It's been a while since we checked in on Jane Orient, leader of the fringe-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who is one of the main purveyors of COVID misinformation at WorldNetDaily. Unsurprisingly, the misinformation is continuing. In her March 21 column, Orient was complaining that medical experts don't think anecdotal stories don't hold quite the same weight as actual medical research:
Even if you have had COVID, and some restrictions in your area have been lifted at least temporarily, life is definitely not normal, especially in medicine. We live under an increasingly authoritarian regime that falsely claims to "follow the science," but is really based on fear.
Warning: Much of what follows is "anecdotal," scorned by the "evidence-based medicine" establishment. We can no longer believe our eyes and ears. Of course, a single or a few observations must be replicated before we change medical practice or societal policy – unless they support a politically correct objective. But what to do in the meantime? Wait for a study that will probably never be done because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will not fund it?
Or at least listen to our patients and their associates?
For COVID, the dogma is that repurposed old drugs are dangerous and don't work, that vaccines are all "safe and effective," and that measures never shown capable of containing an already widespread respiratory virus must be followed under pain of professional death (delicensure).
In her April 18 column, Orient clung to the idea that everything should simply return to normal as if an pandemic that killed a million Americans never happened:
It is not normal to wear a face mask and stay six feet away from other human beings. As soon as the pressure is removed, the students, even at a woke universities, are maskless and interacting normally – talking, laughing, hugging. Their natural immune systems are functioning normally.
It is not normal to stay locked indoors. Without police coercion, people will go out when they think it essential or safe.
It is not normal to worry constantly about a virus that in most people is no worse than the flu. Once the daily case counts and death statistics stop, people may believe their eyes and ears telling them that most of us are OK … unless those making the evaluation have been turned into obsessive-compulsive germophobes.
It is not normal for people to bully or exclude or malign family members and friends who choose not to take a novel experimental injection. That takes constant propaganda portraying the refusers as lifelong lepers. But once the mortar of human relations is weakened, will the masonry crumble?
It's also not normal for right-wing activists like Orient to try and discredit medical experts by fearmongering about vaccines and other researched treatments sinply to advance a political narrative -- dishonesty that resulted in the needless deaths of thousands of people. She's also lying by continuing to smear vaccines as a "novel experimental injection" and, later, "a massive, uncontrolled, non-consented experiment. ; the vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA.
Orient's May 11 column complained that the COVID misinformation she has been peddling was being called out:
Today, "mainstream media" are mostly owned by a few conglomerates, who all seem to be on board with the current Narrative about this "war" on COVID.
We can tell something about the Agenda from the accounts Twitter has banned: views of election fraud that favors Democrats; evidence of corrupt dealings with foreign governments by certain highly placed officials, say, from Hunter Biden's laptop; and information contradicting the official narrative on COVID-19.
With COVID, disinformation is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). Skepticism about masks and lockdowns, information about early treatment with cheap, repurposed drugs, or anything that might lead to "vaccine hesitancy" are anathema.
Who writes the message? According to Dr. Scott Atlas, who was briefly a member of President Trump's COVID Task Force, in his book "A Plague upon Our House," the nationwide message was dictated by Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx and Robert Redfield, even over the president's objection. Was it "the Science"? Dr. Atlas immersed himself in the deluge of scientific articles and brought copies to meetings. They were ignored. Birx, he writes, relied on unreliable or outdated data to dictate "mitigation" measures. No one else was willing to confront her. The deadly results of useless lockdowns were not of interest.
Who is Deborah Birx to have the power to destroy Americans' livelihood and lives? Most of her work had concerned the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Orient didn't mention that Atlas has no specific expertise in epidemiology, infectious diseases, or virology and dubioiusly pushed for herd immunity to COVID despite the fact that it has now killed 1 million Americans. She also ranted against Pfizer's COVID treatment Paxlovid and suggested that the old right-wing standby drug ivermectin is somehow better:
Pfizer has so far spent $2.8 million on the commercial and expects to earn $22 billion from Paxlovid sales for 2022, paid for by taxpayers.
What would happen if Twitter allowed compare-and-contrast information for Paxlovid vs. ivermectin, which share a common mechanism of action? Number of studies: three for Paxlovid, 82 for ivermectin; number of patients studied, about 5,000 vs. more than 129,000; duration of experience with use, months vs. decades (ivermectin was approved in 1987); number of patients who have taken drug, thousands vs. billions.
But, such a comparison might be bad for Pfizer's sales.
Orient makes sure not to comment on how many of those ivermectin studies were of high quality -- an important point, since a lot of them aren't. She also linked to an anonymously run website -- which may be secretly run by her AAPS -- purporing to document those results, which doesn't instill confidence.