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cure type 1 diabetes

Big Pharma is NOT hiding the cure to type 1 diabetes

Here is another conspiracy or myth that I need to debunk — some corners of the internet claim that Big Pharma is hiding the cure for type 1 diabetes. Trust me on this, they’re not.

I know it’s hard to believe this considering all the news about the high price of insulin in the USA, but finding a cure for type 1 diabetes is difficult, and it might be impossible. Big Pharma isn’t hiding the cure, it doesn’t have one. No one does, it doesn’t exist.

This article will discuss type 1 diabetes and why it’s so difficult to find this elusive cure. It’s a complex disease, which I bet most don’t quite understand unless they have the disease.

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Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck died of bacterial meningitis not COVID-19 vaccine

On 10 January 2023, famed English guitarist Jeff Beck tragically died. Within a few nanoseconds, anti-vaxxers predictably jumped onto his untimely death by blaming the COVID-19 vaccines. This is part of a pattern that seems to be in the anti-vax guidebook — someone famous dies, blame the COVID-19 vaccine.

Just a couple of weeks ago, American footballer Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, and it was immediately blamed on one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Someone on Facebook commented after seeing the collapse while watching the game that anti-vaxxers would jump into the fray. Of course, they did.

Because I am tired of these anti-vaccine lies and disinformation campaigns, I have to state the obvious — Jeff Beck did not die due to the COVID-19 vaccine. Not even close. Jeff Beck was a great musician, and we should be celebrating that, not spending time debunking anti-vaccine lies.

Read More »Jeff Beck died of bacterial meningitis not COVID-19 vaccine
cancer mortality rate

US cancer mortality rate dropped by 33% since 1991

A new peer-reviewed article provides data that shows that the cancer mortality rate in the US has dropped by 33% since 1991. This is definitely good news in a world where we are getting hit by bad medical news. And it seems like we’re winning the war on cancer.

This also goes against the claims by Joe Mercola and Robert F Kennedy Jr that the mass COVID-19 vaccination has caused a large increase in cancer deaths. Obviously, using real data, it hasn’t, but when are Mercola and RFK Jr ever right about anything?

Although I am not a cancer scientist nor do I play one on the internet, I like to keep abreast of new technologies and new pseudoscience about cancer. Since I am no David Gorski, MD, a real cancer scientist, I can’t tell you the best way to treat breast cancer, but I can generally tell you what’s a scam because I know how to read science articles.

But, most of all, I love to discuss meta-level data like cancer mortality rates because they tell more of the story of how successful we are in fighting the war on cancer. I know people are more afraid of dying of cancer than almost any disease. If COVID-19 were cancer, there would be NOBODY refusing the vaccine, even among the most ardent anti-vaxxers. I haven’t seen polling on this, but I’ll bet that people are scared of cancer more than any other disease out there.

So, we’re going to dig into this new research on cancer death rates, so that maybe the reader will feel less afraid of cancer as a group of diseases (there are over 200 different cancers, at least). Let’s go.

Read More »US cancer mortality rate dropped by 33% since 1991
vaccines COVID strokes

The bivalent COVID vaccines are not linked to strokes

The anti-vaccine world has jumped on some safety signals that seem to indicate that the bivalent COVID vaccines are linked to strokes. This group has shown how it misuses preliminary data to try to make false claims about every vaccine, especially the COVID-19 vaccines. This leads to false claims about these vaccines.

This post is going to examine what was found on VAERS, what is a safety signal, and what the FDA and CDC did to determine that there was no link between the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines and stroke. Even though this link has been dismissed, you just know that the anti-vaccine world will push it for the next few months.

Read More »The bivalent COVID vaccines are not linked to strokes
vaccine placebo

The anti-vaccine “it’s not tested against a placebo” trope (2023 update)

For those of us who have made a career in debunking anti-vaccine claims, one of the most annoying is that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo. This claim is wrong on two levels — first, many vaccines are tested against a placebo, and second, in some cases using a placebo in a vaccine trial would be highly unethical and irresponsible.

You can find a lot of claims on social media about vaccine testing versus placebo, but I’m going to focus on a letter to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from Del Bigtree, the producer of the fraudmentary Vaxxed, who has approximately zero credibility on vaccines. He, and his anti-vaccine organization, Informed Consent Action Network, is just a front organization for anti-vaccine nonsense pushed by Bigtree and his minions. Again, no credibility.

