This Rogan interview with hydroxychloroquine advocate Dr. Peter McCullough is generating a LOT of buzz and considerable confusion.
– [Zubin] All right, everyone, Dr. Z. Okay, I wanna go through the Joe Rogan, Peter McCullough, Dr. Peter McCullough interview that’s generating so much buzz. And normally, I don’t really do this, because I’ve kind of gone throughout the pandemic going through different pieces of information and misinformation, and kind of talking about how we can recognize it, and so on, and I really didn’t wanna dive into this one, because I saw the first 40 minutes, and I talked about it on “The VPZD Show,” the joint podcast I do with Dr. Vinay Prasad, and it was really an emotional response I had watching the first 40 minutes, and going, “Oh, God, this is, “you know, come on, why? “Why?”
But then I noticed something. A lot of people were telling me, “First of all, watch the whole thing, “and instead of emotionally reacting, “why didn’t you actually go through the points?” And I said, “You know what, that’s a valid criticism,” and it can teach us a lot about how to spot what’s real, what’s not, our own biases, and what it actually means for our own decision-making around vaccines, therapeutics, masking, all the other stuff. So let’s go through it. Now, why is this piece so influential that Rogan did? It’s about almost a three-hour interview with Dr. Peter McCullough. Well, Peter McCullough is actually a very credentialed physician, so trained at really good institutions, actually has a expertise in cardiorenal effects, so the connection between the heart and the kidneys, and actually I’ve talked to some people who’ve worked with him in the past, who he’s mentored, et cetera, and they say, you know, “He really does have this expertise in that space.”
And he himself mentions in the beginning, “Look, I have all these credentials. “I’m the most published person in that space,” et cetera, so he’s actually a pretty credentialed guy. Now, the same people that I talked to said, “He’s really gone off the rails since COVID,” because he’s had this sort of monomaniacal adherence to this idea that, you know, hydroxychloroquine and early therapies were the answer. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that if there’s truth to it. But how do we evaluate his claims? Because he’s such a credible guy. He speaks very intelligently, and actually, throughout the interview, when I watched the whole thing at a slower speed, ’cause I initially watched it at 3 1/2 X, ’cause I don’t have the patience, Joe actually asks very good questions. Now, Joe clearly has his own biases, but the questions were quite good. The follow-up wasn’t quite as good. So what I wanna do is go through it all. Now, the first thing we wanna talk about though is why would an interview like this, where these were the key points that McCullough was making, vaccines are neither very safe, nor very effective. That’s one point, and I’m summarizing. Early treatment with multi-drug regimens prior to hospitalization is key to preventing deaths in COVID.
Natural immunity from previous infection with COVID is perfect. It is 100% protective against future disease. This is what he said, and there’s been a overall generalized conspiracy to promote vaccines instead of therapeutics, and this is organized at every level, religious institutions, groupthink, mass hypnosis, international pharma, government, and the idea being it’s a profit motive, right? So let’s try to address why, first of all, why would these ideas be so quickly received by the public? And I’ll tell you, because I’m actually very sympathetic to the moral palate that would really be sympathetic to these ideas, and this is why. From the beginning, our leaders and CDC have flip-flopped on things. They’ve outright lied. Fauci has outright lied about stuff. “Oh, yeah, do masking. “Actually, don’t do masking,” and for whatever reason he changed his mind, one of those things was not right, and he did it intentionally. Public health authorities have oversimplified and over-mandated.
We’ve had, you know, Rochelle Walensky from CDC saying things like, “Masks are 80% effective,” on what data exactly? Our public health officials do a lot of the same signs of misinformation that I’m gonna talk about right now that McCullough shows. And the public is tired of things like lockdowns, the idea that we’re closing schools, and damaging a generation, the economic damage, and the politicization, where the left feels one way, and have their own tribal identifiers, and the right feels another way, and have their own tribal identifiers. So it’s further polarized us, and all of that has been weaponized by social media in the setting of a contagion of fear, panic, economic disaster, social fabric unrest. Of course people are gonna question the dominant narrative, and they should. So first of all, we have to say, “Oh, you know, only dumb people are gonna believe this.” No, wrong. It’s not true, right? So how can we have the tools to actually understand what’s information here, what’s misinformation, what’s bias, what’s not?
Well, the first thing you have to go through is a list of basic things that can recognize when information is either biased, or misinformation, or there’s science denialism, whatever it is, and these are those things. Okay, the first is an idea that there’s a conspiracy, so this idea that there’s some nefarious process to stifle the truth, that there’s a persecuted minority that’s fighting for the truth, and that this is all a coordinated effort to hide something by powers that be, or profit-motivated interests. Now, why is that a problem? Well, because you shouldn’t ever have to rely on that if you have actual science, data, and reason to support your viewpoint. You should not have to appeal to conspiracy. So that’s one sign, okay? The second is impossible expectations to prove you wrong. So whatever information you give somebody, they cannot be convinced that they’re wrong. They will never admit they’re wrong, and they will keep moving the goalposts. So if a new trial comes out, says this doesn’t work, they can just shift the trial, shift their expectation. “Well, you didn’t give it early enough,” you know, and whatever, yeah, so things like that. Now, it’s funny, because you can already say, “Well, yeah, this happens with “the moving goalpost on boosters,” in the mainstream orthodox COVID thesis position of like lockdown, vaccinate everyone, mask two-year-olds, close schools, you know what I’m saying? So you can actually apply some of this broadly. The next thing is cherry picking data to support what you’re saying. So you can always find something to confirm your bias.
You’ll find an expert, you’ll find data, et cetera. And so, picking just a couple trials, or even 10 trials, and saying, “Look, see,” and then ignoring data that argues against your position, right, or belittling it. So that’s entirely very common on all sides of this situation, where why are there sides? We’re just trying to find truth, right? We’re trying to find an alt middle position, okay? The next piece of this is something called fake experts. So fake experts are where, or false authority, right, where you’re saying, “Oh, look, you know, “this guy says this, so therefore it’s true,” and it turns out the guy either doesn’t have the authority to say this, or he’s a fringe position, or she’s a fringe position. So kind of trotting out these fake experts to support a position, and they’re often a fringe minority when there’s a bigger consensus around something else. So that’s another big piece of this. So conspiracy theories, fake experts, impossible expectations, moving goalposts, cherry picking data, and the last one is logical fallacies, so where you see these sort of like straw man arguments, you see internal contradiction, different fallacies, like appeal to a false authority, and we can talk about all this. So let’s go through, with these sort of tools, let’s go through Rogan’s interview with Peter McCullough point-by-point, and try to dissect as best we can where he’s right, where he’s biased, where he’s showing some of these signs of misinformation, and what’s going on. Now, I’ll say this. I actually think, and this is editorializing, so understand my bias.
