Covid19 – the final nail in coffin of medical research
Jul 7, 2021
Several years ago, I wrote a book called Doctoring Data. It was my attempt to help people navigate their way through medical headlines and medical data.“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.”
One of the main reasons I was stimulated to write it, is because I had become deeply concerned that science, especially medical science, had been almost fully taken over by commercial interests. With the end result that much of the data we were getting bombarded with was enormously biased, and thus corrupted. I wanted to show how some of this bias gets built-in.
I was not alone in my concerns. As far back as 2005, John Ioannidis wrote the very highly cited paper ‘Why most Published Research Findings are False’. It has been downloaded and read by many, many, thousands of researchers over the years, so they can’t say they don’t know:
Moreover for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”
Marcia Angell, who edited the New England Journal of Medicine for twenty years, wrote the following. It is a quote I have used many times, in many different talks:
It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.”
Peter Gotzsche, who set up the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, and who was booted out of said Cochrane collaboration for questioning the HPV vaccine (used to prevent cervical cancer) wrote the book. Deadly Medicine and Organised Crime [How big pharma has corrupted healthcare].
The book cover states:
The main reason we take so many drugs is that drug companies don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs…virtually everything we know about drugs is what the companies have chosen to tell us and our doctors… if you don’t believe the system is out of control, please e-mail me and explain why drugs are the third leading cause of death.”
Richard Smith edited the British Medical Journal (BMJ) for many years. He now writes a blog, amongst other things. A few years ago, he commented:
Twenty years ago this week, the statistician Doug Altman published an editorial in the BMJ arguing that much medical research was of poor quality and misleading. In his editorial entitled ‘The scandal of Poor Medical Research.’ Altman wrote that much research was seriously flawed through the use of inappropriate designs, unrepresentative sample, small sample, incorrect methods of analysis and faulty interpretation… Twenty years later, I feel that things are not better, but worse…
In 2002 I spent eight marvellous weeks in a 15th palazzo in Venice writing a book on medical journals, the major outlets for medical research, and the dismal conclusion that things were badly wrong with journals and the research they published. My confidence that ‘things can only get better’ has largely drained away.”
Essentially, medical research has inexorably turned into an industry. A very lucrative industry. Many medical journals now charge authors thousands of dollars to publish their research. This ensures that it is very difficult for any researcher, not supported by a university, or a pharmaceutical company, to afford to publish anything, unless they are independently wealthy.
The journals then have the cheek to claim copyright, and charge money to anyone who actually wants to read, or download the full paper. Fifty dollars for a few on-line pages! They then bill for reprints, they charge for advertising. Those who had the temerity to write the article get nothing – and nor do the peer reviewers.
It is all very profitable. Last time I looked the Return on Investment (profit) was thirty-five per-cent for the big publishing houses. It was Robert Maxwell who first saw this opportunity for money-making.
Driven by financial imperative, the research itself has also, inevitably, become biased. He who pays the paper calls the tune. Pharmaceutical companies, food manufacturers and suchlike. They can certainly afford the publication fees.
In addition to all the financial and peer-review pressure, if you dare swim against the approved mainstream views you will, very often, be ruthlessly attacked. As many people know, I am a critic of the cholesterol hypothesis, along with my band of brothers…we few, we happy few. In the 1970s, Kilmer McCully, who plays double bass in our band, was looking into a cause of cardiovascular disease that went against the mainstream view. This is what happened to him:
Thomas N. James, a cardiologist and president of the University of Texas Medical Branch who was also the president of the American Heart Association in 1979 and ’80, is even harsher [regarding the treatment of McCully]. ”It was worse than that – you couldn’t get ideas funded that went in other directions than cholesterol,” he says. ”You were intentionally discouraged from pursuing alternative questions. I’ve never dealt with a subject in my life that elicited such an immediate hostile response.”
