0014 - More Covid Misinformation

We are all seeing tons of covid misinformation. Just as every social meet up is a vector for covid, every social network is a vector for misinformation about covid. Mako and Sqeaky tackle half a dozen covid myths, instead of current news we just have a huge list of deaths, and we dig into how covid misinformation is structured. Get the show notes or listen online at: https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/episode-14-more-covid-misinformation

*Guitar intro*

SQEAKY: Warning. The show contains adult themes and language including people who think it can't happen to them while it is happening to them.

MAKO: Dysevidentia is an inability to reliably process evidence-

SQEAKY: -and this is a podcast all about it.

SQEAKY: This podcast was released on August 18, and we are discussing dysevidentia because it is clear millions of anti vaxxers are suffering from it.

MAKO: Wait, isn't that what we said in the last COVID episode?

MAKO: I am Mako.

SQEAKY: And I am Sqeaky.

MAKO: And we discuss logic and evidence because Governor DeSantis will not.

SQEAKY: You can support us by becoming a Patron at patreon.com/dysevidentia.

MAKO: If you were recently fired for skipping the vaccine despite working in healthcare you can still like, subscribe, and leave a review to help us out.

SQEAKY: If you have a paper you have written or a small business you would like us to plug here let us know.

MAKO: Today we are going to discuss COVID, COVID, and even more COVID.

SQEAKY: But seriously, we're going to do COVID myths, COVID news, and probably something about our raffle. We have that almost finalized.

MAKO: Almost.

SQEAKY: But first, I'm going on a rant.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: How do you feel about it?

MAKO: Good enough to move on.

SQEAKY: You have no patience.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: After our last two episodes, I've been reached out to by a number of Dysevidentia sufferers. In episode 12 we discussed evolution and most people reaching out were supportive and only a few creationists tried to blast me with the word of god. Only one pious person attempted to reach out to me in an apparently earnest search of discussion and mutual exchange of ideas. This person was a reddit user and those names are… unique. Let’s call this redditor “AbsolutleyNotVodka,” they will know who they are, but hopefully this protects their anonymity.

SOURCE[1:50] Dysevidentia 12 Evolution and Creationism with the Rock Doctor - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/evolution-and-creationism-with-the-rock-doctor

SQEAKY: Ella, --again not a real name but they will know--, reached out to me on LinkedIn about a slew of right wing talking points and masks ineffectiveness. We covered masks all the way back in episode 4 “The Right Mask for the Wrong Reason” and we will discuss them more this episode.

SOURCE[2:06] Dysevidentia 4 The Right Mask for the Wrong Reason - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/the-right-mask-for-the-wrong-reason

SQEAKY: Both of these people reached out to me with simplistic and bad arguments. Both arguments crumpled upon even slight investigation. At least AbsolutleyNotVodka was smart enough to ask me a bunch of questions and not presume where I stood. Ella just tossed out bad links to places like the Gateway pundit and didn’t understand why they were bad sources. For the morbidly curious, I will include a link in the show notes.

SOURCE[2:29] Gateway pundit a misinformation spreader misrepresents sources to push false conclusions - https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/03/comes-wearing-face-mask-time-challenge-pseudo-science/

SQEAKY: The first sentence of their wikipedia page says “The Gateway Pundit (TGP) is an American far-right fake news website”, if you are familiar with how hard wikipedia tries to remove bias and understand what it means when I say that sentence has two supporting citations, then maybe you can trust that this source is garbage. We will discuss that more later in this episode.

SOURCE[2:52] Wikipedia on the Gateway Pundit - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gateway_Pundit

SQEAKY: Both of these people presumed they were correct. AbsolutleyNotVodka presumed they knew more than all biologists, they never said this but they did insist they weren’t convinced by the things that convinced biologists and generally disagreed with biologists conclusions. They also couldn’t grok the chemical, electrical, and general physical basis of the brain. This is really well established but they compared it to a bottle of soda being a bunch of chemicals. Maybe that was a real misunderstanding. Maybe their intense need to inject a soul created a problem space were they had simply never considered a purely physics based explanation for brains.

SQEAKY: Ella, instead, kept explaining sources they trusted. There was a pattern, they trusted people who sounded confident instead of people with actual solid arguments. Ella trusted the Arizona scam audit guy. They showed me a video where that guy is talking about “kinematic artifacts”, which aren’t a real thing, and he was confidently bullshitting some Arizona officials about how these fictional things work. I will include the video in the show notes.

SOURCE[3:52] The shitty explanation on what kinematic artifacts are from pulitzer himself - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F9mtK0lPDY

SQEAKY: I have been a software engineer for more than 20 years. When a listener suggested I make a board game, step one was writing a piece of software to make the game pieces. I would count myself as an expert on software. Some people say you need 10,000 hours to be an expert, I am closer to 30,000. Some of that is working in computer vision and scanning systems. I even did a stint at a major election equipment manufacturer making firmware that resides on the voting machine. There are problems with our voting systems but this scammer doesn’t seem to be anywhere near them,

SQEAKY: I said “doesn’t seem”. On the topic of software, even I won’t assert that I know for sure what is going on with some specific piece of software without all the context and some time to digest it. But that makes me sound less confident to a layperson like Ella. They entirely bought the audit scammer’s bullshit explanation. He incorrectly called a square on a ballot “code” and incorrectly described its purpose. He boldly declared that a miscalibration would cause the ballot counting machines to go haywire and that only his machines could count these errors. Pure bullshit. I know the rules around voting machines, they have to fail a certain way. But damn, he was confident saying his bullshit and that is what Ella picked up on, I think. I am not entirely certain, but it would match a pattern.

SQEAKY: Experts don't speak in hard certainties, and a lot of people interpret this as weakness. The biologists that AbsolutleyNotVodka read probably said things that sounded waffling, they spoke of “chances”, “tendencies”, and acknowledge when they didn’t know. But when he looked to pro-creation scammers like answers in genesis he would hear confident people who claim to “know for sure”, “have all the info”, or even declare “we are on the side of god”. Fuck, so confident. When I speak on the voting machines in the audit, I need to say “probably have known failure states” or “per regulations they need to”, while that fucking scammer just says “I know this untrue thing”. Fuck, Kinematic Artifacts are not real and this fuckface convinced Ella that only he could find them. This isn’t a pattern that just I experience, this is all areas of knowledge, there is a good episode of podcast 19 that discusses this in the context of covid and vaccines. Again, link in the show notes check your podcast app or the episode list at dysevidentia.com.

SOURCE[6:12] Podcast 19, the June 30 episode talks about what goes into expertise - https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-the-cdcs-blindspots-complicated-the-fight-against-covid-19/

SQEAKY: There is some amount of people who respond to the sound and posture of confidence instead of the content of the message. Please don’t let yourself fall into this trap. Disregard or at least de-prioritize how confident a person sounds, plenty of highly skilled socially awkward nerds will stutter and avoid eye contact when relaying even simple and obviously correct information. Sometimes a person will lie to your face about trivially verifiable information and exude confidence like the bastards at answers in genesis or the asshats doing this needless repeat audit in Arizona. Instead, please consider the content of the message. Do you know corroborating or disconfirming facts? Can your facts be wrong or stale? What are the stakes of the information and how much corroboration is required? How likely or unlikely is the information on its own merit?

SQEAKY: One listener, thanks Wales, pointed us to EDF Action, a climate action group, they thought it seemed relevant after our last episode. I have not yet vetted all their stuff but they do have a pretty good page on fighting misinformation. Again, I will include a link in the show notes.

SOURCE[7:17] EDF Action - https://www.edfaction.org/how-we-can-fight-misinformation

SQEAKY: I don’t know how to fight these confidence games in the wild. But I did shut down Ella by linking the wikipedia page on the Dunning-Kruger effect and explaining tactlessly which side of it they were on.

SOURCE[7:29] Wikipedia on Dunning-Kruger effect - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: Do you need a computer? Go to abk-kustomz.com. That is A B K dash K U S T O M Z .com to speak to an expert to get the computer you need. Sqeaky knows one of the builders over there. He is knowledgeable and eager to please. Give them code evidence for a ten percent discount on your next computer.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: So I guess we're falling into a pattern where we're doing corrections just after my rant.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: We didn't have too many this last episode. I confused causality and causation. I just flipped them around. I meant the other. A volunteer on the podcast, AlphaWolf294, pointed this one out. And if anyone calls me out on that, reach out to us on any of our social media outlets or our email, and we'll credit you in the show for calling us out. Or if we're factually inaccurate, we want to know that too.

MAKO: Yeah. We are on a... an everlasting march to be more correct.

SQEAKY: Unlike glass. It's stationary. I learned that from the Rock Doctor. I am really surprised. I thought it did that thing where it flowed slowly. I was just super wrong.

MAKO: Yeah. I actually remember when I was- The very first time I was told that, I was in eighth grade earth sciences class and the teacher actually walked over the classroom door and was like "LOok how all of the glass is kind of pooling at the bottom."

SQEAKY: Yeah, the Rock Doctors' explanation was some pieces of glass are just big and heavy so the people installing it will test which end is lighter and lift that one up. And there is also some glass that is apparently supposed to be installed that way.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Ah well that's it for corrections. That's really minor. I'm used to putting like ten of them out there.

MAKO: Yeah. We're getting better.

SQEAKY: And that was a long one too. It was like two hours. We did also mention our raffle- our giveaway.

SOURCE[9:01] The link to our raffle - https://gleam.io/w0zgk/dysevidentia-flash-drive-giveaway

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Well we have flash drives ordered, they are coming, and we'll be ready to mail them out. But we'll put the announcement up on social media so be sure that you're following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or you're subbed to the Dysevidentia subreddit on Reddit.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: You can reach out to us with our corrections any of those ways or you can reach out to us at contact@dysevidentia.com. But we won't be emailing anybody about the raffle. That'd be pretty goofy. Just email random email addresses.

MAKO: That would be shady.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Well, we're going to give away five of 'em.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And these flash drives aren't shady. They are stainless steel. They got USB-C on one end, so they are super fast. And they got USB-3 on the other end, so they're compatible with everything. A hundred-twenty-eight gigs, and we'll load up all of our episodes on to them.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Sign up to that. It will be one of those Gleam raffles, should be pretty straightforward. It will just have some actions to complete like "Go to the site to get one free entry", "Retweet a thing", or... do really simple stuff like that and you'll get a chance at winning one of these really nice flash drives.

MAKO: The raffle should begin on August 18th, which hopefully should be the same day that this episode is released and will last until September 8th.

