Tag Archives: Australia

Can Bak Kut Teh Soup Cause Liver Damage?!

Can Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Cause Liver Damage?!

Can a herbal soup like Bak Kut Teh cause liver damage, as alleged by an Australian study?!

Take a look at what the study showed, and what the facts really are!

 

Study : Bak Kut Teh Herbal Soup Can Cause Liver Damage!

Australian scientists recently caused a ruckus when their study alleged that the Asian herbal soup called Bak Kut Teh can cause liver damage.

The media excitedly jumped on it, with alarming titles to draw attention (and drive traffic?) :

ABC : Bak kut teh herbal soup may cause liver damage and interact with medication, study finds

Medical Xpress : Popular Malaysian soup can cause liver damage when mixed with medication

Adelaide Now : Adelaide forensic expert issues safety warning over liver failure soup

The Epoch Times : University Professor Warns of Risks Caused by Popular Chinese Soup

Says : Australian Researchers Find Bak Kut Teh Can Cause Liver Damage When Taken With Medicine

Truth : Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage!

Despite the alarming titles, there is no need to panic… because the study does NOT show the herbal soup, Bak Kut Teh, causing any liver damage.

Here is a quick summary for those who just need to know the basics :

  1. It was a laboratory study, which means the results may not translate into actual effect in a living human being.
  2. What we eat is digested and broken down, so our body absorbs the nutrients and not the actual food. Hence, the study does not accurately replicate what happens in our body.
  3. They didn’t test bak kut teh… they only tested four soup bases used to make bak kut teh.
  4. The soup concentrations were unspecified, so it is unknown if the doses are equivalent to what our livers are subjected to after a meal.
  5. They did not test drug interactions, so it is amazing how so many media outlets claimed that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication!

In short, this study does not show that bak kut teh causes liver damage. Neither does it show bak kut teh causing drug interactions of any kind.

I understand Professor Byard’s concerns about the “unknown” contents of these soup base preparations. Certain traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) have been associated with acute liver failure.

However, that isn’t so much a “bak kut teh” problem, but rather a problem with traditional Chinese medicine or Chinese herbal medicine.

For those who are interested in the details, please scroll down to the next section.

 

Why Study Does Not Show Bak Kut Teh Causing Liver Damage

Let’s start with the basics, and work our way through the Australian study.

Fact #1 : Study Was Conducted By Australian Scientists

First, the study was conducted by University of Adelaide and University of Melbourne scientists – Susan M. Britza, Rachael Farrington, Ian F. Musgrave, Craig Aboltins and Roger W. Byard.

It was published in the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, and you can read the study here.

Fact #2 : It Was A Laboratory Study

It is important to note that this was an in-vitro study – a laboratory study, not a clinical study.

In-vitro studies are important, but they cannot be extrapolated to make any conclusion about what actually happens in a human body.

For example, in-vitro studies have shown that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin have an inhibitory effect on the SARS-CoV-2 virus; but once tested in actual human beings – they were shown to have no clinical benefit.

In other words – what happens in a test tube, may not happen in an actual human being.

Read more : Did Study Show Pfizer Vaccine Altering Liver DNA In 6 Hours?!

Fact #3 : What We Eat Is Not What Our Body Absorbs

There is one big problem with doing in-vitro tests on food – what we eat is not what our body absorbs.

Food gets digested, and broken down into nutrients that are absorbed in our intestines. Even simple sugar gets broken down into glucose, fructose, galactose, maltose, sucrose, etc.

So soaking liver cells in a bak kut teh soup would most definitely not reflect what our liver cells actually experience after a bak kut teh meal.

In short, this study does not replicate what happens in our liver when we eat bak kut teh.

Fact #4 : There Are Many Types Of Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh is not so much a “herbal soup” as it is a pork soup dish. The name “bak kut teh” literally means “meat bone tea” in the Hokkien dialect, but there is no tea in it.

It is usually just a dish of pork ribs simmered for hours in a broth of common herbs and spices like star anise, cinnamon, cloves, dong quai, fennel seeds and garlic.

But there are many variants of bak kut teh. In Malaysia and Singapore where bak kut teh is most popular, there are at least four main “styles” :

  • Teochew style : light in colour, with more pepper and garlic
  • Hokkien style : darker and more fragrant, thanks to a variety of herbs and soy sauce
  • Cantonese style : includes medicinal herbs for a stronger flavoured soup
  • Klang style : a thick and sticky gravy, like a stew

On top of that, there are also chicken and beef versions of bak kut teh. Muslims, for example, love the chicken version, which is colloquially called chi kut teh, chi being short for chicken.

And the Malaysian town of Melaka serves a delicious beef bak kut teh, which is based on a unique black pepper soup with red fermented bean curd.

Fact #5 : They Tested Four Soup Bases

The Australian team were somewhat aware of the wide variety of bak kut teh soup bases. They tested four varieties :

  • Formulation 1 : Dried hawthorn
  • Formulation 2 : Goji berries, ginseng, bark, and dried mushrooms
  • Formulation 3 : Polygonatum odoratum, ligusticum chuanxiong, codonopsis pilosula, cinnamomum cassia, angelica sinensis, illicium verum, piper nigrum, and Eugenia caryophyllata
  • Formulation 4 : Spices, pepper and salt

It is important to note that instead of preparing bak kut teh like you and I would – with meat, vegetables, bean curd slices, etc., the researchers tested soups that were created only using the ingredients listed above.

In short, they did not actually test bak kut teh… they tested soups made from the ingredients above.

Fact #6 : Soup Concentration Was Unspecified

To prepare the four soups for testing, researchers added a sachet of each soup mix to boiling water (of unspecified quantity) for 5 minutes.

The concentration of each soup base was unspecified. They only listed the dilution factor. As such, it is quite impossible to draw any sort of conclusion from the results.

As any toxicologist will tell you – the dose makes the poison. This is why the concentration of any substance is critical in any study. Even water and oxygen – essential to human life to be sure – is toxic at high doses.

Fact #7 : Soups Were Prepared In 5 Minutes

It is important to point out that the soups the researchers used were prepared in just 5 minutes. Bak kut teh is usually prepared by simmering the meat in the soup for hours.

It would have been a good idea to prepare the soup bases like real bak kut teh soup, because boiling the soup for several hours could potentially break down toxins present in its ingredients.

In fact, it would have been better for the researchers to just buy real bak kut teh, instead of resorting to their soup bases prepared in just 5 minutes.

Fact #8 : They Tested Using HepG2 Liver Cancer Cells

It is also important to note that the researchers tested the soup bases by adding them to HepG2 cell cultures, not normal liver cells.

HepG2 is a hepatoblastoma (a type of liver cancer) cell line that was obtained from a 15 year-old boy suffering from liver cancer in 1975.

Now, there is nothing wrong with that – HepG2 is commonly used to test cytotoxicity of substances. Still, it must still be pointed out that HepG2 is not the same thing as normal liver cells.

In-vitro studies based on these cells should not be used to draw any conclusion, only used to drive further research.

Differences HepG2 Cells Normal Liver Cells
Cell Size 12-19 µm 15 µm
Cell Shape Polygonal Cube
Nuclei Single large nuclei
with 3-7 nucleoli
Two or more nuclei
Mitochondrial Content Low High
Smooth Endoplasmic Reticulum Poorly Developed High
No. of Chromosomes 50-60 46
DNA Content 7.5 pg ~6 pg
Genome Stability Unstable Stable

Fact #9 : Spices, Pepper + Salt Did Worst In Their Tests

What I found most interesting in their results was the fact that the most “toxic” soup was Formulation 4, which consisted of nothing more than spices, pepper and salt.

Formulation 4 showed the most significant toxicity to the HepG2 cell line with approximately 83% cell death before dilution (p < 0.0001) and persistent toxicity even with dilution 1:10 (15% ± 3.7, p = 0.023) and 1:1000 (14% ± 3.8, p = 0.024)

Well, that’s gonna worry fans of Kentucky Fried Chicken, which boasts 11 herbs and spices, including pepper and salt!

Jokes aside, this result suggest that common spices, pepper and salt are more toxic to HepG2 liver cells than the more fanciful bak kut teh preparations!

Fact #10 : They Did Not Test Drug Interactions

I’m not sure how this study touches on drug interaction, since they didn’t test the soup bases with common hepatotoxic drugs like paracetamol to see if there is a synergistic effect.

No matter how you slice and dice this study’s results, they tell us nothing about any possible interaction with other herbs / drugs.

Yet so many media outlets made the startling claim that the study showed that bak kut teh may interact with medication! Nowhere in the study does it say that!

It seems obvious that most of these journalists did not even bother to read the study, and only paraphrased what other people were writing.

 

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Dell Introduces 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays!

Dell just introduced a slew of new S Series monitors, as well as its first 14-inch Portable Monitor!

 

Dell Introduces 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays!

Thanks to the pandemic, the workplace has changed globally, with many companies now adopting a hybrid workplace policy.

Dell just introduced a slew of new S Series monitors, as well as its first 14-inch Portable Monitor, to address the need for employees to work between home and the office.

Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H)

Built to be the ultimate laptop companion, the C1422H is Dell’s first ever 14-inch portable monitor, designed to deliver dual-screen productivity to work, present and collaborate anywhere.

Professionals working in the office, at home or on the go  will appreciate the Dell Portable Monitor’s lightweight design. It weighs just over half a kilogram, and is less than a quarter-inch thick at its slimmest, making it extremely easy to travel with.

With an IPS panel that offers a Full HD display resolution, with an 16:9 aspect ratio, the Dell C1422H Portable Monitor offers easy plug and play with USB-C connectivity. Simply press the quick access buttons to adjust brightness (up to 300 nits) and the ComfortView feature that reduces harmful blue light emissions.

This sleek yet practical portable monitor complements all workstyles and productivity demands with a small continuous tilt stand that bends from 10 to 90 degrees. It also features Energy Star and EPEAT GOLD certification.

Dell 24 and 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ and S2722DZ)

Hanging out virtually with friends, family and co-workers will be easier with the new 27-inch QHD / 23.8-inch FHD monitors that are specifically designed for video calls.

For an easy out-of-box experience, these monitors come with a built-in 5 MP privacy pop-up camera, noise-cancelling microphones and dual 5 watt speakers. The pop-up camera stays hidden until you’re ready for video chatting, for privacy.

These video conferencing monitors feature Dell’s TÜV-certified ComfortView Plus – an always-on low blue light reduction technology that optimises eye comfort while retaining colour accuracy.  Other features include USB-C connectivity, AMD FreeSync technology and a 75 Hz refresh rate for smoother graphics.

Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) and Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC)

These two USB-C monitors offer the convenience of a single cable solution with USB Type Connectivity, to deliver video, audio, and data; while charging your laptop with up to 65 watts of power.

These monitors are great for those who want a clutter-free workspace, with a single-cable monitor to complement their laptops.

 

Dell 14-inch Portable Monitor + S Series Displays : Price + Availability!

These monitors are available with immediate effect from Dell online and authorised stores, at these starting price points :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : RM 1,499 (about US$341 / £277 / A$491 / S$471)
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (C2423H) : RM 1,439 (about US$327 / £266 / A$471 / S$452)

Online purchase options in Malaysia :

Online purchase options in Singapore :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : S$498 | S$515
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (C2423H) : S$479 | S$479
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : S$428 | S$499
  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : S$589 | S$599 | S$599
  • Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) : S$595 | S$599 | S$629
  • Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC) : S$469 | S$479

Online purchase options in United States :

  • Dell 14 Portable Monitor (C1422H) : $319.97
  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : $385.98
  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : $299.99
  • Dell 27 4K UHD USB-C Monitor (S2722QC) : $399.99

Online purchase options in United Kingdom :

  • Dell 24 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2422HZ) : £250
  • Dell 27 USB-C Monitor (S2722DC) : £299.99

Online purchase options in Australia :

  • Dell 27 Video Conferencing Monitor (S2722DZ) : A$915

 

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WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

The WHO has convened an emergency meeting on the monkeypox outbreak that has spread to 56 countries!

Here is what you need to know…

 

WHO Convenes Emergency Meeting On Monkeypox Outbreak!

On 23 June 2022, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus convened an emergency committee meeting under Article 48 of the International Health Regulations to discuss the current monkeypox outbreak.

Chaired by Dr. Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele and Dr. Nicola Low, this emergency WHO meeting on monkeypox is only open to members and advisors of the Emergency Committee.

The findings of this emergency meeting would be conveyed to the Director-General of WHO, on whether the outbreak should be classified as a public health emergency of international concern, and also on potential recommendations on how to address it.

This meeting comes as an NGO called World Health Network (unrelated to WHO) issued a press release describing the current monkeypox outbreak as a “pandemic”, urging “immediate and effective action” from country and global health authorities.

This led to a bit of confusion, as their names and acronyms were similar (WHO vs WHN). To be clear, WHO has not declared a monkeypox pandemic.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

 

Over 4,000 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 56 Countries!

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 56 countries outside of endemic African countries, with over 4,000 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Spain 918 100 1,018
United Kingdom 793 793
Germany 676 676
France 330 330
Portugal 328 328
Canada 223 45 268
United States 173 173
Netherlands 167 167
Italy 85 85
Belgium 77 1 78
Switzerland 52 52
Ireland 28 28
Ghana 18 18
Brazil 11 6 17
Israel 16 16
Australia 13 13
Denmark 13 13
Sweden 13 13
UAE 13 13
Austria 12 12
Poland 12 12
Mexico 9 9
Slovenia 9 9
Hungary 7 7
Czech Republic 6 6
Uganda 6 6
Romania 5 5
Argentina 4 4
Finland 4 4
Malta 4 4
Norway 4 4
Somalia 4 4
Chile 3 3
Colombia 3 3
Greece 3 3
Iceland 3 3
Bulgaria 2 2
Latvia 2 2
Morocco 1 1 2
Bahamas 1 1
Cayman Islands 1 1
Fiji 1 1
Georgia 1 1
Gibraltar 1 1
Haiti 1 1
Libya 1 1
Lebanon 1 1
Luxembourg 1 1
Serbia 1 1
Singapore 1 1
South Africa 1 1
South Korea 1 1
Uruguay 1 1
Venezuela 1 1
Zambia 1 1
TOTAL 4,049 170 4,219

 

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Chinese J-16 Fighter Fired Flares, Chaff At Australian Plane!

A Chinese J-16 fighter jet not only buzzed an Australian P-8 recon plane, it fired flares and chaff that entered one of its engines!

 

Chinese J-16 Fighter Fired Flares, Chaff At Australian Plane!

On 5 June 2022, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles announced that a Chinese J-16 fighter jet put the crew of an Australian P-8 reconnaissance plane at risk during a recent mid-air intercept on 26 May.

The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8 Poseidon was in the South China Sea conducting “routine maritime surveillance” activities in international waters when it was intercepted by a Chinese Shenyang J-16 fighter.

This time though, the J-16 pilot recklessly cut across the Australian recon plane’s flight path at close proximity, and fired flares and chaff.

Some of the chaff – usually aluminium foil or aluminium-coated glass fibres – were ingested by one of the Australian P-8 aircraft’s engines, potentially damaging it.

This was apparently done to forcibly end the recon aircraft’s patrol. Any potential damage to one of the engines would force the crew to return to base, even though the Boeing P-8 Poseidon can operate on a single engine.

What occurred was that the J-16 aircraft flew very close to the side of the P-8 maritime surveillance aircraft. In flying close to the side, it released flares.

The J-16 then accelerated and cut across the nose of the P-8, settling in front of the P-8 at a very close distance.

At that moment it then released a bundle of chaff, which contains small pieces of aluminum, some of which were ingested into the engine of the P-8 aircraft. Quite obviously, this is very dangerous.

The Australian Defense Ministry described the incident as “a dangerous maneuver which posed a safety threat to the P-8 aircraft and its crew”.

 

Chinese Justified J-16 Firing Flares, Chaff At Australian P-8…

In a statement released on 7 June 2022, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei justified the J-16’s dangerous intercept by accusing the Australian P-8 aircraft of “approaching Chinese airspace” close to the Paracel Islands.

The Paracel Islands, which the Chinese call “Xisha Islands”, is a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan.

While the Vietnamese were in control of the Paracel Islands since 1947, they were taken over by China after the Battle of the Paracel Islands in January 1974.

He also claimed that the Chinese pilot behaved in a “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful way“.

On May 26, an Australian P-8 anti-submarine patrol aircraft conducted close reconnaissance in the neighboring airspace of China’s Xisha Islands and approached the airspace continuously despite repeated warnings from the Chinese side.

The People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command mobilized naval and air forces to identify the craft and warned it off.

The Chinese military responded in a professional, safe, reasonable and lawful way.

Militaries from other countries should take note of what the Chinese government considers as “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful” conduct, and return the favour.

Perhaps once a Chinese jet or two have ingested chaff into their engines, they will reconsider such “professional, safe, reasonable and lawful” intercepts.

This was also the second time in the same week Chinese aircraft have aggressively intercepted reconnaissance aircraft from other countries.

Just a day earlier, the Canadian government revealed that Chinese fighters repeatedly “buzzed” Canadian CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft that were monitoring North Korea to enforce United Nations sanctions under Operation NEON.

The Chinese fighters flew so close, their pilots were “very clearly visible”, and the Canadian aircrews had to change course to avoid collisions. Canadian Armed Forces media relations chief Dan Le Bouthillie said :

In these interactions, PLAAF (People’s Liberation Army Air Force) aircraft did not adhere to international air safety norm.

These interactions are unprofessional and/or put the safety of our RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) personnel at risk.

The Chinese naturally claimed that their national security was endangered by the Canadian aircraft’s monitoring of a completely different country… Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said :

Recently, under the pretext of enforcing UN Security Council resolutions, Canadian warplanes have intensified close-in reconnaissance of China and acted provocatively, endangering Chinese national security and the safety of frontline personnel from both sides.

China urges Canada to face up to the seriousness of the situation, strictly control its frontline troops, and stop taking any risky and provocative actions; otherwise, Canada will have to take all responsibilities for any serious consequences from such actions.

In short, it’s never China’s fault, and everyone is always provoking them. Tut tut….

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

Over 560 monkeypox cases have now been confirmed in at least 25 countries outside of Africa!

Find out if the monkeypox outbreak could become a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Over 560 Monkeypox Cases Confirmed In 25 Countries!

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally. although the WHO has said that it is unlikely to become a pandemic like COVID-19.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

Monkeypox became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014, and several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019)..

However, nothing has come close to the 2022 monkeypox outbreak which has now affected at least 25 countries outside of Africa, with over 560 cases!

