Many have declared that our alternative webzine features some of the most controversial content published anywhere on the Internet, notably including the explosive articles in my own lengthy American Pravda series.
Meanwhile, the global Covid epidemic has been the dominant issue of the last three years, generating more controversy than any other topic, at least prior to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Yet oddly enough, with one crucial exception—the origins of the virus—my own Covid views have been remarkably mainstream and humdrum, not too far from what I’ve seen in the pages of the New York Times and the Economist. This situation had naturally provoked outrage in many of our regular readers, who had often had been drawn to our website because they automatically rejected everything that the mainstream media promoted.
The conflict was especially severe with regard to the vaxxing controversy, and I’d guess that 95% of our readers vocal on the subject were anti-vaxxers, often extremely fervent ones. Nearly all of our regular writers and columnists who focused on that topic also fell into that same category, including Mike Whitney, Paul Craig Roberts, Linh Dinh, Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, C.J. Hopkins, and several other contributors. But during my decades of political activism, I’ve frequently been in a small minority, sometimes standing almost alone on an important position, so I wasn’t particularly disturbed when this happened yet again in the pages of my own webzine, especially since I wasn’t particularly interested in the vaxxing issue.
Various other alt-writers or activists privately told me that they actually shared my views, but were very reluctant to say so lest they be swarmed and vilified by a horde of militant anti-vaxxers or even risk burning bridges with longtime friends and allies. Steve Sailer, our leading blogger, maintained his strongly pro-vaxx position, but only very rarely raised the issue since whenever he did so he would always be blasted by many of his own commenters. Vaxxing had become an ultra-touchy subject.
Refusing to conceal my views, in mid-2021 I published a long critique of the anti-vaxxing case, and every six months or so followed it up with another one. These functioned as powerful lightning rods, drawing vast waves of attacks by agitated anti-vaxxers, which eventually totaled close to 10,000 comments and perhaps a couple of million words. Indeed, some anti-vaxxers claimed that our lightly-moderated website had soon accumulated the largest body of anti-vaxxing content found anywhere on the Internet, thereby attracting anti-vaxxers from far and wide who sought detailed support for their views.
But all the mounting statistical evidence seemed to confirm my original skepticism, and each of my articles was somewhat more firm in drawing those conclusions than the preceding one.
Are the Opponents of the Covid Injections “Anti-Vaxx Crackpots”?
Mike Whitney Interview with Ron Unz
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • August 1, 2021 • 9,000 Words • 1,681 Comments
Covid Deaths and Vaxxing Deaths
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • January 17, 2022 • 2,800 Words • 1,409 Comments
Vaxxing Conspiracies and 700,000 Rumble Views
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • July 18, 2022 • 2,800 Words • 941 Comments
Vaxxing Deaths or Covid Deaths?
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • January 2, 2023 • 3,300 Words • 1,113 Comments
That last article had noted that although anti-vaxxers argued that a huge wave of fatal heart attacks and strokes had been due to the mRNA vaccines, the American mortality statistics demonstrated that almost the entire rise had occurred during 2020 before the vaxxing began.
I summarized my findings in a few simple points:
Vaxxing only began on December 14, 2020, so it would have had almost no public health impact during that year.
Except for homicides and accidents, nearly all the major changes in American death rates occurred in 2020, so these must have been due to Covid.
Except for homicides and accidents, non-Covid death rates showed almost no change in 2021 and 2022, so the vaccines probably had no impact one way or the other.
The Daily Sceptic is a leading alt-Covid website based in Britain, sharply critical of establishmentarian positions on Covid issues including vaxxing, and in late December I began corresponding with its editor Will Jones in connection with an excellent article he had published on Covid origin issues.
At one point, I happened to mention some New Zealand mortality statistics I’d seen somewhere, and he corrected them, directing me to the Human Mortality Database website, whose numbers he considered authoritative. Although the HMD had been launched in June 2020, I hadn’t previously heard of it and I immediately recognized it as an extremely useful source for such crucial information from dozens of mostly Western countries, conveniently aggregating, stratifying, and displaying official data that would otherwise remain buried on governmental websites. Given its apparent affiliation with both UC Berkeley and the Max Planck Institute plus its recommendation by the Daily Sceptic, I decided I could treat its numbers as quite reliable.
First revision & update of the year for our weekly mortality series #STMF is available
— Human Mortality Database (@HMDatabase) January 10, 2023
A excellent longtime commenter from Iceland calling himself “Niceland” had said he’d seen no indications of any significant numbers of vaxxing deaths in the mortality statistics of his own small, tightly-knit island republic, nor in those of a couple of other European countries whose data he’d tracked down. This made me curious about the broader international pattern, and the HMD website now gave me easy access to all of these statistics from a large number of countries, so I decided to investigate the issue more carefully.
From the beginning, alt-Covid activists have reasonably argued that cause of death is a somewhat ambiguous verdict, easily subject to official manipulation, and that considerable numbers of deaths might have been misattributed to Covid. Thus, they often point to total mortality rates as a much more solid metric to use, with these being the most reliable statistics for any country, especially the developed nations covered by the HMD website.
Furthermore, both the mainstream media and alt-Covid activists agree that Covid deaths were overwhelmingly concentrated among the elderly, with younger individuals having relatively little chance of dying from the disease. Therefore, the mortality statistics of the working-age population would be the place to seek evidence of vaxxing deaths, since any such signal would not be masked by the far larger number of ordinary Covid deaths.
The HMD website conveniently displayed mortality totals for those in the 15-64 working-age range, whose outright Covid deaths might be expected to be quite low, and this seemed the best category in which to explore the impact of vaxxing. The website showed excess deaths relative to a selected baseline, and I chose to use the average of the years 2015-2019 since those were available for all the countries listed.
The results were extremely enlightening. Although the non-elderly populations of almost all those countries had been very heavily dosed with Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines, I found that many of them had actually experienced large “mortality deficits” during those years. Far fewer working-age individuals had died during 2021 and 2022 than would have been predicted in 2019.
This was true for roughly half of all the countries that had used Western-style mRNA vaccines, including France, Sweden, South Korea, Denmark, Belgium, and Finland. Much of the unexpectedly low mortality during those years may have been because the lockdowns and social distancing had reduced deaths from other sorts of contagious diseases and from traffic accidents. But regardless of the cause, if the massive vaccination drives were followed by noticeable reductions in mortality rates, it seemed unlikely that the vaxxing was causing substantial number of non-elderly deaths.
However, the United States was a very obvious exception to this pattern. We had experienced a large rise in working-age deaths beginning in 2020 and this continued into 2021 and 2022 although our vaxxing rates were generally below those of most of the other countries. We were not alone, with Canada, Chile, England, Australia, and a couple of other countries showing the same pattern of large excess deaths among the non-elderly, although none were quite as extreme as ours.
The common factor seemed to be the obesity rate, with America ranking highest in that measure and those other countries also mostly located towards the top of the international tables. Indeed, across all the countries in the HMD system, the correlation between the obesity rate and working-age average excess mortality rate was a moderately strong 0.56. This important result was a central conclusion of my resulting article.
Obesity and the End of the Vaxxing Debate?
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • January 9, 2023 • 2,800 Words • 1,116 Comments
I believed that the case I’d made was a very strong one, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that several of the more moderate and open-minded vaccine-skeptics seemed to agree, saying that my analysis was quite persuasive and even suggesting that I might be correct.