Teach 2 Dumb Dudes

Dr. Dan Wilson: The Cult Of Misinformation

February 21, 2022 Joe Bento Season 1 Episode 20
Teach 2 Dumb Dudes
Dr. Dan Wilson: The Cult Of Misinformation
Show Notes Transcript

We’re speaking to Dr. Dan Wilson today. Dr. Dan has a YouTube channel called Debunk the funk, where he dismantles the misinformation that is being distributed and educates people on the facts. Recently Dr. Dan did an episode on Dr. Robert Malone and his interview on The Joe Rogan Experience. We discuss just how attractive misinformation is, and how easily it is to get sucked into. Most importantly, how to spot that misinformation and counter it.  Check out Dr. Wilson's YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/c/DebunktheFunkwithDrWilson



Hello. And welcome to another episode of teach two dumb dudes. My name is Joe bento and I'm with my cohost Rob Washburn. We're speaking to Dr. Dan Wilson today. Dr. Dan has a YouTube channel called debunk the funk where he dismantles the misinformation that is being distributed and educates people on the facts recently, Dr. Dan did an episode on Dr. Robert Malone and his interview on the Joe Rogan experience. We discuss just how attractive misinformation is and how easily it is to get sucked into. But most importantly, how to spot that misinformation and counter it.

Bento:

Hey, Dr. Wilson, how you doing? Hey,

Dan:

doing, doing good. How are you guys? One moment. Let me just get

Rob:

mine. Yeah, take your time. There's no rush.

Dan:

Okay,

Rob:

where are you located? Doc?

Dan:

I am in the Philly area.

Rob:

Terrific. East coast time then? Yeah, Amazon square in Rhode Island or Rhode Island. Cool. Yeah. Yeah. I've been meaning to make the trip out to Philly for quite some time. Now it's one of the few places around here. I haven't been

Dan:

yet really

Bento:

so bad. I want a real one.

Dan:

I moved here. About a year ago, actually. And I haven't gotten to go out much. My wife and I, we had our first baby, so

Rob:

nice. Congrats on top of the pandemic. What's that on top of the pandemic can't go anywhere, the reason.

Dan:

So, but, but I know all these great cheese steak places that I need to visit, and I just haven't been able to go.

Rob:

You got to work down the list then,

Dan:

huh? Oh yeah.

Rob:

Good for you. Good for you. Well, congrats on the kid too, man. Thank

Bento:

you. Hey, so thanks a lot for coming on. I've been, I've been, so looking forward to this after I seen your video you know, Bobby and I have been talking about this for awhile. So just kind of give you a history of, from our, from our side of things or at least from mine, I won't speak for Rob. You know, we had this guy on our podcast several episodes ago. Robert Yohan, a doctor he's a former plastic surgeon. He was, he took his life far down the rabbit hole on this vaccine thing. You know, he's a nice enough guy, but you can tell he was very biased about it. So, but that led us to kind of go down our own rabbit hole. Right. And do our own research. You know, we got in I've been a long time listener Rogan you know, like, like him, a lot of his guests and I listened to the Peter McCall episode. And then the Robert Malone one and that really took us both on a different side. Of the vaccine. And I was just, I was just telling by before the call, I was like, I'm really mad at myself because I'm normally a critical thinker. I look at things objectively and I really got sucked into this and it's just, it's not really like me to do that. So I, you know, that led me to watch the code, the listen to the decode, the gurus who actually referenced your YouTube channel in their podcasts, which then led me to watch a YouTube channel. And I've just kind of been, been going from there and watching people kind of debunk these two podcasts and a lot of the information and numbers that were just thrown out that sound legit.

Rob:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, and they even talk about reference studies too, like, especially in the Peter Macola one, you know, when you watch it on the YouTube channel, he's sitting there with the computer, he's got slides of all these different studies you can reference. And it's just one of those things. I know that we're not alone in this, that there are an endless amount of people out there who are just straight confused and don't know what to believe anymore.

Dan:

Yeah, I totally understand that. You know, it's, it's tough, especially when you have a bunch of people with actual degrees, like Macola and Malone saying these things on top of, you know an official messaging system that hasn't been great throughout the pandemic. You know, there's definitely been a lot of things that could have been done better communicated better by scientists who are like the pundits on the news channels, you know? So, so I totally understand that. And it's hard to parse out and it takes work. So you guys are, it sounds like you guys are doing the work though,

Rob:

where, you know, we were, we were joking earlier too, that we even, you know, we try to, you know, read like an actual study. Either of us are doctors like a kid's beds. Let's get the full-time job. We don't have endless time to put into these things and the education. Yeah. Right. And so now, like we're two dumb dudes trying to read these scientific studies, like at 10 sentences in, and I don't really know what I'm reading anymore.

Dan:

Yeah, no, I, I realized that when I was when I was writing the paper that has all my thesis work in it, at one point I got a little depressed cause I was looking at it and I'm like, dude, like only like 300 people on the planet are going to. Read the abstract and know exactly what I'm talking about. So, but, but like we as scientists kind of shoe horn ourselves into that because we make all this jargon and we have to be so particular when we communicate to each other. And there's kind of like no way around it. So it's, it's tough to write papers that. Anybody can read. So then it's on, it's on the science communicators or the reporters to do it. And, you know, reporters who do, who report science on like CNN or whatever, they usually don't do a great job of getting it accurate. So yeah. I totally know what you

Rob:

mean. And what, so what would you think about like, like Fowchee for instance? Right. And, and, and by the way, too you know, so I think that one of the things I've heard about the pandemic in general, right? Like at no point, do I look at anyone say, well, this is definitely their fault that this was handled this way. Like, it's new for everybody. Nobody knows what they're doing and that's going to lead to some degree of incompetence. Right. I think that's the baseline. Yeah. And so from there, when we hear people like Fowchee all the time on TV, it, it's nice to think that, Hey, this guy is on TV. He's the white house correspondent or medical person. He should be telling me everything that we know should be 100% factually. True. But is that even correct?

