by Robin Koerner
January 31, 2023
Scott Adams is the
creator of the famous cartoon strip,
It is a strip whose brilliance derives from close
observation and understanding of human behavior.
Some time ago,
Scott turned those skills to commenting insightfully and with
notable intellectual humility on the politics and culture of our
Like many other
commentators, and based on his own analysis of evidence available to
him, he opted to take the Covid "vaccine."
he posted a
video on the topic that has been circulating on social media.
was a mea culpa in which he declared,
were the winners," and, to his great credit, "I want to find out how
so many of [my viewers] got the right answer about the 'vaccine' and
perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek:
he seemingly means that the "unvaccinated" do not have to worry about the long-term consequences
of having the "vaccine" in their bodies since enough data concerning
the lack of safety of the "vaccines" have now appeared to
demonstrate that, on the balance of risks, the choice not to be "vaccinated" has been vindicated for
individuals without comorbidities...
What follows is a
personal response to Scott, which explains how consideration of the
information that was available at the time led one person - me - to
It is not meant to imply that all who
accepted the "vaccine" made the wrong decision or, indeed, that
everyone who declined it did so for good reasons.
have said that the "vaccine" was created in a hurry.
may or may not be true.
Much of the research for mRNA "vaccines" had already been done over many years, and
corona-viruses as a class are well understood so it was at
least feasible that only a small fraction of the "vaccine"
development had been hurried.
The much more important point was that
was rolled out without long-term testing. Therefore
one of two conditions applied.
Either no claim could be made
with confidence about the long-term safety of the "vaccine"
or there was some amazing scientific argument for a
once-in-a-lifetime theoretical certainty concerning the
long-term safety of this "vaccine."
The latter would be so
extraordinary that it might (for all I know) even be a first
in the history of medicine. If that were the case, it would
have been all that was being talked about by the scientists;
it was not...
Therefore, the more obvious, first state of
nothing could be claimed with confidence
about the long-term safety of the "vaccine."
Given, then, that the long-term safety of the
a theoretical crapshoot, the unquantifiable long-term risk
of taking it could only be justified by an extremely high
certain risk of not taking it.
and scientific argument could only be made for its use by
those at high risk of severe illness if exposed to COVID.
Even the very earliest data immediately showed that I (and
the overwhelming majority of the population) was not in the
The continued insistence on rolling out the "vaccine" to the
entire population when the data revealed that those with no comorbidities were at low risk of
severe illness or death
from COVID was therefore immoral and ascientific on its
The argument that reduced transmission from the
non-vulnerable to the vulnerable as a result of mass "vaccination" could only stand
if the long-term
safety of the "vaccine" had been established, which it had
Given the lack of proof of long-term safety,
the mass-"vaccination" policy was clearly putting at risk
young or healthy lives to save old and unhealthy ones.
policy makers did not even acknowledge this, express
any concern about the grave responsibility they were taking
on for knowingly putting people at risk, or indicate how
they had weighed the risks before reaching their policy
Altogether, this was a very strong
reason not to trust the policy or the people setting it.
At the very least, if the gamble with people's health and
lives represented by the coercive "vaccination" policy had
been taken following an adequate cost-benefit analysis, that
decision would have been a tough judgment call.
presentation of it would have involved the equivocal
language of risk-balancing and the public availability of
information about how the risks were weighed and the
decision was made.
the language of
policy-makers was dishonestly unequivocal and
the advice they offered suggested no risk whatsoever
of taking the "vaccine."
This advice was simply
false (or if you prefer, misleading,) on the evidence of the
time inasmuch as it was unqualified.
Data that did not support COVID policies were actively and
This raised the bar of sufficient evidence for certainty
that the "vaccine" was safe and efficacious. Per the
foregoing, the bar was not met.
of even the early available data showed that
establishment was prepared to do much more harm in terms of
human rights and spending public resources to prevent a
COVID death than any other kind of death.
