Barry Lynn
Intersection of Science and Policy

Rebutting More Coronavirus Disinformation

Coronavirus vaccine disinformation is easily accessible on the internet. If not written summaries that selectively quote different, but not necessarily reputable sources, then a video of someone of stature  providing a misleading summary of the state of affairs. The underlying message: the Coronavirus is not dangerous, but the vaccine is.

Since I’ve written a few articles countering this disinformation, I have been the further recipient of such type articles/videos..

For instance, in this interview, Dr. Harvey Hirsch and his interviewer (Mr. Avi Abelow) make a number of misleading statements, either directly or indirectly. While I didn’t listen to all of the interviews, I did research the claims I heard. Below I offer rebuttals.

First, their conversation implies that it is better to rely on early treatment rather than the vaccine. However, Dr. Hirsch admits that the treatment is 75% effective at reducing death. The implication is that a 25% death rate is acceptable, in lieu of the vaccine (where the mortality rate from Coronavirus is much lower). There is a claim that the vaccine is dangerous, experimental (even though it has been officially approved by the FDA) meaning it is dangerous. Yet, considering the number of people who have received the vaccine, one should ask: Where are all the injured, maimed, and dead? They should be overflowing our hospitals, but they are not.  In fact, vaccinated people are less likely to die of any cause.

Regarding treatments. There are studies that claim a reduction in hospital stays and deaths when Ivermectin is used. Here, though, the results were uncertain. Dr. Risch notes that these medicines should be given early to be effective. However, Coronaviruses have evolved to evade immune responses. This means that the virus can proliferate in the body before there is any reason to suspect one is sick (rendering early treatment inapplicable).

They cast doubt on the FDA by making a false claim. The FDA’s message, we’re told, is that Ivermectin is for horses. This is the reason it hasn’t been approved for treatment, when in fact it has been prescribed for human use (just not yet recommended as a treatment for the virus). The FDA actually claimed that there are different forms of the medicine and that the form for animals could be very detrimental to human health.

Regarding Hydroxychloroquine, another suggested cure, it was not found to be effective. Yet a recent study suggests that an antidepressant effectively reduces hospitalization, perhaps putting lie to the supposition that good news is being suppressed.

The interviewer and interviewee claim that doctors and hospitals are not allowed to give inexpensive medicines because the hospitals make more money from expensive medicines. We are told of a brave few (hundreds, thousands?) who are rebelling against the tyranny of the system. However, hospital stays cost the hospitals and insurance companies money. So, one would expect at least one, if not both to fight for less costly cures (if not for financial reasons, at least for moral reasons). Oh, but we’re told that this is less expensive than end of life care. One can only add so many absurdities.

Another claim is that the death rate is just 1%. In fact, the death rate in the US is 2%. Moreover, the death rate varies by age. For those over age 50, my previous blog showed that it ranges from about 2 to 20% (rising with age). Hence, to suggest that the virus is not dangerous is misleading. It’s also misleading because typical flu mortality rates are just 1/4 of that.

Last, the claim is made that big pharmaceutical companies control government policy, and this is the reason that governments around the world are “scaring” people into being vaccinated. When I asked Mr. Abelow for evidence, none was provided. Also, when one accepts a conspiracy theory, one needs to ask yourself, would the governments of the United States, Europe, England, Canada, Australia all be under the influence of a Cabal of pharmaceutical companies? I know that lobbyists can influence policies, but there are many and they compete against each other. Might it be more believable if I told you that Spectre is the Cabal really controlling our governments and hence us?

I do not claim to refute all claims within, but these struck me as the most grievous.

As a further note, there has been debate over whether the vaccine should be given to 5 to 11 year olds. The FDA advisory board now recommends its use, and this study shows that it could have wide benefits for children, and for society as a whole.

Barry Lynn

About the Author
Dr. Barry Lynn has a PhD in Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology. He is a researcher/lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the CTO of Weather It Is, LTD, a weather forecasting and consulting company.
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