The Critical Fight Against Misinformation

 

Everybody who questions the Official COVID Narrative is some tinfoil-hat-wearing lunatic.

At least that is what the Journal of the American Medical Association wants you to believe.  Dr. Josh Sharfstein of Johns Hopkins University laments the difficulty he has in battling COVID falsehoods.  Those poor American rubes believe such nonsense; how can a poor doctor possibly keep up? It must be especially difficult for someone like Dr. Sharfstein, confined to using C-SPAN and JAMA.  He doesn’t have a platform like Ricochet to reach the masses.

Sharfstein discusses that darn misinformation tricking our poor uneducated citizens.  He describes his interaction with a bumpkin who believes there are microchips in the vaccine.  He then cites a Kaiser Family Foundation study which shows that nearly 80% of American adults believe a false statement about COVID.  Those rubes must all believe the vaccine has been microchipped.

Except the false statement in the Kaiser study was “COVID death totals have been exaggerated.”

Those lies are so pervasive that even the CDC believes it to be true!  They must have fallen for the same misinformation when they admitted that the number of COVID deaths had been exaggerated.  That’s as bad as admitting there are microchips in the vaccine!

As I’m obligated to point out every post: I’m a doctor.  That does mean I can point out that many of the rank-and-file physicians also believe this “misinformation.”  As soon as we get in a private space, our masks come off and we start mocking the latest ridiculous COVID data and rules.  We bemoan the latest shifting goalposts that deny our patients visitations from loved ones or delay their discharge from the hospital.  We laugh about the COVID numbers, knowing that most of the patients came in with a car accident or cancer or some other non-virus based condition.

I’ve also never met a patient who refused the vaccine for fear of a microchip.  None of my colleagues have met such a person, either.  But let’s keep up that motte-and-bailey strategy.

There is hypocrisy inherent in the narrative that we must constrain “misinformation.”  Today’s facts are yesterday’s misinformation.  Uncertainty exists and questioning is a necessary part of the scientific, and political, process.  Believing the death toll might be inaccurate because of the financial incentives hospitals have to inflate the COVID deaths is NOT the same as believing there are microchips in the syringe.  Government using force in restricting the latter inevitably restricts the former which leads to tyranny.

This trend has persisted throughout the pandemic, yet people like Sharfstein insist they need to combat misinformation.  They try to draw a straight line between “questioning the official statistics” to “thinking the vaccine contains a micro chip.”  They demean and insult those of us who question the official narrative, as if nobody besides the JAMA editorial board can interpret a scientific study.

If Sharfstein is in charge, stopping the spread of misinformation means stopping free speech altogether.  I’d rather be a dumb rube.

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  1. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Thank you. We must continue to fight these self-righteous ersatz do-gooders who think the public should be deprived, for its own good, of the right to express a heterodox view.

    • #1
  2. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Trust can be lost at any level of education.  I know a doctor who said:

    We have to use a unique syringe.  Why do we have to use a unique syringe? And why is the plunger tip shaped like that?  I’ve never ever used a plunger with a rubber tip shaped like that.  The volume of the injection is the same as any other vaccine, so why the special plunger?  And why are we told not to aspirate before pushing the injection?  You always aspirate before you push, so that you don’t inject it right into a vein, but the CDC says don’t.

    So, it’s not just the rubes from Podunk who ask questions.

    • #2
  3. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    When science needs to be protected by government censors, whatever the activity is that is being protected might be, it isn’t Science, it’s Lysenkoism. 

    • #3
  4. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    I have been watching the series Dopesick on Hulu.  This series documents how a company (Purdue Pharma) created a market for OxiContin (pain is the 5th vital sign) and a false FDA label (<1% addicting) and some very aggressive marketing to rural community doctors/clinics to foment an addiction epidemic.   I believe similar processes have been in play during Covid.   The FDA works to enrich Big Pharma, the AMA works to enrich doctors, and the American Hospital Association works to enrich hospitals, while nobody advocates for patients.   You would expect Congress or government employees to advocate for the voters, but they are just corrupt and greedy cogs in a money extraction machine.   FYI, Dopesick  is a good watch.