I like vaccines a lot. I’m very skeptical of therapeutics, because I like vaccines because they use the body’s natural immune defenses and train them, and I trust the body. Therapeutics try to, the treatments try to circumvent what the body does, try to hack around it, and historically, vaccines have a much better idea of preventing disease than therapeutics do about preventing, or treating, just historically. So the pretest probability of a therapeutic working is much, much lower than a good vaccine. So that’s my bias. I also am biased because throughout the pandemic I’ve been dealing with a lot of misinformation on both sides of the political aisle, but it’s, for some reason, the conservative side of the misinformation aisle has been really, really wacky. So you have America’s Frontline Docs with the demon sperm lady talking about hydroxychloroquine, and all of that, and I’ve had to go and debunk these things over the course of the pandemic, and it’s getting tiresome for me. Now, you guys know that me, and Vinay Prasad, and Marty Makary, and Monica Gandhi challenged the mainstream COVID thesis arguments all the time, lockdowns, closing schools, masking two-year-olds, vaccinating five to 11-year-olds across the board, even if they’ve already been infected, ignoring natural immunity, mandating, you know, boosters for kids, mandating boosters for anybody, college campuses mandating boosters now. Stanford is mandating a booster for their students, and they’re closing the campus because of Omicron and going to virtual. I would demand my money back as tuition. These are young, healthy, triple vaccinated people. So you can understand that there’s, you know, there’s bias in my end on all of this. I’m just trying to see where’s this alt middle thing. But one of my important biases, you know, here is this right conservative kind of misinformation is often really rooted in very, very bad science. So that’s my bias, and I’m putting it out there. So you may see it come out, and if you do, call me on it in the comments. All right, so Peter McCullough, let’s start at the top.
So this guy was actually censored as misinformation and pulled off different platforms early in the pandemic because he was arguing for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, and as we know, that was early on politicized. I think that’s a terrible idea. I don’t think you should censor people. I think it backfires. I’ve said this many, many times. We should debate, and talk about it. He’s an internist, a cardiologist. He has a master’s in public health. So an interesting backstory with him, he left Baylor, where he was affiliated before, under a confidential sort of gag order, where they, neither party can talk about why he left. So it’s unclear what happened there, right? But he did get sued by Baylor for using their name while promoting, afterwards, while promoting hydroxychloroquine, and all of that kind of thing. So that’s some of the backstory. He claims, and I’ll go chronologically through Rogan’s interview, he claims that doctors early on didn’t care about early treatment. They were more concerned about their own safety, and PPE, and personal protection. Okay, this is a very, and this is what emotionally triggered me when I was talking to Vinay Prasad on our “VPZD” podcast. This is not entirely true. In fact, it’s quite false. Early on, there were huge groups of physicians across multi-national situations getting together on social media and sharing ideas about therapeutics, whether it was do we give steroids, or not, whether it was do we give azithromycin antibiotics, or not, do we give blood thinners? That’s all we could talk about.
Do we give blood thinners, or not? There seems to be this massive clotting thing with COVID. Do we ventilate them? Do we use noninvasive ventilation? Do we, how do we protect frontline clinicians, ’cause we didn’t have enough PPE, right? So all of this was happening. I think it’s very belittling to the sacrifice of frontline healthcare professionals, many of whom were infected, some of whom did die, many of whom did die, actually, early on to make this claim, because it’s not accurate. So this is just simply an inaccurate claim. Now, you could argue that there was maybe not enough emphasis on early treatment, but what does that really mean, right? As we know, preventing virus with early therapeutic treatment is very hard to do. HIV, we have to give multi-drug cocktails called PrEP, right, to prevent an infection, say. And once you’re infected, you have to treat with these multi-drug cocktails forever, and it’s effective enough to turn it into a chronic disease, but it’s not great, right? We don’t have great antivirals. And so, the idea was let’s repurpose other drugs that do other things and see if that actually helps, but let’s talk about it. So then he goes on to say, “Listen, I’ve been working “with the American Academy of Physicians and Surgeons, “which is an independent organization of physicians, “and we released this early paper about “the pathophysiological basis of hydroxychloroquine “in stopping COVID.” Okay, first of all, let’s unpack this. AAPS, now, and this, why do I care about this? Because you need to understand the bias and where the person who’s presenting information is coming from. I kind of told you my biases, right? I’m UCSF, Stanford trained. Like Peter McCullough, who was the Vice Chair of Internal Medicine at Baylor, I was the Deputy Chief of Internal Medicine at Stanford for a two-year period.
I know what that means. That means you go to meetings. You get elected, and you go to meetings. That’s all it means. But now, you know kind of where we come from, right? I worked as a hospitalist for 10 years on the frontlines treating patients. Now, when Peter McCullough says, “Oh, I’m in AAPS,” AAPS is a conservative physician organization, so it has a clear political bias. It has political activities, and their past claims have been things like HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, gay-related behavior is what’s shortening the lifespan of homosexuals, abortions cause breast cancer, and other things along those lines. So that’s the organization, right? They may do some good stuff, but they’ve also done that, so they have a clear political, moral, conservative social bias. Fine, that’s fine. But you gotta understand that that’s where he’s coming from. So the pathophysiological basis of early COVID treatment, what that translates into, “Hey, here’s some theoretical reasons based on physiology “why hydroxychloroquine might help,” right? Fine, but it doesn’t say it works. It’s not a randomized controlled trial saying hydroxychloroquine works. So the next claim is that hydroxychloroquine in vitro reduced the original SARS’ replication, and that the backlash against hydroxychloroquine wasn’t about Trump at all. It was some other conspiracy, because, you know, mysteriously, plants that made hydroxychloroquine were burned down, even before Trump really embraced hydroxychloroquine, and… It’s like you’re saying, “Okay, well, it’s not politicized. “It’s not about politics. “It’s about a bigger conspiracy.”
