March 2nd, 2021 3-5PM ET
Tuesday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
Number of Injuries Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Climbs by Nearly 4,000 in One Week The latest data made public by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) on deaths and injuries reported after COVID vaccines are in line with trends that have been emerging since the first data were released in December. Between Dec. 14, 2020 and Feb. 18, 2021, 19,907 reports of adverse events have been reported to VAERS, including 1,095 deaths and 3,767 serious injuries. About a third of the deaths reported occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, and 48% of the people who died became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated. About 21% of the deaths were cardiac-related. As The Defender reported last month, Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, a pediatric rheumatologist, warned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December that mRNA vaccines like those developed by Pfizer and Moderna could cause heart attacks and other injuries in ways not assessed in safety trials. Of the reported deaths, 966 were reported in the U.S. and 129 outside the U.S. The average age of the deceased was 77.8, the youngest was 23. Of those who died, 53% were male, 46% female and 1% of the reports did not include gender. Of those who died, 56% received the Pfizer vaccine, and 43% got the Moderna vaccine.
Yohan Blake: Jamaican sprinter would ‘rather miss Tokyo Olympics than have Covid-19 vaccine’ Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake has said that he would rather miss the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics than receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Blake – a two-time Olympic gold medallist and former 100m world champion – made the comments in Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner. Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that receiving a vaccine would not be compulsory for athletes and officials to attend this summer’s delayed Games, though they still encouraged competitors to be vaccinated if possible before arriving in Japan “to contribute to the safe environment of the Games.” “Also out of respect for the Japanese people, who should be confident that everything is being done to protect not only the participants, but also the Japanese people themselves,” the IOC said. Speaking over the weekend, Blake was quoted as saying: “My mind still stays strong, I don’t want any vaccine, I’d rather miss the Olympics than take the vaccine, I am not taking it. “I don’t really want to get into it now, but I have my reasons.”
Airline accused of anti-semitism as family of 22 kicked off flight in mask row An airline is being accused of anti-semitism after a Jewish family was kicked off a flight over a mask row. Fronter Airlines is facing allegations of discrimination after the Hasidic Jewish family of 22 was removed from a flight. The airline cancelled the flight, claiming in a tweeted statement that passengers had refused to wear masks on the flight from Miami to New York, in breach of coronavirus safety rules. However footage has since emerged clearly showing members of the family wearing masks at the time they are being removed from the plane. A series of clips captured the blazing row on the plane, as witnesses claimed airline’s staff were seen ‘high-fiving’ as the passengers were removed from the flight. The family and at least one passenger who claimed to have witnessed the incident told the New York Times they were wearing face coverings properly the whole time. The family has claimed they were singled out on the flight, saying just one small child was maskless. Frontier said the family was not removed from the plane because of the toddler, adding claims the adults in the group were not wearing masks in breach of the rules. The airline tweeted: “Members of a large group, including adults, refused to wear masks as flight 2878 was preparing for departure from MIA-LGA. “Repeated requests to comply with federal law necessitated their removal from the flight. The issue did not stem from a child under 2.” The incident has sparked widespread outrage after the Orthodox Jewish advocacy group (OJPAC) posted a series of videos capturing the onboard drama on Twitter.
Lawyers to sue WHO for ‘misleading world over COVID-19 outbreak’ A group of lawyers is preparing to sue the World Health Organization and some of its partners for allegedly misleading the world over the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak and the measures taken to control it, which they say have damaged livelihoods and caused tremendous harm to economies. The move was announced by Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, one of four members of the German Coronavirus Investigative Committee that has been hearing international scientists’ and experts’ testimonies since July 10, 2020. In a video released to his YouTube channel, Fuellmich accuses WHO Director Tedros Adhanom, Dr Christan Drosten, the head of virology at Berlin’s Charité Hospital, and Dr Lothar Wieler, the head of the RKI, the German counterpart of the U.S. Center for Disease Control, whom he claims knowingly misled governments across the world. “This corona crisis, according to all we know today, must be renamed a corona scandal, and those responsible for it must be criminally prosecuted, and sued for civil damages,” he said. “On a political level, everything must be done to make sure that no one will ever again, be in a position of such power as to be able to defraud humanity, or to attempt to manipulate us with their corrupt agendas.” Fuellmich plans on filing a class-action suit in the United States.
