All over social media, we are seeing links to a video called “Plandemic movie.” Our friends urge us to watch it before it “gets deleted!” “Watch, learn, open your mind!” “Think for yourself and for your best interests!” As a family physician working on the front lines of the COVID-19 epidemic, and a former Physician Assistant with a Master’s degree in Health Science, we decided to see for ourselves what this video was all about, and we watched it.
The first installment of this documentary series features Dr. Judy Mikovits. The video portrays her as a prominent scientist who was privy to inside, confidential information about the government, infectious disease research, and conspiracies among top government officials concerning COVID-19. She was supposedly exiled from the world of medical science after reporting something that “they” didn’t want you to know about, and is now speaking out, fighting those evildoers seeking to “silence her.”
Unfortunately, Dr. Mikovits is not a credible source, although her career begins innocently enough. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Virginia in 1980, she went to the National Cancer Institute where she worked as a technician. She went on to earn a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at George Washington University in 1992. Her PhD thesis was entitled, “Negative Regulation of HIV Expression in Monocytes.” Her admirers will claim that her doctoral thesis “changed the treatment of HIV-AIDS,” although evidence of this is very hard to find. She did participate in good research concerning retroviruses as an assistant, but she was never a principal investigator or independent researcher, and left the lab in 2001 when she got married and started work tending bar.
Then, in 2004, the very wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore come into the picture. They founded a nonprofit research institute, the “Whittemore-Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease” for their daughter who had chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). They recruited Dr. Mikovits to direct their institute. Remember that at this time, Dr. Mikovits was a scientist who had never been a principle investigator, hadn’t worked in the field for many years, and was tending bar at the time. Why they would ask her to run their institute? I have no idea. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has been a medical mystery for decades, and Dr. Mikovits had experience in only one area: retroviruses. The Whittemores must have been convinced that CFS was caused by a virus. In any event, Mikovits did (surprise!) come to the conclusion that a retrovirus must be the cause of CFS. Her findings were that XMRV, a mouse retrovirus that can replicate in the cells of other animals, was the cause of CFS, and these findings were published in Science.
There were many criticisms of Mikovits’ methods, however. Three independent studies that tried to replicate her results failed to find any evidence of XMRV in either healthy controls or CFS patients. Finally, a nine-center study failed to confirm even the preliminary results of Mikovits’ study.
Science retracted her publication, she was terminated, then arrested and jailed for theft of laboratory materials, equipment, and documents. Mr. and Mrs. Whittemore were sued by former partners for embezzling millions of dollars from a real estate business. Mr. Whittemore was also charged with making illegal campaign contributions. Then, in March, the judge in the case against Dr. Mikovits disclosed that he had received campaign donations from Mr. Whittemore and recused himself. Subsequently, the charges against Dr. Mikovits were dropped. As you can see, corruption abounded.
Now, it’s 2020. We are in the middle of a global pandemic crisis.
Emotions and fears are high – both of the virus itself and its economic impact. The unknowns are many. People are looking for answers, when truly there are none, because this virus is so new. It’s the perfect storm for conspiracy theories and propaganda to run wild. It’s also a great opportunity for a scientist with a failing career to try to make a comeback.
Let’s dive into this “Plandemic movie” now.
Although, after reading up on Dr. Mikovits history, we were less than excited to watch this thing. I am sorry to say that it lived up to our expectations, and more.
I tried to watch with an open mind – I really did. However, the number of outrageous claims, pseudo-science, plain nonsense and outright falsehoods in this production are too numerous to list. It would be laughable if our friends and family weren’t touting it as the latest must-see truth. I don’t want to go into every one of them, so we’ll just list some highlights:
-She claims that if COVID-19 had evolved naturally, it would have taken 800 years for it to “learn” how to infect humans. (For a virologist, she seems to know very little about how quickly viruses change and mutate!) Many zoonotic viruses (viruses that originate in animals) have mutated and infected humans. Bird flu, swine flu, dengue fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus and rabies are just a few examples.
-She likens COVID-19 infection to COPD, saying that if her husband died from COPD, “they” would classify him as a COVID death due to the presence of fibrosis in the lungs. The only problem is, COPD does not cause fibrosis in the lungs. The two diseases are very, very different.
