Covid Vaccine Misinformation and Trolls

Covid Vaccine Misinformation and Trolls October 13, 2021

Cath Olic, our resident Catholic troll commenter appears to be anti-vaccine but pro-livestock deworming medication. He sure has an odd preference in what chemicals he whacks in his body.

Of course, this has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with whatever source of disinformation he likes to spoonfed himself on an hourly basis. It’s desperately sad.

I have let him say some things on another thread because it gives me great joy to see people combat his nonsense with, you know, rational evidence. I have deleted a few of his ones, but kept others for lurkers to see.

Here is an example of one conversation from a piece by Bert. Cath Olic started with:

A commenter below responded to me in part by providing this link:…

But I see in it something he doesn’t, or at least he hasn’t responded to.

Table 1 indicates that of all deaths in England 2 January-2 July 2021, 19% involved Covid-19, but
39% were after the first vaccine dose or withing 21 days of the second.

Beau Quilter returned fire:

Nope. Your math is wrong.

In Table 1:

51,281 deaths involving Covid-19

Of those:

4,388 deaths within 21 days of first vaccination dose
7,289 deaths 21 days or more after first dose
182 deaths within 21 days of first dose

(4,388+7,289+182) / 51,281 = .23

That’s 23 percent, way lower than the completely unvaccinated (76%), and unsurprising given that full effectiveness of the vaccine required two doses.

Cath Olic was unperturbed:

No, Beau. Your math is improperly excluding “Non-Covid-19 deaths”.

Beau Quilter was on it:

Well, my numbers very “properly” showed the low percentage of Covid-19 deaths among those who’d only received the 1st dose.

That’s what I thought you were trying to show.

If that’s not what you were trying to show with your 39% … then … ah …. surely you didn’t mean to imply that all those people died FROM the vaccine? You do know that people die from cancer, diabetes, car accidents, heart attacks, strokes, respiratory disease, Alzheimers, and hundreds of other causes?

If so, then your “evidence” that people die of the vaccine is basically …. uh, so people in England died, from stuff other than Covid 19 … so … you know … the vaccination musta killed ’em …

Though, if you wanted to do your homework, you could click on the link in the article for the per/month datasets on other causes of death … just glancing at the first few months, Alzheimers tends to be the highest percentage after Covid.

Cynthia added:

Gee, it’s almost like if you start vaccinating the oldest people first, and you also make a policy decision to delay second shots so that you have the supply to give more people first doses, you might have some people die of old age in between the first and second shots. It was only in June, 2021 that the vaccinations were available to everyone 18 and over in the UK. So yeah, people with one dose were making up a significant number of total deaths, because they were older and older people are more likely to die than 18-30 year olds.

Of course, our troll wouldn’t do the 3 sec. of google research required to find this on the Wikipedia page about the UK vaccine rollout:

“Phase 1 of the rollout prioritises the most vulnerable, in a schedule primarily based on age. The delivery plan was adjusted on 30 December 2020, delaying second doses so that more people could receive their first dose. A target to give all 15 million people in the top four priority groups their first dose by the middle of February 2021 was announced on 4 January 2021, and achieved on 14 February 2021. The next five groups were offered a vaccine by 15 April, and 32 million doses
were administered by that point. In June 2021, all adults aged 18+ were able to get their first dose of a vaccine. In August 2021, all children aged 16 and 17 were able to get their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.[5] In September 2021, children aged 12-15 were authorized to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.[6]” “

So on and so forth – you get the picture.

Then there were the Ivermectin threads.

J_Enigma32 chipped in:

So, a crash course on Ivermectin.

Ivermectin is a deworming agent mostly used for treating things like river blindness, strongyloidiasis, scabies, mites, and other skin disorders caused by helminths (parasitic worms) and arthropods. It works on helminths and arthropods because it interferes with the nerve and muscle interactions, binding mostly to the glutamate-gated chloride channels that are common in invertebrates. In doing this, it forces open these channels and it paralyzes the worm and insect, killing it. It’s only safe for mammals because the only place these gates occur is in the spinal cord and it can’t cross the blood brain barrier. It wouldn’t be wrong to think of Ivermectin as a type of pesticide.

Now, what about its treatment in COVID? Well, Ivermectin has demonstrated some antiviral properties:

(1) In vitro

(2) In a ‮yeknom‬ kidney

These properties are achieved because it seems to inhibit the way the virus reproduces

(1) In vitro

(2) In a ‮yeknom‬ kidney

But here’s the catch: In order to replicate these effects in a human, you would need to take well above the safe amount, which would inhibit the transmission of importin α/β1, which transports proteins inside of a cell. At the amounts necessary to achieve antiviral effects, Ivermectin is toxic to humans. And that’s to replicate some effects; you still won’t get the antiviral effects of a vaccination. The studies that are held up as “evidence” are all seriously flawed, the maker of the product has announced that it isn’t safe to use and isn’t approved for it, and most importantly, it costs ‮gnikcuf‬ money. Why are you paying for a treatment when the free option is literally there in your face?

I understand Ivermectin use in Latin America, South Africa, and other places. Vaccination roll-out there has been horrible and spotty, and people are getting desperate.

But stupid, spoiled Americans who are just looking to signal their tribal affiliation? No, that makes no sense and it’s grotesque given you have access to a treatment that much of the world does not. It’s a sick, sad parody.

