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ICWA Weekly News 9-13-23
The money behind COVID-19 vaccine recommendations for pregnancy, Rep. McMorris Rodgers frustrated by NIH stonewalling on COVID origins, WA Researcher Karl Kanthak exposes Hotez during online marathon.
By Gerald Braude
In this issue:
Radio Show Links
Vaccines during Pregnancy – Is there data or just coerced marketing?
Washington Representative McMorris Says the NIH Is Stonewalling
Washington’s Karl Kanthak Presents at the Vaccine Safety Awareness Marathon
September 8 Episode of An Informed Life Radio - show links
FDA Letter that Masks are EUA only, April 24, 2020
ICWA Open Letter to Gov. Inslee to Rescind Mask Order
Upcoming Events Where You Can Find ICWA:
Quote of the Show:
“Why in the heck did they put you in this position of authority when you’re so afraid?”
(Host Bernadette Pajer on Rochelle Walensky’s comments now that she’s stepped down as CDC Director)
Washington DOH Adheres to ACOG Recommendations for COVID-19 Shots to Pregnant Women
A September 6th article in the Epoch Times by Megan Redshaw revealed that the United States government gave $11.8 million to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to promote the COVID-19 shots to pregnant women.
Maggie Thorp, JD, told the Epoch Times she made a “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2022 to HHS to learn more about COVID-19 funding received by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) during the pandemic,” hoping to find out more about the organization’s questionable guidance on COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant women since there was little data indicating that it was safe or effective. The FOIA request sought to obtain documents involving three grants HHS/CDC made to ACOG during the pandemic, one of which was for $11.8 million (USASpending.gov).
Because of the lack of safety data of the COVID-19 shots during pregnancy, it was worth questioning ACOG’s acceptance of this money:
The premier professional membership organization for obstetricians and gynecologists accepted $11.8 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to promote COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant women, despite the exclusion of pregnant women from clinical trials and regulatory data showing the vaccine had not been tested for safety during pregnancy.
Moderna’s Fact Sheet for Emergency Use Authorization of their 2023-2024 formulation released on September 11th, 2023, admits there remains a lack of data in Section 8.1 on Pregnancy:
Risk Summary. All pregnancies have a risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2% to 4% and 15% to 20%, respectively. Available data on Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine administered to pregnant women are insufficient to inform vaccineassociated risks in pregnancy. Data are not available on Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent administered to pregnant women.
The ACOG web site is consistent with the manufacturer’s insert and also admits a lack of safety data:
Available Safety Information Related to the Use of COVID-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy.
Despite ACOG's persistent advocacy for the inclusion of pregnant individuals in COVID-19 vaccine trials, none of the COVID-19 vaccines approved under EUA have been tested in pregnant individuals. However, studies in pregnant women have since been completed and post-market surveillance is ongoing.
The ACOG web site goes on to cite the following research and data on COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy:
Data from Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity (DART) studies for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been reported in Europe. According to the report presented to the European Medicines Agency, animal studies using the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine do not indicate direct or indirect harmful effects with respect to pregnancy, embryo/fetal development, parturition, or postnatal development (EMA).
CDC is currently enrolling pregnant individuals in a v-safe pregnancy registry, and as of May 2, 2022, 23,779 pregnant individuals were enrolled. Data collected through February 28 from the v-safe pregnancy registry did not indicate any safety concerns based on the reactogenicity profile and adverse events observed among pregnant individuals. Additionally, side effects were similar in pregnant and nonpregnant populations. Specific neonatal outcomes data published in The New England Journal of Medicine, along with pregnancy complication data from 275 completed pregnancies presented at the March 1, 2021 ACIP meeting are included in Table 1.
No differences have been seen when comparing pregnant individuals participating in the v-safe pregnancy registry with the background rates of adverse pregnancy outcomes. It appears that the spontaneous abortion rate following COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is consistent with the background rate; however the ideal denominator has not appeared in published literature (Shimabukuro 2021). Data reported by CDC indicate that the proportion of spontaneous abortions reported after COVID-19 vaccination is consistent with the known background rate of this outcome. However, a risk estimate has not yet been established (Shimabukuro 2021, Zauche 2021).
In addition to data reported from the v-safe pregnancy registry, multiple reports from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) continue to reinforce the safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. A case-control study using data from the VSD found that among women with spontaneous abortions, the odds of COVID-19 vaccine exposure were not increased in the prior 28 days compared with women with ongoing pregnancies (Kharbanda 2021). In a subsequent retrospective cohort of >40,000 pregnant women in the VSD, COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy was not associated with preterm birth or small-for-gestational age at birth overall, stratified by trimester of vaccination, or number of vaccine doses received during pregnancy, compared with unvaccinated pregnant women (Lipkind 2022).
