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Why wellness gurus become Covid dissidents The world of alternative health was already primed to question the medical establishment

Be affraid, be very affraid. Thomas Krych/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Be affraid, be very affraid. Thomas Krych/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


May 11, 2021   5 mins

You’d think Covid-19 would’ve put clear white water between medicine and the wellness movement. But in many ways, the gurus of “alternative health” are having a good pandemic, informational chaos and legitimacy crises bolstering their positions. YouTube brims with them: thin, tanned, toothy juicers who mix boring, sensible advice like “get enough sleep”, with sexily counterintuitive emerging wisdom like “fat doesn’t make you fat”, then each throw in their own twist: normally something involving curcumin, infra-red light, and the healing power of beef tallow. Within that world sits Joseph Mercola, M.D.

Mercola has that joyless, overly primped look that wealthy Floridians often develop, and for which there is no known cure. He believes in the power of exercise, in getting enough Vitamin D, and intermittent fasting. Nice things. He also believes that Covid-19 can be cured in its early stages by inhaling nebulised hydrogen peroxide — oh, and that the so-called pandemic has been little more than a casus belli for a broader system of global control that aims to create a common international identification system, to puppet ordinary folk towards the vague ends of Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and various other plutocrats. A theory often known as The Great Reset.

 

Mercola is a transitional figure in the world of “alternative health”. In certain circles, he’s a star. He is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, including Effortless Healing, Upgrade Your Immunity With Herbs and The Great Bird Flu Hoax. A piece in the Washington Post pegged his lifetime earnings at around $100 million. And despite a taste for quackery that resulted in him being sued for $5 million for marketing his own sunbeds as anti-ageing devices,” he still turns up in vaguely respectable circles. Mikhaila, daughter of Jordan, Peterson recently invited him on her show to unpack some of his “ideas”, including many that feature in his new book: The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing The Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and The New Normal.

It’s a meeting that illustrates the way the online alternative health community has evolved. Mercola and Mikhaila don’t think alike, but both are united by a basic skepticism towards the medical establishment. Peterson Jr. is a YouTube no-carb guru, known for her trademarked “lion diet” (a hard-to-monetise formula that boils down to: “eat nothing but steak; repeat”). She is primed for dissidence, because she, like everyone in the zero-carb world, has already had to reject an idea we’ve had drilled into us since childhood: the food pyramid, with its starchy base of eight servings of grains and pastas per day. 

One story often recycled in the mythology of the low-carb world is that of Ancel Keys. Keys was the man who drew the straight line in the graph, between societies with high fat consumption and those with many heart attacks. But Keys had cherry-picked his data. Once you inserted several other countries he had excluded, the straight line disappeared. But by then the juggernaut of global health policy had been set in motion: low-fat, high-carb was default wisdom. Anyone who questioned it became low-status, outsiders.

The first time you hear the story of Ancel Keys, it’s a startling demonstration  as addictive as any cauliflower pizza. It also feeds a deeper truth bomb: the sense that the world has conspired to suppress this knowledge. So what else are they conspiring over?

When individuals gain great results doing something mainstream science considered extreme and dangerous only two decades ago, their dials naturally begin to flicker. It’s no coincidence that another prominent lockdown dissident, Ivor Cummins, populariser of the “casedemic” — the notion that the case rate was being wildly overstated because of massive numbers of false positives — also began as a popular YouTube low-carb guru, under the nom de guerre The Fat Emperor. Before that, he was a systems engineer, a professional problem-solver, and one way of thinking about these people is as startups. There are a range of questions that medicine, with its careful studies, cannot yet answer. Outsiders, in informal structures, can make the links quicker, and offer rules of thumb without worrying about clear cause and effect.

The fact that the medical establishment doesn’t do this is generally to its credit. Knowledge accretes; it’s an oil tanker turning around. To reverse course means trowelling on more evidence in the opposite direction — and that will always take time. But how nobly our institutions perform that role is becoming increasingly crucial to how well our trust in them can survive. Just as the IRA used to boast that “we only need to get lucky once”, so too in a world of distributed knowledge, a rival power structure being right about something a mainstream institution gets visibly wrong can be a body blow. 

There are many points in our present crisis at which, whether in the fog of war, or through bureaucratic cynicism, the citadels of medical power called it wrong. Witness the reverse-ferret on masks. A year ago, everyone — from Tony Fauci to Matt Hancock to Chris Whitty — was claiming they were unnecessary. Vox ran explainers saying: “Oh, and facemasks? You can pass on them.” Then, official doctrine changed overnight, and the recent past got memory-holed.

Today, if you want to see footage of Hancock and the rest proclaiming masks to be useless, you’ll have to visit Bitchute — it has been purged from YouTube. A dental researcher, who performed a review of key studies, came to the same conclusion that pandemic researchers had for years: there’s no good evidence for masks. You can no longer read that review, though: instead, you can read a note saying the study is “no longer relevant in our current climate.” The list of such instances goes on and on. What the purgers forget is that, as with everything from Watergate to Curtaingate, it’s not the mistake that ultimately takes you down: it’s the cover-up.

It’s precisely because government is in a bind about admitting its mistakes that even a figure like Joseph Mercola can continue to sit outside the tent throwing rocks until he scores a hit.

In The Truth About Covid-19, he has thrown together just about every tendentious claim to spill out of the pandemic — from “Event 201” to the Gates-funded alleged “trial run” six weeks before the start of the crisis. Take the lab leak hypothesis — the idea that the virus might have escaped from a Chinese bioweapons research unit — which Mercola goes hard on. Right now, official doctrine is that this is bunk for loons. Yet as Ian Birrell has written, that is not yet settled fact. And if that fact changes, it’s the dissidents who will hold all the ticket stubs. What if they’re the ones with the Fact Check energy?  

And then there’s hydroxychloroquine, the molecule that had the unfortunate fate of becoming associated with Donald Trump. Two studies “proved” it was ineffective. But they were both retracted last year, when it turned out that the data at their core was part of a deliberate fraud — a fact of which Mercola makes much.

In a culture war over medicine, it’s uncomfortably easy to predict whose positions will land where. In 2014, pioneering sports scientist Dr Tim Noakes was hauled before his local medical authorities for claiming that a low carb diet was safe for those breastfeeding. In that moment, he became his own Galileo, taking on the Church. And yet it moves: he won his case, then another one; in the popular mind, and increasingly in the medical world, his views began to triumph.

So, in May 2020, when he backed hydroxychloroquine, he had a ready-made audience for a brand of wisdom that flew in the face of an established order that had already persecuted him, and been found wanting. Even though he was a sports doctor — not a virologist.

Noakes went on to argue that a low-carb diet could be the key to combating Covid-19.

It’s the sort of contention very typical of the dissident set, in that it starts from a kernel of truth that we have indeed forgotten — that having a BMI of 20 is far better prophylaxis than any hand gels — and extrapolates out — forgetting about the chronic cases, the exponential nature of infection, hospital capacity, and so on. Mercola’s book pulls together many disparate threads that any one individual might buy into; it is heavily-footnoted, densely-researched hogwash, mostly 162 pages of excellent kindling.

Yet for his own purposes, his stopped clock only has to be right twice a day.


Gavin Haynes is a journalist and former editor-at-large at Vice.

@gavhaynes

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

I have been following Cummins’s videos and in my opinion he is right, at least when it comes to Covid. And even a British govt minister stated that the PCR positives were up to 98% false. Indeed, these tests are the biggest scam since wind turbines. And every sensible person knows that in almost all circumstances, face masks do more harm than good.
Meanwhile, the lab leak hypothesis is gaining credibility, and it seems to be a fact that Fauci exploited a loophole in order for the US to fund gain-of- function research in Wuhan. Even the unpartisan The Hill with Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti has reported this. The incorruptible Bret Weinstein supports it, along with a number of virologists. A journalist called something like Dave Wiegand has just written another exhaustively researched piece about it.
Mikhaila Peterson’s diets seems to have worked for her. She was very sick, now she isn’t. Each to their own. That said, nobody would have heard of her had she not been Jordan Peterson’s daughter.
And surely everyone should question the medical establishment. Outside of a few brilliant surgeons and cancer experts etc it exists largely to enrich the pharma industry. The vaccine, which is not necessary – and potentially harmful in the long term – for any healthy young or youngish person is the ultimate example of this. In this and most other respects, this Mercola chap seems to be correct.

Last edited 3 years ago by Fraser Bailey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

PCR tests are quite sensitive and extremely specific – their false-positive rate is somewhere down below one in a thousand.
Please give a link to this British minister, so we can see whether he said anything like what you are quoting him on.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I believe it was Dominic Raab who said that PCR positives were between 90 and 98% false. My understanding is that outside of strict laboratory conditions they are more or less useless.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

I am afraid that your understanding is wrong. PCR tests (unlike many other kinds of tests) give extremely low false positive rates. More details in my post below.

Did you have a link to that Dominc Raab quote?

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The frequency of false positives is dependent on the number of cycles, the number of cycles regularly used in a lab is around 20, the .gov were using cycle numbers of close to 60.
This is why Cummings said that 90-98% of the pcr tests were false positives.

PCR is not a diagnostic test, and should not be used as such.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

No. More cycles make the test more sensitive, but AFAIK not significantly less accurate.

Which Cummngs? Link?

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Look for yourself, you might learn something, or you might not.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

I’d like to see this link too. If you assert Cummings said it, surely you should be the one to back that up. I doubt you would take kindly to my claiming you said something you didn’t and telling readers to find out where for themselves.

