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The SARS-CoV Denial to Child Abuse Pipeline
A New "Bombshell" about Long COVID in Kids is a Dangerous Dud
Last week, we did the due diligence of ripping apart a self-published “paper” on SSRN that wasn’t even peer-reviewed, making bold claims that the CDC was falsifying and vastly overcounting reports of pediatric COVID deaths. Trying to cover the graves of children that have become victim of a new disease is a truly despicable and detestable act that in a just society would have had its authors exiled from polite society. Instead, these freaks get to testify before Congress and spread further lies, in order to advance a deranged libertarian pro-viral crusade backed by unhinged billionaires.
One would think you couldn’t get any lower than this. Not even 24 hours later, the Pandemic Accountability Index was blown away. Ladies and gentlemen, the man who has accused the CDC of “gross incompetence” because of alleged typos, we once again bring you the University of California San Francisco’s Vinay Prasad:
An “important & damning paper.” Not a growing body of evidence, like the mountain that has emerged over the links between COVID & immune dysfunction, but instead a single paper that just so happens to confirm what Prasad has been screeching about on social media, his Youtube channel, and in-person speaking engagements. Prasad didn’t hesitate, immediately dashing to Substack and declaring this singular paper a “bombshell.” Well, much like when President Whitmore lobbed nuclear warheads over the city of Houston, this new threat - that has upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of American children - hasn’t gone anywhere.
“May our children forgive us.” -President Whitmore, Independence Day (1996)
Thanks to the incompetence and hubris of American federal, state, and local leaders, the vast majority of our children have been repeatedly infected with a new disease that has killed millions worldwide, and disabled many more with a new and debilitating condition that medical experts are struggling to study and understand. Well, until now, because the Archon of Medicine has arrived to relieve these actual doctors so Vinay alone may dictate reality via Substack and Youtube!
Of course, previous subject of the PAI UK-based trainee pediatrician Alasdair Munro has also boosted this study - from the “Pay-to-Publish” JAMA Network - As well as every other pro-COVID talking head, including the pro-infection Great Barrington Declaration’s Martin Kulldorff, UCSF’s Monica Gandhi, Mark Changizi, NYT contributor Benjamin Ryan, UK-based Michael Absoud, Fiona Russell, Peter Collignon, and quack crank Tracy Beth Hoeg. You’re probably wondering why one would bother listing all of these names of pro-viral influencers - we’ll come back to this in due time. Basically, the biggest fans of this “bombshell” are people who have done nothing but be indefensibly and abhorrently wrong for the past three years.
Again, this is a single pay-to-play publication, but it has spread, comically enough like a virus, through a dedicated disinformation network funded by deranged far right interests with roots in Enron, neo-Confederates, pro-child labor Libertarianism, and other indefensible dirtbags. They want to destroy public health as a concept and allow diseases to rip unabated through society - knowing that no matter what, the old and disabled will die the most, and that’s a lot less people cashing Social Security checks.
Before we break into Vinay Prasad’s commentary and why it’s grounds for his termination from UCSF and justification to raze and salt the earth of the “VK Prasad Laboratory” - let’s examine this “study” in detail.
Gaming the Numbers: A Fool’s Errand
The claim that Vinay Prasad and other professional bullshit artists are claiming is that this lone Norwegian study proves “‘Long COVID was always a lie,” and that actually, it was public health protections in 2020 (or vaccines!) that are causing all of the current suffering. The problem is that this study, by Joel Selvakumar, is by design made to be useless in proving anything but the priors of the usual bullshit artists.
“Long COVID” is an umbrella term that covers a range of symptoms, as we are dealing with a vascular disease that can damage every organ in the body, including the heart and the brain. This has been known since at least 2021, if not earlier. However, rightoid billionaire funded COVID sages such as Vinay Prasad have spilled countless ink claiming that this is all fake, made up, “psychosomatic,” and essentially accusing millions of people who are suffering without a treatment or cure of being a bunch of lazy, dishonest freaks that need to be bullied into silence. There is an excellent and extensive introduction to the condition on Health Affairs by David Putrino of the Putrino Laboratory at Mt. Sinai in New York City if you are unfamiliar.
Joel’s study has an incredibly tiny sample size, of 382 people 12-25 years of age who had COVID, and a “control group” of 85. The study’s definition of “Long COVID” is incredibly vague and fails to account for pre-infection symptom prevalence in the infected group - leading to 45% of the non-infected cohort having “Long COVID” because of “occasional tiredness” and failing to get a good night’s sleep. Joel himself even admits the study is non-conclusive - very much the opposite of what the pro-viral influencers are claiming, but facts have never stopped them before.