Dan:

So, I mean, I haven't listened to everything Fowchee is saying, so I don't, I don't think it's, I don't think it's fair to say that he's a hundred percent correct, but I think he is a generally a very good communicator, but he's in a very tough position where he has to communicate science to a broad, a very broad audience. And, you know, even within the department, when scientists give talks to each other, we struggle with this. We struggle on like, how do I take my work? And I present it in the clearest way possible. And a lot of the times someone gets done with their. And, and half the audience might be like, I have no idea what that person was talking about. I don't know what their slides meant. So it's, it's tough to do technical. Yeah. And it's, it's tough to do. And there's a limited amount of time that he has to communicate the most important things. And on top of that as well, we are in a pandemic where information can change very quickly. So people can look back and say, well, that was wrong. Or, you know, take it out of context and say, you know, he said this and that was completely out of line. And, you know, it's really tough to be right all the time. But I think that, you know, maybe something he could, he could have done better in, you know, the it's almost unfair because I know that he does a better job of it when he's allowed to speak long form. People get sound bites of him saying things, which is the worst

Rob:

way, portray something that is this technically difficult. And it's also

Bento:

on, you know, it's also on the new channels too, because they do these segments and they're like, all right, you know, Dr. Fox is coming on, you know, you got four minutes and it just given this such a small period of time, even when they ask questions, you know, you see them ask a question, he starts trying to give a detailed answer and they cut him off to ask the next question. Cause they got this agenda. They got to work through before the next

Dan:

commercial. Yeah. It's really not a great platform for scientists actually talk through complicated data and communicate uncertainty, which is kind of what I think is a general problem in science communication throughout the pandemic is communicating where we don't know things. And I think, you know, the, the mask example is a, is a really good one. Towards the beginning of the pandemic, of course, masks were not recommended at first. I remember at that time thinking that makes sense to me, because at that time I was thinking of this the way a SARS one happened back in 2003, where, you know, it spread to there were about 10,000 cases if I remember right. And then it kind of fizzled out didn't spread very far, very fast. And so I thought that, you know everybody wearing masks might be an overreaction. It might take resources away from the healthcare from the hospitals and stuff, which was a stated concern as to why.

Rob:

Yeah. And that's one of the theories I've heard that he said in the beginning of the pit, and then he came out and said that because they didn't want people going out and stockpiling because there was,

Dan:

yes. I mean, people were buying up toilet paper and creating shortages. So there was like kind of a mess. Thinking of, okay, what do we advise? What kind of consequences are as our advice going to have? And they decided, okay for now, no masks, but I don't, I think the possibility of that changing very rapidly, it wasn't properly communicated. So then when it did change fast, people were like, wait, what? But it was because we learned that people could spread the virus before they even have symptoms. And we found out that there was actually a lot of community transmission going on at the time, which was going mostly on notice because testing in the U S had not ramped up to where it should have been. So it was a multi, a lot of things contributed to that whole saga going wrong. But I think it could have helped to communicate beforehand, like, okay, for now we're not recommending masks. Here's why, and it could change very quickly. Right.

Bento:

We're on the subject of mass to the way I understand it now is that they're saying that these regular cloth mass aren't very effective at stopping transmission of the virus. And, you know, I remember people saying that in the beginning of this whole, you know, cause everybody turned the mass into a political issue. So, you know, there was information coming out saying like these masks aren't really effective. And now they've kind of said that and they said, you spoke, you should be wearing an N 95 mask, you know, which is what people were saying before. I feel like things like that make peop other people distrust, you know, I should just say the government general. Cause they're the ones giving out the regulations and the CDC, you know, makes them just trust them more. Like they've been forced to wear this mask. I don't think it was a big deal personally, but obviously some people are a problem with it. But come to find out, we've kind of been doing it just for show and kind of like a pacifier offense.

Dan:

So there's, there's a lot of I think confusion about the recent change in recommendations. So a cloth mask is still going to have some effect, right? It's not going to be useless. A surgical mask, which is designed for the surgery room is obviously gonna probably have better better capabilities to help you prevent, help prevent infection than a cloth mask. And similarly, and I, 95 mattress mask, which is designed to keep out. Things as transmissible, as tuberculosis is going to be even better than that. So I think this recommendation came after a study that was published in science done in Bangladesh. I dunno if you guys might've heard of it, but it was a randomized controlled trial in the community of mask wearing. Basically what they did was they assigned a particular group to wear masks and they recorded, you know which groups wore cloth masks, which groups were surgical masks, which groups were 95 and 95 masks. The total mask wearing group made up a relatively small percentage of the total test population. But within the test population, they saw that surgical masks and in any five masks had a very significant measurable reduction in. Hospitalization and cases overall, the cloth masks not so much, however, they stay, they stayed in their paper that, you know, with this testing population, the majority of the population still were not masked. So you could, we could expect that if more of the population were masked, then the effects we see would be greater scale. Yes, exactly. So the recommendation came off of that data where there was a measurable difference between the three masks. Right? And so they recommended the two that were measured to be more useful, but it doesn't mean that cloth masks are useless. And in fact, if we look at there's another study. Older than the pandemic in nature where they actually put surgical and cloth masks over people's faces and measure viral shedding on them. And they found that both do reduce the amount of virus that comes out and drops droplets and aerosols. So cloth masks, aren't doing nothing but surgical masks are doing. And I don't, I don't know what the messaging from the media has been about that change in recommendation, but I get the sense from the kinds of things I see shared around that, that hasn't been properly communicated. Yeah.

Rob:

And would you say the difference between cloth and surgical is negligible or is that a

Dan:

big difference? It's measurable and real. I don't think we know enough to say how big that gap is, but based on that one study in Bangladesh, it is a significant difference. So if you want to have better protection, you wear a surgical mask mask, but if you for whatever reason, I don't have one, a cloth mask will still help.

Bento:

I was

Rob:

going to say at this point in the pandemic, do you still think it's necessary to have mass all time all population?

Dan:

I think it depends on the community transmission in any given area, oh, community, transmission and rates of hospitalization are the two things that I would pay attention to. You know, I don't make policies, I'm not a policy expert, so of course but just based on my understanding, for example you know, if if a community has very low case case rates and very low hospitalization rates, then I don't think mask mandates would be necessary to force, but If there are high rates of cases and hospitalizations, then obviously masking is going to do a lot more for that community. So it would make more sense.

