Saturday, February 05, 2022

Examining the Covid claims of Dr Robert Malone

 Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their music from the Spotify platform because of an interview that Joe Rogan had with Dr Robert Malone, a highly influential pathologist who casts doubt on the need to vaccinate children against Covid. He claims to be the inventor of mRNA vaccines, though it is more accurate to say that he was one of the team that invented them. He has been vaccinated.

Dr Graham Walker, and A&E specialist has written a trenchant criticism of Dr Malone on Twitter, based on what he said in the Joe Rogan interview. Walker's piece can be viewed on Threadreader here.

Dr Malone made a speech at an anti-vaccination mandates rally where he sets out a series of claims about his view of Covid. Let's take a look at his claims.

  1.  "We should not have politicised the public health response to the virus". I am not sure what he means by this, and his blog does not have a search facility, so all we can say it that there is a mainstream public health response to the pandemic which is supported by the vast majority of doctors and scientists and there is a political response of Governments to the pandemic which ranges widely from highly successful (New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and others who have managed to keep cases and deaths low, to Governments like the US and UK who have to a greater or lesser extent failed to control the disease. These states often have an active population of Covid deniers and anti-vaxxers.

  2.  "The 'genetic' vaccines are not working". This is false. Vaccines have been effective in reducing transmission, infection, severity, hospitalisation, ICU admission, and death. This has been established by a large number of studies. Malone touches on this later in his speech, and implies that they may have made sense for protecting the "elderly and frail" but dismisses this as "irrelevant". He is making a grave underestimate of the importance of vaccines in saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Often, sceptics take evidence of breakthrough infections in vaccinated people as evidence of their not working. They do the same with masks. The underlying thinking is that "working" must mean 100% effectiveness, whereas science and medicine does not deal in these binary categorisations. In almost every treatment, we look for statistical reductions in disease indices. Dr Malone must know that as a scientist, but his scientific thinking here seems to have become politicised.

  3. "The vaccines are not completely safe". This is true, because no vaccine and no treatment is completely safe. The vast majority of vaccine side effects are mild and short lived. It is true that some people unfortunately do have serious and even fatal side effects. This happens with all treatments and all vaccinations. It is also true that the incidence of these effects is far smaller in vaccination than it is in the case of Covid itself. It is possible that people who die of, say, thrombosis due to vaccination would probably have died of thrombosis if they had the disease itself, though that is of course impossible to test. What we could do is look at the genome of people who died of vaccination and who died of the same syndrome after a Covid infection and see if there is any common feature that might have determined their reaction.  I very much hope that this is being done.

    One thing that can be done in the case of vaccination fatalities is that the bereaved family could be given a financial settlement by the State. Obviously money can never adequately compensate for a bereavement, but lawyers have worked out formulae for this kind of event.

  4. "Vaccines do not work against Omicron". Partially true. Vaccines have a weak effect on Omicron. But this does not matter, because Omicron is pretty mild in its effects.

  5. "Natural immunity is long lasting and broad and highly protective". False. Natural immunity, unfortunately, is less effective than vaccination.

  6. "If there are risks, then we must have choice". True. He is at a rally against vaccine mandates, which I take to mean compulsory orders for vaccination. It is totally impossible and impractical to hold someone down and vaccinate them against their will. People must be allowed to refuse. They should be given accurate information (which Dr Malone is not doing) and it is not unreasonable to withhold a proportion of sick pay when a vaccinated person is off work, but compulsory vaccination is not on.

  7. "Vaccines damage children" Malone claims that vaccination causes permanent damage to children's hearts and brains. So far I have been unable to find his evidence for this claim. If I do find it I will add it here. 

    Meanwhile, here is a reassuring piece about vaccination of children and here is the WHO on children and adolescents.

In conclusion, Malone is wrong to say that vaccines do not work, wrong to say that natural immunity is better, partially right on safety,  and on vaccines effectiveness on Omicron, right to oppose mandatory vaccination, and needs to evidence his claim that vaccines damage children.

I very much hope that we will be able to close this debate, because Omicron will become the dominant strain, and is mainly a reasonably mild illness. We must hope that another strain that is both more transmissible and more virulent than Omicron does not come along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If data is being withheld by the pharma industy and acurate information ignored in preference for hysteria, how can this whole vaccination/threputic treatment push be considered informed consent.

Also withholding sick pay of any worker based on discrimunation, is not acceptable, workers movworkerand work8ng class folks have fought against this kind of medical coersion (and other forms) in the past-remeber the asylum many of our elders were forced in to and imprisoned because the uk state wanted 'undesireables, and 'the idle' out of the way.

Here is some information from Doctor John Champbell on a number of matters concerning this crisis.

natural imunity and covid variants:

British Medical Journal 'fact checked' by fakebook/meta, and BMJ spokesperson ghosted by twitter:

BMJ call for full disclousure of data as information is being surpressed:

UK Freedom of information request: