Pandemic Profiteers

If you go to the CCDH website, the home page (at the time of writing) talks about their polemic Pandemic Profiteers and has a link to the “report” as they call it. But the CCDH lies start before you even get to opening up the report – it states “The Anti-Vaxx industry boasts annual revenues of at least $36 million….”. Doesn’t this make you angry that people are making so much money out of their concerns about the ethics, safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines? Except CCDH is lying to you – doing just what they claim their targets are doing! The $36 million is mostly nothing to do with vaccine concerns – it is money that is earned from other business activities. There isn’t even an anti-vaxx industry – just people who share concerns and who share information about those concerns.

And these rabid pro-vaxxers in CCDH increase the hate by calling these people profiteers. All part of their attempts to portray their targets as evil. They obviously think they are right and that their hate and disinformation is justified. But when we have people like Imran Ahmed saying that people are telling outright lies, when he does that himself, it is the height of hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy too, is telling lies about the earnings of their targets and not telling the truth about where their own money comes from. Who is paying these rabid pro-vaxxers of CCDH to spread hate and lies against these dreaded “anti-vaxxers”.

There is too much hate and disinformation in their polemic Pandemic Profiteers to call out everything. Hopefully those who haven’t yet made up their minds about CCDH will take note of these examples of how they aim to mislead the reader and how they try to foster hate against those they target, and keep them in mind as they read the polemics that CCDH issues. Also keep them in mind when you hear Imran Ahmed talking – he sounds very convincing but makes false statements as if they were true and says things masquerading as facts, but which are just guesses and unverifiable.

MISLEADING INFORMATION (aka LIES)

From the Executive Summary:

  1. Anti-vaxxers represent an industry with annual revenues of at least $36 million“. As mentioned above, most of this is not vaccine related.
  2. Anti-vaxxers have received more than $1.5 million in federal loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help businesses through the Covid pandemic“. Most of these loans were unrelated to any vaccine concerns, so the comment is misleading and ignores that fact that these loans are designed to help businesses to keep their staff employed and is a public good. But Imran Ahmed is secure and wouldn’t worry about other people losing their jobs.
  3. The anti-vaxx industry’s total social media following of 62 million could be worth up to $1.1 billion to social media platforms based on publicly available figures for the amount of revenue social media platforms make per impression or per user where that information is not available“. This is misleading since some of these followers are the same persons following different people. Even if it were true, it amounts to 0.7 percent of the world’s population. I can’t comment on the $1.1 billion figure which is probably unverifiable. But if it is true, so what? Other than to generate hate against social media platforms. I think we know they make a lot of money anyway.
  4. Leading anti-vaxxers are collaborating to market each other’s disinformation and boost sales. Leading anti-vaxxers including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took part in a popular affiliate marketing scheme established by anti-vaxx entrepreneurs Ty and Charlene Bollinger which claims to have paid out $14 million to partners who promoted their health disinformation“. But if you read the relevant portion of the polemic, it states “With the exception of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s organisation, Children’s Health Defense, which has already admitted benefiting financially from one such arrangement, it is not clear whether other anti-vaxxers have profited from these schemes“. That is not quite what the executive summary implied.
  5. We recommend that social media platforms take action to stop anti-vaxxers profiting from undeclared paid promotions for products, something which is against both platform standards and advertising regulations in the US and UK“. Just to show that I am not as bigoted as CCDH, I agree with this. Things that are against the rules should be uniformly stopped.
  6. For-profit anti-vaxxers who repeatedly breach platform standards on dangerous misinformation should be deplatformed…“. I am not quite sure what they are saying here. Who decides what is “dangerous misinformation”? If the platform has clear rules about information, then they should be followed. But it is very dangerous if you have people like CCDH deciding what is “dangerous disinformation” because of their narrow and bigoted view. Best to allow everything unless it is proven to be untrue or unless it breaches any applicable law. Some of what CCDH brands as disinformation is actually good information. Unfortunately Facebook appears to have been influenced by CCDH’s disinformation because some of it seems to have seeped into their Covid-19 Policy (here: https://www.facebook.com/help/230764881494641/).