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Look for it yourself. We all don’t keep a catalogue of references to provide to you for your convenience. Here is a link though to another source of evidence re PCR tests which tells the same story. Do your own research and provide your own sources of information to counter the claim.
https://swprs.org/the-trouble-with-pcr-tests/

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Kay Bush

Thanks- that was useful to see. At least it explains where people get that ‘97% false positive rate’ stuff from – and allows me to answer it.
Your link claims that PCR gives very high false positive rates ‘as a test of whether people are currently infective‘. No reason for me to challenge that – although it does take for granted that cell culturing gives the correct answer, which is not certain either. As a test of whether people have, or have recently had COVID, the PCR test has a false positive rate of less than 0.1%. Which is why you get about zero false positives in New Zealand, where there is no Coronavirus. As your link says. Even if your current viral load is very low, a positive test still means that you have been exposed to COVID – and you might have a much higher load in a few days. If you want to track the spread of COVID in the population, or to decide whether people should be quarantined as a safety measure, that is the information you need. If you think we should only count who are currently infective, and not who has been exposed to the virus, please say so explicitly so we can discuss that, instead of just claiming that the test is rubbish.

For the rest, the test could possibly in theory give false positives through contamination or cross-reaction with other viruses. Which, however, counts for nothing unless you can show that this also happens in practice – and no one has done that yet.

Also you are misinterpreting the WHO advice on confirming weak positive results. If COVID is unlikely, as when there is no SARS-COV2 around, or people have no symptoms, it is intrinsically less likely that they have COVID, and more likely that a weak positive is false (in the sense of people not having been exposed to SARS-COV2). But that is only a problem where COVID is very unlikely and hence where the total number of positives is very small. If the number of positives is large, most of them are true.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

My understanding is that the increase of cycles make the test more sensitive… to the extent that old coronavirus debris can test as positive. This then certainly doesn’t qualify as a ‘case’ and is thus a false positive. It is the cornerstone of the push back on PCR tests.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

AFAIK, the test does eactly what it says on the tin – which is to check if people have, or recently had, coronavirus. That does not mean that they currently have an active infection, true. You could say that PCR does not measure cases, but infections – and very accurately too. As long as you know what it means and do not misuse the test results, what is the problem with that?

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Are you 77th brigade or are you a paid shill for some other organisation? You are talking utter nonsense. The evidence is clear that PCR tests run at more than 28 cycles become increasingly useless the higher the number of cycles.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Kay Bush

What evidence is that? Useless for what purpose? If you would tell me I might even learn something.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

PCR is not a diagnostic test, and should not be used as such.
PCR very much is a diagnostic test, whether you like it or not.

Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

“PCR is not a diagnostic test, and should not be used as such.”
Carey Mullis, who invented PCR, said this!

Last edited 3 years ago by Michael Hanson
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hanson

Then he was obviously just plain wrong, wasn’t he? It may or may not be a good diagnostic test, but a diagnostic test it most certainly is.

Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

It is now and he must be turning in his grave.
His invention was intended for multiplying small amounts of DNA. Not for finding one molecule in a haystack!

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hanson

His invention was intended …
Or, avoiding the agentless passive construction, Mullis intended … Why should others not put his invention to other uses?

Michael Hanson
Michael Hanson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

“Sigh”

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael Hanson

Is that your idea of an answer? At least it’s illuminating.

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Well it was a far better response than any of yours so far by a very long way.

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Because you said so? lol Empirical evidence in one sentence, you’re a legend!

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I believe when pushed, the government estimated a false positive rate of between 0.8-4.0% for PCR tests, and this is part of the problem – they’ve never come clean on this, and journalists never ask. Unless you have a standardised test, number of cycles and know the FPR, using mass testing is pointless and inaccurate.

A test is also only as accurate as the people performing it. A few temporary workers doing swabs in a windy car park, then sending samples off to hastily commissioned labs with poorly trained staff does not make for an accurate test, necessarily. False positives can occur for many reasons. There was even a documentary on Channel 4, showing the poor standards being employed in some testing labs.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

There is a link, in my post above, to the place where the government says the false positive rate for COVID PCR is less than 0.1%, So, we do know the FPR. Can you provide your link?

Certainly a test is only as accurate as the people performing it. But the windy car park, poor training, etc. will only give false positives if the samples somehow get contaminated with COVID RNA from some other source. PCR is that specific. Not completely impossible, sure, but there are not vary many environmetal sources of COVID, execpt sick people (mink, bats, …).

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Definitely 77th.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  Kay Bush

This clown has been trashing these boards relentlessly. It is annoying.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

BOTH of the above statements may be correct.
The percentage of false positives depends on the number of real cases.
When there are 100,000 real positives a day and 1 million tests the 900,000 who are negative will produce (at 0.1% or 1 per thousand), 900 false positives. This is less than 1% false positives,
When there are 2,000 real positives per day (as now) from 1 million tests the 998,000 who are negative will produce 998 false positives, This is around 33% which is probably where we are now.
As the total positives trends down the proportion of these which are false will rise (as the number of false results per thousand is constant).
Of course, if false positives are 2 per thousand (0.2%) then we will see 2,000 per million tests which may be close to where we are. If we all do two tests per week as the Gov would like that is 100 million per week which at 1 false positive per thousand would give 100,000 false positives per week and keep us locked down forever.
Mass screening does not work when incidence is low. A few years ago screening for breast cancer for women aged 30-40 was trialled but this was abandoned as around 95% (from memory) of positives were found to be false, causing unnecessary stress on people involved.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Wilkes
Fran Martinez
Fran Martinez
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Rasmus, they are “too” sensitive, detecting RNA fragments of the virus well passed the point of infection. Your body might have cleared the virus but you might still some fragments of its RNA left and the PCR test would say you are positive. In fact, people say antigen tests are less accurate (particularly in asymptomatics). But it is possible that antigen tests are actually detecting sick people (i.e., were the virus is replicating and therefore producing the proteins that the test detects). While the pcr tests (amplifying RNA) are just detecting residual fragments of the virus.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fran Martinez

Well, the PCR test detects people who have or recently had a COVID infection. In people with COVID symptoms the ‘recently had’ part sounds pretty irrelevant. If you do large-scale screening analysis you just need to interpret the data correctly. Why talk about ‘false positives’, unless you deliberately want to discredit the COVID-fighting effort?

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Covid-fighting effort?

Epicurus Araraxia
Epicurus Araraxia
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“As long as you know what it means and do not misuse the test results, what is the problem with that?”
Well, let’s see why. A person who works in a minimum-wage job happens to be exposed to a person who has an active Covid-19 infection who is shedding viruses. Minimum-wage person has an effective immune system and shrugs off the virus with no symptoms whatsoever. Then they have a PCR test that picks up tiny amounts of fragments of viral RNA and they are told that the test was positive and they must now self-isolate for 10 days.
Minimum-wage person now loses 10 days of income when they are in fact NOT infected with Covid-19 and NOT spreading it to anyone.
As has been pointed out in other replies, when the incidence is high, false positives are not significant. Now that the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly heading for zero, the FPR is very significant indeed. The billions of pounds being spent on PCR tests (and indeed on Lateral-Flow Rapid tests) is being spaffed against a wall (to misquote the PM) because the real positives are lost in the statistical “noise” of the testing method and nothing useful is being gained by running millions of tests.
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to get increasingly meaningless test numbers if you know what it means, but what do we have? We have a propaganda mill that churns out the raw numbers with no context, intended to frighten the sheep. And that IS a problem.

Last edited 3 years ago by Epicurus Araraxia
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

You say it yourself : When the incidence is high – and the PCR test gives scarily high numnbers of positives – false positives are not relevant. When the incidence is low false positives become relevant – but then (as is the case now) the PCR test tells you that there are not that many cases and people are hard to scare.

Anyway, if you do not ,like current policies, just say it. No need to wrap it all in getting upset at the PCR test.

Peter Watt
Peter Watt
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The ratio of true positives to false positives depends on the prevalence. If prevalence is zero, then your test will give 100% false positives, to take a simple example.

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Watt

Good effort but that is beyond the comprehension of Rasmus. Or his controllers won’t let them respond.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Peter Watt

I know. I also know that if the prevalence is zero and all the positives are false there will be very few positives. If the problem is what to do about a single, positive test, false positives can be very important, if the prevalence is low. If the problem is that there are too many positive test results, false positives is not what you need to worry about.

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

PCR tests at the cycles they have been run at (35 to 40) are utterly useless. That is a scientific FACT.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The false positive RATE is different than the positive predictive value. If you do 100,000 tests in an area where very few people have COVID (let’s say only 1/10,000 do), that means (even if the test has no false negatives and you pick up every true positive), you get 110 positive tests, only 10 of which are actual people with COVID. So the PPV is about 9%. The usefulness of the test varies with the density of true disease in the tested population. So keeping in mind that in most areas of the world where PCR tests are being widely deployed, case densities are around the 1/1000 range or even much less, that means terrible the test has a terrible PPV.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Milburn

That is perfectly correct, and I totally agree. And thanks for teaching me the phrase ‘positive predictive value’. My problems are 1) that debaters do not distinguish between false positive rate and PPV, 2) that people bang on about ‘the PCR test is useless, it is full of false positives’ without saying what it is useles for, or under what circumstances. Essentially they are just trying to smear the testing effort.
If you think that PCR is not good idea for mass screening when COVID prevalence is low, you are quite likely right (depending on how low is ‘low’, what actions you take if the test is positive etc.). If you just want information on how widespread the disease is in the general population, or if you want to check if deaths could be due to COVID, I’d think that PCR testing would be highly useful. In neither case would it be too much of a problem if there were a small number of false positives, or if the test said ‘positive’ also after the acure phase of the disease has passed.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXm9kAhNj-4
That’s the problem. They are too sensitive. As he states you find almost anything. In anybody. Especially a virus that is widespread in a population. That doesn’t mean you are transmitting the virus or are infected yourself. This is what Kary Mullis was trying to warn everybody about.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXm9kAhNj-4
Just because you find something doesn’t mean it is significant. This is the whole problem with pcr tests and why they can not provide meaningful results on being infected or showing infectiousness.

