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A Forbidden Review: COVID Questions with Scientifically-Sourced Answers

Published in Blog on October 15, 2021 by Edward Douglas Thompson

Some Food for Thought


1. The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine IS NOT FDA approved. It is still EUA and vaccine firms are not held legally liable for issues arising with vaccine use (the approved version, Comirnaty, isn't yet available in the US).

2. COVID vaccines in the young are expected to cause more deaths than they save from COVID infections.
3. COVID vaccines have been associated with severe side effects (even death) within 2 weeks of vaccination.

4. Young males appear especially sensitive to cardiomyopathy adverse events due to vaccination.

5. COVID vaccines have resulted in more deaths reported to the VAERS system than all previous years of all vaccinations on record. 


[1] How bad is COVID?

To get an answer to how bad a disease is, you ask about prognosis: 

"If I get COVID, what's my prognosis?" 

The best answer to that question is the infection fatality rate, shortened to IFR. It's found by dividing deaths by infections (deaths/infections). An IFR is hard to obtain because the denominator (total infections) is often hard to know, except in rare cases such as where everyone is confined on a ship at sea. 

Once you know an IFR, you know how bad a disease is.

Because age matters so much to COVID prognosis, look at two kinds of cases: 

[a] COVID in the "elderly" (used here only for those age "65+")
[b] COVID in kids aged 5 and up

[1a] How bad is COVID in the elderly (age 65+)? 

The COVID outbreak in February 2020 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship (with 3711 on board) represents a natural experiment with the most complete COVID data set available anywhere in the world [1].

It's a rare situation where total COVID infections are known, and enough infections were seen to allow firm conclusions about how bad COVID is. The total infections discovered on the ship came to 696*, as verified by the evacuation report of COVID-positives from the ship [2].

There were 423 total COVID infections in the ~1850 [3] elderly people on board (using age-stratified values from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan [1] and scaling up proportionally to reach 696 total confirmed-positives).

The death tally is estimated to be either 7 or 8* persons, all of them elderly [4,5]. This evidence indicates the following two possible estimates for an elderly IFR for COVID: 

Using 7 deaths total:
Elderly COVID IFR = 7/423 = 0.0165 (or 1.65%), meaning that about 1.5% of the elderly who get infected with COVID are expected to die. 

Using 8 deaths total:
Elderly COVID IFR = 8/423 = 0.0189 (or 1.89%), meaning that almost 2% of the elderly who get infected with COVID are expected to die. 

Note: This differs from the symptomatic "case fatality rate" (CFR) which only divides total deaths by the total of symptomatic COVID cases, but the IFR is a more true and accurate measure of disease virulence.

To find out if an elderly IFR of up to 1.89% for a disease is bad, we need a standard, such as the elderly IFR for seasonal flu.

An average elderly flu IFR was found using CDC data [6] on 6 recent flu seasons from the 2012/13 season forward, skipping the 2017/18 due to suspicious "last-minute altering" of data [7] by CDC (the CDC last altered the numbers for the 2017/2018 season in September of 2021!).

The 6-year average elderly flu IFR comes out to 0.0109 (or 1.09%), meaning that just over 1% of the elderly who get infected with flu are expected to die.

When COVID in the elderly is compared to seasonal flu in the elderly, using the most complete COVID data set that exists (Diamond Princess data), then COVID is estimated to be almost twice as bad as seasonal flu.

Note how different that is from other estimates of COVID supposedly being 10 times as bad as flu. People who think or say that COVID is 10 times as bad as flu need to take a deeper (or a more honest) look at the most complete COVID data set available anywhere in the world: Diamond Princess data.

[1b] How bad is COVID in kids aged 5 and up?

The COVID IFR in kids (age 5 to 14) is 0.00001 (0.001%) [8], meaning that it would take 100,000 infections in kids in order to see an average of one COVID death in kids.

The CDC data [5] uses an age bracket of "5 to 17" for kids aged 5 and up and the 6-year average flu IFR in kids is 0.000045 (0.0045%). If 100,000 kids got flu, at least 4 of them would be expected to die. 

In kids age 5 and up, COVID infections are at least 4 times safer than flu infections (flu is at least 4 times more dangerous than COVID for them). This finding will be important below where the risks associated with COVID vaccines are compared to risks associated with typical vaccines. 

When determining whether to vaccinate kids, the starting point with COVID in kids is that you begin with a disease that is at least 4 times safer for them to get than flu. Now that we know how bad COVID is, at least in two age groups, let's examine how good (or bad) the COVID vaccines are.

[2] How do COVID vaccines compare to typical vaccines in terms of risk?

