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COVID-19 vaccine controversy highlighted by Westport ‘warrior’

A protest sign hung Sunday on the East Avenue Interstate 95 overpass. A federal law exempts vaccine makers from being liable for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death. (Harold F. Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. — As Norwalk healthcare workers prepare to administer vaccines for COVID-19, a Westport chiropractor is telling anyone who will listen that the testing has been faulty, and they should really think about it before agreeing to be vaccinated.

Adam Propper’s words of warning echo concerns voiced across America, with FDA officials expressing concern about “vaccine hesitancy” as they hope to end the pandemic. Norwalk Board of Health member Dr. Norman Weinberger responded to Propper’s words by highlighting the historical success of vaccines, but also said that because there are variables and factors to weigh, he would wait six months before taking the vaccine if he were 20 years old. As an 80-year-old, he’ll be first in line.

The time is now: on Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine Friday, greenlighting Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S.

“For many Americans, Monday felt like a sigh of relief. After 10 nightmarish months, the first Covid-19 vaccinations began, a historic milestone in a brutal battle,” CNN reports.

 

‘What we know’

Propper, whose practice is just over the Norwalk line, has been posting podcasts under the title “The ChiropracTIC Warrior” since February, in April linking COVID-19 to 5G Internet and complaining that the medical community promotes antibiotics and vaccines instead of good nutrition and “any sensible advice that can enhance a person’s life.”

A week ago, he posted one examining the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine. The studies done by Moderna and Pfizer are flawed, he said.

While it sounds good that 30,000 people were in the trial, “they’re not testing 30,000 people for effect,” he said. “They took the first 195 people who experienced any symptoms of COVID-19,” and found 11 people in the vaccinated group and 185 people in the placebo group. Now by looking at that, then they say, ‘OK, you know, it works. It’s 95 percent effective.’”

The New York Times reports, “On Nov. 16, Moderna announced the first preliminary data from the trial, followed by the complete data on Nov. 30. Out of 196 cases of Covid-19 among trial volunteers, 185 were in people who received the placebo. And of the 11 vaccinated volunteers who got Covid-19, none suffered from severe disease. The researchers estimated that the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 94.1 percent, far higher than experts had expected when vaccine testing began.”

Propper called this “like putting a fishing net into the ocean,” and catching the fish in the net.

“The side effects of the first shot in the vaccine include daylong exhaustion, pounding migraine headaches, vomiting, fatigue and shortness of breath, and the second shot can be even worse – and the doctors doing the study didn’t monitor side effects until day 42,” he said.

CNBC quotes five trial participants as saying that the side effects are uncomfortable but they “think the discomfort is worth it to protect themselves against the coronavirus.” This, after one Pfizer participant “woke up with chills, shaking so hard he cracked a tooth after taking the second dose.”

NancyOnNorwalk could not confirm the statement, “They did not monitor the symptoms of these people until day 42, 14 days or so after the second shot…. By the time they get to day 42 people for the most part, were asymptomatic.”

The side effects might make you unable to go to work and, “The pharmaceutical companies are not telling you this, no one’s telling you this on the media,” Propper said. “Fauci isn’t saying, ‘Hey, you know, if you get this shot, you could get really sick for a while.’”

Yahoo, in an interview published three days after Propper’s podcast, quotes Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as saying there haven’t been any terribly worrying adverse side effects reported so far—and that, if any show up, it may be a while.

Propper said, “They basically have lied to us about the fact that how effective this vaccine is, they designed the study to be basically flawed, in terms of the data that they’re presenting. And now we don’t know what the long-term effects of a vaccine is going to be. And there are epidemiologists who are up in arms right now, because they really don’t know you know, you’re playing with the immune system…. your immune system might go into hyper alert, people have had anaphylaxis, they’ve had severe problems, multiple sclerosis, all sorts of chronic diseases. Autoimmune disease is very common with the vaccine program in general, if you look at kids… this is a stealthy way for the pharmaceutical company to start targeting vaccines for adults.”

The vaccine will not create herd immunity and, in fact, doesn’t prevent infection from SARS-CoV-2, he said. It prevents COVID-19. A person can still be asymptomatically infected and walk around spreading the virus.

Dr. Nahid Bhadella, an infectious diseases physician and the medical director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston Medical Center, said, “This is one of the outstanding scientific questions that we have,” in a televised interview.

