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Fake News At WND: Coronavirus Edition, Part 4

WorldNetDaily just can't stop publishing false and misleading stories about COVID and its vaccines, and giving platforms to discredited COVID misinformers.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 10/3/2022

Art Moore

WorldNetDaily desperately wants to taken seriously as a news operation, but it can't because it published so much biased misinformation -- about many things, but particularly about COVID and its vaccines. And it won't stop doing so, no matter how much it hurts its credibility.

WND's chief COVID misinformer, Art Moore, wrote in an April 14 article:

A long-term study published by the prestigious British journal The Lancet that follows up on participants in the Moderna and Pfizer trials found the vaccines had no effect on overall mortality.

Among 74,000 trial participants, there were 31 all-cause deaths among the vaccinated and 30 among the placebo groups as of January, reported Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze.

Curiously, as Horowitz noted, the authors of the Danish-government-funded study state: "Based on the RCTs with the longest possible follow-up, mRNA vaccines had no effect on overall mortality despite protecting against fatal COVID-19."

Horowitz asked: "So how is it that mRNAs had no effect on all-cause mortality but protect against fatal COVID?"

He supposed that either the vaccines "don't really protect against COVID, or the nominal benefit is washed away by the mortality from adverse events."

Moore got one key fact wrong. The study has not been published in The Lancet -- it was published on a separate preprint website prior to peer review; if it clears peer review, only then will it actually be published in The Lancet. Moore also didn't explain why the Blaze writer was demanding that COVID vaccines prevent death from non-COVID causes.

On top of that, Moore (along with the Blaze) overstates what the study actually says. PolitiFact reported:

"The study isn’t about the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines against COVID," said Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Security. "The study is aimed to determine if COVID vaccines have non-specific mortality impacts that extend beyond the incontrovertible mortality benefit they confer with COVID-19. Certain vaccines have effects that extend beyond the target infection and decrease mortality from other causes (e.g. measles vaccine)."

Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, also said the question of the paper isn’t about COVID-19, but whether the vaccines had a beneficial effect on other causes of mortality.

The research reinforced that both types of vaccines significantly prevented COVID-19 deaths, "which is not surprising as both types of vaccines generate cellular immunity against SARS-CoV-2, protecting us against severe disease."


This is an oversimplification that doesn’t accurately reflect the preprint study, which was not peer reviewed. Researchers used clinical trial data to see how the different COVID-19 vaccines reduced deaths from all causes. They found that adenovirus-vector vaccines appeared to protect against non-accident, non-COVID-19 deaths, while mRNA vaccines didn’t have much of an impact. They said more research is needed.

The research didn’t conclude that mRNA vaccines were ineffective at protecting people from dying of COVID-19.

Moore did it again in a May 12 article:

A new peer-reviewed analysis of data published in the prestigious British scientific journal Nature found a 25% increase in emergency calls for cardiac arrest and other sudden-onset coronary issues among young adults.

The researchers compared data for ages 16 to 39 years old for the same time period in 2019 and 2020, the Epoch Times reported.

Significantly, the researchers concluded the increase in emergency heart issues was associated with COVID-19 vaccination, not with COVID-19 infections.

The team – led by Drs. Christopher Sun of the MIT Sloan School of Management, Eli Jaffe of Israel's National Emergency Medical Services and Retsef Levi of MIT – analyzed data collected by Israel's National Emergency Medical Services between 2019 and 2021.

"An increase of over 25% was detected ... compared with the years 2019–2020," they wrote. "[T]he weekly emergency call counts were significantly associated with the rates of 1st and 2nd vaccine doses administered to this age group [16 to 39] but were not with COVID-19 infection rates."

The scientists concluded: "While not establishing causal relationships, the findings raise concerns regarding vaccine-induced undetected severe cardiovascular side-effects and underscore the already established causal relationship between vaccines and myocarditis, a frequent cause of unexpected cardiac arrest in young individuals."

Moore omitted a lot from that description -- which he rather lazily lifted from an eight-day-old article at the right-wing Epoch Times, a prolific misinformer about COVID vaccines. Both Moore and the Epoch Times got the journal's name wrong -- the study appeared in Scientific Reports, not Nature, though the journal is hosted on Nature's website. Moore did leave a clue in noting that two of the researchers were associated with the MIT Sloan School of Management and not a medical organization; as a fact-checker pointed out, this was a statistical analysis, not a clinical one, meaning that data and not patients were examined. The fact-checker also highlighted other issues with the study:

  • The study analyzed EMS call data, meaning that people who went to the hospital by themselves were excluded -- which account for about half of similar cases.
  • Vaccine-induced myocarditis could have been more accurately diagnosed from clinical data instead of the EMS data the study used.
  • The EMS data did not distinguish myocarditis cases between those induced by COVID infection or the vaccine.
  • The study authors stated that they did not establish "causal relationships" between vaccines and heart problems.
  • The authors also stated that an increase in heart problems could have been created by other non-vaccine-related issues, including delay of care due to pandemic fear or lockdowns.