Well, you really, it’s really hard to prove, or disprove that, isn’t it? Because again, you’re appealing to conspiracy, which is one of the signs of not very clear thinking on the science. Then there’s the claim about remdesivir, and what they’re doing is trying to set up an equivalency. Well, see, you could give this early hydroxychloroquine, and prevent coming into the hospital, or you could late in the hospitalization give a drug that’s made by pharma that’s a repurposed failed Ebola drug, remdesivir, and it’s already, cat’s already out of the bag. Viral replication’s already happened. It’s not gonna help much, and it has liver and renal toxicity. Well, you know what? This is a area where I agree with Peter McCullough. I think remdesivir has been overblown. I don’t think it does a lot. I do think it has some toxicity, but it is one of the things that we give because of some data, randomized data, in hospitalizations. Now, Vinay Prasad and I have both argued that it’s not as effective as, you know, it’s claimed to be, and it does have downside, and it’s an infusion, and all of that, okay? So, but that really doesn’t have relevance to hydroxychloroquine. So you can set this up as kind of like a thing, and go, “See, well, remdesivir sucks, “therefore, I’m right about these other things.” Well, but that doesn’t really make the argument, does it, right?
They’re true, true, and not related. Then the claim conspiracy to stop hydroxychloroquine was happening, and this conspiracy was so that they could promote vaccination instead. Now, okay, again, you’re relying on conspiracy, but then there’s a second sign of misinformation here, fake experts. So he says, “Look at what Scott Atlas said. “Look what Dr. Pam Popper said. “And look what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said about this.” All right, so who are these people? So Scott Atlas is a radiologist from the Hoover Institution here at Stanford, who served on Trump’s advisory committee. He’s a radiologist. He has some expertise in policy. He’s a very smart guy. I think he’ll be proven to be right about a lot of the stuff he said, but he’s not at all an expert on whether there’s a conspiracy, or not around hydroxychloroquine. Pam Popper is a naturopath, so not a medical doctor, who sells stuff around natural wellness, and writes books about that stuff. So she’s an expert on this how? And Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a lawyer, the son of Bobby Kennedy, and a long time professional anti-vaccine activist. He has said things like the following. “Hey, Bob,” or, “Mr. Kennedy, “are there any vaccines you think that have ever had “a historical benefit?” And he says, “I don’t think I can answer that.”
He’s been activist against childhood vaccines from the beginning, still says they cause autism, and he’s not a doctor. So that’s what we call a fake expert, and an appeal to false authority. They are not authorities on this. So that’s how you can start to, you can just look at what Dr. McCullough is saying, and go, “Okay, let me at least question this, “because he’s doing this behavior,” right? Now, let’s see. He then says, he says, you know, and the studies that were, there are all these observational studies that were favoring hydroxychloroquine, and then randomized controlled trials that were flawed that said it didn’t work. Now, this is an example of what we call impossible expectations and moving goalposts. So there were two big trials, right? Randomized trials, RECOVERY, and another one, and this is what happens. So RECOVERY says, “Hey, hydroxychloroquine doesn’t have any benefit.” So how does he move the goalpost? “You didn’t give it early enough.” Okay, then the next trial, randomized controlled trial, says, “Hey, we gave it early, it still doesn’t work.” Well, move the goalpost again. “You didn’t give it with zinc and azithromycin “and in a multi-drug cocktail, “so of course it doesn’t work.” So it’s endless. There’s nothing you will do that will change his mind. They will never admit they’re wrong, et cetera, and he hasn’t about anything. He’s still talking about hydroxychloroquine. So these are examples of moving goalposts. Now, he says, “Well, one of these trials, randomized trials, “was fraudulent, and was later retracted by ‘The Lancet,'” or BMJ, or something like that.
Now, he said, “No one was talking about that. “No one was talking. “Why was no one talking about that?” All right, so is that true? I did a video on it. I actually interviewed the head of Duke’s Clinical Research Institute about it, the Surgisphere fraud, where there was this fake company created called Surgisphere run by this dude, me and Vinay talked about it on our show, who fabricated data, and it ultimately showed hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work, but it was caught by the medical establishment, and retracted. That’s good science. That’s actually encouraging. And we, not only did we talk about it at the time, it was all over the mainstream media. So this is very, it is incorrect the claim he’s saying nobody was talking about it. Now, you can start to detect the bias here. This was the hill he wanted to die on early on is hydroxychloroquine. He believes in it, and I think he has good intent. I actually think I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he saw it anecdotally work in his patients, but of course, anecdotes are tough.
He believed in it from first principles. He studies cardiorenal disease, and he has a certain bias towards prevention, and these kind of things. Wonderful, that’s wonderful. But when data comes out that that challenges your bias and belief, you’re supposed to challenge your own bias and belief, but most humans don’t do that, and he’s no exception. Instead, he’s entrenched, and doubled down, and moving goalposts, relying on conspiracies now to explain why no one’s listening to him. And just fabrications, like everybody was talking about the Surgisphere controversy. So, and the idea was, again, he’s saying it’s because they were saying, “Forget about drugs, just let’s, “now that we think a vaccine’s possible, “this is all we wanna do.” Who this we is I don’t quite fully understand, because the fundamental misunderstanding here is that pharma can somehow make more money from vaccines than they can from therapeutics. When in the history of pharma has that been true? Vaccines have often lost pharmaceuticals money. They’re not a huge profit center compared to therapeutics. So monoclonal antibodies, remdesivir, molnupiravir, these kind of things, these are cash cow potentials for pharma. Why would they push a vaccine that it wasn’t clear it was even gonna work early on, when they could easily spin up a ton of different therapeutics, right? So there’s a real problem there, and then it’s from the conspiracy standpoint, well, there’s this conspiracy multi-nationally to squelch therapy. Well, that’s not true, because in many countries, they did do therapy. And the other thing is how do you even coordinate that? Like, who’s doing that? That’s really hard. We can’t even, ’cause there’s a logical fallacy here that he’s saying. He’s like, “Well, no, it’s not even as much a conspiracy “as is it just straight incompetence, “but there’s also conspiracy.”
