Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.
Science is not what people “opine” — it’s “what the data and experiments do,” according to Dr. Harvey Risch, Ph.D., who said public health officials have been telling “self-serving lies” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Risch, a professor emeritus and senior research scientist in epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, appeared on “RFK Jr. The Defender Podcast” to discuss his “intentionally provocative” essay in which he argued that plausibility — not science — has dominated public discussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Theories are not science,” Risch told Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief litigation counsel for Children’s Health Defense. Theories “motivate science,” he said.
“Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and the public health administration have been putting out theories from beginning to end with no evidence for them — that’s not science,” Risch said.
“Science is taking those theories and doing empirical studies — either experiments or observational studies — and looking at the results.
“If they support the theory, good. If they refute the theory, then we update the theory, modify it or throw it out, and do more studies and repeat the cycle.”
Risch — who has published approximately 400 peer-reviewed original research papers and served as a peer reviewer on more than 60 scientific and medical journals — told Kennedy it’s “crucial” to get into the details of what a study purports to study to see if it, in fact, does that.
He pointed to Pfizer’s randomized clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine as an example of how glossing over the details led to the questionable “policy conclusion” that “the vaccines reduce spread.”
Technically, Risch said, the Pfizer study never tested for transmission — or spread — of the virus. It only studied the rate of infection and relied on the inference that reducing the risk of infection would reduce the risk of transmission.
While that may be plausible, Risch said, that’s not science.
“This is the kind of issue of science versus plausibility that we’ve been dealing with for three years now,” he said. “And as a scientist, I am just not willing to sit there and listen to plausibility and the claim that it represents science.”
Kennedy and Risch also discussed what constitutes “evidence-based medicine” and the reasons for its apparent decline.
In Risch’s opinion, we are seeing a “public health paternalism” in which the government has been lying to the public “to protect their own personal interests or their administrative interests.”
This is different, he said, from a government telling a lie for national security interests. “That may be warranted,” Risch said.
But the kinds of lies government officials and public health experts told during the last three years, he said, are “self-serving but not public health-serving.”
“I’m really at a loss” to explain this and “really kind of ashamed of my colleagues over that,” Risch added.
Risch also told Kennedy that after he published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology in May 2020, about the safe and effective use of hydroxychloroquine and began speaking about ivermectin for early treatment of COVID-19, he realized there was a “systematic campaign to push back against the idea that these outpatient treatments actually did work — which they did.”
“Once I realized that, I had to accept that there was some plan in the government — in industry, in public health — that was rejecting empirical information and study results for some other goal that was unstated,” he said.
Kennedy and Risch noted that no government public health official has accepted Steve Kirsch’s offer of $1 million dollars to debate him about the early treatment of COVID-19 or his criticism of the COVID-19 vaccines. Kirsch is founder of the COVID-19 Early Treatment Fund.
“That’s been the problem that when you have a policy that is indefensible [and] you know you can’t win the debate, you don’t debate. You just censor,” Risch added.
Watch the podcast here: