Our research stated here, The Highwire with Del Bigtree, a place not unfamiliar to us in the recent months spent researching covid quacks and anti-vaxxers. Del Bigtree is who conspiracy theorists and fringe medicine turn to, to amplify their voices. If it’s controversial, anti-establishment, and based on pseudo-science, then Bigtree is your man. He also happens to be the king of the anti-vaxxers. Here is the flattering intro he provides Vanden Bossche, an intro we will completely discredit further into the article.
World renown vaccine specialist, Geert Vanden Bossche, gave a groundbreaking interview this week risking his reputation and his career by bravely speaking out against administration of #Covid19 vaccines. In what may be one of the most important stories ever covered by The Highwire, the vaccine developer shared his extreme concerns about these vaccines in particular and why we may be on track to creating a global immunity catastrophe.
We aren’t going to bother linking to the “brave, reputation-risking” Vanden Bossche article. If you want to waste your time reading it, you can always find it on his 12-day old Twitter account, if it hasn’t been suspended by now, or on one of the many channels promoting anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theories, just scroll down to A for Alien-Abductions and Anti-Vaxxers.
Vanden Bossche has gone to great lengths to explain to us in his opening statement that he is definitely not anti-vaccine. No sir, not in a month of Sundays. Not little old me. Our response? Thou doth protest too much. Here’s an exert of just how much he in fact protests.
I am all but an antivaxxer. As a scientist I do not usually appeal to any platform of this kind to make a stand on vaccine-related topics. As a dedicated virologist and vaccine expert I only make an exception when health authorities allow vaccines to be administered in ways that threaten public health, most certainly when scientific evidence is being ignored. The present extremely critical situation forces me to spread this emergency call. As the unprecedented extent of human intervention in the Covid-19- pandemic is now at risk of resulting in a global catastrophe without equal, this call cannot sound loudly and strongly enough.
As stated, I am not against vaccination. On the contrary, I can assure you that each of the current vaccines have been designed, developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists. However, this type of prophylactic vaccines are completely inappropriate, and even highly dangerous, when used in mass vaccination campaigns during a viral pandemic. Vaccinologists, scientists and clinicians are blinded by the positive short-term effects in individual patents, but don’t seem to bother about the disastrous consequences for global health. Unless I am scientifically proven wrong, it is difficult to understand how current human interventions will prevent circulating variants from turning into a wild monster.
Racing against the clock, I am completing my scientfic manuscript, the publication of which is, unfortunately, likely to come too late given the ever increasing threat from rapidly spreading, highly infectious variants. This is why I decided to already post a summary of my findings as well as my keynote speech at the recent Vaccine Summit in Ohio on LinkedIn. Last Monday, I provided international health organizations, including the WHO, with my analysis of the current pandemic as based on scientifically informed insights in the immune biology of Covid-19.
Sadly for Vanden Bossche, this is an all too familiar tactic employed by almost every single critic of the covid vaccine and laughably, even some anti-vaxxers. In fact, his whole concept looks and sounds suspiciously plagiarized. Perhaps Dr.Hooman Noorchashm might consider legal action if he doesn’t have his hands too full right now.
Take these points raised by David Gorski on his blog, in an article that thoroughly eviscerates our European “expert”.
Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has not published his concerns in the scientific literature. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche bases his concerns not on data, but theoretical “basic science” concerns about immunology. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has sounded his “warning” to various health authorities. Like Dr. Noorchashm, Dr. Vanden Bossche has taken to social media to air his concerns, and his message has been enthusiastically embraced by anti-vaxxers:
Vanden Bossche has published a scant amount of work, and tellingly he chooses predatory publishers like Longdom, owner of the Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination. It’s a dubious publication at best and is listed as predatory on Beals List. Longdom Publishing enjoys no credibility as a medical publisher, and articles are not peer-reviewed or exposed to scrutiny.
Why not choose recognized and peer-reviewed journals to publish into? Well, if the work you’re publishing is dubious, not based on evidence but rather wild conjecture you’ve formulated in your own mind and not scientifically tested in the real world, well then Predatory publications are the way to go, followed by the hugely reliable, science-based platform of social media and the anti-vaxxer vlog circuit.
