Connect with us

Government

The Meaning Of The Recent FDA Resignations

The Meaning Of The Recent FDA Resignations

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute,

How significant is it that the two top FDA officials responsible for vaccine research resigned last week and this week signed a letter in The

Published

on

The Meaning Of The Recent FDA Resignations

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Brownstone Institute,

How significant is it that the two top FDA officials responsible for vaccine research resigned last week and this week signed a letter in The Lancet that strongly warns against vaccine boosters?

This is a remarkable sign that the project of government-managed virus mitigation is in the final stages before falling apart.

The booster has already been promoted by top lockdown advocates Neil Ferguson of Imperial College and Anthony Fauci of NIH, even in the face of rising public incredulity toward their “expert” advice. For these two FDA officials to go on record with grave doubts – and their perspective is certainly backed by the unimpressive booster experience in Israel – introduces a major break in the narrative that the experts in charge deserve our trust and deference. 

What’s at stake here? It’s about more than the boosters. It’s about the whole experience of taking away the control of health management from individuals and medical professionals and handing it over to modelers and government officials with coercive power. 

From the first week of March 2020, the US embarked on a wild experiment in virus mitigation, deploying a series of measures with a sweep and scope that had never previously been attempted, not in modern times and not even in ancient times. The litany of controls and tactics is long. Many of these measures survive in most parts of the US. The retail landscape is still filled with plexiglass. We are still invited to sanitize ourselves when going indoors. People still mask up in proximity to others. The “Karens” of the world are still actively shaming and denouncing anyone suspected of non-compliance. 

The vaccine push has been particularly divisive, with President Biden actively encouraging “anger” at those who don’t get the jab, even as he refuses to acknowledge the existence of infection-induced immunities. In several cities, people who refuse vaccines are being denied active participation in civic life, and a populist movement is rising up that scapegoats the refuseniks as the only reason that the virus continues to be a problem. 

All these measures were deployed in waves of controls. It all began with event cancellations and school closures. It continued with travel bans, most of which are still in place. Sanitization and plexiglass were next. Masks were rolled out and then mandated. The principle of forced human separation governed social interactions. Capacity limits indoors were a common feature. The US example inspired many governments around the world to adopt these NPIs (non-pharmaceutical interventions) and take away the liberties of the people. 

At each stage of control, there were new claims that we’ve finally found the answer, the key technique that would finally slow and stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Nothing worked, as the virus seemed to follow its own course regardless of all these measures. Indeed there was no observable difference anywhere in the world based on whether and to what extent any of these measures were deployed. 

Finally came the pharmaceutical interventions, voluntary at first but gradually mandatory, just as with each previous protocol began as a recommendation until it was mandated. 

At no point in these 19 months have we seen a clear admission of failure on the part of government officials. Indeed, it’s mostly been the opposite, as the agencies double down, claiming effectiveness while citing no data or studies, while social media companies backed it all by taking down contrarian posts and brazenly deleting accounts of people who dare cite dissenting science. 

The vaccine was the biggest gamble of all simply because the program was so expensive, so personal, and so wildly oversold. Even those of us who opposed every other mandate had hopes that the vaccines would finally end the public panic and provide governments a way to back out of all the other strategies that had failed. 

That did not happen. 

Most people believed that the vaccine would work like many others before them to block infection and spread. In this, people were merely believing what the head of the CDC said. “Our data from the C.D.C. today suggests that vaccinated people do not carry the virus, don’t get sick,” Rochelle Walinsky told Rachel Maddow. “And that it’s not just in the clinical trials, it’s also in real-world data.” 

“You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations,”President Biden said, reflecting what was the common view in the summer of 2021.

That of course turned out not to be the case. The vaccines appear to have been helpful in mitigating against some severe outcomes but it did not achieve victory over the virus. Israel’s surge in infections in August was among the fully vaccinated. The same happened in the UK and Scotland, and that precise result began to hit the US in September. Indeed, we all have vaccinated friends who caught the virus and were sick for days. Meanwhile, team natural immunity has received a huge boost from a large study in Israel that demonstrated that recovered Covid cases gain far more protection than is conferred by the vaccine.

The fallback position then became the booster. Surely this is the answer! Israel was first to mandate them. Here again, the problems began to show, as yet another magic bullet of disease mitigation failed. Then the inevitable headline came: Israel preparing for possible fourth COVID vaccine dose. So think about this because there is a sense in which the vaccines rank among the biggest failures: in a matter of a few short months, we’ve gone from the claim that they fully protect to they are pretty okay provided you get regularly scheduled boosters forever. 