It took two years for McCully to find a new research job. His children were reaching college age; he and his wife refinanced their house and borrowed from her parents. McCully says that his job search developed a pattern: he would hear of an opening, go for interviews and then the process would grind to a stop. Finally, he heard rumors of what he calls ”poison phone calls” from Harvard. ”It smelled to high heaven,” he says.’
McCully says that when he was interviewed on Canadian television after he left Harvard, he received a call from the public-affairs director of Mass. General. ”He told me to shut up,” McCully recalls. ”He said he didn’t want the names of Harvard and Mass. General associated with my theories.’
More recently, I was sent a link to an article outlining the attacks made on another researcher who published a paper that found that being overweight meant having a (slightly) lower risk of death than being of ‘normal weight. This, would never do:
A naïve researcher published a scientific article in a respectable journal. She thought her article was straightforward and defensible. It used only publicly available data, and her findings were consistent with much of the literature on the topic. Her coauthors included two distinguished statisticians.
To her surprise, her publication was met with unusual attacks from some unexpected sources within the research community. These attacks were by and large not pursued through normal channels of scientific discussion. Her research became the target of an aggressive campaign that included insults, errors, misinformation, social media posts, behind-the-scenes gossip and maneuvers, and complaints to her employer.
The goal appeared to be to undermine and discredit her work. The controversy was something deliberately manufactured, and the attacks primarily consisted of repeated assertions of preconceived opinions. She learned first-hand the antagonism that could be provoked by inconvenient scientific findings. Guidelines and recommendations should be based on objective and unbiased data. Development of public health policy and clinical recommendations is complex and needs to be evidence-based rather than belief-based. This can be challenging when a hot-button topic is involved.
Those who lead the attacks on her were my very favourite researchers, Walter Willet and Frank Hu. Two eminent researchers from Harvard who I nickname Tweedledum and Tweedledummer. Harvard itself has become an institution, which, along with Oxford University, comes up a lot in tales of bullying and intimidation. Willet and Hu are internationally known for promoting vegetarian and vegan diets. Willet is a key figure in the EAT-Lancet initiative.
Where is science in all this? I feel the need to state, at this point, that I don’t mind attacks on ideas. I like robust debate. Science can only progress through a process of new hypotheses being proposed, being attacked, being refined and strengthened – or obliterated. But what we see now is not science. It is the obliteration of science itself:
Anyone who has been a scientist for more than 20 years will realize that there has been a progressive decline in the honesty of communications between scientists, between scientists and their institutions and the outside world.
Yet, real science must be an area where truth is the rule; or else the activity simply stops being scient and becomes something else: Zombie science. Zombie science is a science that is dead, but is artificially keep moving by a continual infusion of funding. From a distance Zombie science looks like the real thing, the surface features of a science are in place – white coats, laboratories, computer programming, PhDs, papers, conferences, prizes etc. But the Zombie is not interested in the pursuit of truth – its citations are externally-controlled and directed at non-scientific goals, and inside the Zombie everything is rotten…
Scientists are usually too careful and clever to risk telling outright lies, but instead they push the envelope of exaggeration, selectivity and distortion as far as possible. And tolerance for this kind of untruthfulness has greatly increased over recent years. So, it is now routine for scientists deliberately to ‘hype’ the significance of their status and performance and ‘spin’ the importance of their research.
– Bruce Charlton: Professor of Theoretical Medicine
I was already pretty depressed with the direction that medical science was taking. Then COVID19 came along, the distortion and hype became so outrageous that I almost gave up trying to establish what was true, and was just made up nonsense.
For example, I stated, right at the start of the COVID19 pandemic, that vitamin D could be important in protecting against the virus. For having the audacity to say this, I was attacked by the fact checkers. Indeed, anyone promoting vitamin D to reduce the risk of COVID19 infection, was ruthlessly hounded.
Guess what. Here from 17th June:
Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are far more likely to die or to end up in severe or critical condition if they are vitamin D-deficient, Israeli researchers have found.
