Covid Vaccine Discussion Continued: Insider or Accomplice?
Dr Geert Vanden Bossche’s critique of Covid vaccines provoked hostile responses, especially from medical journalist Rosemary Frei. But why has her YouTube interview been deleted while his remains?
A week ago, I published here an article about a recent intervention by Belgian scientist Dr Geert Vanden Bossche into the Covid vaccines issue, in which he made some sobering points about the danger that the vaccines, being the wrong kind for the present situation, may damage people’s natural immunity and lead to massive loss of life. I had been intending to publish a follow-up article highlighting some of the critical responses to Dr Vanden Bossche, in particular that of the Canadian journalist Rosemary Frei, who wrote a blog on her website critiquing the intervention and was interviewed on The Last American Vagabond on YouTube.
As it happens, although I would describe Frei as a remarkable journalist, and though she raised some interesting questions about Vanden Bosche, I was not as completely convinced by her dismissal of Dr Vanden Bossche’s intervention as others appear to have been. Her interview with The Last American Vagabond was disappointing, but this may have had more to do with the interviewer, who seemed more anxious to express his own scepticism about Vanden Bossche than probing into Frei’s perspectives.
Then, while working on the article, I discovered something that all but made up my mind: Rosemary Frei’s American Vagabond interview — her sole interview on the topic as far as I know — had been removed by YouTube, whereas Dr Vanden Bossche’s interview remains. A message on The Last American Vagabond site explained that the deletion had occurred because ‘the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated.’ A notice on YouTube added that the account had been ‘terminated for violations of YouTube’s terms of service.’ The Last American Vagabond has a presence on Bitchute but the Rosemary Frei video has not been posted on it.
Rosemary Frei is a medical journalist with impressive credentials. She has an MSc in molecular biology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and was a freelance medical writer and journalist from 1988 to 2016 when she became an ‘independent activist and investigative journalist.’
Frei is, to say the least, deeply sceptical of Dr Vanden Bossche’s intervention — both its content and motivation. She sees his recent paper and interview as propaganda rather than genuine contributions.
Some of her arguments are compelling; others less so. I watched her interview on The Last American Vagabond and was very impressed by her general demeanour. And yet, her specific criticisms of Dr Vanden Bossche were mainly circumstantial. She makes much of Dr Vanden Bossche’s connection with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and other vaccine proponents, but seems to discount the fact that he was open about all this.
She also questioned the credentials of the interviewer, Dr Phillip McMilllan, which I thought rather a peripheral matter. She is critical, too, of ‘vaccine sceptics’ Dr Vernon Coleman and the vlogger Del Bigtree for unquestioningly accepting Vanden Bossche’s analysis.
I felt her actual critique of Dr Vanden Bossche's analysis, though certainly significant in view of her record, was less thorough and detailed than would be required to debunk him. She claims that Dr Vanden Bossche appears ‘on the surface . . . to perhaps be addressing credible concerns about Covid.’ I believed, and still believe, that his intervention was credible and important.
She summarises his position reasonably comprehensively, as follows (my short commentaries, where I feel such to be appropriate) are in bold:
‘He’s saying that the current crop of Covid vaccines will cause the novel coronavirus to mutate into a “super-infectious virus.” And therefore he’s calling for an immediate halt of the use of the current vaccines.’
She is understandably suspicious because, having questioned the safety and viability of current vaccines, he proposed as a solution a different kind of vaccine:
‘He says that [i]f humans are “committed to perpetuating our species, we have no choice but to eradicate these highly infectious viral variants” via “large vaccination campaigns”.’
She goes on: ‘However, he continues, in contrast to the currently used Covid vaccines, these new vaccines must focus on stimulation of mass production of the component of the immune system known as natural killer cells.’
She claims this hypothesis is ‘unproven’, being based on theoretical frameworks designed to inflame fears about the supposed dangers of the new variants. She is extremely persuasive in her critique of the tests and studies used to isolate and analyse alleged new variants, but does not deal with the possibility that Dr Vanden Bossche is making a different point: that the problem arises much more from the vaccines than the alleged mutations.