SQEAKY: We'll be reminding people in the next episode and we'll probably bring it up on social media a few more times between now and then.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Mmm. Anything else?

MAKO: Nothing about the raffle specifically, no.

SQEAKY: Well... Onto COVID.

MAKO: Oh, delightful.

SQEAKY: Wait. Can we put COVID on a flashdrive?

MAKO: We can put COVID information on a flashdrive.

SQEAKY: Oh, that's way less fun.

MAKO: ? transmission is...

SQEAKY: We can put COVID-

MAKO: ...ineffective.

SQEAKY: -in a flamethrower instead of it shooting fire it just shoots COVID.

MAKO: I mean... maybe. There's a few water guns out there that mist themselves. Just drop a bunch of COVID into the reservoir-

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY & MAKO: I am Mako.

MAKO: Doppelgänger!

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: So I figured before we jump into just rattling off a bunch of facts, trying to make jokes around 'em --failing because COVID is killing millions of people-- maybe we could talk about the structure of misinformation particularly around COVID for just a moment.

MAKO: Yuh.

SQEAKY: It seems that most of it stems from people distrusting the CDC and World Health Organization. But there's a reason people do that, right?

MAKO: Yeah. There's a reason for everything. Whether or not that reason is logical is another matter.

SQEAKY: I... yeah... I imagine a lot of people would think back to the points where the CDC and World Health Organization have reversed roles on or flipped their stances on. Things like masks. Right like, early on... I think CDC was saying don't use fabrics masks and they were thinking it wasn't going to be super effective or wouldn't be effective enough or to save the masks for experts, right?

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And then later on when masks became more available or we learn that masks were really effective, yeah start using them. Well, when experts change their mind because they get new evidence, the experts are viewed as less credible. And to a certain degree, some of this critique is fair, but this isn't the root cause for people not trusting them. Right, we flipped on so many things as a society, right?



MAKO: It is something that people cling to when they have nothing else to like point their finger at.


MAKO: But it... it on its own is not necessarily good enough to convince somebody of the things that these people are claiming.

SQEAKY: Yeah, I would agree. Most people who use those as excuses... that's what it is, it is an excuse for people to not change their mind. Because all the experts are unified right now. It just happened that at the time, the experts that happened to be in charge of the one organization, right, didn't agree with everybody involved. So I think really this information is primarily Trump inspired. I don't want to go and try and blame everything on one person, but Trump was President of the United States, and positioned himself directly in opposition with the CDC and World Health Organization because the messaging in the short-term for him, whenever he got a chance to speak, it made him more popular right that second to say COVID was going away, or to downplay COVID, or to say something dumb about COVID.

SOURCE[12:39] - Guardian News’ YouTube trump talking out his ass - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXxuUJJz4VE
SOURCE[12:39] - Trump again claims Covid-19 will 'go away' as Fauci warns of long road ahead - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/05/donald-trump-covid-19-go-away

MAKO: Mhm.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Even this is kind of myth-ridden. I have spoken with Trump supporters who say shit like "Trump never said COVID will go away on its own."

MAKO: Not in those exact words but yeah, he communicated that idea.

SQEAKY: Yeah, like fifteen times.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: I threw two sources in the show notes. One was from one of our congressmen or senators. Uh, Representative Doggett I believe, but uh... doggett.house.gov. He has a timeline. And he just maintains a public timeline of all the stuff Trump has said publicly about coronavirus, good or bad. And Guardian News has a video where they point that Trump said it would just go away. And I scanned through there and found four or five examples and picked them out but Trump downplayed repeatedly and lied often.

SOURCE[13:21] - Timeline showing many false claims from trump and demonstrates trump knew some where false - https://doggett.house.gov/media-center/blog-posts/timeline-trump-s-coronavirus-responses

MAKO: Yeah. Every time he downplayed it he lied.

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: Let's give him credit. Sometimes it was a half-truth.

MAKO: Ehh... A half-truth that still resulted in the deaths of... how many people?

SQEAKY: Yeah, on his watch more than half-a-million Americans, yeah.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: And like some of the quotes that stick out uh... Feb 24th he said "Coronavirus is very much under control in the US. The stock market starting to look very good to me." I tried to say that accurately 'cause he left out some of his grammar.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And we all do that sometimes but it's like c'mon Mr. President.

MAKO: Yeah it was uh... a few months later that like the stock market really nose-dived.

SQEAKY: Yeah it was the 14th I believe. Speaking of it happening on the 14th. On March 11th he said "It goes away. It's going away. We want it to go away with very very few deaths." Well, that was three days before everyone started closing their doors because it was a... like a fucking disaster.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And we know he lied --not just was wrong-- because in private we have recordings of it saying on uh... February 7th, he said "It's also more deadly than even your strenuous flu. This is deadly stuff." And he said that in a meeting, and it was made public by The Washington Post. So I mean we have his voice from private meetings, he knew this shit was dangerous. And he had strong political incentives to attack the CDC and World Health Organization because they were saying to do things that he viewed as bad for the economy. And that was his goal. His goal was to profit the economy in the short term the entire time. He never stopped and just thought 'What's a good long-term action here?'

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Gah, we could just turn this into the whole... to just bashing on Trump for hours and hours 'cause...

MAKO: Yeah, there's no shortage of that.

SQEAKY: Not wanting to do that 'cause it's not fun to do or to listen to. Probably done it too much already. What isn't political stems from people fundamentally mistrusting expertise. I don't know how many arguments I've gotten to with people where they just won't trust the scientists but will trust some horrible source instead of... y'know, the actual scientists that that source is citing, and we'll get into that. We have examples. There's one place where I cite The Pundit Gateway. This website is truly awful. It is just misinformation peddling. But they have one where they quote one expert on one thing another expert on a different thing and act like these two things aren't quite compatible so they use that to justify bullshit beliefs about COVID. So they oppose the experts by misrepresenting what the experts are saying and it's just one example of the concept of expertise being devalued.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: People think they can google something for like two seconds and act like that is as good as people who've studied it or understand it or live it. And I have a funny video on that, that'll be in the shownotes. It's on LinkedIn, but it came from Instagram originally, and it highlights how we trust our experts on everything else, but for some reason anti vaxxers won't trust them on this.

SOURCE[15:28] 2 minutes of how anti-vaxxers trust scientists - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/michael-%E2%99%A3%EF%B8%8F-tierney-932828b4_little-message-for-antivaxxers-in-language-ugcPost-6831139060464128000-AKts

MAKO: But... getting in more like opinion editorial side of these things, these people tend to believe it because it is the sensationalist and social thing to believe and that takes precedent over just cold, logical facts.

SQEAKY: Yeah, you're totally correct. For a lot of these people, saying these things makes them part of a social group. And they don't realize that they are just doing what it takes to be part of this one social group, and when they take these messages and mistruths out to another social group they keep parroting them and repeating them, not understanding where this grates?, and they have to come to terms with this thing they've taken for granted. It's like religious beliefs, people don't get their religious beliefs based off fact, they take it so they can be accepted into their community, and then people often fill in justification later.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: It just doesn't work with COVID misinformation because it's trivial to demonstrate how false this stuff is.

MAKO: That and it's killing people.

SQEAKY: Religion isn't?

MAKO: Religion has more indirect ways of doing it.

SQEAKY: Airplanes, buildings...

MAKO: Yeah, indirect.

SQEAKY: Fuck. You did some source gathering and some basic research on the intentional misinformation angle. I brought up incidental reasons why Trump supporters might search out information to back up Trump. But you got people lying.

MAKO: Uhh... yes. So, there is a report from... The Network Contagion Research Institute, and they were specifically looking at a whole bunch of information regarding misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines, and just examining that and it's effects, and they did have the whole report posted on the link provided which is pretty cool, and it's not too long of a read and they have some interesting things to say, but the other links are definitely more digestible for the typical reader. Uh... I have an AP News link that tries to have a more detailed breakdown of how COVID misinformation started and evolved. There's a r- Interesting insights, like pretty much the day that China knew that the world knew that COVID-19 was a problem, China immediately started making misinformation about COVID-19, claiming that it was a United States bioweapon. Russia, a little bit later, started adding onto this, making similar claims, and then later so did Iran.

SOURCE[18:22] Network Contagian Research Institute - https://networkcontagion.us/reports/the-future-of-disinformation-operations/

SQEAKY: Oh, so Russia got in on badmouthing the US? Nah. Never.

MAKO: Yeah, yeah. And then Iran, that's... I know that's shocking too, totally. Uh, so, yeah, they all kinda got in on it, and the... they weren't too explicit with how China did it. They mentioned state-sponsored media. Uh, they did however talk about how... So like, Facebook and Twitter are banned in China. But diplomats can and do have Facebook and Twitter accounts for when they are visiting abroad to interface with the other communities that they're supposed to have diplomatic relations with. These accounts, both the quantity of these accounts and their activity surged when the pandemic started.

SQEAKY: It's another one of those cases of diplomat and diplomatic offices being for used for more than diplomacy.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Like how throughout the cold war we thought that Russia was basing spies out of their embassies here in the US. Whether or not they did I don't know, but that was a common accusation.

MAKO: Yeah. And there were a number of diplomatic Twitter and Facebook accounts that would make arbitrary claims about the United States having a bioweapon, the United States military planting COVID in Wuhan, and things like that.

SQEAKY: That's brilliant misinformation. Yeah, it just... it- If... we were gonna make a bioweapon why wouldn't we have the vaccine ready to go.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Maybe we did. Maybe we killed a year of our people to seem credible.

MAKO: Or why wouldn't we just have a better bioweapon?

SQEAKY: Yeah, it just- None of this makes any sense.

MAKO: No, not at all. But it's a little bit of a lengthy read but it's a good read for talking about the timeline for how these things evolved over time. But pretty much everybody else that is peddling misinformation, like state-sponsored misinformation, is saying that all of it is a United States bioweapon which is demonstrably false, and then of course the United States, the people that are peddling misinformation, are trying to claim it's a Chinese bioweapon.

SQEAKY: At a maximum, one of these pieces of misinformation can be correct. That's terrible.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Alright so on those sources, you have networkcontagion.us, and they're a thinktank that appears to be attached to Rutgers University. And I'm always reluctant to use thinktanks as sources 'cause they often have political leanings, but there's immediate conformation from Reuters and AP News, so that lends a lot of credibility and they have a lot of statistics and explain their reasoning. Yeah.