– The statement taken out of context from the CDC death certificate recommendation reads in full “In cases where a definitive diagnosis of COVID-19 cannot be made, but is suspected or likely (the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed”. In these instances, certifiers should use their best judgment in determining if a COVID-19 diagnosis was likely. Testing for COVID-19 should be conducted whenever possible.” Physicians use probable causes of death all the time. In our situation, where testing supplies can be in short supply, a probable cause of death is definitely warranted.
– She says that physicians are being pressured to diagnose COVID-19 because reimbursements are higher for that diagnosis. We don’t know a single doctor that would falsify a diagnosis for the hospital to be paid more, but even if they did, most hospitals lose money on every single Medicare patient. This is not a money-making endeavor. Most hospitals are and health care facilities are deeply in the red right now. They might get paid $13,000 for your COVID-19 admission, but do you know what that’s based on? The fact that the average cost of a hospital admission for a respiratory condition is $13,297.
-She says the flu vaccine increases your chance of getting COVID-19 by 36%. It doesn’t.
This claim comes from a “Pentagon Study,” which, although published in Jan 2020, was studying data from the 2017-2018 flu season. They were not studying SARS-Co-2, as this virus was unknown at the time. You have to understand that COVID-19 is named as such to set it apart from the many other identified viruses with the corona shape. The previously identified coronaviruses were not anything of concern – they are wimpy, run-of-the-mill common cold viruses that we all have likely had. These are the “coronaviruses” mentioned in this study. Furthermore, in the conclusion of the study, the researchers wrote, “Receipt of influenza vaccination was not associated with virus interference among our population.” and “The overall results of the study showed little to no evidence supporting the association of virus interference and influenza vaccination.” In other words, even though their data showed a small increase in coronavirus cases (common cold) among people who had received a flu shot, it was deemed statistically insignificant. The articles that are quoting a 36% increased risk are (1): taking data and quoting text out of context in the study, reporting it as significant when it was not, and (2): allowing people to believe that this applies to COVID-19, which it does not. This is clear manipulation of data in attempt to misinform the public.
-She makes a big deal out of Fauci calling the evidence for hydroxychloroquine “anecdotal.” It was, obviously, anecdotal evidence. That’s what we call things when they are based on doctor’s experiences with their own cases, not double-blind scientific studies. It doesn’t mean that anecdotal evidence is not valuable – it is. And, doctors make clinical decisions based on anecdotal evidence all the time. It just means that we haven’t had time to run a proper scientific study on it yet.
-The American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the American College of Emergency Physicians both issued statements condemning Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi — the two emergency docs who spoke in the video suggesting that sheltering in place harms your immune system and wearing masks increases your risk of infection.
-She mentions her work on Ebola in 1999 and says that it couldn’t infect human cells until “she taught it how.” But, there were many pre-1999 Ebola outbreaks.
-She claims that there is no current vaccine that works for any RNA virus. Really? So, how would you explain the drastic worldwide reduction in polio, measles, and hepatitis A?
-She claims a flu vaccine grown in dog cells is to blame for the COVID-19 outbreak, because dogs have a lot of coronaviruses. She actually says, “If you have ever had a flu vaccine, you have been injected with Coronavirus.” umm… no. Canine coronavirus (CcoV) is not the same as SARS-CoV-2. Not even close. (Can we please call this “fear-mongrel–ing?”)
As another physician stated on her facebook post, “[This statement is] so false based on the way vaccines are made that there are no studies specifically stating this claim. It would be like trying to conduct a study to examine whether humans can live with zero oxygen. Nope, we can’t. No study needed.”
-She claims wearing facial masks “activates” the virus. Again, you would hope that she would understand the transmission of viruses that spread via respiratory droplets. We will address the issue of masking later, as it has become a hot topic as well.
I would go on, but honestly it’s just not worth my time or yours. If anybody wants to talk more about this one-on-one, we are happy to do so. But, dear friends, please don’t let your frustrations and emotions (or feelings regarding a certain overbearing, overreaching incompetent governor) blind you to reason. When we’re given information, we all need to consider the source. There is so much misinformation and fear-mongering happening right now, and so many people trying to use this crisis to their own advantage. Please don’t contribute to the problem by spreading this garbage.
Lastly, I wholeheartedly support free speech. However, private companies removing information from their platforms does not represent repression, and is in no way an indicator of truth. It’s their right to monitor what is posted on their platform – even if that platform is as big and public as YouTube.
We fervently pray that this pandemic will end very quickly. We pray that you and your loved ones stay healthy, and that our churches, businesses, and places of recreation open safely and reasonably very soon. May you know God’s love, now more than ever.
-Amy & Aaron