A new video from Dr. Simone Gold titled “The truth about the CV19 Vaccine” has been circulating recently. We watched the entirety of the video in order to fact-check what was being claimed by Dr. Gold. You Tube has removed the original video off of its platform for violation of terms of service. If you haven’t watched the video, here it is below.
If you have watched it, you may have questions as to what claims she makes are true or false. The video is 56 minutes long, so it’s not a short video by any means and a lot of information is covered. Below are some of the specific claims she makes in this video and our unbiased fact checks.
Claim: Hydroxychloroquine is a safe drug.
TRUE: Hydroxychloroquine has been used for over 60 years in all around the world to treat malaria, arthritis medicine, lupus and porphyria cutanea tarda. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. In the U.S., it was first approved for medical use in 1955 and was the 129th most common prescribed medication in the United States as of 2018.
According to adverse events reported to the FDA, below are the 25 most common side effects reported since 2004.
It has been known to be a safe drug with minor side effects for decades.
Claim: Hydroxchloroquine is effective in treating and preventing SARS-CoV-2
POSSIBLY TRUE: While there is no evidence that shows hydroxychloroquine is the best medication to treat COVID-19, there are multiple scientific studies around the world (referenced below) showing the efficacy of HCQ in treating and preventing SARS-CoV-2. On the contrary, there have also been studies that say that it is not effective in treating COVID-19.
Below are multiple scientific studies found in medical journals that showed positive results from treating patients with HCQ:
In a large Spanish study involving thousands of patients admitted with COVID-19, hydroxychloroquine and prednisone administration was found to be associated with improved outcomes. Other treatments were associated with no effect or worse outcomes.
Italian study involving 3,451 participants that showed hydroxychoroquine use was associated with a 30% lower risk of death in COVID-19 hospitalized patients.
French study found that early diagnosis, early isolation and early treatment of COVID-19 patients, with at least 3 days of HCQ-AZ lead to a significantly better clinical outcome and a faster viral load reduction than other treatments.
After a large COVID-19 exposure event in an LTCH (Long Term Health Care) in Korea, PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis ) using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was administered to 211 individuals, including 189 patients and 22 careworkers, whose baseline polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 were negative. PEP was completed in 184 (97.4%) patients and 21 (95.5%) careworkers without serious adverse events. At the end of 14 days of quarantine, all follow-up PCR tests were negative.
Study showed that chloroquine could reduce the length of hospital stay and improve the evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia, leading to recommend the administration of 500 mg of chloroquine twice a day in patients with mild, moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 pneumonia. Researchers said “the activity of hydroxychloroquine on viruses is probably the same as that of chloroquine since the mechanism of action of these two molecules is identical, and we are used to prescribe for long periods hydroxychloroquine, which would be therefore our first choice in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.“
Researchers found that hydroxychlroquine decreases the duration of viral shedding. In their study, they said “We believe that the hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis in selected groups of high-risk contacts is a prudent approach considering the risk–benefit analysis”
While there may be other drugs better suited to treat COVID-19, these studies referenced above were not made known to the general public by most media outlets as hydroxychloroquine became highly politicized in 2020.
Studies that say hydroxychloroquine is not effective in treating COVID-19
There are also studies that found HCQ did not work in treating COVID-19, as shown in these links below.
The largest study that said Hydroxychloroquine was ineffective (which ended up being retracted) was the study published in the Lancet that involved over 96,000 participants from around the world. This was also the most controversial study on hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 in the world. Questions about the research methodology surfaced right after the study was published. The Lancet launched a third-party peer review. The company that ran the study, Surgisphere Corporation, would not provide full access to the information for a third-party peer review so the Lancet ended up retracting the study.
Before it was retracted however, it had already resulted in almost all hydroxychloroquine studies being stopped. Just days after being published in the Lancet, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) instructed organizers of clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment or prophylaxis to suspend recruitment. The French government reversed an earlier ruling which had allowed hydroxychloroquine to be prescribed to patients hospitalized with the virus.
You can read more about the Surgisphere study “scandal” here: https://www.the-scientist.com/features/the-surgisphere-scandal-what-went-wrong–67955.
Claim: COVID-19 vaccines are in an investigational stage and are “experimental biological agents”
TRUE: At this time (Jan 20, 2021), the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are in stage 3, as they have not completed clinical trials as of yet. There are currently other vaccines in development
While technically true that these vaccines are “experimental biological agents”, this seems like an attempt by Dr. Gold to create fear among those who are considering receiving the vaccine by labeling it as such. Since they have not cleared all clinical trials yet, it is more appropriate to call them what they actually are, investigational vaccines.
Claim: Antibody Dependent Enhancement can make COVID-19 worse in patients
FALSE: There is no evidence in any studies, trials or in the millions of people that have been vaccinated of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE).