SOURCE[20:41] Reuters confirmation - https://www.reuters.com/world/china/russia-china-sow-disinformation-undermine-trust-wester n-vaccines-eu-report-says-2021-04-28/
SOURCE[20:41] AP News Confirmation - https://apnews.com/article/pandemics-beijing-only-on-ap-epidemics-media-122b73e134b780919cc1808f3f6f16e8

MAKO: The Reuters link goes into a little bit of extra detail regarding the specific avenues... vectors, with which they decided to try and spread misinformation and create vaccine hesitancy, by specifically releasing a bunch of information about how the Pfizer vaccine was unsafe, and deliberately trying to create correlations between the Pfizer vaccine and deaths. And apparently that worked for a lot of people, regrettably.

SQEAKY: One thing that sucks is that a lot of people that say that stuff can't even cite their sources and get back to this.

MAKO: Yeah. One of the outlets that was specifically named was Russia Today. They were one of the first people to break the vaccines being dangerous, and then that got disseminated to other groups, and eventually that got picked up by QAnon supporters, Fox News, and Breitbart... maybe Breitbart... actually maybe not Breitbart, but definitely Fox News and QAnon supporters, and it just went from there.

SQEAKY: I think this is probably a good point to segway into the actual myths.

MAKO: Yup.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: 'kay. Do you want to say that last bit too? With the three things we'll actually discuss? 'cause that's... this is a pretty good ga- gi- gi- gag. Gigigigag.

*Mako makes mocking tongue noises*

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Segwaying from the myth that it's a bioweapon made by the US and a myth it's a bioweapon made by China. I haven't had to deal with any of those recently and I don't think we've seen or heard that very much, have we?

MAKO: Mmm. No.

SQEAKY: That was really popular earlier on-

MAKO: I mean people are nebulously claiming it's a bioweapon still semi-often. But they're not really trying to pin it on any particular country in the most recent cases I've heard it.

SQEAKY: Yep. Let's dig into some of the sources and myths we have encountered more directly.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So first, one article that was really good that I read while digging into this was an article I read on Scientific American. They picked eight different COVID-19 myths, and one of them was the bioweapon one, and they do a pretty good coverage on that. They're just like "It couldn't be a bioweapon and here's some logic and some evidence as to why or why not." If you look at one piece of the evidence, you might be able to leave with the conclusion that it's not a bioweapon 'cause no one thing conclusively shows it isn't but just- It's crap as a bioweapon... y'know.

SOURCE[22:44] Scientific American on Covid Myths - https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/eight-persistent-covid-19-myths-and-why-people-believe-them/

MAKO: It... It doesn't pass any of the uh... the initial smell tests when you're actually thinking about it.

SQEAKY: Yeah but if you're deep in the conspiracy theory well and you need like that emotional validation or you've connected that it's a bioweapon to your identity in some way because you believe these other conspiracy theories that depend on it.

MAKO: Yeah you feel like you're under constant fear of attack from the government then-

SQEAKY: Yeah you need better reputation that- Read the Scientific American article for that one.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: The first myth we've done real research for and that I have run into recently is like since our last episode...

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: People like to say shit like "COVID is 99.9% non-fatal" or "99% of people who get COVID survive" or "COVID is safe, it's safer than the flu" or some variant of this where just people don't die from COVID. That's what they're communicating.

MAKO: Anyone that's bothered to actually look at the stats knows that that's just false.


MAKO: Right on the face of it.

SQEAKY: But then those stats come from... most often, the CDC, the World Health Organization, The New York Times, and they're like "Those liberal globalists, they faked all the numbers, the vaccines what's actually killing people." Just gonna baselessly say shit we can't ever get to anything that resemble truth so have to ignore that.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: I'm sorry. I post a link to just my LinkedIn, 'cause I've had this conversation several times. The first thing I try to do is just get people to acknowledge the CDC is a reasonable source.

MAKO: Mhm.

SOURCE[24:02] - Check Sqeaky’s Linked in history for people claiming this - https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-toppi-96276214/
SOURCE[24:02] Myth:Disinformation is push by people like MTG - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marjorie-taylor-greene-twitter-suspension-covid-vaccines-masks-false-claims/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=127214950

SQEAKY: Also, Marjorie Taylor Greene was posting a ton about this. We have a CBS News link for this. She even got banned from Tw- She got suspended from Twitter because she keeps saying that masks and vaccines don't work, and that COVID... What was her wording on it? That it's safer than the flu.

MAKO: Some flavor of that. It was ridiculous. Something tells me this won't be the last suspension that she gets.

SQEAKY: It might be. The next one might be a banning.

MAKO: Maybe. We can only hope.

SQEAKY: Does Tr- Do they not ban people? Is Trump still suspended?

MAKO: Uh... I think they called it an indefinite suspension, which is functionally a ban, but they didn't want any of the emotional baggage of the use of the word "ban".

SQEAKY: Yeah, that kind of emotional manipulation works great on Trump supporters, otherwise they wouldn't be Trump supporters.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah, so there's not a whole lot to debunk in this one. We have several sources that cover this and others. And even the CBS News one that we link links to CDC and other sources on COVID being not fatal. And you can look up from any health organization around the world, the COVID death numbers in that country. If it were just the CDC and the liberal New York Times, and the liberal World Health Organization faking this, I mean we wouldn't have numbers from Bangladesh where people are dying of COVID.

MAKO: Yeah. The numbers are going to change somewhat based on geography, and that's largely health resources-

SQEAKY: Yeah. How do-

MAKO: -that are available.

SQEAKY: How do different countries track things?

MAKO: That too, yeah.

SQEAKY: Everbody counts things slightly differently so the death rates gonna be y'know... Wiggle up and down a little bit.

MAKO: But, you don't have this sharp contrast in any of these locations.

SOURCE[25:32] Japan ministry, labor, and health - https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/newpage_20407.html
SOURCE[24:21] WorldOmeter info - https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/japan/

SQEAKY: I'm googling the COVID death rate Japan right now.

*Audible typing*

MAKO: Do it.

SQEAKY: We'll see who gathers that and what their COVID death rate is. And I bet it will be between one and four percent.

MAKO: That seems like a pretty safe guess.

SQEAKY: Their COVID death rate for this is two percent according to worldometers.info. Now let me see where worldometers.info is getting their information.

*More typing*

SQEAKY: Woah, this website’s very Japanese. It's the Ministry of Health, Laboor, and Welfare [Kōrō-shō] from Japan.

MAKO: Sounds pretty official.

SQEAKY: So, if whoever is in charge of rigging these numbers... If whoever this is-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: -speaks Japanese, right? Or controls the Japanese government, in addition to controlling the Wureld Hoar- World Health Organization, the CDC, and the... I guess the President of the US now, right so like at what point does this stop being a conspiracy theory that makes any sense? Like, what's the goal? Why would they- Why would people lie about this? And the most common thing is freakin' depopulation. So many of these conspiracy theorists say crap about "They wanna depopulate the Earth so they made COVID as a bioweapon to kill everyone." None of this makes any sense.

MAKO: If it's trying to kill everyone it's doing a really crap job of it.

SQEAKY: Yeah, it let's ninety-eight percent of people survive in Japan.

MAKO: Yeah.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Yeah, not good. And no matter how you slice it it's not a good bioweapon, it's not a good depopulation tool, it's not a good conspiracy. 'Cause if you control- If you wanted to hurt people and you control all of the health organizations in the world, there are more effective things you could do. Right, you could just tell people to do dumb stuff, you could put poison in medicines, you could kill everybody really quickly.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Okay, so this stille extends off of what Marjorie Taylor Greene said, but the next myth.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Masks don't work.

MAKO: We in our last COVID episode actually went into detail about how masks do work and described the mechanisms with how they do work, and even talking about the micron sizes of the virus and droplets that they ride on and just... Yeah we went into all kinds of detail there but I'm sure you have more than that as well.

SQEAKY: Not really. I was going to skip numbers and just show videos.

SOURCE[27:24] Dysevidentia Ep 4 - Right Mask for the Wrong Reason - https://dysevidentia.transistor.fm/episodes/the-right-mask-for-the-wrong-reason

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: So a lot of people spreading this misinformation will bring up micron sizes. And yes, the holes in a mask, even the surgical masks are larger than the virus. But as you brought up last episode and as every frickin' scientist has been saying since this myth got started. The viruses aren't naked. They're riding in little droplets that come out of your mouth and masks catch those.

MAKO: Yes.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: So, our example of this myth, uh... I linked to The Gateway Pundit. This source... This site is pure misinformation. They are just garbage. They link to a study in Britain about marijuana smoke particles, and how they pass through masks, then they link to a video from the Mayo Clinic where they are blowing mist from a fog machine into masks so hard it is pushed through, and the point of the video from the Mayo Clinic is that masks stop... or masks impede everything, even fog. Fog from a fog machine. And the videos only like ninety seconds long. It's a minute-and-a-half or so, and they show like four or five different kinds of masks and then at the end they show no mask, and if you just watch the first five seconds you're going "Oh man, so much of that stuff made it out of the mask" and that's what The Gateway Pundits relying on. But where they just take the mask off and they have this contraption that's... it's like a styrofoam human-shaped head with a fog machine tube coming out of the mouth, and they blast it- There's like a five foot stream of smoke that comes out of that fucker. It just launches it!

SOURCE[28:50] - Gateway pundit a misinformation spreader uses videos out of context and inapplicable science to push false conclusions - https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/03/comes-wearing-face-mask-time-challenge-pseudo-science/
SOURCE[28:50] CDC on Masks - https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-0948_article

MAKO: It looks like a lot until you actually see what a lot looks like.

SQEAKY: Yeah! So The Gateway Pundit is using this very scientific and very... very reasonable and even over-engineered test rig-

MAKO: But edited out of context.

SQEAKY: Yeah, and cited out of context. They didn't edit the video, they just know that their viewers aren't actually going to do any research. People who trust The Gateway Pundit aren't going to go do their own research.

MAKO: If they... if there's like a full video that shows everything and they clip only the first five seconds-

SQEAKY: They didn't clip it they just presume that they are only going to watch the first five seconds.

MAKO: Got it.

SQEAKY: Alex Jones does this shit a lot.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: He will cite like some two-hundred page document and he'll pick something out in the middle and say "Look, right here talks about world depopulation". it might be some document describing a government exercise and how to respond to a city that's been nuked, and how to evacuate the area and how to deal with the mass depopulation that irradiated people dying in an evacuation causes. And he'll just take that out of context and say "Oh, the globalists are planning a mass depopulation." And that's what these guys did. They know you'll only watch- They know that their viewers will only watch the first few seconds and be like "Ah, look at all this shit that's coming out of the mask." Close video. Especially because the Mayo Clinic video doesn't tell you what it's doing, it just starts "breathing out of a mask, breathing out of a mask, breathing out of a mask". And then the very last one: "No mask."