Now to the striking resignation of two top officials at the FDA who were in charge of vaccine safety and administration. It was the Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Vaccines Research, Marion Gruber and Phillip Kause.

They gave no reason for their departure, which is scheduled for October and November. 

The case is fascinating because 1) people rarely resign cushy government jobs unless a higher-paying, higher-prestige job in the private sector awaits, or 2) they are being pushed out. It’s rare for anyone in a position like to to resign over a principled matter of science. When I first read that they were going, I figured something else was up. 

These days, extremely weird things are going on within the Biden administration. Even though his approval ratings are sinking, the president has to pretend that he has all the answers, that the science behind his mandates and virus war is universally settled, that anyone who disagrees with him is really just a political enemy. He has gone so far as to denounce, demonize, and legally threaten red-state governors who disagree with him. 

This is a deep problem for actual scientists working within the bureaucracy because they know for sure that all of this is a pretense and that the government cannot win this war on the virus. They simply cannot preside over more false promises, especially when the whole of their professional training is about assessing the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. 

So what can they do? In this case, it appears they had to get away before they dropped a bombshell. 

The bombshell is called “Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses.” It appears in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. The two top officials are among the authors. The article recommends against the Covid booster shot that the Biden administration, following Fauci’s advice, is suggesting as the key to making the vaccines work better and finally fulfill their promise. 

Fauci and company are pushing boosters because they know what is coming. Essentially we are going the way of Israel: most everyone is vaccinated but the virus itself is not being controlled. More and more among those hospitalized and dying are vaccinated. This same trend is coming to the US. The boosters are a means by which government can save face, or so many believe.

The trouble now is that the top scientists at the FDA disagree. Further, they think that the push for boosters is courting problems. They think the current regime of one or two shots is working as well as one can expect. Nothing is gained on net from a booster, they say. There just isn’t enough evidence to take the risk of another booster, and another and another. 

The authors knew this article was appearing. They knew that signing it under the FDA affiliation would lead to a push for their resignations. Life would get very difficult for both of them. They got ahead of the messaging and resigned before it came out. Very smart. 

The signed article goes even further to warn of possible downsides. They point out that boosters might seem necessary because “variants expressing new antigens have evolved to the point at which immune responses to the original vaccine antigens no longer protect adequately against currently circulating viruses.” At the same time, there are possible side effects that could discredit all vaccines for a generation or more. “There could be risks,” they write, “if boosters are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently, especially with vaccines that can have immune-mediated side-effects (such as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of some mRNA vaccines, or Guillain-Barre syndrome, which has been associated with adenovirus-vectored COVID-19 vaccines.”)

Bringing up such side effects is essentially a taboo topic. That this was written by two top FDA officials is nothing short of remarkable, especially because it comes at a time when the Biden administration is going all in on vaccine mandates. Meanwhile, studies are showing that for teenage boys, the vaccine poses a greater risk to them than Covid itself. “For boys 16-17 without medical comorbidities, the rate of CAE is currently 2.1 to 3.5 times higher than their 120-day COVID-19 hospitalization risk, and 1.5 to 2.5 times higher at times of high weekly COVID-19 hospitalization.”

From the beginning of these lockdowns – along with all the masks, restrictions, bogus health advice from plexiglass to sanitizer to universal vaccine mandates and so on – it was clear that there would someday be hell to pay. They wrecked rights and liberties, crashed economies, traumatized a whole generation of children and other students, ran roughshod over religious freedom, and for what? There is zero evidence that any of this has made any difference. We are surrounded by the carnage they created. 

The appearance of The Lancet article by two top FDA vaccine scientists is truly devastating and revealing because it undermines the last plausible tool to save the whole machinery of government disease management that has been deployed at such enormous social, cultural, and economic cost for 19 months. Not in our lifetimes has a policy failed so badly. The intellectual and political implications here are monumental. It means that the real Covid crisis – the task of assigning responsibility for all the collateral damage – has just begun. 

In 2006, during the early years of the birth of lockdown ideology, the great epidemiologist Donald Henderson warned that if any of these restrictive measures were deployed for a pandemic, the result would be a “loss of trust in government” and “a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.” Catastrophe is exactly what has happened.