Okay, so government’s incompetent. They can’t even do simple research. That’s one claim that Peter’s making. But then on the same time, they’re so competent that they can organize a multi-national conspiracy to squelch therapeutics in favor of their pharma partner’s vaccine. Okay, so I’ll let you decide what you think about that. All right, the next claim. Now, no, and let me say one thing. Let me say one thing. This vaccine bias, right, that he’s claiming, and the ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine early madness has created a bias now, because now when a therapeutic comes out that has good randomized controlled data, like say fluvoxamine, which is a repurposed SSRI antidepressant, nobody’s talking about it, like barely gets a lot of media mention. It gets some. We’ve talked about it. But nobody’s jumping up and down about a 30% reduction in hospitalization in the randomized trial that was a pretty well-designed trial. And I think that is one of the downstream effects of people like Peter McCullough dying on this hill of hydroxychloroquine, honestly.
Now, real therapeutics that could prevent some admissions, even if it’s small, use it with a bunch of other stuff, with vaccination, with molnupiravir, and other therapeutics that are coming out potentially if they show promise, now people aren’t talking about it. So this is a downside of this kind of misinformation. Now, there’s a claim, 800,000 deaths, and two to one they didn’t get early treatment. “I can tell you that, Joe Rogan. “They did not get early treatment, “and there’s a dataset at CDC,” okay. This is an impossible claim that 800,000 deaths in the US and not one of them got early treatment. I can tell you stories of people who’ve taken hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, et cetera, all this early stuff as soon as they had symptoms before they got in the hospital. They got admitted, and died, because the disease is the disease. So where he’s making this claim, and this is the thing he’ll cite, “Oh, yeah, the CDC data.” Then you actually look at it, and you’re like, “No, that’s not what the data says at all,” and the problem with these kind of interviews is Joe, bless his heart, cannot dig into every single trial and data point that McCullough is referencing. It’s impossible for any human to do that in a setting like that, and it would actually take a month for any human to do it anyways.
This is one of the tactics of people who are arguing a point. They go, “Here’s 135 studies, look at them all.” And you’re like, “Uh, looking at one study takes two hours “if you’re doing it right,” so. Let’s keep going. Sorry, I’m getting a little enthusiastic. Then the claim, “I testified to the US Senate “85% of the deaths could have been prevented “if we had organized an intentional use “of prehospital therapeutics, “and instead of focusing on mass vaccination, “which was the thing.” And so, where does this data come from? And he cites some different data points that are completely un-confirmable, and then he appeals, again, to false authority. “Pam Popper said so.” She’s a naturopath. And there’s 1,000 citations on how this whole thing of promoting vaccines to the exclusion of therapeutics was planned, and then he, again, appeals to Robert F. Kennedy, all colluding, predicted the pandemic at Johns Hopkins. Years prior, they said, “This is gonna be a SARS. “It’s gonna be a coronavirus. “It’s gonna happen this way.
“There’s gonna be confusion about drugs. “It’s gonna lead to this, “there’s gonna be mask,” this and that, and he says that was a sign that this was all planned, or it was a sign that the Johns Hopkins people are incredibly smart, and any scientist could have predicted that, hey, the last couple things that came out were SARS and MERS. Those were coronaviruses. Oh, we could probably extrapolate from those first principles that the next one will be a coronavirus, or an influenza variant. Not rocket science to do that, and judging by societal reactions to previous pandemics, including 1918’s influenza, we’ll see the same thing happened. Well, we did. That doesn’t, that’s a logical fallacy saying, “Oh, but that actually means it was all pre-planned.” Again, if you have the preexisting bias that the government and pharma are out to get you, and that their messaging has been garbage, and your business has been shut down, your restaurant has been shut down, your child has been out of school, you’re being mandated to get a vaccine when you’ve previously been infected, and you have some immunity, of course you’re gonna be amenable to this. You’re a good person trying to do good in the world, and people will treat you like a dummy. It’s ridiculous. Both sides of this are ridiculous.
So he goes on to that, and then he says there are only 500 doctors in the country who know how to treat COVID. This is, where he comes up with this, and he says, “You know, in general, “nurses are more awake about this stuff than doctors,” and that all the major, and now, this is an interesting thing, because nurses are as a group less likely to be vaccinated, more likely to be amenable to some of these other early therapeutics, and I think, and this is my theory. I think this is why. Nurses are very intuitive. They have different training. They’re actually at the bedside, and they administer medications, but they don’t, they’re not taught, unless they’re a nurse practitioner, how to prescribe them. Most nurses, unless they have advanced training, don’t get training in how to critically review literature at length the way doctors do. And so, they’re different training regimens. It’s not about one is smart, one isn’t. They’re training regimens and different aptitudes and different sort of intuitive biases. And so, to say nurses are more awake than doctors is a misrepresentation of the differences between doctors and nurses on therapeutics. Okay, and then he starts to really get into the conspiracy stuff. He says all major institutions, religious branches, governments are under the spell of a mass psychosis, a kind of groupthink akin to Nazi Germany, where people would walk into gas chambers under groupthink. Okay, now, you know when you have to say this kind of stuff, you don’t, you’re not doing science. So let’s talk about what he says here.
He says there are these four things that lead you to mass groupthink. One is prolonged isolation, AKA lockdowns. Two is taking away things from people, whether it’s economic, whether it’s rights, whether it, whatever it is. Three is constant anxiety and fear that’s promoted publicly. And four is a single then solution offered by an authority, like government, AKA vaccinations. Okay, this is now, this is interesting, because during this pandemic, yes, this has happened. We have isolated people. We’ve taken, destroyed social fabric. We’ve created fear, and we’ve then offered a government messaging that’s garbage messaging. So here’s what I think about this. This is not leading to a mass hypnosis to go get vaccinated. It is equally leading to a mass hypnosis that you cannot trust anything the government says, or does, or pharma says, or does, or science, or expertise says, or does unless it’s science, or expertise that agrees with my bias against science and expertise, like Dr. Peter McCullough. So this again, you know, if you have to start talking about this, you’ve already lost the argument, and he talks about the effects of mandates on freedom, and that kind of thing, and I agree. I think mandates are not a good idea. I think they create psychological reactance and resistance, and they’re not necessary if you just are honest with the public, which we have not been. Okay, then he goes on to talk about the four pillars of infection control and what we ought to be doing. Now, this is worth diving into. The first is infection control. Hey, it’s not hand signage, and it’s not hand sanitizers. This isn’t spread on surfaces. I agree. We thought it was early on, and we realized we were wrong. I was saying it early on, and I realized I was wrong, and I changed my stance on it, which by the way, you really wanna look for people who are willing to change their stance in the face of new data. If they aren’t, then you know they’re ideological confirmation bias driven. So you know, Paul Offit has changed. He thought this thing was gonna be no worse than flu, and he said, “I was totally wrong.”
