Critique of Dr. Simone Gold's Covid-19 lecture, by Dave Burton

Feb. 6, 2021
by Dave Burton

The Google Thought Police have taken that video down, but I saved a copy of it, here:
https://sealevel.info/Simone_Gold_critique/

I don't approve of such censorship.  That said, her presentation is full of horrible misinformation, and awful advice.

What's more, the remnant-tv site which is promoting that video is not in a very good position to complain about censorship, because they censored my comment about the video, on their web site:




Buckle up, here we go...


At 5:20 she said: "All of a sudden we started hearing... that hydroxychloroquine is unsafe... What an enormous lie this is!"

"All of a sudden"?  That is incorrect. In fact it is rather shocking that a physician should think such a thing. The FDA has been issuing warnings about hydroxychloroquine [HCQ] for many years.
https://www.drugs.com/cdi/plaquenil.html

I know that because it used to be very widely prescribed for leg cramps. In fact, it was the "magic bullet" which solved my mom's problem with leg cramps. But since 2006 the FDA has been strongly recommending that it not be used for that.

I'm currently taking it for that purpose, despite the warnings.

(I got it on the "gray market," I don't have a prescription for it. To minimize the risks, and since it has a very long half-life in the body, I've been taking just one tablet per month, which has seemed to be sufficient. But recently, on the 31st day since my previous dose, during the day I had a brief but painful foot cramp. So I plan to reduce the interval between doses to 3-4 weeks.)


10:25 "Human beings recognize truth, we have something inside of us..."

Oh, would that it were so!   🙁 

The problem with common sense is that it is so very, very rare.

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry on as if nothing happened."
- Winston Churchill (paraphrased)


12:40 "I encourage anybody... go without a mask... push up against tyranny..."

That's crazy-talk. Mask mandates are not "tyranny."

You can argue about the efficacy of mask-wearing, and about who should be wearing them and when, but to equate mask mandates with tyranny just proves she doesn't know what tyranny is.

She should know better. Even if she's not old enough to remember when people used to get shot and killed while trying to scale the Berlin Wall, to escape real tyranny, she still should know better.


13:38 "...having that pill [HCQ] in your possession [would have] meant that the majority of people would have stopped living in fear."

She makes it sound as though HCQ is a guaranteed cure for Covid. There is no evidence for such a thing.

It is one of several drugs which some studies have reported is helpful, but no study has suggested that if you take it, your Covid is certain to be cured or to be non-dangerous. At best, it might improve your odds of having a mild case, or quicker recovery, and even that is uncertain.


15:20 "...the big fight wasn't the virus, it was the fear..."

Dead wrong.  (Pardon the pun.)
Using figures from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
U.S. Covid death toll as of Jan. 20: 420,285
U.S. Covid death toll as of Jan. 13: 393,911
U.S. Covid death toll as of Dec. 20: 325,490
U.S. Covid death toll as of Nov. 20: 260,259
420,285 - 393,911 = 26,374 deaths over the week of Jan. 14-21 (Wed. to Wed.)
420,285 - 325,490 = 94,795 deaths from Dec. 21 to Jan. 20 (over the last month)
420,285 - 260,259 = 160,026 deaths from Nov. 21 to Jan. 20. (the last two months)
26,374 / 7 =  3768 / day
94,795 / 31 = 3058 / day
160,026 / 61 = 2623 / day

Over the entirety of 2020, abortion killed more than twice as many Americans as Covid-19. (Abortion killed an average of about 2400 per day.)  But now, for the first time since Roe v. Wade, abortion is not the leading cause of death in the United States. On an average day, Covid-19 now kills even more Americans than abortion does.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9173513/2020-set-deadliest-year-U-S-history-3-2-million-total-deaths.html

Dr. Gold is wrong: the problem is not the fear, it's the virus.


15:28 "...a fundamentally irrational decision to rush headlong towards an experimental medication.."

What is irrational is to ignore all the large scale safety and efficacy trials of the vaccines, and the >3000 Americans per day who are dying from this disease.


16:10 "...this so-called vaccine, experimental biological agent, actually doesn't stop transmission..."