Summarizing these claims, it seems that the sparse data being relied upon for this very critical population has serious shortcomings and do not support ‘enthusiastic endorsement’ of COVID-19 shots during pregnancy:
The DART studies are not useful one way or the other.
The admitted lack of a denominator using V-Safe data makes any calculation of test or background rates meaningless or at best, insignificant.
Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD): In the first two studies cited, retrospective data was only gathered if vaccination was within 28 days prior to spontaneous abortions; and oddly, the larger study didn’t even look at abortions.
Nevertheless, ACOG continues to promote the safety of the COVID-19 jabs, including an early press release on July 30, 2021:
Washington, D.C. – The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), the two leading organizations representing specialists in obstetric care, recommend that all pregnant individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. The organizations’ recommendations in support of vaccination during pregnancy reflect evidence demonstrating the safe use of the COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy from tens of thousands of reporting individuals over the last several months, as well as the current low vaccination rates and concerning increase in cases.
The press release archived on the website includes coaching guides and talking points for Obstetrician–gynecologists, and glaringly fails to provide any actual data:
“ACOG encourages its members to enthusiastically recommend vaccination to their patients. This means emphasizing the known safety of the vaccines and the increased risk of severe complications associated with COVID-19 infection, including death, during pregnancy,” said J. Martin Tucker, MD, FACOG, president of ACOG. “It is clear that pregnant people need to feel confident in the decision to choose vaccination, and a strong recommendation from their obstetrician–gynecologist could make a meaningful difference for many pregnant people.
“COVID-19 vaccination is the best method to reduce maternal and fetal complications of COVID-19 infection among pregnant people,” said William Grobman, MD, MBA, president of SMFM.
The ACOG then makes a number of “key recommendations.”
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all eligible persons aged 6 months and older, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series.”
“A bivalent messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine is recommended for all unvaccinated pregnant and nonpregnant individuals and all individuals who have completed or partially completed a monovalent vaccine series but have not yet received a bivalent mRNA vaccine.”
As the Epoch Times article points out, these recommendations are unclear, when they also say “ACOG now recommends pregnant women receive their initial primary series and new bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccines that have not received full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
ACOG offers additional recommendation ‘gems’ on their site. Every family should be aware of these strategies that can be deployed on them by their doctor to bypass or gloss over the lack safety and efficacy studies on the shots:
Vaccination may occur in any trimester, and emphasis should be on vaccine receipt as soon as possible to maximize maternal and fetal health.
For patients who do not receive any COVID-19 vaccine, the discussion should be documented in the patient’s medical record. During subsequent office visits, obstetrician–gynecologists should address ongoing questions and concerns and offer vaccination again.
Obstetrician–gynecologists and other women’s health care practitioners should lead by example by being vaccinated and encouraging eligible patients to be vaccinated as well.
COVID-19 vaccines may be administered simultaneously with other vaccines. This includes vaccines routinely administered during pregnancy, such as influenza and Tdap.
So why is ACOG doing all this promoting of the COVID-19 shots despite the lack of safety data? The Epoch Times article on Ms. Thorpe’s FOIA discoveries explains the most-likely reason:
The contracts further provided for the return of funding to the HHS if ACOG did not adhere to the federal government’s messaging that COVID-19 vaccines were safe and effective for pregnant women and new mothers.
How did these federal funds sent to the ACOG affect Washington state?
In its “COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions” section, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) shows that if the COVID-19 shots are safe enough for ACOG to recommend to pregnant women, then they are fine enough for the DOH to do the same.
The DOH web site directly refers to ACOG as their authority on pregnancy and COVID shots:
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant, lactating or planning to become pregnant?
Yes, data show that COVID-19 vaccines are safe during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are pregnant, lactating, or planning to get pregnant…
For more resources about getting the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant and breastfeeding, please see up to date information on the One Vax, Two Lives website.
The One Vax, Two Lives website references a table of study results that support the claim that “COVID-19 vaccination supported healthier pregnancy outcomes.” Taking apart these studies is beyond the scope of this article. For the time being, we’ll just leave it by pointing out that the Imperial College of London has interpreted the studies. This is the same public health institute that drove the world into lockdown by drastically overestimating the number of deaths from SARS-COV-2.