Rob:

Okay. Yeah. So it is that case by case basis? I think so. Yeah. And everyone, and, and I agree with that. I think, you know, throughout all of this, I always felt like, you know, people try to do the one size fits all, but we live in such different communities with different people in different countries. Right? Like it might as well be different countries. So it comes

Bento:

through and we're bigger than some

Rob:

continents. And so that's where I always thought too, like the, the case by case basis, everyone should be making those decisions for themselves. Like, I, I I've always felt like that should have been how all of these rules should have been. Right. And that's where I think like the federal mandates are kind of silly.

Dan:

Yeah. I, I think I think especially now with vaccines and. The fact that those are reducing hospitalizations and deaths so much that, you know, it really makes sense to do it more on a case by case basis more so than before. I think at the height of the pandemic, when community transmission was just really high and the, the waves were just bouncing around the U S you could see in real time, if you look back just, you know, the red on a map where, where it goes, it would just go all around. I think at that point, it might've made sense to say, okay, everybody, you know, we gotta, we gotta prevent this spread. We gotta wear masks. We gotta do what we can to, to stop it. Because even if one area is fine now, you know, it might be two. But by the time, by the time pieces go like this, it might be too late to, to enforce them. So that was the

Rob:

whole flatten, the curve period where everybody stayed out,

Bento:

stay at home. Right. So w with the vaccines and kind of circling back to Macola and Malone so even, even the decoding, the guru guys, you know, and this is actually Bobby scratch, I'm going to totally hijacking on them. So, you know, the only things that are really done was, was Malone, right? Not McCullough. And Macola is interesting to me because one thing that's really widely agreed upon is that he is an expert in his field. And up until this point, he was very highly respected. I know that. Get into his head and kind of get a psyche, but what would cause someone like that to kind of go off the rails a bit and go down this kind of rabbit hole.

Dan:

Yeah. So he, he is an expert in his field, which is cardiology. He's not an expert in the fields of virology immunology. That doesn't mean he can't say anything about it because you know, if you are knowledgeable in medical scientific fields, it's not, it's not, you know, impossible to learn about other fields.

Bento:

Hasn't even been more pages on more papers on epidemiology than anybody was that a,

Dan:

the claim is that he's written, he's published more papers in cardiology that than anyone else. I don't know. I haven't checked, I haven't checked that claim. But as far as what makes him make that change to someone who is respectable and, and whatnot to claiming. Claiming that there's a medical conspiracy in the United States, you know, for him in particular, I don't know what, what would cause him to do that? I know that for conspiracy theorists in general, and especially experts who turn to that kind of thinking, it usually has to do with some sort of like feeling of betrayal or some kind of bitterness or trauma that led them there. You know, whether it's a medical event in their lives that made them sort of go down a rabbit hole or they're feeling bitter and betrayed and they want to just. Say the things that'll get them attention.

Bento:

So then that triggers that bias in their lives.

Rob:

Yeah. So it was McCullough's episode as factually incorrect as Malone's

Dan:

I would say, I would say so they were pretty similar in their claims, in what they were trying to get across that vaccines don't work in that. There's a conspiracy in the medical establishment. Yeah. And

Rob:

I, and I definitely, like, I don't even want to get into the conspiracy stuff because I think it's too far out there. And honestly, like, I mean, everybody in this world is out for. And unfortunately in our country, the most likely or out for themselves or their immediate family, and that's just human nature, unfortunately. And the way today's world works. So that's why I don't want to really cross that bridge. But the vaccine actual data, I was interested where there were those claims on those two podcasts about the efficacy levels and how long those efficacy levels lasted compared to natural immunity and how long that natural immunity would last. Right. Cause one, one of those guys were like, oh, it lasts forever. And I was like, yeah, but as everything adapts and changes, there's no signal for your body to make that same adapt and change. So how is that

Dan:

possible? Yeah. Yeah. So that's been a very popular comparison to make. And so when it comes to claims of how long did the vaccines last and how long does natural immunity lab. The best data we have says that both forms of immunity are preventing hospitalization and death fairly well or fairly equally. Okay. Right. So with two doses of vaccine or one case of infection and recovery it looks like the durability of the immune response and how long it actually protects against those serious outcomes, which is what really matters are really good. However, now with Omicron coming around, we see that, of course, those who have been infected before and recovered are still getting Omicron.

Rob:

So people are getting COVID more than once. Oh yeah. Right.

Bento:

That was his big thing. He's like, you can never ever get it again. I was like, wait, what? Like, even

Dan:

that, that wasn't true when he said that and it's not true

Bento:

now claim, he says, well, I did that podcast before Omnichron. Yeah. So, and it's like, come on, man.

Dan:

Yeah. So, but, but now you know, with, with a lot of people getting third doses there's not really great data to compare like three doses to someone who has recovered, but I would bet that the breadth of the immune response and how robust it is, is better with three doses than with an infection. And, and the big difference of course, is, you know, with one-off. You have to survive COVID and ideally not transmitted to other people with the other option. You're it's much, much safer. Right. So

Rob:

what would you say that it's much, much safer for everyone? Like for instance, we know that older folks and people with comorbidities are naturally going to do worse with this type of illness as compared to a 24 year old man or a woman who is very healthy and active. And so do you, so you still say that that those, you know, that they're better off being vaccinated?