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
United Kingdom 179 179
Spain 120 120
Portugal 96 96
Canada 26 37 63
Germany 33 33
Netherlands 26 26
France 17 17
United States 15 15
Italy 14 14
Belgium 9 9
Czech Republic 5 5
Switzerland 4 4
UAE 4 4
Sweden 3 3
Ireland 2 1 3
Argentina 2 2
Australia 2 2
Denmark 2 2
Israel 2 2
Slovenia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Finland 1 1
Malta 1 1
Mexico 1 1
Thailand 1 1
TOTAL 568 56 617

 

Monkeypox Cases May Increase, But Unlikely To Become Pandemic

On 30 May 2022, the World Health Organisation’s top monkeypox expert, Dr. Rosamund Lewis, gave a public briefing on the 2022 monkeypox outbreak.

Here is a summary of the key points Dr. Lewis shared in that public session :

  • She does not expect the monkeypox outbreak to turn into another pandemic like COVID-19.
  • There are still many unknowns about this outbreak, including how exactly it is spreading.
  • The suspension of mass smallpox immunisation decades ago may have resulted in increased transmission.
  • Vast majority of current cases seen in gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.
  • There is a higher proportion of people with fewer visible lesions that are more concentrated in the genital region, and sometimes nearly impossible to see. This is a danger because they are infectious even though their lesions are not visible.
  • There is a window of opportunity to shut down the outbreak so it does not become endemic in new areas.

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, although if it spreads to susceptible rodent populations, it could become endemic in those areas.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

Countries have also started purchasing smallpox vaccines :

  • 19 May 2022 : Spain’s Ministry of Health announced that it was in the process of purchasing thousands of doses of smallpox vaccines
  • 24 May 2022 : CDC announced that the US is in the process of releasing some JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine doses for people who are “high risk”.
  • 25 May 2022 : the German government announced that it was buying 40,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.
  • 26 May 2022 : the UK Health Security Agency announced that it purchased 20,000 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine from Bavarian Nordic.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Monkeypox Outbreak In 20 Countries : Is It A New Pandemic?

The Monkeypox outbreak has been confirmed in at least 20 countries outside of Africa!

Find out what Monkeypox is all about, and whether it is a new pandemic we have to worry about!

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : Is It A Pandemic Risk?

People are now worried about the rapid spread of monkeypox globally.

Discovered in 1958, the first human infection was only reported in 1970, and there were only like 400 cases from 1970 to 1986.

However, it became more common over time, with 2000 cases per year reported between 2011 and 2014.

There were also several outbreaks in the US (2003 and 2021), UK (2018 and 2021), and Singapore (2019), but nothing matched the latest 2022 outbreak.

As of 25 May 2022, there were 230 confirmed cases in at least 20 countries outside of Africa, and suspected cases in two other countries.

Country Confirmed
Cases
Suspected
Cases
Total
Argentina 1 1
Australia 2 2
Austria 1 1
Belgium 6 1 7
Canada 15 1 16
Czech Republic 1 1
Denmark 2 2
Finland 1 1
France 5 5
Germany 5 5
Israel 1 1
Italy 6 2 8
Morocco 3 3
Netherlands 6 6
Portugal 49 49
Slovenia 1 1
Spain 51 43 94
Sweden 1 1
Switzerland 2 2
UAE 1 1
United Kingdom 71 71
United States 2 6 8
TOTAL 230 56 286

 

Monkeypox Outbreak : More Deadly, Unlikely To Cause A Pandemic

Monkeypox is more deadly than COVID-19, with mortality as high as 10% depending on the strain :

  • West African strain : 1% to 3%
  • Central African strain : 10%

Fortunately, the 2022 monkeypox outbreak appears to be of the less virulent West African strain, because there is no proven treatment.

The smallpox vaccine can offer up to 85% protection against monkeypox, and certain antiviral treatments can be attempted.

But otherwise – hospitals can only offer supportive treatment as the patient isolates for 2-4 weeks until the disease resolves.

Read more : What You Must Know About Monkeypox!

Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact, but can spread through respiratory droplets. However, it is far less contagious and is not airborne like COVID-19.

Infected people are also not considered contagious until they start showing symptoms, which limits transmission. This is unlike COVID-19 which is often spread by people who are asymptomatic.

The best way to describe its ability to infect people would be to understand its R0 (Reproduction Number, pronounced as R naught) – how many people an infected person is expected to pass the disease along to.

The ancestral COVID-19 virus has an R0 of between 2 to 3, which increased to 8 with the Omicron variant. That’s really contagious – every infected person will (on average) transmit the virus to 8 other people.

On the other hand, past outbreaks of monkeypox had an R0 of less than one. That means even though there may be clusters of several cases, even outbreaks, the cases die out on their own.

Virus R0
Measles 12 to 18
Omicron COVID-19 8
Smallpox 5 to 7
Ancestral COVID-19 2 to 3
H1N1 (2009) 1.5 to 2.5
Monkeypox <1

Monkeypox fortunately does not spread very efficiently between humans. Generally, you need to have skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, or come into contact with his/her bodily fluids, to get infected.

The people most at risk would be close contacts of the infected person, like family members or healthcare workers taking care of them.

Transmission is really happening from close physical contact, skin-to-skin contact. It’s quite different from COVID in that sense.
– Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO Infectious Disease Epidemiologist

It’s not as highly transmissible as something like smallpox, or measles, or certainly not Covid. It does not spread easily from person to person, the risk to the general public is low.
– Anne Rimoin, infectious disease epidemiologist at University of California.

That is why it is very unlikely to become a pandemic, even though it is really abnormal for so many outbreaks to occur simultaneously.

There is also the fact that the monkeypox is so closely related to the smallpox virus, the smallpox vaccine offers 85% protection against monkeypox infections.

In fact, one smallpox vaccine – JYNNEOS – was approved in the United States to serve as protection against monkeypox. Even though there is no public access to this vaccine, that can quickly change.

Several countries, including the United States, have strategic reserves of smallpox vaccines, which can be deployed in a monkeypox outbreak.

We have already worked to secure sufficient supply of effective treatments and vaccines to prevent those exposed from contracting monkeypox and treating people who’ve been affected.
– Dr. Raj Panjabi, White House Pandemic Office.

 

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Fact Check : Did Michelle Obama Call Women “Womxn”?!

Did former US First Lady Michelle Obama controversially called women “womxn”?

Take a look at the claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Michelle Obama Called Women “Womxn”!

Many people are deriding former US First Lady Michelle Obama for allegedly calling women “womxn”. Some even sarcastically ask – how should we pronounce womxn?

Amongst them are Sky News Australia host Piers Morgan, who claimed that by changing the spelling of the word to womxn, Michelle Obama was deriding women, and making a mockery of the trans cause.

What makes this particularly absurd is that Ms Obama’s post was supposed to be supporting women’s rights.

Instead she’s trampled on them by pandering to a tiny minority of people who get upset when they hear a word that’s been used for centuries to describe people who aren’t men.

Many shared his video, with denigrating comments like this :

Totally disgusted! How low will she go?

Michelle Obama is not even a womxn. She’s a man. Everybody knows that.

 

Truth : Michelle Obama Did Not Call Women “Womxn”!

As much as I like Piers Morgan, he’s intentionally shit-stirring, and factually wrong. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Michelle Obama Did Not Use The Word “Womxn”

Michelle Obama ostensibly posted the word, “womxn” in an Instagram post on May 15, 2022 that offended Piers so much he posted a screenshot of it in his video (see screenshot above).

I went to check out Michelle Obama’s “controversial” Instagram post, but could find no reference to the word, “womxn”.

This was what she posted. See if you can spot the offending word. I could be blind…

It’s been a tough couple of weeks since we saw the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion on abortion. If it comes to pass, we may soon live in a country where millions of women — not to mention our children and grandchildren — lose the right to make decisions about their bodies and their health. Even if we knew the courts were heading toward this day, it doesn’t make the frustration, grief, and fear any less real.

But we don’t have to stand idly by while others try to turn back the clock on progress. I’m so inspired by everyone out marching today. And I know that we’re going to see so many folks carrying this energy forward to the elections in November and in every election after that.

And if any of you are questioning whether or not your vote matters, I get it. But state lawmakers are the ones who will determine whether abortion is safe, legal, and accessible in your communities. And we are the ones who determine our state lawmakers. So when you get home from marching, check your voter registration status with @WhenWeAllVote and encourage others to do the same at WhenWeAllVote.org.

There were seven slides too, but none of them had the word womxn. It is possible that one of the slides did use the word “womxn”, but has been removed.

But what’s certain is that the message that Michelle Obama wrote did NOT use the word “womxn”.

Fact #2 : Womxn Was Used In Slide She Shared

If you head over to Twitter, you will see that Michelle Obama posted a tweet on May 15, 2022 too, that included the word, “womxn” in the slide :

The leaked SCOTUS draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade could give state lawmakers the power to strip womxn of the right to make decisions about their bodies and their healthcare. If the decision becomes final, anti-abortion laws will go into effect almost immediately in 13 states.

But again, her own message did not use the word “womxn” :

If any of you are questioning whether or not your vote matters, I get it. But remember that state lawmakers are the ones who will determine whether abortion is safe, legal, and accessible in your communities. And we are the ones who determine our state lawmakers.

In other words, Michelle Obama did not actually use the word that offended so many people, including Piers Morgan.

It was used in at least one slide that I can confirm, and another slide that I’m happy to assume existed earlier in her Instagram post, but might have been removed.

Not that there is anything wrong with the word, but it is wrong to falsely claim that Michelle Obama used it in her May 15, 2022 posts when she did not.

Fact #3 : Slides Were Created By NGO, Not Michelle Obama

It may seem obvious, but I have to say it for Piers’ benefit – the slides were created by an NGO called When We All Vote, not Michelle Obama.

If you look carefully at those slides, you can see the When We All Vote logo, with the orange check mark on the upper left corner (Instagram) or upper right corner (Twitter) of the slides.

Therefore, it would be incredibly disingenuous to credit Michelle Obama for the use of the word that Piers and anti-abortion activists find so offensive.

It’s also wrong to insert Michelle Obama’s name to the bottom of the slide (as Piers did on his show), when she was obviously not its creator.

Fact #4 : Womxn Is Not New…

The term “womxn” is not really new, having been used in writing together with the alternative version, womyn, since the 1970s!

Yes, before many of you were even born, some people had already felt that the term “woman” had sexist connotations, due to the inclusion of the word, “man”.

The term “womxn” started gaining traction in the 2010s, as a more inclusive alternative to the traditional term “woman” as it includes both trans and non-binary women.

It was even added to the dictionary in 2019 by Dictionary.com, which defined the womxn as :

a woman (used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women).

Fact #5 : Trans + Non-Binary Females Are Females Too

Trans and non-binary people who are born female do not magically lose their reproductive capabilities and/or rights.

Just because they have a different gender identity does not make their reproductive organs disappear into thin air.

They can still get pregnant, and they are most certainly affected by the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States.

Fact #6 : It Is Their Choice, Not Ours

It is also up to trans and non-binary females to determine if they want to be identified as womxn or not.

The womxn naming preference really has nothing to do with heterosexual people like Piers Morgan and me.

If women, including trans and non-binary females, prefer to be called womxn or even womyn, that is their right.

Don’t worry if you still wish to be referred to as a woman. It is up to YOU to determine which term you prefer.

And if Piers Morgan wakes up one day and demands to be known as a mxn called Pierce Morgan, I would gladly call him that.

Anti-abortion activists are doing their best to promote this womxn hoohah to divert attention from the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the bigger question of the right of womxn to make their own health and reproductive choices.

So please SHARE this fact check out, so we can all focus on the facts, rather than false controversies.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Does US Have Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea?!

Is the US conducting biological warfare experiments at their secret labs in South Korea?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : US Has Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea!

Official Chinese state media outlets like Xinhua,  People’s Daily, China Daily, and their 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) are claiming that the US is conducting biological warfare experiments at their secret labs in South Korea.

Note : It’s a long post, so please feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

China Daily Fri, Apr 15, 2022

US biolabs create fear in South Korea
XINHUA

SEOUL — South Koreans are gripped with fear over the prospect that US biological weapons laboratories operated by the US Forces Korea, or USFK, will transform the country into Washington’s “overseas hub” for biological warfare experiments.

The United States has flouted international conventions by steadily advancing its germ warfare program in the country. It sees South Korea as a country “friendly” enough to let the US military test lethal toxins without institutional hurdles.

 

Truth : US Does NOT Have Biological Warfare Labs In South Korea!

Now, I must first point out that it is impossible to prove a negative – that something that doesn’t exists, doesn’t actually exist.

But based on a complete lack of evidence, this is yet another example of Chinese propaganda warfare, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Story Has Been Repeated Since 2020

A quick check shows that the Chinese state media have been promoting the story of the US biological warfare labs in South Korea since April 2020, if not earlier.

So this story isn’t new. It was repeated in July 2020, and then in August 2021, before the current slew of coverage in March and April 2022.

Fact #2 : No Evidence Of US Biological Warfare Lab In South Korea

Despite waxing lyrical about the US military conducting biological warfare experiments in their South Korea labs, the Chinese state media offered ZERO evidence.

There is no evidence of biological warfare experiments being conducted in South Korea, and there is no evidence of US setting up laboratories for the research and development of such weapons.

Fact #3 : Anthrax Was Sent To 9 US States, Australia + Canada Too

Chinese state media claimed that US biological warfare experimentation was “exposed” when live anthrax samples were sent to the Osan Air Base in South Korea.

The truth is – the same anthrax samples were sent to 51 laboratories in nine US states, as well as Australia, Canada and South Korea.

So the claim that US sent anthrax to South Korea because they let the US military “test lethal toxins without institutional hurdles” is nonsense.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Fact #4 : Anthrax Samples Were Used For Tests

These anthrax samples were mailed to those laboratories as part of ongoing efforts to develop field tests for anthrax.

These tests are usually conducted using dead samples of anthrax, because live anthrax would obviously be a biosecurity risk.

Fact #5 : Anthrax Samples Were Supposed To Be Dead

What the Chinese state media won’t tell you is that those anthrax samples were supposed to be dead.

In March 2014, the Dugway Proving Grounds – a US Department of Defense laboratory which conducts biosecurity research – irradiated a batch of anthrax samples with gamma rays to kill them.

In April 2015, they mailed the “dead” anthrax samples to 51 labs in the US, Canada, Australia and South Korea, by commercial postal services because the samples were supposed to be completely “dead”.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Fact #6 : US Military Was Unaware Anthrax Samples Were Active

What the Chinese state media will also “forget” to tell you is that the US military was unaware that the anthrax samples were still active.

It was a commercial laboratory in Maryland that alerted the Pentagon on 22 May 2015, after they discovered that their sample had some active spores.

As CDC spokesperson Jason McDonald explained, the samples were quickly transferred to the CDC :

The samples are being carefully transferred to the CDC in Atlanta. They are starting to arrive, but cautioned that the samples need five more days to grow before officials can determine if they contain live anthrax.

While this was a deeply concerning accident that could have been disastrous, it was most definitely not an attempt to conduct biological warfare experiments in South Korea.

This incident was covered widely by the global press, so it is peculiar that Chinese state media would (intentionally?) misinform their readers.

Officials from the South Korea-U.S. joint working group conduct an on-site inspection of a laboratory at Osan Air Base, Gyeonggi Province, Thursday, about 70 days after the Pentagon admitted that live anthrax samples were accidently delivered there. / Joint Press Corps

Fact #7 : Anthrax Sample In South Korea Was Destroyed

The anthrax sample in South Korea was quickly destroyed, even though there was no evidence it was still active – the batch was simply assumed to have not been sufficiently irradiated.

The military destroyed the anthrax on Wednesday after the sample, which was thought to be inactive, was suspected of being live. None of the personnel in contact showed signs of exposure. But they were given exams, antibiotics, and in some cases, vaccinations.

The military stresses there was no risk to the public. The exposure happened in a contained lab environment on the Osan Air Base, which is 65 miles south of Seoul. It’s one of a number of bases that houses the estimated 28,000 American military personnel based in South Korea.

Fact #8 : No One Got Sick

Four lab employees in the states of Texas, Delaware and Wisconsin, as well as 22 military and civilian personnel at the Osan Air Base, were given antibiotics as a precaution.

However, no one got sick from the potential exposure to the anthrax spore samples. I have to stress – there was no actual evidence that anyone got infected by those anthrax samples.

Fact #9 : Anthrax Is Naturally Found In Soil

Despite its fearsome reputation, anthrax is a disease caused by bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis, that is naturally found in soil, and commonly affects domestic and wild animals.

While people can get infected by breathing in its spores, it usually does not spread from human to human.

As long as the anthrax samples were not being weaponised, the US did not contravene the Biological Weapons Convention.

The use of dead anthrax samples to develop or improve or certify tests for anthrax most certainly do not contravene the Biological Weapons Convention.

Fact #10 : USFK Must Report To Korea CDC When Importing Biological Agents

The South Korea-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was revised in 2015 to mandate that the USFK must file a report with the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) when importing any biological agents, including inactivated biological agents.

So the claim that the US military can bring in biological materials without informing the South Korean government is no longer true since 2015.

It is interesting that Chinese state media are still (intentionally?) not aware of that development…

Fact #10 : JUPITR Was Designed To Detect Biological Threats

Chinese state media claim that US biological warfare experiments are being conducted under the JUPITR program.

That’s nonsense, because JUPITR (Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition) is a bio-surveillance program.

JUPITR was set up to monitor for biological threats posed by North Korea, using new bio-surveillance analysis equipment like :

  • BioFire Film Array, which can process Dry Filter Unit samples in 5-6 hours, instead of several days
  • IQuum Liat, which is a sample-to-result molecular diagnostic system
  • 3M Focus

To be clear – JUPITR does not involve biological warfare experiments.

JUPITR Biosurveillance Station

Fact #11 : JUPITR Ended Development In 2018

Interestingly, Chinese state media (intentionally?) forgot to mention that the development of the JUPITR program ended in 2018.

While its passive early warning capability remains in place, there has been no further work done on the JUPITR program since 2018.

So I have to wonder why they are still harping on JUPITR in 2022… Do they really have nothing new to report on?

Fact #11 : CENTAUR Was Designed To Detect Biological Threats

The Chinese state media also claim that US biological warfare experiments are being conducted under the CENTAUR program, which is also nonsense.

CENTAUR, which is short for “Capabilities to Enhance NBC Threat Awareness, Understanding & Response“, is an early warning system that looks for biological threats in South Korea.

To ensure that such a system works, the USFK (US Forces Korea) uses samples of dead pathogens (like the anthrax samples mentioned earlier) to test its detection capabilities.

The USFK has publicly announced that they do not use live samples for testing, after a few dozen people protested against the CENTAUR program.

We hold the health and safety of our service members, civilian employees, family members and Korean neighbors in the highest regard. The CENTAUR system is safe. USFK does not and has never used live agents for testing.