    • #4
  5. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Dr. Craniotomy: darn misinformation tricking our poor uneducated citizens. 

    We should also discuss official misinformation from the government, which is actually “disinformation” since it is intentional.  It seems like all the disinformation leans in the direction of more panic and worse outcomes.   Here are my top disinformation points for Covid-mania:
    * transmission outdoors is likely (do you remember when they arrested that guy surfing?)
    * no talk of vitamin-D boosting
    * downplaying of natural immunity
    * downplaying of anti-viral treatments
    * Covid death mis-attribution
    * surgical masks are effective protection
    * asymptomatic spread

    I know it would have hurt profits, but our CDC should have been promoting vitamin supplements, sunshine, loosing weight, open windows, anti-virals, self-isolating when you are sick.

    • #5
  6. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    I’d like to offer the following modest proposal as regards the new Biden Ministry of Truth:

    1. Each head of the organization should be asked to render a formal opinion about the Russia Collusion narrative, the Hunter Biden laptop, and reporting about the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus.

    2. Then, regardless of the answer, each should be hanged.

    As an example.

    • #6
  7. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Please understand that the AMA speaks for a minority of Docs—I have never joined—and is as full of charlatans and buffoons as any other large organization.

    Regarding comment #4, in the early 2000’s we Docs in Massachusetts were heavily urged by our state society to be more aggressive in treating acute and chronic pain.  Pain was indeed considered a vital sign, and I like that idea.  We Docs work to relieve suffering.  Pain hurts.

    I learned by experience that a large pre-op dose of Celebrex (an NSAID) with gabapentin (a central neuromodulator) and a loading dose of OxyContin, followed by small post-op doses of OxyContin, NSAID and acetaminophen (ie, approaching pain from four angles) on schedule (ie, not waiting for them to wear off) got my hysterectomy patients out of bed quickly and safely with very low complication rates, no pneumonia, no clots.

    This was a true improvement in medical care, even though much of it was based on fraudulent studies (a story for another time).  Purdue’s drug was a Godsend to many of my patients.

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Please understand that the AMA speaks for a minority of Docs—I have never joined—and is as full of charlatans and buffoons as any other large organization.

    Regarding comment #4, in the early 2000’s we Docs in Massachusetts were heavily urged by our state society to be more aggressive in treating acute and chronic pain. Pain was indeed considered a vital sign, and I like that idea. We Docs work to relieve suffering. Pain hurts.

    I learned by experience that a large pre-op dose of Celebrex (an NSAID) with gabapentin (a central neuromodulator) and a loading dose of OxyContin, followed by small post-op doses of OxyContin, NSAID and acetaminophen (ie, approaching pain from four angles) on schedule (ie, not waiting for them to wear off) got my hysterectomy patients out of bed quickly and safely with very low complication rates, no pneumonia, no clots.

    This was a true improvement in medical care, even though much of it was based on fraudulent studies (a story for another time). Purdue’s drug was a Godsend to many of my patients.

    Exactly. 

    Getting up and then walking and moving around are key to recovery, and OxyContin made that possible. 

    I keep wondering about the power of suggestion in relation to the OxyContin problem. My doctors told me it wasn’t addictive, so I didn’t look for changes in my mental state (less anxiety or being able to fall asleep or stay asleep), and I didn’t perceive there to be any changes. It simply and only lessened the pain so I could move around more easily and sleep better. 

    I don’t understand what kind of altered mental state people addicted to it are getting from it. Is it possible it is in their imagination, put there by something they’ve read or heard from other people? 

    • #8
  9. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Please understand that the AMA speaks for a minority of Docs—I have never joined—and is as full of charlatans and buffoons as any other large organization.

    Regarding comment #4, in the early 2000’s we Docs in Massachusetts were heavily urged by our state society to be more aggressive in treating acute and chronic pain. Pain was indeed considered a vital sign, and I like that idea. We Docs work to relieve suffering. Pain hurts.

