February 22nd, 2021 3-5PM ET
Monday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
White House working with social media giants to silence anti-vaxxers The White House is asking social media companies to clamp down on chatter that deviates from officially distributed COVID-19 information as part of President Biden’s “wartime effort” to vanquish the coronavirus. A senior administration official tells Reuters that the Biden administration is asking Facebook, Twitter and Google to help prevent anti-vaccine fears from going viral, as distrust of the inoculations emerges as a major barrier in the fight against the deadly virus. “Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms,” the White House source told the news agency. “We are talking to them … so they understand the importance of misinformation and disinformation and how they can get rid of it quickly,” the source added. The news out of Washington is the first sign that officials are directly engaged with Silicon Valley in censoring social media users; Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain previously said the administration would try to work with major media companies on the issue. The Democratic administration is specifically pushing to make sure unfavorable material does “not start trending on such platforms and become a broader movement,” like the recent anti-vaccine protests at Dodger Stadium, the source said.
Congress Escalates Pressure on Tech Giants to Censor More, Threatening the First Amendment For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.” The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”
The ZeroCovid Movement: Cult Dressed as Science This past year has given rise to some strange and novel methods of disease containment, including lockdowns and mask mandates. It is unsurprising that the natural next step in this progression has been the development of a movement known as “ZeroCovid.” Its growing influence is, perhaps, predictable given that for nearly a year we have been inundated by the views of so-called experts seeking to legitimize their myopic worldview that public health is determined solely by prevention of Covid-19. Rather than acknowledge to a weary public that their approach has been a failure, they are doubling down and attempting to save their reputations by claiming that the problem is not that lockdowns do not work, but that they have not gone far enough. There is, apparently, some diversity of opinion among the ZeroCovid crowd as to whether the term is to be interpreted literally, as some of its most impassioned and vocal proponents argue, or whether it simply means a more extreme version of the ideology that has dominated societies around the globe for the past year: the belief that suppressing the coronavirus is a singularly important goal, to replace all others and to be pursued with no or only minimal consideration of the effects of doing so. ZeroCovid promoters appear to agree that much stricter border controls, lockdowns, and mask mandates are needed than exist in most nations today. Sam Bowman, one of the most prominent ZeroCoviders, claims for instance that the only way to address the coronavirus problem is with “lockdowns, school closures, travel bans, mass testing, contact tracing, and masks.” Likewise, former United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair’s think-tank has stated that the only way to avoid another lockdown is to bring coronavirus cases to zero. China, Australia and New Zealand are portrayed as successes by ZeroCovid proponents, and prove that suffering now brings with it the promise of eventual freedom.
One-Third of Deaths Reported to CDC After COVID Vaccines Occurred Within 48 Hours of Vaccination According to new data released today, as of Feb. 12, 15,923 adverse reactions to COVID vaccines, including 929 deaths, have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) since Dec. 14, 2020. VAERS is the primary mechanism in the U.S. for reporting adverse vaccine reactions. Reports submitted to VAERS require further investigation before a determination can be made as to whether the reported adverse event was directly or indirectly caused by the vaccine. The latest VAERS data show that 799 of the deaths were reported in the U.S., and that about one-third of those deaths occurred within 48 hours of the individual receiving the vaccination. As is consistent with previous VAERS data reports, 192 of the reported deaths — or 21% — were cardiac-related. As The Defender reported earlier this 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 929 deaths reported since Dec. 14, 2020, the average age of the deceased was 77.8 and the youngest was 23. Fifty-two percent of the reported deaths were among men, 45% were women and 3% are unknown. Fifty-eight percent of the deaths were reported in people who received the Pfizer vaccine, and 41% were related to the Moderna vaccine.
Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines show no safety concerns during first month of rollout, CDC says No concerning safety issues were associated with either the Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna coronavirus vaccines during the first month of rollouts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday. No deaths were attributed to the vaccines either, the health agency noted. The report, which included data from the first vaccines administered on Dec. 11 through Jan.13, 2021, found the most common symptoms associated with the jabs to be headache, fatigue and dizziness. While 113 deaths were reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, none of the data suggested a relationship to the COVID-19 vaccine. The agency did note “rare cases” of anaphylaxis among both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine recipients, but that it was not outside of the range of those seen with other vaccines. “The occurrence of anaphylaxis after receipt of COVID-19 vaccines during the analytic period, 4.5 cases per million doses administered, is within the range reported after receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine (1.4 per million), pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (2.5 per million), and live attenuated herpes zoster vaccine (9.6 per million); effective treatments for anaphylaxis exist (6),” the report said. The agency also said adverse reactions to the Pfizer vaccine were more frequently reported after receiving the second dose than the first, but that information pertaining to Moderna’s second dose was not yet available due to dosing intervals.