Here is an open question to Vanden Bossche. If you’re so eager not to be perceived as an anti-vaxxer why have you climbed into bed with them, why do you align yourself with people like Bigtree, Wakefield, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jnr, who actively seek to undermine the science of vaccines? I’m really interested to know? Are they simply using you and you’re too stupid to see it or was their bus the only one that stopped to pick you up? I suspect the latter.
I’ve decided to opt for a different approach on this article and will, instead of trying to disassemble the fictional ramblings of Vanden Bossche, allow others, more knowledgable in the field, to step into the breach. Many experts (real ones) have already taken the article to pieces, explaining in scientific (real science) terms why Vanden Bossche is deluded.
There another reason for this approach. Vanden Bossche bases his claims on well-established and accepted vaccine science. He is intimately familiar with his topic and if you wish to understand exactly why his statements and warnings are completely fanciful, you will need a far more detailed explanation than we are able to provide here. Fortunately, very qualified individuals have stepped forward and provided exact and specific deconstructions of his fanciful theories. Here then, in no particular order
Dr. Zubin Damania provides a fantastic video with a simplified explanation of why Vanden Bossche is wrong. If you’re not that technically inclined, this video will provide a far clearer understanding than the articles listed below which focus on the specifics of vaccines.
An essential read by respectfulinsolence.com, well written and referenced, for those looking to understand the more technical flaws in Vanden Bossche’s theories. The article also highlights how Vanden Bossche has borrowed and plagiarized his concepts from well-known anti-vaxxers and other vaccine skeptics.
A detailed deconstruction offered by Edward Nirenberg. Orac describes this article fittingly as Nirenberg’s demolition of Vanden Bossche’s nonsense about “innate immunity,”. Definitely for the more technically minded, the arguments posed by Nirenberg conclusively bury Vanden Bossche.
Still think Vanden Bossche is a renowned vaccine expert? This article will expose him for who he really is. Discover the real Vanden Bossche in this article on Vaxopedia by Vincent Iannelli, MD. If you were wondering why you’d never heard about Vanden Bossche before today, this article will put you dead to rights.
The final word
Is Vanden Bossche merely deluded, or simply misguided in his interpretation of vaccine science. His level of education and experience in the field tend to suggest another agenda, as does his regurgitation of existing vaccine rhetoric, notably those offered by Andrew Wakefield and Hooman Noorchashm. He is rebranding their narratives for his own agenda, but what is that agenda?
Wakefield, if you didn’t know, is the disgraced and disavowed author of a retracted, fraudulent paper on MMR vaccines, supposedly linking autism to the MMR vaccine. Despite the best efforts of many, Wakefield continues to seek the spotlight and frequently pens misleading drivel. He has become one of the roach poster-boys for anti-vaxxers.
On the topic of grift, let’s turn to another article that seeks to expose Vanden Bossche’s not-so-hidden agenda.
In an article published in the Defender, Rosemary Frei, MSc, outlines what she says are “a few of the dozens of clues” suggesting that Bossche’s argument “is a continuation of the overall COVID deception.” There be gold in them thar hills!
There’s abundant evidence that Vanden Bossche has a not-so-hidden agenda. For example, just before the three-minute mark in the video interview of Vanden Bossche by McMillan, Vanden Bossche indicates he’s a long-time vaccine developer. He adds he’s now focusing on vaccines that “educate the immune system in ways that are to some extent more efficient than we do right now with our conventional vaccines.” Clearly he’s got significant conflicts of interest. Therefore he has zero credibility when it comes to advising the public or anyone else about how to avoid negative effects of mass vaccination.
We’ll accord the honors of the closing paragraph to David Gorski, who echoes our sentiments on Vanden Bossche.
You know what? I think that grifters recognize fellow grifters, and Frei recognized that Dr. Vanden Bossche is stoking fear of existing COVID-19 vaccines to produce a sales rationale for his own NK-based vaccine, just as Andrew Wakefield stoked fear of the MMR in order to support his own measles vaccine. Grifters of a feather, and all that, and, of course, grifters gonna grift. Always.
UPDATE: May 8, 2021, We’ve added a new piece on Geert Vanden Bossche’s disinformation campaign. You can read the article here