November 19th, 2021 3-5PM ET
Friday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
FDA authorizes Pfizer and Moderna boosters for all adults The Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 boosters for all adults, a move that will make boosters available to everyone ages 18 and up. Pfizer requested authorization last week, citing results from a Phase 3 clinical trial with more than 10,000 participants that found that the third dose was safe and effective. Moderna requested authorization Wednesday. “The FDA has determined that the currently available data support expanding the eligibility of a single booster dose of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to individuals 18 years of age and older,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement Friday. The FDA did not seek the advice of its independent advisory panel, called the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, when reviewing either company’s data. John Grabenstein, a former executive director of medical affairs for vaccines at Merck, as well as a former immunologist for the Defense Department, said the FDA did not need to ask its advisory committee to weigh in at this time. “This isn’t a matter of antibody response or safety,” he said. “The FDA can make that decision on its own.” Dr. Jesse Goodman, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Georgetown University Medical Center, expressed surprise that the FDA’s decision on Moderna came so quickly, just two days after the company applied for authorization.
Conflict of Interest? Bill Gates Gave $319 Million to Major Media Outlets, Documents Reveal Up until his recent messy divorce, Bill Gates enjoyed something of a free pass in corporate media. Generally presented as a kindly nerd who wants to save the world, the Microsoft co-founder was even unironically christened “Saint Bill” by The Guardian. While other billionaires’ media empires are relatively well known, the extent to which Gates’s cash underwrites the modern media landscape is not. After sorting through over 30,000 individual grants, MintPress can reveal that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has made over $300 million worth of donations to fund media projects. Recipients of this cash include many of America’s most important news outlets, including CNN, NBC, NPR, PBS and The Atlantic. Gates also sponsors a myriad of influential foreign organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph in the UK; prominent European newspapers such as Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany) and El País (Spain); as well as big global broadcasters like Al-Jazeera. The Gates Foundation money going towards media programs has been split up into a number of sections, presented in descending numerical order, and includes a link to the relevant grant on the organization’s website.
Over half of parents are skeptical about the safety, efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for children: poll A new poll suggests more than half of parents in the U.S. are skeptical about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines for children as eligibility recently opened to kids 5 to 11. The Washington Post-ABC News survey found that just under half, or 46 percent, of parents with a child under 18 said they were either very or somewhat confident that the coronavirus vaccines are safe for children ages 5 to 17, while 47 percent said they were confident the vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death for the age group. Meanwhile, 52 percent of parents polled were not so sure. The poll found 41 percent of respondents said they are “not at all” confident that the vaccines are safe for children in that age group, and 11 percent saying they are “not so” confident. Fifty-two percent also said they were “not at all” or “not so” confident of the vaccine’s efficacy. The poll was conducted Nov. 7-10 among 1,001 adults, including 240 parents with children under 18. The survey comes less than two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed off on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5. The White House last week announced at least 900,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 are estimated to have received their first COVID-19 shot within the first week of eligibility. A similar poll taken prior to the authorization found a large share of parents aren’t planning to get their kids vaccinated right away.
COVID Misinformation Blunder: Instagram Censors Widely Respected Cochrane Collaboration A desire to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation has fueled increasingly intense efforts to restrict speech on social media platforms. Major news outlets, communications researchers, and even some public health experts have jumped on this bandwagon, calling for a variety of policies designed to stem the proliferation of anti-vaccine messaging and other scientifically dubious content. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of this campaign is its propensity to silence trustworthy sources of information right alongside nonsense pushers like Joe Mercola and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The British Medical Journal has documented multiple occurrences of this friendly fire throughout the pandemic. I also highlighted a particularly ridiculous example in this story: Social Media Censorship: Scientist Corrects Anti-GMO Silliness, Facebook Threatens To Ban Him. But the most egregious case of social media giants silencing credible voices occurred last week when Instagram prohibited users from tagging the Cochrane Collaboration because the organization “repeatedly posted content that goes against our community guidelines on false content about COVID-19 or vaccines,” the platform wrote in a notification to users.
Question of The Day!
Hello RSB and Super Don!! I have a concern with my BP that even my current functional medicine provider is not sure the reason.
For the past couple years, whenever I have my blood pressure checked at a doctor’s office (very rare these days) or most recently, TODAY, at a holistic dental office, my blood pressure is on the high side so much so that they tell me to get it checked. I can’t remember the bottom number, but the top number was 145 today. I look at my Fitbit and it says my heartrate is around 65.
I have been taking Cardio Miracle since May – 2 to 4 times a day, off an on with the selenium (when I run out I sometimes have a lag time before I get more), coq10, fish oil, zinc, chromium, more recently I started taking copper hydrosol. My functional medicine provider is not sure either. My last blood work showed iron was finally high enough to not be anemia, my cholesterol was fine (I know I know, but allopathic looks at it LOL), I do not have any other markers of high blood pressure. I do have a low thytroid that I am taking nutrional supplements for. I also struggle with B12 abosroption and take a supplement. I also exercise regularly – although my heart rate is kind of weird – it will either jump to a high cardio range or stay low when I feel that I am exerting myself, at least according to my Fitbit.