There’s a lot of technical willy-nilly and we can spend another two thousand words getting into the weeds here - and that isn’t the point of this article. The conclusion presented is that Long COVID symptoms, in their tortured definition, are just as prevalent in children that haven’t had COVID. That’s it. That’s their whole argument. Why did they come to this conclusion?
Well, let’s look at the public Twitter account of the study’s author, Joel Selvakumar:
Ah, yes. An informal survey, the highest standard for scientific evidence. Now, the most obvious conclusion one might take from this is that the general public has been grossly misinformed on the potential harms that COVID can do to their organs. The rightoid pro-COVID freaks have been wildly successful in confusing and lying to the public in the growing face of new evidence.
What you may not know is that who you follow on Twitter, and what “Tweets” you “like” are publicly available. Lo and behold, digging through Joel’s Twitter likes, it turns out that he likes all of the worst-of-the-worst minimizers and denialists: Tracy Hoeg, Vinay Prasad, Michael Absoud, Benjamin Ryan, Peter Collignon, Adam Gaffney, Marc Veldhoen, Shamez Ladhani, Zeynep Tufekci, and Alasdair Munro. All of those bullshit artists who are now plugging this terrible paper. Did Joel send this paper to these pro-viral influencers in an attempt to impress them? Did a rightoid billionaire like Jeffrey Tucker front the $5000 publication fee for JAMA? A proper investigation is needed, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
So, all we have a “study” with a tiny cohort by an author whose internal and overt bias is publicly available. There is no mention of this anywhere from those who have boosted this paper - then again, if you didn’t think to look, how would you know? It’s incredibly clear that Selvakumar already came into this process with a conclusion in mind and worked to develop evidence for it after the fact. Again, the precise opposite of the scientific process. In fact, Joel even admits as much on Twitter:
The Rhetorical Long Jump Olympics
If Congress should ban any social media app, it ought to be Substack long before we ever get around to TikTok, and Prasad’s crap is a prime example. Let’s really get to the lies and bullcrap in detail, starting with this:
“What you can see is that the fatigue and neuroticism and emotional maladjustment and loneliness and depression are all linked. What you also see is that none of this has anything to do with prior COVID19.”
This is the bold claim Prasad is making, and it doesn’t pass the smell test - even to untrained eyes. If a perfectly healthy child is infected with COVID, and then develops debilitating symptoms that leave him or her disabled afterwards, how can you so boldly claim the infection had nothing to do with it? Something is clearly going wrong, as headline after headline in mainstream press from around the globe clearly indicates. Here’s a sampling:
You can find a much larger archive of articles via Laurie Allie on Twitter.
So, the entire globe’s media and research institutes are gaslighting the public, according to Vinay Prasad - and now he’s making a bold claim that these post-infection complications have nothing to do with COVID, due to a single study from Norway with a tiny cohort and a clear & obvious bias from the author. Wow Prasad, it’s amazing what you can “discover” when you spend all day on the Internet dumpster diving for the worst dogshit “evidence” to confirm your priors, instead of treating patients! Why bother solving problems when you can invent new ones?
Just what does Prasad declare?
Fear-mongering about LongCOVID in kids is not justified b/c they will all get it anyway, and many will suffer symptoms of long covid, but the two have nothing to do with each other.
A Freudian slip, if there ever was one, and he makes it again on Youtube. With our current plan of repeatedly reinfecting children with a deadly and disabling virus, Prasad lets slip that they will all be left crippled with no future. Oops.
there were no biochemical abnormality to explain long COVID, but this is partially moot b/c even COVID can’t explain long covid.
Again, another bold claim with no evidence. What Prasad leaves out is that COVID is a new disease and Long COVID is a new and disabling condition that actual researchers, not bullshit social media celebrities bankrolled by far-Right libertarian billionaires, are dedicating a lot of time and resources to further our understanding and treatment of. Instead of humility, Prasad insists on conspiracy-tinged arrogance.
The reason people inaccurately covered long COVID is that they needed to have it— they needed it to be scary— to justify continued restrictions in young populations.
Yet again, we have conspiratorial thinking and bold conclusions with no evidence from Vinay Prasad. We are talking about a new disease that America is choosing to repeatedly infect tens of millions of children with, and many children across the nation are now disabled and suffering with little in the way of treatment or resources to support.
Instead of calls to action, Prasad rallies against pediatric COVID vaccination:
And the article should say: All kids will get COVID19 soon. There are few data to support vaccinating health kids.