The current regime wants to point the finger toward the noncompliant. That is no longer believable. They cannot delay the inevitable for much longer: responsibility for this catastrophe belongs to those who embarked on this political experiment in the first place. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 09/16/2021 - 13:40

Read More

Continue Reading

Spread & Containment

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Following Israel across the Mediterranean being the first country in the world to implement an internal Covid passport allowing only vaccinated citize

Published

on

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid 'Green Pass' Takes Effect

Following Israel across the Mediterranean being the first country in the world to implement an internal Covid passport allowing only vaccinated citizens to engage in all public activity, Italy on Friday implemented its own 'Green Pass' in the strictest and first such move for Europe

The fully mandatory for every Italian citizen health pass "allows" entry into work spaces or activities like going to restaurants and bars, based on one of the following three conditions that must be met: 

  • proof of at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine

  • or proof of recent recovery from an infection

  • or a negative test within the past 48 hours

Via AFP

It's already being recognized in multiple media reports as among "the world's strictest anti-COVID measures" for workers. First approved by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's cabinet a month ago, it has now become mandatory on Oct.15.

Protests have been quick to pop up across various parts of the country, particularly as workers who don't comply can be fined 1,500 euros ($1,760); and alternately workers can be forced to take unpaid leave for refusing the jab. CNN notes that it triggered "protests at key ports and fears of disruption" on Friday, detailing further:

The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labor groups had threatened to block operations and around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.

    Around 40% of Trieste's port workers are not vaccinated, said Stefano Puzzer, a local trade union official, a far higher proportion than in the general Italian population.

    Workers at the large port of Trieste have effectively blocked access to the key transport hub...

    As The Hill notes, anyone wishing to travel to Italy anytime soon will have to obtain the green pass: "The pass is already required in Italy for both tourists and nationals to enter museums, theatres, gyms and indoor restaurants, as well as to board trains, buses and domestic flights."

    The prime minister had earlier promoted the pass as a way to ensure no more lockdowns in already hard hit Italy, which has had an estimated 130,000 Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, the requirement of what's essentially a domestic Covid passport is practically catching on in other parts of Europe as well, with it already being required to enter certain hospitality settings in German and Greece, for example. Some towns in Germany have reportedly begun requiring vaccination proof just to enter stores. So likely the Italy model will soon be enacted in Western Europe as well.

    Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 07:35

    Read More

    Continue Reading

    Spread & Containment

    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Hunger is still one the biggest – and most solvable – problems in the world.

    Every day, as Visual Capitalist’s Bruno Venditti notes, more than 700 million people (8.8% of the world’s population)..

    Published

    on

    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Hunger is still one the biggest - and most solvable - problems in the world.

    Every day, as Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti notes, more than 700 million people (8.8% of the world’s population) go to bed on an empty stomach, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

    The WFP’s HungerMap LIVE displayed here tracks core indicators of acute hunger like household food consumption, livelihoods, child nutritional status, mortality, and access to clean water in order to rank countries.

    After sitting closer to 600 million from 2014 to 2019, the number of people in the world affected by hunger increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In 2020, 155 million people (2% of the world’s population) experienced acute hunger, requiring urgent assistance.

    The Fight to Feed the World

    The problem of global hunger isn’t new, and attempts to solve it have making headlines for decades.

    On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans.

    The event was followed by similar concerts at other arenas around the world, globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations, raising more than $125 million ($309 million in today’s dollars) in famine relief for Africa.

    But 35+ years later, the continent still struggles. According to the UN, from 12 countries with the highest prevalence of insufficient food consumption in the world, nine are in Africa.

     

    Approximately 30 million people in Africa face the effects of severe food insecurity, including malnutrition, starvation, and poverty.

     

    Wasted Leftovers

    Although many of the reasons for the food crisis around the globe involve conflicts or environmental challenges, one of the big contributors is food waste.

    According to the United Nations, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tons of wasted food per year, worth approximately $1 trillion.

    All the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people. That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe. Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year.

    Solving Global Hunger

    While many people may not be “hungry” in the sense that they are suffering physical discomfort, they may still be food insecure, lacking regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development.

    Estimates of how much money it would take to end world hunger range from $7 billion to $265 billion per year.

    But to tackle the problem, investments must be utilized in the right places. Specialists say that governments and organizations need to provide food and humanitarian relief to the most at-risk regions, increase agricultural productivity, and invest in more efficient supply chains.

    Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 23:30

    Read More

    Continue Reading

    Economics

    China Coal Prices Soar To Record As Winter Freeze Spreads Cross The Country

    China Coal Prices Soar To Record As Winter Freeze Spreads Cross The Country

    One week ago we discussed why the "worst case" scenario for China’s property crisis is gradually emerging; to this we can now add that China’s worst case energy crisi

    Published

    on

    China Coal Prices Soar To Record As Winter Freeze Spreads Cross The Country

    One week ago we discussed why the "worst case" scenario for China's property crisis is gradually emerging; to this we can now add that China's worst case energy crisis scenario is also about to be unleashed as cold weather swept into much of the country and power plants scrambled to stock up on coal, sending prices of the fuel to record highs.

    Electricity demand to heat homes and offices is expected to soar this week as strong cold winds move down from northern China, according to Reuters with forecasters predicting average temperatures in some central and eastern regions could fall by as much as 16 degrees Celsius in the next 2-3 days.

    Shortages of coal, high fuel prices and booming post-pandemic industrial demand have sparked widespread power shortages in the world's second-largest economy. Rationing has already been in place in at least 17 of mainland China's more than 30 regions since September, forcing some factories to suspend production and further disrupting already broken supply chains.

    On Friday, the most-active January Zhengzhou thermal coal futures closed at a record high of 2,226 per tonne early. The contract has risen almost 200% year to date.

    China's three northeastern provinces of Jilin, Heilongjiang and Liaoning - also among the worst hit by the power shortages last month - as well as several regions in northern China including Inner Mongolia and Gansu have started winter heating, which is mainly fuelled by coal, to cope with the colder-than-normal weather.

    Meanwhile, even though Beijing has taken a slew of measures to contain coal price rises including raising domestic coal output and cutting power to power-hungry industries and some factories during periods of peak demand, so far all measures have failed with coal surging by 40% in just the past three days. Beijing has also repeatedly assured users that energy supplies will be secured for the winter heating season, and went so far as to order energy firms to "secure supplies at all costs." Well, the energy firms heard it, because on that day, thermal coal closed at 1,436 yuan. Two weeks later it is some 800 yuan higher.

    Unfortunately for Beijing, the power shortages are expected to continue into early next year, with analysts and traders forecasting a 12% drop in industrial power consumption in the fourth quarter as coal supplies fall short and local governments give priority to residential users.

    Earlier this week, we reported that China undertook its boldest step in a decades-long power sector reform when it allowed coal-fired power prices to fluctuate by up to 20% from base levels from Oct. 15, enabling power plants to pass on more of the high costs of generation to commercial and industrial end-users. read more

    Steel, aluminium, cement and chemical producers are expected to face higher and more volatile power costs under the new policy, pressuring profit margins.

    Meanwhile, the latest Chinese "data" on Thursday showed factory-gate inflation in September hit a record high; but since thermal coal is the one commodity that correlates the closest to PPI, absent a sharp drop in coal prices in the next few weeks, expect the next PPI print to be far higher. Meanwhile as the power crisis leads to further shutdowns in domestic production, some banks - such as Nomura - have gone so far to predict that China's GDP is set to shrink in coming quarters.

    China, which laughably aims to be "carbon neutral" by 2060 even as its president announced he will skip the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, has been "trying" to reduce its reliance on polluting coal power in favor of cleaner wind, solar and hydro. But coal remains the source for some 70% of China's electricity needs.

    Of course, China is not the only nation struggling with power supplies, which has led to fuel shortages and blackouts in many European countries. and threatens to send US heating bills up as much as 50% this winter. he crisis has highlighted the difficulty in cutting the global economy's dependency on fossil fuels as world leaders seek to revive efforts to tackle climate change at talks next month in Glasgow.

    China will strive to achieve carbon peaks by 2030, Vice Premier Han Zheng said in a video message at the Russian Energy Week International Forum, according to state-run news agency Xinhua late on Thursday. He also said that China and Russia are important forces leading the energy transition and they should cooperate and ensure smooth progress of major oil and gas pipeline and nuclear power projects.

    Translation: Russia better save that nat gas and not ship it to Europe as China will soon be needed even BCF Russia an provide. As for China

     

    Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 22:50

    Read More

    Continue Reading

    Trending