An explanation of this
overreaction was required. The kindest guess as to what was
driving it was "good-old, honest panic."
But if a policy is
being driven by panic, then the bar for going along with it
moves up even higher.
A less kind guess is that there were
undeclared reasons for the policy, in which case, obviously,
the "vaccine" could not be trusted...
clearly generated a health panic and a moral panic, or mass
That brought into play many
very strong cognitive biases and
natural human tendencies against rationality and
Evidence of those biases was
the severing of close kin
and kith relationships
the ill-treatment of people by
others who used to be perfectly decent
the willingness of
parents to cause developmental harm to their children, calls
for large-scale rights violations that were made by large
numbers of citizens of previously free countries without any
apparent concern for the horrific implications of those
the straight-faced, even anxious, compliance with
policies that should have warranted responses of laughter
from psychologically healthy individuals (even if
they had been necessary or just helpful).
In the grip of
such panic or mass formation psychosis the evidential bar
for extreme claims (such as the safety and moral necessity
of injecting oneself with a form of gene therapy that has
not undergone long-term testing) rises yet further.
companies responsible for manufacturing and ultimately
profiting from the "vaccination" were given
Why would a government do that if it
really believed that the "vaccine" was safe and wanted to
instill confidence in it?
And why would I put something in
my body that the government has decided can harm me without
my having any legal redress?
"vaccine"-skeptical were wrong, there would still have been
two good reasons not to suppress their data or views.
we are a liberal democracy that values free speech as a
fundamental right and second, their data and arguments could
be shown to be fallacious.
The fact that
decided to violate our fundamental values and suppress
discussion invites the question of "Why?"
That was not
satisfactorily answered beyond, "It's easier for them to
impose their mandates in a world where people do not
dissent," but that is an argument against compliance, rather
than for it.
a priori suggests that the information has persuasive force.
distrust anyone who distrusts me to determine which
information and arguments are good and which are bad when it
is my health that is at stake - especially when the
people who are promoting censorship are hypocritically
acting against their declared beliefs in
consent and bodily autonomy.
PCR test was held up as the "gold standard"
diagnostic test for COVID.
A moment's reading about how the PCR test works indicates that it is no such thing.
Its use for diagnostic purposes is more of an art than a
science, to put it kindly.
Kary Mullis, who in 1993 won the
Nobel Prize in Chemistry for inventing the PCR technique
his career to say as much when people tried to use it as
a diagnostic test for HIV to justify a mass program of
pushing experimental anti-retroviral drugs on early AIDS
patients, which ultimately killed tens of thousands of
This raises the question,
"How do the people who are
generating the data that we saw
on the news every night and
were being used to justify the mass 'vaccination' policy
handle the uncertainty around PCR-based diagnoses?"
don't have a satisfactory answer to this question, your bar
for taking the risk of "vaccination" should once again go
(On a personal note, to get the answer before making my
decision about whether to undergo "vaccination," I sent
exactly this question, via a friend, to an epidemiologist at
That epidemiologist, who was personally
involved in generating the up-to-date data on the spread of
'pandemic' globally, replied merely that s/he works with the
data s/he's given and does not question its accuracy or
means of generation.
In other words, the
was largely based on data generated by processes that were
not understood or even questioned by the generators of that
generalize the last point, a supposedly conclusive
claim by someone who demonstrably cannot justify their claim
should be discounted.
In the case of the COVID
'pandemic', almost all people who acted as if the "vaccine"
was safe and effective had no physical or informational
evidence for the claims of safety and efficacy beyond the
supposed authority of other people who made them.
includes many medical professionals - a problem that was
being raised by some of their number (who, in many cases,
were censored on social media and even lost their jobs or
Anyone could read the CDC infographics on mRNA
"vaccines" and, without being a scientist, generate obvious
"But what if..?" questions that could be asked of experts to
check for themselves whether the pushers of the "vaccines"
would personally vouch for their safety.
