Science vs Schifanelli
Dan Cox's running mate has some thoughts about COVID. But they are misleading and anti-scientific.
We have enough problems with managing the SARS-Cov2 virus, without politicians and non-medical people making statements that add to the disinformation, misinformation and lies that further hinder the progress we desperately need to succeed against this virus. Because this misinformation is far too prevalent, I will be commenting on Maryland’s politicians’ misinformation regarding the virus, COVID and our healthcare system. As I become aware of any politicians’ misinformation, I will provide the medical evidence refuting the misinformation. It is time to call out the politicians for their misinformation on COVID and our public health.
Gordana Schifanelli recently spoke at one of the many Maryland Republican Women’s dinner programs. Ms. Schifanelli made the statement (I paraphrase): “…you are mandated to inject yourself with a gene therapy while you are healthy. ….in order to achieve some global immune response, control the virus that mutates every 15 minutes with the change of temperature. It is so anti-scientific.”
What is anti-scientific? Ms. Schifanelli’s words are.
Let’s break this down. . .
The Covid vaccines are NOT gene therapy. Ms. Schifanelli does not understand vaccines and gene therapy.
“Gene Therapy is a potential approach to treating or preventing genetic disease. The goal of gene therapy is to address a genetic disease at its source – the gene. This can be done by modifying genes or creating new functional genes in a lab and delivering them to specific cells in the body.”
“Gene therapy is a technique that modifies a person’s genes to treat or cure disease. Gene therapies can work by several mechanisms: replacing a disease-causing gene with a healthy copy of the gene, inactivating a disease-causing gene that is not functioning properly, introducing a new or modified gene into the body to help treat a disease.”
As of June 2021, the FDA has approved only two gene therapies:
Adeno-associated virus vector, in vivo, treating inherited retinal dystrophy, 2017 approval, Brand name Luxturna, Spark Therapeutics.
Adeno-associated virus vector, in vivo, treating spinal muscular atrophy in children, 2019 approval, Brand name: Zolgensma, Novartis.
The mRNA vaccines NEVER enter the nucleus of the cell (where the DNA is located). Thus the mRNA vaccine cannot change or impact our genes. It simply is not possible for these vaccines to alter our genes or integrate our own genome.
The definition of a vaccine: A vaccine is a preparation that is administered to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease. Merriam-Webster.com. This is precisely what our Covid vaccines accomplish.
Ms. Schifanelli also is confused over the purposes of EUA and Right to Try. She said: “EUA Act, also known as the Right to Try Act”. Ms. Schifanelli should know the difference in EUA and Right to Try.
Right to Try Act “is another way for patients who have been diagnosed with life-threatening diseases or conditions who have tried all approved treatment options and who are unable to participate in a clinical trial to access certain unapproved treatments.” In other words these patients have terminal disease and will die without the right to try a medication still under clinical trial.
“The Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) authority allows FDA to help strengthen the nation’s public health protections against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats including infectious diseases, by facilitating the availability and use of medical countermeasures (MCMs) needed during public health emergencies.” EUA is a public measure. . .. intended to be used in emergencies involving our public health (https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/mcm-legal-regulatory-and-policy-framework/emergency-use-authorization).
Right to Try is NOT the same as The Emergency Use Authorization, as she stated.
Ms. Schifanelli further states, “. . mandated to achieve global response, control the virus that mutates every 15 minutes with a change in temperature.”
Yes, the global community needs to be vaccinated in order to stop this pandemic. We do not live in an isolated country any longer. One country cannot protect itself by itself. A country cannot block off another country from spreading the virus. This is a GLOBAL pandemic, and she should understand this.
We know that this virus mutates (However, Ms. Schifanelli uses hyperbole indicating that this virus mutates every 15 minutes.). She should know better than to use false information and hyperbole to make her point when public health is at risk. We give this virus the chance to mutate every time the virus infects yet another person. If we can make it more difficult to infect a person through vaccinations, then we reduce the possibility for the virus to mutate. If we could only vaccinate everyone who is medically able to take the vaccination, we as a global community, could finally be on offense against this virus. Yes, it is a global effort.
She also comments on the vaccines using aborted fetal cell lines. I’ll leave that to the next time. There is much to say on that.
She also states that . .. “we are mandated to live the human experiment or lose your job and not be able to feed your family.” First, we have the clinical trial that has provided the efficacy and safety, and the path forward with vaccines. While I would prefer not to have the mandates it is clear that we need them. I repeat that we cannot get on offense with this virus, until we have a vast majority of the population vaccinated. I would submit to Ms. Schifanelli that if she wants to call this a “human experiment”, then the unvaccinated are serving as the control group. In “this human experiment”. I prefer to be immunized and be given a chance to not contract Covid.
Ms. Schifanelli makes the statement that mask protocols are draconian and that noncompliance is the only solution. Wow, I have to wonder about any politician who would not protect the most vulnerable, the immunosuppressed, the children, the cancer patients undergoing therapy, the transplant patients that are on immunocompromised. The masks work as one of the mitigating tools we have. We social distance, we mask, we test, we quarantine when sick. . all of these non-pharma approaches work together to MINIMIZE the possibility of becoming ill with Covid. There is nothing “draconian” about wearing masks. And yes, I hate them as much as everyone else. (I’ll write more on masking in another post.)
Therefore, “Just say No to masks” as a public health policy is irresponsible at best and deadly at worst.
This talk was an example of a politician who has no medical understanding or background. I would not expect a politician to have this expertise. I do expect that all politicians will have pandemic medical advisors advising them along the way. I hope that Ms. Schifanelli will stop the hyperbole and misinformation regarding our public health policy. I’m asking once again: Has the Cox Campaign chosen a medical expert to serve as their health advisor during this campaign? We do have one of the world’s most renowned institutions right here in Baltimore – Johns Hopkins Medical Center. No better talent than this institution.