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The PCR false positive rate depends how much covid there is in the community and whether it’s being used for mass screening. It’s a bit pointless to quote one number for this, if that’s what Ivor was doing.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

I am sorry, but you are misunderstanding the terminology (or I am – link to dictionary if you like). The ‘false positive rate’ is characteristic of the test. It tells you ‘if you are healthy, what is the chance you get a positive test?’ That does not depend on how many in the community have the disease. If you ask ‘if you test positive what is the chance that you are healthy after all’ that is a different question – which does depend on’ how much covid there is in the community and whether it’s being used for mass screening’ etc. I do not know of a simple short name for that, possibly because, as you say, it is not a single, fixed number.

The false positive rate for the COVID PCR is one in a thousand or less. Knowing that lets you calculate how many actually have the disease in various scenarios.
10% test positive: 9.9% have COVID
0.5% test positive: about 0.4% have COVID
0.1% test positive: maybe nobody has COVID, depending on the exact value of the false positive rate.

If the test keep saying ‘positive’ after you are no longer ill, this may need changing to ‘9.9% have had COVID (in the last x days). But the numbers remain solid.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The calculations are actually a little more complex. A more precise calculation would give
10% test positive: 9.91% have COVID
But when the false positive rate is so low, the change is pretty small, as you see.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The test is not a test for COVID at all. COVID is the infection, the PCR test can only detect an element (RNA) of the virus (SARS-CoV2). The inventor of the test himself said it cannot be used as a diagnostic test, it’s simply an indicator of possible infection or past infection.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

The PCR test for the presence of COVID RNA in your body. The only way you can get that is as a part of a COVID virus. How else would it have got there? Just to try to understand you, what is the difference between somebody who ‘has COVID’ and somebody who has COVID virus in his body?
Sure, you can get positive tests for a while after the acute disease phase is past. That is not a ‘false positive’ or a reason to dismiss the test as useless. If it makes a difference to a specific point, just take it into account.

The inventor of the test himself said it cannot be used as a diagnostic test,

Link, please, so we can see what he said and what it meant?

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If you had a cold (coronavirus family) 7 years ago, and undertook a pcr test at 60 cycles, you would likely test positive for coronavirus.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Link or reference, or I do not believe you.

From the UK government site, the false positive rate is less than 0.08%:

in the six-week period from 31 July to 10 September 2020, 159 of the 208,730 total samples tested positive. Even if all these positives were false, specificity would still be 99.92%.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Really? I thought most COVID PCR tests look for two nucleotide sequences specific to SARS-CoV-2.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“…With regard to the viral load tests, which attempt to use PCR for counting viruses, Mullis has stated: “Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron.” PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves…”

http://www.virusmyth.org/aids/hiv/jlprotease.htm

Last edited 3 years ago by Nigel Clarke
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

-1 The page you point to says that “HIV is not the cause of ‘AIDS‘”. It is from 1996.
-2 PCR is brilliant at detecting the presence of a particular DNA/RNA sequence, but not as good at determining how much of it there is. That is what quantitative PCR means. This may be relevant for AIDS management 25 years ago, where you tried to reduce the viral load, but nobody talks about exactly how many COVID virus you have in your bloodstream – only whether they are present or not. Which PCR can tell you.
-3 If you believe that the COVID RNA the test finds does not come from the COVID virus, by all means show us an alternative source, with some evidence to bolster your hypothesis.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

-1 The page you point to says that “HIV is not the cause of ‘AIDS‘”. It is from 1996.

Regardless of the virus, the point remains. Stupid response really.

-2 PCR is brilliant at detecting the presence of a particular DNA/RNA sequence, but not as good at determining how much of it there is
Exactly, it can detect minute amounts of DNA/RNA, have a look at how Svant Paabo uses PCR for palaeo-human studies.
If you have covid and a pcr test is performed, you would only need a cycle of 15-20 to confirm presence, but if you don’t have now nor ever had covid, but have had a cold in the past few years, the pcr test will also confirm the presence.

You really should educate yourself. When I want to know something I look up several sources and form an opinion.
You seem to form an opinion and then tell everyone to source their own. Poor and lazy.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nigel Clarke
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

So you are saying that the PCR test misidentifies other viruses as Coronavirus? Not impossible, I suppose, but it will have been checked. Do you have any evidence?
How do you explain the fact that one UK test series tested oiver 200000 people and only got about 150 positives, i.e. 0.08%? Surely that proves that the umber of false positives, from whatever cause, must be less than 0.08%?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

Stupid response really.
I don’t think so at all. If he didn’t think HIV causes AIDS, maybe his other pronouncements on viruses should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

What makes Kary Mullis an authority on viruses?

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“How else would it have got there?” Is that a serious question? We’re talking about nose and throat swabs for a respiratory virus, if you need a diagram as to how virus particles or expelled fragments from someone else got into your nose and throat then I’m wasting my time! As for the significance of the difference of virus and infection then perhaps you should read this https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/questioning-unreliable-pcr-testing-is-hardly-trivial

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

I know that virus particles can come into your nose from the outside – that is how COVID spreads. If I have COVID virus in my nose, I have COVID, no?

This disagreement has nothing to do with tests, so please stop slagging off the test. Unless you can show that the PCR test reacts to a dfferent virus (no one has, yet), a positive COVID PCR test means the patient has, or has had, COVID. The point your own link is making is that a lot of these may be asymptomatic, and those do not count, as they see it. I disagree, but that, at least is a point we can reasonably discuss.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’m not “slagging off” the test I’m pointing out that it doesn’t detect infection. You’re pointing out that you don’t understand the difference between having virus particles in your nose or throat and being infected. Completely different things hence your flawed logic about the number of infections.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

A good start would be to stop talking about ‘90% false positives’, when arguably the test is measuring exactly what it claims to measure, with 99.9% accuracy.

So what are you saying?
That people do get the virus multiplying inside their bodies, but it only counts as infection above a certain threshold? Or that the COVID virus is all over the place, including in people’s noses, but it never starts to multiply? By either definition, what difference does it make to the number of dead, serious long-term effects, etc,? Remember, the infection fatality rate is the number of dead divided by the number of infections. If the number of infections is much lower than we tought, the IFR ie much higher.

Simon Baseley
Simon Baseley
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Excellent reasoning. Thanks for sticking to your guns.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I didn’t say anything about false positives although I understand from people like Mike Yeadon and Kary Mullis that it becomes an issue with PCR tests at the cycle levels that COVID tests have been routinely run at. I’m personally not convinced by either the reported infection levels (or cases as they’ve been rebranded) or the number of deaths attributed (with or of, who cares right?). However, we can all observe that it’s not a dangerous disease for the over 99.8% of us who haven’t died yet. If it were so dangerous why are they still having to accumulate the figures from last year and why has that never been done for any other disease?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

I am not following your logic.

However, we can all observe that it’s not a dangerous disease for the over 99.8% of us who haven’t died yet.

Would you say that for Ebola? Aids? Most of us have nor died from that yet either.

We might be able to agree on a lot of the facts – if you would say more clearly what you think is the underlying reality behind those test results.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

By definition, no matter what the disease, if it only kills less than 0.2% of people then it’s not dangerous. I think people have been confused and scared by government propaganda about a virus that’s circulating all around us unlike Ebola or AIDS but the fact remains that over 99.8% of us didn’t die so it’s not been dangerous to us.

Epicurus Araraxia
Epicurus Araraxia
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“If I have COVID virus in my nose, I have COVID, no?”
No. Covid-19 is the name given to the clinical symptoms of having an active infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The PCR test in use in the UK is derived from the Corman-Drosden test method published early in 2020 by Christian Drosden of the Berlin Charité Institute. The specific nucleic acid sequences that the test method looks for ALL match at the 80% confidence level or higher to sequences in the human genome.
Thus, if you run the test at high cycles of threshold, you will get a positive result regardless of the presence or absence of the virus. The lack of proper controls, the inconsistencies in Ct across labs, and the sloppy methods employed do not leave us with any sense of confidence in the results.
Just because the government is able to show that ONE lab has a very low oFPR on one particular day, that does not mean that ALL labs are able to achieve that same oFPR consistently every day.
Then there’s the problem with the quoted text that the lack of unambiguous and obvious symptoms makes diagnosis of “Covid-19” far more difficult than say, Measles or Smallpox. Flu-like symptoms occur for many viral diseases. Courts in Portugal, Italy and Germany have all declared that a PCR test alone is NOT sufficient evidence that a person has Covid-19. They have found that the PCR test method has so many problems that it is insufficient evidence to warrant removing a person’s right to freedom of movement for 10 days or more, and that an actual examination by a Physician is required before a diagnosis of disease can be made.
You may have viral particles in your nose, but if the virus has not entered your tissues where it is actively replicating and causing you to shed viruses, then you do NOT have “Covid-19” and you are NOT a “case” of anything at all. If a positive PCR test is followed up by culturing tissue samples in cell culture in a lab and THAT test shows that you have an active infection, THEN, and only then can it be stated with certainty that you “have COVID”.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

Of course, by the time you have done and tested a cell culture, the infection will have run its course, and your patient will have infected all those he could infect. If the courts in Portugal, Italy, and Germany have decided that a positive PCR test is not sufficient to demand that people quarantine, it just shows that the law cares about things it deems to be much more important that public health or protecting people’s lives. Or, as Dickens put it” The law is an ass!”.

Anyway, since it is proven that labs do *not* get “ a positive result regardless of the presence or absence of the virus.“, (i.e. a 100% false positive rate) they must clearly be doing something right.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

COVID-19 isn’t a virus, it’s the disease some people develop after being infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus.