While a passive surveillance system like the VAERS database isn't great for estimating absolute risk (as not all people report outcomes, some may misreport outcomes, etc.), it is still useful for estimating relative risk, as when there has a been a big change in VAERS reports from before, indicating that risks rose from one year to the next.

By 8 Jan 2021, almost a month after the initial COVID vaccine rollout, 6.69 million COVID vaccine doses had been given, and 55 deaths had been reported to VAERS [9]. The rate of reported deaths per million COVID vaccine doses administered came out to 8.2 reported deaths* per million COVID vaccine doses. 

*More recent VAERS numbers suggest that this figure is on the low end of estimates, and that the rate is even higher than 8.2 reported deaths per million COVID vaccine doses administered.

In order to see if 8.2 reported deaths per million doses is lower or higher than what is typical for vaccines, you can compare it to an 11-year timespan of all vaccine VAERS reports (1991-2001), as analyzed by the CDC in 2003 [10].

The CDC found that the average reported deaths per million vaccine doses was approximately 1.1 reported deaths per million vaccine doses.

The VAERS evidence indicates that COVID vaccines are over 7 times more dangerous to take into your body than typical vaccines. Remember how "dangerous" COVID was for kids aged 5 and up? COVID in kids is only one-fourth as dangerous as flu. 

To vaccinate kids with a vaccine that is over 7 times more dangerous than typical vaccines, for a disease that is over 4 times LESS DANGEROUS to them than typical acute respiratory infections such as flu, would be an instance of medical negligence, if not outright medical malpractice.

It would involve the introduction of above-normal risks in order to avoid below-normal harms.

[3] Can COVID vaccines cause COVID?

A tradeoff exists whenever vaccines are taken. For at least for a short time after taking a dose, your immune system is challenged. After recovering from the initial challenge, the hope is that you come back stronger and with a revved-up immune response should you ever come into contact with the virus again.

In the best cases, the challenge is slight and your eventual immune system response is so strong that you gain strong immunity for long periods without having to undergo much risk at the beginning. In those best cases, the trade-off of taking the vaccine is "worth it" from a pragmatic point of view.

You pay a small cost in the short-run, to get a big benefit in the long-run.

The short-run costs of taking COVID vaccines have not been well reported on. One key reason for that is that typical studies report the illnesses and adverse events found right after vaccine doses as being illnesses and adverse events in the "unvaccinated."

The shell game that is being played here involves waiting a few weeks after vaccine doses before categorizing someone as "vaccinated."

While there is medical logic in waiting a few weeks before ascribing benefits to vaccine doses (because vaccine-induced antibodies take time to build up), there is no medical logic in waiting a few weeks before ascribing harms to vaccine doses.

It makes vaccines "appear" safer than they really are.

Data from the UK [11] indicate that, in the first two weeks following a COVID vaccine dose, you become hyper-susceptible to COVID infection (the infection rate almost doubles from baseline during that first two-week time period).

At the reference cited above, scroll down to "Figure 1: Risk of infection continues to decline over time following first vaccination" in order to  to view the temporary spike in COVID cases seen after people take COVID vaccines into their body.

This means that vaccines at least have a potential to keep the pandemic going, rather than ending it -- as long as a recurring schedule of booster shots are given to the population routinely (to keep their susceptibility to COVID infection high).

This transient hyper-susceptibility to COVID in the first weeks after taking a COVID vaccine would explain the poor performance of COVID vaccines in Israel [12], even though the NPR article just cited tries very hard to find other 'not-vaccine-related' explanations for an unprecedented surge in COVID cases, a surge which coincidentally came in just after their booster shot rollout.

We need to demand that public health officials use proper risk:benefit analysis for policy rather than what they've been engaging in. Dr. Peter McCullough and Professor Harvey Risch are two of the most out-spoken and most-credentialed critics against public policy which runs contrary to evidence and usual procedures. Recently interviewed together on The Laura Ingraham Show [13], Dr. McCullough goes so far as to say that public health policy has crossed over into medical malfeasance now.

We deserve better, and we must demand better. That means no more vaccine-pushing but, instead, using safe and effective treatments. The progressives used to say "My body, my choice" with regard to laws around abortion. Now the tables have turned, because corporatist elites are in charge now -- and everyone needs to say it to their own public officials.

We must stand up against medical tyranny. There is too much at stake not to. We must resist medical tyranny for ourselves, and even for our children now. The federal government has no business mandating medicine and we desperately need a Convention of States to put the federal government back in its place.

