Published:November 5, 2021
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Tuesday held a roundtable discussion on federal COVID vaccine mandates with a panel of people injured by COVID vaccines and scientists from some of the most prestigious research organizations in the world, including The BMJ and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Peter Doshi, a senior editor at The BMJ and associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, and Retsef Levi, a health system and analytics professor at MIT, expressed doubts about COVID vaccine efficacy and the failures of the scientific community.
“I’m saddened we’re super-saturated as a society right now in the attitude of ‘everybody knows,’ which has shut down intellectual curiosity and led to self-censorship,” said Doshi.
Doshi said we’re not in a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” If hospitalizations and deaths are almost exclusively occuring in the unvaccinated “why would booster shots be necessary?” Doshi asked. “And why would the statistics be so different in the UK, where most COVID hospitalizations and deaths are among the fully vaccinated?”
“There’s a disconnect there, and something to be curious about,” Doshi said. “There’s something not adding up.”
Doshi argued the public was lied to in early 2021, when health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, claimed COVID vaccine trial data proved the vaccine saved lives.
After presenting the trial data for the vaccines authorized for use in the U.S., Doshi pointed out “there were similar numbers in the vaccine and placebo groups.” He argued those “who claimed the trial showed the vaccine was highly effective in saving lives were wrong” and that “the trials did not demonstrate this.”
Doshi talked about anti-vaxxers and criticized the official definition of the term. He presented the panel the official Merriam-Webster definition of anti-vaxxer: “A person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccination.”
“The second part [of the definition] stunned me,” said Doshi.
“There are entire countries from the United Kingdom to Japan which do not mandate childhood vaccines,” he said. “There are no mandates, and I would wager that perhaps a majority of the world’s population meet this definition of an anti-vaxxer.”
Doshi told the panel that “vaccine” is another definition “worth checking on.”
“I argue these products which everyone calls MRNA vaccines are qualitatively different from standard vaccines,” Doshi said. “So I found it fascinating to learn that Merriam Webster changed the definition of vaccine early this year.”
“mRNA products did not meet the definition of vaccine that has been in place for over 15 years, but the definition was expanded such that mRNA products are now vaccines,” Doshi said.
He then argued that just because we’re calling the COVID shot a “vaccine” doesn’t mean “these new products are just like all other childhood vaccines which get mandated.”
“Each product is a different product, and if people are OK with mandating something simply because it’s a vaccine, I believe it’s time to inject some critical thinking into the conversation,” Doshi said.
He also criticized the fact that society is vaccinating and mandating the vaccine for large portions of the public despite the raw data on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines not being available yet.
“So while we are told to keep following the science, what we are following is not a scientific process based on open data, we are following a process where the data are secret, and in my view there is something very unscientific about that,” Doshi said.
Levi told the panel “scientists in the most prestigious journals assert that the vaccine is safe, failing to report on serious side effects such as deaths.”
He explained that national emergency services calls in Israel for cardiac arrest among young individuals under 40 years old saw a dramatic increase — more than 25% — in parallel to the COVD vaccination campaign.
“We wrote an academic paper raising concerns regarding these statistics and called on the authorities to check on this … needless to say they never got back to us.”
Levi claimed the government attempted to censor the research by calling its credibility into question. “They called the research fake,” Levi said.
Levi warned the panel:
“These vaccines have serious and unknown side effects, and we need to use them with caution.”
Watch here (Doshi starts at 1:18:40 and Levi starts at 1:49:07):