Left out? Israeli vaccine refuseniks fear exclusion as economy reopens Israel has led the world in COVID-19 vaccinations. Now it faces another challenge that other countries will have to grapple with: how to balance public health and the rights of the unvaccinated. Its decisions will affect every walk of life – from schools to work, and culture to worship. Half of Israelis have received their first shot, and the country began reopening its economy this week after a year of lockdowns and remote working. But several activities have been deemed off-limits to the unvaccinated, angering those who cannot get the jab for health reasons, or refuse it as a matter of principle. Some employers already plan to ban unvaccinated workers from the office, which rights groups fear could cost them their jobs. Unions have suggested workarounds, such as COVID-19 tests every 72 hours. “I’m already at peace with the fact that I won’t be invited to certain events or allowed into areas of entertainment,” said Hila Bar, a business owner who is sceptical of medical science and does not plan to get vaccinated. “So I won’t go,” she said. “And I won’t patronise certain businesses either – not because I don’t want to, but they do not want my business.”
If infected, speaking is all it takes to spread COVID-19 A cough or sneeze in public isn’t nearly as innocuous as it once was. Now, a new study reports that COVID-19 can also spread from asymptomatic carriers simply speaking. Researchers in Japan say COVID carriers can spread the virus via small aerosol droplets in their exhaled breath while talking to someone else in close quarters. The scientists often use lasers and smoke to study the flow of expelled air as two people converse across various service industry settings. For example, sitting in a barber’s chair getting a haircut, or sitting in a doctor’s office. For this research specifically, the team used electronic cigarettes to create artificial viral droplets. The liquid, a mixture of glycerin and propylene glycol, makes it very easy for scientists to track and visualize airflow patterns. “We analyzed the characteristics of exhalation diffusion with and without a mask when a person was standing, sitting, facing down, or lying face up,” says study author Keiko Ishii in a release by the American Institute of Physics. Researchers recorded the resulting vapor cloud over and over as participants repeated the common Japanese business greeting “onegaishimasu” while holding various relevant poses. The experiment took place in a local hair salon in Tokyo.
Twitter strike system will permanently ban users who repeatedly post COVID-19 misinformation Twitter says it will apply warnings to tweets that contain misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and implement a strike system that could see users permanently banned for repeat violations. The social media network started promoting public health information before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic. It also aimed to remove demonstrably false or misleading content about the virus that had the highest risk of causing harm. Since introducing its COVID-19 guidance in December, the company said it had removed more than 8,400 tweets and challenged 11.5 million accounts. Under its new guidelines, Twitter users who are deemed to have peddled false COVID-19 information will be given a strike. Twitter says there will be no punishment for a user’s first strike, but that they will be temporarily locked out of their account after their second and third strikes. If a user is issued a fourth strike, they will be banned from the social network for seven days. A fifth strike will result in the user being permanently banned.