“What we know from the studies that Pfizer did and Moderna did is that they were looking for people who develop symptoms after getting a vaccine,” Bhadella said. “So they were looking for symptomatic infections, not really looking for people who may have gotten infection and may be asymptomatic.”

So, “while half of the infections can be passed on by people who are asymptomatic,” there’s no data on the vaccine’s ability to kill the virus, she said.

“What we know is that it will prevent you from getting disease, severe disease and symptomatic disease, but you may potentially still be a carrier and that’s why we’re advising everybody who gets vaccinated to continue to wear the mask until we either know for sure that that transmission is not happening or enough people are vaccinated so that even if you were to pass it on, nobody else could get your disease from you,” she said.

Propper said, “We have to really look at the vaccine program because the pharmaceutical companies were granted immunity in 1987 by the federal government, protecting them from doing harm to you.”

He alleged, “Health professionals on the front lines, they’re very apprehensive about taking this vaccination.”

NancyOnNorwalk asked Dave Hannon, Secretary/Treasurer for Connecticut Health Care Associates District 1199, the union for many Norwalk Hospital employees, about that.

“I haven’t heard ‘overall apprehension’ about the vaccine,” he said in an email. “But we also haven’t polled our members about it. Some people have expressed concerned about the quick turnaround, but I wouldn’t in any way call it universal.”

The vaccine isn’t mandatory for Norwalk Hospital employees at this point, Hannon said.

 

‘Proven to be effective’

A Nuvance Health representative did not reply to a request for a response to Propper’s comments. Nuvance Health owns Norwalk Hospital.

Weinberger, a pediatrician, said it’s unfortunate that the medical community hasn’t done the “kind of PR job we should have” about vaccine efficacy.

“I’ve been around a lot of stuff, matter of fact, when I was a medical student, we still had a polio ward and by the time I was a intern and resident, the polio ward was where we lived. And there wasn’t any polio,” he said.

Chiropractors opposed the polio vaccine, Scientific American reports.

During the Rubella (or German Measles) epidemic, babies were born blind and deaf but “with that vaccine, there was no more rubella,” he said. Children were dying of meningococcal meningitis as recently as the late ‘70s early ‘80s and “we no longer see that, so that (vaccine) seems to have been really, really good.”

Sadly, when people refuse to take vaccines, people die, he said, mentioning the 2019 Measles outbreak.

“The question is the safety of the vaccines. And we have to weigh the effectiveness versus the danger,” he said.

The people developing the COVID-10 vaccine are very smart and but, “if I were young, I would wait for six months and see what the safety profile for this is… At my age, I would say if I get the coronavirus I have a high risk of not surviving, so yes I would take the vaccine,” Weinberger said.

Norwalk Director of Health Deanna D’Amore said Monday, “It was wonderful to see healthcare providers receive their first vaccines today in Connecticut.”

“This is good news and will help us beat this pandemic. From a public health perspective, it is truly unfortunate that anti-vaccination sentiment exists in the community and around the country for standard childhood and adult vaccines, and now with the COVID-19 vaccine,” she wrote. “Vaccines are proven to be effective and keep people safe. COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same safety standards as other vaccines. We will be following the science and guidelines from federal and state health officials on the COVID-19 vaccine, as we do with all vaccines. Wearing a mask, maintaining our physical distance, and washing our hands have been important tools in our toolbox to combat this pandemic, and it’s incredible that we now have the vaccine as another critical tool to get us closer to ‘back to normal.’”

 

 

‘On the warpath’

Four people opposed to mandatory vaccinations hung a banner from the I-95 East Avenue overpass Sunday afternoon, highlighting the 1987 addition to U.S. Code, which reads:

“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable in a civil action for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death associated with the administration of a vaccine after October 1, 1988, if the injury or death resulted from side effects that were unavoidable even though the vaccine was properly prepared and was accompanied by proper directions and warnings.”

 

One of the protestors, the only Norwalk resident among the group, said she has two children, one of whom is partially vaccinated and the other who is not. She said there are obvious differences between them, with the non-vaccinated child healthy while the other has a bowel disorder.

John Zito of Hartford, Sunday on the East Avenue I-95 overpass. (Harold F. Cobin)

She declined to identify herself or be photographed. Only the man provided his identity, John Zito of Hartford, who said they were part of a “large medical freedom group in Connecticut.”