OTHER ITEMS IN THE REPORT DESIGNED TO ENGENDER MISTRUST OR HATE AGAINST THEIR TARGETS

“Covid-19 mRNA shots are legally not vaccines” – This is cited as the headline of an example article from their sample shared to Facebook 5,600 times.

I’m not sure why this was included unless to engender hate or mistrust against Dr Mercola. But it happens to be true. A vaccine against a virus contains weakened or killed virus to generate an immune response. That is a slightly simplified version of the definition, but is the essence of it. mRNA drugs don’t work the same way at all, which is why they are not vaccines. Imran Ahmed wants us to think of them as vaccines because he likes to say that vaccines have been protecting us for 200 years, so what’s not to love about Covid-19 “vaccines”. It is this new and unproven technology which has people worried, but Imran Ahmed doesn’t understand that. He thinks their concerns are “misinformation”.

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In a section entitled:
Mercola’s new book marries alternative health with conspiracy theories:
The author of the polemic states “Mercola recommends his own remedies for Covid, even claiming that “nebulized hydrogen peroxide” – breathing bleach – is “the most effective therapy for acute Covid-19”.”

There are two reasons that this statement is hateful: 1) Use of the word “even” as if to imply that this is far-fetched and ridiculous (it is actually quite sensible if you bother to research it); 2) Saying “breathing bleach”. Hydrogen Peroxide may be a bleach, but it is far removed from household bleach and the writer included that to try to ridicule Mercola and associate him with the ill-considered question that former President Trump raised about the use of bleach in treating Covid and for which he received widespread ridicule. Some people may not know the difference between hydrogen peroxide and household bleach and will be seriously misled by the author’s feeble attempt at being clever.

In fact, when Dr Mercola first wrote about this treatment, he was reporting on its use by a medical doctor who was having success with it and who had not had a patient die of Covid-19. Inhaling nebulized hydrogen peroxide is not a new treatment – it pre-dates Covid-19 by years. The writer is not only displaying his ignorance, but using it to spread hate and disinformation. This is shameful for an organization that professes to counter digital hate and misinformation. You should be questioning why this low cost treatment has not been rolled out to wider trials instead of ridiculing people by telling the lie that they advocate breathing bleach. I think you would agree that if this treatment is effective, it justifies those who oppose Covid-19 vaccination on the grounds that it is not fully effective and has, in some cases, catastrophic side effects. There are no adverse side effects of inhaling nebulized hydrogen peroxide at the low concentrations advocated by its proponents.

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What this comes down to is that you cannot trust CCDH. We don’t know who their paymasters are and why they are so desperate to make a point that they lie and stretch the truth and misrepresent it. Not everything they say is wrong, but how do you know what’s right? They are very good at denigrating those who think differently and good at directing hate and disinformation against them. They are unable to respond on scientific grounds – they just say things like “scientific consensus” and “undermining our collective confidence in doctors, governments and medical science” (see our page on “The Problem with Credibility”).

Just don’t believe anything that CCDH and Imran Ahmed say unless you already know it to be true. Anything else, you need to check or discard.

The Other Pandemic Profiteers

Not surprisingly, the CCDH polemic on Pandemic Profiteers does not mention the pro-vaxx profiteers.

An article in Money Week of 6 August, 2021 says “A few months ago Moderna, which received substantial funding from the US government, forecast that it would make $19.2bn in sales from its vaccine in 2021 alone……. Pfizer has done even better, raising its forecast for sales this year to $33.5bn“. Think what is going to happen to their sales as the whole world tries to get vaccinated and, since it is not very effective, countries line up to buy additional supplies for booster shots. You have to admit that’s good business – selling a product that needs boosting once or twice a year.

And what about CCDH and Imran Ahmed? Imran Ahmed seems to be making hay with media appearances, interviews, newspapers and magazines. But CCDH’s and Imran Ahmed’s funding is totally opaque.

Anti-Vax Watch: Who are they? Who funds them? How much do they get? No information is available on their website.

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