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Fake News At WND: Coronavirus Edition, Part 10

WorldNetDaily continues to invoke the same COVID misinformers and the same old discredited claims, such as the purported existence of "VAIDS."

By Terry Krepel
Posted 4/15/2024

If WorldNetDaily is publishing a story about COVID vaccines, you can reasonably assume that the information in it is misleading if not outright false. Case in point is an Oct. 31 article by Bob Unruh:
A new study confirms that almost one in three COVID-19 shot victims were hit, after taking the jab, with "tremors, insomnia, muscle spasms," and more, revealing the shots' huge toll in neurological complications.

A report at the Epoch Times outlines the results of the study published in "Vaccines."

The report said, "The study analyzed 19,096 people who received COVID-19 vaccines in Italy in July 2021, out of which 15,368 had taken the Pfizer vaccine, 2,077 had taken the Moderna version, and 1,651 took the AstraZeneca version. While both Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines, AstraZeneca, being an adenovirus vaccine, uses a different mechanism to trigger the immune response."

The report said the study found 31.2% of vaccinated individuals soon were suffering from the neurological complaints which also included headaches and tinnitus, sleepiness, vertigo, double vision, numbness, taste and smell alterations, even "cognitive fog or difficulty in concentration."


The Epoch Times noted cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough discussed the results on Substack.

"A shocking 31.2 percent of respondents to this large dataset sustained neurologic injury after two injections with verified data in health registries," he wrote. "Most of the risk estimates indicate the safety profile is unacceptable. It is alarming that all neurological societies to date still recommend COVID-19 vaccines and none have issued safety warnings on the products."

If COVID misinformer McCullough is involved, you can bet there is an even higher chance of misinformation being imparted. And that's exactly what happened. Health Feedback detailed the misinformation in the Epoch Times article that Unruh uncritically repeated:

In his Substack article, McCullough cited the study’s findings as an argument against COVID-19 vaccination, calling the COVID-19 vaccines “ill-advised”. This implies that the risks reported in the study were calculated by comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

This isn’t true. Instead, the risk for a particular complication following one type of COVID-19 vaccine was calculated relative to another COVID-19 vaccine. For example, the risk for tremors after receiving the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 adenovirus vector vaccine was expressed relative to the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine.|


In an email, the study’s corresponding authors, neurologists Maria Salsone and Luigi Ferini-Strambi, clarified that “we are in favor of the COVID-19 vaccination”. They stressed that “the neurological effects reported [...] are frequent but of minor severity such as headaches, thus these may be considered as minor neurological complications”. Furthermore, these symptoms were “reversible in few days, at most in a week”.

They added that no participant reported severe neurological complications, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy, transverse myelitis and encephalitis, and none had been “hospitalized and/or died for severe complications related to COVID-19 vaccination”.

“Overall, given the large sample size and the clinical entity of the neurological symptoms, we strongly encourage the COVID-19 vaccination,” they concluded.

It should be noted that headache is among the most common side effects of COVID-19 vaccination, along with other flu-like symptoms like tiredness. However, these side effects are benign and aren’t associated with long-term repercussions. The study’s findings, as we pointed out in the previous section, also indicate that most of these side effects were self-limiting, resolving after anywhere between a day to a week.

Therefore, McCullough’s description of relatively short-lived headaches and sleepiness as “neurologic injury” that presents an “unacceptable” safety profile isn’t justified by the study’s findings.

Because Unruh can't be bothered to do any actual reporting and is merely content with stenography, his readers will never know the full truth about the study.

And this wasn't even the only misinformation-laden COVID-related story on WND that day. An anonymously written article claimed:

Federal researchers have confirmed that there is a "risk" of stroke in some people who get the COVID and flu shots at the same time.

But bureaucrats still recommend the risky behavior.

A report published by Just the News explained the findings were laid out in a presentation this month to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices by Tom Shimabukuro, from the Immunization Safety Office.

It was the CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink real-time monitoring system that "detected an elevated risk" of "ischemic stroke in people 65 and older who received same-day Pfizer COVID and 'high-dose' or 'adjuvanted' influenza vaccines.

Even so, the report said, the CDC still recommends getting flu and COVID-19 shots together, advising that it is not only convenient, but also "safe."

The anonymous writer buried fact that the risk of a stroke is slight -- around three per 100,000 doses -- putting the lie to the claim that this is "risky behavior." As a doctor told a more responsible and accurate news organization, the risk "is trivial in comparison to the risk for people over 85 of dying from COVID." The article also made sure to inject the views of another COVID misinformer:

"There are many clear safety signals for the COVID vaccine," from cardiac arrhythmia to sudden death, noted Jane Orient, chief of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Normally, she said, that would get a product withdrawn from the marketplace immediately.