Moore also censored mention of an editor's note added to the study: "Readers are alerted that the conclusions of this article are subject to criticisms that are being considered by the Editors. A further editorial response will follow once all parties have been given an opportunity to respond in full." Instead, Moore hyped "a growing body of scientific and clinical evidence of severe side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines."

Moore was at it again in a June 8 article:

A report that healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome has caught the eye of epidemiologists and analysts who have documented an alarming rise in excess deaths they believe is connected to the COVID-19 vaccines. reported Wednesday that in Australia, where some 95% of the population has been vaccinated for COVID-19, people under the age of 40 are being urged get their hearts checked because they may be at risk of what is being called Sudden Adult Death Syndrome, or SADS.

It's an "umbrella term to describe unexpected deaths in young people," according to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, and it occurs in people who are otherwise healthy.

There's a U.S.-based SADS Foundation that has recorded this phenomenon for many years. And it isn't new to Australia.

But the question is why a syndrome that few people have ever heard of is being spotlighted by health officials and why young people are being urged to get a heart exam.

Moore then cited one of his favorite fellow COVID misinformers:

Dr. Peter McCullough, a world renowned cardiologist and a leading critic of the mRNA vaccines, wrote Wednesday on the website America Out Loud that because "so many physicians were duped into the taking one of the COVID-19 vaccines, they are having a hard time coming to terms with the reality that their patients are developing complications that indeed a physician could develop, including well-recognized problems such as myocarditis, blood clots, bleeding, and skin rashes and immune system problems."

"The most worrisome of all complications is death after vaccination," he wrote.

As we've come to expect from WND's COVID coverage, this story is bogus. An Australian fact-checker documented:

Some social media users have claimed “sudden adult death syndrome”, a term describing abrupt death from cardiac arrest where no specific cause can be found, is a “new disease” emerging since the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.

The claim is false. Sudden cardiac death – also known as sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) or sudden adult death syndrome – has been documented since the 1800s and the subject of medical research since at least the 1970s. There is no evidence to suggest any link between COVID-19 vaccines and SADS.

Another fact-checker similarly blew up the story:

As for the Daily Mail story that sparked the claims on social media, “There was some mis-reporting,” Dr. Elizabeth Paratz — who was referenced in the story but wasn’t contacted for comment — told us by email.

Although both the story and the headline claimed that Australia had a “new national register” for tracking SADS, it doesn’t. That project was started in 2019 in the Australian state of Victoria.


There has been no increase in SADS since the COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in 2021, Paratz said.

Furthermore, she said, “There is no signal that any vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccines, are behind SADS cases.”

Paratz also noted that, although the Daily Mail referred to SADS as “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome,” the “A” actually stands for arrhythmic, not adult.

So: Another fake-news story from a "news" story from an outlet that has published so many of them. Is anyone surprised?

Bogus claims from misinformer

ConWebWatch has documented how Dr. Ryan Cole is an anti-vaxxer and a hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin enthusiast -- to the point that some of his patients have ended up in the emergency room suffering from COVID after following his advice. His lab was kicked out of Idaho's largest health care network over his divergence from sound medical care, and he has falsely claimed that COVID vaccines cause cancer and autoimmune illnesses. He has since been accused of misdiagnosing patients with cancer. But despite that dubious and dangerous medical record -- likely because his bogus claims generate clicks -- WND gives him regular promotion. Moore did just that in a June 12 article:

A pathologist who heads one of America's leading labs is finding unusually long blood clots, as long as one foot, in the bodies of deceased people who received COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Ryan Cole of Cole Diagnostics in Boise, Idaho, said his lab is "seeing mushy organs, we're seeing incredibly inflamed organs."

"We know the spike protein causes all the ... bad outcomes that the virus did in 2020," he said in an interview with Greg Hunter for USAWatchdog reported by Just the News.

Cole said that in people with comorbidities – serious chronic diseases – the synthetic spike protein in the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are "causing inflammation in the lung, the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the heart; it's causing the same damage that the virus was causing."

