Question asked on August 2, 2022
You asked us about a series of videos widely shared on social networks in which the host Tucker Carlson, of the Fox News channel, multiplied the alarmist allegations of anti-Covid vaccines, according to him which is supported by scientific publications, for which he provides references.
Footage taken from the July 21 broadcast, is still available on the channel’s website, along with a transcript of Carlson’s remarks. “Is it possible that the vaccine will harm you, especially if you continue to get booster shots? Will it weaken your immune system? Well, it seems possible that “he began, before waving “the conclusions of many researchers” published”Last month [dans] the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology“. And to quote the authors, which proves that the vaccination “Induces a profound change in interferon type 1 signaling, with various adverse consequences for human health”and evoke “Possible profound disruption of regulatory control of protein synthesis and cancer surveillance.” In fact, Carlson added, “It is likely that the vaccine completely suppresses the immune system”.
The alarming publication cited by the host is unknown to readers CheckNews, because we already dedicated an article to it at the beginning of May, to highlight its speculative and erroneous nature. For example, starting from the observation that the immune response to the vaccine provides protection without inducing the harmful inflammatory reactions associated with viral infection (which is the goal of vaccination), the authors demonstrated this controlled response as a sign of a weak immune. system. Elsewhere, the authors confused the literature on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the vaccine. After this publication, many researchers criticized its shortcomings, others criticized the exploitation of the data “misunderstood, even manipulated, in favor of a pre-established hypothesis”.
Among the four co-authors of this dubious article, in addition to a naturopath, we found the computer scientist Stephanie Seneff (known for arguing that serious cases of Covid are linked to exposure to glyphosate residues present of biofuels), but also the cardiologist Peter A. McCullough, who was rejected by his university at home after repeatedly making false statements (low infectivity of the virus, impossibility of reinfection, etc.), which now shows his links to a foundation that links Covid to 5G networks and advocates “Faith-based therapeutic approaches”.
In his television series, Tucker Carlson concluded his presentation of this first publication with these words: “We sincerely hope that this is not true, but this is not the conclusion of a scientific journal. The Lancet, which is perhaps the most famous scientific journal in the world, published similar findings in February…” Then appears on the screen the name of a study, actually published in The Lancet en February, and available online.
However, it is not in this study that Carlson’s commentary continues, but in a “letter” published in another journal, which explains a reasoning from its data. “A doctor named Kenji Yamamotoexplained the presenter, [écrit] in a letter to Journal of Virology [que l’étude du Lancet] showed that the immune function of vaccinated people eight months after receiving two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine was lower than that of unvaccinated people. And the presenter of Fox News to invite his viewers to go through the study of Lancet. “You won’t find anything in the text of the article that says what Kenji Yamamoto said, which is strange. Why the Lancet does he want to hide a great discovery like this? We can’t say, but if you look at Table 3 of the article, here’s what you’ll find buried in the data. Among people aged 80 who were twice vaccinated […] the per capita medical incidence rate, including hospitalization for death, is almost twice as high as the acute incidence in unvaccinated people. And this, 180 days after vaccination. What is it and why is no one interested in it? The article also includes a graph showing the negative effectiveness of the vaccine for all ages after eight months for all study participants.
“The benefits of administering the third dose”
There is no demonstration of his statements in Yamamoto’s famous letter. The reason that, probably, Carlson tried himself in the exegesis of the publication. Clever, at least if his intention is to deceive the viewer. First, because the famous “table 3” to study the Lancet nothing to do with “serious incident”but in “all infections, regardless of their severity”. But also and above all because the values presented are raw data, without adjustment according to the structure of the groups studied (especially the age of the members of each cohort).
However, a few boxes below the same table are the numbers for vaccine effectiveness, adjusted for age and date of vaccination, and with associated margins of error. In fact, the authors failed here to establish a significant difference between more than 80 vaccinated for more than six months and the unvaccinated. It is impossible to establish that vaccinated people of this age, at this distance from their second injection, are more or less at risk of Covid than those who are not vaccinated.
This is why the authors of the study concluded that their results “Strengthens the case for administering a third dose of vaccine as a booster.” In short: by presenting as a serious publication that is not serious, and by hiding the elements that make it possible to correctly interpret the data in the second publication, Tucker Carlson does nothing but misinform – once again – of his audience.