Orient has spread a lot of misinformation about COVID vaccines and promoted the bogus conspiracy theory that  the on-field collapse of NFL player Damar Hamlin was caused by a COVID vaccine, so her claims shouldn't be trusted.

Still hyping 'VAIDS'

WND previously tried to hype the purported existence of "VAIDS" -- immune deficiency purportedly caused by the COVID vaccine -- despite the fact that there is no such thing. It tried to pull that stunt again in a Dec. 11 article by Bob Unruh:

Researchers at Cambridge University have released a study showing that about one-fourth of those people who were given the mRNA shots during the COVID panic now have VAIDS, or Vaccine-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

It's long now been known that there sometimes have been horrific side effects from the mRNA treatments that were described as and delivered to people as COVID vaccinations during the pandemic.

Many have died, prompting Iceland to ban them, a plan endorsed by many experts.

Now a report at Slay News describes the results of a Cambridge study that found 25% of all people given the COVID mRNA shots now have Vaccine-Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

According to the report, "The scientists note in their paper that the 'unintended immune response' was 'created by a glitch.'"

Unruh didn't disclose that Slay News has been exposed as untrustworthy due to its promotion of "conspiracy theories, pseudoscience, right-wing propaganda, poor sourcing, lack of transparency, failed fact checks, and blatant plagiarism" -- of course, that same description applies to WND as well. Meanwhile, an actual, credible news organization examined the claims and found that the Slay News article -- and, thus, Unruh's article -- is false, citing the actual authors of the Cambridge study in question:

However, the study's lead author, James Thaventhiran, an immunologist at Cambridge University, told AFP on December 20, 2023, that "humans regularly encounter unintended proteins and generate harmless immune responses" (archived link).

"Our latest study does not affect the safety assessment of existing mRNA COVID vaccines," he said. "The data are clear: there is no evidence linking unintended proteins and harmful immune responses."

Lance Turtle, a co-author of the study, also said the claim circulating online had no basis (archived link).

"[This statement] is simply made up," the clinician scientist from the University of Liverpool told AFP on December 20, 2023.

"There was absolutely nothing about immunodeficiency in our study...There's nothing immunodeficient about this, it is the immune system responding to a foreign protein."

The fact-check quoted experts pointing out that VAIDS "does not exist."

Because this is WND and it doesn't typically correct anything unless there's a threat of a lawsuit, don't expect it to correct the record; indeed, Unruh's article remains live and uncorrected.

Bringing back a misinformer

Bob Unruh called on one of his employer’s favorite COVID misinformers to spread more misinformation in a Dec. 27 article:

MRNA expert and COVID-19 shot skeptic Dr. Robert Malone has written in a column posted at the Epoch Times that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is, in effect, gaslighting the American public about those shots.

The shots, not really vaccines because they are more like DNA treatment programs, have been the subject of government and employer mandates, and consumer skepticism, since they appeared during the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the deadly virus likely emerged from a Wuhan, China, lab doing experimentation on bat viruses and killed millions.

There have been those trying to pry information out of the government on those shots, including the Florida surgeon general.

But Malone explains the FDA “has clearly failed to establish that it was aware of the contamination or adulteration of COMIRNATY or SPIKEVAX final drug products with plasmid DNA fragments, and it has completely failed to insist on the testing necessary to establish dose limiting toxicity of DNA fragments when delivered to animals or humans using these highly active lipid nanoparticle formulations.”

Unruh is lying — mRNA vaccines are, in fact, vaccines and they do not alter DNA. There’s also no evidence that the DNA fragments that can be found in mRNA vaccines have any effect on anyone. Unruh went on to tout Malone referencing Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo, another COVID misinformer:

He said the residents of Florida deserve better “than to be misled” and gaslit about those risks.

Because of the lack of information, and more, he called for those products to be “withdrawn from the market until the necessary tests have been performed and safety demonstrated.”

Actually, it’s Malone and Ladapo (and Unruh) who are gaslighting people by continuing to spread misinformation that has been repeatedly discredited. Unruh then puffed up Malone’s biography:

Malone, in fact, played key roles decades ago in developing mRNA treatments, and came to prominence when COVID hit the world.

Online biographies explained, “He’s become a trusted source for people everywhere who aren’t quite sure about these mRNA vaccines or whether they are really safe.”

He previously served as a consultant to the government, and even a left-leaning description admitted that they mRNA treatments are “not perfect.’

In fact, Malone’s contribution to mRNA vaccine research wasn’t that major and occurred way back in the 1990s. Unruh then uncritically repeated more lies from Malone:

He suggested federal officials have a vested interest in the success of the COVID shots, as they have suggested the procedures be expanded to cancer treatments.