Photo credit : Yonhap

Fact #12 : Biological Warfare Banned In 183 Countries

Biological warfare has long been banned by the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) that was signed on 10 April 1972, and came into effect on 26 March 1975.

As of January 2022 – 183 countries have become party to this treaty, which means they agreed to stop development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological weapons.

Fact #13 : Biological Labs Are Essential To All Countries

What the Chinese state media (intentionally?) don’t mention is that biological labs are a necessity in ALL countries.

Biological labs do not conduct biological warfare research, because that is banned in 183 countries under the BWC (see Fact #12).

Instead, they are on the forefront of a country’s biosecurity defences, and are absolutely essential in developing tests and cures (including vaccines) for new and emerging diseases, like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

In fact, China itself has a number of biological labs, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is located right at the epicentre of the first COVID-19 outbreak.

It would be hypocritical and (intentionally?) misleading for Chinese state media to demonise biological labs. After all, they are ESSENTIAL to every country’s national security, including China’s.

Read more : Did GSK Make COVID-19 In Their Wuhan Lab?

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese state media and their 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛).

Please help us fight such malicious fake news – SHARE this fact check far and wide!

 

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Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Will COVID-19 Vaccination Void Your Life Insurance Contract?!

An attorney, Todd Callender, has gone viral after claiming that your COVID-19 vaccination will void your life insurance contract!

Take a look at his claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Todd Callender : COVID-19 Vaccination Will Void Your Life Insurance!

People are sharing a video of Todd Callender, an attorney, who claimed on a TruNews interview that getting the COVID-19 vaccination will void your life insurance contract!

Death By ‘Suicide’: Life Insurance Companies Will Likely Deny Most COVID Jab Claims

Attorney Todd Callender: “The court specifically found that participation in clinical trials is so hazardous that it voids the coverage of the insurance contract. ‘You should have known.’ They treated it, for purposes of the law, as a suicide. The court is saying, ‘Participating in a phase three clinical trial is suicide.’ That’s the conclusion.”

Here is a short transcript of what he said in the video for your reference.

He quotes an unspecified court case that happened “three weeks ago“, where “the judge looked at this and effectively told the person who took the experimental shot – who died – called it a suicide“.

He then goes on to say, “He characterised it as a suicide because you knew, or should have known, that you were taking part in a highly dangerous activity called the Phase 3 clinical trial, and therefore you voided the coverage under the contract. The insurance company does not have to pay that contract.

 

Truth : COVID-19 Vaccination Will NOT Void Your Life Insurance!

This is yet another example of anti-vaccination FAKE VIDEOS that anti-vaccination activists are concocting to mislead people about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : No Judge Ruled Death From Vaccine As Suicide

Oddly enough, Callender did not specify where this court case occurred, or the exact details of the case that he claimed would be a landmark case.

That’s because – there is no such court case. There is no known court case in which a judge ruled that a person who died after receiving COVID-19 vaccination was considered a suicide.

Fact #2 : Fake Story Originated As Court Case In France

This fake story appears to originate with a right-wing, anti-vaccination German website, which posted a story about a French millionaire who died from the vaccine and had his life insurance voided.

That website claimed that it was originally published by the family’s lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa, on his Facebook page.

However, Brusa’s Facebook page has ZERO post about any court case, going all the way back to 27 December 2020 – when COVID-19 vaccinations first kicked off in France.

As far as anyone can tell – this story was completely FABRICATED.

Read more : Did French Court Rule Millionaire’s Vaccine Death As Suicide?!

Fact #3 : There Was No Such Court Case In France

There are several articles and videos – all referencing the Greek or German website, which leads us back to Brusa. And yet, there is ZERO evidence :

  • that a French millionaire actually died from his COVID-19 vaccination.
  • that any insurance company refused to pay a life insurance policy, because the insured died from COVID-19 vaccination.
  • that any French court ruled that a death from vaccination is considered a suicide.
  • of any case or court document regarding the case

If a French court did indeed rule that dying from a COVID-19 vaccine is considered a suicide, it would have been HUGE NEWS with major legal implications, and covered worldwide!

These articles were first posted in January 2022, and more than 3 months later, no one else covered it except for a few small anti-vaccination websites?

That’s because it never happened.

Fact #4 : Vaccines Only Get EUA After Clearing Phase 3 Trials

Callender falsely claimed that the life insurance was voided because that person was considered to have participated in a Phase 3 clinical trial.

That’s not possible, because COVID-19 vaccinations can only be given to the public, AFTER the vaccine has successfully completed its Phase 3 clinical trial, and received either an emergency use authorisation or full approval from a health authority like the US FDA or EMA.

Phase 3 trials, incidentally, ended in 2020 for both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, and they both received their EUA in December 2020.

I should also point out that the Pfizer vaccine received its full FDA approval on 23 August 2021, while the Moderna vaccine received its full FDA Approval on 31 January 2022.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also renewed the authorisation for these vaccines :

  • Moderna Spikevax : 4 October 2021
  • Pfizer COMIRNATY : 3 November 2021
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria : 9 November 2021
  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen : 3 January 2022

So none of those COVID-19 vaccines are experimental. They have all passed their clinical tests, and have been approved.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between EUA vs Full FDA Approval?

Fact #5 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe

The COVID-19 vaccines were proven safe and effective in the massive Phase 2/3 trials that involved hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

These COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are much larger than the usual clinical trials for new drugs or vaccines.

On top of that, they continue to undergo post-marketing surveillance, to catch very rare side effects like myocarditis (risk of less than 1 in million).

With so much clinical data, there is no way any insurance company or court can say that the vaccines are dangerous, or experimental.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between Full FDA Approval vs. EUA?
Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Fact #6 : COVID-19 Vaccination Will Not Affect Life Insurance

Insurance companies and regulators across the world have come out to publicly state that these claims are FALSE.

They also publicly stated that COVID-19 vaccination will not affect your life insurance.

American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI)

We said it before and, unfortunately, we must say it again because misinformation about life insurance claims and the COVID-19 vaccine continues to spread.

Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations. Life insurance policies are very clear on how they work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a claim. A policyholder’s decision to receive or not receive a vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. Nothing has changed in life insurers’ claims paying process.  

Policyholders should reach out to their life insurance companies, agents or financial professionals for their COVID-related questions. They will be happy to help.

Insurance Control and Resolution Authority of France (ACPR)

The conditions of the death of the insured have no effect on the payment to the beneficiary of the sums paid on a life insurance contract.

Exclusion clauses are provided for contractually… In practice, the risks targeted by the exclusions are not very diversified and, to our knowledge, no contract contains clauses which would make it possible to exclude as a cause of death, the aftermath and consequences of vaccination, or more generally of taking medical treatment, on the prescription of a doctor.

Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)

Contrary to misinformation being shared online, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will have no effect on the ability to obtain coverage or benefits from life insurance or supplementary health insurance.

The CLHIA is aware of misinformation that is being spread through social media claiming that individuals who get the vaccine will not be able to get life insurance or may be denied their disability or life insurance benefits. These claims are incorrect and have no basis in fact whatsoever.

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

There are some claims being made that having the Covid-19 vaccine will impact your life insurance cover. This is false.

Receiving a vaccination against Covid-19 will not impact your insurance cover, be it life insurance, private medical insurance or other forms of insurance.

Financial Services Council of Australia (FSC)

The Financial Services Council (FSC) is today reassuring Australians that taking a COVID-19 vaccine will not invalidate life insurance policies despite false rumours suggesting otherwise.

FSC CEO Sally Loane said the false rumours, which have been circulating on social media, incorrectly suggest the COVID-19 vaccine is an “experimental medical treatment” and therefore having the vaccine is a “self-inflicted injury” which could void life insurance policies.

“To be clear – the COVID-19 vaccine is not experimental treatment. Receiving approved treatment from a qualified medical professional at an approved medical facility is not a self-inflicted injury,” Ms Loane said.

“One of the main reasons why people hold life insurance policies is to provide peace of mind for themselves and their families. The FSC would like to reassure Australians that when they get vaccinated, their life insurance will be there for them, completely unaffected.

“This scare mongering is wrong, it is entirely inappropriate and it needs to stop immediately.”

In other words, insurance companies in the United States and across the world will not deny payment of a life insurance in the event someone dies from a COVID-19 vaccine.

These statements were posted MONTHS ago… so I have to ask Todd Callender – why do you lie?

Now that you know the facts, please help to fight fake news – SHARE this article out!

And please protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating them against COVID-19!

 

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Why Steve Kirsch Is Wrong About Taylor Hawkins Dying From Vaccine

Tech millionaire Steve Kirsch challenged me to a debate, claiming to have “the inside story” on how Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died from vaccine-induced myocarditis.

So let’s take a look at his “inside” information, and see what the facts really are!

 

Steve Kirsch : Taylor Hawkins Most Likely Died From Vaccine!

Tech millionaire Steve Kirsch has been actively creating misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines.

In his latest effort, he claimed to have “the inside story” on how Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died from vaccine-induced myocarditis.

He even called me out, and challenged me to a debate, for fact checking that false claim earlier. Hilarious!

I would love to debate Dr. Wong on this, but he doesn’t seem anxious to engage with me or Peter McCullough. I’ve posted the link to this story on his “fact check” but it has to be approved by him to appear.

So I’m going to publicly expose the truth about what Steve Kirsch shared, because facts aren’t subject to a debate. They remain true, irrespective of our opinions.

 

Why Steve Kirsch Is Wrong About Taylor Hawkins Dying From Vaccine

In case you guys don’t know him, Steve Kirsch is a tech millionaire who made his money as one of two people who independently invented the optical mouse.

So he’s definitely a smart guy… when it comes to tech. But let’s see if Steve Kirsch is correct in any of his claims…

I will go through the list of “facts” that Steve Kirsch posted, and tell you what the facts really are.

Claim : He was found dead in his hotel room… after complaining about chest pains.
Fact : Hawkins called the hotel front desk for help, complaining of chest pain. He was treated by a health professional (doctor) hired by EMI, who failed to revive him.

Claim : Press reported he died of cardiac arrest. The vaccine causes death by cardiac arrest.
Fact : There is ZERO evidence that any COVID-19 vaccine causes death by cardiac arrest.

Claim : Marijuana and heroin and the other drugs aren’t consistent with the symptoms observed before he died.
Fact : No one actually observed his symptoms that we are aware of. Hawkins only reported chest pain, so what other symptoms is Kirsch alluding to?
Fact : A cardiac arrest is pretty much consistent with opioid overdose, and less commonly, marijuana use. Even if we discount marijuana, Hawkins had heroin and other opioids in his urine.

Claim : Taylor Hawkins was all about the music and his fans. He was just a great guy.
Fact : Unless his passion for music was a trigger for the vaccine to kill him, it is completely irrelevant and is just Kirsch name dropping his “inside source”.

Members of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) remove the lifeless body of the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, at the Casa Medina hotel, in Bogota, Colomia

Claim : He was married for 17 years and had three kids. He had everything to live for.
Fact : People with everything to live for can still partake in drugs. A strong desire to live does not prevent a drug overdose either. Does Kirsch really believe that being married for XX years and having X number of kids precludes death from opioid overdose? Seriously?

Claim : There was no mention of the amount of each substance (in the toxicology report).
Fact : This is true, probably because the forensic team would have to first corroborate the urine test results, with the blood test results. It does not change the fact that the 10 types of substances in his urine included marijuana, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids.

Claim : People have mentioned that drug reports from Columbian sources can be unreliable.
Fact : Not only is that incredibly condescending, it is an opinion that is not backed by facts. Where is the evidence that a simple urine test that any laboratory in the world can perform is unreliable because it was conducted in Colombia?

Claim : Columbian authorities claim … Columbian sources…
Fact :
The demonym of Colombia is Colombian, not Columbian. Hawkins died in the country of Colombia, not Columbia, South Carolina or the District of Columbia.

Claim : COVID vaccine can cause a heart to double in size and then kill you.
Fact : Vaccine-induced myocarditis can cause the heart to enlarge (but not necessarily so), and in rare cases, it can be fatal. However, you are many times more likely to get myocarditis from a COVID-19 infection, than from any COVID-19 vaccine. If you are worried about myocarditis, you will want to get vaccinated.
Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Claim : It seems unlikely that he just decided on a spontaneous heroin / benzo / cocaine bender right before a show.
Fact : Unlikely? The fact is the preliminary toxicology test showed that he had 10 different substances in his urine, and a police officer reportedly told prosecutors that he saw a “cocaine-like powder” in Hawkins’ room. Does Kirsch have any “inside” facts to share? Or was he just pontificating?

Claim : He still smoked weed. This was well known [Insider].
Opinion : I’ll take his insider’s word for that, and point out it refutes Kirsch’s point that Hawkins learned his lesson in 2001 (when he almost died from an overdose). If he can still smoke weed, he certainly can still partake in cocaine and heroin.

Claim : Hawkins made it very clear he was against masks, lockdowns and the COVID vaccines.
Opinion : While plausible, there is no public record of Hawkins saying that he was against masks, lockdowns and the COVID vaccines.

Claim : Hawkins was under pressure from both Dave Grohl and the band manager to take the vaccine.
Opinion : While plausible, there is no public record of Hawkins being forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Claim : Hawkins’ heart was likely already somewhat damaged from an earlier vaccine dose when … his doctor said he had a “big heart”.
Fact : That is a baseless opinion by Kirsch, unless he is willing to share with us evidence that Hawkins’ “big heart” was related to any vaccine he took.

Claim : So the timing on this suggests that Hawkins had his first and/or second dose before the medical exam.
Fact : This is complete bullshit. Kirsch is doing a logic pretzel – claiming (without evidence) that Hawkins’ cardiomegaly in June 2021 was definitely due to the vaccine, and then using that as “evidence” that Hawkins must have been vaccinated before that.
Opinion : If Kirsch really spoke to insiders who knew Hawkins on a personal basis, they would have told him when Hawkins got his vaccine doses. Kirsch doesn’t even know what vaccine Hawkins took. It may not even have been an mRNA vaccine, for all we know.

Claim : So this is all consistent with a damaged heart on an earlier vaccine shot.
Fact : Kirsch conspiciously “forgot” to point out that Hawkins’ doctor told him that he was “in amazing shape“. If Hawkins had vaccine-induced myocarditis, he would have had noticeable symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. His doctor certainly would not have told him that he was in great health.

Claim : Hawkins got a booster on Feb. 26, 2022 [Insider], just a month before he died.
Fact : There is no way to confirm this insider claim, but I should point out that none of the countries that the Foo Fighters were going to play at required a booster dose. They only required travellers to be fully-vaccinated, so it would not have been necessary for Hawkins to get a booster dose before flying to Australia – the first overseas stop.
Opinion : Assuming that his insider source was correct, it actually PROVES that Hawkins did not suffer from vaccine-induced myocarditis – an acute condition that occurs within a few days of receiving an mRNA vaccine. It wouldn’t crop up a month later, and Hawkins would not have been able to undertake strenuous activities like playing with the Foo Fighters in Australia, Chile and Argentina.

Claim : Large study in JAMA said most heart problems surfaced 3 weeks after the vaccine
Fact : Kirsch interestingly did not reference the JAMA study, so we will never know which study he was referring to. In any case, vaccine-induced myocarditis surfaces WITHIN DAYS of receiving an mRNA vaccine.

Claim : Those involved in physically demanding activities are … more likely to get myocarditis due to catecholamine release interaction with the vaccine.
Fact : There is currently no evidence that individuals who participate in physically demanding activities are more likely to get myocarditis. The paper Kirsch quoted to back up that claim is a literature review (not an actual clinical study) by his friend, that has not been peer-reviewed.
Fact : The paper Kirsch quoted mentioned that “vaccine-induced myocarditis … and increase in sudden deaths” are “overrepresented in young males“. That kind of proves Kirsch wrong – Hawkins was 50 years old when he died. The risk of vaccine-induced myocarditis for his age group is practically non-existent.

Age Group Vaccine Myocarditis
Male Rate
(per million doses)
Classic Myocarditis
Male Baseline
(per million doses)
12-17 32.4 2.0
18-24 30.7 1.8
25-29 12.2 1.9
30-39 6.9 1.9
40-49 3.5 1.9
50-64 1.9 1.9

Claim : Their stage manager Andy Pollard died suddenly as well.
Fact : That’s true, but Kirsch does not tell us why that is pertinent information. Bob Saget also died suddenly. Is that equally relevant to Hawkins’ death? Or is he suggesting some kind of Foo Fighters curse?

Claim : [Vaccine-induced myocarditis] fits all the facts like a glove
Opinion : Those must be really weird gloves for aliens with 8 fingers, because Kirsch offered ZERO EVIDENCE that vaccine-induced myocarditis was the cause of Hawkins’ death.

Claim : Hawkins was boosted 30 days before he died, giving his heart plenty of time to double in size
Fact : Hawkins already said he had a “big” heart a year ago… MONTHS before he received that [alleged] booster dose in February 2022.

Claim : Hawkins was observed shortly before his death and appeared not under the influence of drugs.
Fact : Kirsch hilariously used this photo of Hawkins with band members Pat Smear and Samantha Sidley taken TWO DAYS prior to his death as proof. How does the photo prove that Hawkins did not partake in any drugs two days LATER? Let me help him with this analogy – if I post a picture of myself eating a salad today, it does not mean I won’t be eating a steak tomorrow.

Taylor Hawkins (back) on a plane with band member Pat Smear (left) and Samantha Sidley (right) on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Steve, thank you for helping to invent the optical mouse, but please stop creating and sharing misinformation.

Why not join me in fighting fake news instead? Let your legacy be the unerring pursuit of the truth.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Taylor Hawkins Die From Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis?!

Did Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins, die from COVID-19 vaccine-induced myocarditis?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Taylor Hawkins Died From Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis!

Just three days after Foo Fighters drummer, Taylor Hawkins, was found dead in his hotel room in Colombia, The COVID Blog claimed that he died from vaccine-induced myocarditis.

They wrote a long rambling post about him, so let me share the relevant part with you. It’s long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts.

Witnesses said Mr. Hawkins called the front desk complaining of chest pains right before he passed away. An ambulance arrived, but could not revive him. That means his heart stopped beating.

 

Truth : Taylor Hawkins Did NOT Die From Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis!

It’s becoming a tradition for anti-vaccination activists to immediately blame all celebrity deaths on the COVID-19 vaccine.

And The COVID Blog (TCB) has peddling COVID-19 fake news and misinformation for a long, long time. So it’s no surprise that they would jump on the bandwagon.

Here are the reasons why TCB is not only wrong, they are intentionally abusing Taylor Hawkins’ death  to push their anti-vaccine beliefs.

Fact #1 : No Evidence Hawkins Had Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis

First, let me start by simply pointing out that The COVID Blog has ZERO EVIDENCE that Hawkins had vaccine-induced myocarditis.