What is Antibody Dependent Enhancement? It is a phenomenon where the antibodies you make actually enhance the lethality of the virus, making you more sick than if you did not have the antibodies. If you make antibodies that don’t knock the virus out of commission but rather sends a warning to the body which triggers the immune system, you could have a massive inflammatory response. This can cause obstruction in the lungs, acute respiratory distress syndrome and worsen lung disease. Could this happen in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine? The evidence that COVID-19 does not worsen after treatment with plasma from convalescent patients has been substantially reinforced by a study of 20,000 patients who were severely ill with the disease. Antibodies that have been generated by people who were naturally infected can then be given to people who are now infected as a way to treat the disease. That’s called convalescent plasma. Those patients don’t get worsening of the disease. You would expect that if there was Antibody Dependent Enhancement from natural antibodies, you would see this reaction in convalescent plasma and we don’t see this, as shown by that study above. Other studies like this one here have also looked into ADE and SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and in vivo, confirming that Antibody Dependent Enhancement is not an issue with these vaccines.
So there is no evidence of ADE and COVID-19 vaccines to date. This makes sense because with the the mRNA vaccines, you are tailoring a very specific immune response to exactly the protein you want to make. And that protein, because you are using the original mRNA sequence that the virus would use to teach your cells how to make this protein. So you are making a pristine version of the spike protein and binding antibodies all over it, which means you are going to neutralize the virus.
Claim: Black and brown people are being targeted to be test subjects for the COVID-19 vaccines.
FALSE: There is no factual basis behind this claim.
Dr. Gold says the government is making a covert attempt to push the vaccines on black and brown people. According to Dr. Gold, the CDC “is telling black people that getting the vaccine is racial justice and is an advantage“. We could not find any document that used the specific phrase “racial justice” anywhere.
The CDC did mention in a report they released that they did want to treat essential workers first in order to mitigate racial and ethnic “health inequities”, but this doesn’t mean black and brown people are being targeted by the government.
She asks the question “How is it racial justice to sign up first for an experimental biological agent that we don’t know?” Of course, that wouldn’t be racial justice, but there is nothing that we have found to validate her statements here. Additionally, her statement that since health care workers are the first in line to receive the vaccine and thus blacks and hispanics are being targeted does not add up since almost 3 out of 4 health care workers are white. Below are the statistics from the BLS, on the percentage of those in the health care industry by race.
|Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations||75.30||12.5||9.6||9|
|Dietitians and nutritionists||77.9||15.2||5.9||9|
|Physicians and surgeons||72||8.2||18||7.6|
|Therapists, all other||81.1||12.2||5.1||11.9|
|Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians||71.1||15.3||10||13|
|Diagnostic related technologists and technicians||76.7||12.8||5.8||9.7|
|Emergency medical technicians and paramedics||86.6||10.5||0.8||11.5|
|Health practitioner support technologists and technicians||74.7||15.6||5.4||16.5|
|Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses||67||27||3.3||13.8|
|Medical records and health information technicians||72.8||17.5||6||14.4|
|Miscellaneous health technologists and technicians||64.6||19.6||13.7||16.3|
|Other healthcare practitioners and technical occupations||80.9||12.5||4.3||12.1|
Claim: The vaccine manufacturers are immune from all liability of any adverse side effects from use of COVID-19 vaccines.
TRUE: Pfizer and Moderna will not face any legal actions of any side effects from taking the vaccines. They have complete legal immunity at this time.
Comments: Pharmaceutical companies have a profit motive. This doesn’t mean they would intentionally harm people, but because they are shielded from any liability, they may be less careful with the drugs they make.
Claim: The pharmaceutical companies have not published any animal studies data on safety of vaccines
FALSE: Pfizer and Moderna have both published their studies that involved animals.
Pfizer study involving monkeys (rhesus macaques) titled “A prefusion SARS-CoV-2 spike RNA vaccine is highly immunogenic and prevents lung infection in non-human primates” can be found here.
Claim: The Covid Vaccine may cause fertility problems
UNKNOWN: Because the vaccines are still in an experimental stage and are still new, there is no way to rule this out entirely. However, there is no evidence to support this claim.
Dr. Gold mentions that the mRNA vaccines may have a negative effect on the placenta and may impact fertility. Why does she make this claim? In the video she talks about the potential impact on the syncytiotrophoblast layer of the placenta. The syncytiotrophoblast, is the outermost layer of the human placenta and is the main site of exchange for drugs and metabolites, nutrients, waste products, and gases between the maternal and fetal circulations. A German doctor by the name of Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, along with a former Pfizer exec Michael Yaedon had written to the European Medicines Agency, and in the letter theorized that “The vaccinations are expected to produce antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. However, spike proteins also contain syncytin-homologous proteins, which are essential for the formation of the placenta in mammals such as humans. It must be absolutely ruled out that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 could trigger an immune reaction against syncytin-1, as otherwise infertility of indefinite duration could result in vaccinated women.”
However, they also stated “There is no indication whether antibodies against spike proteins of SARS viruses would also act like anti-Syncytin-1 antibodies. However, if this were to be the case, this would then prevent the formation of a placenta which would result in vaccinated women essentially becoming infertile.“
You can view the full letter here.
Claim: There is no proof that the COVID-19 vaccines stop transmission of the virus among people
TRUE: This statement is true, as there is not enough evidence yet on whether the vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection and transmission.
The surgeon general, when being interviewed on Good Morning America said “We still need to be careful into at least the 2nd quarter of next year because these vaccines were tested with an outcome of severe disease, not a prevention of infection, so we don’t know yet whether they will prevent infection.”