Cath Olic splurged, at least three times, a list of studies that might appear to defend Ivermectin use (for Covid…?). This is odd, because he is happy to cherry-pick data that apparently supports Ivermectin use, but is not happy to cherry-pick data that support vaccine use.

Because this isn’t about data. This isn’t about science. This isn’t about rationality. This is about psychology and bias.

After his posting of the list of some 40 or so studies, Cynthia retorted:

I see you’ve cited Elgazzar several times. You know that study was retracted due to serious problems with the raw data set, right?…

You also mention Carvalho. His “study” was also highly suspect, with data not being made available and experts concluding it was highly unlikely that the experiments took place as described.…

Oh, and make sure it involves COVID-19 and not parasites….

You have posted a constant stream of irrelevant or debunked garbage, and I need to drive to work, so you can actually read the stuff you post and let me know which studies involve peer-reviewed trials in humans, and haven’t been retracted….

Why are we supposed to be impressed with ivermectin successfully treating completely unrelated conditions? Yes, we know it kills parasites. COVID-19 is not caused by parasites.

Also, please set out your comprehensive criteria for deciding when a drug has been sufficiently studied for a condition that you would suggest that people take it.

And then she added this gem:

I think he is only about pumping out misinformation and links that someone else provides. He shows no evidence of having actually read the stuff he links, doesn’t know basic terminology and often posts links that prove the opposite of the point he thinks they make.

He doesn’t post under the screen names we know except on sites where he will encounter opposition. He has almost no upvotes. He never engages in anything resembling personal talk or conversation. Some right-wing posters do, and give some indication of being real people. I’m not convinced that skl/Cath Olic is an actual human, or if human, that he’s not posting from a troll farm.

J_Enigma32 observed:

Also, note there’s only FOUR studies in there that even reference COVID-19, all of which agree with what I said: it works in animal models, it works to slightly reduce virus reproduction. None of those studies change the fact that the amount of Ivermectin you’d need to achieve even marginal antiviral effects inhibit the transmission of importin α/β1, and many of the COVID-19 related studies have been retracted or corrected because of bad methodology.

I bet you can’t explain how Ivermectin works against COVID-19, can you? Because I can. And it still isn’t as effective – not remotely – as a vaccination, which is both free and in available everywhere. Unlike Ivermectin, which gets used in those countries because they don’t have access in the vaccination – which many would gladly take.

Take the advice of your hero:

“You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. You got to do what you have to do, but I recommend: Take the vaccines. I did it – it’s good,” [Trump] said.

Cath Olic thought he had a comeback:

Here’s another from Cath Olic:

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for COVID-19, with a weekly ‮laro‬ dose of Ivermectin 0.2 mg/kg, was statistically significant in the exposed healthcare personnel, at the CMBO and CMPC, after 28 days of follow up, with only 1.8 % of the physicians and health collaborators developing SARS-CoV-2 infection versus 6.6% in the control group (p-value = 0.006). Ivermectin reduced the risk of contagion with COVID-19 by 74% compared to the control group (HR 0.26, 95% CI [0.10, 0.71]).”…

Bert put him straight:

Conclusions and Relevance Ivermectin may not improve clinically important outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and its effects as a prophylactic intervention in exposed individuals are uncertain. Previous reports concluding significant benefits associated with ivermectin are based on potentially biased results reported by studies with substantial methodological limitations. Further research is needed.

This from the same web site that you cited above. Either you did not look at a later report or you deliberately ignored it.…

Enigma added:

The ivermectin reviews published in the American Journal of Therapeutics do not contain anything that should keep people from getting the vaccination . . . Clinical trials or legal off-label prescription of these drugs should be considered complimentary to universal vaccination.…

skl [Cath Olic] is probably vaccinated, like the rest of the people hawking this BS online.

They’re agent provocateurs spreading misinformation and costing literal lives. The world would be a better place if we didn’t have to read them at all, which is why I think it’s high time this hack gets banned….

And I’m not sure what they gain from it, unless they’re just that malicious or they’re being paid.

But at that point, even if I was being paid, I’d probably get up and walk away. But then, what do I know? I only have ethics and morality.

I thought I’d throw this one in from Cynthia, who has done a sterling job:

We need to put that “if the vaccine works, why do you care?” line to bed already.

Even people who are vaccinated will care because:
1. While the risk of dying of COVID is 11x higher for those who aren’t vaccinated, that doesn’t make it zero for those who are.
2. People who are immune compromised don’t have as strong of a response to the vaccines and are therefore more vulnerable.
3. Unvaccinated people in the ICU place an incredibly high burden on the health care system. If ICU beds are full, people who have heart attacks or serious car accidents or any other really serious problem might not get the timely treatment they need. Also, in order to prevent the ICU from becoming overwhelmed, hospitals are cancelling surgeries. This means that there are serious health problems that are not being treated, and that will cause more problems.
4. Governments will sometimes respond to overflowing ICU departments when they don’t respond to anything else. When they do respond, it tends to mean putting more restrictions in place that affect everyone.
5. Even if someone is a misguided fool on this particular issue, they might also be someone’s parent, spouse or otherwise play an important supportive role in someone else’s life. There is a societal impact if we suddenly have a lot of people dealing with grief and loss of support.

So no, “I”m vaccinated and therefore couldn’t care less if other people get seriously ill” is not a position that a lot of us can take.

I could give more examples. I laud the efforts of those who seek to correct and educate and inform. Just inform, no mis, no dis.

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