is not only incompetent, but the inverse of what we would be the responsible thing to do. For example, not treating people until very late in the progress of Covid-19 disease … the idea that vaccines are the way to control this disease—again, these vaccines are not capable. They’re at best feeble. Their effect wanes very rapidly over time. They cause disease in their own right. We have other tools and we are not recommending their use. You mention various drugs that work.

PM: Scott Atlas’ book is out … he was on the inside. He said that our public health officials showed up at scientific meetings without manuscripts. They were not prepared. Scott said he was the only person showing up with new studies, interpreting what was going on … he thinks that is actually gross incompetence.

BW: I think this can’t be explained by incompetence … perfect incompetence would give you a random set of recommendations. Instead what we have is the inverse of the right recommendations. The failure to recommend vitamin D supplementation is glaring. The amount of Covid that could be prevented by vitamin D supplementation is large and the safety of vitamin D is clear. We have evidence that fluvoxamine is effective … it’s almost as if something has focused on a single solution for reasons that aren’t medical or epidemiological, and it’s going to rewrite whatever evidence it runs into. It’s going to dismiss and rationalise away every alternative to that one prescribed remedy.

PM: Are people intentionally trying to do harm? The book to point to there—I wrote one of the introductions—is COVID-19 and the Global Predators—We are the Prey by Peter Breggin … it has a thousand references and it is laying out what almost certainly is … nefarious intent … I think there is intentional suppression of early treatment, promotion of masking, lockdowns, isolation, fear, suffering, hospitalisation and death in order to promote the vaccine. This is more than just innocent incompetence. There is a vaccine agenda that is being carried out.

BE: There is a kind of middle ground explanation … it could be explained by a public health response built around a remedy that does not update. If you got really excited about these vaccines before you knew how feeble they were and how many design flaws they have within in them and you just never checked in with whether these are still the best treatment, you could end up disrupting the recognition of alternative tools that work as a result of absolutely unacceptable, indefensible commitment to a single remedy … Covid-19 is a real phenomenon. Masking is everywhere despite quite ambiguous evidence … lockdowns are also likely not effective. That might be the political apparatus riding on the reality of Covid and doing something quite nefarious—not medically nefarious but politically nefarious … at the very least people need to be aware that the thing that is telling them what is in their interests … is misleading them. Whatever authoritative voice that is has been captured and destroyed. We must listen to people like you who have experience. You can’t listen to those “authorities” because that is not what they are.

PM: The vaccines have already caused more deaths than Covid in low-prevalence countries like Taiwan and Australia. You know that the agenda somehow involves vaccines to the complete and total end. The vaccines will become more of a problem than Covid. In the least vaccinated countries in the world, there’s the least threat of Covid. Gibraltar, the UK, Iceland, the US, Canada, wherever we are vaccinating more intensely, we have much greater Covid problem … not a single medical institution has its own researched treatment protocol. They have protocols for every condition under the sun, but suddenly not for Covid.

BW: Even though it is widely understood that there is a regulatory capture problem involving pharma, the assumption is that … the level of corruption is actually zero. I don’t understand why anyone would assume that what they were seeing is a pure public health response rather than at least leaving open the possibility that some of the nonsense that we’re seeing is a result of corruption that we are seeing in any other year.

PM: It may be systemic. A lot of the routing of this is going to be looking at the Covid relief funding. It may be that the medical facilities wanted to establish protocols but felt that it might threaten federal funding. 

BW: I have a fear that the crime here is substantial enough that there will be a huge investment in preventing historians from ever figuring out what happened. Your paper with Jessica Rose revealed another oddity. What happened with that paper?

PM: The paper is a descriptive analysis using the VAERS system. Jessica Rose is a top-notch viral epidemiologist. It’s non-controversial and not comparative in any way. Jessica made the authorial decision to submit the paper to Current Problems in Cardiology. She has the dialogue showing that the paper was of interest to the journal and the paper was accepted after peer review. Publication fees were paid. It was cited in the National Library of Medicine. It was out there for several weeks. As we approached the first paediatric meeting on vaccinating ages 5 to 11, we were shocked to learn that the publisher had taken it down without notifying the authors, labelling it “temporarily withdrawn”, and explaining that they “had not invited the paper”.

We are in the process of filing a lawsuit against Elsevier. They are going to be absolutely slaughtered on this. It’s not only breach of contract, but it is tortious interference with the business of disseminating academic information. There obviously were stakeholders who did not want this information to get to the public and we will find out through this process who the stakeholders are. This does not happen! It is academic interference. They have been caught red-handed in censorship in a topic that is very important to the world right now.

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