Michelle Utter, a health care worker and single mother of grown sons who are active-duty military, said she was in great physical shape—running, working out, and martial arts—until she took the Pfizer vaccine for COVID.
Utter described the ordeal she’s been through for the last two years—physically, trying to do her job and facing resistance and silencing from the Florida hospital that employs her. She’s not allowed to say, “vaccine injury.” She’s been on IV infusions for 17 months.
Another vaccine victim, Steven Ordonia, a retired law enforcement officer and military veteran, talked about his ordeal, which began when he received the Pfizer booster shot in December 2021.
“And from that day on, my life has been turned upside down,” with numerous trips to the emergency room, joint pain, muscle twitching, and convulsions.
“I was convinced at the time I was having a mental breakdown, and that’s what was causing all the symptoms. I contemplated suicide several times.”
As a reminder to all that public health policy has real consequences, the two spoke at a round table on Dec. 13 led by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The governor convened a panel of experts—primarily researchers who had tried to warn about problems with the vaccines—and launched a grand jury investigation into vaccine problems and how they were dealt with or covered up.
The researchers will sit on the state’s new Public Health Integrity Committee.
Researcher after researcher talked about how the public health establishment suppressed information: that the vaccines often don’t pass risk-benefit analysis. How sometimes-fatal myocarditis has emerged as a side effect. How the vaccines’ rates of complications were far higher than those of most approved vaccines. How countries like Denmark, rather than mandating children take the vaccine, now don’t allow them to take it. How lower COVID mortality among vaccine users is often offset by higher mortality from other causes.
They, DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladopo excoriated a medical establishment that, in DeSantis’ words, “wanted to just cocoon themselves from any criticism, and to try to denigrate anybody that had a different way of thinking.”
‘Largest Blunder in Human History’
“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that all decision-making surrounding COVID amounts to the largest blunder in human history,” said Bret Weinstein, a former evolutionary biology professor at Evergreen State College.
“That’s happened over and over again, even for very prominent scientists,” he said.
“A lot of the censorship that’s happened of scientific discussion comes from the top.”
Bhattacharya and another round table participant, Martin Kulldorff, were two of the three lead authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, signed by over 60,000 doctors and researchers, plus 870,000 others. Made public in October 2020, signers decried the harm of the lockdown.
They urged, until a vaccine became available, a policy of “Focused Protection”: isolating those at greatest risk while allowing others to go about their lives, acquiring natural and herd immunity.
It called for the resumption of everyday life for most people, said basic hygiene like routine handwashing and staying home when sick were sufficient community measures, and described how the vulnerable, such as the elderly, could be best protected at home and in nursing homes.
The declaration was targeted immediately by the head of the NIH, Francis Collins, with “a devastating takedown of the premises of the declaration,” Bhattacharya said.
“The federal officials were working to suppress what they called misinformation, but actually what they suppress is scientific discussion.”
Emergency Room Physician
Joseph Fraiman, an emergency room physician in what he termed “Cajun country” in Louisiana, said that he and six fellow researchers studied “serious adverse events” associated with the vaccines, events the manufacturers themselves defined.
“And what I mean by serious is that you’re either hospitalized, or you were permanently disabled, or dead,” he said.
They wanted to look at them with “a magnifying glass” because the manufacturers “originally reported that there was no harm, there was no serious harm to the vaccines.”
What they found, Fraiman said, “is that there are more of these types of events in the vaccine group than in the non-vaccine, the placebo group.”
“To our surprise, in the Pfizer trial, the first vaccine to go through it was a 37 percent increase in the number of serious adverse events. That was never reported, not by the FDA, not by Pfizer,” he said.
“In fact, Pfizer says—I may get it wrong verbatim—but they said that the incidence of serious adverse events are similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. Thirty-seven percent is not similar. It’s actually statistically significantly different.”
And, “it turns out in both Pfizer and Moderna, we had a one in 800 risk of serious adverse events” from the list.
Other vaccines, Fraiman said, have a one in one million or one in two million risk. “One in 800 is disastrous, if true.”
Most people, if they contract COVID now, don’t have a one in 800 chance of being hospitalized, he said.
Researchers with different areas of specialty talked about their findings, perspectives, and experiences, trying to publicize what they’d found.
Ladopo discussed a small, preliminary study in Florida comparing all-cause mortality with cardiac mortality after COVID vaccination. They found two remarkable things: a markedly increased risk of cardiac death in young men, specifically in that age and group, and a failure by most public health officials to acknowledge it.
Christine Stabell Benn, a Danish doctor and researcher at the University of Southern Denmark who videoconferenced in, said the vaccines appear to have “nonspecific events”—greater risk of infection by other diseases.