They did not perform the autopsy on Hawkins, or run any laboratory test on his blood or urine samples. They did not even base their opinions on publicly-released information.

They concocted that claim out of thin air, without even an ounce of evidence.

Fact #2 : Colombian Authorities Released Urine Toxicology Report

After Hawkins died, the Colombian authorities took his body for an autopsy, and a urine test found 10 different kinds of drugs in his system.

The Colombia Attorney General’s Office issued this statement on the initial autopsy findings :

Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office can confirm the following after the initial autopsy on the body of Taylor Hawkins.

That in the toxicology test on Taylor Hawkins’ urine 10 types of substances were preliminarily found, including marijuana, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids.

The National Institute of Forensic Medicine is continuing its medical studies to be able to completely clarify the facts that led to Taylor Hawkins death.

Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office will continue with the investigation and reveal the results obtained as part of this investigation as appropriate.

Members of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) remove the lifeless body of the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, at the Casa Medina hotel, in Bogota, Colomia

Fact #3 : Urine Toxicology Does Not Take Weeks To Complete

TCB claimed that the Hawkins toxicology report cannot possibly be genuine because it typically takes 4-6 weeks to complete, and shared a link to WebMD as evidence.

That’s misleading, because the WebMD article was talking about how long it takes for a complete forensic toxicology report. The 4-6 week time is required because :

  • the investigation may reveal additional drugs being taken, thus requiring new tests, and/or
  • the initial results may require additional testing to confirm, and/or
  • there may be a backlog of cases at one or more laboratories.

It’s also misleading because the Colombian authorities only released the urine toxicology report, not the complete forensic toxicology report.

They basically tested his urine sample for common drugs – a test that is quick to perform. In fact, most laboratories can complete the tests within a few hours.

Fact #4 : Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Is Rare

TCB misleads you into thinking that vaccine-induced myocarditis is common, by saying that it is “the second-most common adverse reaction” … “covered on this blog“.

In other words, vaccine-induced myocarditis is not the second-most common side effect of the vaccines, it is merely the second-most common adverse reaction they like to write about!

The truth is studies like SAFECOVAC have shown that vaccine-induced myocarditis is extremely rare – less than 1 in a million doses!

In fact, you are hundreds of times more likely to get myocarditis from COVID-19 than from three doses of any COVID-19 vaccine!

Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Fact #5 : Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Occurs Mostly In Young Males

Vaccine-induced myocarditis occurs mainly in young adults and adolescent males 12 to 39 years in age.

Hawkins was 50 years old when he died, and in his age group – the risk is practically non-existent.

To help you understand that, I created this table to show you the risk of vaccine-induced myocarditis for different age groups.

Note : Baseline refers to the typical number of myocarditis cases expected in the unvaccinated population.

Age Group Male Rate
(per million doses)
Baseline
(per million doses)
12-17 32.4 2.0
18-24 30.7 1.8
25-29 12.2 1.9
30-39 6.9 1.9
40-49 3.5 1.9
50-64 1.9 1.9

Fact #6 : Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Mild + Resolves Quickly

Vaccine-induced myocarditis is not only rare, most cases resolve quickly, compared to non-vaccine myocarditis.

As Dr. Matthew Elias, M.D., a cardiologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) explained :

In classic myocarditis, there are a wide range of presentations, from very mild symptoms to extremely serious, or even fatal, cases.

Overall, this does not seem to be happening in post-vaccine myocarditis. In the patients seen at CHOP and at other hospitals, symptoms are generally mild and self-resolving, and heart function is less affected, if affected at all.

Fact #7 : Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Occurs Acutely

Vaccine-induced myocarditis is an acute condition that occurs within a few days of receiving an mRNA-based vaccine from Pfizer or Moderna.

Individuals who develop vaccine-induced myocarditis will experience symptoms like :

  • chest pain
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations

If Hawkins was suffering from vaccine-induced myocarditis, he would not have been able to fly around to play with the Foo Fighters at various concerts around the world :

  • Feb 26-27 : Innings Festival 2022, Tempe, Arizona, United States
  • Mar 4 : Foo Fights / Amyl and the Sniffers / The Meanies, Geelong, Australia
  • Mar 18 : Lollapalooza Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Mar 20 : Lollapalooza Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taylor Hawkins (back) on a plane with band member Pat Smear (left) and Samantha Sidley (right) on Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Fact #8 : Cardiomegaly Takes Time To Develop

The initial autopsy report stated that his heart weighed “at least 600 grams” – twice the average for a man his age.

This finding of cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) suggests that he had a longstanding heart condition like heart failure, or cardiomyopathy.

TCB claimed that was evidence of vaccine-induced myocarditis, because the Myocarditis Foundation says that myocarditis enlarges the heart.

It is true that myocarditis can enlarge the heart by weakening the heart muscle, but that process takes time – weeks, if not months, to develop.

Fact #9 : Hawkins Discovered Enlarged Heart In 2021

Interestingly, Hawkins himself may have discovered that he had an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) in 2021.

On 15 June 2021, he did a Rolling Stone interview with Brian Hiatt, where he revealed that his doctor recently told him that he had a “big” heart.

I just found out from my doctor, got all my blood tests and my heart everything checked and he goes, “Dude, you’re in amazing shape. Your heart’s big, because you exercise a lot. It’s like a runner’s heart.”

Fact #10 : His Cardiomegaly May Be Due To Sleep Apnea

In the same Rolling Stone interview, Hawkins also revealed an interesting detail that many people missed – he was likely suffering from sleep apnea.

The only thing is, he said, “I think you have sleep apnea.” And my wife’s always saying you snore and you fucking make weird noises while you’re sleeping and stuff.

Untreated sleep apnea increases cardiovascular stress, which elevates blood pressure and forces the heart to work harder. This can result in an enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) over time.

Fact #11 : Hawkins Almost Died From Drug Overdose In 2001

Hawkins had a long history of drug use, and almost died from a heroin overdose in 2001. He recounted the incident in 2018 :

I was partying a lot. I wasn’t a junkie per se, but I was partying. There was a year where the partying just got a little too heavy.

Thank God on some level this guy gave me the wrong line with the wrong thing one night and I woke up going, ‘What the f**k happened?’ That was a real changing point for me.

Tragically, it appears that Hawkins overdosed again, but was not able to recover this time, due to his existing heart condition.

For certain, his COVID-19 vaccination played no role in his death.

Don’t risk your life, or your family’s lives, on the bad science and misinformation promoted by The COVID Blog.

Please help me fight fake news, and SHARE this fact check with your family and friends!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Will COVID-19 Vaccine Void Your Life Insurance?!

Dr. Peterson Pierre has gone viral with his claim that getting the COVID-19 vaccine will void your life insurance.

Take a look at his claims, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Dr. Pierre : COVID-19 Vaccine Will Void Your Life Insurance!

People are sharing a video of Dr. Peterson Pierre, claiming that getting the COVID-19 vaccine will void your life insurance.

He quotes a court case in France, and claims that the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) said that life insurance policies may deny payment for people who die from COVID-19 vaccines.

Here is a transcript of his video for your reference. But feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

So in France, there was an elderly, wealthy businessman who got a life insurance for millions of dollars. He got the COVID-19 vaccine and he died.

 

Truth : COVID-19 Vaccine Will NOT Void Your Life Insurance!

This is yet another example of anti-vaccination FAKE VIDEOS that anti-vaccination activists are concocting to mislead people about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : AFLDS Creates + Spreads COVID-19 Misinformation

Dr. Pierre identifies himself as a doctor with the AFLDS – America’s Frontline Doctors.

AFLDS is a right-wing American political organisation that is well-known for creating and propagating COVID-19 misinformation.

Everything associated with AFLDS should never be trusted, until proven true. Yes, they are that bad.

Fact #2 : The Story Was Made Up

I traced the provenance of this story from a Greek website, to a right-wing, anti-vaccination German website, which claimed that the story was originally published by the family’s lawyer, Carlo Alberto Brusa, on his Facebook page.

However, Brusa’s Facebook page has ZERO post about any court case, going all the way back to 27 December 2020 – when COVID-19 vaccinations first kicked off in France.

As far as anyone can tell – this story was completely FABRICATED.

Fact #3 : There Was No Such Case In France

There are several articles and videos – all referencing the Greek or German website, which leads us back to Brusa. And yet, there is ZERO evidence :

  • that a French millionaire actually died from his COVID-19 vaccination.
  • that any insurance company refused to pay a life insurance policy, because the insured died from COVID-19 vaccination.
  • that any French court ruled that a death from vaccination is considered a suicide.
  • of any case or court document regarding the case

If a French court did indeed rule that dying from a COVID-19 vaccine is considered a suicide, it would have been HUGE NEWS with major legal implications, and covered worldwide!

These articles were first posted in January 2022, and more than 2 months later, no one else covered it except for a few small anti-vaccination websites?

That’s because it never happened.

Fact #4 : COVID-19 Vaccines Are Not Experimental

Dr. Pierre falsely claimed that the COVID-19 vaccines are experimental.

COVID-19 vaccines are no longer experimental, after they receive either an emergency use authorisation or full approval from a health authority like the US FDA or EMA.

That only happens if they successfully complete their Phase 3 trials, and undergo a stringent review process. So it is not possible to use an experimental vaccine for mass vaccination.

I should also point out that the Pfizer vaccine received its full FDA approval on 23 August 2021, while the Moderna vaccine received its full FDA Approval on 31 January 2022.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also renewed the authorisation for these vaccines :

  • Moderna Spikevax : 4 October 2021
  • Pfizer COMIRNATY : 3 November 2021
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria : 9 November 2021
  • Johnson & Johnson Janssen : 3 January 2022

So none of those COVID-19 vaccines are experimental. They have all passed their clinical tests, and have been approved.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between EUA vs Full FDA Approval?

Fact #5 : COVID-19 Vaccines Proven Safe

The COVID-19 vaccines were proven safe and effective in the massive Phase 2/3 trials that involved hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

These COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are much larger than the usual clinical trials for new drugs or vaccines.

On top of that, they continue to undergo post-marketing surveillance, to catch very rare side effects like myocarditis (risk of less than 1 in million).

With so much clinical data, there is no way any insurance company or court can say that the vaccines are dangerous, or experimental.

Read more : What’s The Difference Between Full FDA Approval vs. EUA?
Read more : Vaccine Myocarditis Risk Less Than 1 In Million!

Fact #6 : COVID-19 Vaccine Will Not Affect Life Insurance

Dr. Pierre also falsely claimed that the American Life Insurance Council said that “life insurance policies may deny payment if you die from the COVID-19 vaccine because they are experimental drugs.”

First of all, there is no American Life Insurance Council. There is only the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI).

Secondly, the ACLI had earlier posted two statements refuting this ridiculous claim.

ACLI Statement Of 12 March 2021

A social media post appears to be behind the spread of entirely false information, suggesting a COVID-19 vaccine could be a factor a life insurer considers in the claims-paying process. 

The fact is that life insurers do not consider whether or not a policyholder has received a COVID vaccine when deciding whether to pay a claim. 

Life insurance policy contracts are very clear on how policies work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a benefit. A vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. 

Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Policyholders should reach out to their life insurers, agents or financial professionals for their COVID-related questions. They will be happy to help.

ACLI Statement Of 16 September 2021

We said it before and, unfortunately, we must say it again because misinformation about life insurance claims and the COVID-19 vaccine continues to spread.

Policyholders should rest assured that nothing has changed in the claims-paying process as a result of COVID-19 vaccinations. Life insurance policies are very clear on how they work, and what cause, if any, might lead to the denial of a claim. A policyholder’s decision to receive or not receive a vaccine for COVID-19 is not one of them. Nothing has changed in life insurers’ claims paying process.  

Policyholders should reach out to their life insurance companies, agents or financial professionals for their COVID-related questions. They will be happy to help.

In other words, insurance companies in the United States will not deny payment of a life insurance in the event someone dies from a COVID-19 vaccine.

These statements were posted MONTHS ago… so Dr. Pierre knowingly misled you about what the ACLI said. So I have to ask Dr. Pierre – why do you lie?

Fact #7 : It’s The Same In France + Around The World

Just in case you are wondering – insurance companies in France and around the world do NOT :

  • consider COVID-19 vaccines “experimental”
  • deny payment in the event someone dies from a COVID-19 vaccine

Insurance companies and associations worldwide have stated that COVID-19 vaccinations do NOT impact life insurance claims.

They also do not call deaths from getting a COVID-19 vaccine “suicide”.

Insurance Control and Resolution Authority of France (ACPR)

The conditions of the death of the insured have no effect on the payment to the beneficiary of the sums paid on a life insurance contract.

Exclusion clauses are provided for contractually… In practice, the risks targeted by the exclusions are not very diversified and, to our knowledge, no contract contains clauses which would make it possible to exclude as a cause of death, the aftermath and consequences of vaccination, or more generally of taking medical treatment, on the prescription of a doctor.

Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)

Contrary to misinformation being shared online, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine will have no effect on the ability to obtain coverage or benefits from life insurance or supplementary health insurance.

The CLHIA is aware of misinformation that is being spread through social media claiming that individuals who get the vaccine will not be able to get life insurance or may be denied their disability or life insurance benefits. These claims are incorrect and have no basis in fact whatsoever.

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

There are some claims being made that having the Covid-19 vaccine will impact your life insurance cover. This is false.

Receiving a vaccination against Covid-19 will not impact your insurance cover, be it life insurance, private medical insurance or other forms of insurance.

Financial Services Council of Australia (FSC)

 The Financial Services Council (FSC) is today reassuring Australians that taking a COVID-19 vaccine will not invalidate life insurance policies despite false rumours suggesting otherwise. 

FSC CEO Sally Loane said the false rumours, which have been circulating on social media, incorrectly suggest the COVID-19 vaccine is an “experimental medical treatment” and therefore having the vaccine is a “self-inflicted injury” which could void life insurance policies. 

“To be clear – the COVID-19 vaccine is not experimental treatment. Receiving approved treatment from a qualified medical professional at an approved medical facility is not a self-inflicted injury,” Ms Loane said. 

“One of the main reasons why people hold life insurance policies is to provide peace of mind for themselves and their families. The FSC would like to reassure Australians that when they get vaccinated, their life insurance will be there for them, completely unaffected. 

“This scare mongering is wrong, it is entirely inappropriate and it needs to stop immediately.”

Now that you know the facts, please help to fight fake news – SHARE this article out!

And please protect yourself, and your family, by vaccinating them against COVID-19!

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Is Pfizer Vaccine Causing Japanese Encephalitis In Australia?!

Is the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine causing a major outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Australia?!

Take a look at the new viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Pfizer Vaccine Caused Japanese Encephalitis In Australia!

People are claiming that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is causing the major outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Australia.

Their evidence? The recent release of Pfizer documents with 9 pages showing a list of 1,291 side effects allegedly caused by their COVID-19 vaccine.

Media reports Japanese encephalitis from mosquitos…

Symptoms; “rapid onset of high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, seizures, spastic paralysis and ultimately death”. WHO

A search of the Pfizer trials of Adverse Events, is filled with Encephalitis. 💉💉

 

Truth : Pfizer Vaccine Does NOT Cause Japanese Encephalitis At All!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS created by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Does Not Contain Any Virus

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, not an inactivated virus vaccine, or attenuated virus vaccine.

It does not contain a live or deactivated virus, and therefore cannot possibly cause any viral infection.

Fact #2 : Japanese Encephalitis Is Caused By JEV

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the brain.

It is caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) – a Flavivirus, which is not remotely related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Fact #3 : Japanese Encephalitis Spreads Through Mosquitoes

The Japanese Encephalitis Virus primarily spreads through mosquitoes, especially of the Culex type.

Mosquitoes become infected if they bite an infected animal, like birds or mammals. Infected pigs, in particular, are a high-risk, because they have very high levels of the virus in their blood.

However, humans cannot get directly infected by JEV-infected pigs, or by eating pork even from infected pigs. We can only get infected if we are bitten by mosquitoes infected with JEV.

This is quite different from COVID-19, which mainly spreads through respiratory droplets from infected humans.

Fact #4 : Japanese Encephalitis Was First Documented In 1871

Japanese encephalitis is not a new disease. It was first documented in Japan, in 1871. Hence, its name.

Fact #5 : Japanese Encephalitis Is Mainly Limited To Asia

Since it spread from Japan in the 1870s, Japanese encephalitis regularly causes outbreaks in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

It has also caused infections in Australia – a risk that increases with climate change that allows propagation of mosquitoes into formerly temperate climates.

So it is not surprising if Australia is currently suffering an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.

Fact #6 : Pfizer Vaccine Was Administered Worldwide

I should now point out that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been, and continues to be, administered worldwide.

If the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine causes Japanese encephalitis, these cases would be found worldwide, not just restricted to Australia and Southeast Asia.

Fact #7 : Pfizer Documents Do Not Show Vaccine Side Effects

These fake news are based on the accidental / intentional misinterpretation of Pfizer documents that were recently released by the US FDA.

Specifically, people are pointing to the nine pages of potential “adverse events” listed in the “List of Adverse Events of Special Interest” (AESI).

However, that was NOT a list of side effects caused by the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

Rather, that was a list of 1,291 potential side effects that Pfizer was specifically looking for in the reports of adverse events.

Think of it as a shopping list of adverse events that everyone agreed that Pfizer should be looking out for.

Even if these adverse events did occur, scientists still need to find out if they actually occurred because of the vaccine, or some other causes.

Fact #8 : AESI List Not Specific To Pfizer Vaccine

The Adverse Events of Special Interest list is not specific to the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. It’s actually stated on Page 16 of the document.

The company’s AESI list takes into consideration the lists of AESIs from the following expert groups and regulatory authorities: Brighton Collaboration (SPEAC), ACCESS protocol, US CDC (preliminary list of AESI for VAERS surveillance), MHRA (unpublished guideline).

The AESI terms are incorporated into a TME list and include events of interest due to their association with severe COVID-19 and events of interest for vaccines in general.

That’s why the list includes diseases involving other viruses – Herpes, MERS, Varicella; as well as “exposure to SARS-CoV-2” and other “communicable disease”.

These AESIs are usually specified before clinical trials even begin, although new ones may be added later.

Fact #9 : Pfizer Document Showed No New Safety Concerns

The fake news creators also

falsely claimed that the document showed that the Pfizer vaccine caused 1,200 deaths.

If you read the Discussion and Summary + Conclusion sections, you will see that the data :

  • did not reveal any “novel safety concerns or risks”
  • support “a favourable benefit risk profile” of the vaccine

In other words – the Pfizer document pointed out that despite looking for 1,291 potential dangers, they found no new risks from the vaccine.

Don’t risk your life or your family’s lives on the bad science and misinformation promoted by anti-vaccination activists.