They alleged the ingredients in vaccines are harmful, that pediatricians receive “kickbacks” to vaccinate children, and that the manufacturers of vaccines have limited liability when a vaccine causes injury.

And Zito said sales of vaccines by pharmaceutical companies represent a large segment of the nation’s economic activity, so the government has an interest in promoting their use.

Asked if any of them had training in pharmacology or medicine, they said they did not, but argued that the hazards of vaccines were obvious and widespread.

“All you have to do is read about them,” one of the women said.

Propper, in a podcast posted Saturday, said, “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I hate that term. I’m not an anti vaxxer. I hate that term. Because those are terms that are used by the media to disparage the conversation and stop the conversation.”

The term “conspiracy theorist” was coined by the CIA in 1966 or 1967, “when people were doubting the long gun theory of the Kennedy assassination, and they wanted to stop the conversation, cold turkey,” he said.

The term “conspiracy theory” emerged around 1870 and began to be more frequently used during the 1950s, Michael Butter, Professor of American Literary and Cultural History at the University of Tübingen, wrote in an article posted by The Conversation.

Propper said he’s “on the warpath… because the media is really railroading this vaccine.”

“I’m not telling you not to get the vaccine,” he said. “What I’m telling you is that if you look at the studies, if you follow the money trail, if you listen to what’s on the television, or read what’s in the papers, and you know that the pharmaceutical companies are operating with a carte blanche, that government tax dollars are paying for the research, that everyone involved from Fauci to many, many others are tied to this vaccine rollout and will profit from that, which I think should be outlawed anyway. And you look at the risk benefit, and the risks of taking the vaccine, and you don’t know what the long-term effects are.”

NancyOnNorwalk reporter Harold F. Cobin contributed to this story. NoN reporter Nancy Guenther Chapman has been a client of Adam Propper.

16 comments

Sharon Dressler December 15, 2020 at 7:05 am

Dr. Weinberger’s first name is Norman.(sure it was just a typo).
I have read and heard on the news that the vaccine has side effects that go away in 24hrs. And that one should not go to work the next day.

John O'Neill December 15, 2020 at 8:51 am

If anyone wants to skip their turn please call. I’ll be more than happy to take their spot. I’m guessing most of Norwalk’s 137th district who voted for phantom State Rep might be calling me.

Justin Matley December 15, 2020 at 10:35 am

Next time I need epidemiological advice, I’ll consult my chiropractor. Maybe my podiatrist or dermatologist.

No offense against this individual, who may be an excellent chiropractor. But unless he can attribute his opinions with verified and sourced corroboration with qualified medical people, I’d take it with a grain of salt.

Also, I have a bit of a problem with the piece in general. While I appreciated NON giving a platform for an array of opinions and showcasing the news of the day, and a banner on 95 I suppose is, I think this piece borders on promotional (his podcast and practice), and almost touches propaganda.

News institutions can both showcase what’s happening about town and then properly put it into context, and I’m not convinced this piece does that adequately.

Rick December 15, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Adam Propper should be thanked and respected for notifying the public about this information, something the media doesn’t have the chops to do. Body sovereignty is an inalienable right. Just like my body my choice applies to abortions, the same slogan can be applied to forces of medical tyranny. Once we allow the government to dictate what goes into our bodies, under threat of force, extortion or exclusion from society, we lose all freedoms in their entirety. If they don’t mandate this vaccine, you better believe they’re going to remove your abilities to fly, transport, travel, mingle or attend events in crowded spaces. Please be aware of what is happening, and take in all the facts. Does a virus with a 98% survival rate really need to be administered to all people? No. But like I said, if there is risk, there must be a choice, and people should be allowed to choose accordingly. I’ve said my peace

John Miller December 15, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan went on an anti-covid 19 vaccine rant on Saturday. Mr. Farrakhan and Dr. Propper have one thing in common when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccine; their total lack of credibility.

D. Z. Knutz December 15, 2020 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for covering this event. This is the only place on the entire web that had any information on it.

Any information on why the pharmaceutical companies have received exemption from all liability from damages that result from the use of their product? If it was really safe and effective then why would exemption from liability be necessary?

Thanks,

D

Norwalk Taxpayer December 15, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Good for him. Its about time someone actually speaks the truth to power. Thank you NON for showing diversity of opinion.

Again the CDCs own data shows COVID has a high survival rate. why do we need this vaccine with a LESS than desirable effective rate? Seems like they need to spend more time researching it first….