The aforementioned letter is an 88-page, yes, 88-plodding-pages, treasure trove of cherry-picking, pseudoscience, appeals to authority, other logical fallacies, lies, ignorance, misinformation, and delusion about vaccines. This letter is a follow-up to a response from HHS to Bigtree’s original laughable letter to HHS from January 2018.

I’m not going to deal with all of his ridiculous points in the letter, I’m just going to focus on a small part, that is, his claim that vaccine clinical trials do not include a placebo for comparison. As I said in the introductory paragraph, Bigtree is completely wrong.

Read More »The anti-vaccine “it’s not tested against a placebo” trope (2023 update)
COVID-19 vaccine cancer

Joe Mercola falsely claims COVID vaccine boosters cause cancer

On Robert F Kennedy Jr’s awful website, The Defender, the quack Joe Mercola writes that the COVID-19 vaccine boosters cause cancer. Seriously, he wrote that.

The article is filled with a metric tonne of false claims, but I want to just focus on cancer since that’s the basic claim made by Mercola. If I spent all of my typing skills writing a 25,000-word post about every false claim made by this quack, I would be exhausted.

So, let me get to it.

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XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant — here comes the Kraken FAQ

The pandemic that keeps on giving has given us a new COVID-19 variant to worry about — XBB.1.5, also known as the Kraken.

As we approach the third anniversary of the pandemic (remember when we thought it would be done by Summer, 2020?), many people are weary of reading anything new about the disease. It’s like our brains have become “immune” to new information about this disease. But XBB.1.5 should be a variant that you should follow because it has evolved in a way that might make it more dangerous for the population.

This post will just try to give you the best information we have about the variant, some of it concerning, and some of it just newsworthy.

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MMR vaccine public confidence — polling shows a drop

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published, in December 2022, a review of COVID-19 vaccine attitudes, but it also examined public confidence in the MMR vaccine. What it shows what some of us have feared — the raging disinformation campaign has started to affect public attitudes toward other vaccines, like the MMR vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella.

Although MMR vaccination coverage has remained quite high (see below) despite the fears that reduced visits to the pediatrician during the pandemic may suppress vaccine uptake, there has been only a tiny downtick in vaccine uptake. But the KFF polling shows a concerning drop in public confidence in vaccines, especially the MMR vaccine.

This post will examine what the KFF polls showed with the COVID-19 and MMR vaccines. It’s interesting, and it continues to support what we have been observing with vaccines during this unprecedented pandemic.

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damar hamlin

Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field — anti-vaxxers go nuts

Yesterday, I was watching the Monday Night NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, when I saw a player, Damar Hamlin, stand up after a tackle, then apparently collapse. He suffered a cardiovascular event, and he had to be resuscitated on the field in front of his teammates, opponents, fans at the stadium, and the TV audience. Eventually, the game was postponed, with the NFL doing the right thing for its player, something that it doesn’t frequently do.

As of the time of this writing, Hamlin is still in critical condition and is being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center (where the game was being played). There is little information coming from the NFL, the Buffalo Bills (the team he was playing for), or the hospital about his condition or prognosis, so everyone is hopeful.

Within seconds of Hamlin’s injury, anti-vaxxers were on Twitter claiming that the injury was a direct result of the COVID-19 vaccine. Ignoring real medical science and making conclusions based on a total lack of evidence, which is typical for the anti-vaccine crowd.

I’m going to first discuss what probably happened to Damar Hamlin, based on the best available science, and then talk about the disgusting anti-vaccine cretins.

Read More »Damar Hamlin suffers cardiac arrest on field — anti-vaxxers go nuts
flu deaths

Pediatric flu-related deaths — highest since before COVID pandemic

With our focus on COVID-19, we forget about diseases like the flu and RSV. During this 2022-23 season, flu-related pediatric deaths have reached the highest level since before the pandemic started.

I know that there is a chunk of the population who thinks that flu is a minor disease not worthy of attention, but it kills. In years before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which masks, social distancing, and social isolation reduced the flu virus transmission, influenza regularly kills around 50,000 people annually in the USA alone.

Read More »Pediatric flu-related deaths — highest since before COVID pandemic