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Retsef Levi: Leaked Videos Show How Israeli Authorities Are ‘Actively Hiding Critical Information About Side Effects of the Vaccines’

“The Ministry of Health in Israel is actively hiding critical information about side effects of the vaccines from the Israeli public,” says Retsef Levi, an expert in risk management and health systems and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He co-authored a paper that found a 25 percent rise in heart attack emergency calls among young Israelis after the country’s rollout of the COVID genetic vaccine.

We take a look at a series of leaked videos that shows authorities in Israel, one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, knew much more than they let on about the vaccine’s side effects.

“Why is that important beyond Israel? … Because Israel was essentially the first country to launch [a] national vaccination campaign, and it did that under a very unique agreement with Pfizer that essentially made Israel a worldwide lab for the rest of the world. And indeed, if you follow all the approval stages of the FDA of the vaccine, in each one of them, Pfizer is quoting and relying on data from Israel.”

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Jan Jekielek:

Dr. Retsef Levi, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Retsef Levi:

Thank you, Jan. It’s a pleasure to be here and thank you for the opportunity to talk to you.

Mr. Jekielek:

You have been deeply involved in analyzing all sorts of things related to the COVID pandemic over the last few years. Notably, in Nature Scientific Reports, you were a co-author of a paper. I’ll get you to explain exactly what it is that you found. It had to do with an increase in cardiac events, but also, you were one of the investigators looking at this Israeli leaked video about possible vaccine side effects. We’re going to talk about all this, but before we do that, briefly tell us your background, because it’s really fascinating how it fits into all different aspects of what’s been happening over the last few years.

Mr. Levi:

Yes. My background is maybe a little bit unique. I was born in Israel and spent almost 12 years in the military as an intelligence officer and developed intelligence skill sets. Then I shifted careers and came to the U.S. to do a PhD and ended up as a faculty member at MIT. My work over the years has been at the intersection of analytics and modeling with issues like risk management, and a lot of work with healthcare systems and other health-related systems where I’ve been looking at a lot of data, and often trying to analyze what the data is telling us about quality, safety, and risk.

Clearly, when the COVID 19 pandemic started, I shifted a lot of my attention to what was happening. Coming to that specific paper in Nature Scientific Reports that you mentioned, in a nutshell what this paper found is that when you analyze the national emergency calls of the national EMS service in Israel, you find that in the first five months of 2021, you see an increase of 25 per cent in calls for cardiac arrest and heart attacks among young individuals between the ages of 16 to 39.

This is compared to the previous years of 2019 and 2020. This is a period of time when you can actually control for a period where you had only a pandemic, and then a period when you had a pandemic and vaccines. When we analyzed this increase, we actually found that there is a temporal correlation between this increase starting in early 2021 and the launch of the vaccination campaign in Israel.

Specifically, we saw a temporal correlation between the number of doses that were given to this specific age group, 16 to 39, and the number of EMS calls with cardiac arrest and heart attack diagnosis. Interestingly enough, we did not see, nor did we find the same statistical correlation with the number of COVID 19 infections within the same age group.

Where does this leave us? It leaves us with a concern that first there is an unexplained increase of some pretty serious healthcare events among young individuals. This is not something that is supposed to happen, and with some even more concerning signal that there is some temporal correlation with the vaccination campaign.

Now, just to put this in context, the paper does not have enough data or the right data to conclude that there is a causal relation between the vaccine and the increase that we see, but it definitely calls for a very thorough investigation to understand, with more refined individual data, what is happening.

Unfortunately, one would expect that the Ministry of Health in Israel would embrace this as something that would cause them to initiate an investigation. But the reality was that they basically launched an attack on us both in the public domain, as well as even actively trying to approach the journal and ask the journal to retract the paper. This is very unfortunate, because the only thing that the paper is doing is highlighting a few facts that are concerning, and then asks that things will be investigated.

And in fact, the paper explicitly says that potentially there could be multiple causes for this increase, including perhaps some role of that could be related or associated with infections of COVID-19. But this temporal correlation that we see with the vaccines seems very concerning, particularly because there is some plausible mechanism of why we would see that. Now, what is that mechanism?

Mr. Jekielek:

Right, exactly.

Mr. Levi:

We know already, and that’s a fact, and everybody agrees on that fact, and there is no debate about that fact that these vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccines of Pfizer—this is the primary vaccine and almost all Israeli citizens were vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine—there is absolutely agreement that these vaccines can cause a condition that is called myocarditis or another condition that is called pericarditis, and these are basically situations where your heart is being inflamed.