Far-Right Platform Gab Has Been Hacked—Including Private Data When Twitter banned Donald Trump and a slew of other far-right users in January, many of them became digital refugees, migrating to sites like Parler and Gab to find a home that wouldn’t moderate their hate speech and disinformation. Days later, Parler was hacked, and then it was dropped by Amazon web hosting, knocking the site offline. Now Gab, which inherited some of Parler’s displaced users, has been badly hacked too. An enormous trove of its contents has been stolen—including what appears to be passwords and private communications. On Sunday night the WikiLeaks-style group Distributed Denial of Secrets is revealing what it calls GabLeaks, a collection of more than 70 gigabytes of Gab data representing more than 40 million posts. DDoSecrets says a hacktivist who self-identifies as “JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project” siphoned that data out of Gab’s backend databases in an effort to expose the platform’s largely right-wing users. Those Gab patrons, whose numbers have swelled after Parler went offline, include large numbers of Qanon conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and promoters of former president Donald Trump’s election-stealing conspiracies that resulted in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
Education Level Now Prime Driver of COVID Vaccine Hesitancy: Poll In the early weeks of the U.S. vaccine rollout, race looked like it would determine who was willing to get a shot in the arm, but education level now plays the most powerful role in that decision, new research shows. More than three-quarters of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree have been vaccinated or plan to be, compared to 53% of those without a college degree, according to a new survey of more than 6,200 U.S. participants. “Results of our surveys earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic — before vaccines were approved — indicated that race and ethnicity would play a greater role than education level in people’s willingness to get the vaccine. But one year into this pandemic, with vaccines now being rolled out across the U.S., education level has become a greater factor than race,” said survey director Jill Darling. The data came from the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study. Earlier in the pandemic, levels of education didn’t play as large a role in Americans’ attitudes about COVID-19 vaccines, according to the researchers from the University of Southern California’s Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.
Not all ‘good’ cholesterol is healthy HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), or “good cholesterol,” is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease as it transports cholesterol deposited in the arteries to the liver to be eliminated. This contrasts with the so-called “bad cholesterol,” LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which causes cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries and increases cardiovascular risk. Although drugs that lower LDL cholesterol reduce cardiovascular risk, those that raise good cholesterol have not proven effective in reducing the risk of heart disease. This paradox has called into question the relationship between good cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, and researchers are now studying the characteristics of these HDL or good cholesterol particles. A study led by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), published in the journal Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, has now demonstrated that not all good cholesterol is healthy. Researchers from the CIBER on Cardiovascular Diseases (CIBERCV), the CIBER on Obesity and Nutrition (CIBEROBN), and the CIBER on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), as well as others from Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, IDIBELL, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Research Institute, and the Hospital Clínico Universitario in Zaragoza also took part in this study.
The conditions of 70% of people with chronic pain have worsened during the pandemic The pandemic has impacted significantly on people who suffer chronic pain. A study performed by the eHealth Lab, a research group affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya’s eHealth Center, has shown that 70% of the people with chronic pain have seen their condition worsen in terms of severity, frequency of episodes and interference in their daily activities. A total of 502 patients took part in the study; 88% were women aged between 30 and 59, with long-duration chronic pain (mean duration, seven years). Most participants (87.6%) had pain in more than one point; the most frequent locations were the abdomen, lower back and neck. The participants answered online surveys, designed in accordance with the IMMPACT (Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials) methodology, and the CPGQ (Chronic Pain Grade Questionnaire) was used to compare changes in the pain perceived by the patients since lockdown began. The results showed that job insecurity, worries about the future, the number of people living in the same dwelling, having someone close who has died of COVID-19, or fear of becoming infected with the virus may be related with a worsening of the pain.
Exposure to greenspace linked to lower risk for pediatric-onset IBD Higher exposure to residential greenspace in childhood is associated with a reduced risk for pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Michael Elten, from the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study using linked population-based health administrative and environmental data sets. A total of 2,715,318 mother-infant pairs from hospital births in Ontario between April 1, 1991, and March 31, 2014, were included. Exposure to residential greenspace was measured, and the potential associations between residential greenspace and risk for developing IBD before age 18 years were examined. During follow-up, there were 3,444 IBD diagnoses. The researchers observed an association between a lower risk for developing pediatric-onset IBD and an increase in the interquartile range of residential greenspace (hazard ratio, 0.77). This association was significant for ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease (hazard ratios, 0.72 and 0.81, respectively). Across increasing quartiles of greenspace, there was a linear dose response. No consistent association was seen between maternal intrapartum greenspace exposure and pediatric-onset IBD.