In the final conclusion, Vinay Prasad shows he’s in such a hurry to get this slop out the door in the hunt for social media clout that he forgets how to goddamn write. Beginning a paragraph with a conjunction and an obvious grammatical error - “There are few data” - to make yet another bold claim about child vaccination, parroting yet another moronic and dated anti-vaxx lie, with zero evidence - just like his god-awful Youtube channel and podcast, to hundreds of thousands of viewers:
If you look closely, Vinay Prasad has spent a great deal of energy pushing the conspiracy theory that public health protections are responsible for all of society’s ills, on top of his deranged conspiracy theory that COVID vaccines are causing myocarditis - another lie that has been debunked - you can read more by Steven Novella of Science Based Medicine. From Prasad’s latest video about the Norway study, he actually says with no hesitation that:
“Long COVID became a thing, because it needed to become a thing.”
Which really goes to show just how sadistic and deranged Prasad has become in his quest to become the world’s most famous pro-viral influencer. Instead of any sort of humility, empathy, or human decency - Vinay Prasad is arguing that the millions of Americans who are suffering from post-COVID conditions are a bunch of lazy liars, because “it needed to become a thing.” Like a hot new fashion accessory!
Even worse, at around 8-9 minutes in, Prasad goes on an extended bit accusing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of not knowing what control groups are, that they “lack basic epidemiological understanding of most things,” and then proceeds to plug his own self-published, un-peer reviewed paper that we previously covered here - surprise, it’s abhorrently terrible. He also proceeds to put Long COVID in physical air quotes, showing how seriously he takes the condition - and says thus:
“There is no biochemical abnormality to explain these symptoms in kids.”
There is an incredible amount of research around the globe right now to understand Long COVID, a new condition that has just emerged in the past few years, including biomarkers - an indicator of a particular disease or condition. A lack of knowledge about a new condition does not mean that it’s something to write off as no big deal, and Prasad has done literally nothing but sit in his Podcast studio and whine, as the actual scientists are doing the real work.
Enabling Abuse of Medically Vulnerable Children
Now Prasad ends on this deranged conspiracy theory. Loosely paraphrased:
“...And somebody comes to you with the IFR, in this age group, and puts that in your face and says that’s really low, isn’t it irrational to make these kids follow stricter precautions for this when the IFR is as low as it is for flu… and you’re stuck by accepting that it is irrational… but then they say I got a new thing for you, it’s ‘Long COVID.’ It’s terrible, it’s the worst thing ever, and it’s gonna decimate these kids if you let them get COVID. They needed that to justify the restrictions in this age group, that’s the main driver for it’s existence so they could justify that policy.”
Except COVID does have an IFR far worse than the flu, is now the leading disease killer of children in America. Yet, Prasad is desperate to pretend COVID is just like the flu, long after this lie has been debunked. So now he declares that Long COVID disability is a work of fiction willed into the existence by “the media,” speaking to an audience of anti-vaxx, pro-Trump conspiracy theorists eating up this slop like pigs from a trough. Even worse is his next argument is against the very Precautionary Principle of Public Health itself:
“You would do the proper studies to validate if it is even a thing. You wouldn’t just compile anecdotes from Facebook groups, you would have control groups in a study.”
In other words, Prasad’s “vision” of Public Health is sitting around and doing nothing as disease ravages our children, and then maybe we can do a study after the harm is already done to see if there was any harm in the first place. Even worse, is the continued accusation that everyone newly disabled with Long COVID that has been forced to become their own activist, is actually just a liar spreading “propaganda and low quality evidence” in Vinay’s own words. The few pieces of evidence that Prasad has cherry-picked as “high quality evidence” which confirm his priors, however, are “providing clarity” to justify a Do-Nothing Public Health Approach to not only COVID, but future pandemics as well - “they’re keeping science alive in Scandanavia.”
The reality is that what Vinay Prasad has done here is little more than contribute to the stigmatizing of this condition and those suffering from it. This delusion Prasad and others are pushing will be used by ignorant parents to gaslight and abuse their medically vulnerable children - emotionally and in some cases even physically. This is morally and ethically abhorrent, and grounds for Prasad’s termination from the University of California San Francisco, as well as the stripping of his medical license.
While Prasad doesn’t say what the “real” cause of Long COVID is, he very much leaves the door open for “creative” interpretation, letting his radicalized & scientifically illiterate audience fill in the blanks and use this “study” to blame the vaccine - something that has still killed zero kids. No University should be employing a professor who openly fuels anti-vaxx conspiracy theories, which have led to violence, death threats, and outright murder of medical professionals.
Let me make this clear to the students and staff of UCSF: Your Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Vinay Prasad, is actively putting the lives of working doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in danger from radicalized assholes. You should be in open protest against UCSF’s administration for tolerating this conduct, and openly calling for Prasad’s termination. There is no place for this abhorrent and unhinged grifting in the medical or scientific fields; whether it’s taking money from rightoid billionaires with a policy goal to rally against public health, or basking in the adoration of anti-vaxx conspiracy theorist freaks looking for justification to go out and commit murder.