CDC put out an infographic that stated the following.
"How does the vaccine work?
The mRNA in the vaccine teaches your cells how to
make copies of the spike protein. If you are exposed to
the real virus later, your body will recognize it and
know how to fight it off.
After the mRNA delivers the
instructions, your cells break it down and get rid of
All right. Here are some obvious questions to ask, then.
"What happens if the instructions delivered to cells to
generate the spike protein are not eliminated from the body
How can we be sure that such a situation will
If someone cannot answer those questions, and
he is in a position of political or medical authority, then
he shows himself to be willing to push potentially harmful
policies without considering the risks involved.
of the above, a serious person at least had to keep an eye
out for published safety and efficacy data as the 'pandemic'
Six-month Safety and Efficacy Study was
The very large number of its authors was remarkable
and their summary claim was that the tested vaccine was
effective and safe.
The data in the paper showed more deaths
per head in the "vaccinated" group than "unvaccinated"
difference does not statistically establish that the shot is
dangerous or ineffective, the generated data were clearly compatible
with (let us put it kindly) the incomplete safety of the "vaccine" - at odds with the front-page summary.
(It's almost as if even
professional scientists and clinicians exhibit bias and motivated
reasoning when their work becomes politicized.)
At the very least, a
lay reader could see that the "summary findings" stretched, or at
least showed a remarkable lack of curiosity about, the data
- especially given what was at stake and the awesome responsibility
of getting someone to put something untested inside their body.
went on, it became very
clear that some of the informational claims that had been
made to convince people to get "vaccinated," especially by
and media commentators,
If those policies had
been genuinely justified by the previously claimed "facts,"
then determination of the falsity of those "facts" should
have resulted in a change in policy or, at the very least,
expressions of clarification and regret by people who had
previously made those incorrect but pivotal claims.
Basic moral and scientific standards demand that individuals
put clearly on the record the requisite corrections and
retractions of statements that might influence decisions
that affect health.
If they don't, they should not be
trusted - especially given the huge potential
consequences of their informational errors for an
increasingly "vaccinated" population.
That, however, never
If the "vaccine"-pushers had acted in
then in the wake of the publication of new data throughout
the 'pandemic', we would have been hearing (and perhaps even
accepting) multiple mea culpas.
We heard no such
thing from political officials, revealing an almost
across-the-board lack of integrity, moral seriousness, or
concern with accuracy.
The consequently necessary
discounting of the claims previously made by officials left
no trustworthy case on the pro-lockdown, pro-"vaccine" side
To offer some examples of statements that were proven false
by data but not explicitly walked back:
"You're not going to get COVID if you get these
vaccinations… We are in a 'pandemic' of the unvaccinated." -
"The vaccines are safe. I promise you…"
- Joe Biden
"The vaccines are safe and effective."
"Our data from the CDC suggest that vaccinated people do not
carry the virus, do not get sick - and it's not just in the
clinical trials but it's also in real world data." - Dr.
"We have over 100,000 children, which we've never had
before, in… in serious condition and many on ventilators." -
Justice Sotomayor (during a case to determine legality of
Federal "vaccine" mandates)…
… and so on and so on.
The last one is particularly interesting because it was made
by a judge in a Supreme Court case to determine the legality
of the federal mandates.
Subsequently, the aforementioned
Dr. Walensky, head of the CDC, who had previously made a
false statement about the efficacy of the "vaccine,"
confirmed under questioning that the number of children in
hospital was only 3,500 - not 100,000.
To make more strongly the point about prior claims and
policies' being contradicted by subsequent findings but not,
as a result, being reversed, the same Dr. Walensky, head of
the CDC, said,
"the overwhelming number of deaths
- over 75% - occurred in people that had at least four comorbidities.
So really these were people who were unwell
to begin with."