That is highly misleading. The vaccines don't STOP transmission, because they don't stop all infections -- but they don't need to, to end the epidemic.

There is also speculation about the possibility that people who have been vaccinated might nevertheless be susceptible to getting mild cases of the disease, in which they're still contagious. That is unproven, but possible.

But, even if that turns out to be the case, it is almost 100% certain that vaccination will at least reduce contagiousness, and thus reduce the spread of the disease. To my knowledge, there's no vaccine in history which did not reduce the spread of the particular disease that it protected against.

A sort-of-exception is the Gardasil HPV vaccine. The problem is that it protected against only a few of the many strains of HPV. (That isn't a problem with the Covid vaccines, at least not so far.)

In a CDC study of college students, those who got the vaccine had HIGHER prevalence of infection by oncogenic HPV strains than those who didn't. Their infection rate by the strains that were included in the vaccine went down, but their overall infection rate went up.

That was probably due to behavioral differences: either the vaccination led to a false sense of security, and thus encouraged promiscuity, which spread the disease, or else the more promiscuous students were more inclined to get vaccinated (or both).

The vaccine "worked as designed," because it reduced the spread of the particular strains that it covered. But its benefit was drastically oversold, because those strains were a small percentage of the infections detected in the study. The indirect effects of vaccination (on behavior) might have done more harm than the immunity did good.

https://burtonsys.com/Gardasil_vs_Gardasil9.html


16:19 "...it actually changes nothing."

Preventing 95% of infections is not “changing nothing.”


16:30 "...enduring myths...  what is the chance that you'll survive Covid if you get it? If you're under age 20... the survival rate is 99.997%. Why are we talking about anything in that group?"

If her claim were true, then the answer to her question would be, "Because those kids go home to their families."

When a young person's lack of caution causes grandma to spend three weeks in the ICU and then die, THAT is real harm to the young person, as well as to his grandparents, even if his own body shook off the infection with ease.

However, her claim is false. It is true that the Covid-19 survival rate is dramatically higher for young people than for old people, but the CDC has never claimed that the survival rate for those under 20 is 99.997% 

"Survival analysis is highly complex.CDC does not have the data to calculate survivability for COVID-19. [It is] unclear as to where social media users are getting this information." - CDC spokesperson Jasmine Reed

Ms. Reed didn't know where it came from, but I found it.  It's from a "fake news" article written by one Steve Stewart. It is on a Florida web site named "Tallahassee Reports," by a small organization calling itself "Red Hills Journalism Foundation." The web site says that Mr. Stewart has a Masters degree in political science, and runs "a commercial marketing and printing business." He and his wife apparently run the web site.

In his article, Mr. Stewart linked to a CDC web page which he credited as the source of the information, but either he didn't understand it, or else he deliberately misrepresented it, and assumed that his readers wouldn't check, because his article CONTRADICTS the CDC's web page.

This is Mr. Stewart's fake news article:

https://tallahasseereports.com/2020/09/26/cdc-releases-updated-covid-19-fatality-rate-data/

(I also found a few other copies, which appear to be based on that one.)

This is the CDC page which he credited as the source:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

Mr. Stewart's article CLAIMED that the CDC page shows "their research on the fatality rate associated with COVID-19." But the actual page says nothing like that. In fact, it contradicts it!

Instead, the CDC page describes five different hypothetical "planning scenarios," used in mathematical modeling, and it explicitly says, "The parameters in the scenarios... Are NOT predictions of the expected effects of COVID-19."

If you're using Google Chrome, then this "text fragment link" should take you to that statement, on the CDC page:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html#:~:text=Are%20not,predictions%20of%20the%20expected%20effects%20of%20COVID-19.

The five wildly varying hypothetical "scenarios" on that page contain estimates of many different parameters, one of which is the case fatality ratio, for which they have three different possible estimates, credited to a paper by a Swiss academic named Anthony Hauser. However, that appears to be an error, because the paper in question contains much different fatality rate estimates, as you can see:

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003189#:~:text=Estimates%20of%20IFR%20ranged%20from,%20Italy (or here, or here).