But he confirmed, “Worldwide administration of the resulting injectable products has been associated with more than 17 million excess deaths (globally) and large numbers of cases of heart damage (myocarditis) with a perverse predilection for young people, contradicting the repeated propaganda statement that these products are safe.”
In fact, the claim that COVID vaccines have caused 17 million deaths is based on a highly flawed analysis, so the claim can’t be trusted.

WND's misinformation and false claims just kept coming. A Jan. 17 article republished from the right-wing Liberty Daily carried the headline “New cancers projected as highest ever, yet ZERO mention of COVID jabs as cause” — but the article offered no proof there’s a link between the two. Indeed, there’s no evidence of such a link.

An anonymously written Jan. 30 article promoted another dubious claim:

COVID-shot skeptic Steve Kirsch has released a Substack report that charges there’s no doubt that the COVID shots “CAUSE dementia.”

The shots, by Pfizer and others, were developed at a breathtaking pace with government funding when the deadly COVID virus came out of a Chinese research lab that was working to make viruses worse.

They were inflicted on the American public without ordinary trials or tests, often by corporate or government mandate, and the side effects, including tens of thousands of deaths, have been mounting since.

He explained that he reviewed data on the government’s National Vaccine Information Center and confirmed hundreds of cases of the virus “where [a] symptom is dementia.”

He explained, “There is [no way] that you can have a 1,000X increase in event reports if the COVID vaccine isn’t causing this. The CDC simply ‘forgot’ to warn people about it.”

The problem here is that Kirsch’s track record precedes him; he’s notorious for spreading misinformation about COVID vaccines, in part by misusing government data, so he’s not exactly a credible person. WND tell its readers that, of course — it loves COVID conspiracy theories, after all, and it doesn’t want to raise questions about such a productive source.

Bob Unruh served up more dubious medical advice in a Feb. 2 article:

The mRNA shots that were made and sold in a rush when COVID-19 emerged from a Chinese research lab and circled the globe, killing millions, have since been confirmed to have created a long list of problems.

“Suddenly died,” for example, now is a routine phrase linked to reports on the deaths of many young people. Heart ailments and worse have been linked to the treatments, which actually weren’t vaccines at all but more or less DNA treatments.

Amid evidence of problems, there began a move to take down the demands that children take the shots, and in some locations authorities have backed away even further.

Now there’s a new precedent being sought: a global moratorium on those injections.

According to a report from Liberty Counsel, a legal team long involved in the fight for the rights of people not to be forced to take such shots, “For the first time in a published and peer-reviewed paper, scientists are calling for a ‘global moratorium on modified mRNA products’ after surveying data from Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 ‘vaccine” trials.'”


Stunningly, the study provided a “generous estimate” that two lives were saved from COVID for every 100,000 shots.

But at the same time, they estimated “a risk of 27 deaths” from those same 100,000 doses.

But as detailed, the so-called study was written by credibility-challenged anti-vaxxers like Kirsch and McCullough, adding: “Just because a paper is published does not make it correct. While peer review is useful in weeding out bad science, it’s not foolproof, and the rigor and processes vary by journal.” FactCheck went on to summarize the bad science in the study:

To claim the vaccines cause “serious harms to humans,” for example, the review draws on a problematic reanalysis of the adverse events reported in the original trials that was published in the journal Vaccine in 2022. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general, have cited the paper to argue that the vaccines are too risky. But as we’ve written — and is detailed in a commentary article published in the same journal — the paper has multiple methodological flaws, including how it counted the adverse events.

The review also uncritically cites an unpublished analysis by former physics professor Denis Rancourt that alleged that some 17 million people died from the COVID-19 vaccines. We recently explained that the report erroneously ignored deaths from COVID-19 and that such estimates are implausible. And the review recycles unsupported claims about “high levels of DNA contamination” in the mRNA vaccines and the possibility that such DNA fragments “will integrate into the human genome” and cause cancer. As we’ve detailed, trace amounts of residual DNA are expected in vaccines, but there is no evidence the DNA can alter a person’s DNA or cause cancer.

Finally, the review highlighted findings from a Cleveland Clinic observational study that it called the “best evidence for the failure of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine’s ability to confer protection against COVID-19.” The study, which identified a correlation between more COVID-19 vaccine doses and a higher rate of testing positive for a coronavirus infection, has frequently been cited by those opposed to vaccination. But as we’ve explained, the finding runs counter to that of many other studies, which have generally found increased protection with more doses. And the paper did not demonstrate that more doses actually cause an increased risk of infection. In fact, many experts suspect that the association is likely the result of other differences between people who received a different number of doses. Moreover, the primary purpose of vaccination is to protect against severe disease — and there is abundant evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines have been very successful on that front.