“I was very concerned when we started recommending vaccines for everybody because I simply didn’t think that the vaccines have been investigated thoroughly enough for nonspecific events. In fact, they haven’t been investigated (at all) for nonspecific events,” she said.
“This means that particularly for children and young people who weren’t at a high risk for COVID-19, I was concerned that nonspecific effects might outweigh or exceed … the benefits achieved from the specific protection against COVID-19.”
Danish public health policy now only recommends booster COVID vaccinations to those over 50 except those at severe risk, and immunization of children has stopped altogether.
As of a few weeks ago, she said, COVID is now regarded in Denmark like any other respiratory disease. “It’s really nice to be here (in Denmark),” she said. “Life goes on as it used to do before COVID. Nobody pays attention to COVID-19 anymore.”
‘Disregarded Basic Principles’
He and others who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration argued for a different approach: better-focused protection for high-risk old people while keeping schools open and not locking down the rest of society.
“I think now, over two years later, we have been proven right. Florida and Sweden were two exceptions to the strategy, and both Sweden and Florida have come out on top when it comes to both COVID mortality and, even more importantly, to all-cause mortality,” Kulldorff said.
Sweden has among the lowest rates in Europe. “I think it’s very tragic what we have gone through by mismanaging this pandemic so thoroughly.”
Weinstein discussed the high personal cost of his dissent from COVID orthodoxy.
“There was a radical inversion of the normal medical order of things in this pandemic,” Weinstein said.
“The relationship between doctor and patient is essentially an intimate, sacred relationship. And what happened here is that there was a coup, in which what was swapped in place of that relationship was public health wisdom from bureaucrats,” he said.
“And the problem is that, had we not done anything coordinated with COVID, we would have learned clinically how to treat it. Doctors would have followed hunches. They would have tried things out. They would have discovered what worked and what didn’t. They would have talked to each other, and we would have gotten good at treating COVID.
“Instead, what happened was the policy came down from on high, instantaneously, and fully formed. And then that policy was protected with these draconian censorship measures. With slander.”
The system wasted the narrow window of time when it might have contained the virus’ spread.
“So, at this point, we have millions needlessly dead. We have trillions of dollars of wealth that have been destroyed, and the vital systems that humanity depends on have been stressed to their very limit. But worse than that, we have now made this virus into a permanent fellow traveler of humanity.”
‘Afraid to Speak Up’
Bhattacharya said he had been accused of being a fringe epidemiologist.
“The illusion is that there was a scientific consensus, that everybody, all the smart people, agreed. But actually, that was never true. The censorship was used to create that illusion of consensus,” he said.
He called out U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who put in place a policy to identify misinformation online and then gave out instructions for suppressing it to media and social media companies.
“You can’t have good public health policy in this kind of environment,” Bhattacharya said.
“People are afraid to speak up … Even qualified people are afraid to say no because they’re afraid that they’ll also get called ‘fringe.’ They’ll lose their ability to make a living, they’ll lose their reputation, and they stay silent as a result. Scientists always disagree with each other.”
Tracey Hoeg, a physician and epidemiologist at UC San Francisco, talked about how the California Medical Board got a bill through the legislature “telling physicians what they are and aren’t allowed to say to their patients, and that’s specifically related to COVID.”
DeSantis said, “The rule of thumb for us in Florida is whatever they do (in California), we do the opposite.”
His administration plans to move through Florida’s upcoming legislature a bill “that actually protects physicians’ First Amendment rights, and it protects their right to dissent from orthodoxy and from the establishment.”
Loss of Trust
“Fewer people are getting traditional vaccines,” he said.
“This isn’t just, you know, anti-vax people. This is people who really lost trust in the system.”
Fraiman interjected that parents listening to the round table should not apply what they heard about the COVID vaccines to most other vaccines, which have nearly no side effects.
DeSantis listed various actions Florida had taken against federal lockdown policy and preserving individual rights.
“If you left your house, you’re almost like a bad person,” DeSantis said of the lockdown rules. “Until you started to have the George Floyd protests. And you had massive numbers of people that are meeting to protest.
“And these public health people wrote a letter, which like hundreds, maybe thousands of them signed, saying, ‘yes, we don’t think you should be leaving your house normally, but we endorse the protest,’ and basically said it was important that people went out even in big groups and protested.”
But they wouldn’t endorse other protests such as those against lockdowns, DeSantis said. “If that just didn’t take the mask off and just show, you know, that this is all a huge political farce,” he said.
“They have totally squandered any type of confidence or goodwill that people would have.”
Source: The Epoch Times