UPDATE: Scientists hide details of questionable taxpayer-funded pro-vaccine study

The following is a news analysis.

Update: the Journal of Neurology Clinical Practice has not responded to my retraction request as of Fri. Sept. 1.

Story Highlights

  • The government funded a great deal of questionable science during Covid.
  • It’s impossible to do oversight on the studies because the researchers and government are keeping the material secret, despite the fact that the material belongs to the public.
  • In a study published in Neurology Clinical Practice, the scientists claim their work supports the idea that Covid vaccines are safe, because everyone in their small sample who suffered neurologic events had risk factors.
  • The scientists will not answer how the presence of risk factors exonerates any role of the vaccines in the illnesses, since it is well known that vaccines can aggravate or trigger pre-existing conditions or risk factors.
  • Columbia University, where the research was conducted, refuses to release any of the study supporting material, which is contrary to the tenets of good science under which a study must be replicable.
  • Though your tax dollars paid for the study, Columbia says it isn’t subject to Freedom of Information law because it is a private institution.
  • As a result, the government can launder public funds to a private institution to avoid oversight or transparency regarding a publicly-funded study.
  • CDC is stalling on a Freedom of Information Act request.

Below is my retraction request, which explains more.

August 10, 2023 

Neurology Clinical Practice

Editor-in-Chief Dr. Jose Merino

Executive Editor Patty Baskin

Dear Editors:

In May of this year, your journal pubished 2023 a study purportedly monitoring for serious neurological adverse events connected to Covid-19 vaccine. The study was entitled: “Observational Study of Patients Hospitalized With Neurologic Events After SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination, December 2020–June 2021.” 

The study, funded by CDC, was conducted by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Although it is well established that side effects from vaccines and other medicine can arise years after the medicine is taken, the study scientists say they limited their examination to a six-week time period after a Covid-19 vaccine. They report looking at 138 people who had gotten vaccinated and then ended up hospitalized with any conditions on a list of neurologic conditions such as stroke, encephalopathy, seizure, and intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding). 

What got my attention was the odd conclusion. The study said that all 138 patients had “risk factors” or “established causes” for their illnesses, such as high blood pressure for stroke victims, and, therefore, this somehow, supposedly proves the vaccines are safe.

“All cases in this study were determined to have at least 1 risk factor and/or known etiology accounting for their neurologic syndromes. Our comprehensive clinical review of these cases supports the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines,” reads the study discussion.

Surely these preeminent researchers understand the basic science that shows people with risk factors are more likely to suffer adverse events from medication. It is obvious that the fact that the patients had risk factors prior to vaccination doesn’t exonerate the vaccines at all; in fact, it potentially implicates the vaccines as yet another medicine that can add risks to people who already have illnesses— as do most Americans. Additionally, this conclusion raises eyebrows because it is well-established in literature that the vaccines are associated with a host of neurological events.*

I contacted the primary study author, Dr. Kiran Thakur, to see if it was I who was missing something. I asked: “The study seems to imply that because people who suffered certain neurological events shortly after Covid vaccination had risk factors, it exonerates the vaccines from blame. But did the authors consider that people with existing risk factors could be at greater risk for vaccine adverse events?” Instead of answering the question, Dr. Thakur replied: “Can you clarify the purpose of your questions (to be published, personal inquiry or otherwise).” When I told him it might be published, he went dark. When I persisted in asking if he would please respond, he finally answered: “Declining, thank you.” 

Why isn’t a legitimate scientist happy to answer a simple question about his work? What’s the big secret? 

Again, to see if I might be missing something in my conclusions about the study, I queried your editorial staff. They stated that only Dr. Thakur could answer a question like that. Again, I wondered, Shouldn’t the journal be asking the same questions I’m asking? Why aren’t they? I decided to see if there were hints in the study data and communications, or whether I could be missing something. I wrote Columbia University asking for those materials. A basic tenet of scientific research—or it used to be— is transparency in the data and all aspects of the study. In fact, a study isn’t considered legitimate unless it is verifiable and replicable. In other words, everything about it has to be accessible to others to repeat, if they choose, to get the same results.

After some back and forth, Columbia University informed me that they are a private institution and not subject to Freedom of Information law. I appealed to them on the basis of scientific transparency: why would they want to keep details of an important publicly-funded study secret? Doesn’t that go against the tenets of sound science? My appeal fell on deaf ears. 

I would think and hope that the fact that a private university can take public taxpayer money through CDC, publish a study, and then refuse to answer questions about it because they’re a private university, would be alarming to you as the publishing journal.

A lawful FOIA response from CDC is overdue and unlikely to come, based on recent experience.

In light of the dearth of information, or at least the willingness of those holding it to make it public; and because the study authors decline to answer a basic and important question that lies at the heart of the study’s potentially flawed conclusion; and because science is not considered sound if transparency is lacking, data is kept secret, and the experiment cannot be replicated; I request a retraction of the study.

Please let me know your determination of this request at your earliest convenience.






Sharyl Attkisson

Investigative Journalist

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22 thoughts on “UPDATE: Scientists hide details of questionable taxpayer-funded pro-vaccine study”

  1. Key phrase: “science is not considered sound if … the experiment cannot be replicated”
    If the science is sound, the people generating the supposed results would be enthusiastically hoping for third-party replication of the supposed results.

    1. it’s strange in this case anyhow to say that ‘the experiment cannot be replicated’. apparently they had ‘….3,830 individuals screened for COVID-19 vaccination status and neurologic conditions [and] 138 (3.6%) cases were included in this study….’ – I wonder in what way that wouldn’t be possible to replicate.

  2. Notice the vaccine manufacturers still have protection from liability. that should tell the consumers something. Unlike all the rest of the medications advertised on TV , the covid vaccine ads don’t mention any side effects even though studies show adverse effects from them.

