The email came on a perfectly ordinary morning and was pitched in a cheerful, Dolores Umbridge-like tone. “…Would it be possible to send something your way for comment? Thanks, and all the best, 'Dolores'.” All it was missing was the giggle. Newsguard had found us. Some part of my mind knew something like this was coming, publishing openVAERS.com was never going to be well received by the pharmaceutical industry (and its enablers). Still, I thought, I am a nobody… the site is small and just publishes the data that is already available to anyone who has a mind to look at it. Why would they bother? As our stats and twitter followers increased though it was bound to happen.
We said they could send along their questions and a few days later they appeared. As I was filling them out in good faith I could see with each question the agenda and how they would twist anything I wrote. Their "report" had already been written. I was now in a modern day witch trial, the outcome of which was a foregone conclusion. 3 questions on who we are and who pays (no one, it's volunteer), 2 to tell us they are displeased we don’t include a disclaimer and a full lie about what we claim about the reported injuries and deaths, 3 suggesting we doctor the data (we don’t) and one suggesting that an opinion from experience is untrue because there is no study to back it up… (see the questions and our answers at the bottom of this post.)
Who is Newsguard to be conducting an inquisition? They are a FOR PROFIT company, that provides information to Google and other search engines on how they should rank you. They do not reveal who funds them. Should you choose not to submit to the inquisition, they will publish anyway. There is little choice. Newsguard has created a "red light green light" rating system. Once rated “red”, corporations will withhold advertising from sites that do not meet with their approval (it's literally a system to demonetize, on the internet, all of their political opponents). They want to insert their apps into your browsers in order to tell you what is ‘reliable content’ and what is not. They are the self-appointed gatekeepers of information in the digital age. Once their report on OpenVAERS is published you will likely no longer find OpenVAERS in Google when you type it in the search bar. They seem to operate from the self-serving mantra of "Trust us, we're journalists" as if journalists have never been bought off by large corporations before. Imagine Joseph McCarthy with this tool. Who needs a blacklist? But this is the list; their red and green lights showing what is acceptable for you to read and what is not. This is beyond Joe McCarthy’s wildest dreams.
Missing from this disingenuous set of questions are the questions all people would rightly want to know. Why is the Wonder/VAERS system originally set up by the CDC so incredibly bad? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has had 31 years to get it right, so it begs the question, is their incompetence on purpose, a feature not a bug? The user/frontend of Wonder is bad at revealing data, it’s bad at consistently providing the data, it’s almost impossible for someone not a data engineer to use and get reliable results. On a phone the usability is even worse. The backend is bad at collecting data. We are informed by a healthcare worker who wishes to remain anonymous that “I am concerned that the data (output side) is missing a TON of data across the country and therefore we only see a very small tip of the iceberg. It takes me an hour to enter only 10 patients because it is so tedious - even for the bare minimum requirements and I copy/paste data fast! … My team wrote a SQL query to pull data out of Epic so that it could be reported to VAERS. I run that report daily to pull deaths and other adverse events and then I painstakingly enter them one by one. I will never be caught up.” (Epic is medical management software)
Why are so many CDC/Wonder reports deleted without explanation? Why are they throttling their data weekly? Why would a report be in the data one week and then suddenly disappear the next? Why do they have no objective means for deciding what a signal actually is? Why does there appear to be only one scientist looking at the data at the CDC, Dr. Shimabukuro, and why is he deliberately obscuring it? (Subject of the next blog post we write).
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has already participated in his Newsguard trial and received their predetermined verdict. They don’t actually disprove any of his assertions beyond saying those in authority are not in agreement. This is the new journalism where all you need is an accusation and an appeal to authority and you have what passes for news. And everything old is new again.
I grew up reading The Crucible and learning about the witch hunt and its more modern incarnation, McCarthyism. I never thought to experience this kind of gaslighting in a modern context until my daughter was injured by a vaccine and I started doing my own research. Alex Berenson is the most recent victim of an inquisitorial review in a thoroughly transparent article recently published in The Atlantic [ https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/04/pandemics-wrongest-man/618475/ ]the cover of which is an illustration of him being exed out by... are those bullet holes!? Cancel culture is morphing into totalitarianism. Any real journalist would have written this about Neil Fergusson at Imperial College London who has been wrong so many times in the last 2 decades it’s hard to imagine him not holding the world record for wrongness… but these are the strange times we live in.
While The Atlantic is busily hating on Berenson for daring to actually look at the data and question it, Dr. Peter Hotez is being given free rein in Scientific American [ https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-antiscience-movement-is-escalating-going-global-and-killing-thousands/ ]for some very unscientific diatribing over the dangerous “antiscientists” who are going to kill granny. In a bewildering display of Orwellian finger pointing Hotez states “Antiscience is the rejection of mainstream scientific views and methods or their replacement with unproven or deliberately misleading theories, often for nefarious and political gains.” And then he uses of all people the scientist Trofim Lysenko of the USSR as his example. Can he really be this self-deluded?
In fact, the lesson of Lysenko was that ‘science’ should never be meted out or enforced as government policy. From The Atlantic about Lysenko [ https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/12/trofim-lysenko-soviet-union-russia/548786/ ] “Officials eventually put Lysenko in charge of Soviet agriculture in the 1930s. The only problem was, he had batty scientific ideas.” Sounds strangely like what we are experiencing today. Lysenko used agricultural ‘science’ to promote a Marxist agenda. He had Stalin’s support. He was a government man. But why quibble, right, when you are trying to lead a world-wide witch-hunt against those who question the dogma authoritarians across the world are using in order to usher in hammer-like control of their populations. Hotez is the current government man, the vaccine apologist who along with Tony Fauci and Richard Pan we will one day compare to Lysenko or worse.