Based on data from China and Europe during early stages of the epidemic, they reported Infection Fatality Ratios varying from 0.5% (Switzerland as of 23 April) to 2.9% (Hubei as of 11 February). Here's their "Table 1" (look in the right-hand column):

https://sealevel.info/hauser2020_ifr_table1.png  (click to enlarge)


The Hauser paper concluded, "estimates of the IFR [infection fatality ratio were] around 3% in Hubei Province, China, and rang[ed] between 0.5% and 1.4% in six included European locations."

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003189#:~:text=similar%20estimates%20of%20the%20IFR,six%20included%20European%20locations (or here).

At any rate, regardless of whether the authors of the CDC page about planning scenarios misunderstood the Hauser paper, they were very clear about the fact that their planning scenarios, "Are NOT predictions of the expected effects of COVID-19." That means that the Stewart article is Fake News.


17:12 "For ages 20 to 49, the survival rate is 99.98%."

That "survival rate" statistic is also from Mr. Stewart's article. His article says, "CDC COVID-19 Survival Rates [for] Age 20-49 [are] 99.98%..."

In the first place, the CDC does not say that, and in the second place those numbers are impossible.

Here are the actual Covid-19 fatality statistics, from the CDC:

https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku

According to that CDC page, between Feb 1, 2020 and Feb. 3, 2021, we lost 1,480 young adults, ages 18-29, to Covid-19 (and only 147 to flu). Among 30-49 year-olds, we've lost 16,317 to Covid (and 803 to flu).

(They also list 631 deaths of 18-29 year-olds, and 7,700 deaths of 30-49 year-olds, due to "Pneumonia and Covid-19," but I think those are already included in the Covid-19 deaths, so I didn't add them.)

The CDC page doesn't break out the numbers of deaths from each cause for ages 18 and 19, but the Covid-19 death rate is low among teenagers, so it is safe to say that at least 1,300 of the 1,480 deaths among 18-29 year-olds were in their 20s. That means there were at least 16,317+1300 = 17,617 deaths of 20-49 year-olds due to Covid-19.

Dr. Gold and Mr. Stewart's article claim that the survival rate among 20-49 year-olds is 99.98%. But that is impossible. Here's how you can tell that it is impossible:

There were at least 17,617 deaths in that age group. If the survival rate were 99.98% that would mean 9,998 recoveries for every 2 deaths, so 17,617 deaths would mean there were 88,067,383 recoveries, just among 20-49 year-olds.

It is not possible that there could have been 88 million recoveries among 20-49 year-olds, because there are only about 130 million Americans in that age range, in total! Obviously, 2/3 of them cannot have recovered from Covid-19, already.


17:29 "This is with no treatment, your survival rate is..."

Dr. Gold made up that lie, all on her own. Even Stewart didn't claim the survival rates are "with no treatment."


19:05 Although I didn't check all the details, on the whole her criticism of Gov. Cuomo was on target. Here's an article:
https://nypost.com/2020/07/08/cuomo-sent-6300-covid-19-patients-to-nursing-homes-amid-pandemic/


19:50 The reason the hospital ship was empty was that the ship wasn't equipped to handle patients who needed to be isolated. The NYC hospitals didn't have a shortage of total beds, they had a shortage of isolation beds. 


21:50 "...The Lancet ended up retracting the study, which is a once-in-a-generation or once-in-a-lifetime kind of event."

No, it isn't. That's a very strange statement, because The Lancet has retracted many papers. Here is the retracted Surgisphere HCQ paper which she's talking about:

This Lancet editorial was retracted as a result of the that one:

The Lancet's most famous retraction was this one:

But there've been many others; these were all in the last decade:

22:32 "when it was retracted they buried the story of it being retracted. You have to really struggle to find that information."

No, you don't. Here's the obvious google search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=hydroxychoroqine+lancet

The media does lie a lot, but it seemed to me that the story of this retraction got a lot of press. (OTOH, I don't get my news from TV.)


23:40 "mRNA technology, which has never, ever before been used for vaccines."