  3. Go, Sharyl, go! I still can’t grasp how anyone, of any political party, degree status, occupation, background , could stomach something like this, and I’m sure this is but one example.

    1. Killing off 90% of humanity was always an insidious part of a program. Sickness maintenance is also more profitable than prevention and holistic wellness modalities. Also consider the FDA approving glyphosate for human consumption, or PEG, or GMO’ing our foods. [ Corn has been modified and causes sterility. High fructose CORN syrup is a common food additive.]…https://rikitikitavi.substack.com/p/was-it-a-eugenics-program

  4. Ms Attkisson, I appreciate your efforts in this regard very much. While we may see how corporate media spins a narrative and spreads propaganda for profit, the status quo-maintenance factors that may be attributed to medical journals are overlooked. The academic institutions are also responsible for disinformation, fake science, and collaboration with Pharma (money) that funds research at the universities.

  5. This article gave me a New idea for processing electrons on a new circuit motherboard = New computing devices ! . Example ; Instead of electrical electrons being sent on any of today’s mini ( Cell phones ) or large motherboards devices, the New circuit uses synthetic materials circuit paths. Synthetic material can manipulate the path of energy waves better by using less electrons energy to waves processing manipulation ‘.Ureaka ! _ Wm. Andrews Discoverer Rochester, IN. 46975 = New Quantum computing processing Ureaka moment idea in New . RI= Real Intellegence . Eat your Heart out A.I. ( Tell us about the synthetic material ) ” Dream on !

  6. I’ve read a number of times online that all the pharmaceutical companies are immune (NPI) from ANY litigation from vaccine receivers that suffered side effects. Your efforts should prove how awful that is if it’s true.

    Don’t go away!!!

    1. I may be wrong about this, but I BELIEVE as a matter of law that such immunity dissolves if/when misconduct such as fraud or, in this case, intentional concealment of negative side effects is discovered.

      It’s one thing if negative side effects are only discovered, after a vaccine has been administered, but legally speaking, it’s something else if potential negative side effects were known or expected yet intentionally concealed while administering a vaccine.

      No doubt it would require serious litigation, but I don’t think immunity survives intentional concealment of serious side effects.

      1. The nuance you mention, that in the case of fraud, is interesting. However, my suspicion–although I am not a lawyer either–is that fraud would be exceedingly difficult to prove. The very concept of “intentional concealment” reeks of such difficulty. (Now, those of us with even a little experience reading clinical trial reports, such as those authored by Pfizer, know that they fell short in many ways. The problem is the FDA is tasked with handling those approvals. Once they signed off on it, Pfizer was off the hook. This despite our shared belief that, “Pfizer doesn’t make mistakes. They make choices!”). Additionally, and anyway, once a vaccine makes it to the childhood schedule, as I believe is now the case for the covid jabs, all liability for adverse effects is handled via “vaccine court” and therefore the responsibility of the Government. Short Answer: Pfizer won this round, and probably there was little chance of them losing, once the ball got rolling during the covid dumpster fire. By the way, the Government already set up a special website, if I recall correctly, to handle complaints about covid jabs. The Pharma folks are probably already planning their next scam!

        1. Well, the two basic types of fraud are Actual and
          Generally speaking, Actual Fraud refers to your basic swindler who sets out with intent to commit a fraud. Under the law, Constructive Fraud is every bit as abhorent as Active Fraud, but carries a lesser burden concerning intent. Persons with a fiduciary duty are often held to the lesser Constructive Fraud standard due to the necessary TRUST that the victim placed in the person committing the Constructive Fraud, and I believe that standard would apply to vaccine manufacturers — or any party upon which a person relies due to the superior expertise of the other person.

    2. I understood from one of Sharyl’s earlier discussion with a vaccine harm lawyer/activist (possibly it was Daniel Horowitz??) they don’t quite have full immunity. The trick they pulled is that you need to first petition a government (HHS?) board that your case has merit before you can sue. SO good luck getting them to admit the ‘vaccine’ is in any way harmful and allowing a case to go to trial.

  7. It is even more sinister than we know right now. I read from an expert in graphene oxide and he said that it should NEVER be in the human blood and if it is found there, that person will have eight years left to live because the human body cannot handle it. I wish I had the link for you. But, if the covid shots were enacted in 2021/2022 that means that the bulk of people have until 2029/2030. Just in time for UN Agenda 2030 to kick in. I do believe that God has something up His sleeve, which is our only hope.

  8. Color me as a skeptic on almost everything until proven otherwise!

    When this covid thing first appeared in early 2000, I quickly decided that “natural” immunity was the option for me. After all, this was the year of my 80th birthday and I was scheduled to visit Vegas for a few days where I would mingle with the crowds, dine in well occupied eateries and gamble a few bucks in most of the local casinos in North Vegas. These choices served me well for nearly a year.

    In January of 2021 I was informed that I had been exposed to covid and sure enough, I came down with “killer” virus/delta variant. It knock me down for a day or so but I quickly recovered.

    My Conclusion: A lot of hype and little or no substance!

    When the vaccines began their appearance… The Phizer and Moderna versions required special handling so dismissed both of them and would wait until the Johnson & Johnson version was released that did not require special handling.

    In the meantime evidence of coronary attacks began to occur that attacked mostly athletes on playing fields worldwide. That was a deciding moment for me to simply go vaccine free and I remain so today.

    Your mileage may vary…

  9. Don’t know why so many express surprise at all the secrecy. The nation is trending to a stassi style closed government . The fact that they care less and less that the citizens are on to most of the power grabbing wars between political parties that is driving this country in the ground shows their confidence that they will remain in power. We are Venezuela now.

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