MAKO: Mhm.

SOURCE[30:09] Mayo Clinic video on mask effectiveness - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_bM1y1IpJY

SQEAKY: I watched the whole thing just to see what this person was getting at and like ah, it was very convincing when I first saw it.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: This came from the woman I mentioned in the rant, Ella. She didn't realize this was all super fake. Like, The Gateway Pundits' take on things.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Uh, so I also linked to an ASAP Science video and I again, watched the whole thing. It's only like fifteen minutes. But they engineer an experiment. And they sneeze and breathe and sing and talk through cloth masks that they made at home. They even sent some of their masks to a university in their town, I think it was Toronto. They actually in their home rig get the same results as the guys in the actual science lab in the university, and yeah masks stop normal mouth bacteria. Not COVID, not viruses, but it stops droplets. What they're doing is they're just holding a petri dish at a fixed distance and talking towards it. Doing it with and without a mask. Sneezing through a mask --the same distance-- with and without a mask.

SOURCE[30:58] ASAPScience on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDeP7-rUZmo

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And what do you know? Very few things grew in the petri disks- disk-

MAKO: Dish.

SQEAKY: Very few things grew in the petri dishes with masks on the person doing the talking or mouth stuff- Mouth stuff. Heh.

MAKO: Mmm, I like mouth stuff.

SQEAKY: Not with a petri dish.

MAKO: No. No.

SQEAKY: Yeah. And if you wanna duplicate this, right? Germs can easily go through a paper towel, right? So I've started doing this thing- paper towel in a water cup right now. If you want to- if you want to try this, get two clean cups, get clean water in them, put a paper towel over one, let them both sit next to each other for a while --like eight, twelve hours- come back, take a sip of each glass, the one you didn't cover in the paper towel will taste more like a garden hose than you did cover. Not that I normally advocate drinking really stale old water, but dust and shit get in there, and dust and shit carries things that grow. Germs, fungi, whatever... COVID. Not that COVID will grow in water, it needs to grow in body.

MAKO: I'm sorry, did you say fun-gee?

SQEAKY: Is it fung-eye?

MAKO: It's fungi.

SQEAKY: I wasn't at a party, I'm sorry. I didn't know any fungi.

*Mako doesn't laugh*

MAKO: Okay.

SQEAKY: But yeah the- the- could be bacteria, fungi, germs, viruses, whatever, anything could land in your cup and grow. But I guess viruses need a body but they can still land in your water, that'd be gross.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Why has that got me all riled up? What's the next myth?

MAKO: Uh... Many people are dying because of the vaccine being lethal.

SQEAKY: Oh. Yeah, we covered this one in the last one too.

MAKO: Yeah, we touched on it.

SQEAKY: We do have an example of someone pushing this. There's a guy that claims to be a doctor named Dan Stock and I read this one a while ago so... It was also suggested by a listener.

MAKO: Yeah.

*Papers moving*

SQEAKY: I'm just double checking what we have- He is just claiming that it is more lethal- Or that the vaccines are more lethal than they are. I went and I found the original study from the end of January about how lethal the vaccine was and uh... this is totally beating a dead horse. But from this study, and I've got a link to it on PubMed, and the study is titled "Mortality Rate and Characteristics of Deaths Following COVID-19 Vaccination".

SOURCE[32:29] Myths perpetuated by not a doctor Dan Stock - https://meaww.com/who-is-dan-stock-indiana-docs-claims-about-futility-of-masks-in-covid-19-in-video-go-viral

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: They tracked the deaths of people who were vaccinated. And this was the first wave of people who were vaccinated so they're in nursing homes, and there's a certain amount of them that just die every month. And out the-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -eight million or so vaccines that we gave out in January, for every million vaccines we gave out there were fifty-four deaths. That sounds like a lot. Man, fifty-four out of a million, that sounds terrible!

Source[33:10] Pubmed paper “Mortality Rate and Characteristics of Deaths Following COVID-19 Vaccination” - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34055843/

MAKO: 'Cause it- the face value of that statement you presume- because you're not presenting any additional information you presume these things are... that there's a causation between them.

SQEAKY: You're totally correct there. Like, get this. For the average month, more than fifty-four per million people died. So, many the vaccine killed somebody, but in that month, fewer people died than the average. So if the vaccine added to it, it added to it insignificantly.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And then the only other people we've had dying is when we had that clotting issue with some people.

MAKO: I was actually going to start bringing up things from our previous COVID episode. And yeah the- We talked about the uh... I think it was twenty-three senior people in Norway that died in their initial wave, that got circulated pretty aggressively. There was also I think a couple of people --I don't recall exactly who-- that had allergic reactions to the vaccine. That got circulated and yes, the Johnson & Johnson clotting got circulated, and the allergic reaction, you can mitigate that by simply sticking around when you get vaccinated for fifteen minutes. They have EpiPens on standby in the event that you do have an allergic reaction.

SQEAKY: We have really good tracking on that.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: There's less than one-in-a-million people who have an allergic reaction.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: And nobody has died from it yet in a hundred-and-sixty-six million vaccinations we've given out, none of them have died from allergic reactions, and vaccines don't kill you in the long-term. We have a source for that in the previous show. And the one or two people who have died from this clotting thing?

MAKO: It was one person.

SQEAKY: Yeah. We know who is at risk for these clotting things, and we know to give them-

MAKO: Different medication.

SQEAKY: -a different vaccine.

MAKO: Well-

SQEAKY: -or medication to mitigate the risks.

MAKO: Yeah. 'Cause it wasn't that "Oh, I have this clotting condition, if I get this vaccine I'm dead." The vaccine didn't really interact with the clotting condition, it interacted with the clotting condition medication. So even if you already got the vaccine, then you can still notify your and they just prescribe you something else.

SQEAKY: Yeah. There's like so many workarounds that it's not an issue. Get a different vaccine, not the Johnson & Johnson one.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: If you accidently do get the Johnson & Johnson one and you're at risk, get a different clotting medicine for temporarily, and even in the interaction that happened, right? It was still... It was still like twelve cases over the whole nation-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Right?

MAKO: Outrageously rare.

SQEAKY: Yeah. So, these people are blowing up this one tiny little thing that's happening and the vaccine is so safe that when we try to measure how safe it is, we can't get an accurate number of how many people are actually dying from it. So when we find one person who died from it, it's news! And we're taking this newsworthy event because yeah, we should be talking about when people are dying from the COVID vaccine-

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: -but we shouldn't be inflating and turning it into a reason not to get the- not to take it, because we have six-hundred-thousand examples of people dying from not taking it. We have one person who's died from it, out of a hundred-and-sixty-six million people in the US. And this all plays directly into the next myth.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And people have claimed directly to me in conversations "The vaccine is experimental."

MAKO: Yeah, we talked about it not too long ago. And the one- I hesitate to even call it a grain of truth, but the one grain of truth that they are clearly stemming this off of, is 'Emergency Use Authorized, Not FDA Approved.'

SQEAKY: Yeah. And they're conflating this to mean that it's experimental, and I've had this argument- again, go to my LinkedIn, go through the comments. And you'll see people who have masters degrees, people who own their own business, people who seem like they should be confident, people who you can go back through and see where they've worked for the past twenty thirty years, where they went to school, and they say this dumb shit, and I'm like "You gotta be kidding." Let's talk about what Emergency Use Authorization is. And then I call out some of their just horrible untruth that they're saying -'cause it's trivial to do that when somebody believes one things that's wrong they typically believe others- the CDC has a whole page describing what's different between a Emergency Use Authorization and Full Approval. But the Full Approval process is this highest bar, where like the science on this thing is settled. That is why so few medicines go from being approved to taken off of it. It has to be some totally out of the blue threat pattern that we just didn't see coming. But, the vaccines have been so safe that they've stopped- On some of the vaccines some of the time they've stopped studies, because they decided it was unethical to have a control group when it was demonstrated to get rid of COVID. Some of these vaccines were like ninety-five, ninety-six percent effective-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: -and when a thing is that effective and you figured it out three months into a four month trial, you skip the last month and go vaccinate your other trial participants. And that's the level we're at. We have over four point four billion doses given out to people across the whole world, and over three-hundred-fifty given inside the country. And we have a hundred-and-sixty-six million fully vaccinated people in this country.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: And, with those numbers you can't just always cut it in two 'cause people get one shot and don't get the second, some people get the J&J vaccine that only has one shot, and there are seven different vaccines-

MAKO: I've even heard a couple anecdotal stories about people that get the J&J first and then like a couple months later they start getting the Pfizer.

SQEAKY: Double vaccinate?

MAKO: It's going to waste otherwise.

SQEAKY: I'll get all the vaccines! COVID will never beat me!

MAKO: Maybe, I don't know.

SQEAKY: That sounds like a terrible idea. Okay. I've got the page that I linked to Ella when Ella told me in our private conversation, but I'll go ahead and drop this in the show notes. It explains what the Emergency Use Authorization, and says what it is. And generally it's a consensus of all the scientists, y'know people who went to school for eight years and studied a thing and wrote papers and researched diseases and made it their life's goal. All the people at the CDC decided that this is definitely safer than the alternative, and the alternative is COVID, a thing that if you catch it, you have a two-percent chance of dying.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Go flip six coins. If they all come up heads, you've got a 1-in-128 chance of that happening. That about right? Seven coins. Go flip seven coins. If they all come up heads, there's a 1-in-128 chance of that happening. Do it. See how long it takes. It won't actually take that long. Now imagine that if every time you flip it, you have a chance at life or death. That's your chance. Actually way worse than that.

MAKO: Mhm.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Did we cover all the things we wanted to on this?

MAKO: Uh... Whether or not the vaccine being experimental is pretty straightforward, yeah.

SQEAKY: Oh, one other thing.


SQEAKY: The piranha analogy.

MAKO: Oh god. Yeah go for it.

SQEAKY: The vaccines are a few well-designed and well-connected bridges to let us pass over the river of time. And COVID is the blood-thirsty piranhas and sharks in the water. Anti Vaxxers would rather swim through the water, even though all the engineers are saying to use any of the bridges. The bridges are all up to code, and have tons of traffic, but there is a perception that the bridges are untested and the FDA hasn't said "Use the bridges." Even though a hundred-and-sixty-six million Americans have crossed those bridges in the last six months.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: This is the metaphorical equivalent. Nobody would do this because you can see the fish in the water. You watch one person go into the water they'll just get mauled.