Please help me fight fake news, by sharing this fact check with your family and friends!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Moderna Expands To Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan + HK!

Moderna just announced that they are expanding to four countries in Asia Pacific – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong!

 

Moderna Expands To Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan + HK!

On 15 February 2022, Moderna announced that it is expanding its commercial network across Asia by creating new subsidiaries in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

These new subsidiaries are meant to support the delivery of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, and may not involve research and development, or manufacturing.

Moderna CEO, Stephane Bancel recently mentioned though that he hopes to “establish one or two new vaccine plants in Asia“.

In May 2021, Moderna announced a collaboration with the South Korean government to explore research and manufacturing in South Korea.

At the end of December 2021, Moderna announced that it would build an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria, Australia.

“2021 was a year of impact for Moderna, and I am proud to see continued growth in 2022 as we expand our presence in Asia. After a decade of pioneering the development of our mRNA platform, we were ready to play a critical role in combating the COVID-19 pandemic globally,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

“With the addition of four subsidiaries in Asia, we look forward to new opportunities to leverage our mRNA platform to help solve health challenges, including those with a high burden of disease in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel was recently the subject of speculation and misinformation, after closing his Twitter account. You can read all about it here.

Read more : Did Moderna CEO delete Twitter account and dump his stocks?

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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Did Australia Admit 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects?

Did the government of Australia just admit that at least 79,000 people had vaccine side effects like pericarditis?

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Australia Admitted 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects!

People have been sharing this scary message on WhatsApp, with a link to a YouTube video from the Australian news outlet, 7NEWS :

The Australian government has admitted there have been at least 79,000 COVID-19 vaccine side effects and is now offering compensation to those seriously injured

 

Truth : Australia Did Not Admit 79,000 People Had Vaccine Side Effects

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS that uses real news to mislead people, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Video Tells A Different Story From Viral Message

The video is genuine, and is a 7NEWS report from 29 December 2021, which you can view above.

The fake news creator used it to “sell” the fake news, because he/she knows that 99% of those who read the fake news won’t bother to actually watch the video.

In fact, most will assume that 79,000 people in Australia developed pericarditis from COVID-19 vaccines!

The video actually talks about one man’s experience getting pericarditis from the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and how he did not qualify for the federal government’s compensation.

Fact #2 : He Did Not Get Hospitalised Overnight For Pericarditis

The man in the 7NEWS report, Matty John, was admitted to the hospital twice for pericarditis, but in both cases – he did not even need to stay overnight (1:35 in the video).

Hence, he did not qualify for the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme.

According to the TGA, myocarditis and pericarditis from vaccines is “often mild, and cases usually resolve after a few days with treatment and rest“.

Fact #3 : Australian Government Did Not Admit 79,000 People Had Side Effects

To be clear – the Australian government never said that 79,000 people had side effects from the vaccine. It was an estimate mentioned in the news report.

At 0:46 of the video, the reporter clearly said, “It is estimated that 79,000 people had suffered adverse reactions to vaccines“.

Fact #4 : Less Than 2,000 People In Australia Had Pericarditis From Vaccines

As of 19 December 2021, Australia administered 27.7 million doses of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, and just under 2,000 reported cases of pericarditis.

Even if all reported (but not confirmed) pericarditis cases are considered as related to the mRNA vaccines, that’s an incidence rate of 0.0072%.

The truth is – people do get pericarditis even without vaccination. So the true incidence rate is much lower than “suspected”.

Pericarditis Pfizer Comirnaty
26.2 million doses
Moderna Spikevax
1.5 million doses
All 12-17 yo All 12-17 yo
Suspected Cases 1,860
0.0071%
140 131
0.0087%
10
Likely Cases 720
0.0027%
60 46
0.0031%
2

Fact #5 : COVID-19 Causes More Pericarditis Than Vaccines!

What antivaxxers don’t tell you is that – COVID-19 causes A LOT more cases of pericarditis than vaccines.

This 14 December 2021 study published in Nature look at the outcome of over 38 million people in the United Kingdom from COVID-19 and vaccination.

For your convenience, I summarised their pericarditis findings in this table :

COVID-19
Infection
Pfizer
Comirnaty
AstraZeneca
Vaxzevria
People 3,028,867 11,972,733 19,754,224
Pericarditis 106 52 91
Pericarditis
Incidence
0.0035% 0.00043% 0.00046%
Change
In Risk
Baseline 8.14x
lower risk
7.61x
lower risk

From their findings, COVID-19 infections causes 8X more cases of pericarditis than a COVID-19 vaccine.

It should be obvious by this point that, if you are worried about pericarditis, then you should definitely GET VACCINATED against COVID-19!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across the globe, Malaysia has initiated new measures to block it from reaching our shores.

Here is what you need to know…

 

New Measures To Block Omicron Variant From Malaysia!

On 1 December 2021, the Malaysia Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin announced a series of new measures to block the Omicron variant from reaching our shores.

This decision came after 20 countries reported over 200 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 :

Country Omicron
Cases
Country Omicron
Cases
South Africa 128 Austria 4
Botswana 19 Brazil 2
Portugal 13 Canada 2
The Netherlands 12 Japan 2
United Kingdom 9 Denmark 2
Australia 6 Spain 1
Hong Kong 5 Reunion Island (France) 1
Germany 5 Belgium 1
Italy 4 Czech Republic 1
Israel 4 Sweden 1

 

How Malaysia Intends To To Block Omicron Variant!

Temporary Travel Ban

Malaysia will no longer allow flights from or transiting through countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, will be blocked.

These are the eight (8) countries that the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) has listed under the travel ban :

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Malawi

There is also a temporary travel ban for non-Malaysian citizens from those countries, including travellers who have been in those countries during the last 14 days prior to arrival.

Malaysian citizens and holders of long-term passes (PR status, spouse visa, MM2H and resident pass) are still ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, subject to these restrictions :

  • Irrespective of their vaccination status, they must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a quarantine station.
  • They must undergo three RT-PCR COVID-19 tests :
    – within 72 hours before departure,
    – on arrival in Malaysia, and
    – on the 10th day of the mandatory quarantine
  • A risk assessment will be conducted on the 14th day of quarantine, which may be extended if the traveller is symptomatic.

Malaysian citizens who are planning to visit the listed countries are NOT ALLOWED to continue with their travel plans.

Vaccinated Travel Lane

Arrangements to create a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, have been postponed.

In addition, the Malaysia-Singapore VTL programme for both air and land travel has been amended to require travellers to undergo additional COVID-19 self-tests on the 3rd and 7th day after arrival.

They must then report their test results in MySejahtera.

Monitoring Of Countries With Omicron Variant Cases

The Ministry of Health (KKM) will monitor and provide the other government ministries with a DAILY LIST of countries with Omicron variant cases, or at high risk.

Strengthening Of International Gateways

The Immigration Department of Malaysia has immediately STOPPED the use of the Autogate system.

Flights carrying passengers from the listed countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high risk countries, are only allowed to enter Malaysia through KLIA.

Airlines are responsible for identifying passengers travelling from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries. This information must be submitted to the KLIA Health Office for easier handling of the arrivals.

MAHB is required to create a special “gate” and path for travellers from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, to undergo a health screening before undergoing their special quarantine.

International Students + Foreign Workers

International students and foreign workers from countries with Omicron variant cases, or high-risk countries, will be temporarily BANNED from entering Malaysia.

Langkawi International Tourism Bubble

Tourists from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries; or those with history of travel to those countries in the past 14 days, are NOT ALLOWED to participate in the Langkawi International Tourism Bubble.

Malaysian citizens (Langkawi residents) returning from countries with Omicron variant transmission, or high-risk countries, are ALLOWED to return to Malaysia, but only through KLIA and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a special quarantine station.

Foreign tourists who are confirmed to be positive with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be isolated and treated in a private hospital, at their own cost.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did China Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World?

Did China provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world, while America dropped hundreds of thousands of bombs instead?

Take a look at the new viral photo, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Did China Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World?

Sinophiles have been sharing an infographic comparing Chinese President Xi Jinping to the last three American Presidents – Donald Trump, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

It shows that China under Xi Jinping provided 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world, while America under President Bush, Obama and Trump dropped over 240,000 bombs.

 

Truth : China Did Not Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World

The truth is this is just Chinese propaganda and well, FAKE NEWS, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : China Did Not Provide 2 Billion Vaccine Doses To The World

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on 23 September 2021 that “China has provided 1.2 billion doses of finished and bulk vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organisations“.

So even if we take their word for it, China most definitely has NOT provided 2 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccines to the world.

Data analytics company, Airfinity, puts China’s worldwide COVID-19 vaccine exports slightly lower – at just 1.1 billion doses to 123 countries, as of 8 October 2021.

No matter how you slice this salami, China has not come close to providing the world with 2 billion vaccine doses.

Read more : Are Top 4 COVID-19 Vaccines From China?

Fact #2 : Provided Does Not Mean Donated

The misleading “infographic” tries to imply that China “donated” 2 billion doses of vaccines to the world.

Note how it uses the same word – “provided” just like the Chinese Foreign Ministry. It is a curious use of the word, since other countries would have either used “exported” or “donated”.

The use of the ambiguous word “provided” is no coincidence, as China wants the world to think of it as benevolent and generous. The truth is much less impressive.

Most Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines were SOLD for profit, not donated for the good of their fellow men.

There’s nothing wrong in selling vaccines. It is simply FALSE to imply or claim that China donated 2 billion vaccine doses.

Fact #3 : China Is A Stingy Vaccine Donor

Despite their implied benevolence, China is a notably stingy donor.

China only started donating to COVAX on 3 February 2021, pledging 10 million doses of their Sinopharm vaccine.

Not only was that a paltry 0.3% of the 3.3 BILLION doses secured by COVAX at that time, it took them almost 3 months to manufacture those 10 million doses.

China pledged to donate a total of 100 million vaccine doses, with around 37 million doses delivered by 1 October 2021.

That pales in comparison to the United States, which donated more than 190 million doses as of 13 October and has pledged to donate more than 1.1 BILLION vaccine doses11X more than China.

Read more : Did China Contribute 60% Of COVAX Vaccine Supply?

Fact #4 : China Is A Stingy COVAX Donor

COVAX – the worldwide initiative for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines – does not rely on donated vaccines. It relies primarily on financial aid, which allows it to directly purchase vaccines to distribute.

You can check how much each country or organisation donated in the latest COVAX donor list.

China did not contribute a single dollar to the COVAX Facility until 6 August 2021, when they announced a single US$100 million contribution.

That may sound impressive, until you actually compare their contribution with what the rest of the world is contributing…

COVAX Donors Contribution In USD
United States 3,500 million
Germany 1,070 million
Japan 1,000 million
United Kingdom 733 million
Sweden 538 million
European Commission 489 million
Italy 470 million
Canada 384 million
Sweden 296 million
France 242 million
South Korea 210 million
B&M Gates Foundation 206 million
Switzerland 162 million
Saudi Arabia 150 million
Norway 141 million
Spain 122 million
Netherlands 108 million
Australia 100 million
China 100 million

China could only match Australia, donating LESS THAN HALF what South Korea donated and just 10% of what Japan donated donated to COVAX, despite being the world’s second largest economy.

Even more embarrassingly, China donated LESS THAN HALF what the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – a private organisation – donated to COVAX.

But not to worry – Russia didn’t contribute a single cent to COVAX. So Chinese propagandists would do better to compare China’s contributions against their northern brethren, instead of their western rivals.

Fact #5 : China Is No Angel

China may not have dropped bombs on other countries like the United States, but it is no angel.

While the United States dropped bombs on terrorists and sometimes innocents caught in “The War On Terror”, China conducted its own “War on Terror” in its Xinjiang Province by rounding up between 1-3 million Uyghur Muslims and putting them into internment camps, which they call “vocational education and training centres”.

Now, there is no equivalence between dropping bombs on people, and imprisoning them to use as slave labour. But it would be foolish for anyone to believe that China is an angel.

China has aggressively threatened Taiwan, continuously sending flights of military planes into their ADIZ (Air Defence Identification Zone).

China also took over islands and features in the Paracel and Spratly Islands that belonged to other countries, and built military installations on them, including airfields, radar and radio stations as well as missile defences, and actively use them to threatened passing ships.

China even sent their troops to engage the Indian army in aggressive melee and face-off skirmishes on their border, resulting in deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and approximately 43 Chinese soldiers in 2020.

China’s conduct within their own country and internationally, has shown that the Middle Kingdom has no qualms ignoring international laws and destroying people’s lives, to get what they want.

That makes China no different from other superpowers abusing their economic and military strength to bully smaller and less powerful nations.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 : How Much + Where To Buy?

You can now pre-order or buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 foldable smartphone!

Find out how much it costs globally, and where to pick one up!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 : What Are The Colour Options?

Samsung is offering the Galaxy Z Fold 3 in three colour options (from left to right) : Phantom Green, Phantom Black and Phantom Silver.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 : Unboxing + Hands-On Preview!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 : How Much + Where To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 has a starting price of US$1,799 – about £1,299 / A$2,449 / S$2,439 / RM 7,619.

Here in Malaysia, you can pre-order one from 19 September to 21 September 2021, with these freebies :

  • RM850 e-voucher for Samsung Malaysia Online Store
  • Samsung Care+ protection (1 year), which covers accidental damage, including screen replacement, water damage and back cover replacement

In the United States, you will get these offers or freebies when you buy a Galaxy Z Fold 3 :

  • 50% off Samsung Galaxy Buds2
  • Free 4 months of YouTube Premium
  • Free 6 months of SiriusXM Streaming
  • Free 3 months of Spotify Premium

In the United Kingdom, you will get this freebie + offer when you buy a Galaxy Z Fold 3 :

  • Free Flip Case + S Pen + 25W Super Fast Charger
  • Free 4 months of YouTube Premium
  • 5% cash back on Samsung.com purchases using Samsung Pay+

In Australia, you will get these offers when you buy a Galaxy Z Fold 3 :

  • Bonus $500 when you trade-in an eligible device
  • 50% off Samsung Care+

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 : Hands-On + Key Features!

The new Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 boasts a large 7.6-inch Infinity Flex display, with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel that has a 120 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1768 x 2208 pixels.

In the front, it has a 6.2-inch Cover Display with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, that has a 120 Hz refresh rate and Gorilla Glass Victus protection.

In addition to the Gorilla Glass Victus protection for the Cover Display, its rear triple camera system is protected by Gorilla Glass with DX.

Its main display has a new protective film made from stretchable PET, and newly-optimised display panel layers that is 80% more durable than the Z Fold2 display. The display is now verified to withstand folding at least 200,000 times!

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is water-resistant in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes, but is not dust-resistant due to its foldable display and folding mechanism. Hence, it is IPX8-rated.

To protect against dust and other particles, its Hideaway Hinge has enhanced Sweeper technology, with shorter bristles.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is built around the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform, with 12 GB of memory, and either 256 GB or 512 GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage.

There are two stylus options for the Z Fold 3 – the S Pen Fold Edition, and the S Pen Pro. They both feature a specially-engineered retractable Pro tip, with force limit technology to protect the foldable display.

Complementing its massive display are dual speakers tuned by AKG, but there is no 3.5 mm audio jack, in case you are wondering.

Just above its cover display, is a 10 MP camera, which you can use without unfolding the phone. When unfolded, you can use the 4 MP front camera, which is hidden under the display for a seamless look.

At the back, it has a triple camera system, that consists of :

  • 12 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture
  • 12 MP telephone camera, with 2X zoom and f/2.4 aperture
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with f/2.2 aperture

Powering all that is a large 4,400 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, and it supports 25 watt fast charging, and 11 watt wireless charging. It can even wireless recharge other devices, albeit at just 4.5 watts.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : How Much + Where To Buy?

You can now pre-order or buy the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3!

Find out how much it costs globally, and where to pick one up!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : What Are The Colour Options?

Samsung is offering the Galaxy Z Flip 3 in four colour options (from left to right) : Green, CreamLavender and Phantom Black.

Samsung is also directly offering three more exclusive colours in their online store – Gray, Pink and White.

Read more : Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : My First Impressions!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : How Much + Where To Buy?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a starting price of US$999 – about £723 / A$1,361 / S$1,357 / RM 4,231.

Here in Malaysia, you can pre-order one from 19 September to 21 September 2021, with these freebies :

  • RM600 e-voucher for Samsung Malaysia Online Store
  • Samsung Care+ protection (1 year), which covers accidental damage, including screen replacement, water damage and back cover replacement

In Singapore, you can pre-order one with these freebies :

  • Free Wireless Charger Duo and Clear Cover with Ring
  • Samsung Care+ protection (1 year), which covers accidental damage, including screen replacement, water damage and back cover replacement

In the United States, you will get these offers or freebies when you buy a Galaxy Z Flip 3 :

  • 50% off Samsung Galaxy Buds2
  • Free 4 months of YouTube Premium
  • Free 6 months of SiriusXM Streaming
  • Free 3 months of Spotify Premium

In the United Kingdom, you will get this freebie + offer when you buy a Galaxy Z Flip 3 :

  • Free 4 months of YouTube Premium
  • 5% cash back on Samsung.com purchases using Samsung Pay+

In Australia, you will get these offers when you buy a Galaxy Z Flip 3 :

  • Bonus $300 when you trade-in an eligible device
  • 50% off Samsung Care+

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 : Hands-On + Key Features!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 boasts a large 6.7-inch Infinity Flex display, with a Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel that has a 120 Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1080 x 2640 pixels.

In the front, it has a small 1.9-inch Cover Display with a Super AMOLED panel with a resolution of 260 x 512 pixels.

Its foldable display has a new protective film made from stretchable PET, and newly-optimised display panel layers that is 80% more durable than the Z Fold2 display. The foldable display is now verified to withstand folding at least 200,000 times!

Its chassis is made with Armor Aluminium, and the Cover Display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. Its Dual Pixel main camera is also protected by Gorilla Glass with DX.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is water-resistant in up to 1.5 metres of freshwater for up to 30 minutes, but is not dust-resistant due to its foldable display and folding mechanism. Hence, it is IPX8-rated.

To protect against dust and other particles, its Hideaway Hinge has enhanced Sweeper technology, with shorter bristles.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is built around the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform, with 8 GB of memory, and either 128 GB or 256 GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage.

Its redesigned Cover Screen is now 4X larger, making it easier to view notifications and messages without opening the Z Flip 3.

You will be able to check your schedule, the weather, and your daily step count with the new Cover Screen widgets. You can even coordinate its wallpaper with the new Galaxy Watch4 or Galaxy Watch4 Classic!

In the front, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 has a 10 MP punch hole camera, with an f/2.4 aperture, in the front.