The Washington DOH also sends out a regular COVID-19 Vaccine Partner Newsletter. In the latest “For Everyone” section, the newsletter has a link to “Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines,” that takes one not to the ACOG web site but to the CDC web site:
Based on these promotional campaigns, it’s apparent that the DOH refers to the ACOG and CDC recommendations, which, in turn, do not adequately back up claims of safety and efficacy during pregnancy with sound studies. A doctor would be hard pressed to ‘enthusiastically recommend.’ There is still not a clear benefit, even after the shots have been deployed for over two years. Arguments against pregnant women getting the shots still stand as we first wrote in early 2021 when the shots rolled out.
Washington Representative McMorris Says the NIH Is Stonewalling
As the House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair, United States Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, along with Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith, have had to send two letters to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for information and documents.
McMorris, a Republican from Washington’s fifth congressional district, says that NIH officials are stonewalling when it comes to turning over public information regarding the COVID-19 origins.
On May 1, McMorris and the two other Republicans sent a letter to the Acting Director of NIH, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, regarding NIH’s oversight of potential risky research activities, such as virus mutation or manipulation in experiments involving Covid-19.
On August 9, McMorris sent a follow-up letter, which included the following;
On May 1, 2023, in order to be able to assess the adequacy of the NIH’s oversight of potential risky research activities such as virus mutation or manipulation in experiments involving SARS, MERS, or SARS CoV-2, we requested information and documents. We are following up on this request. It has since been over three months, and we have no meaningful evidence that the NIH is responding to this request.
Given this lack of response and the lack of meaningful engagement with committee staff to provide a document production, we request that the NIH provide responsive documents by no later than August 31, 2023. In the event that NIH does not provide documents by that date, the Committee will be forced to consider compulsory process to secure production of the requested documents.
Please be on the lookout for the “compulsory process” to be used and let us know at email@example.com.
Washington Researcher Karl Kanthak Appears on Vaccine Safety Awareness Marathon
This past Saturday night, September 9th, researcher Karl Kanthak appeared on the Vaccine Safety Awareness Marathon (video content is currently private), where he showed the fallacies of the work done by Dr. Peter Hotez, who is the recipient of the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Medical Association for his work on promoting vaccines and for combating vaccine misinformation. Dr. Hotez was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for his work on COVID-19
In his interview with Teryn Gregson, Karl reminded everyone of the recent news that Joe Rogan offered Dr. Hotez $100,000 to debate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
With that hot news trending on the Internet, Karl’s examination of a 2018 paper that Dr. Hotez published on the ‘antivaccine movement is now more relevant than ever.
The primary focus of Hotez’ study was on high nonmedical vaccine exemption rates in Idaho, Utah, and Wisconsin. Karl drills into the same areas cited in the study that were supposedly “pockets of intense anti-vaccine activity” as alleged by Dr. Hotez. These “hot spots” were in sparsely-populated regions with very small school populations, where a few vaccine exemptions in a small group looks much larger as a percentage. This kind of statistical misuse singles out areas like Camas, Idaho when the actual numbers are very small.
Karl points out the illogical conclusions of Hotez’ paper:
What conclusion is more scientific? That using percentage measurement when it is numerically insignificant and numerical measurement when it is statistically insignificant is creating these “hot spots” through improper measurement practice? Or that the undocumented “antivaccine activity” is causing the “hot spots”?
By finding the statistical flaws in the paper, Karl concluded that there is no magical process whereby an exemption rate can have an impact greater than its nominal value. That is mathematically impossible. There is no magical process whereby a student with an exemption somehow causes a non-exempt student to be unvaccinated. This is illogical.
Dr. Hotez does not explain the magical process whereby a state’s nonmedical exemption rate can have an impact greater than its nominal value. What legitimate purpose could there be to justify this unnecessary exercise? The only reason could be to make it look more in the realm of a science-like activity.
Karl then brought up how Hotez’ paper cited the Disney measles outbreak of 2014 and 2015:
Karl observed that there was “no documentation of low vaccination rates in Anaheim or Orange County,” around Disneyland indicating that the area is not a “hot spot” of anti-vaccine activity. The outbreak started in Disneyland, which is not a California school, yet was cited as a reason to remove exemptions for school children. Furthermore, most of the measles cases in 2015 were in adults, including many who were vaccinated, which reminds us that measles vaccines wane over time. The vaccinated were a significant factor in measles transmission, as confirmed by a Doctor Harriman at the time, that people fully vaccinated for measles have been involved in measles transmission.
Karl was able to display the fallacy of Hotez’ main conclusions, that the outbreak was not caused by prevailing low vaccination rates and antivaccine activity.
Both Teryn and Karl concluded by agreeing with the rhetorical question: “What does Disneyland as an international destination have to do with California schools?”
ICWA will attempt to make the full video available to our members as soon as possible.