Frei continues: ‘But from my experience as a former long-time medical writer and journalist (1988-2016) — particularly a four-month stint with media-relations giant FleishmanHillard in 1994 (yes, I’ve worked for the dark side) — this has all the hallmarks of a drug-company astroturf campaign. It’s another step in the decades-long erasure of the fact that our sophisticated and highly effective immune systems work well and don’t need any assistance from the biomedical/pharmaceutical industry.’
‘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 [Dr Phillip] 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.’
This seems excessive. Having just reminded her readers that she herself ‘worked for the dark side’ [and crossed over], she categorically denies the possibility that Vanden Bossche may be doing likewise. There is, obviously, the potential for vaccines being positive as well as negative: Most people have had several vaccinations, and have not suffered any undue consequences. The argument here is surely about dangerous, because untested vaccines.
She goes on: However, Bigtree, Coleman and others don’t point out any of the red flags. Despite taking Vanden Bossche’s assertions extremely seriously, these high-profile alternative-media figures don’t even do basic due diligence such as looking into McMillan, who’s the man who interviewed Vanden Bossche, or the company McMillan is apparently affiliated with, Vejon Health. Bigtree, for example, relies heavily on the McMillan interview for the content of his March 11 segment.
Again, this seems excessive. Del Bigtree does ‘rely’ on the interview between McMillan and Vanden Bossche — that’s because it’s the subject-matter of his broadcast. Dr Coleman, a longtime vaccine critic, who has published several books of vaccine critiques, was sufficiently concerned about the implications of Vanden Bossche’s analysis to discuss it on his own platforms. (Coleman, too, is banned from YouTube.)
Dr McMillan’s presence or input are neither here nor there. It is Vanden Bossche who is making the intervention, staking his reputation and providing the analysis. McMillan is there purely as a facilitator. Similarly, Frei’s later point that McMillan is ‘not an expert on vaccines’ is worth making but not decisive on any score.
Frei goes on: ‘As far as I know, McMillan and Vanden Bosch aren’t among the thousands of MDs, PhDs, and other people with graduate degrees or equivalent qualifications who have thoroughly debunked the official Covid narrative over the last 12 months. Rather, the pair suddenly popped out of the woodwork.’
This is worth noting but it does not negate the possibility that Vanden Bossche might now be seeking to do the right thing. He is not a 'Covid sceptic’, nor has he claimed to be. He is critical of the use of prophylactic vaccines in the present circumstances.
For all the foregoing reasons, she says, she ignored the Vanden Bossche interview and paper/open letter when she first heard about them a week earlier. She then goes on to relate her experience on a radio programme, in which she says she was frustrated by the presenter in raising points about the Vanden Bossche paper. She appears to regard this as suggestive but it is difficult to interpret without hearing the interview.
She then goes on to raise seven further objections to Vanden Boosche’s intervention, as follows:
1. He is affiliated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and other vaccine proponents. She says: ‘[W]hen combined with the contents of his open letter, it’s impossible to believe that he’s in fact an insider who’s now turned against his very high-powered comrades. It’s more likely that he’s their accomplice.’ This is certainly relevant, but Vanden Bossche has no more attempted to deny his dubious past connections than Frei has attempted to hide hers.
2. While asserting that the present crop of vaccines have been ‘developed and manufactured by brilliant and competent scientists’, Vanden Bossche does not say a word about the ‘massive adverse-event rate and very scant efficacy profile of the vaccines that were created by these “brilliant scientists”’. This is certainly true, though it is also possible that Vanden Bossche was here merely engaging in a spot of (transparent) professional diplomacy, ostentatiously praising the professionalism of colleagues while implicitly questioning it.
3. Vanden Bossche claimed there were major threats arising from the new variants, but her [Frei’s] research has shown that there is no proof that these variants are highly infectious or will become so soon. This is true: her analysis on this score is impressive, outlined here.
