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Masks, bacterial pneumonia and the “Spanish flu”
Let’s take a look at the two eras in which Americans wore masks, 1918-1919 and recently. Then let’s dispense with a misconception. The so-called Spanish flu was neither Spanish nor the flu.
In 2008, Anthony Fauci’s team found this same cause of death, bacterial pneumonia, in every cadaver examined from the 1918 - 1919 “Spanish” flu pandemic, in their evaluation of autopsies of 9,000 subjects’ tissue.
Those two periods, 1918-1919 and 2020-2021 had another feature in common. They were the only times in US history that a majority of people wore masks.
My research team, an epidemiologist, a microbiologist and I, showed in 2020 that masks have the effect of incubating bacteria to quickly expanding colonies on the inside surface of facemasks and in the warm, moist airspace between a mask and the airways. Welcome, bacteria; here’s your comfortable home. Worse yet, the air hunger resulting from stifled breathing causes more labored and deeper inhalation, which drives bacterial overgrowth deeper into the lungs than an unmasked person would experience.
Reuters criticized our reporting of this association, by using a sly strawman argument: “Fact check: Fauci did not attribute 1918 Spanish flu deaths to bacterial pneumonia caused by masks,” and showed my tweet on the subject.
That’s correct, Reuters. Fauci did not make that connection. It was our research team who made that connection between masks and bacterial pneumonia deaths. Fauci merely reported that “Spanish flu” mortality, which was at the time, and in the century since then, blamed on an H1N1-type influenza, was in fact more likely to be the result of bacterial pneumonia. We took that finding a step farther and indicated the known widespread use of facial bacteria-incubating devices at that time. We opined that this potential contributor to bacterial pneumonia deaths was not only the case in 1918-1919, but likely made at least some contribution to mortality that was blamed on SARS-CoV-2 infection.
At my natural cancer clinic (indeed, such places do exist), we observed a sad phenomenon. As clinic owner, I advised anyone I saw at my clinic who was wearing a mask that doing so was a serious health hazard, and I briefly explained why to anyone who would stand still long enough to listen. By early 2021, my research team and I had cited, in a series of articles, over 200 peer-reviewed studies showing that masks were neither safe nor effective. We gave away copies of these papers at the front desk to all who were interested. Somehow, among the other people present, some mask-wearers oblivious to these studies showed up at the clinic and wanted our treatments. The sad phenomenon that we observed was that all except one person who insisted on wearing a mask at the clinic in 2020 was dead by late 2021. However, most of the non-mask-wearers there during that same time survived their cancers. But I digress from the Spanish flu.
Let’s first dispense with a misconception. The so-called Spanish flu was neither Spanish nor the flu.
Spain had declined to suppress news stories of the sudden increases in non-combat deaths as World War I drew to a close. This was as other countries had chosen to suppress such news stories, presumably in order to maintain public morale. Unlike other western European countries, Spain remained neutral in World War I. US, British, French and German troops were deployed widely, as far away as Asia and Africa, and it was conceivable to the reasonable mind that the new outbreak of disease was being carried by all this travel, although the media of the combatant countries were reluctant to report such means of contagion. (However, we shall see below that such transmission was more likely bacterial than viral.) In the UK, newspapers were prohibited by the 1914 Defense of the Realm Act from discussing any details of the new contagious pandemic. This article discusses that censorship.
Neither did the increasing disease incidence originate in Spain, nor was it nearly as bad there as in other countries, in terms of morbidity or mortality. Rather, the Spanish were the first to report it, and without motive to censor it, and so that name stuck.
That 1918-1919 period was not nearly so deadly as cholera, a bacteria-borne infectious disease that devastated New York City a number of times in the previous century. 1832 and 1849 saw mass deaths and exodus from Manhattan, as sanitation infrastructure had not yet developed to keep up with a skyrocketing population; the city’s burgeoning sewers were reservoirs of this fecal-carried bacterial disease. The following New York Times graph shows how deadly cholera was. Despite the graph’s caption, the deaths were mostly due to cholera; there was little smallpox in NYC at the time. It was not for another half century that clean water would be brought from the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, and 6,000 miles of sewers were built to carry away waste.
Boris Borovoy and I argued in December 2020 that we have to look at all-cause mortality as necessary to put a pandemic’s alleged lethality into perspective. As the following graph shows, COVID took the death rate in New York City back to about the 1950 to 1990 level, which was (strangely enough) an era when people were not panicking about the typical 1 in 100 annual death rate, and that period has even been considered the heyday of US prosperity and quality of life.