Hour 2 Special Guest – Kim Ritchie Spencer
Dr. Ramon Ramos, beloved Savannah pediatrician who advocated for fewer early vaccines for children, dies Beloved and sometimes controversial Savannah pediatrician Dr. Ramon Ramos died Friday at Memorial Health University Medical Center. A cause of death was not released. He was 70. Ramos was born in Manhattan and obtained his medical degree from Escuela Medicina San Juan in Puerto Rico in 1980. After a residency, internship and a fellowship in Jacksonville and Augusta, he came to Savannah for fellowships at Memorial. Those were followed by a two-year stint in private practice in Puerto Rico after which he returned to Savannah in 1991to open a private practice here. He attracted legions of devoted families. Parents like Megan Burns said Ramos, who was the father of seven, treated his patients as if they were his own. “He was like a big loving teddy bear!” texted the mother of two girls aged 4 and 6. “Those first impressions of him with my two-day old infants (at the time) will forever be engrained in my mind. He calmed a lot of my first-time mom fears on various issues and there will be a huge void in the community for an advocate of parent choices. He will be deeply deeply missed.”
SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Elicits Cell Signaling in Human Host Cells: Implications for Possible Consequences of COVID-19 The world is suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 uses its spike protein to enter the host cells. Vaccines that introduce the spike protein into our body to elicit virus-neutralizing antibodies are currently being developed. In this article, we note that human host cells sensitively respond to the spike protein to elicit cell signaling. Thus, it is important to be aware that the spike protein produced by the new COVID-19 vaccines may also affect the host cells. We should monitor the long-term consequences of these vaccines carefully, especially when they are administered to otherwise healthy individuals. Further investigations on the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on human cells and appropriate experimental animal models are warranted. The world is suffering from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus [1,2]. As of the end of December 2020, over 80 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2, causing 1.8 million deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 uses its viral membrane fusion protein, known as a spike protein, to bind to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a ‘receptor’ in order to enter human host cells [3,4], causing severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) . Elderly patients with cardiovascular disease are particularly susceptible to developing serious COVID-19 conditions that in some cases lead to death, while young and healthy individuals are largely resistant to developing severe symptoms [1,6,7]. As COVID-19 continues to cause serious health, economic, and sociological problems, the world awaits the widespread rollout of effective vaccines that may end this pandemic.
COVID Unleashes the ‘Lurking Scourge’ Candida Auris Candida auris is difficult to identify with standard laboratory methods. It can be misidentified in labs without specific technology, which can lead to mismanagement. In a study of 596 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) in New Delhi earlier this year, 15 (2.5%) had bloodstream infections caused by the drug-resistant “superbug” Candida.1In 10 patients the predominant agent was Candida auris, while3 were infected with C. albicans, 1with C. tropicalis, and1with C. krusei. Two of the patients had hospital-acquired COVID-19. Eight of the patients with candidemia died. That’s a death rate of 53%. Among those with C. auris, the death rate was 60%. “Of note,” the researchers say: 4patients who died experienced persistent fungemia and despite 5days of micafungin therapy, C. auris again grew in blood culture.Data like those are why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls Candida a “serious global health threat.” In a 2017 interview with STAT, Anne Schuchat, MD, then acting director of the CDC, called C. auris a “catastrophic threat” to society.2 At that point at least 61 patients had been diagnosed with C. auris infection; the count was soon to rise to 98. Kevin Kavanagh, MD, a member of Infection Control Today®’s Editorial Advisory Board, says that drug resistant C. Auris is a dangerous pathogen, it first came to attention back in 2015. “Presently, it is known to be highly infectious and can cause dangerous co-infections,” says Kavanagh.”C. Auris co-infections do occur in COVID-19 patients and if present the case-fatality-rate is 60%.3C. Auris is a fungus not a bacteria and unfortunately there are few treatment options, with some strains becoming resistant to all of them.1