(LifeSiteNews) — Medical freedom champion Dr. Byram Bridle has called out self-identified medical “misinformation experts” for promoting false claims that amount to “propaganda.”
The Ontario doctor, who is a virologist, vaccinologist, immunologist, and associate professor of viral immunology in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph, spoke at the fourth annual International Crisis Summit earlier this month in Bucharest, Romania to highlight what he says is an international problem of mistaken “experts.”
After placing himself under oath before his audience, Dr. Bridle noted that all around the world, “power brokers,” including the European Commission and European Union (EU) member states, labeled “misinformation” and “disinformation” as an obstacle to “vaccine confidence” during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“So a key question arises from this: Who are going to be the arbiters of truth in a war on misinformation?” Dr. Bridle said.
He pointed out that while governments and other powerful entities believe “misinformation experts” should officially determine the truth on medical questions, including vaccines, he has found that these so-called “experts” have “poor character” and are “often wildly off-base with the claims they make.”
According to Dr. Bridle, while a body of evidence shows that “public discourse about conflicting scientific opinions is an effective way” to combat true misinformation, “disturbingly … those who preach these facts often fail to put them into practice.”
“Almost none have been willing to engage any expert that they accuse of spreading misinformation,” Dr. Bridle noted.
He used the example of Timothy Caulfield, the Canadian co-founder of a “national network of so-called misinformation experts,” called “ScienceUpFirst,” to exemplify typical strategies used by self-professed misinformation experts around the world.
Caulfield, who is not a doctor, tends to object to what he considers “misinformation” by taking screenshots of these messages and overlaying them with his own notes explaining how they are “wrong.” However, “explain” may be a loose term here, since Caulfield’s objections tend to lack substance, as Dr. Bridle demonstrated.
He showed a tweet in which Caulfield “refuted” a BBC news broadcast during which a cardiologist shared his concern that COVID-19 shots may have contributed to excess cardiac mortality in the United Kingdom.
Caulfield had overlaid what he considered to be the objectionable content with the remarks, “WTF BBC? No No No No No No No No No No.”
“Wasn’t that insightful? I’m glad that my tax dollars are being invested in this kind of academic work,” Dr. Bridle sarcastically remarked. “How about the use of clear and shareable content and making facts the hook?
“How about providing the science and being nice, authentic, empathetic and humble as the science suggests,” Dr. Bridle continued, after sharing another similar “rebuttal” from Caulfield.
Such “experts” see no need to reference their own claims, according to Dr. Bridle.
He went on to give examples of how these “elite misinformation experts” make blunders of their own, without acknowledgement or apology.
One “misinformation expert,” a co-author of a Fault Lines report on the response to COVID-19, was supporting “a claim that a study showed no effect of COVID-19 vaccines on sudden cardiac deaths of college athletes.”
Dr. Bridle reviewed the study and found, “remarkably,” that the paper “had nothing to do with” Covid 19 injections, but instead looked at the link between sudden cardiac deaths and infection with the COVID-19 virus. Thus, the study concluded that “there was no evidence to link the disease called COVID-19 with fatal myocarditis and varsity athletes.”
The Canadian doctor decried this as an “egregious example” of so-called “misinformation experts” spreading real misinformation.
Another major error was made when Caulfield was “aghast that some Americans believed the conspiracy theory that SARS-CoV-2 might have been the result of gain of function research.”
Yet, this theory has since been “legitimized,’ Dr. Bridle noted, by an “avalanche of data,” such as released emails showing that U.S.-funded gain-of-function research was taking place in Wuhan, China before the COVID-19 outbreak.
One “fact check” targeted Dr. Bridle for claiming that spike proteins cause bodily harm, citing Caulfield’s ScienceUpFirst group “as a source of proof” that the spike produced by mRNA shots cannot properly bind to its ace2 receptor “and therefore could not cause harm.”
According to Dr. Bridle, ScienceUpFirst “completely misinterpreted the scientific paper.” Instead of investigating the effects of the spike proteins in the body, they misinterpreted the phrase “without evidence of immunopathology” “to mean that the spike could not cause harm in the body,” when it actually means that “there was no evidence of vaccine-enhanced disease.
“This is what happens when non-immunologists claim expertise in immunology,” Dr. Bridle added.
In another remarkable instance of erroneous peer “correction,” 88 of Dr. Bridle’s university colleagues signed an open letter opposing his claim that spike proteins might transfer from recently injected mothers to their breastfeeding children. They asserted that “‘the spike protein generated by vaccines does not pass through breastmilk.”
Yet, this claim has since been contradicted by peer-reviewed papers, including a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, and a study published in the Lancet.
“It turns out that my 88 colleagues spread egregious misinformation to the public. It also shows that supporting an opinion with a large number of non-vaccinologists does not define what the truth is about a vaccine. Yet this was and is still being used to destroy my career and many other aspects of my life,” said Dr. Bridle.
Further clouding the judgment of these “experts” is the manner in which regulatory agencies are compromised, not only in Canada but around the world, said Dr. Bridle. While regulators used to be mostly taxpayer-funded, they are now “almost entirely funded by the pharmaceutical companies that they are tasked with policing.”
For example, the European Medicines Agency now receives 89% of its funding from industry, and for Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, the number is 96%, Dr. Bridle said.
Companies pay “massive fees” to have their applications reviewed by regulators, and now time-sensitive performance standards mean that “there is the risk of losing as much as an entire reviewer’s salary if things aren’t done quickly,” according to Dr. Bridle. He went on to lament that this has resulted in the decline of drug safety.
“For example, drugs that get approved in the 300-day review process have about a 20 percent chance of having a serious safety warning identified after the rollout to the public. This increases to a one-in-three chance when the approval process is reduced to 180 days,” Dr. Bridle said.
He emphasized that such efforts to censor and debunk what are often accurate and meaningful findings cause real harm, destroying careers and even lives.
“A researcher’s reputation dictates their success in obtaining funding. Health care professionals and scientists are being punished, defamed and are losing jobs because of so-called misinformation gurus who lack expertise, lack integrity, lack professionalism, and are in and of themselves profound spreaders of misinformation,” Dr. Bridle said.
An extreme example of the harm caused by such “experts” was seen in the “horrific” case of Sheila Lewis, a grandmother who was “denied a lifesaving transplant and allowed to suffer a horrific death” because she lacked proof of COVID “vaccination,” and instead offered proof of immunity against the COVID virus.
“For the sake of global public health, protecting bodily autonomy and protecting freedom of speech, the deputization of misinformation experts must be stopped. These people, and those who support them need to be investigated and brought to justice,” Dr. Bridle said.