A fringe, pro-Trump medical group perhaps best known for having a notorious coronavirus observer fixated on the alleged medical dangers of demon semen filed a motion Monday demanding that the COVID-19 vaccinations be kept in check. the United States is interrupted.
Among other wild claims in the predictably absurd document, the motion to ban “America’s Frontline Doctors” falsely claims that the three vaccines approved for emergency use in the US don’t actually control the spread of the deadly virus. restrain. Also: that the coronavirus is not a public health emergency. This is the same pandemic that has killed more than 600,000 Americans and has shown signs of a nationwide resurgence in recent days with the extra-contagious Delta strain, which almost exclusively harms unvaccinated people.
But the madness doesn’t stop there. Fears are that a motion like this, which may be legally hopeless but targeting the US Department of Health and Human Services, could have a real and pernicious impact as the Biden administration battles vaccine misinformation across the country.
dr. Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and virologist at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, believes the twisted claims in Monday’s motion are far more dangerous than a mere “anti-vaccine publicity stunt.” In the past week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the daily number of new cases across the country has increased by nearly 70 percent and deaths from the deadly virus have increased by 26 percent. The vast majority of cases, hospitalizations and deaths involve those who have not been vaccinated.
“This will scare people into not getting the vaccine,” Hotez told The Daily Beast. “This motion directly contributes to misinformation about vaccines. It’s dangerous.”
The rhetoric isn’t surprising to the group that once gained an audience with former Vice President Mike Pence and went viral last July for promoting hydroxychloroquine as a suitable treatment for COVID-19. The group was founded by Dr. Simone Gold, who is now accused of participating in the Capital riot, and once stressed Dr. Stella Immanuel, a woman who believes that medical conditions are caused by dream sex with demons and that alien DNA can be used in actual treatment.
As previously reported by The Daily Beast, the group has been targeting COVID-19 vaccines since at least December, when it staged a rally with several conservative influencers and even protested in front of the CDC in Atlanta. The group and their lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
To combat the misinformation, Hotez – a Daily Beast columnist – helped make some of the most bizarre (and false) claims in the “America’s Frontline Doctors” movement that it says “wants to create a show trial to promote anti-vaccination” , to break down.
BOGUS CLAIM 1: The three COVID vaccines do not prevent the spread of COVID-19
In the motion, the group boldly claims that CDC data shows that the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are “not effective in treating or preventing” COVID-19. Hotez notes, however, that the three immunizations “not only reduce symptomatic disease by up to 95 percent and asymptomatic disease in the lower 90 percentile, but they also stop virus shedding.” Simply put, even if the vaccines aren’t 100 percent effective at stopping the spread of the deadly virus, the more people vaccinated, the smaller the spread will be.
“If enough people get vaccinated, you stop the transmission,” he said. “It’s easy.”
Hotez, who has worked on a separate vaccine with colleagues at the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in Houston, also rejected the group’s false claim that the vaccines were developed over a 48-hour window and therefore cannot be safe. Hotez stressed that the current pandemic is the “third major coronavirus pandemic in the last century” and noted that the development of current vaccines is “in no way a new concept”.
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are based on research and development that has been worked on over the last decade,” Hotez said. “Those two vaccines are also mRNA vaccines, which were first identified in the 1960s. So the concept that these two vaccines were developed in two days is just wrong.”
BOGUS CLAIM 2: Vaccines are more harmful to minors than the virus itself
In the motion, the group falsely claims that minors under the age of 18 have a “statistically zero chance of dying from” COVID-19, while the vaccine could predispose them to heart inflammation or myocarditis. The CDC reported about 300 cases of heart problems in younger people last month, but the number is out of the 20 million who have been vaccinated, indicating the number is statistically “extremely rare,” Hotez noted.
“The frequency of myocarditis in young people is about 1 in 70,000. Statistically, that’s nothing to worry about,” he said, adding that there are more cases of young people who have contracted myocarditis from COVID-19 itself than from the vaccine. “The risk of getting myocarditis from COVID-19 is much higher than if you get it from the vaccine.”
BOGUS CLAIM 3: Americans Were Brainwashed By Pandemic Fear — And Wrongly Agreed To Vaccine
In one of the most outrageous claims in the 67-page memo, the group suggests that the nationwide lockdowns that took place last year to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus manipulated Americans into getting the lifesaving jab. It is a movement they say is comparable to ‘authoritarian and totalitarian conditions’.
In an effort to prove the point with a chart seemingly taken directly from the Canadian internet, the group also claims that the guidelines put in place last year are similar to the brainwashing methods used by communists in the 1950s. One of the claims made in the chart is the idea that the government was trying to develop “total surveillance with nanochips and 5G” – false coronavirus conspiracies that are popular on far-right fringes and have been repeatedly debunked by scientists.
“Americans have been brainwashed not to accept COVID vaccines because they have been brainwashed by aggression against vaccines,” Hotez said Tuesday. “They are doing brainwashing with anti-scientific, anti-vaccine aggression. The misinformation is doing more damage.”
BOGUS CLAIM 4: Forcing people who were previously infected to get the vaccine will make them sick
In the motion, the group expressed deep concern about individuals who received the vaccine after previously testing positive for COVID-19, stating that “this population has reported serious medical damage, including death.” However, Hotez pointed out that there is no data to support that claim. He explained that the group was trying to use vaccine-driven disease amelioration — or the phenomenon that immune system components that are supposed to protect against COVID-19 will eventually make individuals sicker — to justify their claim with the right data.
The doctor pointed to a November 2020 “Science Transitional Medine” review, which concluded that the data did not raise any concerns about this amelioration theory “more than appropriate for the development of a viral vaccine.”
“There is no higher death rate for those who receive the vaccine. There’s no evidence linking that to that vaccine,” he said, stating that while the concept was a concern early in vaccine development, there hasn’t been a substantial problem since the vaccine’s rollout in December.
“There is no evidence that people who have had COVID-19 are at medical risk after receiving the vaccine. Their antibody response can handle it.”
Leaving aside the debunked medical claims, Lawrence Gostin, a global health expert from Georgetown University, said that while the motion filed could cause a “legal flood against our vaccination system,” it could disrupt the vaccination process that has been widely successful in the United States. been, won’t stop. States. But like Hotez, he was concerned about the real impact of legal quests like this one.
“This kind [injunction] is a stain on the United States of America. Even the launch of the [motion], come what may — they will lose — underscores to Trump supporters that this vaccine cannot be trusted,” he said. “That’s what will cause thousands and thousands of preventable deaths and that’s completely irresponsible.”