He said, “I’ve been wrong about so many things “during this pandemic,” and he’s a pro-vaccine advocate. Well, even if I disagree with Paul on, say, mandates, I’m gonna trust Paul as a source of understanding more than I’m gonna trust someone who will never change their mind based on new information, and can never admit they’re wrong, because they’re attached to ego and confirmation bias, and protecting their own identity more than they’re attached to truth, or process, or an alt-middle kind of reasoning. So yeah, I agree, fomites are not the answer, but then he says oral, or nasal, you know, irrigation, betadine, dilute bleach, this kind of thing. Look, who knows. Study that, that’s interesting, decontaminating the nasal pharynx. Maybe there’s something there. And then he says, you know, mask data is kind of equivocal. I agree. I’m not arguing with that. I think he’s right. Then he says the next pillar would be early treatment. Well, if we had good early treatment, well, the one thing we do have is monoclonals, which we’re gonna talk about. That’s quite good, and then maybe fluvoxamine, and maybe other things will come up, right? And we’re still studying ivermectin, which by the way, when you’re talking about something like ivermectin, this is where the mainstream media is off its rocker. When CNN calls it horse dewormer, and all of that, it does two things. It shames people that have tried to take it because they believe these experts, you know, these experts that are talking about it. But the second thing is it stigmatizes what is a human drug with a tremendous impact around the world for parasites. And the third thing it does is it stigmatizes people that are still undergoing the trial. How are you gonna do a trial without bias, even a randomized trial, when you’re calling this thing horse dewormer in the media?
Like, “Oh, I’m gonna enroll for that trial. “I wanna be in a house dewormer trial.” The media sucks, you guys. They’re really all about getting, you know, clicks, and ad revenue, and so on, but I keep talking about this. Anyways, back to this. So… The early treatment thing we talked about. Improving hospital treatment, so, “Not a single hospital,” he says, “has a protocol to prevent admission,” except for monoclonal antibodies, dude. Like, where are you coming up with this? So that’s just, I think that’s just not true, although you’re right, hospitals get paid for people filling beds. So there is that. You do need to fix that incentive structure, but that’s a long-term structural issue, and then the fourth pillar is vaccination. So he even says it’s vaccination, and at this point he says, you know, there is some moderate benefit to preventing severe disease with vaccination. Then he backtracks on some of that later. But I’m glad he said that. So okay, next, and this is where it starts, “I have no problem with vaccines. “I’ve never had a problem with vaccines,” he says. And then you look back at what he’s been saying, right? So he advised the Malaysian government to stop their vaccine rollout. He has said a lot of very questionable things about vaccines, which we’re gonna talk about. All right, next. Let’s see. The claim that asymptomatic testing isn’t necessary, because there’s no asymptomatic transmission of COVID, and then he cherry picks two datasets, and ignores all the other evidence that there is asymptomatic transmission, and the most obvious one is not even an evidence set. It’s this. We stopped the original SARS because it was only transmitted when people were symptomatic. So you could screen people based on fever, and they often had symptoms. You could screen people based on fever, and then test them and isolate them. And so, we were able to stop SARS 1, right? SARS 2, the sequel, turns out it can spread actually even more when you’re asymptomatic, but not necessarily asymptomatic. You don’t have symptoms, but you’re pre-symptomatic, so at some point, you will get symptoms.
So during the asymptomatic phase, you can actually spread, and this has been documented again and again and again in study after study, but he cites two, where it’s like, “No, it doesn’t happen.” So this is an example of cherry picking data. This is why we couldn’t control SARS 2, because it spreads when people don’t think they have it, and you can have no symptoms, you can be infected with it, have no symptoms, and spread it. And actually, later he contradicts himself and says vaccinated people are spreading COVID all over the place. There’s a lot of transmission with vaccinated people. But what he doesn’t say is that those vaccinated people often don’t even have symptoms, and they can still spread it, because it’s a respiratory pathogen that can spread without symptoms. So it’s an internal contradiction here. So then the next claim is you cannot get COVID twice, ever, period. And Rogan pushed back. He said, “Look, I had a friend “who got it twice, had symptoms. “I had friend who got it three times,” and, I think, and he said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, the problem was “the next time they got sick, it wasn’t COVID. “It was a false-positive, “or one of them was a false-positive test, “because our PCR cycle threshold is too low. “We need it to be higher. “You need to have a higher burden of proof “to show that you have COVID, “because there’s dead viral particles, “there’s, you know, residual antigen, all of this.” But these are months down the line, and the person had symptoms again. And you can probably isolate, you know, actual virus from them.
So this is just a simply nonsense claim. Does natural infection prevent a lot of reinfection? Yes, and there’s lots of data around that. You know, it’s just like the CDC cherry picks studies. “Oh, well, our two studies show that vaccine immunity is “better than natural immunity in Kentucky, “and doesn’t matter that the dataset’s not great.” Well, then you’re gonna ignore the Israeli dataset that’s actually quite good saying actual natural immunity may be better than vaccine immunity. So this happens on all sides of this, right? The next claim, natural immunity denial is more vaccine conspiracy. So to deny vaccine immunity is to just really force people to get, or to deny natural immunity is to force people to get vaccinated. I actually think, I think the truth is it’s a more of this monolithic public health response, where it’s like, “We have to keep things simple. “Everyone gets vaccinated,” even though if you asked them outside of work, they’ll say, “Oh yeah, natural immunity’s great.” So why not we take that into account, especially when you’re talking about mandates, compelling people to get vaccines, or lose their job, or can’t go to school, or whatever? Well, but I got COVID, so maybe I should just get once dose of an mRNA vaccine. They make no concessions, and this is as absolutist as Peter McCullough saying there’s no cases of reinfection with natural infection, 85% of deaths could have been prevented if we’d done early treatment. There’s parallels here, right? This is why, who is the arbiter of what’s misinformation, and what’s not?