In fact, the rates are highest among young individuals, specifically males. But we also know that with this condition, beyond the clinical cases that you can really diagnose because there are symptoms, there are in fact many cases that are very vague, or even subclinical cases where there are no symptoms. And this is not the concern that I thought about. This is actually a concern that the FDA thought about.

The FDA, when they approved the Pfizer vaccine, asked Pfizer to investigate and do a post-marketing study exactly on subclinical myocarditis among young individuals. Now, here’s another fact that we know. Often subclinical myocarditis can be a primary cause of sudden death because of cardiac arrest among young individuals. When you take this known clinical mechanism, and again, this is not something I thought about, this is a known mechanism based on many years of literature and you connect that with the data that we see in Israel, and not only in Israel.

We actually see the same trends in other countries like the UK. When you connect all of this, you must ask yourself at the very least, “What is going on?” You must agree that at the very least you have to thoroughly investigate what is happening. Unfortunately, that’s not what is happening in Israel, and unfortunately not happening in other countries like the U.S. and the UK.

Mr. Jekielek:

This is incredibly important, because on this show we’ve covered all sorts of scenarios. We’ve covered the mechanism around myocarditis and its potential relationships with the spike protein and all sorts of things. But we’ve rarely covered this by just looking at the various pieces of data and just thinking, “All of this seems to fit together.” We should be studying all of this and asking the question, “Why is this happening?”

Mr. Levi:

Yes. Just to underscore what you just said, I want to relate to an historical event that is relevant to another vaccine that also caused myocarditis. This is the smallpox vaccine that was also known to cause myocarditis. In 2015, the American military conducted a pretty large study, and the results were published in an academic journal called Plus.

That study was basically checking people that got the smallpox vaccine and the influenza vaccine, before and after they received the vaccine, and checking cardiovascular biomarkers to see if you could identify subclinical cases of myocarditis.

What they found was quite striking. They found that for the smallpox vaccine for which you knew there was a risk of myocarditis, the rate of subclinical cases was 60-fold higher than what was the known clinical rate. At the same time, they didn’t see almost any cases in the flu vaccine. 

What is the conclusion? The conclusion is that some vaccines can cause clinical myocarditis, and it’s very likely that those vaccines caused, beyond the cases that we diagnosed, they caused many more cases. In fact, we already have some initial studies about the Pfizer and the mRNA vaccines that suggest that we see the same issue here.

There’s a study from Thailand that did something similar to what the American military did, and found seven cases among 201 boys, which again brings us to a rate of one to 31 to 50 young males that receive this vaccine that may have some sort of cardiac injury. Now, do we know what is the long-term implications of that?

No, we don’t. But like the American military did at the time in 2015, we are obliged to check these things. In fact, the decision with respect to the smallpox vaccine was to immediately take it out of the vaccination program of the American military.

Here we see something very different, as you pointed out. You ask yourself, “What is different?” These vaccines were approved in an unprecedented, speedy process that essentially did not follow the mainstream approach and methodology that we got used to for decades. Once you deviate from what is known, from what is established, you put yourself in a very problematic situation as a regulator, right?

Because if something happens, you have nothing to refer to. Because with any vaccine that you deploy after clinical trials, you take into account there’s going to be the possibility of harms that you didn’t detect in the prior stages in the clinical trial stages. But at the very least, you feel comfortable that you followed the acceptable methodology about how to check this vaccine.

But if you didn’t do that, and you gave it to millions and billions of people, including young individuals that have very, very tiny risk from COVID 19, then you put yourself in a situation where you essentially cannot admit any wrong anymore, because that will imply that you did something very, very disastrous. That state of mind has affected the behavior of regulatory agencies across the world.

It all goes back to the origin of how we approve this vaccine, and for whom we approve this vaccine. We approved it in a very expedited way, and we approved for everybody regardless of the risk. That was basically the fundamental mistake that we made. And everything else can be explained by that.

Mr. Jekielek:

That is fascinating. We now have a paper where I’ve been amazed by new analysis by John Ioannidis that shows the actual risks across age stratification, and how really for the vast majority of people it was very, very low. And given the types of information we’re getting about vaccines, including this subclinical myocarditis study from Thailand, that’s almost unimaginable to me. That’s a much greater rate than you ever see with vaccines of any sort, right?

Mr. Levi:

Yes. The paper you refer to is fundamental, but just to be honest, this is not news. This data, these numbers were known in March 2020, right? We knew these facts in the early stages of the pandemic. In fact, the risk-benefit analysis of the vaccine was also known from the clinical trials that were conducted. 