Neither Moore nor the Just the News article from which he cribbed his article offered independently verifiable proof of Ryan's claims; indeed, both are servile stenographers for Cole despite his dubious medical history.

Moore also referenced a February WND article centered on COVID misinformer Steve Kirsch in which "a veteran embalmer told Kirsch he and more than a dozen colleagues in the industry had been noticing strange blood clots in most of their cases." But a fact-checker pointed out that the embalmer had been making the rounds of COVID conspiracy operations like WND with his tales, but argued that that the stories shouldn't be treated as anything beyond anecdotal and definitely not authoritative because embalmers typically do not know the vaccination status of those they are embalming. The fact-checker also noted that blood clots are linked to COVID itself, but not to most vaccines.

There's no reason to trust WND if it continues to publish unverified information -- especially from someone who has been repeatedly been discredited.

Misreporting another study

He did it again in a June 21 article, under the screaming headline "Study: COVID vax INCREASES risk of infection":

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that two doses of the mRNA vaccines increased the risk of COVID-19 infection during the omicron wave.

And researchers further confirmed that those infected without having been vaccinated for COVID-19 acquired natural immunity from infection, the Epoch Times reported.

The study, published June 15, examined the omicron wave in Qatar from about December 2021 to February 2022. It compared vaccination rates and immunity among more than 100,000 omicron infected and non-infected individuals.

The results support a recent study from Israel finding natural immunity waned much more slowly than immunity from vaccination.

The new Qatar study found unvaccinated people with prior infection had a 46.1 and 50 percent immunity against the two subvariants of the omicron variant. But those with no previous infection who received two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine had negative immunity against both subvariants, meaning their risk of contracting COVID-19 was higher than an average person.

Moore's first mistake here was to trust the Epoch Times, the right-wing Falun Gong-run newspaper that is a firehose of COVID misinformation. It's clear that Moore did no fact-checking of the article before copying-and-pasting out of it to make his own, because what Moore wrote is wildly misleading. The key results as reported in the study are these:

The effectiveness of previous infection alone against symptomatic BA.2 infection was 46.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 39.5 to 51.9). The effectiveness of vaccination with two doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was negligible (−1.1%; 95% CI, −7.1 to 4.6), but nearly all persons had received their second dose more than 6 months earlier. The effectiveness of three doses of BNT162b2 and no previous infection was 52.2% (95% CI, 48.1 to 55.9). The effectiveness of previous infection and two doses of BNT162b2 was 55.1% (95% CI, 50.9 to 58.9), and the effectiveness of previous infection and three doses of BNT162b2 was 77.3% (95% CI, 72.4 to 81.4). Previous infection alone, BNT162b2 vaccination alone, and hybrid immunity all showed strong effectiveness (>70%) against severe, critical, or fatal Covid-19 due to BA.2 infection. Similar results were observed in analyses of effectiveness against BA.1 infection and of vaccination with mRNA-1273.

BNT162b2 is the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine, mRNA-1273 is the Moderna vaccine.

Translation, which Moore didn't make clear at all: The risk of infection by Omicron variant BA.2 is effectively the same for someone who only got the initial two-vaccine series as someone who had gotten no vaccine or previous infection -- -1.1% is effectively the same as zero, so it's deceitful for Moore to portray it as a significantly higher risk. This isn't surprising because Omicron has mutated to evade the protection of the original vaccines, which were best attuned to the original strain -- something Moore failed to explain to his readers; all the better to fearmonger about vaccines.

Moore also censored other results that don't fit into his anti-vaccine narrative. The results also stated that the highest rate of effectiveness against infection was for those who had a previous infection and were fully vaccinated. The study also stated that vaccination alone offered similar protection as prior infection and infection/vaccination against severe, critical, or fatal COVID due to BA.2, which Moore also censored.

Moore's article was published while WND was still begging for money to stay alive for a while longer. Do those who donated to WND's campaign really feel they're Being truthfully and accurately informed? Because the record says no.

Fearmongering over boosters

Bob Unruh ranted in a July 12 WND "news" article:

Just when things were getting back to normal, mostly. People could do their shopping without wearing a face covering in most retailers. The masks still are being demanded in doctors' offices, but, heck, that's where sick people are anyway.

In light of that, Joe Biden's director of the Centers for Disease Control, Rochelle Walensky, has unleashed a new demand – for seniors to get their second booster shot against COVID-19 "right away."