4. Whereas Vanden Bossche has claimed that the there is a major risk of ‘viral resistance’ arising because of the current vaccines, to the extent of rendering the virus impossible to suppress, Frei thinks this a minor risk. She says: ‘Remember, for example, that yearly flu mass vaccination hasn’t caused influenza to spiral out of control and decimate the global population.’ This is reassuring, and yet it strikes a note of irony that Frei is here seeming to defend the current vaccines from Vanden Bossche’s criticism, notwithstanding her objections to them.
5. She questions what she characterises as Vanden Bossche’s claim that the natural immunity of the body is inadequate to overcoming the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). She says this is ‘shaky ground’ and he has produced no evidence that it is actually happening. This is a complex technical argument and, I would say, impossible for any layperson to develop an opinion on. Frei may well be right, but it still seems that Vanden Bossche’s argument is sufficiently alarming to merit a substantial review of the vaccines.
6. Vanden Bossche’s intervention has not been peer-reviewed. But presumably it soon will be — then we can decide whether or not to be concerned or sceptical about what he says.
7. Frei says it is ‘not very logical’ to respond to the kinds of issues that Vanden Bossche has raised with ‘more mass vaccination’. That is certainly true on its face, and is why I omitted this ‘solution’ from my article of last week. Frei is right in suggesting that this raises a red flag about Vanden Bossche’s motivation, but this does not negate the possibility that he may be raising valid and urgent questions about the current crop of vaccines. And here is also the point that some vaccines may be ‘good’, just as others are ‘bad’.
She also makes a number of other very interesting points:
* that the concept of herd immunity is ‘contrived’. After all, she says, ‘if your immune system is protecting you against a pathogen, it doesn’t matter whether someone else’s is or not.’ This is a very important point, exposing the illogic of the entire ‘battle against Covid’.
* She agrees with Vanden Bossche that ‘we should stop the use of the current vaccines’. She continues: ‘But we also we need to stop production and use of antivirals and antibodies and all other parts of the Covid-industrial complex.’ Perhaps, but this is a much bigger argument than the one Vanden Bossche has started. There is zero chance of moving on to question the reminder of the Covid agenda unless an argument along the lines of that made by Dr Vanden Bossche is first of all accepted and co-opted.
* Covid has an extremely high survival rate. So why develop yet another expensive, invasive and experimental solution to a problem that barely exists, if it does at all? Good question in principle — except that, as I understood him, Dr Vanden Bossche was talking about a new vaccine in the context of the damage being done by the current crop.
If this had been a leave application for a judicial review, Frei would have made a statable case for leave, but probably not much more. What we need next in this debate is either a face-to-face between Vanden Bossche and Frei (unlikely) or, at the least, an in-depth interview with Rosemary Frei by someone of the calibre of James Corbett on his Corbett Report. It is characteristic of what has happened in the Covid saga and otherwise that, the moment a discussion becomes interesting, YouTube intervenes to nip it in the bud. This is perhaps the most persuasive evidence we’ve yet seen that Rosemary Frei is on to something. It is surely deeply suspicious and ominous that, in a vital discussion of this kind, one category of ‘vaccine critic’ is censored while another is not.
But this was the reason I published Dr Vanden Bossche’s analysis in the first place: to assist in creating the possibility of a vigorous public discussion on an important topic. I would imagine that Del Bigtree and Dr Vernon Coleman had similar motivations. Journalism is contingent, inviting ripostes and rebuttals. This is something that YouTube appears unable to grasp. But it is dismaying that a journalist like Rosemary Frei joins in with the same censorious mentality by implicitly suggesting that discussion with someone she disagrees with be cut off at the ankles. This is the approach of the legacy media, which is what has rendered the alternative media essential in the first place. It is also, of course, the YouTube approach. It is surely vital that it not become the approach of those who seek to question the culture of censorship and cancellation that currently threatens our very civilisation.
Rosemary Frei makes for an impressive witness and may well be right in everything she says about Dr Vanden Bossche and his intervention in the Covid saga, but that remains to be seen. On the other hand, and regrettably, perhaps now it does not.