The scientist Richard Feynman once wrote “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” Skepticism is essential to the process. The scientific method consists of the following: observation, theory, prediction of result if true, data collection, data analysis, theory refinement and the scrutiny of others. Your data and methods should be open for all to disprove according to Karl Popper. If your theory is sound, the hole-pokers should not matter. This is the point.
Newsguard and other Pharma propagandists are attempting to invert this time-tested procedure. They will claim that reading the actual data and engaging in critical thinking are somehow contrary to science using the CDC’s 2 full pages of disclaimers about their data as the justification. Newsguard’s approach is to use Orwell's 1984 is a user's manual for how to set up a society and their version of the game red light / green light is a Pavlovian conditioning system letting you know to avoid thoughtcrimes that might hurt Pharma profits. And if you ignore their warnings they'll happily track you with cookies so that they can one day report you to the proper social credit scoring system. No society can survive for long with this level of totalitarian surveillance and control. And no one in a free society should ever feel like they have no choice but to submit to a witch trial.
- 1. Who owns OpenVAERS.com? Is this disclosed somewhere on the site, and if not, is there a reason for this?
- We are a small group of parents with vaccine injured children. We had difficulty navigating the VAERS system and decided to create something that was easier for people to use. Due to the political climate the person/people who run the site prefer to remain anonymous.
- 2. How is the site financed?
- The site is built and paid for by the developer who runs it. There are no fees collected. There are no donations taken. The work is all volunteer.
- 3. Who is responsible for what is posted on the site, and does the website provide any biographical or contact information for this person or people? If not, is there a reason for this?
- The person/people who run the site are responsible for what is posted. Who they are is meaningless as there is no editorialization, it is just a presentation of data already available at the CDC’s website. They are not willing to subject themselves to the villification and vitriole that creating something like this would entail in today's climate, where an informational site presenting the CDC’s data may be framed as being “dangerously anti-vax”.
- 4. On its informational pages about VAERS, the U.S. government includes a lengthy disclaimer about the data, including that “reports may include incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental and unverified information” and that “the number of reports alone cannot be interpreted or used to reach conclusions about the existence, severity, frequency, or rates of problems associated with vaccines.” Is there a reason that OpenVAERS.com does not publish a similar disclaimer about the limitations of the data?
- We decided that this was unnecessary. But on our home page we provide a link to HHS.gov. We believe that the vast majority of openVAERS users understand the limits and implications of VAERS data, having been to the VAERS site. We do not need to review Apple’s Software Licensing Agreement each time we use our computers, and think it is similarly unnecessary to review the disclaimer each time accessing openVAERS.
- 5. Similarly, the “COVID DATA” page in particular presents reported adverse vaccine reactions as fact (stating that, for example, as of March 26 there were 2,249 deaths from COVID-19 vaccines and 81 miscarriages). Is there a reason that there is no disclaimer about the unverified nature of the VAERS data here?
- Actually, this is untrue. The headline of that page says "VAERS COVID REPORTS". It is clear that this is the data from the reports. We do not state causality anywhere.
- 6. Does OpenVAERS vet VAERS data at all before publishing it on the website? Are the reports listed in the “OpenVAERS Data” section vetted or modified at all before publication?
- We do not change, modify or vet data. We take the downloads, upload them to our server and put a different face on them so they are easier to browse and get quick accurate info from. There are mistakes in the data (impossible dates are usually the most obvious), clearly, but we leave it as we get it. In the OpenVAERS DATA section, if there are discrepancies between VAERS.HHS.gov and our site this is due to the fact that they change data throughout the timeframe (31 years) weekly but we only update the full dataset yearly. We state the through-date on the home page.
- 7. How often does OpenVAERS update its database?
- We update the full dataset yearly and have been updating 2020-2021 weekly when VAERS releases its data. We note the through date on the page.
- 8. Does the site track and note if the VAERS database retracts or corrects reports?
- All 2020-2021 data is wiped and renewed with the newly available files weekly. The full dataset 1990-2019 was updated and appended in its last update. The next update will be a wipe and add.
- 9. Do you have any information to back up the statement on the “About Our Data” page that “few doctors actually know VAERS exists and if they do only thought it was for a ‘rare’ anaphylactic reaction?” It’s my understanding that physicians are required by law to report certain reactions to VAERS and would be knowledgeable about these requirements.
- Despite the law, I have met few physicians who have heard about VAERS. When I was injured by a flu shot, not one of the treating doctors mentioned it. When my child was injured, not one of her treating physicians mentioned it. My brother-in-law is a doctor and I had to teach him about it. My niece is a doctor and informed me she was taught that vaccine injury is only anaphylaxis--that's it. It is clear from the language on that page that this is opinion formed from experience, no one has done any kind of survey to see doctor's levels of knowledge around VAERS or vaccine injury. If you speak to the 1000s of people who experience injury they almost uniformly say doctors are uninformed about VAERS, do not report, do not acknowledge. In fact, we have heard from some users who are medical professionals who are afraid for their jobs if they report.