Dan:

Oh, yes. Yes. So the, the adverse events from vaccines are totally, it's really easy to weigh the two and say adverse events, vaccines versus adverse events of COVID infection. The benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks for any age group. In fact, even for, for ages five to 11 that group saw fewer adverse events than the older age groups that were tested the adolescents, for example. So it's definitely much safer. You know, I know children who have been hospitalized by COVID. I've I know doctors who have talked about treating infants on ventilators and it's not some, I mean, just over in chop, I I've heard about it. Children's hospital, Philadelphia, I've heard about it. It's terrible. It's not something that any parent would want to go through. And you know, when, when hopefully this month. When VAX COVID vaccines for ages six months and up get approved, I'm not going to hesitate to vaccinate. My kid

Rob:

really. So, so I got two kids. I've got a 13 year old and a three-year-old right. And so at first I said, my, my 13 year old, right. It was obviously the first one in question. And I said, all right, like, you know, our families don't necessarily have terrible medical histories or in our genetics. There's not a lot of illnesses passed down. But there is like a mile, you know, we've had a few deaths in the family have heart attacks or heart conditions or blood clots and stuff like that. And so, you know, with the big, you know, oh, kids could get mild carditis and I don't even know if that's true or not, but I became a little hesitant for my son thinking like, well, unless somebody tells me, I have to, I'm probably just going to wait and see how it goes. Cause I think he's a pretty healthy kid. Like, is that, is that the wrong way to think about this? Like,

Dan:

so I, I mean, I totally understand the concern. You know, I even getting my kid in for her normal vaccinations. I, I, I listened to anti-vaxxers all the time and constantly consume their stuff and then debunk it on my channel. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Rob:

I see a couple of those now, by the way.

Dan:

So I, I hear all those claims and they're in my head. So when I'm in the doctor's office, watching her get vaccinated, there is that part that in the back of my lizard brain, where it's like, where it's like, oh man, like what if, but you know, that doesn't translate to any actual like action to, to be like, wait, I don't know if this is right. Cause I know

Bento:

that's the thing though, too. You do you also know that there is. In getting a vaccine, like, yeah. And that's kind of the problem of the society, right? Like everyone wants to be black or white. It's either like every vaccine is going to cause autism or no, they're completely 100% safe. You know, like I personally know somebody who got their infant vaccinated and they have terrible autism now, you know, to the point where they need you know, like a rescue dog, not rescue dog, a service dog. And they just had another child and, you know, they're, they're going to get that child, their vaccines, because they said that there is a risk to this, but ultimately it's a small risk. And unfortunately like some people just, it's just, it's a roll the dice, right?

Dan:

Yeah. I mean, no, no medication is going to be a hundred percent safe. I think that's something that, you know, we do have to acknowledge and that's why so many systems to monitor vaccine safety exist. Right. So for example, like. Malone and McCullough like to claim that no one's allowed to discuss vaccine adverse effects. They, they said that a few times. But it's it's as if they're just forgetting how back in April of last year, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine and other countries both were paused for a period of time because these safety monitoring systems detected. Those are very rare blood clots. For, for Johnson and Johnson, it was, they detected six cases after 6 million doses. And that's a one in a million chance. And even for one in a million chance, they pause it and said, okay, we gotta, you know, hold on and figure some things out. And that's what, that's pretty much what they did. They use that pause period to one, confirm that the vaccines were causing those blood clots and to figure out what to do if it happened. What to do if a patient presents with that kind of situation, what

Bento:

came of that? What did they determine it was from the vaccine?

Dan:

Yeah, so it's because, so the, the Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines are very similar in the sense that they use what we call and adeno viral vector to

Bento:

deliver th this like the normal flu vaccine that we, that you get every year. Right. Because that's how

Dan:

there are a couple of different kinds of flu vaccine. I'm going to blank right now on whether or not any are our identity, our identity viral. I think most of them are inactivated or attenuated, flu vaccines. So not quite the same. Okay. But the goal of any vaccine is to deliver viral material to your cells so that your cells can see it and build an immune response. And the strategy for the Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines is to package. The source, some, some SARS cov, two material inside a harmless virus called an adenovirus. And then that adenovirus will deliver that material to yourselves. But there is a protein on the identity adenovirus itself that I'm gonna, it, it has some interaction or relationship to something called platelet factor four. I don't remember the exact mechanism. I'd have to look, look at the paper again.

Bento:

Is that the spike protein that you hear Malone and Mokolo talk about and Rogan?

Dan:

No. So it's, it's a part of the adenovirus, not the, not SARS cov two. Okay. So it's a part of the delivery system and that's why you don't see those blood clots happening with MRD vaccines because they don't use adenoviral vectors. So future. You know, there, there are a lot of gene therapies and other vaccines that try to incorporate identi viruses in their delivery mechanism. So making sure that, that protein, that region of that protein on the identifier particle doesn't interact with platelet factor four is going to be an important thing moving forward for the pharmaceutical industry. But that, that was, that is what was noticed. They can't change it really at this point. I don't think they could do a next gen vaccine actually, but right now that risk does exist. It's very, very rare. Right. And that's why even the CDC has preferentially recommended for for children, the MRJ vaccines, just to eliminate that extra risk of Johnson and Johnson. What is,

Bento:

what is the part of that spike protein then? Cause that kind of caught my eye too when McCullough. We're talking about it as well. You know, they say that, you know, it's a cardiac thing, so it's attached to your heart and supposedly you can't get rid of it for it. Doesn't give your body, doesn't shed it for 15 months. And they were saying that you keep, if you keep getting these boosters, you know, you're putting more of that protein on your heart and could cause cardiac issues.

Dan:

Yeah. So I don't know where that claim comes from. I don't know where he's getting that data, that your body keeps it for 15 months. That doesn't really make sense to me because once the, once you get injected with a vaccine, it's going to, for an MRA vaccine, let's go through that. It, the lipid nanoparticles are gonna deliver the MRNs to your cells. Your cells are going to read the MRI and produce a spike protein. Both the MRN, a and the spike protein are going to have a particular. Right. And they're going to degrade over time. The MRN is going to degrade relatively quickly. Over the course of about after two weeks, there should be no RNA left from the vaccine. So then the protein that also is not going to stick around for a super long time. I don't know of any proteins that have that long half-life.

Bento:

Is that why you wait the two weeks to get your second shot is just to let that know the half-life happen?

How

Dan:

so? How long is that halfway? For the spike protein, I don't know offhand, but I know for proteins in general, proteins will turn over relatively quickly in cells. So certainly

Rob:

yeah. Yeah.

Bento:

And you get more from what I understand too, you get more of that spike protein. If you actually get COVID right, then, then the vaccine itself, because you do see a lot of these long-term, COVID people, they have a lot of cardiac problems now. And they're attributing it to that spike protein.