Again, Unruh doesn’t want you to know any of this because the truth conflicts with its agenda.

Unruh promoted Kirsch and his dubious study again in a Feb. 6 article:

For months while the COVID-19 virus, which came out of a Chinese lab experimenting on making those health threats more dangerous, circled the globe and killed millions, science journals adopted a uniform talking point: Get the shots!

That, according to a new report, now has changed, with the publication in the Springer Nature medical journal Cureus, a sibling of Nature and Scientific American, a peer-reviewed paper by mRNA shot critics.

It reveals that the results from the shots are not all good.

In fact, they can be bad.

Longtime COVID shot skeptic Steve Kirsch posted online: “People have said I’m a misinformation spreader because since May 2021, I have been publicly saying the COVID vaccines are not safe. Now the medical peer-reviewed literature shows I was right.”

A report in Just the News points out that mainstream science and medical journals for months, even years, suppressed doubts and concerns about the shots, for which manufacturers were paid billions.

In fact, the federal government, led by COVID shot cheerleader Anthony Fauci, worked to suppress valid evidence undermining the promotion of those shots.

The new article, in fact, lends support for the idea of a global moratorium on those shots.

Note that Unruh tried to boost the credibility of the study by hyping the credibility of the journal, despite its somewhat dubious reputation. He later tried to boost Kirsch’s credibility with a similar ploy:

Kirsch’s influence comes from his founding of multiple companies and his development of the optical mouse.

Even his online detractors concede he’s been a prominent philanthropic supporter of medical research.

Which, of course, doesn’t make his anti-vaxxer conspiracy-mongering any less discredited. Unruh won’t tell you that either.

Orient still conspiracy-mongering

Jane Orient has been one of the ConWeb’s leading COVID misinformers, pushing dubious so-called cures for COVID and fearmongering about vaccines, but she’s had problems moving on from that. So she went back to the COVID conspiracy well in her Feb. 7 WND column, which started by fearmongering about genetic engineering and suggesting it’s not different than “biological warfare” and hyping “an American scientist who allegedly created and patented the SARS-CoV-2 virus years before the pandemic.” In fact, the patent in question was filed in 2020 as a way to detect COVID, and it merely refers to a 2015 provisional application — not an actual patent application — for a “System and Method for Using, Processing, and Displaying Biometric Data,” which doesn’t reference COVID at all. She then accused those who believe that COVID occurred naturally of having been bought off:

There are three possible origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: 1) Nature; 2) Accidental release from a lab; and 3) Deliberate release. Throughout history bad pathogens have come from Nature, perfectly adapted to a human host. But there is an “infinitesimal” probability that the sequences in SARS-CoV-2 came from Nature. Very odd – when this argument is used for Intelligent Design it is called unscientific. Yet, according to a survey of experts by the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute and others, the majority believe in a natural origin. These opinions are hardly unbiased since most experts who are still employed or funded agree with the official narrative.

The virus could well have come from a lab – but which variant and which lab? There are hundreds or thousands of variants out there, and hundreds of scientists have been working on bioengineering technology. There are thousands of possibly relevant patents, including “disclosure” patents, which basically prevent someone else from obtaining a patent. Before accepting the assertion that patent #xxxx is the smoking gun, read it to be sure it isn’t about gastroenteritis in pigs. Also, go to the primary source before citing articles in the literature.

Then, of course, she pushed the idea that the virus was intentionally leaked:

The origin of COVID-19 is clearly important, as we want to prevent it from happening again. But sophisticated military intelligence would probably be required to discover exactly what happened – and what if military intelligence is complicit? What is the likelihood that the creator of a biological warfare weapon would register a patent for it?

If a heinous crime has been committed, the public is relieved to hear that the perp is in custody. But what if the suspect is innocent, and all the effort is focused on obtaining circumstantial evidence to convict him, while the real culprit is free, planning another crime?

What if the attack on one suspect is either a deliberate or an unintentional diversion from real, plainly identified and unquestionably responsible miscreants – the ones who suppressed early treatment, created exaggerated or fabricated case counts, destroyed livelihoods, enforced rigid and harmful hospital and lockdown protocols, coerced people to accept a vaccine, bribed doctors to get their patients injected, hid vaccine adverse reaction reports, or censored the truth?

Isn’t Orient the one who’s censoring the truth by continuing to cling to conspiracy theories instead of reporting what credible medical professionals say because it’s good and profitable clickbait that her far-right audience demands?

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