MAKO: Yup.

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: And-

SQEAKY: When your threat is on a spreadsheet, people just freak out.

SOURCE[40:03] CDC on EUA - https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/vaccines/emergency-use-authorization-vaccines-explained
SOURCE[40:03] bloomberg coverage maps - https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

MAKO: Mmm. When people see other people close to them being hospitalized due to COVID, they do generally tend to be like "Oh, maybe I should get vaccinated." Generally. We'll cover more no that later.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Let's go back to politics. That's always lively.

*Mako sighs*

MAKO: Yes, lively is a word.

SQEAKY: So. Myth isn't the right word for this but I'm calling it a myth.

MAKO: Sure.

SQEAKY: People love to say "My body my choice! So I'm not gonna wear a mask." Or "My body by choice! I'm not gonna get vaccinated."

MAKO: Yeah. Clearly trying to parrot a talking point about a different topic, and not really understanding what any of the-

SQEAKY: Yeah this, this-

MAKO: Larger context is.

SQEAKY: This both highlights their ignorance of abortion and uh... their inability to understand what's different about pregnancy and COVID.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Right?

MAKO: Just infectious stuff in general.

SQEAKY: Yeah. I can't sneeze on you and make you pregnant. Well, not without a lot of really weird preparation.

MAKO: Mmm, with enough prep you can make a lot of things happen.

SQEAKY: Okay. No ones ever sneezed on anyone yet and made them pregnant.

MAKO: That we're aware of.

SQEAKY: Every listener should totally go to Urban Dictionary and google "snowballing." And now imagine the awesome situation. Sneezing could happen and people could get pregnant.

SOURCE[41:09] Urban dictionary Snowball - https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=snow%20ball

MAKO: Moving on.

SQEAKY, excitedly: I'm gonna put that in the show notes.

*Audible typing*

*Mako sighs*

SQEAKY: I'm typing right now!

MAKO: Yeah I hear it. I fuckin' hear it.

SQEAKY: Urban Dictionary pornacracy is the last time I went to Urban Dictionary.

MAKO: Pornacracy you say?

SQEAKY: Yeah. We- We're living in one.

MAKO: Que?

SQEAKY: Rulership by the corrupt.


SQEAKY: So yeah. The abortion doesn't hold up. I-

*Mako finds this funny*

SQEAKY: The abortion doesn't hold up. Actually, the analogy is backwards, because getting a vaccine is kind of like pre-aborting the virus.

MAKO: Kind of? I mean I guess in the similar way that maybe vasectomies are pre-aborting.

SQEAKY: Well how about this. Abortion is a tool to let people choose to be socially responsible and decide whether or not they want to have kids. The vaccine is a tool by taking it or not, let's you choose to spread or not spread COVID to others.

MAKO: So it's still social responsibility to take it.

SQEAKY: Yes. I'm not saying we should abort all the kids, but we should abort all the viruses. I can't see a socially responsible situation where you willfully spread the virus.

MAKO: Eh, yeah, I agree.

SQEAKY: Okay that's strained. That's probably not the best counter example.


SQEAKY: We have more politicians saying this shit. I have a link to the MSN article there. Oh, from the last myth. We had a map from Bloomberg showing where COVID cases are happening and showing the counts and how many people got vaccinated. Uh the MSN actively refutes what NPG? is saying and highlights how ridiculous it is in a more professional way than we could approach it. So talking about social responsibility, right?

SOURCE[42:33] Politicans like MTG - https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/dr-jonathan-reiner-shreds-qanon-house-reps-my-body-my-choice-refusal-to-wear-a-mask-it-is-no-longer-your-choice-to-spew-virus-in-my-face/ar-BB1b0aYM

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: We can get vaccinated and protect others like the immune-compromised, pregnant people, or children, right? And-

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: 'Cause none of those groups can be vaccinated. And I guess that brings us to our next myth.

MAKO: Yeah... So there is this prevailing belief that "Oh, I'm young, COVID isn't going to affect me. Or if it does, it'll be mild. It'll be no big deal." There is like a grain of truth to that. You definitely have a lower statistical likelihood of having severe symptoms if you are younger than say fifty, but that is in no way, shape, or form a guarantee. And even that applies largely to the alpha variant. The variant that we had to deal with all of last year. But now the delta variant... it's still new, we're still gathering data on it, but even just like preliminary impressions from doctors that are having to deal with their hospital wards getting filled again, are saying that the delta variant is... is much harsher on younger people than the alpha was. So we have few sources that are talking about this. There was a report made by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and for just one week at the beginning of this month, there were ninety-four thousand new hospitalizations relating to COVID-19 that were just children.

SQEAKY: Wait- August, this month?

SOURCE[43:52] 94K surge in COVID-19 cases among kids - https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/alarming-94k-surge-covid-19-cases-kids-hospitals/story?id=79364484

MAKO: Yes. The report came out on the 9th.

SQEAKY: Holy shit.

MAKO: And they reported the stuff on the last week. So it's very fresh information.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Yeah, ninety-four thousand cases across the whole country.

MAKO: Yeah, so, the biggest places that are being hit by delta right now are Texas and Florida.

SQEAKY: There's other red states.

MAKO: Of course there are. But they're the ones getting hit the hardest. And Louisiana is one of the harder hit ones but not the hardest hit, and apparently half of the children admitted to the children's hospital in New Orleans is under the age of two.

SQEAKY: So they're very not getting vaccine, and children under the age of two were already in a high-risk category for getting sick and dying.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Just by virtue of being infants, right? Infants get sick and die. It's horrible and tragic.

MAKO: They are incapable of getting vaccines, so they depend upon-

SQEAKY: Incapable of getting COVID vaccines. We don't have one for children yet. Sorry yeah.

MAKO: They can't get the COVID vaccine because there are no COVID vaccines that are authorized for children that are under the age of eleven I think is the cutoff.

SQEAKY: Yeah. Using these on a small child like this actually would be experimental because we actually don't know what would happen.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: We haven't had a hundred-and-sixty-six million children already take this. Sorry, I'm still hung up on "It's experimental".

MAKO: It's... it's understandable. So they depend upon everyone else around them getting the vaccine, getting us closer to herd immunity in order to remain safe. And that's obviously not happening in a lot of these places. So very very young are getting infected and are being hospitalized and are even dying to this. The article goes on to say the CDC did an immunization survey, and twenty-four point eight percent of parents with children ages thirteen to seventeen --so within the range where they could get the vaccine-- do not plan to vaccinate their children.

SQEAKY: No kidding, I think that it should be counted as neglect or abuse to be in that situation. I don't know what that would take legally, and I know our foster system couldn't handle it, but if you're just going to risk your children dying, you're a horrible human being. I think that's a great avenue to take if you're going to try and convince someone, is to point out the emotional state of their children dying in their arms, 'cause it's possible and likely and has happened.

MAKO: Yep. We have another link that... pretty much talking about the exact same report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, this one from CBS News, and they add slightly more context. Apparently that same ninety-four thousand figure was fifteen percent of the total COVID-19 cases for the week. And they also claim that most of the children that are ending up in hospitals are coming from unvaccinated families. Surprise.

SOURCE[46:33] Kids make up 15% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kids-covid-19-delta-variant-some-doctors-say-theyre-getting-sicker/

SQEAKY: Yeah, even with the delta variant, it is possible to spread COVID when you have it, but I can't imagine that you have it as long. The vaccines are like half as effective against it, but if you're sick for half the time, you're still spreading for half the time. It's like... it hurts so much to point this out, and I feel like we missed this when we were discussing the structure of this misinformation. So many people say that "Oh, it doesn't work perfectly therefore we shouldn't do it." It's like-

MAKO: Ridiculous, yeah.

SQEAKY: But so many people hinge their logic on it. And there are some things like a well-tuned machine where that makes sense. Right, if you're building a new computer right, and it's going to do a million things per second, right. If it screws up one-in-a-million things, that's unacceptable. It's gonna fuck up once a second. But we're talking about building society and people are imperfect. There's always going to be fuckups. If we have something that works eighty percent of the time even, that's amazing, because people are gonna fuck up at every level and you want four or five things that work eighty percent of the time and that will on a social level solve your problem. It's like seatbelts. I bet seatbelts fuck up at least one percent of the time, but if they work ninety-nine percent of the time, or even ninety percent of the time, that's amazing.

MAKO: Isn't there like the scare back in the nineties about airbags deploying too fast and injuring people?

SQEAKY: So, there was- Yeah, there was a scare about that. And there was one car brand where the airbags would actually injure people-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: And I think largely... Uh that was- So okay, I'm going from memory, I'll have to pull up sources, but there were a few people that were injured that were using it correctly and they were either extremely unfortunate or the things were maybe a little bit too fast. But most of the people who were injured were people refusing to use seatbelts. Because as you're steering wheel explodes --and it does---

MAKO: Yep.

SOURCE[48:13] Airbags - https://emj.bmj.com/content/19/6/490

SQEAKY: -right, it cuts open in the middle from the pressure of the airbag deploying, and it flaps to either side, okay? And then the airbag opens up and does this unfolding thing and if it unfolds against your skin it rips your skin apart. And so it could kill you, just by pulling your skin apart at crazy high velocity. Not likely, but we're talking about when a thing happens a whole bunch, eventually the unlikely things happen.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: Well, if you wear your seatbelt, you make it even more unlikely, because your seatbelt has to fail, so then you have to be right next to your steering wheel, and then you have to be in the unlikely situation again where it's deploying and ripping you up. But if anything goes down like it goes down most of the time, the other y'know, ninety-nine or ninety percent of the time, your seatbelt stops you, the airbag puts an extra cushion between you and the windshield, you're safe in a crazy dangerous situation. And there's a ton of other things like this that only work ninety percent of the time. The way car windshields absorb impacts won't stop everything. It'll stop ninety percent of the stuff. And just keep repeating that for so many features of car safety. If you get a hundred things that work ninety percent of the time, you're gonna have one freak accident a year. And you're just gonna be fine the rest of the time. Sorry, I'm just rambling on. So many people don't get this basic thing about odds.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Even works on less likely things, it's just harder to see the impact. So yeah, so all these different safety nets. These things that just if they work they work ninety percent of the time and you keep stacking those up, you've built a good safe system. And masks... it's hard to say what percentage of the time they are effective, but they're like eighty percent effective, the vaccines like ninety percent effective, right? So you're going to have to be super unlucky. And then on top of that, right? If COVID only kills you one percent of the time or two percent of the time you've moved your odds out real quick out to a one-in-a-million chance of dying. Who doesn't want a one-in-a-million chance of dying? That's super safe. That's as safe as walking.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: You had to think for a moment. You were doing the math...