What else should I be looking at that could be a cause for high blood pressure? I am wondering if there is a supplement that is causing it. My BP was finally ‘normal’ a couple years ago after I lost about 45 pounds to get to my goal weight, I have since gained 20 pounds along with adding nutritional supplements and my BP has gone up. Could it be weight related? Looking for guidance. Thank you!!!
Number of elderly on U.S. liver transplant list rising The proportion of U.S. elderly patients in need of liver transplant (LT) is sharply increasing, according to a study presented at The Liver Meeting, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, held virtually from Nov. 12 to 15. Maria Stepanova, Ph.D., from the Center for Outcomes Research in Liver Diseases in Washington, D.C., and colleagues assessed recent trends among elderly Americans requiring LT using data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (2002 to 2020). The researchers identified 31,209 LT candidates ages 65 years and older on the wait list during the study period, with the proportion of patients 65 years and older increasing over time from 9 percent (2002 to 2005) to 23 percent (2018 to 2020). Among older wait-list candidates, the proportion with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis increased from 13 percent (2002 to 2005) to 39 percent (2018 to 2020), while the proportion with hepatitis C virus decreased from 27 to 18 percent. Elderly candidates had a lower crude transplant rate and higher rate of removal due to deterioration but similar on-list mortality compared with younger LT candidates. Independent predictors of receiving LT included more recent years of listing, male sex, college degree, higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Being Hispanic, being covered by Medicaid, and having pretransplant diabetes were associated with a lower chance of receiving LT among elderly.
Governor Pitches Vax-Avoiding Cops on Move to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is making a pitch to law enforcement officers across the country: If you don’t want to get the COVID-19 vaccine, come work here. The governor today, along with Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Jeff Long, announced Tennessee’s offer to cover relocation expenses for out-of-state law enforcement looking to leave states with strict COVID-19 vaccine rules. “There are many highly skilled law enforcement personnel who want to work in a state that doesn’t get in the middle of personal health decisions yet also provides for a wonderful quality of life,” Lee says in a statement. “As we’ve ramped up efforts to get more state troopers on the road, we want these men and women to consider Tennessee, and we will assist with their relocation expenses.”
Hour 2 Special Guest – Ula Tinsley
Ula Tinsley aka Autism Mama Bear is a passionate autism advocate, featured writer at and a talk show host on Autism Mama Bear Talk. She’s been raising autism awareness on a local and national level since 2010, when her son was diagnosed with a regressive form of autism. After gaining more experience and knowledge about different ways of treating ASD, she’s been supporting and consulting other families living with autism. Her latest project, Autism Mama Bear Talk, is a fast-paced interview show bringing informative and everyday inspiring stories from leading autism advocates, self-advocates, parents and medical experts.
CDC: Vials contain no trace of virus that causes smallpox Frozen vials labeled “Smallpox” that were discovered in a freezer at a vaccine research facility in Pennsylvania “contain no trace of virus known to cause smallpox,” federal health officials said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that testing showed the vials contain “vaccinia, the virus used in smallpox vaccine” and not the variola virus, which causes smallpox. The CDC had said Monday that the vials “were incidentally discovered by a laboratory worker” who was wearing gloves and a face mask while cleaning out the freezer. The CDC said no one was exposed to the contents. Mark O’Neill, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, told the New York Times that the vials were found at a Merck facility in Montgomery County. It was not clear why the vials were in the freezer. The CDC said it was “in close contact with state and local health officials, law enforcement, and the World Health Organization” about the findings. Smallpox is a deadly, infectious disease that plagued the world for centuries and killed nearly a third of the people it infected. Victims suffered scorching fever and body aches, and then spots and blisters that would leave survivors with pitted scars.
Smallpox Preparedness and Response Updates from FDA What’s new June 4, 2021: FDA approves drug to treat smallpox – FDA approved Tembexa (brincidofovir) to treat smallpox. Although the World Health Organization declared smallpox, a contagious and sometimes fatal infectious disease, eradicated in 1980, there have been longstanding concerns that the virus that causes smallpox, the variola virus, could be used as a bioweapon. Also see Therapeutics below. Vaccination against smallpox before contact with the Variola virus can protect you from getting sick. Vaccination within 7 days of being exposed to Variola virus may provide protection from disease and, if you still get smallpox, may reduce the severity of disease. Currently, smallpox vaccine is not available to the general public because smallpox has been eradicated, and the virus no longer exists in nature. Replication-competent vaccinia virus vaccines are generally safe and effective, but some people do experience side effects and adverse reactions. Severe adverse reactions are more common in people who are being vaccinated for the first time and among young children (≤5 years of age). Vaccinia Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) (VIGIV) is indicated for the treatment and/or modification of certain conditions that are complications resulting from smallpox vaccination with replication-competent vaccinia virus vaccines.