Dan:

Yeah. I don't think so. I'm not sure we know very well the mechanism, because so COVID infection can, can increase your risk of blood clotting much more than any vaccine would. But I, the mechanism is different. And I don't think we understand it fully yet. Because obviously. You know, there's no identity viral protein there to interact with platelet factor four. It's gotta be something else. Right. I don't think that anyone's really answered that question yet, as far as I know, but we do know that the risks are far higher. We see a lot of blood clots and COVID patients. We see cardiac damage, lung damage neurological damage in COVID patients and especially long COVID patients. It's unclear right now how permanent those changes are. We see them,

Rob:

In terms of the vaccine, any adverse effects Macola had mentioned in his podcast that there's a rule around adverse effects and what people are supposed to do, if there's a certain number or percentage hit, that those drugs are supposed to come off the market completely. Is that a real thing?

Dan:

So if. If it's shown that there are significant unexpected adverse events,

Rob:

unexpected or adverse in general.

Dan:

Well, I think by definition it would be unexpected, right. Or else it wouldn't have gotten approved

Rob:

fair,

Dan:

but. I mean, there is definitely a line where a drug will be pulled. I don't know if there's a PR there's like a set number. Yeah. I,

Rob:

I can't remember the number he referenced, but it was in the hundreds and, and he was like, you know, his statement was something around myocarditis and that there had been so many people who had contracted it. And again, I'm doing a poor job of quoting this, but but that it had reached this limit and it should in vaccines should have been pulled off the market for that age group.

Bento:

I mean, logically that doesn't even make sense because if you think about the actual lawsuits from pharmaceutical companies and the amount of time people are on a certain pill and had some adverse reactions, and then they settle settled in court for millions of dollars, like those drugs never pulled off the. You know, for years sometimes.

Rob:

Yeah. Again, I'm not sure what the rule was. Exactly.

Dan:

Yeah. I don't, I can't, I can't quote any rule there, but with vaccines, you know, they're really, I think that when he talks about adverse events and mild carditis, he references fares.

Bento:

Yes. Yeah. I wanted to ask you about that report because that is like the go-to for everyone. It seems that's on this kind of

Dan:

subject. Yeah. That's when, when someone, especially with an actual degree, like Macola is putting so much emphasis on bears. That's a big red flag, right? Cause

Bento:

essentially, like it's like a giant message board. I mean, I, you know, when I got my first my first shot. I've never been more sick in my entire life for about three days. I, you know, a hundred, two fever, one minute I would be ice, ice, cold four blankets on me. And then the next minute I'd be sweating for three hours with the window open and he just can't stop. So, you know, I experienced that. I went in the bears and it's, it's really a fruitful, I can put whatever I want. And apparently there are some people that go on there just to kind of troll, right? Yes. But they keep saying like, they have all these experts that like comb through these reports and only, and only pick out the correct data. It seemed very strange to me that you would be able to like reference actual numbers from essentially the, you know, the Facebook of vaccines.

Dan:

Yeah. That's pretty much what it is. I mean, and you know, you, you submitted a report to bears. I had my third dose and the next day I was, it was rough for me. I felt fatigued. I felt tired. I had a headache. I went to work, but that was rough, but then I, but then I went to sleep the next day I was fine. I didn't, I didn't report that to bears. It's just like, I expected that to happen. That's how I react to most vaccines. But you know, if I wanted to, I could have gone in and said, like you said, whatever I want. And yes, there are experts and systems in place to use bears. That's that's what bears is. Excuse me. That's what varies is for theirs. Is there, so that experts can generate hypothesis. They can look for trends and say, oh, you know, there's, we saw a big increase in bears of this report. Let's investigate that and see if there's any merit to it. And the programs like that, or programs like V safe and prism there's one other one. In the U S at least, and each country has its own. And you know, though, that's the kind of system that'll pick up those six blood clots with among 6 million doses. So if they're putting so much emphasis on bears, it's just, it's a really bad sign because what bears captures is everything. Right? So just think about in America, how many normal adverse health events happen on a daily basis? Yeah. And now, and now with 10, with hundreds of millions of people getting vaccinated all within the span of months, a lot of those normal health events are going to coincide with when that person got vaccinated and. Those are likely going to be reported to various, because if it's a serious health event that someone goes to the hospital for the doctor is going to know it's going to ask them, like, did you get vaccinated? When was it? And they will report that to bears. Doctors will, will do that. Or they're obligated to,

Rob:

they're obligated to really,

Dan:

oh, yes. I didn't know that. Yeah. They're, they're obligated to do that. And no matter what it is, they just report it so that others can look at the data and follow up on it.

Bento:

Another huge talking point are these guy, I'm sorry. Finish your thought. Sorry.

Dan:

Oh, no, I was just gonna say yeah, so all those systems will follow up and look at that data. For example you know, my, my wife got her two vaccines when she was seven months pregnant and V safe actually contacted her just to make sure that everything. Just say like, Hey, how was your experience? Like what happened? So they do, they do gather that data. They do look at it. Hmm.

Bento:

So another huge talking point of view of people in this kind of decide is the, the deaths in general, right. And the numbers and, and how the hospitals code COVID deaths. You know, they say, if somebody comes in and has terminal cancer and they get COVID and they die, you know, they, coding has COVID when they actually had cancer. And my pan that has always been, you know, if I have terminal cancer and I've crossed the street and hit by a bus. Even though I was going to die of cancer. My cause of death was getting hit by a bus. Yeah.

Rob:

I think the other question too is around the actual hotline, what causes the hospitalization? Do you go to the hospital for cancer or do you go to the hospital? Because you're sick with COVID right. You can have both, but why are you actually going to the hospital? I think is the debate there because there was a hospital in Florida, for instance, Florida put out the numbers from their, their health department and then a hospital came out on Twitter and said, well, actually, what was reported was not correct. And those and those numbers were inflated because they, you know, counted everybody who had, COVID not people who came into the hospital for an unrelated reason and then caught COVID or people who had COVID, but were there for another.

