“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde
The following story is ongoing and will be updated as new information becomes available.
It is a story of social media pundits and discussions about the dangers of the SARS-COV-2 spike protein, the potential dangers of the mRNA vaccines, and alternative treatments.
It is also a tale of how the general public — a public riven by political divides and fed with conspiracy theories and untrained in evaluating scientific evidence — responds to such discussions.
The discussions may be well-intentioned, but you know what they say: The road to hell is paved with good intentions…
We’re beginning to learn more and more about SARS-COV-2, its origins, its transmission, its mode of infection, and how to counter it using clinical interventions, medicines both new and repurposed, and vaccines.
Key to understanding how the virus infects humans is the S-protein or “spike” protein. It is this protein on the surface of the virus that allows it to bind to particular human cells and infect the cell, take over the cellular machinery and replicate itself, reassemble new virus, before destroying the host cell and spreading to other cells.
The virus binds to the ACE-2 receptor in epithelial tissue that lines the respiratory system as well as the cells that line the vascular system – the endothelium. Once infected, most individuals have a mild disease similar to a bad cold or influenza, with a significant portion having asymptomatic disease. However, a considerable proportion do go on to suffer serious and deadly disease. Worldwide to date (June 2021) there have been over 3.8M deaths, which is probably an undercount by an unknown factor. *see previous disclaimers about data
There is a range of clinical presentations of the disease, which has been linked to viral load, innate and adaptive immune response, genetic predisposition and degree and severity of comorbiditie like age, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
The article SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2 in the journal Circulation, explores how the spike protein down regulates ACE2, thus leading to endothelial damage.
From the article:
Paradoxically, ACE2 is protective in the cardiovascular system, and SARS-CoV-1 S protein promotes lung injury by decreasing the level of ACE2 in the infected lungs.3 In the current study, we show that S protein alone can damage vascular endothelial cells (ECs) by downregulating ACE2 and consequently inhibiting mitochondrial function.
The article concludes with the following:
Although these findings need to be confirmed with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the future study, it seems paradoxical that ACE2 reduction by S protein would decrease the virus infectivity, thereby protecting endothelium. However, a dysregulated renin-angiotensin system due to ACE2 reduction may exacerbate endothelial dysfunction, leading to endotheliitis. Collectively, our results suggest that the S protein-exerted EC damage overrides the decreased virus infectivity. This conclusion suggests that vaccination-generated antibody and/or exogenous antibody against S protein not only protects the host from SARS-CoV-2 infectivity but also inhibits S protein-imposed endothelial injury.
This article has become a source of a “pseudoscience panic” on social media, and has led to a narrative that the spike protein created by the mRNA vaccines in particular — is a danger. This has led to one social media personality, known for his battles against “woke culture,” to suggest that the vaccines are a threat, that the spike protein/vaccine collects in the bone marrow and ovaries, leading to potential for leukaemia, infertility and a host of other ills and that that the vaccine campaign should be immediately stopped to “save the world”.
Warning: this rabbit hole is deep and involves a combination of anti-wokeness, anti-vax, government conspiracy theories about Big Pharma, and a dangerous cynicism about science itself. Reading the comments on these Youtube videos should be done at your own risk. Be sure to have a glass of your favorite beverage nearby to help you cope with the implications of just how popular this whole narrative has become and what a potential threat to ongoing efforts to end the pandemic.
- All vaccines carry some degree of risk, due to rare cases of anaphylaxis. This is true for pretty much every vaccine.
- The current vaccines for COVID-19 have been subject to both animal and human trials, and approximately 2.5B doses have been administered worldwide.
- The vaccines received emergency use authorization by the FDA in the US after the Phase 3 stage.
- The mRNA vaccines have additional risks, including the recently identified VITT (Vaccine Induced Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia) for the AstraZeneca and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines and vaccine induced cardiac inflammation or myocarditis in teens and young adults for the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines.
With that being noted, let’s move on to the pseudoscience panic on social media about the vaccines. It has led to Youtube removing a number of videos that were deemed to promote dangerous or misleading ideas and beliefs about the mRNA vaccines, etc.
This clip from the Darkhorse Podcast is one avenue for this disinformation being spread: You can see the title — “SPIKE PROTEIN COLLECTS IN THE OVARIES & BONE MARROW”.
The host, Bret Weinstein, interviews two guests, including the inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology Dr. Robert Malone and “serial entrepreneur” Steve Kirsch to discuss the dangers of the mRNA vaccine spike protein.
Given findings that the SARS-COV-2 spike protein is in itself dangerous because it downregulates the ACE2 receptor in endothelium, one could understand viewers being panicked about getting the vaccine — if they believe what the moderator and guests are claiming about the spike protein and the mRNA vaccines.
There’s the rub…
Most of the viewers of the channel in question likely have very little scientific knowledge or training and lack the ability to evaluate the claims being made about the spike protein and vaccine or the articles and ‘evidence’ being presented to back up their claims. Instead, they are wowed by the credentials of the scientists involved and take them at their word.
Back we go to Sagan’s lament:
“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
Let’s go down a little deeper into the rabbit hole…
(To be continued)