Joel Hirschhorn Can't Stop Misinforming
Despite the occasional visit to reality, the WorldNetDaily columnist continues to baselessly fearmonger about COVID vaccines.
By Terry Krepel
The greatest failure of the public health establishment has arrived. Public revolt is now urgently needed.
Hirschhorn spent his July 11 column discussing long COVID in a way that was surprisingly medically accurate (by his standards, anyway). He tried to blame vaccines again for long COVID, but even he had to concede that any link between them happens only in rare cases and that vaccines may offer some protection against getting long COVID after an infection.
Hirschhorn's Aug. 4 column was spent enthusing over the boosting vitamin D to ward off a COVID infection -- again, not a bad idea since many people have vitamin D deficiencies. Still he felt the need to undercut his surprisingly sound advice with a conspiracy:
Here is the big point: If public health agencies had pushed the wide use of vitamin D early in the pandemic, especially 5,000 units or more daily, there surely would have been virtually no pandemic. And no big need for COVID vaccines. It is a disgrace that governments worldwide have not promoted use of D and that physicians have not urged their patients to take it. All this is inexplicable, unless you recognize the evil influence of Big Pharma. All the U.S. government officials who pushed vaccines over vitamin D, especially Tony Fauci, should be criminally prosecuted.
Hirschhorn was back to unsound conspiracies in his Aug. 12 column, fretting about the summer increase in COVID deaths without once mentioning that the Omicron variant, against which current vaccines offer less protection. Still, he ranted:
The main propaganda line is that vaccines and boosters are "safe and effective" and prevent severe illness and death. These are lies, as shown by the data.
As much as Hirschhorn wants it to be, undocumented immigrants are not to blame for a summer COVID surge. But he had a new conspiracy to peddle, that the vaccines cause cancer:
A researcher who queried the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) discovered a 10,661.4% increase in cancer reports as a result of experimental COVID-19 gene-based vaccines as compared with all FDA-approved vaccines over the last 30 years.
Shilhavy and his website network have been exposed as COVID misinformation superspreaders, so there's no reason for Hirschhorn -- or anyone else -- to trust his research. But Hirschhorn had one more misinformer to promote:
In March 2021, board-certified pathologist Dr. Ryan Cole reported that he was seeing a massive "uptick" in various autoimmune diseases and cancers in patients who have been COVID-vaccinated, LifeSiteNews reports.
Hirschhorn misinformed again in his Sept. 5 column:
WARNING: If you have had a COVID vaccine/booster shot, what this article presents may cause you stress and anxiety.
The first study Hirschhorn cited was published in the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research -- an anti-vaxxer journal no credible medical researcher takes seriously -- one scientist observed that publishing something there "seems to be no different than self-publishing a book on Amazon Kindle." The second is titled "German Researchers Examine Covid 'Vaccines' and Vaccinated People's Blood and Say Stop Vaccinations," and the fact that it puts "vaccines" in scare quotes should be enough to note its anti-vaxxer nature. It's also not a study in the sense that it was published in a respected peer-reviewed journal; it's a report from something called the "German Working Group for Covid-19 Vaccine Analysis," whatever that is, and it appeared on someone's Substack site.
Nevertheless, Hirschhorn wants you to think this is all serious, credible stuff -- and yet another excuse to indulge his weird obsession with Anthony Fauci:
The blood damage caused by COVID "vaccines" is best seen by the public as the key "missing link" that can explain what I and many others have been reporting on for many months namely, the multitude of adverse health impacts and deaths from what the medical and public health establishment, the mainstream media and government agencies are still pushing on the public.
Hirschhorn used his Oct. 4 column to try and gaslight his readers, blaming declining trust in doctors on anything but right-wing anti-vaxxer lies and falsely insisting that he's the one who's doing the "truth telling":
Losing trust in doctors and the medical establishment is a sad consequence of the COVID pandemic. Doctors have not done all they should have to better serve their patients.
Hirschhorn then served up "a series of questions (just examples) to ask your doctor," which he claimed are "structured to allow a simple answer so that minimal time is needed." But many of the questions try to advance anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories:
If you are truly well-informed about the pandemic and COVID, then you should know what really good or bad answers are for these questions.
Yes, we can. McCullough is a discredited COVID misinformer, while Fareed, as ConWebWatch noted the last time Hirschhorn brought him up, claims to have developed an ivermectin-centric treatment that normal doctors have disavowed.
Hirschhorn concluded by demanding that his fellow misinformers continue pushing that misinformation: "If you find this topic of great importance, then share all this with those you know who still are brainwashed by the propaganda from the many authoritarian forces pushing all the wrong information about COVID. Think of Anthony Fauci as the leader of those awful forces. Tell those people what good and correct answers are to the above questions."
The only person we see who has been "brainwashed" by "propaganda" is Hirschhorn.