And at the back, it has a dual-camera system :

  • 12 MP main camera, with f/1.8 aperture
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera, with f/2.2 aperture

Powering all that is a 3,300 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, which supports 15 watt fast charging, and 10 watt wireless charging. It can even wireless recharge other devices, albeit at just 4.5 watts.

 

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Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : Malaysia Approved Ivermectin For COVID-19?

Did Malaysia just approve ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment?

Take a look at this viral claim, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Malaysia Approved Ivermectin For COVID-19!

This is the viral message that is circulating on WhatsApp, with a link to a FreeMalaysiaToday article, called “Hospitals can apply for ‘off-label use’ of Ivermectin, says health ministry“.

It is very long, so just skip to the next section for the facts!

Woohoo!! GOOD NEWS!! IVERMECTIN is being recognised!!

Malaysia bucks the tide of heavy Pharma lobby and Approves IVERMECTIN!!

“Malaysian Government approves the use of Ivermectin for Covid19 treatment The Malaysian Ministry of Health is allowing hospitals to use Ivermectin “off-label”, meaning for purposes beyond what has been decreed. This is a huge step forward. Those patients who want ivermectin can ask for it.

Ivermectin acts in 3 ways.

Pre infection and in the early stage of covid-19, the drug has been shown to disrupt virus replication. This means the virus cannot multiply in your body.

If the virus has already set in before treatment, the next effect of ivermectin is to flush out the viral debris that triggers the immune response resulting in the cytokine storm which destroys lung tissue.

If ivermectin is administered late, its anti-inflammatory properties help to ease the air duct congestion and heal some of the tissue damage.

 

Truth : Malaysia Did NOT Approve Ivermectin For COVID-19!

The truth is this is an “updated” combination of two prior fake news :

This time, the fake news creator blatantly claims that Malaysia has approved ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19.

The entire piece is nothing but fake news, and here are the facts…

Fact #1 : Malaysia Did Not Approve Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19

First, it must be made clear – Malaysia did NOT approve ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment or prophylaxis.

You cannot legally get a prescription for ivermectin to treat COVID-19 in Malaysia. In fact,  it is ILLEGAL to sell ivermectin for human use in Malaysia.

Read more : Illegal Ivermectin Sale : Up to RM50K Fine + 5 Years Jail!

Fact #2 : Hospitals Have To APPLY To Use Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19

The Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) did not “allow” hospitals to use ivermectin as an “off-label” treatment of COVID-19.

They only said that hospitals can APPLY to the Drug Control Agency (DCA) for the “off-label” use of ivermectin.

KKM also said that the use of off-label medication “must be done in a monitored environment“.

Fact #3 : Off-Label Application Has Long Existed

The ability for hospitals to apply for off-label use of medications have long existed.

This permission to apply for off-label use isn’t something new, or exclusive to ivermectin.

Read more : Ivermectin Triple Therapy by Professor Borody!

Fact #4 : Informed Patient Consent Is Required

As off-label use of medicine can be detrimental to the patient, it is important for the doctor to inform the patient of the risks and obtain his/her consent.

The treating physician in the hospital is required to fully explain the risks to the patient, who must then consent to the off-label use of ivermectin before it can be administered.

The signed consent form is then kept as part of the patient’s record.

Fact #5 : Ivermectin Mechanism Of Action Has Not Been Determined

The person who wrote the fake message claimed that ivermectin acts against COVID-19 in 3 ways. Its mechanism of action is currently unconfirmed.

There is no evidence that ivermectin will disrupt virus replication, which occurs after the cell is infected.

There is also no evidence that ivermectin will “flush out the viral debris”, or that it is the dead virus that causes a cytokine storm.

And there is also no evidence that the (proposed) anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin can heal tissue damage.

Fact #6 : COVID-19 Breathing Difficulties Caused By Pneumonia + ARDS

The fake news writer claims that ivermectin helps to “ease the air duct congestion“. It suggests that he/she falsely believes that COVID-19 creates asthma-like breathing difficulties.

Breathing difficulty in COVID-19 is caused by pneumonia and/or ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome).

COVID-19 causes damage to the blood vessels, causing them to fluid into your lungs. The fluid fills the air sacs in your lungs, which limits their ability to take in oxygen.

You start getting breathless and ARDS develops, leaving you unable to breathe on your own. This is when you require oxygen support, or mechanical ventilation.

Photo Credit : Oxford University

Fact #7 : Ivermectin Has Not Been Proven To Work Against COVID-19

Ivermectin has been shown to work against COVID-19 in vitro studies (labs studies), but does NOT improve clinical outcomes or prevent transmission.

That is why the WHO and practically the vast majority of health authorities around the world do NOT advocate using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Read more : Latest Ivermectin COVID-19 Study : What Does It Really Say?

Fact #8 : Ivermectin Has Not Been Tested Against COVID-19 Variants

The fake news writer claims that with ivermectin “all those scary new variants don’t have to be scary anymore.

What he/she left out was the fact that ivermectin has NOT been tested against COVID-19 variants!

In fact, the Internet’s most prominent cheerleader of ivermectin – Dr. Pierre Kory, was infected by COVID-19 despite being on FLCCC ivermectin prophylaxis!

Other people who took ivermectin to protect against COVID-19 ended up dying, or developed severe COVID-19!

Read more : Dr. Pierre Kory Gets COVID-19 Despite Taking Ivermectin!

 

Fact #9 : Ivermectin Isn’t That Safe

The fake news writer claimed that “In 30 years of using ivermectin for humans, there have been minimal reports of adverse reactions.

That’s probably because no one has been stupid enough to self-medicate using ivermectin!

Now that so many people are self-medicating with ivermectin, we are getting reports of :

In fact, it is DANGEROUS for people like Major Mior Rosli and Dr. Kenny Yong to claim that it is safe to take 10 or 15 ivermectin tablets!

Read more : FLCCC Allegedly Said 15 Ivermectin Tablets Safe To Take?!

Fact #10 : 32 Countries Are Not Using Ivermectin To Combat COVID-19

There is no evidence that 32 countries have officially used ivermectin to combat COVID-19, much less reported any success with it.

Countries that ivermectin proponents have been promoting – India, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, South Africa – have all failed to control COVID-19.

Just look at their COVID-19 case numbers below. Does it look like ivermectin helped them at all?

In fact, India dropped the use of ivermectin on 27 May 2021, after it proved to be ineffective against their COVID-19 surge.

Read more : MAECC Ivermectin Briefing : Control COVID-19 In 6 Weeks?

Fact #11 : Current Vaccines Offer Good Protection Against Delta Variant

Major Rosli’s claim that current vaccines do not protect against the more dangerous Delta variant is FALSE.

Public Health England’s data have shown that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer robust protection against the Delta variant, after two doses.

Read more : Why Delta Variant Causes MORE Breakthrough Infections!

COVID-19
Variant
Symptomatic
COVID-19
Hospitalisation
1 Dose 2 Doses 1 Dose 2 Doses
Alpha (UK) 50% 66% 76% 86%
Delta (India) 33% 60% 71% 92%

Fact #12 : Australia Does Not Use Ivermectin Against COVID-19

Australia does NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Here is the 1 June 2021 conclusion on ivermectin by the Australian Department of Health :

There is currently insufficient evidence to support the safe and effective use of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc (either separately, or in combination) for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

More robust, well-designed clinical trials are needed before they could be considered an appropriate treatment option.

Fact #13 : Singapore Does Not Use Ivermectin Against COVID-19

Singapore does NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Here is the 18 June 2020 conclusion from the Singapore Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Rapid Review :

There is insufficient high-quality evidence to show chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are effective for post-exposure prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19.

Instead, evidence to date suggests the use of these agents is associated with more harms than standard of care.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Australia Approve Ivermectin Treatment For COVID-19?

Did Australia just approve a breakthrough ivermectin treatment for COVID-19?

Take a look at the viral message, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Australia Approved Ivermectin Treatment For COVID-19!

This message has gone viral on social media, including WhatsApp and Telegram, claiming that Australia just approved a breakthrough ivermectin treatment for COVID-19.

It’s quite long, so just skip to the next section for the facts.

BREAKTHROUGH  IVERMECTIN TREATMENT ACCEPTED BY TGA (Australian Therapeutic Goods Adminstration) TO TREAT COVID 19

Fantastic news today worthy of celebration!

The Sydney outbreak could be under control much sooner with this treatment protocol. Get onto it peeps 👏👏
Australian GPs Can Legally Prescribe Ivermectin Triple Therapy Protocol — Professor Thomas Borody.

 

Truth : Australia Did NOT Approve Ivermectin Treatment For COVID-19!

This is really a rehash of the old, disputed ivermectin claims by Professor Thomas Borody.

Here are the FACTS about his Ivermectin Triple Therapy, and the WhatsApp message above :

Fact #1 : That Was From 19 August 2020

While the message claims to be “Fantastic news today”, it’s really OLD NEWS.

The article was posted in August 2020, after Professor Thomas Borody released his Ivermectin Triple Therapy protocol on 19 August 2020.

Fact #2 : TGA Did Not Approve Ivermectin For Use Against COVID-19

As of 8 August 2021 – almost a year later, Australia’s TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) have NOT approved ivermectin for use against COVID-19.

They also did NOT approve Professor Borody’s ivermectin triple therapy for use against COVID-19, either as a treatment or a prophylaxis.

The Australian Department of Health advised that (as of 1 June 2021), ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc should only be used in “properly conducted clinical trials with appropriate ethical approval”.

Fact #3 : TGA Opened An Investigation Into His Claim

Right after Professor Borody issued that press statement, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) opened an investigation, as it may potentially breach the ban on advertising COVID-19 treatments.

In February 2021, the TGA ordered former Australian senator David Leyonhjelm to take down his tweet advertising ivermectin. As his case showed, the TGA forbids :

  • all advertising of therapeutic goods containing the active ingredient ivermectin
  • making claims or representations in advertisements for any therapeutic goods that those goods [ivermectin] have any effect on COVID-19 (including that said therapeutic goods are capable of preventing, treating or alleviating COVID-19).

Fact #4 : Ivermectin Triple Therapy Not Proven To Work

The Australian Department of Health also pointed out that Professor Borody’s Ivermectin Triple Therapy protocol has not been proven to be safe or effective against COVID-19.

There is currently insufficient evidence to support the safe and effective use of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc (either separately, or in combination) for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

More robust, well-designed clinical trials are needed before they could be considered an appropriate treatment option.

Fact #5 : Borody Was Working On Patentable Ivermectin Triple Therapy

Back in August 2020, Professor Borody announced that he was involved in a Phase 2 study in the US to potentially develop the triple therapy as a single “blister pack” compliance product.

This appears to be a patentable ivermectin triple therapy product by Topelia Therapeutics, with the study funded and run by ProgenaBiome.

Professor Borody has “corporate affiliation” with both ProgenaBiome LLC and Topelia Therapeutics.

Fact #6 : Borody Phase 2 Trial Stalled

Professor Borody’s Phase 2 study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT04482686) appears to have stalled.

Despite kicking off on 22 July 2020, it was still in the Recruiting stage, as of their last update – 14 May 2021, even though they were supposed to start the trial on 9 December 2020!

Fact #7 : Borody Switched To An Even Smaller Trial

After the Phase 2 trial stalled, Professor Borody moved to an even smaller trial, whose results were released on 7 July 2021 as a pre-print (not peer-reviewed).

The study reported “a highly effective ICT (Ivermectin Combination Therapy) which led to 100% survival and cure” in “moderately to severely ill COVID-19 patients with hypoxia”.

However, there are a few immediate concerns over that study :

  • It was a very small study, with just 24 participants – two of whom refused the treatment.
  • It was not a randomised controlled trial – the researchers picked who could participate
  • It was not a double-blinded trial, so patients knew they were receiving the ICT, not a placebo
  • The subjects were treated remotely, so compliance is uncertain.
  • The subjects were asked to self-monitor and self-record symptoms, and medical readings (EKG, blood pressure, temperature and SpO2), so accuracy of those data is uncertain.
  • The subjects were asked to perform their own swab tests for SARS-CoV-2, so test accuracy is uncertain.

Fact #8 : Australian GPs Always Had Right To Prescribe Off-Label

Professor Borody claimed that the release of his Ivermectin Triple Therapy allows Australian GPs to legally prescribe ivermectin. That’s not true.

Australian doctors have long had the ability to prescribe medicine off-label. As Richard Day in Australian Prescriber notes :

There is no legal impediment to prescribing off label, however the onus is on the prescriber to defend their prescription for an indication that is not listed in the product information.

Fact #9 : Ivermectin Did Not Help Australia Control Pandemic

When Professor Borody claimed that ivermectin could end the COVID-19 pandemic in 6-8 weeks, Australia was already handling the pandemic very well though contact tracing, interstate border closures, travel bans, as well as curfews and lockdowns.

They maintained a very low number of cases over the last 11 months, even without using Professor Borody’s Ivermectin Triple Therapy.

Fact #10 : Ivermectin Did Not Help Other Countries Control COVID-19

To be fair to Professor Borody, Australians ignored his Ivermectin Triple Therapy.

So let’s take a look at India and Peru where pro-Ivermectin proponents claim have successfully controlled COVID-19 with ivermectin.

Despite the use of ivermectin, India suffered a massive and disastrous wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths from March 2021 onwards. That’s why India stopped using ivermectin on 27 March 2021.

Peru continues to suffer high numbers of COVID-19 cases over the last 18 months. Does it look like ivermectin is working for them???

Read more : India Drops Ivermectin, HCQ + Favipiravir As COVID-19 Drugs!

Fact #11 : Ivermectin Triple Therapy Fuelling Online Scams

Ivermectin and ivermectin protocols like I-MASK+ (from the FLCCC) and Borody’s own Ivermectin Triple Therapy, have NOT been proven to work against COVID-19.

Unfortunately, Professor Borody’s promotion of his ivermectin triple therapy protocol has allowed online scams to proliferate.

Case in point – the Ziverdo Kit online scam, which is made by Windlas Biotech in India using the same combination of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc that Borody recommended.

Even though this combination only only US$2 per kit, scammers are selling at highly inflated prices to gullible people online.

Read more : Scam Alert : Ziverdo Kit To Treat COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : Ivermectin Triple Therapy By Professor Borody!

Can the Ivermectin Triple Therapy by Professor Thomas Borody really cure and prevent COVID-19?

Let’s take a look at his Ivermectin Triple Therapy, and see what the FACTS really are!

 

Professor Borody : Ivermectin Therapy Can End Pandemic In 6-8 Weeks!

This message on Ivermectin Triple Therapy by Professor Thomas Borody is being circulated on WhatsApp.

It’s quite long, so just skip to the next section for the facts.

👍👍👍👍👍👍
Latest fantastic news

Sharon Stambolieff

Fantastic news today worthy of celebration!

The Sydney outbreak could be under control much sooner with this treatment protocol. Get onto it peeps 👏👏
Australian GPs Can Legally Prescribe Ivermectin Triple Therapy Protocol — Professor Thomas Borody.
By COVEXIT

The Centre for Digestive Diseases issued today a press release titled “Ivermectin Triple Therapy Protocol for COVID-19 Released to Australian GPs for Infected Elderly and Frontline Workers.”

As we previously covered, this early treatment protocol combines ivermectin with doxycycline and zinc.

“Triple therapy specialist Professor Thomas Borody, famous for curing peptic ulcers using a triple antibiotic therapy saving millions of lives, today released the COVID-19 treatment protocol to Australian GPs, who can legally prescribe it to their COVID-19 positive patients. They can also prescribe it as a preventative medication. Borody says this could be the fastest and safest way to end the pandemic in Australia within 6-8 weeks.”

 

Fact Check : Ivermectin Triple Therapy By Professor Borody

Australian gastroenterologist, Professor Thomas Borody, has been actively promoting his Ivermectin Triple Therapy to cure COVID-19.

Here are the FACTS about his Ivermectin Triple Therapy, and the WhatsApp message above :

Fact #1 : That Was From 19 August 2020

While the message claims to be “Latest fantastic news”, it’s really OLD NEWS.

Professor Thomas Borody first released his Ivermectin Triple Therapy protocol on 19 August 2020.

Fact #2 : TGA Opened An Investigation Into His Claim

Right after Professor Borody issued that press statement, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) opened an investigation, as it may potentially breach the ban on advertising COVID-19 treatments.

In February 2021, the TGA ordered former Australian senator David Leyonhjelm to take down his tweet advertising ivermectin. As his case showed, the TGA forbids :

  • all advertising of therapeutic goods containing the active ingredient ivermectin
  • making claims or representations in advertisements for any therapeutic goods that those goods [ivermectin] have any effect on COVID-19 (including that said therapeutic goods are capable of preventing, treating or alleviating COVID-19).

Fact #3 : Ivermectin Triple Therapy Still Not Approved

Almost a year after Professor Borody “released” his Ivermectin Triple Therapy protocol, it is still NOT approved for use against COVID-19, either as a treatment or a prophylaxis.

The Australian Department of Health advised that (as of 1 June 2021), ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc should only be used in “properly conducted clinical trials with appropriate ethical approval”.

Fact #4 : Ivermectin Triple Therapy Not Proven To Work

The Australian Department of Health also pointed out that Professor Borody’s Ivermectin Triple Therapy protocol has not been proven to be safe or effective against COVID-19.

There is currently insufficient evidence to support the safe and effective use of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc (either separately, or in combination) for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

More robust, well-designed clinical trials are needed before they could be considered an appropriate treatment option.

Fact #5 : Borody Was Working On Patentable Ivermectin Triple Therapy

Back in August 2020, Professor Borody announced that he was involved in a Phase 2 study in the US to potentially develop the triple therapy as a single “blister pack” compliance product.

This appears to be a patentable ivermectin triple therapy product by Topelia Therapeutics, with the study funded and run by ProgenaBiome.

Professor Borody has “corporate affiliation” with both ProgenaBiome LLC and Topelia Therapeutics.

Fact #6 : Borody Phase 2 Trial Stalled

Professor Borody’s Phase 2 study (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT04482686) appears to have stalled.

Despite kicking off on 22 July 2020, it was still in the Recruiting stage, as of their last update – 14 May 2021, even though they were supposed to start the trial on 9 December 2020!

Fact #7 : Borody Switched To An Even Smaller Trial

After the Phase 2 trial stalled, Professor Borody moved to an even smaller trial, whose results were released on 7 July 2021 as a pre-print (not peer-reviewed).

The study reported “a highly effective ICT (Ivermectin Combination Therapy) which led to 100% survival and cure” in “moderately to severely ill COVID-19 patients with hypoxia”.