MAKO: Mmm.

SQEAKY: You just calculated how dangerous walking is.

MAKO: No, I was just imagining the circumstances with which walking is dangerous and yeah, there's a few.


MAKO: So I have two other sources as well from people that are affiliated with hospitals. They have like- They are actual doctors, they work at hospitals, they're pretty high up on the chain. One of them is the Chief Medical Officer at a... at AdventHealth Daytona Beach, and their hospital had a pediatric patient die recently. Another nine of their COVID patients are... they are pediatric. They don't give ages but one of those nine is on a ventilator, which if you're on a ventilator your odds are already not good, but yeah. The- Dr. Joe Smith, of all names-

SOURCE[50:42] Two Tennessee children die from COVID-19 in hospital - https://fox17.com/news/local/two-tennessee-children-die-from-covid-19-we-thought-we-wouldnt-have-to-see-this-again-infection-virus-health-vaccine-shelby-hospital-kids
SOURCE[50:42] Pediatric patient dies from COVID-19 - https://www.wesh.com/article/pediatric-patient-dies-covid-19-children-hospitalization/37246779
SOURCE[50:42] Joseph Smith Founder of Mormon Church - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith

SQEAKY: That is so every day.

MAKO: Yes. So Dr. Joe Smith is the Chief Medical Officer at this hospital and he commented that the delta variant is definitely hitting children harder than any other variant... Uh... why did I say other? Yeah, it's hitting children harder than alpha did, or anything other variant that they've had personal experience with. Then the... the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital had two children die of COVID-19 over the weekend of July 30th, so also very recent. And there are two quotes from Dr. Nick Hysmith[, MD, MS, FAAP] that I pulled out that I thought were interesting. Quote "This sickness, the illness we are seeing, is considerably more severe over the last couple of weeks than we've seen previously" end quote. And quote "There is something about this Delta variant that I don't think we completely understand yet, but we are seeing more of the acute symptoms we are seeing in adults." And that's in the context of saying that they are seeing it in children. So symptoms... acute symptoms that they're not normally accustomed to seeing in children, but more so in adults, they are seeing in children with delta.

SQEAKY: Let's move onto the next topic. This is fucking sad. Fucking vaccinate. And if you know people who have kids that aren't getting vaccinated, fucking guilt them into it.

MAKO: It is more harmful to your children than Alpha was. Vaccinate now.

SQEAKY: Okay, so, a thing I've seen, and I even put a link to a big bright meme, posted on LinkedIn again...

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: This is why I'm not on Facebook man. I would just be- There is so much garbage it's easy to find there. I go digging- I ask professionals for their bullshit.

MAKO: Mhm.

SOURCE[51:15] Assholes on social media shared this with me - https://www.linkedin.com/posts/pather-lloyd-neff-9b766213_actions-do-speak-louder-than-words-the-big-activity-6830609618285289472-DkR-

SQEAKY: The myth is "The vaccine is fascist" or sometimes it's phrased as "Wearing masks is fascist." So this is gibberish, alright? It just doesn't make sense. The thing itself doesn't have any political leanings. Sometimes they're trying to say that... the vaccine was given away for free therefore is fascist which is nonsense. It doesn't make any fuckin' sense.

MAKO: Complete nonsense.

SQEAKY: People will say "Being forced to wear a mask is fascist", or "Costco not letting me into their private business is fascist". Right, whatever the fuck like the context is and this picture- I'm just gonna pull it up-

*Audible typing*

SQEAKY: -it's a big emotional picture of just a big crowd of people giving a speech. "Florida chose freedom over fascism... for faucism. Trying to be clever, combining Fauci's name with the word fascism. On some level it's a loyalty test. Not everyone's using it this way and it's usually not consciously used this way. But, if you want to see if someone's on your side or not, y'know you call something that you feel is safe fascism, and if they agree, they think it's too, you guys... you know you're aligned now. They're part of your ingroup.

MAKO: Yeah the... we did talk about that previously but it was in the context of Trump having the election stolen from him.

SQEAKY: Yeah the big lie. If you buy into the big lie then you know you're talking to another Trump supporter.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: If they say "Yeah, the election was stolen" you agree the election was stolen even if you both know the election wasn't stolen. Great, we both now know we're at least on the same page. And then we can start discussing the election being stolen or not, but we have to agree to that first before conversation can happen otherwise you're in the outgroup and I have to fight the outgroup so... Yeah, if you start with facts and logic you can't through to these people because they're social approach prohibits it. Which is part of why I keep saying this podcast can't reach out to these people. Only people who already have emotional connections can.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: So, when people say that being forced to wear masks or being forced to get vaccinated if fascist --when they're not saying the vaccine itself is fascist-- if I have an emotional connection with them I will point out that George Washington mandated smallpox vaccination for his troops. Because at this point we're talking emotions, right? And if George Washin- If George Washington did a thing, then it's good, right? That's... and I'm not saying that objectively or that I know that that's always the case, I mean he was a slave owner and that's horrible.

MAKO: Yep.

SOURCE[54:22] Snopes on George Washingtion vaccinating his troops - https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/washington-order-troops-vaccinated/

SQEAKY: But if we're talking to somebody who's this conservative and is using this as a virtue signal like this, if George Washington did it, then they're going to think it's a good thing, and pointing this is out is a reasonable approach. Be like it was key that the troops were vaccinated against smallpox; it made his regiment much more effective against the British. It saved- It literally saved the country in the beginning. That's a very patriotic approach to this. And if you actually get them talking about what fascism is because a lot of people don't know what fascism or socialism is- Actually go to a dictionary, see what it is. See what's going on. And see that it doesn't match up with anything socialist or communist or fascist regimes have done because we're actually just trying to mitigate a pandemic, most of the time totalitarian dictators don't give a shit about that.

MAKO: They just deal- They protect their immediate assets and deal with the fallout later if they see fit.

SQEAKY: Yeah. So, I mean if you get to the point where the person is listening to facts and logic, this argument won't come up. Do we have any more myths?

MAKO: I think that is about it.

SQEAKY: Uh... The last couple of sources there was a... We actually link to a local Fox station, fox17.com, for two of the Tennessee kids. wesh.com had an article about the pediatric patient dying. That's so sad. I post to a social media thing on LinkedIn to show what this misinformation thing looks like in practice. And I link to Snopes for that emotional argument, but it does fact-check. Washington did force vaccinations and Snopes is a reasonable source on this one I think.

MAKO: Mhm.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: It's actually recording!

MAKO: Same.

SQEAKY: Dude we are four for four. Audacity hasn't fucked up yet.

MAKO: Yay! You jinxed it.

SQEAKY: Now Audacity's crashing! What now?!

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay. Ah crap, where the fuck am I?

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: So after children dying, tell me you have something happy.

MAKO: I have more children dying.


*Mako finds this funny.*

SQEAKY: It's horrible!

MAKO: So...

SQEAKY: Tell me at least they're dying for a good cause.


SQEAKY: Okay. Well then tell me that it's not a lot of children dying.

MAKO: No. Well okay, technically. So I'm not going to tell you about very many children, but that's because I ran out of time doing research. It was actually- 'Cause I figured "Oh, I'll just grab a couple quick testimonials about children that have died y'know to demonstrate this thing" and I kept on scrolling and I kept on seeing new stories. I had to cut myself off. 'Cause I was collecting too many sources. So, as far as what we're going to talk about, yeah, sure, in the grand scheme of things it's a small number. But these stories are abundant.

SQEAKY: Okay, so children are dying, they're dying in abundance, and they're dying needlessly.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: So if this hasn't been made clear yet: Vaccinate, wear masks, social distance, don't go out if you don't need to. If you do go out for something recreational, do it outside in the sunlight where COVID is more likely to die.

MAKO: So one quick caveat though. Children is a slight misnomer. Yes, children are dying, but most of the youth is what I focused on, like youth dying, and that is generally considered thirty and younger in the context of COVID. So, I don't have like very many children children, although I am going to name a couple, but yeah, thirty and younger is what I was pulling stories about.

SQEAKY: Okay, so if most of it's uh... y'know teenagers, this is fine.

MAKO: Oh yeah, totally f- No.

*Sqeaky finds this funny.*

*Mako sighs*

SQEAKY: Ahh, fuck. Needless death is never fine.

MAKO: So I'm going to preemptively apologize for any mispronunciations that I make because I'm bad at this. So, that said, gonna try to quickfire this as much as I can.

SQEAKY: If it hasn't been made abundantly clear to you yet, we are actually going to be talking about children dying. We're gonna get serious, we're not gonna be joking about this part of it. If you're interested in skipping ahead, listen to the amounts of time I say, then, jump ahead that much when I next say skip now. If hearing descriptions of children dying bothers you, you'll want to jump one minute and fifty seconds. If you don't even want to hear us learn what we can from these tragedies, you will want to skip three minutes. If you want to completely avoid discussion of children dying and our first discussion of an adult dying, a truly awful person who we laugh at, you'll want to skip seven minutes and seven seconds. If you don't want to hear about any of the death, skip ahead a full thirteen minutes and five seconds. You should have enough information to decide what you're going to do. If you want to hear it all, just keep listening. But if you wanted to skip any of those topics, you should skip now.