Hirschhorn ranted in his Oct. 13 column:
The COVID pandemic has two new forms, in addition to continuing preventable deaths from viral infection nearly 3,000 a week in the U.S. One is increasing levels of long COVID that does not kill, but ruins quality of life. I have already published articles on this. Here I explore the second new manifestation, namely excess deaths not due to infection but resulting from vaccines. How are vaccines killing large numbers of people? In brief, the vaccines ruin immune systems and damage blood. So people are dying from various ailments and diseases, including cardiac problems.
Crawford's claims about excess deaths caused by vaccines were discredited long ago -- which tells his Hirschhorn's standards for a "great analyst" are severely flawed. Hirschhorn also promoted dubious claims from anti-vaxxers like Steve Kirsch and Daniel Horowitz, as well as a bogus poll commissioned by Kirsch claiming that "More than twice as many Americans have lost a household member to a COVID vaccine injury as have lost one to COVID." Hirschhorn concluded by rehashing his conspiracy theories:
In the U.S. and worldwide many people who obeyed public health agencies and got COVID shots are dying from them. This is how the pandemic lives on by killing people from the supposed "solution" to COVID. And authorities are still pushing vaccines. This is tragic. Also tragic is that most excess deaths are of relatively young people, considered working age, not the elderly. Finally, this is what CDC says: "Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare." Keep in mind that the pandemic could have been better addressed by strongly pushing use of high dose vitamin D and even nasal saline sprays. COVID vaccines were always a terrible strategy but a great moneymaker for Pfizer.
For a pre-election column on Nov. 3, Hirschhorn tried to turn his discredited conspiracy theories into a campaign issue:
As someone who closely follows the news, I have found it amazing that no stories about the issues important to midterm voters include pandemic and COVID failures, especially vaccines. They have caused more than 30 million adverse health impacts and deaths; these are far greater than all the harm caused by crime, opioid and fentanyl misuse, and other factors ruining lives. Over a million Americans have died from COVID, and hundreds more die every day because the vaccines do not work and all the wrong, useless protocols still are used in hospitals.
Nobody is going to find "pandemic truth" by listening to Hirschhorn's conspiratorial rantings.
Hirschhorn served up more ranting in his Nov. 30 column:
By now millions of Americans well-informed about the pandemic know that the cheap, safe and effective generic medicine ivermectin (IVM) was blocked for wide-scale use from the very beginning by the federal government. It was a critical but medically wrong tactic within the wait-for-the-vaccine strategy. Preventing early use of IVM has surely killed and harmed hundreds of thousands of Americans. A few courageous doctors have successfully been using IVM during the pandemic, but most feared punishment as they lost their medical freedom.
As ConWebWatch has pointed out, the doctors who brought the lawsuit were never actually barred from prescribing ivermectin (despite the fact that there's little credible evidence that it works on COVID) and that the FDA lawyer's statement does not constitute a change in position.
Nevertheless, Hirschhorn managed to twist this to his own person anti-Fauci obsession: "No matter what is now being said as some type of excuse for killing people, what should remain a priority is criminally prosecuting Anthony Fauci."
Hirschhorn had more bogus claims to peddle in his Dec. 12 column:
Dr. Eric Nepute is the very first doctor the federal government has come after, accusing him of violating the 2020 COVID Consumer Protection Act. His case takes the form of civil action by the Federal Trade Commission.
It's not until the seventh paragraph of his column that Hirschhorn mentions in passing one significant issue (not that he sees it as one, of course): Nepute is a chiropractor, not a medical doctor. Hirschhorn never asks any anyone should take advice on infections from a chiropractor whose field of study has nothing whatsoever to do with treating COVID. Meanwhile, here in the real world, actual medical doctors say zinc and vitamin D by themselves cannot prevent or treat COVID, though maintaining recommended levels of them may help reduce disease severity.
Further, Hirschhorn's overly narrow focus on what Nepute said about vitamin D and zinc (though no evidence is provided to back up the numbers they cite) hides the fact that Nepute has spread other lies as well. According to FactCheck.org, Nepute has falsely claimed that the Delta variant was not more contagious than original COVID (it was twice as contagious), falsely claimed that children were being taken from their parents in Australia over COVID safety and spread misinformation about mask mandates and masks themselves.
If Nepute is willing to lie and mislead about so many other things, why should anyone trust that his pills work against COVID? Hirschhorn didn't answer that, of course; instead, he called for readers to read the FTC complaint against Nepute, adding: "See how your government works so hard to defend COVID vaccines against effective and safer alternatives. What a disgrace. Meanwhile, COVID vaccines will keep harming and killing people."
Of course, linking to the complaint doesn't exactly help Nepute's (or Hirschhorn's) cause, given how it documents how the claims he makes about his pills aren't supported by the evidence. Hirschhorn also made no mention of the fact that Nepute is in further trouble because he continued to make false claims about his pills despite having previously agreed in a consent decree with the FTC not to claim his pills could treat or cure COVID.