However, there are a few immediate concerns over that study :

  • It was a very small study, with just 24 participants – two of whom refused the treatment.
  • It was not a randomised controlled trial – the researchers picked who could participate
  • It was not a double-blinded trial, so patients knew they were receiving the ICT, not a placebo
  • The subjects were treated remotely, so compliance is uncertain.
  • The subjects were asked to self-monitor and self-record symptoms, and medical readings (EKG, blood pressure, temperature and SpO2), so accuracy of those data is uncertain.
  • The subjects were asked to perform their own swab tests for SARS-CoV-2, so test accuracy is uncertain.

Fact #8 : Australian GPs Always Had Right To Prescribe Off-Label

Professor Thomas Borody claimed that the release of his Ivermectin Triple Therapy allows Australian GPs to legally prescribe ivermectin. That’s not true.

Australian doctors have long had the ability to prescribe medicine off-label. As Richard Day in Australian Prescriber notes :

There is no legal impediment to prescribing off label, however the onus is on the prescriber to defend their prescription for an indication that is not listed in the product information.

Fact #9 : Ivermectin Did Not Help Australia Control Pandemic

When I watched the recent MAECC briefing, where they claimed ivermectin can end the COVID-19 pandemic in 6-8 weeks, I wondered how did they come to this conclusion?

I now realise that they plucked that claim from Professor Borody, who said on 19 August 2020 that ivermectin could end the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia within 6-8 weeks.

When Professor Borody made that claim, Australia was already handling the pandemic very well though contact tracing, interstate border closures, travel bans, as well as curfews and lockdowns.

They maintained a very low number of cases over the last 11 months, even without using Professor Borody’s Ivermectin Triple Therapy.

Fact #10 : Ivermectin Did Not Help Other Countries Control COVID-19

To be fair to Professor Borody, Australians did not take up his Ivermectin Triple Therapy.

So let’s take a look at India and Peru where pro-Ivermectin proponents claim have successfully controlled COVID-19 with ivermectin.

Despite the use of ivermectin, India suffered a massive and disastrous wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths from March 2021 onwards. That’s why India stopped using ivermectin on 27 March 2021.

Peru continues to suffer high numbers of COVID-19 cases over the last 18 months. Does it look like ivermectin is working for them???

Read more : India Drops Ivermectin, HCQ + Favipiravir As COVID-19 Drugs!

Fact #11 : Ivermectin Triple Therapy Fuelling Online Scams

Ivermectin and ivermectin protocols like I-MASK+ (from the FLCCC) and Borody’s own Ivermectin Triple Therapy, have NOT been proven to work against COVID-19.

Unfortunately, Professor Borody’s promotion of his ivermectin triple therapy protocol has allowed online scams to proliferate.

Case in point – the Ziverdo Kit online scam.

Made by Windlas Biotech in India, the Ziverdo Kit uses the same combination of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc that Borody recommended.

Even though this combination only only US$2 per kit, scammers are selling at highly inflated prices to gullible people online.

Read more : Scam Alert : Ziverdo Kit To Treat COVID-19!

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong

Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

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Delta Variant Can Infect In Seconds : How To Prevent That?

The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been shown to infect in mere seconds!

Find out what’s happening, and what we can do to prevent that!

Updated @ 2021-07-16 : Added more preventive measures

Originally posted @ 2021-06-29

 

COVID-19 Delta Variant Can Infect In Seconds!

The Delta variant of COVID-19 is known to be significantly more infectious, but what exactly does that mean?

Details from two recent cases in China and Australia reveal that the Delta variant can infect people in mere seconds!

Guangzhou, China

On 21 May 2021, one lady (Huang) contracted COVID-19 from a friend, Song, when they had a conversation for just 1 minute 40 seconds.

Four days later, Huang entered the bathroom of a restaurant, when another lady (Liu) walked in. They both said they did not have any physical contact inside.

However, just sharing the same bathroom for 14 seconds was sufficient for Huang to infect Liu.

The Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that they were both infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Sydney, Australia

In the middle of June 2021, one person was infected with the Delta variant by a stranger passing by within 10-15 cm at the Bondi Junction Westfield. It was a fleeting close contact that was also captured on CCTV.

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant called it a “momentary crossover” :

We actually have CCTV footage of the encounter and it is basically a crossover of individuals. They are clearly facing each other but it is literally someone moving across from each other for a moment, close, but momentary. 

Queenlands Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young later said, “If you remember at the start of this pandemic, I spoke about 15 minutes of close contact being a concern. Now it looks like it’s 5 to 10 seconds.

 

How COVID-19 Delta Variant Infected In Seconds

The two cases above are very troubling, but most media only reported on the cases without delving deeper.

A closer analysis of the facts of those two cases reveal a common factor not mentioned in most news reports – the lack of face masks.

In the Guangzhou case, Huang was not wearing a face mask in the bathroom. The CCTV video showed her putting it on a few metres after she left the bathroom.

In the Sydney case, neither were wearing face masks as far as I can tell, because there was no requirement to wear one in Sydney at that time.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian immediately announced that face masks would be mandatory on public transport in the greater Sydney area for 5 days, but it was not a requirement in other public places.

It seems clear that these Delta infections only occurred in seconds because at least one party did not wear a face mask.

 

Delta Variant Can Infect In Seconds : How To Prevent That?

While the Delta variant is more infectious against COVID-19, it is fundamentally the same virus.

So we can still take the same COVID-19 precautions to prevent infection by the Delta variant :

Get Vaccinated ASAP!

It is very important to quickly VACCINATE against COVID-19, as current vaccines offer robust protection against the Delta variant.

Wear Face Masks

It is critical that we not only wear a face mask while outside at all times, we should try to double-mask if we are not wearing an N95 / KN95 mask.

Wear A Face Shield / Eye Wear

We should also wear a face shield if possible, or some kind of eyewear, as COVID-19 can infect through the eyes as well.

Improve Ventilation

It is now known that COVID-19 can spread through aerosol – think of it wafting around like cigarette smoke.

This is not so much of a problem outdoors, but it is a critical problem indoors.

Public places need to be better ventilated, or have ventilation systems that rapidly refreshes and filters the air inside rooms.

Maintain Physical Distance

Staying 1-2 metres apart is probably okay outdoors, if everyone is wearing a face mask. But it is no longer good enough indoors.

We need to expand our physical distance from other people indoors – keep at least 3-4 metres from other people.

 

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Ivermectin Claims by TUDM Officers : What Are The Facts?

Are the claims on ivermectin made by a TUDM Brigadier-General and TUDM Major accurate?

Let’s take a look at the viral ivermectin claims by these TUDM officers, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Ivermectin Claims by TUDM Brigadier-General + Major

A message on ivermectin purportedly to be by a retired TUDM Brigadier-General and a retired TUDM major has gone viral on WhatsApp.

The message is long, so just skip to the next section for the FACTS.

(07/07, 02:12) BG Dato Goh Seng Toh TUDM: Am very happy today cos my friend’s wife who was tested Covid 19 positive was declared cleared of the Covid19 virus by the doctor at the Government Quarantined Centre this morning. She was on Ivermectin, vitamin C, fresh fruits and simple foods for 5 days. She was so happy. Please consider taking Ivermectin with vitamin C and zinc if any of your family members is infected with Covid19 virus. Early treatment with Ivermectin is even better. Don’t wait until stage 3 or 4

(07/07, 02:12) BG Dato Goh Seng Toh TUDM: Happy too as MoH allow prescription of ivermectin fir treatment upon request though off label … saving life and easing the full icu capacity is utmost important

*******

(07/07, 05:38) Mej Mior Rosli TUDM(B): I have been promoting ivermactin but many laughed at me..

We do like to read but listen to so called experts.. but most of the experts are half past six and bogus..

We have to change our paradigm if we want to be a developed country..

– Maj Mior Rosli.
7Jul 21.

 

Ivermectin Claims by TUDM Officers : What Are The Facts?

TUDM Brigadier-General Dato Goh Seng Toh and Major Mior Rosli from TUDM (Royal Malaysia Air Force) made a number of amazing claims about ivermectin.

So let’s go through their ivermectin claims, and see what the FACTS really are…

Claim #1 : Ivermectin + Vitamin C + Zinc Works Against COVID-19
Verdict : FALSE

TUDM Brigadier-General Dato Goh Seng Toh is advising all of us to “consider taking ivermectin with vitamin C and zinc“, but provides no evidence for their efficacy against COVID-19.

Ivermectin has been shown to work against COVID-19 in lab (in vitro) studies, but does NOT improve clinical outcomes or prevent transmission.

That is why the WHO and the vast majority of health authorities around the world DO NOT advocate using ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Read more : Latest Ivermectin COVID-19 Study : What Does It Really Say?

Claim #2 : MoH Allows Prescription Of Ivermectin For COVID-19 Treatment
Verdict : Misleading

The Malaysia Ministry of Health does NOT allow the prescription of ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment.

However, they allow hospitals to apply to the Drug Control Agency (DCA) for the “off-label” use of ivermectin, which “must be done in a monitored environment“.

So you cannot simply get a prescription for ivermectin. Neither can you buy it online or over-the-counter.

Be warned – the illegal sale of ivermectin is punishable by fines of up to RM50K and/or 5 years jail!

Read more : Can Hospitals In Malaysia Use Ivermectin To Treat COVID-19?
Read more : Illegal Ivermectin Sale : Up to RM50K Fine + 5 Years Jail!

Claim #3 : 32 Countries Used Ivermectin To Combat COVID-19
Verdict : FALSE

There is no evidence that 32 countries have officially used ivermectin to combat COVID-19, much less reported any success with it.

Countries that ivermectin proponents have been promoting – India, Peru, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, South Africa – have all failed to control COVID-19.

Just look at their COVID-19 case numbers below. Does it look like ivermectin helped them at all? Is it therefore surprising to learn that on 27 May 2021, India dropped ivermectin?

Read more : MAECC Ivermectin Briefing : Control COVID-19 In 6 Weeks?

Claim #4 : It Is Safe To Take 10 Ivermectin Tablets At One Go
Verdict : Misleading

TUDM Major Mior Rosli claimed that it is safe to take 10 ivermectin tablets at one go. That’s potentially dangerous advice, because ivermectin tablets come in different doses, and the proper dosage is tied to body weight.

A 2002 study on ivermectin safety showed that it was safe at up to 120 mg in a single dose. This is 10X the FDA-approved dose of 200 micrograms per kg for a 60 kg healthy adult.

However, the study did not look at taking such a large dose of ivermectin on a continuous basis, only a single dose.

In addition, self-medicating with ivermectin can lead to overdosing because the tablets available in most countries, including Malaysia, are formulated for animal use.

In February 2021, Julie Weber, President of the American Association of Poison Control Centers and the director of the Missouri Poison Center warned that people are getting poisoned by fake COVID-19 cures like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

The Missouri Poison Center also issued a warning :

There have been reports of intentional ivermectin overdoses which can cause serious symptoms such as seizures, coma, lung and heart problems.

Claim #5 : Ivermectin Kills Any COVID-19 Variant
Verdict : FALSE

TUDM Major Rosli claimed that ivermectin kills any COVID-19 variant. That’s FALSE, because ivermectin does not actually “kill” the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Ivermectin has been shown to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but that’s not the same thing as killing it.

Just because I blocked you from entering my home, does that mean I killed you? Of course not!

Several mechanisms of action has been proposed for ivermectin, none of which actually involves killing the virus :

  • inhibiting the host cell’s importin alpha/beta-1 nuclear transport proteins
  • interfering with the attachment of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
  • exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties

Claim #6 : Current Vaccines Do Not Protect Against Delta Variant
Verdict : FALSE

Major Rosli’s claim that current vaccines do not protect against the more dangerous Delta variant is FALSE.

Public Health England’s data have shown that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer robust protection against the Delta variant, after two doses.

Read more : Why Delta Variant Causes MORE Breakthrough Infections!

COVID-19
Variant
Symptomatic
COVID-19
Hospitalisation
1 Dose 2 Doses 1 Dose 2 Doses
Alpha (UK) 50% 66% 76% 86%
Delta (India) 33% 60% 71% 92%

Claim #7 : India Used Ivermectin To Control Delta Variant
Verdict : FALSE

That’s not true. India had earlier adopted ivermectin for use in mild or asymptomatic COVID-19, but that is no longer the case.

On 27 May 2021, India dropped ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and favipiravir, azithromycin, doxycycline, zinc and even plasma therapy after they proved to be INEFFECTIVE against COVID-19.

Claim #8 : Philippines Allowed Ivermectin To Be Used
Verdict : Misleading

As it so happened, I watched the Philippines Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability bully the Filipino Secretary of Health, Francisco Tiongson Duque III in the HR 1711 public hearing.

Just like in Malaysia, the Philippines already allows hospitals to apply for off-label use of medicine.

So what Secretary Duque did was agree to clarify that there is an existing CSP (Compassionate Special Permit) that doctors can apply for.

Read more : Philippine Secretary of Health Duque Allows Use Of Ivermectin By Doctors?

Claim #9 : Australia Is Using Ivermectin Against COVID-19
Verdict : FALSE

Australia does NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Here is the 1 June 2021 conclusion on ivermectin by the Australian Department of Health :

There is currently insufficient evidence to support the safe and effective use of ivermectin, doxycycline and zinc (either separately, or in combination) for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

More robust, well-designed clinical trials are needed before they could be considered an appropriate treatment option.

Claim #10 : Singapore Is Using Ivermectin Against COVID-19
Verdict : FALSE

Singapore does NOT use ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

Here is the 18 June 2020 conclusion from the Singapore Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Rapid Review :

There is insufficient high-quality evidence to show chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine are effective for post-exposure prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19.

Instead, evidence to date suggests the use of these agents is associated with more harms than standard of care.

 

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AstraZeneca Vaccine Blood Clots : What To Look For?

Some people, including a Brisbane nurse, developed blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine – a rare complication.

Find out what you should look out for, after getting vaccinated against COVID-19 using the AstraZeneca vaccine!

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine Blood Clots : What Are They?

Scientists are now quite certain that the AstraZeneca vaccine can induce a rare side effect with a variety of names :

  • Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)
  • Vaccine-induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT) or even
  • Vaccine-induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT).

In a very small number of cases, the AstraZeneca vaccine can trigger the immune system to create anti-PF4 (Anti-Platelet Factor 4) antibodies.

These anti-PF4 antibodies attack the platelets, causing them to clump together and blood clots to form.

This creates a situation where the person not only develops blood clots, but also has low platelets. The risk is not zero, but it is exceedingly rare.

Recommended : AstraZeneca Vaccine Blood Clot Risk : How Dangerous Is It?

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine Blood Clots : How Dangerous Are They?

These blood clots are a little unusual in that they can develop in the large veins of the brain and/or abdomen and/or lungs, and are coupled with low platelet counts, leading to bleeding tendencies.

In May 2021, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) confirmed that Ellie Peacock – a trainee nurse in Brisbane – suffered TTS, developing three blood clots in her lungs. Ms. Peacock has since recovered from TTS.

The good news is now that we know about this rare risk factor, we can look out for these blood clots and treat them before complications develop.

As of 30 June 2021, 64 people in Australia developed TTV, out of 4.2 million doses administered. Only 2 have died so far.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine Blood Clots : What To Look For?

People who develop these blood clots will complain of these symptoms 4 to 30 days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine :

  • Severe headache that
    does not improve with simple painkillers (like paracetamol / acetaminophen)
    gets worse when lying down
  • Neurological changes
    – blurred vision
    – speech difficulties
    – drowsiness
    – seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Leg pain or swelling
  • Petechiae (tiny blood spots under the skin)
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

If you notice any of these symptoms after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, DO NOT WAIT. Seek medical attention right away!

The earlier you seek medical attention, the less likely you will develop complications. Please do NOT self-medicate with painkillers.

If you need to take painkillers for post-vaccination fever / headache, avoid aspirin, as it can exacerbate the bleeding tendency with TTS.

Take paracetamol (acetaminophen) instead. If they do not help, you could have TTS.

 

AstraZeneca Vaccine : Why Risk The Blood Clots?

It is understandable to worry about blood clots and bleeding tendencies. They are serious and should not be dismissed out of hand.

However, we must keep in mind that the risk of being hospitalised and dying from COVID-19 is much, MUCH HIGHER than the risk of developing blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine.

These two charts show the risks of hospitalisations (left) and death (right) from COVID-19 (blue) and TTS (red).

As you can see, the risk of hospitalisation and death is incredibly skewed towards COVID-19.

In a perfect world where you have ready access to alternative vaccines, it makes sense to be extra cautious and avoid even these few cases of blood clots with bleeding tendencies.

You can see some countries opting to do that, out of an abundance of caution. Why risk even such a minute risk, if you have plenty of alternative vaccines?

However, COVID-19 vaccines are in very short supply in most countries. It will be months before alternative vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, etc. are available.

Should you wait until an alternative COVID-19 vaccine arrives? That is generally not a good idea, because vaccines only work if you get them BEFORE you are infected.

The best COVID-19 vaccine is the FIRST COVID-19 vaccine you can get and complete.

I highly recommend that you accept the first COVID-19 vaccine you are offered, be it AstraZeneca or Pfizer or even Sinovac, and complete the dosage requirements to protect yourself at the earliest possible opportunity.

If it so happens you receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, simply take note of the potential symptoms of TTS above, and seek medical attention if you identify any of them.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Fact Check : China Lifted KRI Nanggala From 838 Metres?

Did China lift the Indonesian submarine, KRI Nanggala, from the depths when no other country could?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : China Lifted KRI Nanggala From 838 Metres!

This viral message has been circulating on WhatsApp, together with a gruesome video showing naked and half-naked bodies of dead men lined up on the floor.

The submerged Indonesian submarine was successfully lifted from a depth of 838 meters, killing 53 people. previously asked for help from neighboring Singapore, Australia, Malaysia. but they were unable to lift from below 800 meters, in the end Indonesia asked the Chinese Government for help. China immediately lifted it with heavy equipment. Finish this job.

We will not show you the video, but we can share this screenshot with you.

 

China Lifted KRI Nanggala From 838 Metres? Another Fake Story!

This is yet another fake story about the awesomeness of the Chinese government… and here are the facts.

Fact #1 : KRI Nanggala Has Not Been Recovered… Yet

The Chinese Navy has been assisting in the recovery of KRI Nanggala since 4 May 2021, using three ships :

  • Nantuo-195 – an ocean tug
  • Yongxing Dao-865 – an ocean salvage and rescue ship
  • Tan Suo 2 – a scientific research vessel

As of 17 May 2021, they have NOT recovered the Indonesian submarine, KRI Nanggala, or any bodies from the wreck.

Fact #2 : Singapore, Australia, Malaysia Were Not Asked To Recover KRI Nanggala

It is false to claim that Singapore, Australia and Malaysia were asked to help recover KRI Nanggala from the depths of over 800 metres, but failed.

None of those countries were asked to assist in the recovery of KRI Nanggala, so how could they fail at a task they never even attempted?