    I learned by experience that a large pre-op dose of Celebrex (an NSAID) with gabapentin (a central neuromodulator) and a loading dose of OxyContin, followed by small post-op doses of OxyContin, NSAID and acetaminophen (ie, approaching pain from four angles) on schedule (ie, not waiting for them to wear off) got my hysterectomy patients out of bed quickly and safely with very low complication rates, no pneumonia, no clots.

    This was a true improvement in medical care, even though much of it was based on fraudulent studies (a story for another time). Purdue’s drug was a Godsend to many of my patients.

    Exactly.

    Getting up and then walking and moving around are key to recovery, and OxyContin made that possible.

    I keep wondering about the power of suggestion in relation to the OxyContin problem. My doctors told me it wasn’t addictive, so I didn’t look for changes in my mental state (less anxiety or being able to fall asleep or stay asleep), and I didn’t perceive there to be any changes. It simply and only lessened the pain so I could move around more easily and sleep better.

    I don’t understand what kind of altered mental state people addicted to it are getting from it. Is it possible it is in their imagination, put there by something they’ve read or heard from other people?

    If the information in Dopesick is accurate, people would suck or rub off the coating which caused the time delay, at which point they would get the rush.

    I know two people who nearly died from their Oxy addiction. They both left extended hospital stays completely addicted and sent home with nothing. Both were left screaming and begging loved ones to get them “something, anything”, which would have meant going to downtown Pasadena and buying something off the street corner.

    The words “dopesick” referred to the real, actual sickness that people feel when they’re addicted and not on Oxy. The people I know who suffered from it described it as hell.

    The miniseries is worth a watch. Micheal Keaton was outstanding.

    • #9
  10. Dr. Craniotomy Coolidge
    Dr. Craniotomy
    @Craniotomy

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    I have been watching the series Dopesick on Hulu. This series documents how a company (Purdue Pharma) created a market for OxiContin (pain is the 5th vital sign) and a false FDA label (<1% addicting) and some very aggressive marketing to rural community doctors/clinics to foment an addiction epidemic. I believe similar processes have been in play during Covid. The FDA works to enrich Big Pharma, the AMA works to enrich doctors, and the American Hospital Association works to enrich hospitals, while nobody advocates for patients. You would expect Congress or government employees to advocate for the voters, but they are just corrupt and greedy cogs in a money extraction machine. FYI, Dopesick is a good watch.

    The AMA doesn’t speak for doctors.  They proved that when they backed the ACA, especially the provision making it illegal for doctors to own hospitals.  

    • #10
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Annefy (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Please understand that the AMA speaks for a minority of Docs—I have never joined—and is as full of charlatans and buffoons as any other large organization.

    Regarding comment #4, in the early 2000’s we Docs in Massachusetts were heavily urged by our state society to be more aggressive in treating acute and chronic pain. Pain was indeed considered a vital sign, and I like that idea. We Docs work to relieve suffering. Pain hurts.

    I learned by experience that a large pre-op dose of Celebrex (an NSAID) with gabapentin (a central neuromodulator) and a loading dose of OxyContin, followed by small post-op doses of OxyContin, NSAID and acetaminophen (ie, approaching pain from four angles) on schedule (ie, not waiting for them to wear off) got my hysterectomy patients out of bed quickly and safely with very low complication rates, no pneumonia, no clots.

    This was a true improvement in medical care, even though much of it was based on fraudulent studies (a story for another time). Purdue’s drug was a Godsend to many of my patients.

    Exactly.

    Getting up and then walking and moving around are key to recovery, and OxyContin made that possible.

    I keep wondering about the power of suggestion in relation to the OxyContin problem. My doctors told me it wasn’t addictive, so I didn’t look for changes in my mental state (less anxiety or being able to fall asleep or stay asleep), and I didn’t perceive there to be any changes. It simply and only lessened the pain so I could move around more easily and sleep better.

    I don’t understand what kind of altered mental state people addicted to it are getting from it. Is it possible it is in their imagination, put there by something they’ve read or heard from other people?

    If the information in Dopesick is accurate, people would suck or rub off the coating which caused the time delay, at which point they would get the rush.