*Endnote: Different estimates exist for total infections on the Diamond Princess, depending on how long you keep counting them. All passengers were off the ship by 24 Feb 2020 (and all crew by 1 Mar 2020), but some reviewers keep on counting cases -- even though everyone had left the ship. With a constant value on number of deaths, adding cases only reduces the IFR though, making COVID out to be less dangerous.

Different estimates exist for total deaths, but all deaths were in the elderly, and only passengers were elderly [14]. Passengers were tested before the crew so that they could disembark by 21 Feb 2020, with a small group of passengers still aboard until 23 Feb 2020. The last symptomatic, confirmed-positive passenger was found on 16 Feb 2020 [3]. 

Considering the last symptomatic, confirmed-positive passenger was found by 16 Feb 2020, a corrected probabiity distribution on "time from illness onset to death" [4] reveals that any death found after the 8th death on 21 Mar 2020 should not be linked to the Diamond Princess outbreak, as it would lead to a sample of deaths so improbable that it would happen less than 5% of the time by the play of chance. 

Ironically, the WHO [15] estimates that 13 total deaths came from the Diamond Princess (5 of 13 deaths after 21 Mar 2020), something which wouldn't be seen by chance even 1 time in 50,000! Apparently, the officials at the WHO haven't taken a hard enough look into how the laws of probability affect the believability of what they have to say.

Analogy: The chance that the WHO is correct on Diamond Princess deaths -- and that 5 out of 13 total deaths occurred during a time frame when less than 5% of all deaths are expected -- is roughly akin to dealing yourself a straight flush from the top 5 cards of a well-shuffled deck: It only happens in about 1 in every 72,000 tries! In short, on this particular matter anyway, their words are simply not believable.


[1] National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan. "Field Briefing: Diamond Princess COVID-19 Cases, 20 Feb Update" Online: Accessed 10 Oct 2021.
[2] Anan, Hideaki et al. “Medical Transport for 769 COVID-19 Patients on a Cruise Ship by Japan Disaster Medical Assistance Team.” Disaster medicine and public health preparedness vol. 14,6 (2020): e47-e50. doi:10.1017/dmp.2020.187
Pull-quote from above (emphasis added): "In total, 769 patients, including 696 with COVID-19, required transport to a hospital." 
[3] Emery, Jon C et al. “The contribution of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections to transmission on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.” eLife vol. 9 e58699. 24 Aug. 2020, doi:10.7554/eLife.58699
[4] Russell, Timothy W et al. “Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, February 2020.” Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin vol. 25,12 (2020): 2000256. doi:10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.12.2000256
[5] The Mainichi (Japan). "70-year-old Canadian man who was on Diamond Princess cruise ship dies." 21 Mar 2020. Online: Accessed 12 Oct 2021.
[6] CDC. "Disease Burden of Flu" Online: Accessed 10 Oct 2021.
[7] CDC. "Estimated Flu-Related Illnesses, Medical Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States — 2017–2018 Flu Season" Online:
[8] O'Driscoll, Megan et al. “Age-specific mortality and immunity patterns of SARS-CoV-2.” Nature vol. 590,7844 (2021): 140-145. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2918-0
[9] Lv, Gang et al. “Mortality Rate and Characteristics of Deaths Following COVID-19 Vaccination.” Frontiers in medicine vol. 8 670370. 14 May. 2021, doi:10.3389/fmed.2021.670370
[10] CDC. "Surveillance for Safety After Immunization: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) --- United States, 1991--2001" Table 1 for vaccine doses. Table 9 for reported deaths. Online: Accessed 13 Oct 2021.
[11] UK. Office of National Statistics (ONS). "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey technical article: analysis of positivity after vaccination, June 2021 " Figure 1: Risk of infection continues to decline over time following first vaccination. Online: Accessed 13 Oct 2021.
[12] NPR. "Highly Vaccinated Israel Is Seeing A Dramatic Surge In New COVID Cases. Here's Why" by Daniel Estrin. 20 Aug 2021. Online: Accessed 13 Oct 2021.
[13] The Laura Ingraham Show. "'Ingraham Angle' on Biden's handling of COVID" Online: Accessed 13 Oct 2021.
[14] Tsuboi, Motoyuki et al. “Epidemiology and quarantine measures during COVID-19 outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked at Yokohama, Japan in 2020: a descriptive analysis.” Global health & medicine vol. 2,2 (2020): 102-106. doi:10.35772/ghm.2020.01037
[15] WHO. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Situation Report – 88. Online: Accessed 12 Oct 2021.

A note about Digital Object Identifiers (doi) that are used by some of the references above: To use a doi to look up a document, you can go to and copy the number into the search prompt on the right side of the page.

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