In a study conducted in a Galilee hospital, 26 percent of vitamin D-deficient coronavirus patients died, while among other patients the figure was at 3%.
“This is a very, very significant discrepancy, which represents a big clue that starting the disease with very low vitamin D leads to increased mortality and more severity,” Dr. Amir Bashkin, endocrinologist and part of the research team, told The Times of Israel.”
I also recommended vitamin C for those already in hospital. Again, I was attacked, as was everyone who has dared to mention COVID19 and vitamin C in the same sentence.
Yet, we know that vitamin C is essential for the health and wellbeing of blood vessels, and the endothelial cells that line them. In severe infection the body burns through vitamin C, and people can become ‘scrobutic’ (the name given to severe lack of vitamin C).
Vitamin C is also known to have powerful anti-viral activity. It has been known for years. Here, from an article in 1996:
Over the years, it has become well recognized that ascorbate can bolster the natural defense mechanisms of the host and provide protection not only against infectious disease, but also against cancer and other chronic degenerative diseases. The functions involved in ascorbate’s enhancement of host resistance to disease include its biosynthetic (hy-droxylating), antioxidant, and immunostimulatory activities. In addition, ascorbate exerts a direct antiviral action that may confer specific protection against viral disease. The vitamin has been found to inactivate a wide spectrum of viruses as well as suppress viral replication abd expression in infected cell.”
I like quoting research on vitamins from way before COVID19 appeared, where people were simply looking at Vitamin C without the entire medico-industrial complex looking over their shoulder, ready to stamp out anything they don’t like.
Despite a mass of evidence that Vitamin C has benefits against viral infection, it is a complete no-go area and no-one even dares to research it now. Facebook removes any content relating to Vitamin C and COVID19.
As of today, any criticism of the mainstream narrative is simply being removed. Those who dare to raise their heads above the parapet, have them chopped off:
Dr Francis Christian, practising surgeon and clinical professor of general surgery at the University of Saskatchewan, has been immediately suspended from all teaching and will be permanently removed from his role as of September.
Dr Christian has been a surgeon for more than 20 years and began working in Saskatoon in 2007. He was appointed Director of the Surgical Humanities Program and Director of Quality and Patient Safety in 2018 and co-founded the Surgical Humanities Program. Dr. Christian is also the Editor of the Journal of The Surgical Humanities.
On June 17th Dr Christian released a statement to over 200 of his colleagues, expressing concern over the lack of informed consent involved in Canada’s “Covid19 vaccination” program, especially regarding children.
To be clear, Dr Christian’s position is hardly an extreme one.
He believes the virus is real, he believes in vaccination as a general principle, he believes the elderly and vulnerable may benefit from the Covid “vaccine”… he simply doesn’t agree it should be used on children, and feels parents are not being given enough information for properly informed consent.
When I wrote Doctoring Data, a few years ago, I included the following thoughts about the increasing censorship and punishment that was already very clearly out in the open:
…where does it end? Well, we know where it ends.
First, they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist
Then they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist
Then they came from the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist
Then they came for me, and there was no-one left to speak for me
Do you think this is a massive over-reaction? Do I really believe that we are heading for some form of totalitarian stated, where dissent against the medical ‘experts’ will be punishable by imprisonment? Well, yes, I do. We are already in a situation where doctors who fail to follow the dreaded ‘guidelines’ can be sued, or dragged in front the General Medical Council, and struck of. Thus losing their job and income…
The lamps are not just going out all over Europe. They are going out, all over the world.
Dr Malcolm Kendrick is a General Practitioner living in Macclesfield. He has written three books: The Great Cholesterol Con, Doctoring Data and A Statin Nation. His latest book, The Clot Thickens, outlining a new/old hypothesis on heart disease will be published later this year. He writes a blog Drmalcolmkendrick.org which covers heart disease, medical research, and a great deal about COVID19 – often critical of mainstream thinking.