Leo Hohmann was one of the most dishonest reporters WorldNetDaily has ever employed (and that's saying something given the motley crew of writers it has had over the years. He's best known for being an Islamophobe and for forcing WND to stealth-edit articles he wrote to remove claims in which he falsely accused yogurt maker Chobani of importing Muslim immigrants to work at a manufacturing plant in Idaho.
Despite this spotty history, WND has welcomed Hohmann back as a writer -- or, more accurately, republishing articles that first appeared on his own website.But it's clear that Hohmann has not changed his ways. He wrote in a July 20 article:
Attorney Thomas Renz filed a lawsuit in federal court in Alabama on July 19 that alleges a massive government cover-up of vaccination-related U.S. deaths that number “at least 45,000.”
The suit, filed on behalf of America’s Frontline Doctors in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, is based on a sworn statement by a government insider under federal whistleblower protection.
Speaking at the Re-awaken Tour event held July 17-18 in Anaheim, California, Renz made the bombshell announcement he says is based on a whistleblower with access to government computers and can prove that “at least 45,000” Americans have already been killed by the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA.
The CDC’s own reporting system, called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, provides numbers of people, updated weekly on Fridays, who have been reported as having died or been injured by vaccines in the U.S.
The COVID vaccine deaths reported to VAERS stood at just under 11,000 as of last Friday, July 16. This represents more deaths reported from all other vaccines combined since the VAERS system was established in 1990.
Hohmann didn't bother to fact-check anything, of course. But an actual fact-checker did and found that it's yet another deliberate misunderstanding of how the VAERS reporting system works, and that reports of adverse effects and deaths are not verified and cannot be used to establish a definitive link between vaccines and those alleged adverse effects:
The number tracks back to a woman who did not reveal her method for calculating the figure and who has not been publicly identified. She based her calculations on reports of deaths in VAERS, according to a lawsuit. But the number does not align with data contained in VAERS — and even the reports of death entered into that system do not prove that those people died as a result of receiving a vaccine. VAERS is an open system that contains reports that can be submitted by anyone and are not verified.
Finally, the claim was part of a lawsuit by America’s Frontline Doctors, a group that has peddled many false and conspiratorial claims about COVID-19 and vaccines.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Hohmann went on to uincritically quote more misinformation from Renz:
The injections from Pfizer have an 80% failure rate in Israel, Renz said.
“They don’t work. The absolute risk reduction of these vaccines is 1 percent,” he said.
Renz was referring to the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials, which showed the absolute risk reduction for those getting the vaccine was 1% less of getting a severe case of the virus compared to those who got a placebo.
In fact, the Israel data lacks context and is being used in a misleading manner:
Misleading posts on social media are now twisting data from Israel to falsely claim the country’s vaccination program is a failure due to the number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among the vaccinated.Medical professionals say Israel’s vaccine program is making remarkable progress against the virus.
Experts say the country’s high vaccination rates are keeping case numbers down and reducing hospitalization and deaths even as the delta variant is provoking an uptick in infections. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows Israel documented 1,118 new cases on July 21 -- which is less than a tenth of the 11,934 new cases the country had at its peak on Jan. 27, before vaccines were widespread.
“It doesn’t mean vaccines don’t work,” Dr. Robert Cyril Bollinger, Johns Hopkins University professor of infectious diseases, said about Israel’s data. “They have very low rates after vaccination versus where they were before vaccination.”
Others, meanwhile, have pointed out that the Israel numbers are outliers that are based on a small numbwr of cases, which raises question about their accuracy.
Spreading lies does not seem like a good use of the money WND just raised to keep itself alive. Apparently, WND believes its audience wants to be lied to and misled.