All the PCR test does is pick up fragments of RNA from part of the coronavirus that is in your body. It is not conclusive evidence of either SARS-COV2 or having the disease COVID-19.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

COVID is the disase, not the virus. OK, I stand corrected.

The test picks up fragments of RNA that is only (at least in practice) found in SARS-COV2. That is conclusive evidence of the presence of SARS-COV2. Unless you can tell me which source of that RNA different from SARA-COV2 it could be coming from.
For the rest, what are you saying? That having a virus multiplying in your body does not count as disease if you do not have symptoms (i.e., you do not count asymptomatic COVID as a disease)? Just say so, and we know what we are talking about. Or that you test positive also after you are no longer sick? Again, just say so. Or that it is common for people to have SARS-COV2 RNA in them without having a virus multiplying in our body?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

The inventor also thought HIV does not cause AIDS. Inventing a useful way of detecting DNA sequences does not mean everything he said should be taken as gospel truth.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Fair point but it’s his logic I quoted. The test detects a component of a virus, it doesn’t and cannot detect infection. That can only come from clinical diagnosis so quoting positive PCR tests (routinely done at high cycles) as infections is simply wrong.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

If detecting infection can only come from clinical diagnosis, you’re effectively ruling out the possibility of asymptomatic cases of any disease, and allowing presymptomatic cases to continue infecting others until they develop symptoms and are diagnosed.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Asymptomatic infection is a contentious theory with little supporting evidence that I’ve seen. I’ve been very interested to understand how a person can be infected without displaying symptoms as it’s the symptoms that tend to be the body’s mechanisms of expelling the disease or the effects of the disease and also the mechanism for the disease to spread (hence why it seems contradictory to talk about asymptomatic spread). Getting back to your point/question, diagnosis can only be done clinically.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

The idea of asymptomatic infection has been around for a long time. Do you find the case of Typhoid Mary contentious?

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

It is highly contentious isn’t it? Isn’t that why it’s so infamous?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

I thought it was infamous because she continued working as a cook after twice being ordered not to, thereby infecting many people. So far as I know, her status as an asymptomatic carrier is not disputed, and if it is, I guess it is by a fringe few – thus not highly contentious, and maybe not contentious at all.
If you are aware of research or evidence suggesting she was not an asymptomatic cholera carrier, could you indicate where we might peruse it?

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

From what little I’ve read Mary’s lawyers had several independent tests done that all showed she was negative for Typhoid. That was over 100 years ago but sadly, despite the advances in science, there are still an abundance of people like you who can be manipulated by fear for themselves with propaganda supported by nothing but correlation, suggestion and insinuation.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

From what I read ‘her’ lawyers came up with one batch of tests that showed her negative. She was released on condition she didn’t work as a cook again, but she did, and caused another outbreak of infections. I say ‘her’ lawyers because it’s suspected Randolph Hearst paid for them.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

What both our comments show quite clearly is that there was a complete lack of evidence that she was indeed infected with anything. Perhaps that’s why she had no symptoms

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Because someone once said one thing that might be wrong is not a valid reason to dismiss anything else they say. Stick to the point, or aren’t you paid enough for that? PCR testing is hopelessly flawed. End of story.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

You clearly have no idea of what a pcr test is, how it works nor what the result means.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The author seems to be suggesting that anyone who doesn’t follow the government line is a crank. There have always been a lot of these eat your way to health books , which could be retitled-author writes their way to wealth. However people usually take to an unusual diet because they are unwell, now some people are advocating a different diet for people when the majority of the population are fine. So to some extent they are joining in the general hysteria.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

The lab leak hypothesis gets proper treatment here. It’s a half-hour or so of science, which isn’t normally my thing, but it rewards the effort. I would challenge anyone to read this and say it isn’t the default explanation. And you are quite right about Fauci having any number of personal reasons to prefer a non-lab leak hypothesis.
https://thebulletin.org/2021/05/the-origin-of-covid-did-people-or-nature-open-pandoras-box-at-wuhan/

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
3 years ago

When I was at university the medics were the ‘thickies’ and they certainly weren’t scientists. Scientists were physicists, chemists, engineers, electrical/electronics people. The base of science is mathematics and medics didn’t do that – they just memorised parts of the body (with latin names).
Today, there are some medics who have become top surgeons. Being a surgeon is to perform an operation over and over again and not make a silly mistake – it must be extremely difficult but is more like an art than a science. GPs, the common medics, are told by the NHS exactly what to do in each situation – take blood samples, if samples say x then y, if samples say z, then do nothing.
Today, when we talk about scientists, especially after Covid, we mean medics. Medic are not statisticians. Medics are not able to predict things, as we have discovered. Real scientists are engineers or physicists and they can predict things but nobody would ask them about medical problems.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Also if I get cancer and it remains untreated I will most likely die. If I get covid and it remains untreated I will most likely not die. Yet the medical profession have enabled the government to create a situation where the first lot have to suffer to protect the second lot. They have even helped produce scary adverts to convince people of this-so there is no point the author blaming just some opportunists who want to sell their special diets ( which act as a sort of talisman which protects you )

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago

Tedious as I found it I did get all the way through this hatchet job in the vague hope that, for all it’s contradictions, there might actually be a worthwhile nugget. Alas not.

Turns out the fat, sweating mounds of blubber wrapped up in PPE in my local NHS hospital are the doctors I can trust as they’re demonstrably dutifully following the established medical advice they were taught in med school unlike the fit, healthy thin one’s on YouTube like Joseph Mercola.

And I’m confused about the mask thing. Should I be wearing a mask because the “medicine, with it’s careful studies” will prove they lower the transmission of respiratory viruses or should I be sceptical about “medicine, with it’s careful studies” because the only one that proved the effect on transmission is negligible was retracted and all the bold statements about their ineffectiveness have been systematically airbrushed from history?

I’m becoming ever more regretful of my Unherd subscription. It seems more and more to be a platform for contributors to construct narratives that support their prejudices rather than seek knowledge.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

I think they are putting in articles that you can argue with-bit boring if we are all like those nodding dogs in cars.The mask wearing is interesting because, outside medicine and drama , the only person to wear a mask in the past was the executioner. Medieval illustrations such as Canterbury Tales don’t show anyone wearing a covering over their face & the veil for wedding or travel purposes still allowed the viewer to see the person underneath. Wouldn’t it have caught on before if it is such a good idea?

Joerg Beringer
Joerg Beringer
3 years ago

Mercola&co, meaning anyone who got censored and villified on Covid, have 10x as much credibility as any public health official, journalist or pharma shill because of just that censorship alone:
“Only the truth has generally been censored.”

THEY are NOT running away from a debate, to the contrary, they are looking for one but are denied it.
THEY are acting scientific, their censors aren’t.
For example, Mercola was early and spot on on the lab origin story, which is now also becoming the most accepted narrative by officials.

I refrain from going into details on their concerms and positions on treatments, PCR cts, gene therapies, vaxx passports and the Great Reset- all of those viewpoints are solid and very valid, well known to critics and to officials and nothing is being done about them regardless by officials.
That ignorance alone, e.g. on PCR cts, further validifies their concerns and positions and, above all, the ones of their followers.

So, if you want the sceptics to take the gene therapies, there is only one way to achieve that: get Mercola, Yeadon, Bhakdi, Hockertz&co, the people who were and are censored but have been and are continued to be proven ever more right, and who are therefore rightfully trusted by them, to give the green light.
Admonitory drivelling by people like you, Fauci, Drosten, Johnson et.al., coercion and discrimination and above all advocacy of the two, will only harden the sceptics resolve.
As it should.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Joerg Beringer

If you take 10000 people throwing wild guesses, some of them will sometimes be right. There is still not much point in debating them, since none of them are willing to listen to arguments, most of them are wrong, and the rest do not have any evidence to bring to the debate.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

If you take 10,000 intelligent people and teach them something wrong they become incredibly efficient at doing the wrong thing and their numbers give them confidence that they are in fact correct. I give you medical science.

Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Nice, like it.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Maybe. So how do you improve on it? First of all, you need evidence. Ten thousand intelligent people, with their teachers, who believe in something can still be wrong. But they are more likely to be right than a single person with a new, bright idea and some tentative results to back it.
One of the things you pick up while working in science, is that it is uncomfortably easy to fool yourself, find an interesting pattern, and become convinced that you have found ‘the truth’. People have published long, well-researched papers on physical phenomena that have since been proved not to exist. Convincing your colleagues is a necessary filter, and there is a lot of knowledge accumulated on what kind of results are most vulnerable to overconfidence. If you are willing to play by the rules, you publish your evidence, give your arguments, and trust that in time the truth will triumph. It often does, in the end. The deck is slightly stacked , but it has to be: a heretic who wants to overthrow everything is both more likely to be wrong, and likely to do much more damage, than someone sticking with the status quo. If you prefer to go with your intuition and mobilise your internet fans, in a field where your advice is a matter of life and death, you should not be surprised if people, quite sensibly, try to shut you up.

Of course for new problems where on one knows very much and you do not have time to wait, like COVID, the establishment cannot be particularly sure of anything either. Their advice, fallible as it is, might still give better results than giving equal time to every individual with a miracle drug to promote.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I agree with much off what you say. I believe some of the issue is that the scientific method is no longer applied rigorously enough because intelligent people are too afraid to lose their comfortable positions and we’re taught that the worse thing you can be is wrong. Cynical Theories by Pluckrose and Lyndsay is a fascinating insight into the corruptible world of scientific peer reviewed journals.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It is not only an individual promoting a miracle drug or treatment – there are many but they are being censored to stop information getting out. What are ‘they’ afraid of – that maybe this gene therapy jab is not necessary for every living soul.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Elizabeth W

‘They’ are afraid that people will 1) put their trust in remedies that are unlikely to work; 2) refuse to use vaccines that protects them, and in so doing put others at risk by contributing to spreading thedisease..