That statement so completely
undermined the entire justification for the policies of
mass-"vaccination" and lockdowns that any intellectually
honest person who supported them would at that point have to
reassess their position.
average Joe might well
have missed that piece of information from the CDC, it was
the government's own information so the
presidential Joe (and his agents) certainly could not have
Where was the sea change in policy to match the
sea change in our understanding of the risks associated with COVID, and therefore the cost-benefit balance of the
untested (long-term) "vaccine" vs. the risk associated with
being infected with COVID?
It never came...
the policy positions nor their supposed factual basis could
the new science that explained why, for the first time in
history, a "vaccine" would be more effective than
natural exposure and consequent immunity?
urgency to get a person who has had COVID and now has some
immunity to get "vaccinated" after the fact?
overall political and cultural context in which the
entire discourse on "vaccination" was being conducted was
such that the evidential bar for the safety and efficacy of
the "vaccine" was raised yet further while our ability to
determine whether that bar had been met was reduced.
conversation with an "unvaccinated" person (and as an
educator and teacher, I was involved in very many), always
involved the "unvaccinated" person being put
into a defensive posture of having to justify himself to the
"vaccine"-supporter as if his position was de facto more harmful than the contrary one.
In such a context,
accurate determination of facts is almost impossible:
moral judgment always inhibits objective empirical
When dispassionate discussion of an issue
is impossible because judgment has saturated discourse, drawing conclusions of sufficient accuracy and
with sufficient certainty to promote rights violations and
the coercion of medical treatment, is next to impossible.
analytics (and Scott's point about "our" heuristics beating
"their" analytics), precision is not accuracy.
Indeed, in contexts of great uncertainty and complexity,
precision is negatively correlated with accuracy.
(A more precise claim is less likely to be correct.)
the COVID panic began with modeling.
Modeling is dangerous
inasmuch as it puts numbers on things; numbers are precise;
and precision gives an illusion of accuracy - but under
great uncertainty and complexity, model outputs are
dominated by the uncertainties on the input variables that
have very wide (and unknown) ranges and the multiple
assumptions that themselves warrant only low confidence.
Therefore, any claimed precision of a model's output is
bogus and the apparent accuracy is only and entirely that - apparent.
We saw the same
with HIV in the '80s and '90s.
Models at that time determined
that up to one-third of the heterosexual population could contract
Oprah Winfrey offered that statistic on one of her shows,
alarming a nation.
The first industry to know that this was absurdly
wide of the mark was the insurance industry when all of the
bankruptcies that they were expecting on account of payouts on life
insurance policies did not happen.
When the reality did not match
the outputs of their models, they knew that the assumptions on which
those models were based were false - and that the pattern of the
disease was very different from what had been declared.
For reasons beyond
the scope of this article, the falseness of those assumptions could
have been determined at the time.
Of relevance to us today, however,
is the fact that those models helped to create an entire AIDS
industry, which pushed experimental antiretroviral drugs on people
with HIV no doubt in the sincere belief that the drugs might help
Those drugs killed hundreds of thousands of people.
(By the way, the
man who announced the "discovery" of HIV from the White House - not
in a peer-reviewed journal - and then pioneered the huge and deadly
reaction to it was the very same
Anthony Fauci who has been gracing
our television screens over the last few years.)
approach to data on COVID and policy development would have
driven the urgent development of a system to collect
accurate data on COVID infections and the outcomes of COVID
'powers that be' did the very
opposite, making policy decisions that
knowingly reduced the accuracy of collected data in a way
that would serve their political purposes.
stopped distinguishing between
dying of COVID and dying
incentivized medical institutions to identify deaths as
caused by COVID when there was no clinical data to support
(This also happened during the
aforementioned HIV panic three decades ago.)
dishonesty of the pro-"vaccine" side was revealed by the
repeated changes of official definitions of clinical terms
like "vaccine" whose (scientific) definitions have been
fixed for generations (as they must be if science is to do
its work accurately: definitions of scientific terms can
change, but only when our understanding of their referents
changing the meanings of words rather than simply telling the
truth using the same words they had been using from the
Their actions in this regard were entirely
disingenuous and anti-science.