Dan:

Yeah. Yeah. So it's, so in terms of like the death certificates and coding the deaths, I mean, that's so that process is a very important, important process for doctors. They will take it very seriously to determine what actually caused the death. And so they monitor things like medical history. So they'll know, does this person have cancer? They all monitor like, you know, vital signs laboratory tests. They'll look for all these things to help them make a decision as to what to put on the destitute. They'll consider their clinical course throughout the hospital to like, like you said, what did they come in for? How did they progress? What emerged when they were in the hospital? How did, how did that process all go? So it's not like, it's not like some, it's not like someone just takes a positive test and they say, oh, well that was, that was COVID. They consider a lot of other things

Bento:

and there's going to be room for error because, you know, in, in the height of the pandemic, when the hospitals are filled with people, I mean, obviously doctors probably aren't taking the amount of time they normally would, you know, in a, in a regular day for them to do all this research. I mean, the people in there on the floor. And so you just naturally got to expect that there's going to be some, some MIS you know, misdiagnosis or Ms codes, you know,

Rob:

but that should be really minimal.

Dan:

Yeah. You can actually, if, if you were to wonder about this and say, okay, you know, how many deaths are actually happening due to COVID and a good indicator of that is to look at excess deaths, right? So data are recorded every year of how many people died in a given year. And if on, on our world in data dot com for example that's a great resource. There have been there are at least two peer reviewed publications that use data from that database. They now have a page that all about excess deaths during the COVID pandemic, where wow, you can see, you can see a line for 20, 20 and a line for 2021. Compared to a five-year average for given countries. So the five-year average you know, it's, you can see the individual five years as well. They're all pretty much the same. And then for 20, 20 and 2021, you just see big spikes that coincide with COVID cases and recorded COVID deaths. So are all of our, all of those deaths, a direct cause of COVID? Well, probably not, but the pandemic itself is creating so many, such an influx in hospitals and so many direct deaths that we're having just way more people than we should die in a given year. And that's a good way to look at over the real impact of a pandemic instead of like, you know, stipulating about. Person really die of COVID and blah, blah, blah.

Bento:

Cause we have that data now too. Whereas, you know, two years ago, we obviously didn't have any of this compare, but now we can actually see that curve.

Rob:

But in the news like that, that's what they lead with. Right. They lead with the John Hopkins. This many people died this week from COVID. This many people were hospitalized from COVID. And the question is, you know, if those deaths that were reported either accurately or inaccurately, I mean, that's, that's drawing a big conclusion. You know, our politicians are watching these programs and gain gleaning information that way. And so that's where I feel like if that data, especially around hospitalizations is incorrect, that's gonna lead to poor policy made decisions.

Dan:

Yeah. So I think that the, the hospitalization data, you know, obviously is going to vary a little bit from hospital to hospital. Overall I think the hospitalization numbers are, are pretty accurate for COVID. Yes, because even for example, in a situation where someone might come into a hospital for a different reason, unfortunately, because hospitals are a place where sick people go it's a place where you can have a high likelihood of transmission or something like SARS, cov two from person to person. It's the term for it is called a nosocomial infection. Because it's just something that happens in hospitals. So if someone comes in for a checkup or for some emergency that they need looked at real quick and they get COVID and they ended up staying in the hospital because of COVID, you know, that, that is. A real effect that the virus is having. So ed young is is a good science writer and he wrote an article about this in, in the Atlantic. And that he says that he explains that kind of stuff. And has you know, quotes from doctors and whatnot. So God, I love the Atlantic. Yeah. It's it's, it's, it's usually pretty good. At least I, at least the articles I read.

Rob:

Terrific. Terrific. And so in terms of the actual testing for all these things, right? You go to the hospital for any reason nowadays, I feel like you get tested. And with those tests, I think that, you know, I've heard lots of questions about whether those tests are accurate or not, or can tell the difference between the flu or COVID. And after watching your video. And I saw the data table of all of the different tests that they've done on this actual PCR tests. So I just wanted to ask you to talk about that for a minute. Cause that was a really big misconception I personally had about testing in

Dan:

general. Definitely. Yeah. I mean, when, when I heard Malone say that I, I smacked my face cause I was like, I cannot believe. I consider that like one of the ideas that someone like him wouldn't stoop to. Right. But he did. And so I was like, wow. Because you know, PCR is something that most students who take biology courses, even in like a pre-med track will learn about it's a test that the whole w one of its huge advantages is that it is, it can be so specific because it targets the genetic material and every species, every different kind of virus has a unique, something unique about its genome that separates it from like SARS, cov two, as something unique about its genome that separates it from stars. One from flu, from from any other virus on the planet. And so you can take advantage of that and design a PCR test to test for that. And in the case of SARS, cov two, they don't just have one part of the SARS Coby to genome that they target. They have three. Okay. It's three different sets of targets that they use. To detect it. So that's why it's, it is an accurate test and it is very sensitive. So

Rob:

those, so those, those sets are only looking for those three genomes and that's it,

Dan:

it's three, it's three pieces of three genes in the source code that are unique to SARS cov two, and together, together they make a positive.

Rob:

And so, oh, so you have, or yeah, so you'd have to have all three, right? Those are the ways it possible for you to have one and not the other two. Is that natural? I

Dan:

mean, so the only exception to that is Omicron because one of the pieces that it targets is a piece of the spike gene and because of the spike. It has a lot of mutations in it for Omicron. People will often see what, what they started calling a S dropout. So the spike gene is sometimes abbreviated as S so they see an S dropout where the other two targets bind and test positive, but the spike target does not. And so in that case, early on, when doctors were seeing that a lot they would sequence the genome of the virus that's in the sample and see that it's Alma Chron, that it is starting to Coby to.

Bento:

Okay. Is that where they would tell people to wait several days after their symptoms to get a test and, you know, to believe that the test was accurate?

Dan:

Oh, who's saying, wait, wait several days after a test.

Bento:

Yeah. So like several days after symptoms, they were saying to wait to test yourself, because if you test stuff early, the test wouldn't pick up. Omnicon.

Dan:

That's a weird recommendation. I would, I would want to get tested as soon as possible. Interesting. Yeah, cause waiting, isn't going to make a difference with Omicron. Even if you have a situation where it's S dropout, you'd

Bento:

still, if it was a home test that I'm thinking of that,

Dan:

not sure.