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

1) the (so called) vaccines don’t claim to prevent people from spreading the disease 2) if the disease kills less than 0.2% of those infected and they are people who were already very likely to die of something then why is it even a problem if people chose not take the risks associated with vaccines?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

What can I say – if I was one of those who lost 8 or 20 yeasrs of life because you do not want to take the risk, I would resent it quite strongly. The fact that I was one of only 0.4% (that is the value for European populations) would not really make a difference to me

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

What if you were one of the people who lost a healthy relative who’d got a jab and died of a coronary or blood clot? How would you feel then?

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Bad. Like I would feel if they died from a car accident, or a a blood clot after taking the contraceptive pill. But in all three cases I would accept that the benefits of vaccines, driving, or the pill were positive overall, even if a few unlucky people lost out.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Nice. So taking a synthetic drug for no benefit to yourself that theoretically benefits someone else and it kills you is just a bit of a bummer eh?

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

As for one of those who lost 8 or 20 years of life perhaps they might start by looking at how they treat their health with synthetic drugs before judging how I chose to treat mine naturally.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

If the drugs I take put your health at risk (like your non-vaccination puts me at risk) you would have the right to be heard. Otherwise you are free to use whatever drugs you want – as am I.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Explain to me precisely how me taking a synthetic drug protects you. Evidence please.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

There is an entire literature to read – and no, I have not read it all. I would start with synthetic penicillin, then look at the limited but non-zero set of cancers and leukemias that can be treated. Of course if you tryst none of it, we do not have any shared evidence base we can work from

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Lame, lame, lame. That’s a pathetic answer, in fact it isn’t even an answer to the very specific question I asked. What it demonstrates perfectly is the logical conclusion of the vacuous propaganda that people like you support and promote. There is zero evidence that me taking a vaccine that I don’t need benefits anyone else (other than big pharma) and plenty of evidence in the Yellow Card scheme and elsewhere that it’s an unnecessary risk for healthy people like me.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Sorry, I had misread you. I thought you asked how ‘me‘ taking synthetic drugs protected me. After all, the word ‘drug’ means something different from ‘vaccine’, and how was I to know if you rejected synthetic drugs on principle, or only vaccines?

But you know the answer perfectly well. The vaccine reduces the chance you get sick, the severity of the disease if you get it, and the likelihood that you will pass the disease to someone else. There is about 150 years of experience that proves the principle works, and tests on hundreds of thousands of people for the COVID vaccines that show the risks are small and the benefits are clear. If you chose to reject all that evidence you are free to do so, but then there is no point in me trying to find something that will convince you.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

As far as I am concerned people should be able to choose what is best for them. You are responsible for your health, as I am for mine. Stop blaming and shaming people into thinking that you are only ‘good’ and ‘moral’ if you take the experimental jab.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Utterly lame and your double standards are staggering. You demand evidence and links from other people in these comments and yet for something you claim has 150 years of proof and clear evidence you cannot produce a single shred of evidence that proves how me getting an experimental so called vaccine will directly affect a single other person. Instead you flail around pretending you misread a very simple question and when pressed you have to revert to the same tired, unprovable propaganda of correlation routinely peddled by frightened governments and big pharma. You claim to be a person of science so explain the scientifically proven causal links.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

It is surely a lost cause, but it would help if you could narrow down a bit what it is you disagree with. Vaccination has been practiced for 200 years and generally accepted as useful and effective (with compulsive vaccination laws) for going on for 150 years. You know that – even if you do not agree. Do you believe that the principle of vaccination is not working? Do want me to give you a reasoned summary of the last 200 years of relevant literature? And if I did, would you believe any of it, having probably seen lots of it already? Are you claiming that the fact that polio and smallpox are now extremely rare have nothing to do with vaccination? If it is just that the current covid vaccines are not sufficiently tested to convince you, I could find some link to the test reports and we could discuss them – but would you trust anything they said?

Let us simplify this: What point is it that you disagree with in the idea that you can vaccinate against covid an thus reduce transmission? And, most importantly, what kind of evidence would it take to make you change your mind? Then it would be clear, at least, what we are disagreeing about, and whether there is any prospect of getting anywhere through discussion.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The question was so simple that I have no means of reducing it any further.

Explain to me precisely how me taking a synthetic drug protects you.

To answer my very simple question you would need to be able to meaningfully and accurately quantify the current ability of my immune system to respond to a novel virus (in this case SARS-C0V-2) and the effect it would have. You would then need to demonstrate that the response would be enhanced by my having an experimental synthetic drug of choice injected into my arm muscle (likely by some underqualified, disinterested, overinflated health “professional”).
You see, the most simple point that you deliberately or incompetently (but consistently) miss is that I’m talking about me specifically. Not 150 years worth of mugs who just accepted what the righteous, self-obsessed, narcissistic science people told them verbatim. That’s how they get away with correlating general trends with their expensive wonder drugs that somehow leave us unhealthy but still alive. I’m asking you (for the last time), how can you prove that injecting an unholy cocktail of poison into my arm protects you (or anyone else) because, let’s not forget, your ridiculous, overconfident and completely unfounded accusation against me was:

your non-vaccination puts me at risk

Prove it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

OK. So you are saying that it is irrelevant what effect vaccination has had on the rest of humanity, because your personal physiology might work in a completely diferent way to everyone else, and I cannot prove that it does not. In a philosphical sense you are right – science does not deal in absolute proof but in probabilities. And while it is extremely unlikely that your biology should be radically different to the rest of humanity on this point, it is not absolutely impossible.

On a more practical level I would point out that it is also not absolutely certain – but highly probable – that it would harm you to eat quick-setting cement for breakfast. I would still recommend that you should follow the advice of the righteous, self-obsessed, narcissistic nutritionists, at least on this point. And that, whether you like to hear it or not, it is overwhelmingly likely that your non-vaccination does put the people around you at increased trisk.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Whilst that’s not an apology for the outrageous accusation that I’m putting you at risk it is interesting to observe the mental gymnastics it’s taking to back out the dead end you’ve debated yourself into.
I’ve never claimed that vaccines don’t work or that my physiology works differently to anyone else’s, my point is simply that not everyone needs a vaccine and certainly not for a disease with such a low rate of death and especially when so little is known of the longer term effects of the vaccines.
I take care to be healthy so having my liberty and freedom egregiously curtailed because the vast majority in western society don’t is difficult to reconcile. Having people like the author of this article rubbishing the efforts of natural health advocates is bad enough but then for people to accuse me of putting them at risk when it’s far more likely to be exactly the opposite is beyond irritating. I apologise if this has become personal because it shouldn’t need to, we clearly all care about our own health and other people’s.
We do at least seem to agree that medical science is a work in progress that doesn’t have all the answers yet. Wim Hof (another of those annoying natural health gurus) already proved that you don’t need to be physiologically different to naturally resist a virus. Ebola endotoxins in this case which isn’t quite the same as eating quick drying cement but is perhaps a more reasonable way of proving the same point.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Now you are confusing me.
So, you are saying that vaccines do work, making you less likely to get sick, to suffer adverse effects, or to pass on the disease. Which means, logically, that not getting vaccinated makes you more likely to infect others.
Are you saying then that you natural health efforts are already protecting you from COVID better than a vaccine could? You are unlikely to convince me (that would take multiple large double-blind trials, which you are unlikely to have), but is that what you are saying?

The ‘low rate of death’ and the longer term effects are a matter of trade-offs. If vaccination does not help those factors are irrelevant. Before it makes sense to start trading off, we need to agree that vaccination does reduce the number of COVID cases.

With regard to Wim Hof, did you refer to this?
If confirmed that would only prove that there is one person who, after extreme levels of meditative practice is capable of controling to some extent the reaction level of his own immune system. It does not prove that he could protect himself against e,g, COVID, let alone that any but a tiny and extremely trained minority of the population would be able to dupicate his results.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Are you saying then that you natural health efforts are already protecting you from COVID better than a vaccine could?

It really does take some effort to get the most simple point through your tin ears and into that narrow mind. I’ve demonstrated very clearly that you are incapable of proving if my immune system is more capable of fighting a virus with or without a vaccine. The only double blind thing in this conversation is you.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

Given that you trust your own (natural) health, you have a unique opportunity to advance natural health worldwide – you could press for participating in a challenge trial. A few hundred vaccinated people, and a few hundred naturally healthy people, all are deliberately exposed to COVID, and the results are monitored. If, as you seem to expect, the naturally healthy group did rather better than the vaccinated group, you would make worldwide headlines and greatly enhance the prestige of natural medecine.

Are you game? I look forward to hearing about your efforts in the world news media.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

If you take 10,000 intelligent people and teach them something wrong they become incredibly efficient at doing the wrong thing
Perhaps they’re not very intelligent in the first place, if they uncritically accept whatever they’re taught.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Agreed, perhaps that’s the difference between intelligent and clever.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago
Reply to  Matt Coffey

We need less group think and more accountable government – it is very easy to create bureaucratic consensus around falsehoods. In the present debacle there were many senior scientists whose insights were brutally ignored by the government, meanwhile we have government/industry/global oligarchy sponsored hate campaigns against anyone who speaks out of turn. Frankly, the government could not tell you the time correctly twice in twenty-four hours or at all (no doubt the intellectual vacuity of the opposition has been much to blame).