That's not quite true. These are the first mRNA vaccines successfully brought to market, but mRNA vaccines have been under development for a very long time; here's a 2019 paper:
https://sealevel.info/verbeke2019_three_decades_of_mRNA_vaccine_development.pdf


25:20 "there's no independently published animal studies..."

"Independently published" is tricky, deceptive wording. Such studies are rarely independent. It is almost always the developers of new drugs that do the animal studies.

Because of the urgency, the animal studies and human studies of these vaccines were overlapped, but that doesn't mean animal studies weren't done at all.
https://apnews.com/article/fact-checking-afs:Content:9792931264 
https://www.pfizer.com/news/press-release/press-release-detail/pfizer-and-biontech-announce-data-preclinical-studies-mrna
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%22Johnson+%26+Johnson%E2%80%99s+Coronavirus+Vaccine+Protects+Monkeys%2C+Study+Finds%22
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/05/vaccines-found-that-may-protect-against-covid-19-in-animal-models/ (this was a very early "feasibility" study) 


25:48 - 27:40 "...known complications..."

Her discussion is entirely about other vaccines. Those are not "known complications" of any of the Covid-19 vaccines in use, trials, or development.

We've had very large trials of several of these Covid-19 vaccines, without those complications. The Novavax Phase III trial that I'm in is enrolling 30,000 volunteers, of whom 20,000 will get the vaccines, and this is not their first Phase III trial. They had another Phase III trial, in the UK, that began back in September.


29:48 "Certainly In younger women, right, women under 50, the survival reset[?], per the CDC, is 99.98 percent.."

Assuming she meant "rate," that's just a lie.

She also speculated that the vaccines may cause fertility problems in women "indefinitely,' and that having the disease may cause fertility problems, but only temporarily. That seems implausible.

I don't think there's any history of significant fertility problems among women who have had coronavirus infections, and I also don't think there's any reason to expect any effect of vaccination to last far longer than would be caused by evoking an immune response by having the disease. In a large, blinded Pfizer vaccine trial, the frequency of pregnancies which occurred among women in the vaccine group was about the same as the frequency of pregnancies in the placebo group.

31:15 "There's no proof that this biological agent [vaccine] actually stops the transmission amongst people..."

That's highly misleading. She said almost the same thing at 16:10, and I addressed it there.


32:05 "It's kind of putting people into a sort of asymptomatic carrier kind of state..."

There's no evidence for that.


32:20 "They've been selling us this bill of goods, that there's asymptomatic transmission, and that seems to be moot..."

That's another lie. The best evidence is that most Covid-19 infections occur from people who are asymptomatic / presymptomatic, or who have such mild symptoms that they don't realize that they are infected. 

EVERY case of Covid-19 that I have personal knowledge of was apparently caused by infection from someone who, at the time, did not realize that he or she was infected. They were either completely asymptomatic, or else they had such mild symptoms that they mistook them for something else, like allergies. The usual story goes something like this: someone came into the home, for a social visit, or to clean, or to fix a plumbing problem, or to give dad a haircut. The next day the visitor began to feel ill, and a few days after that everyone in the house started getting sick. Clearly, in such cases, transmission occurred before the visitor had noticeable symptoms. A nitpicker might object that they were presymptomatic, rather than truly asymptomatic, but, for practical purposes, that's a distinction without a difference, because you can't tell presymptomatic from asymptomatic until it is too late.

That is obviously anecdotal evidence, but is also an existence proof, that asymptomatic/presymptomatic transmission is real, not a "bill of goods."


32:32 "I think they're going to gain the numbers, all these people, let's say you give this vaccine to a hundred million people, and now all hundred million people are quote unquote testing positive for Covid-19, they're going to tell us that the cases have risen and, you know, we can never relax."

That's just silly. Does she really think healthy, vaccinated people are going to be mistaken for Covid-19 cases?


32:55 "There's been no proof that this is actually reducing mortality..."

Another lie.  Large, Phase III trials of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have showed about a 95% reduction in cases. So, obviously, it is reducing mortality.


33:07 "The odds of dying from this illness are already incredibly low."

Another plain lie. 