    I know two people who nearly died from their Oxy addiction. They both left extended hospital stays completely addicted and sent home with nothing. Both were left screaming and begging loved ones to get them “something, anything”, which would have meant going to downtown Pasadena and buying something off the street corner.

    The words “dopesick” referred to the real, actual sickness that people feel when they’re addicted and not on Oxy. The people I know who suffered from it described it as hell.

    The miniseries is worth a watch. Michael Keaton was outstanding.

    I did not know that. That is sad.

    I had experience with codeine, Percocet, and other earlier-generation painkillers, and they did alter my state of mind. But OxyContin never did.

    • #11
  12. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    -snip

    Exactly.

    Getting up and then walking and moving around are key to recovery, and OxyContin made that possible.

    I keep wondering about the power of suggestion in relation to the OxyContin problem. My doctors told me it wasn’t addictive, so I didn’t look for changes in my mental state (less anxiety or being able to fall asleep or stay asleep), and I didn’t perceive there to be any changes. It simply and only lessened the pain so I could move around more easily and sleep better.

    I don’t understand what kind of altered mental state people addicted to it are getting from it. Is it possible it is in their imagination, put there by something they’ve read or heard from other people?

    If the information in Dopesick is accurate, people would suck or rub off the coating which caused the time delay, at which point they would get the rush.

    I know two people who nearly died from their Oxy addiction. They both left extended hospital stays completely addicted and sent home with nothing. Both were left screaming and begging loved ones to get them “something, anything”, which would have meant going to downtown Pasadena and buying something off the street corner.

    The words “dopesick” referred to the real, actual sickness that people feel when they’re addicted and not on Oxy. The people I know who suffered from it described it as hell.

    The miniseries is worth a watch. Michael Keaton was outstanding.

    I did not know that. That is sad.

    I had experience with codeine, Percocet, and other earlier-generation painkillers, and they did alter my state of mind. But OxyContin never did.

    I think that’s why there was initially so much hope for it; supposedly non-addictive, partly because of the coating which caused a time delay, and very very effective at controlling pain.

    Running down the claim of “non-addictive” was especially eye-opening (and horrifying). Everyone should see the mini series just so you quirk an eyebrow when anyone says “according to studies”.

    I’m always sorry when abuse leads to people who need help not being able to get it. The ex-husband of Dennis Prager’s wife committed suicide after not being believed about the level of pain he was in. An autopsy showed he was, in fact, in constant pain.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but stopping the lying of pharma companies and the corruption of regulating agencies would be a good first start.

    • #12
  13. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    Please understand that the AMA speaks for a minority of Docs—I have never joined—and is as full of charlatans and buffoons as any other large organization.

    Regarding comment #4, in the early 2000’s we Docs in Massachusetts were heavily urged by our state society to be more aggressive in treating acute and chronic pain. Pain was indeed considered a vital sign, and I like that idea. We Docs work to relieve suffering. Pain hurts.

    I learned by experience that a large pre-op dose of Celebrex (an NSAID) with gabapentin (a central neuromodulator) and a loading dose of OxyContin, followed by small post-op doses of OxyContin, NSAID and acetaminophen (ie, approaching pain from four angles) on schedule (ie, not waiting for them to wear off) got my hysterectomy patients out of bed quickly and safely with very low complication rates, no pneumonia, no clots.

    This was a true improvement in medical care, even though much of it was based on fraudulent studies (a story for another time). Purdue’s drug was a Godsend to many of my patients.

    Exactly.

    Getting up and then walking and moving around are key to recovery, and OxyContin made that possible.

    I remember hearing that smokers who got hysterectomies had the best outcomes for that very reason. 

    • #13
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    The history of medicine is fraught with experts whose treatments made things worse. 

    Most doctors have a humility born of this knowledge, but health ‘officials’ seem to have developed an immunity. 

    • #14
  15. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Dr. Craniotomy: Today’s facts are yesterday’s misinformation. 

    And vice-versa (adding quotation marks around “facts” and “misinformation.” That we have had so many clear examples of what is “fact” and what is “misinformation” switch places in such a short amount of time is I think very instructive on how difficult and risky it is to try to squelch “misinformation.” 

    • #15
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