"Many Americans are under vaccinated, meaning they are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. Not all people over the age of 50 have received their first booster dose..." she started out.

Of those over 50 only 28% have gotten their second booster after lining up to take their first, she said. Those over 65 are even worse.

"So my message right now is very simple: It is essential that these Americans ... get their second booster shot right away."

Unruh appears to be gleefully unaware that the reason "things were getting back to normal, mostly" is precisely because of those vaccines and boosters. Because Unruh lives in WND's world of anti-vaxxer fearmongering, he followed up with anti-vaccine propaganda:

Meanwhile, an MIT study as tied COVID shots to cardiac arrest among young patients. And the CEO of the maker of the Astrazeneca shots was caught saying millions of people should avoid them completely.

Previously, Joe Biden's medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, said he really doesn't know how many shots ultimately will be recommended, but studies have shown they're virtually ineffective for children.

And the FDA has warned Joe Biden may end up demanding annual shots.

First: The AstraZeneca vaccine isn't even available in the U.S. Second: As noted above, WND and other anti-vaxxers have misrepresented not only the the findings of that study (the study itself states it does not establish "causal relationships" between vaccines and heart problems) but also the link to MIT; two of the researchers were associated with the MIT Sloan School of Management and not a medical organization.

Unruh kept up the fearmongering, declaring that "WND reported earlier this year when New York Times reporter Alex Berenson called for the "dangerous" shots to be withdrawn." In fact, Berenson hasn't worked for the Times in a couple of years, and he too is a documented liar and anti-vaxxer. (Funny how WND hates the "liberal media" but will invoke the Times to put a veneer of credibility on a right-wing narrative.)

Unruh also named checked "renowned cardiologist and medical scientist Dr. Peter McCullough," who "told WND in a video interview the official pandemic narrative is 'completely crumbling' and the vaccines 'should be pulled off the market.'" Calling McCullough "renowned" doesn't wipe away the fact that McCullough too is a dishonest anti-vaxxer whom, of course, WND loves for his lies.

Moore found a new COVID misinformer to promote in a July 20 article:

A video PSA by the Health and Human Services Department suggesting loving parents will want to get their young children vaccinated with the experimental COVID-19 MRNA shot amounts to "shameless propaganda," says a prominent epidemiologist at the University of California at San Francisco.

Dr. Vinay Prasad argues there is "no randomized data, nor even a single observational study that has shown a reduction in severe disease in this age group," referring to children from 6 months to 4 years old.

HHS posted the PSA with the message: "Nothing matters more than keeping them safe. If your child is 6 months or older, you can now help protect them from severe COVID illness by getting them a COVID vaccine. Talk to your child’s doctor about vaccines and visit"

But Prasad, writing on Twitter, said the Food and Drug Administration "should fine HHS for false advertising."

"It's really shameless propaganda to disguise the cold reality that there will be very poor uptake for this vaccine that was pushed through for political purposes," he said.

Prasad called the ad "government-sponsored misinformation from the administration seeking to police misinformation."

Actually, Moore's the one pushing misinformation. Prasad is not an epidemiologist; he's an oncologist and hematologist with no demonstrated expertise in virology (or pediatrics). The Science-Based Medicine blog has documented Prasad spreading confusion about the efficacy of masks and falsely accusing credible medical and government authorities of irrationally scaring people about COVID, among other things. He has also likened reasonable efforts to contain the spread of COVID to Nazi Germany in a way considered by some to be anti-Semitic, which earned him a rebuke from a college where he spoke. Prasad is also tied to the Brownstone Institute, created by the folks behind the highly dubious Great Barrington Declaration.

Moore used an Aug. 29 article to give a platform to another COVID misinformer:

Alleging fraudulent data was used to create COVID-19 guidance, a student is suing Massachusetts officials after he was kicked out of law school for refusing to be vaccinated for the disease.

John Paul Beaudoin Sr. has named Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, the state public health commissioner and medical examiners in his suit, charging they submitted fraudulent data to the federal government, which then devised COVID guidance that was adopted by his school, the private Massachusetts School of Law.

Significantly, Just the News reported, Beaudoin alleges that many Massachusetts death certificates "wrongly list 'COVID-19' as a cause of death."

One of the examples he cites is that of 7-year-old Cassidy Baracka, whose Jan. 18 death was blamed on COVID complications. Beaudoin points, however, to a Jan. 15 report in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, or VAERS, which is run by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The VAERS report states the child first became seriously ill "5 min post vaccination," or five minutes after receiving a COVID-19 shot.