Is it the mainstream media, right? I’m actually really, I’m increasingly glad that Joe Rogan actually at least causes us to have these debates instead of just shutting it down. All right, next one. He starts talking about trials about vaccine efficacy, and says the vaccines aren’t very effective, and then he cites something called absolute risk reduction versus relative risk reduction. So the difference is kind of like this. What’s my absolute risk of getting COVID right now? Well, it’s pretty small, right, because I don’t go out, and all that. So I get a vaccine. How much did it drop my absolute risk? Well, it turns out my absolute risk was already low, so it can’t drop it much lower, so the absolute risk reduction is quite low. Vaccines in general are like that, unless it’s so prevalent in the community that your absolute risk of COVID is so high. So why do we use relative risk with COVID vaccines? Because relative risk says relative to an unvaccinated person, what’s your risk reduction with vaccine? Now, that’s an important measure, because if I didn’t get vaccinated versus I did, I drop my risk of infection by X, or severe disease by X. That’s where you hear a 90% reduction in severe disease, right? Relative to not being vaccinated. That’s a useful metric. Absolute risk reduction with vaccines, where absolute risk is actually low, is less useful. Now it would become more useful if the vaccine had so many downsides that you do, you are concerned with absolute risk, because it’s like, “Well, if my absolute risk of dying “of this thing is so low to begin with, “why would I take a vaccine that has this absolute risk “of, say, myocarditis, or something that’s higher?” And then you do the math on that, and go, “Well, then, now, that doesn’t make sense.” But with these vaccines, the absolute risk of harm from the vaccine is also very, very, very, very, very low, even relatively common risks like myocarditis, one in 10,000, say, one in 5,000 at the most, in the highest risk group, which is young boys, adolescents, males. So he then says Delta is resistant to vaccines, which is not strictly speaking true. Delta does not show resistance to vaccines.
It just so happens that it has, it’s more easily transmitted, which means you need more vaccinated people in the community to actually prevent a case of Delta transmission, because there’s so much more viral load floating around. You could say, well, that’s a kind of resistance. Sure, you could say that. But the way he’s doing it is a little bit misleading. And then he says, “Immunocompromised people have “the least benefit from vaccines, “and they’re the ones that are most important to protect.” Okay, this is important. So he’s right, immunocompromised people, people with organ transplants, you know, immune system infections and disease, elderly people whose immune systems are compromised, the vaccines don’t work as well. That’s why they need boosters, absolutely need boosters. That’ll help somewhat in some data. But this is where the argument, the community benefit argument of vaccinating a lot of people becomes relevant, because you create a cocooning effect around the most vulnerable, assuming the vaccine is safe, and effective at preventing transmission. Well, we’ll talk about that, ’cause he says vaccines don’t prevent transmission at all, whereas the data says now actually they narrow the window that you can get sick if you do get infected, and they probably reduce transmission in that way, and a lot of people simply don’t get infected because of the vaccine, but it’s not perfect. So you do create a cocooning effect, and we see that because kids have been protected prior to vaccination from COVID infection in highly vaccinated adult communities.
It reduces the amount of circulating coronavirus and there’s protection for children who were not vaccinated. Now, children are low risk from COVID anyways, but they’re not low risk from actually picking it up. So the vaccines do work in that sense. So there is a community benefit. So he’s making not the point he wanted to make with that. Then he says obesity is a problem. I agree. IL-6, which is an inflammatory thing, a cytokine often associated with fat cells, this is one of the big cytokine storm components of coronavirus cytokine storm, and it’s probably why obese people have a much bigger problem with coronavirus than non-obese, and I think this is, there’s something to this. I think he’s right. I think we should be talking more about prevention instead of early therapeutics. We should be talking about lifestyle modification, eating less junk food, getting up and walking, opening schools, taking masks off everywhere, so that we can walk and get moving, those kinds of things, getting vaccinated, so that we reduce the amount of spread. But especially because there’s such an obese population, they’re at risk. All right, then Rogan says, “Hey, who disagrees with you, bro?” Like, “Who can disagree with this?” And he goes, he does this. He does a logical fallacy, so that’s another sign of misinformation. He says, “Well, the people who disagree with me “say don’t treat patients at all, just give a vaccine.” That’s a straw man argument. A straw man argument is where you say, “This is what my opponents are saying,” and it’s an easy thing to attack, because it’s nonsense.
That’s not what people are saying, “Don’t treat patients.” I’ve not met a doctor that says, “Don’t treat patients,” right? They’re saying, “Yeah, let’s discover good therapeutics, “and give what we have monoclonals, dexameth.” Here’s another thing with the conspiracy theory about therapeutics. Dexamethasone, a steroid, in the RECOVERY trial shown to be effective at reducing mortality, randomized controlled trial, is given routinely now in hospital. Makes pharma zilcho, ’cause it’s off-patent, it’s an ancient drug, it’s cheap. So explain to me the global conspiracy to prevent therapeutics when you have dexamethasone. Again, internal contradiction here is a logical fallacy. And then he says, “Not a single institution has invited me “to lecture on early treatment.” And now, this is, I’m gonna ad hominem for a second. If you’ve seen “Ghostbusters,” the dean of the medical school tells Peter Venkman, he says, “Dr. Venkman, that’s because you, sir, “are a poor scientist,” and I think given what we’ve seen so far, I wouldn’t invite him to speak either. But I wouldn’t suppress him. If we wants to speak somewhere else, that’s fine. So now onto monoclonal antibodies, which was another big piece that Peter is talking about. Boy, we’ve gone a long time already. I’m sorry. We’re gonna be exhaustive.
We’re just gonna do the whole thing. So monoclonal antibodies, where are we with this? He says they work. They prevent hospital admission, and I can’t disagree. I think monoclonal antibodies, especially with the variants we currently have, are quite effective. We don’t know about Omicron, because there’s so many spike protein mutations, but Omicron may be a different beast entirely. We need to give monoclonal antibodies particularly to people who are at risk at the sign of symptoms, or a positive test. It’s been inconsistent. Part of the problem is it’s not some big conspiracy to promote vaccination. It’s that they’re hard to give. So you have to have an infusion center, or they’re given subcutaneously. It’s a series of injections, and it’s hard to do. Now, those things would make pharma a ton of money. So why aren’t they being promoted with this global conspiracy to make pharma a bunch of money? Again, internal contradictions. Here’s another internal contradiction, many people, especially with mRNA vaccines, there’s some bugaboo about mRNA. “Well, there’s lipid nanoparticles. “It’s a new tech, it’s a gene therapy, “and the mRNA does this,” and we’ll talk about that. And they’re all terrified of this thing, which by the way, I got my Omicron booster two days, Omicron booster, that’s what they’re calling it now, I think.
