The FL vaccine study used by the surgeon general was altered
Classic anti-science moves yet again
This appeared on my blog over at Science.
Several months ago, I published an editorial calling out Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo for publicizing an unreviewed and unattributed study that supported his view that COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were not recommended for males aged 18 to 39. Ladapo has followed a familiar playbook in spreading misinformation: He leverages his scientific credentials to take unreviewed science and promote it in op-eds and elsewhere. Prior to his move to Florida, he wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that cited a preprint that was withdrawn and anotherthat was never published in a peer-reviewed journal to suggest that ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine were effective against COVID-19. Numerous, rigorous randomized control trials have shown this to be false, but Ladapo contended that the scientific community was using fear to prohibit treatment with these drugs.
Ladapo based his statement that mRNA vaccines were not indicated for males aged 18 to 39 on an unattributed study that showed a small risk of cardiac complications from the vaccines. But the study did not compare the risk of getting the vaccine to the risk of contracting COVID-19. Now, public records show that these data were removed from the study by state officials before Ladapo made his recommendation and that—as expected—the data he did refer to supported the idea that the risk of getting the vaccine does not outweigh the risk of dying from COVID.
In my editorial, I pointed out that Ladapo was calling for a debate about these issues, but he wanted to do so based on his opinions rather than through the scientific process of a full airing of the data and peer review. Just stating opinions that challenge scientific consensus is not how science works. But upholding science wasn’t Ladapo’s goal. He was just trying to create enough confusion to achieve his political goals. In response to my piece, the editorial board at the Wall Street Journal implied that I wasn’t a scientist because I wouldn’t give equal weight to Ladapo’s unexamined speculation. Of course, that isn’t true. I simply said that if he wants to challenge scientific consensus, he has to follow established processes. That would include subjecting the study to peer review and certainly would not include omitting data from the study that disproved his argument. Now we know from the records that’s precisely what he did.
Science is a social endeavor that occurs within the scientific community through established processes and not in op-eds and white papers. Just believing something to be incorrect isn’t sufficient to challenge scientific scrutiny. Until the scientific community figures out how to counter this, the forces of anti-science will continue to run these maneuvers from a playbook that is well established.
A minor semantic disagreement: "Science is a social endeavor that occurs within the scientific community through established processes and not in op-eds and white papers."
I don't agree with this statement. Science does not require peer review, or even disclosure to the community at all. I would call that something like peer reviewed mainstream science. I do not consider it correct to say that an unreviewed white paper is inherently not science, and would say that such an "excluding" characterization of what is science ,that deviates from the traditional definition of science, is an exclusion that should be discouraged.
This semantic disagreement doesn't imply any disagreement about the concept that there is a difference between peer reviewed science and non-peer reviewed science. Or more correctly, competently reviewed science versus its alternative.
First, your piece begins disingenuously by not acknowledging all the empirical clinical evidence supporting the off label use of HCQ (https://c19hcq.org) and ivermectin (https://c19ivm.org ) as both safe and effective in the early treatment of COVID-19.
Second, though I agree that, “Science is a social endeavor that occurs …through established processes and not in op-eds and white papers,” this criticism applies to both sides of the current scientific debate regarding the safety and efficacy of these experimental synthetic mRNA ‘gene therapy’ products.
For example, while the Tampa Tribune’s op-ed on Surgeon General Lapado published his report along with earlier drafts, they didn’t fully disclose the University of Florida’s (UF) “task force” report (circulated only among UF faculty) that was critical of Lapado.
Instead, they only cheery picked certain quotes accusing Lapado of irresponsibly leaving out important comparative data suggesting that COVID infections posed a greater cardiovascular risk than the jabs.
The Tampa Tribune’s original “news” story and all those parroting it’s carefully crafted narrative was designed to leave the public thinking that Lapado has been charged and convicted of misleading the public by the court of the “scientific opinion”, but without providing the public with all the facts and context.
While I don’t have the secret UF task force report to consider all their arguments, based on reviewing Lapado’s final report along with his prior drafts, I would argue that he was fully justified in removing the flawed Patone et al., study (see Why a major study on myocarditis risk following COVID vaccination should not influence public-health policy) from from his FL COVID jab report for the same reason the @UF_EPI "task force" doesn’t want to be reminded how their Omnicron model over estimated COVID mortality by 10X in January of 2022!
You see, because Omnicron had rendered all prior pathogenic C19 variants nearly extinct(<5% world wide) by Feb 2022 along with their prior risks of myocarditis, there’s simply little if any empirical evidence post Omnicron that COVID infections today increase the risk of myocarditis over these risky experimental ‘gene therapy’ products being misrepresented to the public as “vaccines.”
Until someone provides compelling empirical evidence otherwise in a public forum that encourages open dialogue and scientific debate, this continued criticism of Lapado’s October 2022 report will be nothing more than an elaborate ad hominem attack parroted by talking heads pretending to be real scientists.
Frontiers | Why a major study on myocarditis risk following COVID vaccination should not influence public-health policy