Sam Cel Roman
Sam Cel Roman
3 years ago

ffs, you have a global conspiracy to censor ALL differing views, and you are surprised that previously dissident people are the ones speaking up? WTF?
Lastly, try doing some basic research of your own on deaths (pre-pandemic, obviously) in hospitals caused by incorrect DRUG administration vs. deaths by overdose from drugs (illegal) outside hospitals.
The deadliest place in your hometown IS the hospital, bro. And that’s not even counting all the lethal “drug-resistant” bacteria that you’ll pick up there.
Western medicine is a giant killer. Only one tiny fraction of it (trauma surgery) is better than the Hippocratic method (eat and live healthy).

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

It is so tempting to use strong language when describing this government’s lack of adherence to anything one would recognise as truth.
However, since people have been saying all sorts of nasty things abut this government since this pandemic began, and since the net result of all that criticism has been insufficient to stop the government shoring up its already sizeable majority, we may perhaps need to think differently.

The masks have always been a damn lie. Not just one lie, but a series of lies, a tsunami of lies, a hailstorm of lies, a deluge to survive which one would need to have built an ark.

Such, however, is the government’s expertise in psychological manipulation – whether innate or bought in in the form of advisers – that people don’t even care whether the masks are a lie, just so long as they get to wear them.

So infantilised has the population become that millions are reduced to the status of thumb-suckers. Putting on a mask that has zero effect other than to form a festering wrap of toxicity over your mouth and nose is the exact equivalent of shoving your thumb in your mouth and curling over to have a little nap.
If the so called crazies on the alternative medicine front are at loggerheads with approved medicine, then that is fine by me, because they are at least doing the job the mainstream media has so spectacularly failed to do.

One day we will be able to confront Johnson and his cronies, and do so not with lengths of rope but under the auspices of a proper inquiry, and armed with the truth. We will have to dig that truth out of the cesspit in which this government has buried it, but it will be worth digging out.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Mary Thomas
Mary Thomas
3 years ago

Hmmm. “Forming a festering wrap of toxicity” around your mouth. Funny that my family, who number dentists and surgeons among them and who are wearing masks all day long have survived this then? In every hospital around the world medics wear masks for hours at a time.

Meanwhile, preventing droplets of potentially infected saliva exploding out of your mouth, in the form of sneezes and coughs, from landing on hapless others has had a drastic effect that everyone has noticed: the massive drop in other infections like colds and flu. Nobody in my family has had one for a year.

Personally although I didn’t grow up in the U.K. nor live here for much of my life, I am extremely grateful for both my vaccinations, which I received well before even my Israeli relatives, and certainly months before those in different European countries including Spain and France. I fail to see how you can be so dismissive of your government, but then you may be accustomed to relatively good governance, unlike much of the world, and enjoy bashing it. I can only suggest you go and live somewhere like Liberia or Nigeria to gain some perspective.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Thomas

“and who are wearing masks all day long have survived this then?”

One mask lasting all week? Or a new one every few minutes? With breaks between wile not leaning over the actual patient?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

” it is heavily-footnoted, densely-researched hogwash, mostly 162 pages of excellent kindling.” Thankyou writer, for fact checking all things covid for us and finding ‘nothing to see here, please move on’.

Unfortunately that the Global Elites are out to return us to a modern version of Feudalism by making everyone dependent on some form of welfare, and thus clients of the state, and thus ‘Owned’ by them, is actually true.

That the Lockdowns were not for health reasons but to take rights from us, and to bankrupt the Capitalist system and replace it with MMT welfare…
(Modern Monetary Theory – where a Central Bank may print as much Fiat currency as it wishes to give free money to everyone (say a UBI, or Covid ‘Stimulus’) as it later can tax the wealthy and corporations to suck the excess back – the problem being it is insane, and will just destroy the financial system making us all dependent on soup lines and so easily controlled. (no covid passport?, no soup for you)

Eloise Burke
Eloise Burke
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I find myself in total agreement with Dr. Mercola and I think the Wuhan virus epidemic was overblown. But I cannot convince myself that the government did all this just to gain control of the populace – it is just too far-fetched. They already had plenty of control. What exactly did they gain? Seems to me it’s easier to rob a bank or rape somebody if you’re wearing a mask.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Eloise Burke

I am a conspiracy loon, so this whole thing is obviously a conspiracy to me. Like how someone who promotes Critical Race Theory sees every issue as a manifestation of racism.

Tom Hollett
Tom Hollett
3 years ago
Reply to  Eloise Burke

A short book that helped me understand more about the power dynamics at play here – Tragedy and Hope 101, Joseph Plummer (available in audio on YT).

Lynn Copeland
Lynn Copeland
3 years ago

Ivor’s criticism about our obsession over cases isn’t just about the indiscriminate use of the PCR test and the unreliability of its results. He is one of many critical thinkers who have pointed out that we’ve never before referred to asymptomatic people as cases. The presence of a virus does not equal a case of disease. Once tests become ‘sensitive’ enough they could potentially detect the small number of cancer cells that are active in our bodies at all times, but it would be ludicrous to use this to diagnose a case of cancer. And yes, I recognize that SARS-CoV-2 is a transmissible virus, but asymptomatic transmission, while not impossible, is exceedingly rare. So it’s being referred to as a casedemic in part because of our obsession and fear around numbers of cases, which, even if PCR testing was being done consistently (global standards for cycle thresholds), and even if it is more reliable than its critics think, a ‘case’ without context has much less significance than we’ve been conditioned to believe.

Last edited 3 years ago by Lynn Copeland
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Copeland

asymptomatic transmission, while not impossible, is exceedingly rare.

How do you know?
Don’t forget, that the inection fatality rate is the number of dead divided by the number of cases. The dead, the people on ventilators, the post-covid symptoms, are counted independently. If you halve the number of cases you count, because you exclude asymptomatic cases, you will at the same time double the IFR.

Lynn Copeland
Lynn Copeland
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4851

You have caught me presenting a case with more certainty than I should have. The above article mentions a prevalence study of 10 million in Wuhan that showed no evidence of asymptomatic spread. It also suggests that what is deemed as asymptomatic spread is often after-the-fact found to be presymptomatic spread. But there is no scientific consensus on this issue so I should have treaded more lightly.
My main point, however, was to show how case numbers have been used to create fear, with no context around whether or not symptoms of disease are present. IFR doesn’t depend on comparing deaths to how many people have symptoms of a disease (cases) but to how many people have encountered and neutralized the virus in question. Again, someone can test positive for the presence of a virus but not have a case of a disease. Hence the differentiation between SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19, and hence still resulting in a very low IFR despite more accurately defining what should be deemed ‘a case’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Lynn Copeland
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Copeland

OK, that makes sense. Can I check if I got it right? There seems to be two classes:

  • Cases – that is people with SARS-COV2 and covid symptoms
  • Asymptomatic infections – that is with people SARS-COV2 without covid symptoms

Covid is unusual because asymptomatic infections are rarely measured in any other disease. This means that the headline numbers of infections are higher for COVID, and adds to potential confusion when comparing to other diseases. Your link suggests that asymptomatic infections are about 20% of the total.
PCR tests measure both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections, and keep showing positive for some number of days after the active infection is finished.
PCR also measures some people who never had SARS-COV2; these are false positives.
There is a lot of scientific uncertainty about how infective people are if asymptomatic, what reinfection risks are for different groups, and on other things as well.

Question 1: Do you agree that false positives (as defined above) are very rare, less than 0.1%? If not, what would cause them and what would be the evidence?

Question 2: Just how much difference does it make to the primitive question of ‘how dangerous is COVID’ whether we include cases, infections, of positive PCR tests – as long as we do the calculations right? As I said, the number of ill effects we see are determined independently. If we count twice as many cases as we should we will think that the disease is twice as common as it really is – but also that it is only half as dangerous as it really is.

Last edited 3 years ago by Rasmus Fogh
Lynn Copeland
Lynn Copeland
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

1- I have absolutely no expertise from which to draw in order to either accept or reject any particular false positive rate for PCR tests. It seems unfortunate (suspicious if I’m being honest) that labs around the globe weren’t prescribed a reasonable maximum number of cycle thresholds to determine either a positive or negative test result. I don’t know how genetically similar SARS-CoV-2 is to other Corona type viruses, or how likely viral fragments of the latter might appear close enough to the former after 40 cycles of magnification. I did read one document that showed a recent prescription of a maximum of 28 cycles for determining the presence of SARS-CoV-2 post vaccination (breakthrough cases). It seems strange that a governing body would see fit only in post-vax cases to keep the threshold low, but not do so for detecting the wild virus. The effect of this would be minimizing diagnosed cases in vaccinated people and magnifying those in the rest of the population. So I don’t know what exactly is showing as a viral fragment after higher numbers magnification cycles, but it seems reasonable to have consistency in application. I believe that only a fraction of the viruses we host from birth til death have been sequenced; perhaps we have tens of thousands of fragments in our system at any one time that could appear identical to SARS after so much manipulation. But I’m wasting your time here as I don’t know any with certainty.
2 – I don’t think it makes much practical difference for anyone with enough aptitude to step back and understand a little about the data. But I think it makes a huge difference in how deadly people perceive the disease to be, particularly when politicians and media (notice I didn’t say journalists) are using fear to manipulate behaviour. When people have been led to believe that a case signifies a horrendous battle with high odds of resulting in death, then I think it makes a huge difference. Couple this with the well established fact that fear is one of the surest ways to compromise our immune system (not enough energy remains to neutralize a viral threat), and the issue of what a case is and how it is perceived becomes that much more vital.
I appreciate your tone and contribution.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Copeland

Fair enough. Most of the points you raise in 1) are too detailed for me to have an opinion, and I can see that misleading numbers are a problem if you think people are being excessively scared (much like I think it is a problem that the PCR test is being excessively disbelieved). It would be nice to have both sets of numbers available, then we could see. My judgement is different to yours, but what you are saying makes sense. And I have learned from talking to you – thanks.