At this point, it is clear that the University of California San Francisco no longer has a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in their employ. They have a pro-viral influencer who is all-in on anti-vaxx and anti-public health conspiracy theories, and his latest media blitz as seen by a sizable and impressionable audience is going to lead to the emotional and possibly even physical abuse of children who are suffering from Long COVID, because Archon of Science Prasad has misled these parents into thinking that the kids are all lazy and full of shit.
This is not science, nor medicine.
What To Do Now?
Vinay Prasad has taken to enabling child abuse, and this is what the tuition money that University of California San Fracisco students are paying is supporting. The students, staff, and community of UCSF should be up in arms and in angry protest that this sort of conduct is deemed acceptable by the faculty of UCSF - and will continue to be endorsed unless Dean Talmadge E. King Jr (feel free to contact him via the link) and the other leadership of the university take swift and decisive disciplinary action against Prasad, who has become a major liability to the institution.
Another, lesser known grift of Prasad’s? Writing for the far-right Brownstone Institute owned by libertarian billionaire Jeffrey Tucker, who believes teenage girls don’t need a public education - they need a Hooters uniform and a pack of Virginia Slims. Which makes sense, considering how he ends his latest Substack piece:
We should let parents decide, and keep quiet, and in the meantime, learn to never restrict kids lives again.
This is the libertarian strategy for the next pandemic: do nothing, and mass infect our children with whatever new disease arrives in our communities. For someone who screams about RCTs and the need for “evidence-based medicine,” this is the very antithesis of medical conservatism, and goes against hundreds of years of epidemiology, the very specialty Prasad claims expertise in.
Medical “conservatives” were right to call hubris our “greatest foe”. Their unbroken record of poor predictions and conceited COVID-minimization shows the wisdom of that statement. Any doctor who pushes for the repeated mass infection of unvaccinated babies and toddlers with a novel, mutating virus, when an effective vaccine is available, is a medical radical.
There’s a reason Prasad constantly struggles with the facts and is desperate to pull the wool over the eyes of his impressionable audience: because he is so radicalized by far-right funding, whether it’s the former Enron exec’s “Arnold Ventures” or neo-Confederate Jeffrey Tucker’s “Brownstone Institute.” Vinay Prasad’s crippling addiction to social media clout has driven him so far off the edge of a cliff that he simply cannot accept the reality of the facts which invalidate his feelings. Now an unreliable narrator driven so far to the extremes, the University of California San Francisco’s Vinay Prasad has now taken to enabling violence and child abuse, in direct violation of UCSF’s mission: Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering.
Prasad’s conduct is utterly indefensible and unforgivable. It is time for the public to start speaking out against this reckless injustice, and here is a good place to start:
• The Dean of the UCSF School of Medicine is Talmadge E. King, Jr. and can be found via Twitter at @TalmadgeKing or contacted via e-mail Talmadge.King@ucsf.edu - you can also reach his office over the phone at +1 415-476-2342 - you should inform the Dean’s office of what is being done in UCSF’s name and is a clear violation of their Faculty code of conduct.
• The Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs is Joshua Adler and can be contacted via phone at +1 (415) 353-7999. By encouraging repeated COVID infections in children and denying their potentially debilitating effects, it’s clear that Vinay Prasad is meddling in the clinical affairs of children across not only California, but the country.
• The Vice Chair of Pediatrics at UCSF is Elena Fuentes-Afflick, and can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and phone at +1 628-206-8505. Considering that Prasad has taken to enabling the abuse of medically vulnerable children, I’m sure Elena would love to hear all about Prasad’s misconduct.
• The Vice Dean for Research at UCSF is David Morgan, and can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or over the phone at +1 415-476-6695 - I’m sure David would love to hear about the rigorous research standards that Prasad of UCSF adheres to, using a tiny study from Norway with obvious bias to make bold conclusions.
• Synapse is the student newspaper of UCSF and can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and via phone at 415-502-1484. The drivel of Prasad is a major scandal that is tarnishing the good name of UCSF and potentially sabotaging the future careers of its students by dragging the reputation of their school into the cesspool of conspiracy theorist derangement that is frequently harassing & threatening doctors, nurses, and public health experts, driving many to leave the field.
• The California Department of Consumer Affairs has an online form to file a complaint with their Medical Board. It’s clear that Prasad’s openly anti-vaxx and pro-viral derangement is a threat to the public health and safety of the citizens of California - and the man must be stripped of his medical license.
The only way this gets better is if the public starts vocally shouting down these grifters, frauds, and sadists. If we do nothing, the government’s response to the next pandemic will be to do nothing - and a hell of a lot more people are going to suffer and die as a result. It is our civic duty to stand against this indecency.