I’ve been incepted by the mainstream media. I got my Moderna booster two days ago, because I made a decision to get it. I got the original Moderna in January, so it’s been about a year. I am gonna be traveling. I’m gonna be seeing my elderly, double vaccinated, boosted parents, but still, I wanna cocoon them, and I wanted to see if it caused a lot of side effects because the second dose gave me fevers, rigors, chills for hours and hours and hours. It was miserable. Well, I got it two days ago, and I got some like fatigue, a little headache, little sore arm. It took about seven hours, got better. It took some Tylenol, got better. Today, I feel like a million bucks. There’s really, with the mRNA vaccines, people have this fear of the unknown. They’ve never heard of this, but in the same breath, they’re willing not to get vaccinated because of this kind of information. But then they’re willing to go get monoclonal antibody infusions. Now, in this very video, they talk about how they make any monoclonal antibodies. He says, “I testified to the Texas Senate,” appeal to authority, it’s a logical fallacy, “That, you know, we ought to be giving, “you know, I told an anecdotal story about a woman “who was saved by monoclonals,” and it’s like, “Okay, anecdote.” He says they’re produced like our drugs like our biologic drugs like Humira, and other things like that, from humanized mouse cells that then encode for the antibodies in mice and produce the protein and they purify the protein and the inject it in you. So you’re willing to get something that was produced in mouse cells, purified, and injected to you as an infusion with all kind, God knows what else they put in it, right? But you won’t take mRNA, because God knows what the put in it. And it’s new technology, which has been decades in the works. So there’s an internal contradiction here that I think people don’t understand.
I think they have their internal bias. They feel that monoclonals have X, Y, or Z connection to their bias, and they’re okay with that, but they’re not okay with vaccine. Now, part of that is because who promotes it. If they have an ideological bias against the current administration, or whatever, the past administration, they’re gonna behave a certain way. This is why we need to recognize our bias, and we need to understand the truth, there’s, every side is true, but partial, and we need to make the best decision for us not just based on our bias, but based on a clear-eyed look at the information we have, and recognizing bias on all sides. So I think monoclonals are great. I think we should use them more, but I think we should use them with vaccines as much as we can. Now, he talks about, again, the pharma conspiracy, which we’ve talked about. Then he says, let’s see, vaccines are experimental. So you can’t ask, doctors cannot ask people, or advocate people to take them, because that’s a violation of the Nuremberg Code to compel an experimental process on patients. So this is total bullshit. This is reiterating like a Bobby Kennedy anti-vaccine talking point, which is that these things are experimental, they’re not FDA approved. Now, sorry, Pfizer is FDA approved. And even then under EUA, this is an Emergency Use Authorization.
Doctors can absolutely advocate for patients to take something in a pandemic. So this is, again, betraying his bias against any kind of control of individuals, which listen, I share that bias. I think mandates are horrible. I hate it when people tell me what to do, but I think a physician advocating you to get a vaccine, advocating it is not a Nuremberg violation. Mandates are probably a liberty violation. They probably backfire on some level. They create psychological reactance, and I think they would be unnecessary, and the number needed to save with those vaccination mandates versus the harm to society and vaccine trust in the future and losing staffing in hospitals, when you weigh those, I don’t think it favors mandates. But that’s a different conversation than this is a Nuremberg violation, so. That’s why you don’t have to appeal to loony bin stuff like that to make an argument, right? You don’t have to appeal to conspiracy, or loony bin Nazi stuff. Although, it makes better entertainment. All right, now, vaccine safety oversight, he says is poor. And they repeatedly cite the VAERS database, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Now, he is parroting misinformation from anti-vaccine activists, and this is unconscionable that a physician with all this training would do that.
And so, he says, “Look, there’s been,” he says, Joe actually pushes on him, and says, “Wait, so 200 million people have been vaccinated. “Why haven’t we seen mass casualties? Right? And Peter McCullough says, “No, they’re gonna have the same rate of adverse events, “because they’re getting spike protein, “the same spike protein “that’s in the natural virus that’s toxic. “They’re getting this vaccine, “and they’re gonna have the same rate of complications “as the public, which is about 1%.” So there’s been, that means that’s about a million people, and that’s how many people have been injured by vaccines based on VAERS database. Wait, a million people have been injured by vaccines? Where are these million people? ‘Cause I’ll tell you, me and my friends in healthcare have not seen it, Peter. And the VAERS database is a voluntary reporting system. Anybody can, and should, report anything that happens after a vaccine to VAERS. And so, he says, “Well, prior to COVID, “there were only this many deaths reported after a vaccine “to VAERS,” 180, or something, I forget what it was, in 27 million shots, or something. And now, there’s all these deaths being reported in VAERS after a vaccine. “What’s going on, Joe? “The vaccine’s killing people!” Okay, listen, guy, here’s how you look at this.
So VAERS database, anyone can say, “Okay, I got the vaccine, now this is happening.” Okay, now what’s different in COVID with VAERS than prior to COVID? People know what VAERS is. Everybody’s looking at the vaccines. Hundreds of millions of people are getting a brand new series of vaccinations, meaning these just got released. Everybody’s attention is on this. Every single thing that happens to a person after they get vaccinated is likely to get reported to VAERS. There’s gonna be some under-reporting in certain ways, but a lot of over-reporting, meaning stuff happened, but it has nothing to do with the vaccine, except they happened to get a vaccine. And this is where causation and correlation are decoupled in VAERS. That’s why you need very sophisticated epidemiological tools and follow-up analysis in order to determine whether something is caused by the vaccine versus correlated. Now, let’s see how this works. An extremely rare complication, vaccine-induced thrombosis, and thrombocytopenia in Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca was caught, partially using these kind of databases. So it works to catch complications. Do you think we wouldn’t have caught mass casualties, death, blood clotting, all of that, above and beyond what’s expected in the background population?
