Plague of Corruption

Plague of Corruption:  Restoring faith in the promise of science
Judy Mikovits & Kent Heckenlively

ISBN 978-1-5107-5224-5 (2020)  221 pages

In his 1961 Farewell Address, President Eisenhower famously warned about the “Military-Industrial Complex”.   Less well remembered is that in the very next section of that speech, Eisenhower warned about the dangers of the politicization of science, as research became increasingly expensive and dependent mainly on government funding.  Eisenhower knew what he was talking about.  He had been President of Columbia University after leaving the US Army.  A monopoly in research funding is potentially as harmful as a monopoly in any other area.

The politicization of science is now glaringly obvious in Politically Correct but scientifically dubious dogma such as the Lock Down scam, the Climate Change scam, the Renewable Energy scam, the Peak Oil scam.  Scientific researchers have in too many cases traded objectivity for a research grant. Outside-the-box thinking is not respected, not encouraged, and — most importantly — not funded.

Dr. Mikovits has paid a heavy price for asking Politically Incorrect scientific questions about the vaccines used to treat certain viral diseases.  She went from being awarded government research grants worth several million dollars and publishing award-winning papers in scientific journals to being a non-person, an outcast held in jail for 5 days without even being charged.  The clear message to all government-funded researchers is – Stick to the politically approved script!

This should be a fascinating story, complete with run-ins with such unsavory bureaucrats as Anthony Fauci.  Unfortunately, Dr. Mikovits – how to say this without annoying the distaff side of the Ratburger community? – writes like a teenage girl talks.

An attorney told his colleague after speaking with Dr. Mikovits:  “… I don’t know if the case is hard because the client [Mikovits] is so emotional and tortured by the factual circumstances that she has trouble articulating herself …”.  (p. 49)  The first act of her current attorney was to go to the judge and ask for time to redraft Mikovits Pro Se 42 USC 1983 complaint.  “I need to talk to my client and figure out what this case is really all about”. (p. 50).  After one particularly dense jargon-rich paragraph in this book, Dr. Mikovits added:  “My coauthor, Kent, is always telling me I need to simplify things and break it down so that the lay reader may more clearly understand my points.  But realize that to me, the above paragraph is perfectly clear”.   (p. 121).  This reader concludes that Dr. Mikovitz is not a good communicator, but she is open & honest.

Dr. Mikovits has been lumped in with “anti-vaxxers”, who are apparently as far beyond the Politically Correct scientific pale as those dreadful “Climate Change Deniers”.  However, it seems the heart of her concern is not so much with vaccinations as with potential safety problems with current manufacturing processes for anti-viral vaccines.  Given her writing style, it is a challenge to understand precisely what those concerns are.  She emphasizes that in order to work with a virus, it is necessary to grow it.  This seems to require finding some tissue in which the virus can be persuaded to multiply – and that tissue often is from an animal such as a mouse or a monkey.  This sets up a situation where a vaccine may unknowingly be contaminated with other viruses, helping viruses to jump from animals to humans.  Additionally, the vaccines manufactured from animal tissue may unintentionally activate suppressed segments in human DNA, with unforeseen effects.

Who could be opposed to making vaccines safer?  Dr. Mikovits focuses most of her ire on dastardly pharmaceutical corporations.  However, her own text seems to point the finger more at venal politicians, the lawyers who manipulate them, the bureaucrats who control vast research budgets, and the research scientists who put their careers first.

In an ideal world, all vaccines would be totally safe.  But this world is far from ideal; despite our best efforts, rockets sometimes explode and bridges occasionally fall down.  The practical approach is to learn from our failures, and keep pushing the frontiers of knowledge forward.  This brings us nose-to-nose with real world occurrences of the kind of theoretical dilemmas so beloved by philosophers.  Dr. Mikovits mentions: “Forty-five million Americans took a defective Swine Flu vaccine in 1976, with several hundred developing Guillain-Barre syndrome and suing for their injuries”.  (p. 114).  It is very unfortunate that several hundred people suffered from the vaccine, but how many of the 45 Million who took the vaccine were saved by it from illness or death?  Even accepting our vaccines are less than perfect, would it be moral to put 90,000 people at risk of Swine Flu by not vaccinating them  in order to avoid harm to 1 person – especially when that 1 person might catch Swine Flu & die anyway if not vaccinated?  Reasonable people can certainly have valid different views about this.

Perhaps Dr. Mikovits’ view on the moral quandary created by imperfect vaccines might have been influenced by her experiences since being defenestrated from the insular world of government-financed science.  She has apparently spent a lot of time working for attorneys suing the government in “Vaccine Court” (established under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act) where she has been focused on the relatively few sad cases which went wrong rather than on the very much larger number of cases where the vaccine helped.