One piece of information, if it serves.
PCR works by having two short stretches of DNA, binding them to a matching piece of DNA/RNA in the sample, and then copying what is in between (including the two stretches that match). The you do it again, and again, at each step you are duplicating the copies you made in the previous one. Say you double the amount at each cycle, and eventually you have enough copies you can actually see them. Since most of the time you are copying copies, it all comes down to what was there originally. The copying is really remarkably precise. If any of the many uknown viruses we have had a sequence that matched, I would expect a strong false-positive signal from lots of people who had never seen covid (and they would have to change the test). And that has not been seen.

John Stone
John Stone
3 years ago

Sorry, this is not an argument about science it is about who the right sort of people are. It is a reprehensible piece of establishment ad hominem. The government can plumb the depths of un-science and arbitrary decision making and it is “just one of those things”. Equally, I won’t hold my breath while Unherd invite Joe Mercola to respond to criticism.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Stone
Nigel Clarke
Nigel Clarke
3 years ago

This Mercola chap, it seems that the “establishment” has it in for him…regularly threatened he has now had to take down a lot of the info (whatever you may make of it) that he’s put up.

And here we have another takedown, done by a relatively little known so called journalist. Wonder who gave him a call….?

Simon Sharp
Simon Sharp
3 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Clarke

many people i know don’t need anyone to ‘give them a call’ to dismiss someone like Mercola. They are keen enough all by themselves to be seen as the ‘clever educated ones in the majority’. There’s no reason to think this guy isn’t just the same.
To make things more confusing I think Mercola is a bit of a quack – in some regards but amongst all his crap there is also ‘dissident’ stuff that is actually true – so the problem of discerning what to trust doesn’t get much easier.

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Sharp

I thought exactly the same when I watched that Mikeala Peterson episode with Mercola and what’s more, I felt that she wasn’t entirely convinced by everything he said either. I think that’s healthy, what isn’t healthy is the one size fits all health service we’re stuck with and the way the “experts” and their loyal flock go after anyone who questions the orthodoxy.

Last edited 3 years ago by Matt Coffey
Epicurus Araraxia
Epicurus Araraxia
3 years ago

This sort of puff-piece is unworthy of UnHerd.
There simply is no place for the sort of Scientism that has become the norm since March 2020 and, in fact, for most of the past Century. There is no single “Scientific Consensus” in which all Scientists agree that the Official Narrative is the only true and approved one.
Yes, Tim Noakes took on the Medical Establishment and won. The “fat makes you fat” hypothesis and the popular, but entirely unscientific “Food Pyramid” of the USDA have held sway for decades. And the result is an epidemic of obesity. What was the motivation behind the USDA’s Food Pyramid? Profit. Maximising profit, and maximising the exploitation of US agricultural subsidies at the expense of public health outcomes.
One keeps coming back to Galileo Galilei. The so-called “Conspiracy Theorists” are accused of being believers in a Flat Earth. But in Galileo’s time, the “Flat Earth” hypothesis WAS the “Official Narrative” of the Roman Catholic Church, and to oppose it was heresy. When Galileo pointed out that the evidence did not support the Dogma, he was forced to retract his paper or be burned at the stake. Now we have the Church of Vaccination holding sway over the Official Narrative. St Anthony (Fauci), St Christopher (Whitty) and St Patrick (Vallance) speak for the Church of Vaccination. Any questioning of the vaccines is anathema, punishable by excommunication (from Scientific Journals, Social Media and other platforms). Anything not approved by The Church of Vaccination must be banned, burned and villified.
And yet, Galileo was right. And so are the so-called “Conspiracy Theorists”, even if in some details, they are wrong. Mercola has been calling out the for-profit “healthcare” business for their multiple egregious faults for decades. The revolving door between regulators and the companies they are supposed to regulate, the many instances of outright fraud in “Gold Standard” clinical trials, the cover-ups of adverse effects of dangerous drugs and faulty surgical devices. The list is long.
It’s not that Noakes or Mercola are anti-Science. They are opposed to the pretence that Modern “Scientific” Medicine is driven by Science when all the evidence points to PROFIT being the driving factor, and most certainly NOT the health and wellbeing of the public.

Lynn Copeland
Lynn Copeland
3 years ago

Thanks for this. I’m still so often experiencing the ground being pulled out from underneath me, and confidently logical comments like this one help to restore some equilibrium. We’ve landed in a strange place where even the meanings of words are appropriated, re-defined, and used for manipulation, and where calling this into question results largely in either blank stares or aggression. Obviously in many ways it’s history repeating, but on this global scale and with so much compliance it feels overwhelmingly dystopian.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago

Galileo was right – but for every Galileo there are thousands of people who have squared the circle or disproved the theory of relativity. And who are wrong. Science works over time because, for all its faults, enough scientists actually want the truth and believe in the value of evidence. And when enough (not 100.00%) of the people in a field are convinced, that is the consensus. Which is sometimes wrong, but which is more right than 99,99% of the heretics who challenge it. If you want to establish that vaccination is useless (or whatever it is you want to prove) you have to eventually convince the people who do medicine – and you have to do it with evidence. Dismissing all the people who disagree with you as dogmaticists and evil profit-seekers is not going to cut it. Nor is the assumption that just because thousands of scientists working over decades have not managed to really solve some important problem like obesity, the hastily tested ideas of you and your friends are necessarily going to do better.

Helen Hughes
Helen Hughes
3 years ago

Wow – looks like Mercola has really triggered this writer! If you are finding yourself triggered like this, isn’t that a sign it’s time to do some shadow work, rather than projecting your feelings outwards? I really mean that, I’m not being sarcastic. I really had to observe how I myself was triggered while reading this. And I suppose I’d like to ask for some steel, rather than straw, manning, especially of people who are already being so drastically censored. Otherwise it’s like kicking a dog when it’s down, isn’t it? Which isn’t very British ;-).

Matt Coffey
Matt Coffey
3 years ago
Reply to  Helen Hughes

All this talk about triggering isn’t very British 😉

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

Gavin, you are out of touch as a journalist. Dr. Mercola has helped thousands of people from around the world whether you can admit to that or not. You may not agree with everything he writes and that is fair but to discount someone who has represented a true picture of health and helps others with their health is inexcusable. He has been a huge supporter of Vitamin D for years (now we are hearing some doctors say it is a good thing to help with their immune system – years later). Heck I have been using it for 25 years! Yes, he has discussed and encouraged people to use nebulized hydrogen peroxide in the early stages of respiratory viruses (Dr. Brownstein as well says so). Masks for the typical individual are useless, no debate there. Dr. Mercola faces censorship because ‘they’ know he has a huge following and they want to topple him. It seems today that anyone thinking different than mainstream is an automatic conspiracy theorist – not so – maybe just a critical thinker wanting to look at all sides. I totally believe and have from the beginning and not because of Dr. Mercola – that this virus escaped (on purpose or by accident) from that BSL facility just outside Wuhan. And finally, Hydroxychloroquine has been successfully used by many doctors – refer to America’s Frontline Doctors or Dr. Zelenko. Can everyone be quacks? Open up your eyes to what is happening – the Great Reset is upon us. They want to spoon feed us what they want us to know, get jabbed with an experimental vax, and God forbid – DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS.

Simon Sharp
Simon Sharp
3 years ago

Do you think that a person with a crippling disease is interested in adhering to what the lumbering oil tanker of medical knowledge says they should do? If there is a tugboat circling around out there and its feasible to get out to it then might a lot people not be justified heading for it to see if it helps? That’s not to exonerate any particular claims about COVID or to say that there aren’t cranks out there.
The reason why ‘alternative’ approaches are gaining popularity is because people are getting results from them. There are people out there on the fringes researching and trying things – and because it doesn’t have to go along at the pace of the oil tanker it gets go places the behemoth can’t (not even the ‘experimental’ departments). In due course those outlier ships may bring back something to the giant oil tanker- but that will take a long time and involve a great deal of struggle and institutional wrangles and power games.
To expect real people with real problems to wait for that as if adherence to ‘official medicine’ is some kind of religious duty is very unrealistic and ideological.
YES – there will be charlatans and the self deluded. But the ‘voices of officialdom’ are always a little too keen to push the danger of that – there’s only so long you keep using ‘regression to the mean’ to explain away someone who had back problems for a decade and saw improvements in 5 acupuncture sessions that they didn’t get from 6 years of physiotherapy. And the person who experienced those benefits is not going to be very interested in hearing your theories dismissing his recovery and the sensations in his own body as a ‘coincidence’.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Sharp

One reason ‘alternative’ appraches are gaining in popularity is that people feel better if they are ‘doing something’, even if it is not actually going to help. Most of those outlier ships sink, or never get you anywhere. With back pain you live long enough to draw your own conclusions. With cancer, COVID, etc. we should absolutely discourage people from being seduced by chancers to waste their own (or taxpayer’s) money on vain hopes.

Lynn Copeland
Lynn Copeland
3 years ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

One reason ‘alternative’ approaches are gaining in popularity is the abysmal failure of the standard medical machine to adequately address the root causes of the many ills that plague us. As the population becomes more obese and more comfortably numb in pharmaceutically-induced trances for preventable illnesses, it seems idiotic to continue to place so much faith in the institutions that have been part of the paradigm that’s gotten us to where we are today. I’m not blaming the medical establishment for these problems, but it’s been complicit in them. I’m just as leery of chancers, but I expect (no source) many more great ideas and inventions have arisen from the minds of outliers than from the beurocratized minds of establishment folks. And I expect a large part of the appeal in alternatives is a direct response to the many ways in which people are being failed by the status quo. (Cancer and Covid included)

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Lynn Copeland

All fairly reasonable. As always the hard part is to balance in each casebetween the new and exciting ideas – that have a much greater risk of being wrong – and the much better supported established routines – that manifestly have left many problems unsolved.

