Plandemic? Nope.

Have you seen that video featuring Dr. Judy Mikovits, wherein she claims that the current COVID19 pandemic was manufactured? I want to take you through reasons to disbelieve this video and its claims.

The first part of the video is not at all interesting to me as it is Dr. Mikovits’ defense of her own checkered past and a promotion of a book she is promoting. Central to her defense is a claim that NIAID is paying off people who have conspired against her. And, in fact, many of her claims rely on the idea that people have been able to conspire in order to make the science be what they want it to be.

In reality, a conspiracy against Mikovits could never have remained a secret for so long. All those many people who would have been paid off could not have kept quiet for so long. After all, NSA surveillance was exposed within 6 years of its launch, and we know that the current White House does not keep secrets. In fact, mathematical models prove it is not possible to keep a real conspiracy under wraps.

Dr. Mikovits was never important enough to launch a large-scale conspiracy against. That’s no knock against her; it’s just that she’s not Martin Luther King, Jr. or Galileo. Before her research into Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she was never the primary researcher on a topic. When her CFS research, claiming that viruses caused the syndrome, was retracted, ten other studies had failed to replicate her findings and scientists came to the conclusion that she only found the viruses present because she (likely unintentionally) contaminated her own samples. Finally, her arrest was not part of the conspiracy against her, but was instead due to her stealing intellectual property from her former employer after she was fired.

Even though these claims cover half the video, they do not touch on public health claims. So let’s answer some of those concerns about COVID19 pandemic vs. PLANdemic.

Key questions the video poses:

Is Tony Fauci the “Bernie Madoff of science”?

While Larry Kramer did call Dr. Fauci a murderer, that isn’t the end of their story. In fact, they became great collaborators. As Kramer tells PBS:

I arranged a late-night meeting in my hotel room with Fauci and maybe a dozen of these treatment and data [experts and gay activists], who presented to him ideas of things that he should be doing and wasn’t.

He was just bowled over, and he was a great enough person to know that these kids were smart. And he opened the door; he let the activists inside. We were not allowed to participate in any of the NIH [National Institutes of Health] meetings even though by law you’re supposed to; we got thrown out of meetings if we showed up, literally. He said no, they are all welcome. He even put us on a few of the NIH committees.

That was the beginning of a major turning point. Dr. Fauci has become the only true and great hero in all of this, in the government, in the system.

Does that sound like a scientist with a preconceived notion who will not change his mind when presented with data? It doesn’t to me, either. I think, given this anecdote, we can assume that Dr. Fauci still operates in an evidence-based way, happy to be steered in whatever direction the science takes him.

Have vaccines killed millions?

Simple answer: no. We have pretty robust data that vaccines save millions of lives globally, in fact. That’s not to say vaccines are without risks, but almost always those risks are mild side effects. Globally, we have seen errors by clinics in adding diluents or administering vaccines that have caused deaths, but those cases are so rare that they make international news.

Is Mikovits anti-vaccine?

Yes. For the last few years, she has made a living by speaking on the anti-vaccine circuit. She’s not a big name, like Andy Wakefield or RFK Jr., but she makes a living.

Was the virus made in a laboratory in Ft. Detrick and Wuhan?

Scientifically, we know that the virus did evolve naturally in animals and then jumped to humans. While Mikovits has not had access to labs with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, others have, and their genetic research shows this evolution is the only possible explanation.

Can viruses jump directly from animals to humans?

Yes, and in fact, coronaviruses are known for jumping between species, and the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 is being studied pretty thoroughly. Some of the research suggests that, unlike the claims made in the video, the virus has been waiting in some animal host for decades. We also know quite a bit about how viruses leap from animals to humans, as many of us may remember from the H1N1 pandemic, originally entitled Swine Flu after its origin in pigs.

Was Ebola created in laboratories in 1999?

Since the first known outbreaks of Ebola were in 1976, no. Aside from the timeline error, strong evidence leads us to believe that bats are the carriers of Ebola.

Are COVID19 death numbers being inflated?

Because of record-keeping and research, we know about how many people will die at any given time during the year. Right now, we are seeing about 40,000 more people dying than we would expect, and not all of those excess death are attributed to COVID19. Logically, we could say that people are likely dying from COVID19 (or maybe for reasons related to it?) whose causes of death are not being reported as COVID19. I think, given the data, we would have a hard time saying that we have an excess of COVID19 deaths being reported vs. actually occurring right now.

Are people being controlled by fear of the pandemic?

It’s possible that people are very afraid of COVID19 and that they are limiting themselves based on that fear, but it’s not what you think. Let’s compare the United States to Vietnam. Both the USA and Vietnam saw their first reported cases of COVID19 on the same day–yet Vietnam is reporting zero deaths from the disease (which–okay, take with a grain of salt) and fewer than 300 cases while the USA has reported about 70,000 deaths and over a million cases.

Vietnam, and authoritarian country, is limiting what people can do through actual fear tactics like this catchy song and through steep fines. However, an ethos of limiting self-interests in favor of a collaborative good permeates Vietnam, as is shown by their long-standing habit of wearing face masks in public.

The United States, by contrast, has a harder time balancing personal liberties and public good. And so we are seeing robust debate on this topic (and maybe you are part of the debate on your social media) and no effort by the government to stop the debate. It is hard to argue that people are being controlled by fear of the pandemic in the United States when we have evidence of what authoritarian countries are actually doing.

Did a new flu vaccine grown in a dog cell line make the pandemic worse in Italy?

The United States has been hit as hard or harder by COVID19 even though our influenza vaccines are not grown in dog cell lines. Additionally, as I pointed out above, we know the genetic makeup of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and it points to a bat as the host and not dogs. If dog cell lines in the flu vaccine were the culprit, we would certainly see a different genetic code.

The flu vaccine also does not make you more susceptible to COVID19. Independent fact-checkers have pointed out that large-scale, long-term studies do not reach this conclusion.

One recent study that they cite at the end goes to great lengths to point out that they do not assume any causal relationship between non-influenza respiratory infection and vaccination. The study concludes with:

Additionally those receiving the influenza vaccine were more likely to have no pathogen detected and reduced risk of influenza when compared to unvaccinated individuals.

There is some evidence that being sick with the flu interferes with other infections sickening you. So preventing the flu? Means you don’t have flu around to interfere.

Are there no double-blind controlled studies of vaccines?

Vaccines have been studied against placebos. Just wanted to get that one out there.

Is Hydroxichloroquine being downplayed even though it’s effective?

No. The question on hydroxichloroquine has been studied, and it is not effective. Additionally, because of heart-related complications, the FDA advises against giving it to COVID19 patients.

Does sheltering in place drop your immune system?

I promise you that your immune system is continuing to be challenged, even if you are sheltering in place. Pollen, dust, bugs, bacteria, animal dander, your family, all these factors keep your immune system fighting. You don’t have to be exposed to a pandemic novel virus to keep your immune system active, and you don’t have to get other infectious diseases, either. But if you are worried, you could always give your immune system some practice by getting vaccinated.

Am I part of the conspiracy? Am I being paid to write this post?

I am not part of a conspiracy. In fact, no one has yet been able to tell me what I can or cannot say. Seriously–ask some people. Also, this is my personal blog. I am doing this on my time off. I know that’s sad. It’s okay. I’m going to go back to rewatching 30 Rock now.