Things that most of us don’t know:  the 1986 Act removed liability for defective vaccines from pharmaceutical companies and set up this special court where Department of Justice lawyers defend the government against any claims for harm to children caused by vaccines.  To date, the Vaccine Court (meaning all of us taxpayers & consumers, somehow or other) has paid out more than $4 Billion in claims to children injured by vaccines (p. 114).  From this reader’s perspective, resources that should have been invested in broad scientific research to make vaccines safer for everyone have instead presumably helped many a lawyer to afford an attractive second home in Vail with a color-coordinated Maserati.

The impression Dr. Mikovits’ book left with this reader is that science is still paddling in the shallow waters at the edge of the very deep ocean of biology.  Current vaccines can do a lot to protect us from diseases, but there is still much we do not understand and consequently some unfortunate individuals will suffer unintended ill effects.   The only people who benefit from the current system of seeking individual redress through the courts are greedy lawyers.  And the progress of scientific understanding suffers in a world in which political fashions and bureaucratic infighting constrain directions of research.

President Eisenhower’s warning about politicized research was appropriate.  But devising a less-politicized funding system for expensive research is a challenge – one which we humans have so far ducked.

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4 thoughts on “Plague of Corruption”

  1. I have many thoughts about this topic that I can’t put down at the moment. For now, I want to compliment you on this excellent review of the book, and of the topic in general. I’ve watched one or two videos by Dr. Mikovits and she seems to be onto something.

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  2. I DEMAND DIVERSITY IN ALL WUHAN VIRUS ENDEAVORS!

    Wuhan virus precipitates whole-body soft tissue failures without any evident selectivity patient to patient.   What else does that?  Scurvy.  Try a gram or two of IV ascorbate/day first thing and for a few days.   Harmless, inexpensive, in vast supply,  and FDA pre-approved!  That’ll take the Federal fundings out of their pockets.

    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2020/08/21/exclusive-insider-at-pr-giant-publicis-groupe-reveals-far-left-racism-spreading-through-woke-capitalism/
    … The sour joke is that after they finish slashing open the Golden Goose of Capitalism, there will be no golden eggs inside.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blood_River
    … 15,000 Zulu warriors versus 464 Voortrekkers, Sunday 16 December 1838
    … 3000+ dead Zulu, three lightly wounded Voortrekkers.

    They can’t even run their own lives, I’ll be damned if they’ll ruin mine.  Support evolution – shoot back.

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  3. Gavin Longmuir:
    In his 1961 Farewell Address, President Eisenhower famously warned about the “Military-Industrial Complex”.   Less well remembered is that in the very next section of that speech, Eisenhower warned about the dangers of the politicization of science, as research became increasingly expensive and dependent mainly on government funding.

    I re-read the speech. From his position in the war, as well as his largely absentee stint at Columbia, Ike got a close look at the scientific-academic-industrial complex. In his letter of resignation from the American Physical Society (APS) in 2010, Hal Lewis recalls Ike’s speech:

    When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).

    How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs.

    Lewis quit because of the “global warming scam” (his words) but there are plenty of other examples of corruption in the scientific enterprise. A more recent one is the APS’s emphasis on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DIE). (They’ve since changed it to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity for obvious reasons.) That was last year, well before the  more recent explosion of riots and associated virtue signaling.

    The APS was once “dedicated to the advancement and diffusion of the knowledge of physics.” That purpose has long since been supplanted by other, more pressing ones. Whither science? Let’s hope it’s not going to be necessary to destroy science to save it.

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  4. Gavin Longmuir:
    Dr. Mikovits has been lumped in with “anti-vaxxers”, who are apparently as far beyond the Politically Correct scientific pale as those dreadful “Climate Change Deniers”.

    I can see how that might happen; there is an air of kooker in her videos. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong. However, she might be less than objective. I’m all for vaccines as long as they have been testing to the extent that there is a clear risk-benefit advantage. This does not seem to have been the case with the swine flu vaccine, where the risks outweighed the benefits.

    The same may well apply to a WuFlu vaccine since the chances of death for most people are minute. Subjecting an entire population to such a vaccine requires an extraordinary level of validation, one that seems unlikely to be met before the vaccine is widely deployed. In the rush to get something out there, they’ll be cutting corners. That would be fully justified for a disease with a high mortality but this ain’t one of those. Given the performance of the political class and their public health operatives in the current crisis, I fully expect any problems to be downplayed or suppressed entirely. We will only find out about the damage much later, if ever.

    As an aside, a colleague was struck with Guillain-Barre syndrome about 15 years ago. He almost died and it messed him up for the rest of his life. Something like that will really put you right off poorly tested vaccines.

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