The complaint states that the "fraudulent misrepresentations aggregate to support a false narrative" that has harmed Beaudoin and society by "convincing institutions to coerce people under color of law to take an experimental biological product."
Actually, there's more to the story of Baracka's death. The cause of the girl's apparently had not been officially determined at the time of her death -- making Beaudoin's citing of her more than a little dishonest -- but one week before her death, a Massachusetts Department of Children and Families representative visited her house and found "unsanitary and unsafe hoarding conditions, but the child died before a DCF social worker could visit the house. Also, our litigant appears to be using the ol' anti-vaxxer strategy of plucking numbers from the VAERS database while censoring the fact that nothing in it has been verified.

Speaking of our litigant: calling him merely a "student" is a touch misleading. Beaudoin is actually well into middle age; the ruling tossing out a previous lawsuit he filed to stop mask mandates in Massachusetts noted that he "purportedly suffers from a hearing impairment caused by an adverse reaction to a prophylactic treatment he received during the 'Hong Kong flu' outbreak in 1968." Moore didn't mention that one of his demands in the lawsuit is "a workspace in a state office and a robust computer with Excel" so he can rummage through state records and spend who knows how much time figuring out who actually died of COVID.

In short, a nuisance lawsuit filed by a right-wing crank -- you know, WND's readership.

Gloating over Fauci's COVID bout

When Anthony Fauci caught COVID in June, WND -- a sworn enemy of Fauci, particularly columnist Joel Hirschhorn -- was quick to gloat. A June 15 article by Art Moore made a point of noting that Fauci had been vaccinated and double-boosted to suggest the purported lack of efficacy of the vaccines, then turned to a right-wing reporter for further attacks:

Investigative reporter Daniel Horowitz noted the news came as an FDA panel recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 6 months.

"Literally as Fauci gets covid after 4 of these shots," he tweeted. "If we had a sane party representing the Nuremberg Code, red state legislatures would convene in an emergency session and ban the shots."

Tyler Carditis, CEO of Blaze Media, tweeted a one-liner alluding to the the theory that the virus that causes COVID-19 was engineered through the gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology funded by Fauci's NIAID.

"SARS-CoV-2 has finally met its maker," he deadpanned.

Moore concluded his article by reprinting selective hateful -- and anonymous -- "reactions on social media."

When Fauci reported that he tested positive again despite taking a course of the treatment Paxlovid, Moore framed it as him getting "sicker" in a June 29 article:

President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci have touted the Pfizer drug Paxlovid as an effective treatment for COVID-19.

But Fauci, the federal government's top infectious disease official, said Tuesday he experienced a rebound of COVID symptoms after he was treated with the drug, reported.

In fact, Pfizer's own trial data showed the drug may not be effective for people who have received a COVID vaccine. Fauci has been "double-boosted," meaning he has received four doses of the experimental mRNA vaccine. And in May, the Centers for Disease Control issued a formal warning that a course of Paxlovid could produce a rebound of COVID-19.

Fauci, who tested positive for COVID earlier this month, was speaking remotely at the Foreign Policy Global Health Forum.

As is typical of the omicron variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that are currently prevalent, Fauci had mostly mild symptoms, including fatigue. But he said that when his symptoms became slightly worse, he began a five-day course of Paxlovid.

You know what else kept Fauci's symptoms mild? Being vaccinated and double-boosted. Moore didn't report that, though. He also didn't report that rebound symptoms also happen in those who weren't treated with Paxlovid. Moore then attacked the vaccine as ineffective:

At the launch of the vaccines, Fauci, other health officials, pharmaceutical companies and media declared the coronavirus shots to be virtually 100% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 then gradually lowered their estimations to as low as 20% after only six months.

Fauci is seen in a media interview touting the vaccines as "virtually 100% efficacious" and stating in congressional testimony that the "real world effectiveness is even more impressive than the results of the clinical trial."

Moderna boasted its vaccine was 100% effective in teenagers. Pfizer said its vaccine was 100% effective in preventing COVID infections. In other statements, the shots were declared to provide 100% protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death.

However, by October 2021, a study of real world data showed Pfizer's COVID vaccine was only 20% effective against infection after six months.

Moore didn't mention that the main reason the vaccine saw decreased protection against infection was because the Delta and Omicron variants are much more contagious and mutated in a way that evade the vaccine's original defenses against infection.

This is just another reminder that Moore is a highly dishonest reporter.

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