Bento:

Cause those are not, those are not as reliable as the PCRs, right? The home test

Dan:

home tests are not PCRs. No, those are antigen tests. Okay.

Rob:

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was that, that guidance that you should, if you, if you feel sick, stay home and don't go get tested. And I think that that's where some of that guidance was probably not correct. Right. You probably should have gone and gotten tested and gone to the hospital as soon as possible.

Dan:

I mean, it, it should have, it shouldn't have been that way. I, if that guidance, if that was the guidance early on the pandemic, it was probably because testing was not widely available because. I mean, the, the CDC dropped the ball on testing. There was a, there was a mistake with the original testing design. And that really stalled the rollout of mass testing in the U S so,

Bento:

and I'm sure they didn't want people running out to the hospital and the doctor's office getting tested and just give, just passing it around while, you know, being out in this thing. They didn't know how it spread yet or how, you know, how easy it was.

Dan:

Yeah. And also the, the idea of, you know, overburdening the healthcare system, which was already seeing an influx of COVID patients, you know, so if someone has the sniffles and they freak out and go to the hospital to get tested, and it's, it's just like a common cold or something, then. Or or allergies and then they just wasted

Rob:

time. There was a while there was a lot of places to get tested early on though. I feel like, I mean, there was this shortage and you did have, you know, a couple of day wait to get an appointment or something like that. But yeah, I remember early on in the pandemic going to get tested once and I mean, it was two days and I was right in, and

Bento:

it was one of those. It was one of the six months after when it was

Rob:

really bad. It was one of those drive up stations too. Like I didn't have to come in contact with anybody and, and they just swapped the ride in the car.

Dan:

Huh? Yeah. That, I mean, mass testing. So you could test you know, as soon as you think you're infected is like an ideal situation, which now with rapid tests with the, with the home antigen test. It's, it's great that we have those. I don't know why we, it took us so long because other countries in Europe were making them really widely available much sooner than

Bento:

because we don't make anything anymore. We rely on all these other countries to do our manufacturing. Right. I mean, that was a problem with the mass. I mean, we didn't have companies that were making mass in mass production, so, you know, companies like Honeywell and when I stepped up, but that, wasn't what they normally did. Yeah.

Dan:

And now you have people on Etsy making masks too.

Rob:

So stay on, stay on that testing too. What about false positives? Right. If the PCR was so good, then what causes that false, false, positive.

Dan:

So false positives are extremely rare. Extremely, extremely rare. And it depends a little bit what the context of false positive. Is that you're talking about? So sometimes people might refer to a false positive PCR as saying you're not infectious. Right. So like there are situations where you can test positive by PCR, but you let's say you had an asymptomatic case. You were taking a PCR test as like a routine thing, and it turned out you got infected you know, a week ago and you had an asymptomatic case. The virus is clearing, but you still have some detectable virus in you, you test positive, you're not infectious anymore. You didn't, you didn't have disease, but it's a real result. Right. And unless you knew all that, unless you knew that you had been infected and had. An asymptomatic case and recovered, then you know, that that would be a situation where you wouldn't have to have to quarantine yourself or take precautions, but because it's not a perfect world and we don't know all that, then you need to, you have to play it safe. And cause you could be at the earliest, you could be at the early stages of infection, right. Where the levels are ramping up. So that's what some people might mean. I know that faculty has referred to that situation as a false positive when you, when you're not infectious, but to have a false positive where, you know, the test reads positive and there's no virus there. That's G that's gotta be extremely, extremely rare. And we can see that in datasets, for example countries that had a long, long periods of low cases so Australia, they had a long period months where cases were extremely, extremely low, right. But the whole time they were doing tens of thousands of PCR tests a day. So. You know, if there were a high, false, positive rate, you would see it in that data set, but you don't. Right. So, so it's gotta be like less than 0.1% that you get a false positive.

Rob:

Okay. And what about the inverse of like, you know, is it possible for you to have COVID and test negative?

Dan:

Yes. Or yes. It's, it's probably more likely that that, that that would happen because you know, I'm still a

Rob:

minuscule percentage.

Dan:

I don't know if there's a hard number on it, but it's definitely more likely than pause false positives. And the reason for that is because let's say you, you are in the really early stages of, of infection and the virus hasn't ramped up yet that you're infected, but maybe the PCR isn't going to detect that maybe the sample collection, when someone's swapped your nose, they just happened to not. Get enough virus or all the way

Rob:

back.

Bento:

Well, even now when people give it to themselves, like at the CVS drive throughs and stuff, you know, they, you know, they're not going deep up there because I remember when the pandemic first started and people go get tested, they be like, oh my God, they touched my brain and went so far. So, you know, when your car, but yourself, you're not going that far out. There's no

Rob:

way. Yeah,

Dan:

no. And, and, you know, it could, it could be errors and like sample handling, if the sample isn't handled, handled correctly and it ends up degrading, then, then you might get a false negative. So it's possible, you know, the PCR tests are not perfect, but they are extremely sensitive and extremely accurate.

Bento:

Awesome. So, I mean, I guess the big question, right. Is how does a couple of dumb dudes like Bobby and I. How do we sort through the McCullough's and the Malones and, you know, th the general media, which has also distrusted and the government, which is distrusted. And I think, right, that's kind of the summary is that these, that's what that's, what's different between some other countries too, like, you know, like Australia and like Portugal is, you know, we have so many reasons not to trust these institutions because of whatever controversy from the past, you know, corporate greed, et cetera. We, we could have a series of podcasts on that. You know, how do we sort through what's what's real and how to follow this when we're not a scientist like

Dan:

yourself. So my biggest recommendation and something I love to plug is this podcast called this week in virology. I don't know if you guys have heard of it. No, but it is it's. It's fantastic. It's a. Podcast run by archeologists in Columbia, at Columbia university, sorry, in New York. And there's a core cast of people who are usually on the episodes and it includes immunologists. Parasitologists, I'm a science writer and they have guests on sometimes in most of their episodes, they have guests on and they just talk about papers. It's like scientists have these things where a lab or department will get together and have a journal club. It's like a, it's like a, when moms have a book club, they read a book and they get together and talk about it. This is when scientists read a paper and they get together and they talk about it. And that's what they're doing in this podcast, but they're making it in my opinion. I think they'd make it accessible because they know that non-experts listen to their show. Right. And they talk about they talk about a lot of these issues that you might hear about in the, in the media. It's their episodes like are usually about an hour to an hour, hour and a half. But they will have like, you know, the first, the authors or the, the lab, the people who run the lab of papers that are like making really big impacts in the scientific community and in the, in the COVID science space. And they'll just talk about it. We'll talk about what the data really mean. They'll talk about how people might be misrepresenting it. They'll talk about just really cool science. So if you, if you, if you're into, if you're into long form podcasts and you have the time to listen to them I would highly recommend that. Okay. So.