5 Steps to Naturally Heal Low Stomach Acid Today, I’m going to talk about natural remedies for low stomach acid. The truth is, your stomach must be highly acidic to break down the food you’re consuming and for proper absorption. If you have acid reflux symptoms of any type — GERD, heartburn, etc. — or if you have a condition like leaky gut syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, even most skin issues today, or a lack of certain nutrients, those are all major warning signs that you have low stomach acid. To combat this issue, you actually want to naturally balance the pH level of your stomach. I’m going to talk about the top five steps you can follow and natural remedies you can take to improve your stomach acid and digestive function. The No. 1 thing you can do to start to balance this pH in your stomach is use apple cider vinegar right before your meals. I would take one tablespoon and just a very small amount of water. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy because apple cider vinegar has a very low pH in balance with your stomach. By the way, oftentimes I’ll add digestive bitters to my apple cider vinegar before a meal. You can get a little tincture of digestive bitters. In fact, bitters have been consumed for thousands of years right after meals or before meals to improve digestion.
Over a Million Americans May Have Permanently Lost Their Sense of Smell to Covid-19 New research Thursday aims to quantify a life-altering aftereffect of covid-19: a lingering loss of smell, also known as anosmia. The study estimates that up to 1.6 million people in the U.S. have experienced chronic anosmia lasting at least six months following their coronavirus infection. Anosmia can be caused by different things, including respiratory viral infections like covid-19. But it took some time before anosmia was recognized as a clear symptom of covid-19—one that might even be more common among mild cases. Often, this loss of smell is accompanied by a loss of taste, the two senses being closely dependent on each other. Sometimes, people can also experience parosmia, or a distorted sense of smell that can cause everyday scents to smell like trash, sewage, or other putrid odors. Studies have estimated that anywhere from 30% to 80% of covid-19 sufferers can develop some level of anosmia. But research has indicated that most (upwards of 90%) regain their sniffer sense in as little as two weeks, possibly because the infection tends not to damage the olfactory nerve itself but the cells supporting it. Since so many people have contracted covid-19 in the U.S, though, even a relatively rare complication like long-term anosmia can still affect plenty of people.
Calling children ‘vectors’ during COVID-19 is turning into discrimination During the COVID-19 pandemic children have been the target of dehumanizing language and of policy which prioritizes the needs of adults over theirs. While we still do not know the long-term effects of COVID-19 on children, research from early in the pandemic suggested that children were much less likely than adults to suffer severely with the symptoms of the virus. Discussions of children revolved around their role in transmitting the disease to adults. Soon, children were being referred to as “vectors” of the disease. This phrase has been used to control the movement of children. Shops in Ireland referred to children as “vectors of disease” as a justification for limiting their entry to stores. “Children are vectors not victims,” a pediatrician commented when advising adults to limit contact between children. Referring to children as vectors, a word more commonly used to describe animals or parasites, is demeaning. It is rare to see the term used to refer to human beings. Its use in this case shows that we are prioritizing adults and encourages us to consider children with COVID only in terms of the impact they may have on adults.
‘Super colds’ are not spreading – people have forgotten how to fight viruses, infectious disease expert says A top infectious disease expert says there is no evidence of a “super cold” getting people sick in recent months. Instead, researchers believe people have just forgotten what it’s like to be unwell while staying indoors during the coronavirus pandemic. Professor Neil Mabbott, from the University of Edinburgh, tells SWNS the absence of most viruses last year due to rigorous COVID safety measures had led to waning immunity to more common illnesses. Although people may be more susceptible to colds and flu after the pandemic – Mabbott says a “super cold” is just a buzzword. Prof. Mabbot adds regular testing is crucial with some symptoms such as a sore throat and sneezing, echoing those experienced by people infected with COVID’s Delta variant. Moreover, cold viruses are far more transmissible from surface contact than coronavirus. “It’s the buzzword that’s going around but I don’t think we have any evidence there is a super-cold or super-flu going around,” Prof. Mabbot tells SWNS in a statement.
2 in 3 parents of kids under 6 feel exhausted ‘before day even starts’ Is it wrong to want a little me-time? Parenthood can bring all kinds of challenges and surprises – however three in five parents say they feel guilty for wanting a break sometimes. A survey of 2,000 parents of children under six years-old found that two-thirds of them feel exhausted before the day even starts. In fact, 62 percent say they’ve felt pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations. Parental insecurity appears to be normal, as nearly half of respondents seek validation from others about how they parent (47%). The survey, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Babyganics, also revealed that a third of respondents find parenting more challenging than they initially expected. Nearly three-quarters (73%) add that becoming a parent was one of the most difficult phases of their lives. More than a quarter feel like others are constantly judging them on their parenting decisions (28%). Meanwhile, the media doesn’t help either – most parents agree that parenthood is often unrealistically portrayed (68%). When it comes to advertisements, two out of three parents feel like companies don’t accurately depict their personal experiences as a mom or dad.