Recommended : KRI Nanggala Submarine : Was Its Wreck Recovered?

Fact #3 : The Video Is Not Of KRI Nanggala Sailors

The gruesome video was used to imply that the Chinese government recovered the bodies of KRI Nanggala sailors.

After analysing the video, we can safely say that the video does NOT show the bodies of KRI Nanggala sailors.

For one thing – no body from KRI Nanggala has been recovered so far.

Secondly, the KRI Nanggala went down with 53 people onboard, but there are about 100 dead bodies in the video!

Finally, at least three men can be seen wearing the longyi – the Burmese sarong, and one of the men in the video is wearing a vest with Burmese script.

Therefore, the video was very likely taken in Myanmar, and the dead men could well be people killed by the junta after the coup.

 

Who Would Create Lies About KRI Nanggala???

With China’s aggressive foreign stance in recent years, it is not uncommon to see such fake stories being created and shared.

Some believe it’s part of a concerted attempt to burnish China’s image overseas.

Others believe the many fake stories are being created to drown out the negative coverage of China’s controversial Belt and Road Initiative, and their aggressive moves in the South China Sea.

Whatever the reasons may be, it is our duty as global citizens to stop the proliferation of such fake stories.

Please share this fact check with your friends, so they know the truth!

 

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Did China Threaten West With Waterloo In South China Sea?

Did China threaten the West with a repeat of the Battle of Waterloo in the South China Sea?

Find out what is this Chinese threat going viral on social media, and what the FACTS really are…

 

Claim : China threatens West with Battle of Waterloo in South China Sea!

In the viral poster being shared on social media, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying is seen warning Western powers – Don’t Let It Become Your Waterloo! with a hypothetical scenario.

It was originally posted sometime in July 2020, but was “reactivated” in May 2021 during heightened tensions with the West.

WARNING ISSUED TO WESTERN ALLIES IN SOUTH CHINA SEA

Don’t Let It Become Your Waterloo!

The scenario :

  • An attack by US, UK, Australia & Japanese naval forces will be met with electronic disabling of all ships and planes making them sitting targets…
  • US & allies missiles will fail to fire & if they do may explode mid air or re-directed to return to base!
  • The Chinese will give them one warning to withdraw or be sunk!
  • WATERLOO REPLAYED IN 60 MINUTES OF LESS

 

China threatens West with Waterloo in South China Sea : Complete BS

While it may excite pro-China netizens, this is yet another piece of “fan fiction”, like US Navy withdrawing from South China Sea or Mark Zuckerberg’s Not Pretty China Wife.

Fact #1 : Hua Chunying Never Threatened Waterloo

Anyone who checks Hua Chunying’s official Twitter account can confirm that she never posted such a threat.

She may be sarcastic and controversial in her remarks, but she is the official spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Such an overt threat of military action against the US, UK, Australia and Japan, will be seen as an official declaration of hostile intent by China.

It would certainly free the West to ramp up their support of Taiwan, and to actively prepare for hostilities with China.

Fact #2 : Chinese Censors Would Not Have Allowed Such Fake News, Unless…

Such a fake post would not be allowed to be shared on social media, especially Chinese microblogs, without the expressed permission of the Chinese government.

Chinese censors actively and quickly remove all references to anything remotely critical of the Chinese government, like the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and massacre, or the Hong Kong protests.

We should also not forget that they quickly clamped down on Dr. Li Wenliang when he tried to warn his fellow doctors about COVID-19, forcing him to sign a letter promising not to do it again.

So it would only be possible for any Chinese-related fake news to be spread so widely, with the tacit approval of the Chinese government.

Fact #3 : EMP Weapons Can Disable Ships + Planes, But…

EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapons can be used to disrupt or destroy electronics on ships and planes, but they are not magical weapons as claimed in the post :

  • High-Altitude EMP (HEMP) weapons detonate nuclear warheads in the stratosphere to disrupt electronics in a wide area.
  • Non-Nuclear EMP (NNEMP) weapons that use high explosives to deliver a much smaller electromagnetic pulse.
  • High-Powered Microwave (HPM) weapons like magnetrons and vircators – think of them as primitive versions of the ion cannons you see in Star Wars.

A Chinese HEMP weapon would destroy electronics in a very large area (including their own), so it won’t be deployed close to their own coast. This is something they would deploy against the US homeland.

An NNEMP missile would be something the Chinese would use against a carrier group, affecting a relatively small area – several dozen kilometres. However, these missiles would require constant targeting data, or the carrier group could simply move out of danger in mere minutes.

HPM weapons are still rather primitive with very short range. They also cannot target mass targets like EMP weapons.

Fact #4 : Disabled Missiles Won’t Return To Base

We applaud the writer for his/her creativity, but unlike regular mail, missiles don’t come with a return address.

Missiles disabled by EMP weapons, or electronic jammers, will just lose direction or fall harmlessly out of the sky.

They won’t, however, fly back to their base like homing pigeons. Neither can the Chinese reprogram them to return to base…

Fact #5 : China Is The Aggressor Here

While the writer warns of reprisals if the US, UK, Australia and Japan attack, the fact of the matter is – China is the aggressor in the South China Sea.

Whatever may have happened in the past, the US, UK, Australia and Japan are not the ones illegally building artificial islands, or militarising them, or threatening harm to passing ships and planes.

There is no danger of the US, UK, Australia or Japan attacking China. No one in the right mind would believe in such nonsense.

Rather, the danger lies in Chinese overreach in the South China Sea sparking a war, like how Hitler’s overreach with the invasion of Poland started World War 2.

Arguably, only an attack on Taiwan would draw the Western powers (sans Japan) to intervene militarily, and a military occupation of the Senkaku Islands would force Japan and the US to respond militarily.

Fact #6 : China Would Be The French At Waterloo

It’s not certain why China would warn the Western powers and Japan that they would face their own Battle of Waterloo.

In the Battle of Waterloo, it was Napoleon who attacked the allied forces from Prussia, the UK, the Netherlands, Hanover, Brunswick and Nassau.

In this fan fiction, China would be the French at Waterloo, fighting against the allied forces from the US, UK, Australia and Japan.

Is the writer suggesting that China is bound to lose against the allied forces? Interesting…

 

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Was Pfizer Vaccine Designed To Make COVID-19 Endemic?

Did Pfizer design their vaccine to turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an endemic, so they can make A LOT MORE money?

Find out what’s going on, and what the facts really are!

 

Was Pfizer Vaccine Designed To Make COVID-19 Endemic?

A WhatsApp message linking to a Kim Iversen video posted on 17 March 2021 has gone viral on WhatsApp, with this alarming warning :

The truth is out. Pfizer Executive admits that they their vaccine is not designed to end the pandemic but to turn it into an endemic so that the demand of their vaccines will continue forever and give them the opportunity to make a lot of money selling their vaccine. Once the pandemic becomes an endemic, just like the flu, all those who have already been vaccinated will need to continue to receive a booster every year or so.

Now that you are up to speed, let’s see what the facts really are!

 

Pfizer Vaccine Designed To Make COVID-19 Endemic? Bullshit!

We watched the Kim Iversen episode where she made those claims, so you wouldn’t have to.

Now, let’s address the claims in the viral message and her video one by one, so you have the FACTS.

Claim #1 : Pfizer Caught Saying COVID-19 Will Turn Endemic

Verdict : FALSE

Caught? Pfizer CFO and Executive VP of Global Supply, Frank A. D’Amelio openly said this in a virtual global healthcare conference, and it was reported publicly.

The company anticipates a “significant opportunity” for its vaccine “from a demand perspective” and “from a pricing perspective” as it shifts “from pandemic to endemic”.

How is that the definition of “caught” when he publicly made those comments?

That’s just Kim Iversen trying to hoodwink you into thinking that there is something nefarious afoot.

The truth is scientists across the world believe that SARS-CoV-2 will likely become an endemic virus, as this Nature survey from February 2021 shows.

Claim #2 : Pfizer Excited COVID-19 Will Turn Endemic

Verdict : FALSE

Kim Iversen also claimed that Pfizer is excited that COVID-19 will turn endemic.

Nowhere in the article (which you can read here) was it mentioned that Pfizer executives were excited about the pandemic becoming an endemic situation.

The truth is he was merely telling an analyst that there is an opportunity for Pfizer to increase their vaccine prices as demand drops when COVID-19 pandemic shifts into an endemic situation.

And while Kim Iversen makes it sound like an endemic situation is what Pfizer is aiming for, it is not something any pharmaceutical company is capable of.

The truth is our refusal to quickly vaccinate ourselves will be the reason why COVID-19 could end up becoming endemic.

Claim #3 : Pfizer COMIRNATY Was Developed At The Behest Of The US Government

Verdict : FALSE

Kim Iversen claimed that the Pfizer COMIRNATY (BNT162b2) vaccine was developed at the behest of the US government.

The truth is the BNT162b2 vaccine was developed by BioNTech SE – a German company, long before the Trump Administration came up with Operation Warp Speed.

And here is the zinger – Pfizer and BioNTech declined to join Operation Warp Speed, and BioNTech was funded by the German government to a tune of $445 million.

The BionTech COMIRNATY vaccine was really created in Germany by Germans of Turkish descent, and funded by German money. The US government had ZERO involvement.

BioNTech founders – Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci

Claim #4 : Big Pharma Makes MORE Money In COVID-19 Endemic

Verdict : FALSE

At around the 5:53 mark, Kim claimed that Big Pharma hopes that COVID-19 doesn’t end, so that they can make money off these vaccines.

By preventing COVID-19 using vaccines, Big Pharma actually loses out on a lot of money that could be made treating patients with COVID-19.

Think of how much money we already spent on ventilators, and expensive drugs with very limited effect like baricitinib and remdesivir.

Big Pharma stands to make MORE MONEY if vaccines did not exist, or were delayed.

She also does not understand that there are far fewer infections in an endemic.

So yes, Big Pharma may make more money from their vaccines, but they will lose a lot more money that could have been made from treating COVID-19.

Claim #5 : Big Pharma Has No Desire To Cure COVID-19

Verdict : FALSE

In a rambling monologue, that goes off-the-rail at certain points, Kim claimed at around the 5:55 mark that Big Pharma has no desire to cure COVID-19, AIDS, and cancer.

She should stop talking about medicine since she knows so little about it.

Vaccines are NEVER designed to cure a disease. They are designed to PREVENT the disease from occurring in the first place.

That is why we take the COVID-19 vaccine before we get it, instead of after – so we have a better chance of preventing it!

Claim #6 : Big Pharma Didn’t Even Try To End COVID-19

Verdict : FALSE

In her rambling monologue, Kim then asked, did Big Pharma even try to end COVID-19?

Seriously? Did she not read the news, and see how many vaccine candidates were developed? Or how many potential therapeutics were investigated?

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were developed and certified for use in less than a year after the pandemic began, and they offered 94%~95% protection against COVID-19.

Why don’t Kim tell us what SHE did to end COVID-19? What did ANYONE ELSE do to end COVID-19? Who else does she believe would be better at ending COVID-19?

Claim #7 : You Can Still Spread COVID-19 After Vaccination

Verdict : MISLEADING

Kim then claimed that those who were vaccinated must continue to wear face masks and socially distance themselves because they can still spread COVID-19.

That’s misleading because the advice was based on 3 reasons :

  • it was partly precautionary in nature *,
  • it takes weeks to build up your immunity after vaccination,
  • the vaccine is not 100% efficacious, so a small number of people can still get COVID-19.

* The studies had not looked into whether the vaccines can prevent transmission, so they are advising vaccinated people to maintain the same precautions, JUST IN CASE.

It makes sense to tell people to continue taking precautions until herd immunity is achieved when the vast majority (80% or higher) of the population is vaccinated.

Claim #8 : Vaccinated People Have To Double Down On Precautions

Verdict : FALSE

At around the 8:50 mark, Kim surmised that the vaccines cannot protect others, and that people have to “double down” on precautions.

That is simply NOT TRUE. Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 do NOT have to double down on their precautions.

I think it would be instructive at this point to share this picture of Jude Law in the movie, Contagion.

Claim #9 : Falling COVID-19 Cases Not Related To Vaccine

Verdict : FALSE

At 9:25, Kim claimed that no matter what the COVID-19 vaccination rate is like, the cases are falling.

She used the example of Israel with almost 100% vaccination rate, but has the same number of cases as Portugal, which only vaccinated 10% of their population.

She conveniently neglected to mention that Portugal has been under a nationwide lockdown since 15 January 2021! Probably because she earlier mocked lockdowns as useless…

On the other hand, Israel eased lockdown restrictions THREE TIMES since 7 February 2021, and the third stage easing even opened up tourist attractions and gatherings of up to 50 people!

Claim #10 : Test Vaccine Effectiveness By Jabbing People In Southern Hemisphere

Verdict : FALSE

At the 10:20 mark, Kim Iversen tells us that the only way to test the effectiveness of these vaccines is to start jabbing people in the Southern Hemisphere.

No, Kim. You perform what’s called a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled trial, which was what ALL certified vaccines have undergone!

CoronaVac was tested in Brazil, and Novovax NVX-CoV2373 was tested in Australia.

There are also ongoing trials of those vaccines and even Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines as they are deployed in other Southern Hemisphere countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

So Kim was either being extremely ignorant, or intentionally deceptive, about what’s being done to determine vaccine effectiveness.

Claim #11 : Australia + New Zealand Have Few / No Cases Because It’s Summer!

Verdict : FALSE

Kim Iversen apparently thinks that COVID-19 spread in Australia and New Zealand is super low or zero because it’s summer over there right now!

OMFG, the stupidity of her monologue on COVID-19 in summer and winter. Many tropical countries – where it’s hot and sunny most of the year – have been hit hard by COVID-19.

New Zealand has actually secured enough Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to fully vaccinate their population.

Australia, on the other hand, is vaccinating its population with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines at the moment.

Claim #12 : New Zealand Stop Vaccinating Due To South African Variant

Verdict : FALSE

At 11:20, Kim claimed that New Zealand stopped vaccinating their population, because the vaccines won’t work on the South African variant.

That’s simply FALSE, because New Zealand continues to vaccinate its population using the Pfizer vaccine.

While the Pfizer vaccine appears to be less effective against the South African variant (B.1.351), it still offered “robust” protection against that variant.

She probably conflated New Zealand with South Africa, which halted their use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after a study showed “disappointing” results against the South African variant.

Claim #13 : Kim Iversen Is Not An Antivaxxer

Verdict : FALSE

Sorry, Kim, but you are an antivaxxer. You are actively telling people LIES about the COVID-19 vaccines!

You tell people that they should “know the data, know the research, know the reality“, when you yourself are either extremely IGNORANT about the data, research and reality, or are intentionally MISLEADING people about them.

Even when you talked people about your 94 year old grandmother, you point out that at her age, she isn’t concerned about “long term side effects”, suggesting that there are any.

Tell us, Kim – WHAT LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS do these vaccines have???

Claim #14 : You Have To Keep Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine

Verdict : FALSE

At 13:30, she claimed that they are saying that you have to keep getting it again and again, like the flu shot.

That is a POSSIBILITY that health officials have said, due to the fact that COVID-19 has spread so far and wide, and the fact that it’s mutating to form new variants.

However, we call it false, because that was NOT what the Pfizer executives are saying. Nowhere in that article did any Pfizer executive say that the vaccine must be “taken again and again and again”.

The truth is the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the opportunity to mutate to form new variants every time it infects someone.

So the best way to prevent mutations and an endemic situation is to VACCINATE EVERYONE as quickly as possible!

Claim #15 : COVID-19 Is Not Dangerous For Many People

Verdict : FALSE

At around the 13:50 point, she claims that like the flu, COVID-19 is not dangerous for many people. So perhaps that’s why most people feel like they don’t need the vaccine.

We should point out that as of 20 March 2021, 2.71 million people have died from COVID-19, and that number will not abate for many more months to come.

In comparison, influenza – the flu – kills between 290~650,000 people per year.

Based on those numbers, COVID-19 is, on average, at least 4.8X more likely to KILL you than the flu.

 

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Scott Morrison : Did He Mistake Maradona For Madonna?

Like Donald Trump, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is being laughed at for mistaking Maradona for Madonna!

Find out what’s going on, and what the facts really are!

 

Scott Morrison : Did He Mistake Maradona For Madonna?

A screenshot of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s tweet about Madonna’s death is tickling people all over the Internet.

Sad to wake up to the news of Madonna passing away overnight.

Material Girl is one of my all time favourite albums. RIP

 

Scott Morrison Madonna Death Tweet : Just A Parody Account

The truth is Scott Morrison never posted that tweet. It was posted by a parody account, and people just assumed it was genuine.

Fact #1 : It Was Posted By The Scott Morrison Parody Account

We traced the origin of the viral screenshot to this tweet by the Scott Morrison PM of Australia (parody) account.

Fact #2 : Donald Trump Tweet On Madonna Was Also False

US President Donald Trump was also said to have mistaken Diego Maradona for Madonna. However, it looks like the tweet was edited, and not an actual tweet.

Fact #3 : Many People Are Mistaking Maradona For Madonna

That said, many people have been posting messages of condolences about Madonna’s premature death… so let us be very clear.

The Argentinian footballer, Diego Maradona (left) was the one who died. Not the American singer-songwriter, Madonna (right).

 

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Necrobarista : Now Available On Steam!

Necrobarista – the cinematic cel-shaded visual novel game – is now available on Steam! Here are the details and official trailers!

 

Necrobarista : A Visual Novel!

Necrobarista is a cinematic cel-shaded visual novel game from Route 59 Games, and it is now available on Steam!

Step into The Terminal, a magical café at the junction between the world of the living and the great beyond. Along with pouring flat whites and long blacks, this coffeehouse provides a special service for the dead, allowing them to live for one final night before crossing over.

Hidden in the laneways of Melbourne, Australia, The Terminal is populated by a flavorful blend of characters, ranging from its necromantic owner Maddy Xiāo to legendary bushranger Ned Kelly, each with their own stories to tell. Bewitch brews with dark and delicious spells while managing day to day café operations and unraveling the mysteries that lurk within its walls.

Explore this eerie and entertaining environment in first-person adventure segments, collecting keywords and piecing together clues. Then enjoy dynamically-shot cinematic narrative sequences that offer a fresh new perspective on the medium of visual novels in full 3D.

Featuring an original soundtrack from award-winning composer Kevin Penkin (Made in Abyss, Norn9, Tower of God, Florence), Necrobarista wears its influences on its sleeve, lovingly paying tribute to anime, film, and the team’s hometown with a touching tale of love, death, and coffee.

 

Necrobarista : Now On Steam With 1 Week Deal!

Necrobarista is not only available on Steam, Route 59 Games Is offering a special 1 week deal15% off this new game until 30 July 2020!

 

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