No, we would have. We caught myocarditis. It’s a rare complication. Well, it works when you mine the data correctly and you distinguish background rate from what’s happening with vaccine. Well, it turns out, he says, “Look, the vast majority of the deaths “in vaccines are in seniors. “86% of the time, there’s no other cause but the vaccine.” Did you look at though the data of what’s the death rate in seniors? It turns out you can vaccinate an 86-year-old, and the next day, they could die. What was the statistical background rate of death in that population to begin with? When you compare it to the background rate, it’s the same. The vaccine didn’t cause the death. Now, are there some cases, let’s be really honest here, are there some cases in elders who are so fragile that you give them a vaccine that has a reactogenicity, meaning you get fevers, and chills, and sweats sometimes, like I did, younger people often have it worse, because their immune system’s quite robust, and that tips them over into some kind of stress-related response, where their heart gives out, or they, you know, have something happen. That’s possible, right? But what would natural COVID be like for them? Nothing is without risk. If they get naturally infected with COVID, the risk to them is quite a bit higher than vaccine, because you have viral replication in natural COVID producing viral toxicity everywhere, especially in lung, which the vaccine doesn’t do. So this whole thing on VAERS is really kind of an anti-vaccine misinformation, and he says something remarkable here.
This is where he really betrays his bias. He says, “1,200 deaths from vaccines is a small price to pay “for the Aryan race.” So he says, like he again pulls the Nazi card. If you have to pull that, you’ve already lost any rational argument. All right, next up. He says spike protein from vaccines is what’s causing myocarditis by directly infiltrating the heart. Now, he’s a cardiologist, cardiorenal specialist. You would think, “Okay, this is his credible space.” But then he completely misunderstands the actual data here, because he’s got a bias. Myocarditis, which is still rare, although we should, we need to talk about it, because it is a risk, and a lot of kids do get hospitalized when they get myocarditis, he points that out, but most of them recover just fine, but still, these kids are low risk in general. Now, natural COVID can cause myocarditis, but still, they’re low risk in general. So this is a conversation about mandating vaccine for kids, which makes the mandates very uncomfortable. But myocarditis in, mostly in young boys happens almost exclusively, not always, after the second dose. Why would that be? Because it is an immune reaction. There’s something in an immune response, and we saw it with smallpox vaccine as well, that can have some crossover effect on the heart in vulnerable, susceptible people, which happened to be young boys, and they probably have some other genetic thing we don’t understand. So it has nothing to do with spike protein, ’cause then you would see it with the first dose equally. It’s an immune scenario.
So, and again, the kind of data that he uses to support this is like mouse data, where they, who knows what they did in terms of tons of spike protein direct into the vein, and, “Oh yeah, look, it’s in the heart.” Yeah, duh. So it’s very tricky to tease this stuff out, and the general public, when a guy like this says this stuff, they go, “Yeah, well that makes sense,” right? That’s why this is tough stuff. All right, where are we at now? Myocarditis. So myocarditis we do need to talk about. Vinay and I talk about it quite a bit. Marty Makary talks about it quite a bit. This is a conversation that needs to be had. That’s why there’s nuance around, say, kids’ vaccines, and maybe some of them should just get one dose, maybe the naturally infected kids only need one dose, right? ‘Cause it’s the second dose that caused the myocarditis. But we’re absolutist about it. And again, this is a failure of public health. Now, they’re gonna start mandating it for kids. They’re gonna kick kids out of Los Angeles schools if they don’t get vaccinated. These are poor, disadvantaged kids, typically minorities, that are more vaccine hesitant there. Does this make sense from a social justice standpoint? No. Okay. Now, to wrap up, it’s only been an hour. There’s a victim persecution complex that he talks about.
This is a very common conspiracy thinking thing, where he says, “These people can’t handle the truth. “I’m being persecuted. “They won’t let me speak. “They’re canceling me,” that kind of thing. And then he says, you know, “Anyone who disagrees with me can come and debate me, “but with Steve Kirsch,” who’s offered $2 million to anyone to prove that vaccines are safe and effective in a debate with him. All right, now this is, Steve Kirsch is a tech entrepreneur from Silicon Valley who thinks he knows everything about science, because he happened to be successful with a early search engine that he sold for a bunch of money, and now thinks he knows everything, like a lot of tech people, who aren’t scientists. They’re like, “Well, I was successful in this thing, “so therefore I know everything about everything.” It’s the classic hubris of the Silicon Valley where I live, and I hate it. That’s a bias of mine. But Steve has actually funded a lot of early stage research on therapeutics. He’s been the ivermectin guy.
He goes around, he challenged me to a duel on vaccines. “I’ll give you so many thousands of dollars to debate me!” This is what Steve does in debates. I’ve seen it. He talks a mile a minute. He throws out about 100 studies, and says, “Refute this, refute this, “refute this, refute this!” And it’s the classic tactics of someone who really is invested in this idea, but can’t, how are you gonna refute 135 studies like right there? This is like jibber-jabber kind of thing, like . All the studies are poor quality, but how are you gonna go through every single one? You cannot win a debate with Steve Kirsch, because he’s not, it’s not a debate at that point, right? And he’s debated some other people, and you can watch him online, and you’re just like, “Oh my God, this is a shit show.” So this is the guy that Peter McCullough wants to come on with him and debate you, so he can have his buddy here throwing out all these papers. So again, it’s pretty disingenuous. So… I think, let’s wrap it up here. This is the summary of this.
I’ve gone through every one of the big points I think that he made. You can make a decision on how you feel about the science on that. There are other credible people who talk about this. I think on the left side of this orthodox side, there’s a lot of mistakes that are made in messaging and in the science, the science. On the right side of this, there’s kooky, kooky, kooky, and mistakes that are made, but a lot of also truth, a lot of truth, and I’ve pointed out where I agree with Peter. I’m glad actually Rogan did this interview. I would love to see him interview someone like Vinay Prasad, who can speak the heterodox language, challenge the orthodoxy, but also isn’t so egoically attached to an idea, like hydroxychloroquine, which is, Vinay talks about this a lot. He said, “Never become attached to anything in the science. “Keep looking at the process.” You’re trying to find truth. You’re not trying to validate an ego. And we can all be accused of bias. I can certainly, you know, I put my biases out there.
But I’m hoping this helps you guys understand a more alt middle way to understand information online. I wish I could summarize it in a five-minute soundbite, but you can’t. That’s part of the problem, right? So guys, please do me a favor. If you like the way we talk about these things, join our tribe of alt middle people. We’re trying to change discourse. We’re trying to fight social media and big tech’s dominance on weaponizing our hatred of each other. We’re trying to think clearly. We have a good time.
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