James December 15, 2020 at 10:01 pm

If you or someone you know is high risk and have cause for concern, then take it. Otherwise, don’t. But don’t complain if you get COVID

Rick December 16, 2020 at 7:47 am

It’s just funny when you say it out loud.

You are going to take a brand new, rushed and untested vaccine, which the creators of cannot be sued for if you are damaged by it, but stand to earn billions in revenue, which will make you very ill, for a virus so deadly, you have to be tested to know you even have it, because you can but not even know it.

I happily donate my doses to anyone who wants them in return. I will never take this vaccine. Would much rather the “doctors” talk about real immunity and health. Why haven’t they mandated fruits and vegetables, or vitamin D. How come they only wish to make our lives difficult to live, or close our businesses down to destroy or ability to earn our living? And if the transmission of this virus is through particulates or saliva (mask wearing) then how come they need to stick a rod in your face and poke at your brain? Can’t you just spit in a cup if it’s so contagious?

People say the flu is gone because we’re all wearing masks. Then they say coronavirus is spreading out of control. Which one is it?

NiZ December 16, 2020 at 3:43 pm

So it seems to me in the past several years I have notice MOST politicians and media lie A LOT. Failing to report to the people and even impose their opinions on their viewers / listeners plenty. People that trust and support them. As I know how close I came to death many many years ago from vaccines and how the ones from decades ago, work well, the key is that the ingredients are safe & it be well tested, as well as transparency on the case studies. S A F E is the key. And this one has neither. I hope people really take the time to educate on this matter and not assume our government or the pharmaceutical has our best interests at heart, as they are well proven not to. Sad for those who wholeheartedly think this is SAFE. Stay Up, Stay Safe and EDUCATE. Much care and consideration NiZ <3

John Levin December 16, 2020 at 10:31 pm

I’m sad. The anti-vaxxer community is determined and organized, and Mr Propper and some commenters make various claims which are objectively false and/or misleading.

There is a reason why not one person in my town of Norwalk has ever known a person that has contracted smallpox or diphtheria. There’s a reason why no one knows a person that has been forced to live in an iron lung.

When a virus enters our bodies, our immune system acts to eliminate it. Vaccines mimic the infection, providing a blueprint that tells the immune system how to respond. Short video explains:
https://covid.yale.edu/media-player/5993/?utm_source=YaleToday&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=YT_Yale%20Today%20Alum%20no%20Parents_12-16-2020

John O'Neill December 17, 2020 at 8:38 am

@John Levin: Right on…We are not living in the Middle Ages. These Anti-vaxxers remind me of a group in Pennsylvania that still uses horse drawn carriages to get around.

Rick December 18, 2020 at 9:37 am

I’m sorry John, but the pro-vaccine groups are not organized and determined? You’ve just demonized your own group by saying anything organized or determined leads to suspicion.

There is no objectivity false data we are promoting. If the vaccines are so safe and life-saving, why would the makers not be held accountable if anyone does get injured.

People say the percentage of vaccine injured victims are near zero. Shouldn’t really hurt their profit margin then shouldn’t it? Why the need for legal immunity? Don’t they care who they hurt?

So we must widely vaccinate a population for a virus with a 2% death rate… yet the percentage of vaccine injured people is too small to acknowledge or have any compassion for? Are you hearing your own logical fallacy?

How do you know that these vaccines have not been hijacked for an alternative agenda? Just like how our politicians used to do good work for their parties, or how journalists used to cover topics without censorship or a bias.

The same people that won’t ban the use of cancer causing roundup in our food production (the largest cause of death to date) are the same people who want us to stay healthy from a virus with a 98% survival rate?

MARIA January 11, 2021 at 6:06 pm

I haven’t received a flu shot once in my life and never will but I can not wait to be vaccinated to protect me from getting Covid. It is different then having covid administered in the vaccine which of course would not be smart. It is safe and I would have it done right now if I could. My husband had his first vaccination at Stamford Hospital weeks ago and he worked his 14 hour shift and the next day also a 14 hour shift and he was fine. The only side affect was soreness at the injection site. He works two full time jobs one at the ER and one at a Surgery Center. I think that Lamont needs to get everyone in CT vaccinated sooner then later. Sometimes I think he’s sleep walking. He needs to step it up and get the vaccine here now for everyone!

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