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Media Is to Blame for Covid Vaccines’ Wall of Infallibility


The dam wall has finally broken. In the US and Australia, the chapter of silence on reporting Covid-19 vaccine injuries appears to have slammed shut, due in no small part to Christine Middap’s excellent series of reports in the Australian.

Throughout the pandemic criticism of masks or lockdowns was permissible, if frowned upon, but the vaccines attained an almost exalted status that ensured any critics ­­– no matter the quality of their evidence – were unfairly disparaged as “anti-vaxxers,” “cookers,” or simply ignored.

Why this was so remains hard to explain, but some fault must lie with a too credulous, incurious mainstream media, naive to the political and financial forces that pushed governments to eschew the more sensible path of voluntary Covid-19 vaccination.

At the very outset, compelling entire populations to take a scientifically novel vaccine, produced on a political timetable, against a disease that for the bulk of people was a bad cold, was a highly questionable policy, arguably trashing traditional medical ethics about informed consent.

Yet even as it became clear throughout 2021 and 2022 that the experts pushing vaccine mandates had been wrong over and over again, “safe and effective” remained the mantra.

Governments and experts insisted vaccines stopped transmission when they clearly didn’t, even though Pfizer later admitted it hadn’t even studied that question.

There was never a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Breakthrough cases were never “rare.” Indeed, by 2022 it was clear that a big chunk of those dying from or with Covid-19 had been boosted. It remains an awkward fact that far more people have died from or with Covid-19 since the vaccine rollout (which targeted the most vulnerable groups first) than before, a weak prima facie case for a supposedly “highly effective” vaccine.

Warning signs were flashing bright red about safety all along.

Throughout 2021 the US government’s own vaccine injury reporting system, VAERS ­­– for which it is a felony to file a false claim, not to mention time-consuming – suggested a massive, unprecedented increase in potential injuries. Sure, many would be spurious, but how such a surge was largely ignored continues to boggle the mind.

On top of that, most countries are nursing unprecedented and largely unexplained increases in excess mortality, which a recent study from Norway concluded was partly attributable to the share of the population that was vaccinated in 2021, alongside a host of other variables.

Let’s pray that the conclusion, which has received next to zero media coverage, falls apart when it reaches the peer-review stage.

In October, I wrote to Conny Turni, a scientist at Queensland University, after I read her new assessment of Covid-19 vaccines in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology.

“An abundance of studies has shown that the mRNA vaccines are neither safe nor effective, but outright dangerous,” she and co-author Astrid Lefringhausen concluded, arguing the vaccines presented a greater health risk to young healthy people than Covid-19 itself.

It was one of the most shocking things I’d read in years; a detailed review, scrupulously referenced, pointing to the growing plethora of scientific studies around the world that were casting doubt on the effectiveness and safety of the Covid-19 vaccines from 2021.

“The only media attention I have received was from the UK,” she told me when I asked what attention her research had attracted.

“It is very worrying, especially since there are networks here in Australia of doctors and scientists … echoing my findings and they are just not heard.”

The point of a free media is to challenge authority, especially massive incursions on human rights, but many of us became cheerleaders for the health bureaucracy and politicians, assuming all were faithfully acting in the public interest.

It’s well established that the global financial crisis was the product in large part of the capture of financial regulators by powerful banking interests, leading to far lower levels of capitalisation than socially desirable.

Why would the same forces not be at work in medicine, where the biggest pharmaceutical companies, who stood to gain billions of dollars in profit from vaccine mandates, exerted huge influence over regulators, which they themselves fund?

Social media performed abysmally too. The latest batch of Twitter Files revealed a systematic effort by US government-funded NGOs to remove even true stories of vaccine injuries where they could promote “vaccine hesitancy.” In an Orwellian twist of history, any posts throughout 2021 that warned of vaccine passports, mandates, or argued for natural immunity were removed.

“Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is,” Winston Churchill once famously said of truth.

The mountain of bias and ignorance that’s weighed on reporting on Covid-19 vaccines is starting to crumble.

It may very well be that the vaccines did overwhelmingly more good than harm, but with proper media scrutiny the harms could have been less.

Veteran British journalist Piers Morgan recently apologised for his earlier histrionics. It might be an opportune time for many others to follow his example.

Reprinted from the Australian

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Adam Creighton

    Adam Creighton is a Washington Correspondent at The Australian and former Economics Editor (2018-2021). He’s written for The Economist and The Wall Street Journal from London and Washington DC, and authored book chapters on superannuation for Oxford University Press.

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