*Mako sighs*

SOURCE [52:48] 22-Year-Old Who Didn't Think He Needed Vaccine Dies of COVID - https://www.newsweek.com/22-year-old-who-didnt-think-he-needed-vaccine-dies-covid-after-ignoring-moms-plea-1617657
SOURCE [52:48] West Memphis family mourns the loss of 11-year-old girl - https://www.kait8.com/2021/08/05/west-memphis-family-mourns-loss-11-year-old-girl/
SOURCE [52:48] 23-year-old man dies of COVID-19 two days after daughter’s birth - https://www.cbs7.com/2021/08/06/23-year-old-man-dies-covid-19-2-days-after-daughters-birth/
SOURCE [52:48] Arkansas mother grieves after teen son dies from COVID-19 - https://katv.com/news/local/arkansas-mother-recalls-the-moment-her-teenage-son-died-of-covid-19
SOURCE [52:48] A father’s anguish after 5 year old Georgia boy dies - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-death-5-year-old-boy-georgia/

MAKO: Ah, anyway. So, Joshua Bradstreet Contreras. He was twenty-two years old, this is in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was healthy and safe for most of the pandemic. Didn't really go any places, didn't figure he needed the vaccine... at least it wasn't urgent for him. Uh, his uncle visited him and he presumably went out in order to see his uncle and his uncle also got it. His uncle ended up recovering, but he did not. He died to COVID-19 when he went on this family outing. Next person. Jordyn Franklin, eleven years old, Memphis, Tennessee. She became sick enough to call a doctor to schedule an appointment on Friday. The appointment was on Monday. She did not make it to the appointment. Before then, she... the conditions got much worse. An ambulance was called, she died in the ambulance in transit to the hospital. Miguel Gonzalez, twenty-three, from Panama City, Florida. He was healthy, he had no underlining conditions. He started feeling symptoms but he was not initially tested for COVID-19 because his initial symptoms were diarrhea and vomiting. He was told that he just had a stomach flu, and eventually later he developed more symptoms. He was actually tested with COVID-19 after it looked like he had pneumonia and upper respiratory infection. Uh, later he was transported to the hospital and a little bit after that he was put on a ventilator and died after thirteen days. Jordan Sinor, sixteen, from Little Rock, Arkansas. He wasn't vaccinated, presumably because his mother refused to vaccinate him. He got infected, the article is not very clear on how, but he died and the mother said that even after he died, she will not get herself vaccinated. Last one I have before I cut myself off. Wyatt Gibson, five years old, from northwest Georgia. Suffered from an extreme case of pneumonia and stroke due to COVID-19.

SQEAKY: Okay. These deaths, they're all real tragedies, so I don't want to joke or do any political grandstanding about this.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But I would like to look at this and analyze and take a few lessons out of this.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Four of these five people could have been vaccinated.

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: They all caught it from someone. Like that five year old probably caught it from their family, their family could have been vaccinated. If things had happened slightly differently in some of these cases, like Jordyn Franklin, the girl who died in the ambulance. If you think you have COVID, go to a doctor. Physically go. That's a lesson I'm taking here. But otherwise, risks happen. We have to put up as many safety nets as we can. That's y'know, all the normal handwashing stuff, that's vaccinating, that's masks, that's social distancing, even if each of those is not extremely effective. Even if each of those just cuts the chances off by a third, right? If you have a one-in-three chance of not getting sick at each of those stages, any one of those things could save your life and you wouldn't know it other than to still be alive at the end of this pandemic.

MAKO: Yup.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: okay.

MAKO: So, that- These were stories that I picked up as I was doing research for how hard the pandemic was hitting.

SQEAKY: Oh, sources. Newsweek, kait8.com, cbs7.com, ktv.com. So a bunch of local news stations.

MAKO: Yup.

SQEAKY: And the last one is CBS News.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Okay, well. What about people that aren't pure tragedy?

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: Surely there's some list of people that we can get some comedic traction from that have passed from COVID?

MAKO: Comedic traction... Uh, I don't know how much we should necessarily celebrate death, but there definitely is deaths from COVID that are less tragic than Wyatt Gibson.

SQEAKY: That's deeply horrible, Wyatt's unfortunate passing.

MAKO: Yes. That... yes. But, so also while looking up a bunch of people that died to COVID recently, there was a separate trend aside from young people, but uh, that trend was "People who naysayed against the vaccine or against COVID-19 itself that have been dying." Because, I mean, most of the people that are getting hospitalized and dying to COVID-19 right now are the unvaccinated and they are either choosing to be unvaccinated, in which case they don't believe in like the vaccines for one reason or another or COVID-19 for one reason or another-

SQEAKY: So people who are honestly wrong?

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: People are just like on the wrong side of this issue but they're honest and they have integrity and they're trying to make the world a better place, they're just doing it poorly.

MAKO: Or the people that simply can't get a vaccine because they are too young or because their parents won't let them. That's- it's really like... the the sweeping categorization of the people that remain unvaccinated, and we just covered one of them so now we're gonna kinda cover the other one.

SQEAKY: Okay. I'm pretty sure Tucker Carlson is not on this list, right? 'Cause he's vaccinated, he's just speaking out against it... or was until recently.

MAKO: Until recently, yes. Uh, no but there is someone else that's uh... vaguely similar. We're gonna start with Dick Farrel. He was sixty-five years old, he was a Newsmax radio host. A bunch of people that listened to him called him "The Other Rush Limbaugh".

SOURCE [1:03:47] Florida radio and Newsmax host who opposed Covid vaccine dies of Covid - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-radio-newsmax-host-who-opposed-covid-vaccine-dies-covid-n1276304

SQEAKY: Oh. We actively celebrated his death. I wish I had a better thing than a dick joke to make fun of this guy.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: But making fun of his name is just tiny and petty, just like his dick.

MAKO: Saw that comin'. So Dick Farell, he... While during his time being a radio host, he called vaccines "completely bogus", he called Fauci a "lying freak", then he contracted COVID-19, got hospitalized, and his attitude towards COVID-19 changed completely. He was advocating for vaccines to all of his family and friends.

SQEAKY: But he passed?

MAKO: He died, yes.

SQEAKY: Well I'm glad he made a one-eighty there at the end, but his whole time on Earth until it affected him, he was making it worse for other people.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: His removal is an objectively good thing.

MAKO: 'kay. Another person. A Texan councilman, H Scott Apley, he was forty-five years old, he was very critical of vaccines and he was not a pleasant person on social media. Uh, he even got into a spat with a doctor that was advocating for vaccines, calling her "an enemy of the people." He got COVID-19 and died to it.

SOURCE [1:04:52] Texas councilman who spurned vaccines, masks dies after Covid-19 hospitalization - https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/texas-councilman-who-spurned-vaccines-masks-dies-after-covid-19-n1276219

SQEAKY: At least he didn't call her a socialist or a fascist, he came out and said what he meant.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Yeah. I don't know anything about this person so I don't want to declare anything else. They probably had a family, they probably had people that cared about them.

MAKO: Well, all these people had family.

SQEAKY: Yeah, but some of them will grieve and suffer. They're not all Dick Farell.

MAKO: Yeah...

SQEAKY: Is that too grim?

MAKO: Uh... Even Dick Farell had family that are grieving over him.

SQEAKY: 'Cause I feel like a Newsmax radio host is fair game.

MAKO: Okay fine.

SQEAKY: Yeah if you have a public stage and you abuse it? No, you're a bad person, get out of my society. Go away. But this other person, they were just a politician. Maybe they were even a Republican, right?

MAKO: Well yeah, they were GOP.

SQEAKY: Oh, I mean- Let me rephrase that. Of course they were Republican, but they were a believer, maybe they got there honestly, and they weren't --to the best of my knowledge-- spreading it everywhere. And they probably had redeeming qualities.

MAKO: Maybe.

SQEAKY: Just- I'm not gonna cast horrible judgement on anyone but the most horrible people. So people who have an audience who can reach millions of people like Newsmax does, and feed them lies for personal gain like Newsmax does.

MAKO: So, the next one, I actually found this story twice. I was just like "Oh, that's a interesting headline." And then a little bit later "Oh, that's another interesting headline. That sounds very similar to this other one- Oh my god it's the same one." So, I have two sources for this one, The Sun and The Guardian. But, uh... Francis Goncalves.

SQEAKY: Gawn-colives

MAKO: My apologies Francis.

SOURCE [1:06:18] Chef’s parents and brother die from Covid within week after jab refusal - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/09/chefs-parents-and-brother-die-from-covid-within-week-after-jab-refusal
SOURCE [1:06:18] Anti-vaxx mum, dad and brother all die of Covid within a week of each other - https://www.the-sun.com/news/3438416/anti-vaxx-mum-dad-brother-die-covid/

SQEAKY: Yeah, I'm not trying to make fun of a dead person I'm trying to joke about their name like I would with them.

MAKO: Francis survived.

SQEAKY: Oh good! Okay, so I can make fun of his name. Take that Frankis.

MAKO: Uh, his immediate family were unvaccinated because they had vaccine fears. Not too specific on exactly what the nature of those fears were, probably that it was experimental or bla-buh bla-buh bla.

SQEAKY: One of the myths we or Scientific American covered.

MAKO: Uh, initially his father contracted COVID-19 during a hospital visit treating kidney stones.


MAKO: And then later when he was discharged from the hospital, they were having a family dinner and he spread it to Francis' mother and brother. The both parents had underlying conditions, the brother did not. But both parents and the brother died to COVID-19.

SQEAKY: Oh god I feel bad about making fun of his name now. That's horrible.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: These people probably had legitimate concerns and they just didn't know how to get good information.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: Not being able to process information killed these people. Oh my goodness.

MAKO: Yeah. Francis himself was not with them. He wasn't, uh- Like I don't know if it was just they had different living arrangements or if he was just away on vacation... The articles don't specify.

SQEAKY: Family arrangements can be complex, no judgement there.

MAKO: But he wasn't there so he didn't get COVID during all this but his entire immediate family did and they all died.

SQEAKY: That's horrible. Well I hope he gets vaccinated and I hope that he lives a long healthy life.

MAKO: Next person. David Parker. He was fifty-six years old and a nightclub manager. He was... he refused to vaccinate because the vaccine was experimental, he was pretty explicit about that.

SOURCE [1:07:52] Healthy nightclub manager who rejected the vaccine because it was too 'experimental' died from COVID-19 weeks later - https://www.businessinsider.com/anti-vaxxer-distrusted-the-elite-so-refused-vaccine-dies-of-covid-19-2021-8

SQEAKY: As opposed to COVID which is thoroughly tested.

MAKO: He claimed that he wanted more data on the long-term effects of the vaccine. He even would insult people in his club that did get vaccinated. He had no underlying health conditions. He got COVID-19 and died to it.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: I want to make fun of him, but he's dead now, and the people he insulted aren't. I mean, we've got our comeupance.

MAKO: Yeah.

SQEAKY: There's nothing I can say now that isn't just cruel and terrible, Yeah.

MAKO: Okay. Next one. Braderick Wright. He was twenty-eight years old. He was unvaccinated because he believed in anti vaxx conspiracy theories that were spread via TikTok. That's somehow unsurprising that TikTok is spreading this kind of misinformation.

SOURCE [1:08:33] 28-year-old Atlanta man who died of COVID-19 has heartbreaking last message - https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/widowed-25-atlanta-woman-loses-28-year-old-husband-covid-19/CRG7YHKQWVCF7HJPYXYG5A3EJI/

SQEAKY: It's a social media network. They're all spreading this kind of misinformation.