Bento:

So one of the things that we also do is you know, we let you plug something at the end here, and I do apologize. I was so excited to begin of this podcast. That's talking about this, you know, we usually ask the guests kind of a little history by yourself and how you get into doing whatever it is that you do. So if you can just kinda tell us that and tell everybody where we, where they can find you and kind of want and watch your stuff.

Dan:

Sure. So, I mean, I I mean, I'm a scientist. I have my PhD in molecular biology got that from Carnegie Mellon university. And now I work in biotech working a job that's nine to five, so that I can have time for family and do things like this with my YouTube channel because you know, I used to be a conspiracy theorist. I used to believe fully. Several really? Yeah. When I was younger, probably like 10 years ago, I was full into it. You know, arguing people on YouTube comments, sections. I was addicted to

Rob:

it, really one of the conspiracies

Dan:

nine 11. I believed that I believe that nine 11 was an inside job full, like full into it. I had books, I watched videos. I was into it, but, you know, I eventually realized that it's, it's not that a lot of the things that I bought into were, were not true. And that took a, took a long time.

Rob:

Some of them are though some of the pieces, maybe not the whole story.

Dan:

I don't, I don't know. You'd have to tell me, you have to give me a specific one. I'll have

Rob:

to get into that

Dan:

one day. I don't. Yeah, but I don't think it's. I came to the conclusion that it's not, and. I came out of that kind of rabbit hole by engaging with people because in those YouTube comments sections, mostly, it was like just a dumpster fires. Right. But every now and then there'll be someone who would be patient enough to like, have a back and forth for like a hundred, a hundred comment chain. And there'd be moments in those conversations where I like feel my heart rate increased because he'd be saying something that I knew deep down I couldn't address. Right. And, but in the moment I would just get pissed about it and like, you know, not, not admit I was wrong, but then looking back on it, I'd say like, ah, man, you know, I, I. I think, I think that's wrong. I don't think I can bring that up in these comments sections anymore. And it would just chip away that would happen over and over again until I'd have to like completely rethink it. So, and then I got, you know, I started my science career. I went into studying biology. I learned how science worked. I learned how science is a community. I learned how it would be almost impossible for a conspiracy like that to be hidden from these really, really competitive scientists who are constantly looking for the next big find. And so now looking back, I'm like, you know, I, I did my science career and now I'm working still continuing that science career, I guess. But what, what would have happened. Those people will never took the time to engage with me. And I never took the time to like, be exposed to those kinds of those kinds of perspectives about science, the

Bento:

type of person that wasn't even remotely open-minded to accept what these people were trying to tell you. Yeah. Right.

Dan:

I guess there are people like that, but the naive person in me wants to think like, you know, anybody out there who believes that stuff now could be like me back then, so. Sure. So

Rob:

if they can be swayed one way they can be swayed back.

Dan:

Yeah. I genuinely think that so I that's always made me really passionate about science communication and now that's, I kind of satisfy that passion by doing YouTube channels on YouTube videos on my channel. Or I find anti-vaccine or. Now I guess COVID denial stuff and I, I address it. I originally flatter stuff at

Bento:

all. I don't know. That's why that's one of my favorites to this day. It's, it's, it's amazing that people think that they're at this flag.

Dan:

I mean, I'll, I'll listen in on I know that there are a few channels out there that do like flat earth debates. I'll listen in on those sometimes because that's that stuff. So wacky,

Bento:

I believe it's 20, 22 when we're having a flat earth debates.

Dan:

It's it's so wild. I can't, I can't wait until space. Tourism is a thing. Oh, I can't wait. And a flat earth. Are still coming up with ways to, I

Bento:

just, I was just going to say most people, like most people are gonna say, oh, they're going to go up there and they're going to totally change the minds. Like, no, they're just going to find something else to be like, oh, well

Rob:

it's this or the goalpost.

Dan:

The window was CGI. Exactly.

Bento:

Right. It's a big mirror. Awesome. So so YouTube debunk the funk anywhere else that we can find you.

Dan:

Yeah. I'm on Twitter. I'm at debunked, the funk I'm on Instagram with the same thing. And I have a Facebook page called doc Wilson debunks, but I usually, I usually engage on Twitter and Facebook the most. Okay, awesome.

Bento:

This was, this was super informative. I had a lot of fun. Actually, you know, I wouldn't, he might have any back again, cause there's still so much more we could talk about as well.

Dan:

We be happy to talk to you guys again. You guys are cool and fun to talk to, so,

Rob:

thanks. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thank you so much for taking the time though. We really do appreciate it. I mean, you know, how much information is out there and how quickly people can be consumed and downloads rabbit holes, even we fall prey to it. And so it's one of those things, like any chance that we have, you know, a chance to have someone come on and hopefully bring some truth, like it's been fantastic. And so we definitely appreciate you taking the time.

Dan:

Yeah. I, I do my best to keep up with literature and. Yeah. Also have fun debunking. Yeah. The lack of your things.

Rob:

And I always tell everybody, go check out those videos. I watched three in the last week and they're all fantastic.

Dan:

Thank you. Thank you.

Bento:

Okay. Awesome. All right, Dr. Wilson.

Rob:

Yeah, we appreciate

Dan:

it. All right. Thanks guys. Have a good night.

Rob:

I got a pen him. So I'm going to look at your old ugly mug the whole time. Let's get strategy. Thank you.

Bento:

Go. Hey, Dr. Wilson, how you doing? Hey,