The evidential bar moves up
again and our ability to trust the evidence slides down.
I mentioned at the top of this article), Scott Adams asked,
could I have determined that the data that ["vaccine"-skeptics] sent
me was the good data?"
He did not have to.
Those of us who got it
right or "won" (to use his word) needed only to accept the data of
those who were pushing the "vaccination" mandates.
Since they had
the greatest interest in the data pointing their way, we could put
an upper bound of confidence in their claims by testing those claims
against their own data.
For someone without comorbidities, that
upper bound was still too low to take the risk of "vaccination"
given the very low risk of severe harm from contracting
In this relation,
it is also worth mentioning that under the right contextual
absence of evidence is evidence of absence...
Those conditions definitely applied in the
there was a
massive incentive for all of the outlets who were pushing the "vaccine" to provide sufficient evidence to support their
unequivocal claims for the vaccine and lockdown policies and to
denigrate, as they did, those who disagreed.
They simply did not
provide that evidence, obviously because it did not exist...
that they would have provided it if it had existed, the lack of
evidence presented was evidence of its absence.
For all of the
above reasons, I moved from initially considering enrolling in a
vaccine trial to doing some open-minded due diligence to becoming
I generally believe in never saying
"never" so I was waiting until such time as the questions and issues
raised above were answered and resolved. Then, I would be
potentially willing to get "vaccinated," at least in principle...
Fortunately, not subjecting oneself to a treatment leaves one with
the option to do so in the future. (Since the reverse is not the
case, by the way, the option value of "not acting yet" weighs
somewhat in favor of the cautious approach.)
However, I remember
the day when my decision not to take the "vaccine" became a firm
one. A conclusive point brought me to deciding that I would not be
taking the "vaccine" under prevailing conditions.
A few days later,
I told my mother on a phone call,
"They will have to strap me to a
the risks associated with a COVID infection on the one hand,
and the "vaccine" on the other,
policy enabled massive human rights violations.
Those who were
"vaccinated" were happy to see the "unvaccinated" have basic freedoms removed (the freedom to
speak freely, work, travel, be with loved ones at important
moments such as births, deaths, funerals etc.) because their
status as "vaccinated" allowed them to accept back as
privileges-for-the-"vaccinated" the rights that had been
removed from everyone else.
Indeed, many people grudgingly
admitted that they got "vaccinated" for that very
reason, e.g. to keep their job or go out with their
that would have been to be complicit in the destruction,
by precedent and participation, of the most basic rights on
which our peaceful society depends.
People have died to secure those rights for me and my
compatriots. As a teenager, my Austrian grandfather fled to
England from Vienna and promptly joined Churchill's army to
Hitler was the man who murdered his father,
my great-grandfather, in Dachau for being a Jew.
began as a way to quarantine the Jews who were regarded as
vectors of disease that had to have their rights removed for
the protection of the wider population.
In 2020, all I had
to do in defense of such rights was to put up with limited
travel and being barred from my favorite restaurants, etc.,
for a few months...
Even if I were some
weird statistical outlier such that COVID might hospitalize me
despite my age and good health, then so be it:
if it were going to
take me, I would not let it take my principles and rights in the
And what if I
What if the
massive abrogation of rights that was the response of
governments around the world to a 'pandemic' with a tiny fatality
rate among those who were not "unwell to begin with" (to use the
expression of the Director of the CDC) was not going to end in a
What if it were
going to go on forever?
In that case, the
risk to my life from COVID would be nothing next to the risk to all
of our lives as we take to the streets in the last, desperate hope
of wresting back the most basic freedoms of all from a State that
has long forgotten that it legitimately exists only to protect them
and, instead, sees them now as inconvenient obstacles to be worked
around or even destroyed...