Wednesday, October 21, 2020

No Lynne, COVID-19 is not cured by mouthwashes

        Lynne McTaggart is editorial director of the publication What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Nobody could accuse her of modesty—on her website she tells us that she is known as as a ‘metaphysical rock star’, ‘the Madonna of the Quantum World,’ ‘the Malcolm Gladwell of the New Science’ and even ‘The Dalai Mama.’ She proclaims her newsletter as "the world’s No 1 health magazine". Clearly, she needs no help at self-promotion, but Coast to Coast AM nevertheless gilded the lily with "She is consistently listed as one of the world’s 100 most spiritually influential people."

        This was advance copy for her two-hour appearance last night with host George Noory. I confess that I nodded off at some point during the two hours, but I heard her say that "alternative medicine cures all those illnesses that conventional medicine cannot". (Emphysema? Asthma? Diabetes mellitus? Creutzfeld-Jacob? Polio? Ebola? I'd like to see your data on those some time, Lynne).

        I'm not the only one with a skeptical view of McTaggart and other "alternative medicine" loonies. In an article in The Guardiannote 1 on 17th February 2016, Ben Goldacre took McTaggart to task for confusing Tamiflu with a vaccine for bird flu in her "World's No.1" newsletter. McTaggart's article recommended, for treatment of bird flu, vitamins A, C, and E, homeopathynote 2, and the herbal remedies echinaceanote 3, Hydrastis canadensisnote 4, Andrographis paniculatanote 5, and Phytolacca americananote 6. Goldacre summed up:

« Seriously. It goes on for pages and pages, rehashing the Tamiflu information leaflet's safety data, in the most scaremongerish tones they can muster, quoting scientific journal articles - with the full citation, journal title, page number, year, issue number, all in the main body of the text - all to make themselves look as authoritative as is humanly possible, all while cursing and mocking the medical profession. And all the while they are blissfully, beautifully, wonderfully ignorant of the fact they have got the most important thing, at the heart of the matter, completely and utterly, pathetically, stupidly, obviously wrong. This isn't bad science. It's performance art.»
        Last night on C2C-AM McTaggart excelled herself by claiming that ordinary mouthwash is a cure for COVID-19. What a whopper of a misunderstanding!!! There is not the slightest evidence of this. What has been said, quite authoritatively,note 7 is that the use of commerical mouthwash may possibly reduce the transmission of the Sars-Cov-2 virus. Since COVID-19 patients typically have a very high viral load in the mouth and throat, that's almost obvious.

        What with this and the shameless monthly infomercials by "Doctor" Joel Wallach, Coast-to-Coast AM marches on in its mission to misinform its audience on medical matters.

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[1] "How to be beautifully, blissfully wrong about Tamiflu: just call it a bird flu vaccine". The article was in the Guardian's long-running "Bad Science" series.

[2] Since the principle of homeopathy is the treatment of a disease with a dilute solution of the disease's known cause, this suggests immersing a small bird in a jar of water and shaking it.

[3] Purple coneflower, sold OTC as a cold remedy

[4] Goldenseal, sold OTC as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory

[5] Chiretta, with controversial claims of relief of AIDS symptoms

[6] Pokeweed, toxic to humans

[7] "Mouthwashes could reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, study shows". Science Daily, 10th August 2020.

Friday, October 2, 2020

Robert Morningstar: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong and Wrong

 James Concannon writes...

        Robert Morningstar got the second half of Coast to Coast AM last Wednesday night. The producers (plus George Noory) must have thought it was time for a good old-fashioned liar, after recent appearances by Nick Pope and Seth Shostak, who both pretty well stick to facts. With AM* you either get misinformation, as when he's interpreting images or audio, or disinformation, as when he's deliberately mis-attributing images for propaganda purposes.

        On Wednesday night, it was all mis- and no dis-. He boasted about his own brilliance in digging up photo-evidence of Martian and Lunar civilizations, mentioning in particular his 2015 discovery of "Big Ben on the Moon". As I wrote in March 2015, this artifact is just a piece of random lint (looks like a tiny insect leg) in someone's scanner. Stuart Robbins also ridiculed this one later that year. Thanks again to "trekker" for pointing out that in the next frame "Big Ben" has migrated right-wards and is totally detached from the Moon.

Music of the Spheres
        I also wrote a major debunk piece about AM*'s next topic: The weird "music" heard by Apollo 10 (also Apollo 11 and 12) astronauts when they were behind the Moon. This was definitively traced to intermodulation between the VHF tracking of the two separate spacecraft. AM* said, testily, that he "just wishes NASA would come clean" about it.

        Well, y'know, four separate mission transcripts are available. The DSE and DSEA transcripts are available. The Press Kit is available. These documents have been on the Internet for ~20 years. Much more recently, a group of space enthusiasts has annotated the mission transcript as a flight journal. It's hard to know what else NASA could do to make this mission public. Of course Morningstar is imagining an alien orchestra and he wants NASA to admit it. But it's NOT TRUE.

        AM* even went as far as to create what he called a "radio play" on the subject. This consisted of four guys reading the mission transcript (very badly) plus someone simulating the Quindar tones (also very badly) on what sounded like a tin whistle. Here's a link to it.

        You can't monitor AM* for long before you understand that he's passionately anti-vacc (However, he's also passionately pro-Trump, and today's news must have created something of a dilemma for him). In the final moments of his two hours, he claimed that the swine flu (H1N1) mass vaccination campaign of 2009 caused many cases of Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome. He further claimed that GBS is inherited in subsequent generations.

Well it's NOT TRUE that H1N1 vaccination caused a spate of GBS. Ref - para 5 of the Introduction. Certainly some people who had been vaccinated also contracted GBS, but simple statistics tells us not to attach special significance to this. In a population of 10 million, 21.5 can be expected to contract GBS in any six-week period, just by normal background infection rates. And well over 10 million were vaccinated.

It's NOT TRUE that GBS is inherited. Ref. - "Inheritance" para. Since no genetic mutation is associated with GBS, there is no possibility of inheritance.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong and Wrong