MAKO: But it just- You don't- When you hear about COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation you always hear like Twitter, you hear Facebook... And it's just- This is one of the first times I've heard TikTok being explicitly singled out and and it's just- That was a little bizarre to me. But it makes sense, it's just different. Anyway. So yeah, he got his misinformation from TikTok. He didn't trust the government at all. He did have underlying health conditions, so he was at a elevated risk compared to most people. And when he got COVID-19 he got hospitalized like the other guy he changed his tune about vaccination after he got hospitalized he urged friends, family to get vaccines.

SQEAKY: Once he had the first-hand evidence he changed his mind.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: But his inability to trust experts or his unwillingness to trust experts put him in this situation.

MAKO: Mhm. And like I said, he died to COVID-19. Okay. Next one. Stephen Harman. Thirty-four years old. He was antivax, the article did not make it very clear as to why but he was pretty religious. He sent out a tweet shortly before he was intubated claiming "If you don't have the faith that God can heal me over your stupid ventilator, then keep the hell out of my ICU room. There's no room in here for fear or lack of faith."

SOURCE [1:09:43] Stephen Harmon, Corona Man Who Tweeted About Refusing To Get Vaccinated, Dies From COVID-19 - https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021/07/23/hillsong-church-stephen-harmon-dies-covid-19-unvaccinated/

SQEAKY: Okay, I'm not gonna make fun of that guy, but I will totally grandstand on the circumstances of his death. The reason faith is so successful is that if you have a million people that are faithful, and they are all saying "What happens to me happens because of God", and then nine-hundred-and-ninety-nine-thousand of them die, your one thousand survivors are all faithful pious people who can all just explain away the deaths of the other million people- I'm just going to round up, right, 'cause statistically you killed all of them, you'll have point one percent of these people alive-

MAKO: Mhm.

SQEAKY: -but their religion is now going to be super strong and they're gonna say "Yeah, we believed in the right god." They probably all believed in the same god more or less. It just-

*Sqeaky sighs*

MAKO: They'll just shift the goalposts as necessary to make it look like they were the true ones.

SQEAKY: So, this is evidence to all of us people who don't strongly believe in God or if you want to start questioning God now, note that this man was pious 'til the end, faithful to the end, God didn't save him. Yeah.

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: Don't buy into one piece of dysevidentia, it lets you buy into the others more easily. Use evidence, not faith when making decisions please. I'm just exasperated. Constant talk of death.

MAKO: So, yes. He was intubated, he was like that for a few days, died.

SQEAKY: We're gonna end on a light note.

MAKO: There's one more.

SQEAKY: Oh goodness.

MAKO: Next person is Alan Scott Len-oi (Lenoix). I might have gotten that last one wrong.

SQEAKY: Oh, that's uh... I think it's Len-waw.

MAKO: Len-waw?

SOURCE [1:11:06] Alan Scott Lanoix Thought the vaccine was literal poison - https://www.wwltv.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/family-urges-vaccine-after-unvaccinated-father-of-three-dies-of-covid-19/289-fb080e4a-18a8-4ff2-88e8-9a62ebcdf25c

SQEAKY: I'm not sure. Alan Scott, we don't mean you any ill will here, we just don't know how to pronounce your name.

MAKO: Yes, apologies. He was fifty-four years old. He was unvaccinated because he thought the vaccine was literal poison.


MAKO: And like the rest... or well like, familiar parts of the story, he was transported to the hospital, put on a ventilator, died to COVID-19 complications. And he had a wife and three kids.

SQEAKY: That's unfortunate. He made one factual error. He didn't know how to vet this thing correctly. He wasn't an expert, he mistrusted the experts.

MAKO: Yep.


MAKO: So, that was where I cut myself off. Like I said, there are stories like this that are in absolute abundance. They are trivial to find, there are way more than that- where that came from. But I had to cut myself off somewhere because we have finite time.

SQEAKY: Yeah, and there's finite amount of emotional energy that you can drain from our listeners before you kill them too!

*Mako laughs*

SQEAKY: Okay, our sources for this. Uh NBC News was a source on two of them, The Guardian, The Sun, Business Insider, WSB-TV Atlanta, interesting. Uh, losangeles.cbslocal.com, and wwltv.com. We'll have all those links in the show notes. Again, you can get those at dysevidentia.com or in your podcast player there should be a link right there. Should be able to click on it, get to our cite and read. All of our sources or our full transcript.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Tell me we've got something light.

MAKO: We do.

SQEAKY: Is it coming? Is it next?

MAKO: I mean, it could be next if you believe hard enough.

SQEAKY: Don't have a verbal response to that. That's-

MAKO: We do have something that's a little bit more on the positive side. It's a little bit comical. I mean, it's- It came about because of a shitty shitty situation that shouldn't exist, but it does and it's a little bit funny.

SQEAKY: You just described the whole Dilbert cartoon and I'm calling Scott Adams a shitty situation, the whole thing.

MAKO: Harsh.

SQEAKY: He's one of those assholes that's spreading COVID misinformation, so I have no problem being harsh and he's not dead yet.

MAKO: Great. Well with Delta, maybe.

SQEAKY: No, no! We're not rooting for people's deaths.

MAKO: I'm not rooting, I'm just saying it could happen. It's way more infectious than Alpha.

SQEAKY: I will advocate punching Nazis. I will not advocate germ warfare. Even that's going to require an explanation to a lot of people. A lot of people think you can talk a Nazi down. If that were true, World War II wouldn't have happened.

MAKO: You're recently- You're like violence doesn't solve anything and now like "I don't know, worked for World War II."

SQEAKY: When did I say violence doesn't solve anything? I've been on the pro-Nazi punching train for a while.

MAKO: You said that with our recent guests while we were playing Betrayal.

SQEAKY: Oh, we were playing a board game and I said it?

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: Yeah, yeah. I said it to convince people to not attack me. So what is this light thing? Tell me it's totally ridiculous.

MAKO: Well... I mean at a glance it absolutely is. But when you start digging deeper you realize that maybe this makes a really weird kind of sense.

SQEAKY: Oh, it's going to be something like "Free market healthcare starts making sense to someone."

MAKO: Yes.


MAKO: Actually yes. Funny that. So, because the United States has this stockpiles of vaccines and a number of other countries have fewer vaccines, or in some cases no vaccines, at least for their general populous, it has created this market where people in these other countries or even in some cases other states, can come into the United States... I think Florida specifically this place is uh... talking about...

SOURCE [1:14:33] Vaccine Tourism - https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/vaccine-tourism-rise-wealthy-international-tourists-eye-opportunity-u-s-n1255531

SQEAKY: Yeah. Because it's a common place to vacation.

MAKO: Yeah, yeah. So, people can go to Florida and can be like "Hey, yeah my address is out of state, give me a vaccine please." So you have people from other countries and like I said other states in some cases, are going to Florida to get their vaccine and then going back home. And this is vaccine tourism.

SQEAKY: This reminds me when we talked about medical tourism. I actually reached out to medicaltourism.com and I asked them to sponsor the show. They didn't reply.

MAKO: Yeah I wouldn't expect them to.

*Sqeaky chuckles and sighs*

SQEAKY: I'm gonna reach out to them again. And I'll reach out to... Who is this Gem Tourism Travel, is doing this?

MAKO: Gem Tours and Travels, yes.

SQEAKY: A four day trip for two thousand dollars. You got to New York and you get vaccinated. Seems like a good deal.

MAKO: Yeah. They were even proud to have coined the term "vaccine tourism."

SQEAKY: Even this isn't all bright and sunny though. It seems like uh... it's rich people in other countries. Like uh... what is it? A dozen Argentinian corporate executives went to Florida to get vaccinated-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -so that sucks that they're not sending their poor people over to use up all the vaccines that the Floridians-

MAKO: Yep.

SQEAKY: -aren't gonna use.

MAKO: These are private citizens using their private wealth to come to the United States. And so- You need a lot of resources for a lot of these countries in order to do that.

SQEAKY: That makes sense. It still sucks that rich people just get to suffer less.

MAKO: Yes.

SQEAKY: I wish we could lift up all these boats.

MAKO: Yes.

*Sqeaky sighs*

SQEAKY: Rising tide. Nevermind. The metaphor is strained when we're talking about literal boats. This is a humorous situation but it's like... we need the nudge of a punchline to push it over.

MAKO: Well, just- I got a really good chuckle when I read the part of the article where it said "Nearly forty thousand people whose home address was listed as out of state have been vaccinated in Florida."

SQEAKY: Yeah okay. Indian Argenti- Argen-

*Sqeaky loses control*

MAKO: Yeah. You have someone who is very obviously foreign, very obviously does not speak English as the native language showing up being like "Vaccine please." Like...

*Sqeaky laughs*

SQEAKY: That's pretty good. "What's your home address?" "Out of state." "Which state?" "All of them."

MAKO: Any of them, take your pick. Doesn't matter. Mind your own business. I don't need to fill this out. Now uh-

SQEAKY: What sucks is that- I don't even think there's a good way to fix that. 'Cause like if you demand an address then you're fundamentally saying homeless people can't get a vaccine but Florida opted to vaccinate homeless people, so that's good I guess.

MAKO: It's something. Florida doesn't do very many good things as of late, but that's one of them.

SQEAKY: Well... do we want to say anything else before we cut this off?

MAKO: No. I can't think of anything.

SQEAKY: Well, if you haven't been vaccinated, buy a four-thousand dollar ticket to Florida to get vaccinated. Have a cruise, and thanks for listening!

MAKO: Yuh, thanks for listening.

*Guitar riff*

MAKO: I think I just maxed out my mic. The blue line went to zero.

SQEAKY: By shouting "doppelgänger"?

*Sqeaky weases*

MAKO: I apologize for your future ears.

*Guitar riff*

SQEAKY: Do you need a computer? Go to abk-kustomz.com. ABK dash KUSTOMZ.com. Speak to an expert to get the computer you need. I know one of the builders over there, he is knowledgeable and eager to please. Give them code "evidence" for a ten percent discount on your next computer.

MAKO: In addition to our sources and complete transcript, we put sponsored links to any of the books or products we discuss. So if you were going to buy something anyway, do it by clicking these links.

SQEAKY: Thanks to all of our Patreon supporters at the Evidence Investigator level or higher, including Jarrod, DuktTape, Qeldaar, Lazore78.

MAKO: Thanks for listening and don't forget to like, subscribe, leave a review, or tell a friend.

SQEAKY: Copyright 2021, BlackTopp Studios, Inc.

MAKO: Intro music was Slow by Pit X. Used with permission.

*Guitar intro*

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