US mortality data show that clean water, indoor plumbing, effective sewage routing all made the difference to decisively reduce infectious disease deaths to a small fraction of earlier, and that this change occurred before the disease-named vaccines came into common use. The WHO acknowledged this pivotal role of sanitation before they removed that page.
Nor was the “Spanish flu” primarily an influenza pandemic
20 million to 100 million deaths were blamed on the so-called Spanish flu, depending on who retells the history. The CDC’s official story was that it was thought to be an H1N1 strain of influenza.
However, you may already know that in those same years, 1918-1919, the newly invented wonder drug aspirin was often generously dosed at over 1,000 mg, which people learned a bit too late to be a potentially lethal dose, an imminent risk for internal bleeding. Reye’s syndrome, a toxicity cause by excessive aspirin, mainly affecting brain and liver, is a result of dosing aspirin at 25 mg/kg, or about 1500 mg for an adult of that era. At peak pandemic fear, a London doctor “drenched” his patient at 1300 mg per hour for 12 hours, which was similar to widespread dosing given less frequently according to the British Ministry of Health.
There are four lines of evidence that support the role of salicylate (the core of aspirin) intoxication in the 1918 flu pandemic. Pharmacokinetics is one. This assesses dosing with respect to clearance of a drug from the body. In the case of zealous dosing of aspirin, a state of toxicity is quickly reached, before much of the drug is eliminated. Of that era’s aspirin enthusiasm, Karen Starko writes, “These recommended doses (1000-1300 mg), with frequencies ranging from hourly to every 3 hours, resulting in daily doses of 8-31.2 grams, are above the maximum safe doses….”
Meningococcus vaccine experiment on US soldiers
Also, at the time there were experiments with typhoid, paratyphoid and meningococcus vaccines, beginning with the military. The meningococcus vaccine, which had been cultured in horses, was one of a number of previously developed vaccines that were used in US troops at Fort Riley, Kansas in a military vaccination experiment in 1917-1918. The ambitious goal had “the object of producing a serum which would protect against any pathogenic strain that might be encountered,” according to Dr. Frederick Gates in his report of the experiment. As dosing ramped up in the experiment, more and more severe reactions, both local and general, were reported. Within a few months, 100 men per day were showing up at the infirmary. Some of the first to take ill described a “bad cold.” Experiment-stricken soldiers were reported to have flu-like symptoms, coughs, vomiting, diarrhea. Fort Riley soon became the place where the first “Spanish flu” case was reported. Many new vaccines were also deployed on the public during this same 1918-1919 period.
Then as now, vaccine naming and manufacture sloppily associated the new products with known diseases, more or less.
“Drug manufacturers aggressively promoted their stock vaccines for colds, grippe and flu. These vaccines were of undisclosed composition. As public anxiety and demand swelled, there were complaints of price gouging and kickbacks,” according to John M Eyler, PhD, The State of Science, Microbiology and Vaccines circa 1918, also citing S Haythorn, Studies on epidemic influenza comprising clinical and laboratory investigations…
Eyler’s paper is a revealing exposé of the hucksterism and opportunistic re-branding of old vaccines to address new fears that more brazenly characterized vaccine salesmanship in the 1918-1919 “pandemic” than today’s more sophisticated attempts and science veneer polishing, in order to market pandemics and vaccines in recent decades.
Dr. Gates, who reported on the Fort Riley experiments, in his paper on that vaccine experiment, described soldiers’ symptoms after injections as follows:
“Several cases of looseness of the bowels or transient diarrhea were noted. This symptom had not been encountered before. Careful inquiry in individual cases often elicited the information that men who complained of the effects of vaccination were suffering from mild coryza, bronchitis, etc. at the time of injection. Sometimes the reaction was initiated by a chill or chilly sensation, and a number of men complained of fever or feverish sensations during the following night. Next in frequency came nausea (occasionally vomiting), dizziness, and general ‘aches and pains’ in the joints and muscles…. The reactions, therefore, occasionally simulated the onset of epidemic meningitis ….”
As World War I wound down, and the injected soldiers returned home about 10 months after the experiment, they carried “colonizing strains of bacteria, particularly pneumococci, hemolytic streptococci, H. influezae and S. aureus.”
The Rockefeller Institute had prepared the horse-serum meningitis vaccine that was used on the soldiers, and then distributed the bacterial mixture to England, France, Belgium, Italy and other countries. It was promoted urgently, using the pandemic fear zeitgeist, of which we are all now too familiar once again, in order to boost sales and uptake of this highly poisonous vaccine that was both named for and contained contaminants of meningococcus.
Dr. Colleen Huber, author, Neither Safe Nor Effective: The Evidence Against the COVID Vaccines
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