Then again, when has Hirschhorn ever been constrained by facts and reality?
A momentary return to facts
Given Hirschhorn's history of COVID misinformation, it was a bit of a shock to see him actually address the subject in a more straightforward and factual way. His Jan. 19 column didn't start out promising, though:
Regular readers of this truth-telling publication already are well-informed about the many ill effects of COVID vaccines. But there is always more to understand as medical research keeps unfolding.
What followed, however, was a surprisingly straightforward summary of a study published in an actual, credible, peer-reviewed medical journal examining why some people, mostly young men, suffer myocarditis after receiving the vaccine, which the study attributed to spike proteins that evade detection. He did try to fearmonger a bit at the end:
Here is the key point: The spike protein they had in their bodies had evaded the apparently sufficient library of antibodies (from the vaccine or previous infection) that were supposed to neutralize it. Thus, it is possible that some persons do not make specific neutralizing antibodies after injection, and thus, the spike protein is able to circulate and damage the body, specifically the heart muscle and possibly other organs, including the brain. Other research has found that harmful impacts can happen many weeks or months after booster shots. Scars in heart muscle could explain serious impacts and deaths.
Meanwhile, an actual medical expert (which Hirschhorn is not) was much less alarmist about the issue, pointing out that the study had a "relatively small number of participants" and that "these conclusions need to be confirmed in large cohorts."
That expert also noted that "myocarditis has also been observed in response to other vaccines, such as vaccines against influenza and smallpox, and non-mRNA vaccines against COVID-19." Which tells you that the whole myocarditis thing is just a ginned-up scare tactic from anti-vaxxers.
Congratulations, though, to Hirschhorn for actually trying to stick to established facts. It didn't last long, of course, and he was back to his own factually questionable tricks in his Feb. 23 column:
All the new research on vaccine impacts comes from just two years of vaccine use. Thus we still do not have good information on the long-term health impacts. There is a reasonable probability that the negative health impacts will become even worse as time for impacts on bodies and for research goes on.
The key word here is "creative," meaning that he's making stuff up. In fact, COVID vaccines do not and cannot cause cancer. Still, Hirschhorn served up another "innovative" fearmongering analysis:
A very innovative analysis is presented in the new article: "Age-stratified COVID-19 vaccine-dose fatality rate for Israel and Australia." What is noteworthy is that the detailed analysis for Israel and Australia leads to a generalization applicable to the United States. The paper points out that "it is not unreasonable to assume an all-population global value of vDFR = 0.1 % [vaccine dose fatality rate]." This is for vaccine doses. For the U.S., 670 million doses have been given, so the estimate is 670,000 people have been killed by the COVID vaccines in the U.S.
There is little about this study online besides the usual anti-vaxx suspects promoting it, but it's worth noting that a anti-vaxx-promoted study on purported vaccine deaths in Australia that came out a few weeks later has been discredited.
Hirschhorn followed with a case study of psychosis possibly linked to the vaccine and another study trying to link cases of shingles to it (though that doesn't appear to be a real issue) as well as another one trying to link cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children to the vaccine. He concluded by ranting: "When it comes to the legitimacy of the COVID vaccines, the worst is yet to come. The intensity and range of bad health impacts will become a horror story in coming years."
Hirschhorn spent his March 16 column ranting against the vaccines:
A new Harvard study shows enormous federal spending to develop and distribute a deadly COVID vaccine that makes billions for drug companies.
The fact that Hirschhorn thinks a repeatedly discredited COVID misinformer like McCullough is "great" tells you all you need to know about Hirschhorn. Still, he seized upon the article to manufacture a conspiracy theory:
Bottom line: There has been a massive, expensive and criminal fraud perpretrated by the United States government. Looks like until now the government has spent more than $50,000 per person killed to make two big drug companies a fortune. All this shows the wisdom of the adage "follow the money."
Hirschhorn used his April 5 column to hype a biased poll:
Looks like there has been massive under-counting of COVID and vaccine deaths.
Hirschhorn didn't mention that Rasmussen polls are highly biased, raising questions about their accuracy and motives. And Hirschhorn made sure to peddle his own anti-vaccine propaganda:
Please keep in mind that it is now widely accepted by those who follow the data that the COVID vaccines available in the United States do not prevent infection, replication, or spread of SARS-CoV-2, and do not prevent either hospitalized disease or death from COVID-19. Given these facts, references to these biologic medical products as "vaccines" is merely propaganda. They clearly do not "vaccinate" in the classic sense. But they make billions of dollars for vaccine makers.
And Hirschhorn has been doing his part to manufacture that mistrust. All he's doing here is being happy his narrative has traction -- which has nothing to do with whether it has any basis in fact.