Using the worldometers figures today, of (423,671 + 15,198,474) =  15,622,145 known resolved U.S. cases, (423,671 / 15,622,145) = 2.72% have died.

It is likely that there've been at least as many recovered undiagnosed mild case as recovered diagnosed cases, which means that the true infection fatality rate might be only half that calculated case fatality rate, but it is still not "incredibly low." Over the last two months, Covid-19 has exceeded abortion as the #1 cause of human deaths in the USA.


33:10 "We don't know how long it lasts."

That's true, but it's to be expected for a new vaccine.


33:39 "Never talk about this without the word experimental. That's critical."

It is only critical if you're trying to scare people. It is hypocritical and disingenuous to call >3000 American deaths per day "incredibly low" odds of dying, but then try to frighten people about enormously lower chances of being harmed by vaccination.


34:16 "What's going to happen if you give this vaccine to a hundred million people, that are otherwise healthy, and they do have this antibody dependent reaction, because we haven't ruled it out, they do get exposed to the virus in the wild, and 30% of them drop."

What astonishing crackpottery! What on earth does she think those phase III trials tested??

Those are the tests which determined that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 95% effective at protecting against infection. Don't you think someone would have noticed if 30% of those who were vaccinated were dropping dead when they were exposed to the disease?

Dr. Simone Gold demonstrates that 10% of doctors graduated in the bottom 10% of their med school class. (I hate that she sounds kind of like Sarah Palin, because I like Sarah Palin.)

I don't approve of censorship, in principle, but I can understand who such brazen lies provoked the Google Thought Police to censor her.

One of the problems with such brazen, dangerous lies is that they provoke censorship, and once the Big Tech censors get in the habit of censoring things like this, they're liable to be much more inclined to censor other things.


37:21 "...the hepatitis vaccine also had a similar different response amongst races, specifically, white boys were 64% less likely to have autism diagnosis relative to non-white boys."

That appears to be a reference to Gallagher & Goodman, 2010:
https://vaccinesafetycommission.org/pdfs/26-2010-Hep-B-Autism.pdf

Dr. Gold tosses that off, in passing, as if it were an established fact that hepatitis vaccination causes autism. It is not. The study in question reported a positive correlation among boys (but a slight negative association among girls) between autism and a hepatitis B vaccination before age three months. But:
1. They mention that their result is "novel," and
2. Their result was based on just 30 cases of autism among boys vaccinated before age 3mo, and
3. They found no association among boys vaccinated after age three months.  

The alleged link between vaccines and autism is controversial, and it is irresponsible to mention it in a way that conveys the misleading impression there's no doubt about it.


39:19 "How is it racial justice to sign up first for an experimental biological agent that we don't know?"

Vaccination will surely save many lies. The advocates for race-biased vaccination policies, which, for example, give priority to nursing home workers, rather than nursing home residents, because nursing home workers are disproportionately minorities, and nursing home residents are disproportionately white, do so to save minority lives, at the anticipated expense of a higher overall death toll.

It is racist, and disgusting, but that's the rationale.


42:42 "Do you want to be first, if you want to be first, to volunteer yourself, for track and trace system, enrolling yourself into a medical trial..."

1. The tug-o-war over which groups get priority for vaccination is not about medical trials, it is about vaccination after vaccines are approved.
 
2. There's no "track and trace system" associated with getting vaccinated, nor even with enrolling in a medical trial. I'm enrolled in a vaccine trial, and nobody is tracking or tracing me (though I do report my daily temperature reading, as part of the trial -- in fact, I have the thermometer in my mouth as I type this...  96.5F).


42:56 "If you take the vaccine, you're being enrolled in a pharmacovigilance tracking system. It means you've enrolled yourself in a medical trial."

That's untrue. Pharmacovigilance doesn't mean you've enrolled in a medical trial, or that you are being tracked and traced. It simply means proper reporting of adverse events, so that problems don't go undetected.
https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/news/ema-publishes-safety-monitoring-plan-guidance-risk-management-planning-covid-19-vaccines

The rest of the video is just a summary of her organization's advice -- which is uniformly terrible.