Rachel Chandler
Rachel Chandler
3 years ago

Shame that you don’t also refer to people like Prof Tim Spector, Dr David Unwin and others who are trying to challenge the dogma and ignorance that leads to such poor health outcomes for more and more people – without ending up ostracised. Check out Spector book ‘spoon fed’ and the NHS approved “low carb programme” that Unwin is involved in. If only we could help more people tackle metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance we’d help them and the overloaded NHS. The only losers are the drugs companies and diet food processors.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
3 years ago

‘The Great Reset’ is not the invention of a conspiracy theory but official WEF policy.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

It has come to mean many things that have to be read into WEF policy and publications.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

‘The Great Reset’ actually means going carbon free originally. Literally that every law passed will enact some carbon reduction into it.

The problem is doing that basically gives authority to control everything. As virtually all lifestyle as we know it involves carbon, it means all life can be infringed on. Cars, houses, energy, transport, food, consumables, ALL things must be controlled under ‘The Great Reset’.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

So far as I know, The Great Reset was the theme of the 2021 WEF annual meeting. It does not have the force of law, and it does not give authority for anything. Saying it means that “every law passed will enact …” is exactly what I was getting at when I said many things are being read into it.

Andrew Baldwin
Andrew Baldwin
3 years ago

“And then there’s hydroxychloroquine, the molecule that had the unfortunate fate of becoming associated with Donald Trump. Two studies “proved” it was ineffective. But they were both retracted last year, when it turned out that the data at their core was part of a deliberate fraud — a fact of which Mercola makes much.” So the studies were, as Trump would say, Fake News. Why does Gavin write “a fact of which Mercola makes much.” Does he think such deliberate fraud is no big deal?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

Nice tactic: Cherry pick the most questionable stuff and then paint everyone with the same broad brush. You’d have been great under Stalin or Onkel Adolph.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I wonder what the point of purging previous pronouncements from popular media might be. If the aim is to convince me the people who made them are infallible, it’s failed miserably. 

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

My apologies if that comment seems overbrief and cryptic – it’s my sixth attempt at outwitting the moderation monster. To see what I’m referring to, search for “ferret” in the article.

Vasiliki Farmaki
Vasiliki Farmaki
3 years ago

Oxford Academic journals: How Hippocrates Cured the Plague- 
 Any person with common sense, basic education and human intuition knows that all about corona is false and manipulated.  It is the canvas to paint on the vision in their monster-heads.. As for those performing the current crimes in plain sight.. are they puppets? and yet why anyone would put any hope on them? And why now? If only enough fellows would share my boredom then it would not be easier to change all there is.. They toy with us for so long. Data, statistics etc serve the purpose of camouflaging the truth. Medicine is no longer driven by the old honourable ideals but of corrupted amolarists finding shelter and excuse in science to committing unprecedented crimes. By the way, the science and technology we know are recent.. Humans we have been doing well for much much ..longer and we have been fine, perhaps better off without it, and it is this kind of science the main cause of everything being or behaving as sick.. Boris could not be more leftist.. the conservatives are identical to the left.. and even worse because they have been using brexit to lure honest patriots in vaccination lunacy made in the UK..There is No elite.. Elite is someone who excels in one or more areas.. What todays politicians, scientists, bureaucrats, intellectuals,  and even artists are proud of?.. Other than psychopaths generating ugliness and believing they can escape consequences for ever.. Trust has broken, yes it is the great tumble of ugliness and is called the Great Unset.  

Last edited 3 years ago by Vasiliki Farmaki
Peter Watt
Peter Watt
3 years ago

This article notes some points that wellness gurus have got right. It attempts to show that wellness gurus are nevertheless wrong overall by adopting a sarcastic tone. If you de-snark the article you are left with a number of points that wellness gurus are correct on, and no substantive criticisms.

Last edited 3 years ago by Peter Watt
BenMore Coigach
BenMore Coigach
2 years ago

If you have been chronically unwell, the NHS turns it’s back and you are just left. My nutritional therapist got me my life back.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Today, if you want to see footage of Hancock and the rest proclaiming masks to be useless, you’ll have to visit Bitchute â€” it has been purged from YouTube.
I haven’t checked that it has in fact been purged from Youtube, but it sounds entirely plausible, as so much else is. But assuming this is the case, I seriously wonder what the point of the exercise is. If the aim is to convince me the likes of Hancock are infallible, it’s failed miserably. I’m left instead with the impression they’re total idiots who can’t bear to admit their mistakes, the sort of people I wouldn’t trust to clean toilets without adult supervision.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I wonder what the point of memory-holing previous pronouncements on such things as masks might be. If the aim is to convince me the likes of Hancock are infallible, it’s failed miserably. I’m left instead with the impression they’re childish idiots who can’t bear to admit their mistakes, the sort of people I wouldn’t trust to clean toilets without adult supervision. I think masks are useful, but that’s in spite of people who wish to pretend they always thought so, not because of them.

David Bottomley
David Bottomley
3 years ago

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of people take little or no notice of the ‘wellness’ gurus and couldn’t care less about them. As we have seen, and in spite of all the bonkers shouts about something called the great reset, microchips, Gates etc etc and the rubbish anti van clans, every sane person has taken the vaccine ( so far 99.75% and increasing of over 65s and heading that way with the next age cohort), wear their masks etc etc. As for did it come from a secret lab – well we will never know and we have no choice but to live with the uncertainty. Any further leaks deliberate or not will however, lead to major global tensions . The fact is it’s here and sure as sure, we will always get a few snake oil sales people flogging us their latest ideas.

BenMore Coigach
BenMore Coigach
3 years ago

This is a fascinating discussion and over the last few decades I have definitely shifted away from the medical to the more alternative due to the former’s corruption. Alternative does not mean homeopathy and chanting (although it can do) but reading evidence for optimum health around nutrition, fasting, circadian timings and exercise. Mercola I’m afraid is usually in the money – he happens to make a lot of money at the same time. I have no issue with this. The latest pandemic is the nail in the coffin for many in terms of trust and misinformation. Vaccinate yourself 6 monthly for a disease that kills the chronically sick or maximise the factors mentioned above and walk on by?

Kay Bush
Kay Bush
3 years ago

You are completely out of touch with reality, or you are a shill for big pharma. Only you know which is right.
During this “pandemic” “science” has shown repeatedly that it has been bought and paid for by big pharma. Week in and week out they are caught contradicting themselves or outright lying. Misrepresenting data, distorting data, using utterly flawed models etc etc. Only now are we seeing actual real world data, as some countries and states in the US in particular, discard the insane dictates passed down from who knows where. The evidence is clear and becoming clearer by the day. This was and is a scam.
Your attempts to smear the likes of Mercola and Cummins are the usual weak as water deflections of those without a clear and lucid argument to make. The Great Reset is not a “theory” as you call it. It is a documented and verifiable fact. Event 201 is a fact. All of the people you attempt to discredit produce facts, even though mainstream platforms try and delete or memory hole the inconvenient truths like a lunatic playing whack a mole. All of these dissenters will happily sit down and debate with the proponents of lockdown and mask wearing, but the establishment won’t allow that. That’s fine, all they are succeeding in doing is digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves. “Journalists” like yourself will long be remembered as useful idiots at best, or worse, paid shills of these establishment elites trying to destroy democracy.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
3 years ago
Reply to  Kay Bush
Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago

‘The Great Reset’ isn’t a conspiracy theory but an official programme of the World Economic Forum run by Klaus Schwab. Look on its website (unless it’s now been removed). Also it seems odd to me that the censorship and fraud done in support of the official line, and which this journalist openly acknowleges as such, seems to be presented as something that’s not particularly problematic. A very odd piece that, like Neil Ferguson’s projections, is so all over the place that it isn’t even right twice a day.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

I remember when I was 40. My doctor who was probably mid 40s, semi obese, and not that healthy looking was adamant I needed to monitor my cholesterol and take blood pressure lowering medication. I was slightly overweight at the time but coming back into shape and working out in a crossfit gym with several people over 50 looking quite fit and muscular. I decided they knew better about health and fitness then my doctor so I followed them. I couldn’t escape the empirical evidence of my own eyes and experience. I am now over 50. I don’t crossfit anymore but I do I have a power cage in my garage and have continued to weight lift along with hiking and mountain climbing. I am not as nimble or quick as I was in my 20s but I’m physically stronger and have better flexibility. I still don’t monitor my cholesterol and my blood pressure is considered pre-hypertention since they lowered it into the 120s. LOL. It isn’t a total scam. If my appendix gets infected, I break a bone, I need some stiches… sure… fine. Anything outside of that seems nothing better than a roll of the dice. At that point it is best to look at the stock market to see where the “medical marvels” are succeeding. Ah.. BioNTech and Moderna are the winners in the great covid scam. I see they are up %15 just in today!!! What does this tell you? It tells me the government is going to force booster shots and vaccine passports on us. That the powerful and wealthy have already decided this for us. Does this make me a conspiracy theorist?

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago

puppet ordinary folk towards the vague ends of Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and various other plutocrats. A theory often known as The Great Reset.
Crazy. I mean where would he ever get that idea? It isn’t like Klaus Schwab wrote a whole book about it or anything.
https://www.amazon.com/COVID-19-Great-Reset-Klaus-Schwab-ebook/dp/B08CRZ9VZB

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Boylon
Jonathan Smith
Jonathan Smith
2 years ago

Well when the ‘science’ of Covid is simply the increasingly threadbare opinions of a small coterie and scrutiny by other scientists is suppressed, there’s a yawning gap to fill and the charlatans and the dogmatically mistaken will fill it.

They also provide a group true covid believers can point to when trying to dismiss rational critque, “so you’re on the same side as Gillian McKeith…”