There is a recent analysis or reanalysis of the clinical trials of Pfizer and Moderna by a group of very serious scientists that essentially show us that when you look at total medical harm, including deaths and serious hospitalizations and serious adverse events versus deaths from COVID and hospitalizations for COVID, there’s far much higher harm among the vaccine harm, versus the placebo harm.

That should have already been a red flag that at the very least we should not use this vaccine among young individuals that are at a very, very, very low risk, especially if they’re healthy. Essentially, they have no risk from COVID 19 if they’re healthy. You’re now putting them in a situation where they take an unknown risk, that now we know is actually in some cases pretty substantial, and could really compromise the future of young people, including causing their death.

Mr. Jekielek:

There’s a relatively new study in which the Surgeon General of Florida, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, found an 84 per cent increase among a similar age group of young men in cardiac death. 

Mr. Levi:

Here’s one way to understand the study that came out of Florida. It’s a very intuitive explanation on the nature of the result. Let’s assume that the vaccine has no impact on cardiac death, right? Then, when we look at when you were vaccinated, and if unfortunately you died after vaccination from some sudden cardiac event, then the distance, the temporal distance from the vaccine should basically be completely random. So, the chances to get it two weeks after the vaccine should be the same as getting it between week eight and week 10 after the vaccine. 

What this study shows is that’s actually not the case. In fact, it’s more likely that you’re going to have such an unfortunate event in the weeks following the vaccine. That’s basically contradicting the initial hypothesis, that wishful hypothesis that there is no relationship between, or there is no impact between the vaccine and cardiac deaths.

Now is that going to show us a causal relationship? Again, no, but that’s not the point here. What is the point? The point is first, the onus is to show that the vaccine is safe, not to show that the vaccine is not safe. This is a fundamental principle that has been accepted for decades when we thought about the risk benefits of therapeutics, drugs and vaccines. 

But secondly, again, you cannot just look at this as an isolated result. You have to look at the overall evidence, as I just described it. You have to look at the plausible clinical mechanism that we already know exists. And at the very least, this should just raise your concerns that something really, really disturbing is happening here.

I’ve been in the minority camp in many arguments around this pandemic, but I always tell people that I feel that I’m the main narrative.  The people that kept talking about risk-benefits, and about taking the time to really investigate any signal, they represent what would be considered the mainstream, up to two-and-a-half years ago. 

The regulatory agencies, with the support of some scientists and the media, are essentially representing a very extreme approach and a very dangerous approach, if I may say. Because again, they are undermining the fundamentals of proper scientific and medical work. Once this goes away and once the trust goes away, you are in a very, very, very dangerous situation. I’m very, very concerned about the future trust in science and medicine.

Mr. Jekielek:

Just briefly, before we continue, did you look closely at this study that was done in Florida?

Mr. Levi:

Yes, I read it.

Mr. Jekielek:

It has been attacked as being poorly done and shoddy. You know something about looking at these sorts of data sets and studies. What do you think of it?

Mr. Levi:

The first thing is, as I said, there is no perfect study, and you shouldn’t just look at one single study when you want to investigate an issue like this. But again, this study just builds on a tremendous amount of additional evidence that something very problematic is happening here. 

The technique that they used is a known technique. The data that they used is good data, reasonably good data, and the conclusions that they made are appropriate to the method that they used. If anything, by the way, you could argue that their risk estimates are potentially underestimates. 

The reason is that they essentially compare vaccinated people in the first 28 after they got vaccinated, and then after 28 days. The underlying assumption is that there is a really high risk in the first 28 days to die from cardiovascular outcome, and there is much less of that after that. 

Let’s assume for a second that maybe the risk is continuing beyond 28 days, then the results that they showed in their study might be actually biased downward. Now, I don’t know which is what, but frankly speaking, I don’t think that that’s the main question here. 

We need to ask ourselves if we have enough evidence from this study and many other studies to say, “Halt. We are going to stop these vaccines definitely for young individuals, but maybe overall. We are going to take the time to really look very, very carefully and scrutinize every piece of data and bring together every possible piece of data to understand what is the answer.” 

That’s something we have to do. Now everybody can speculate what will be the ultimate answer of a process like that, but what is disturbing is that we don’t agree that we need to check it. That’s what Dr. Ladapo was saying. He was saying, “I don’t feel comfortable continuing to give these vaccines to young individuals, given the evidence that I have.” 

Because the most basic fundamental principle in medicine is to first do no harm. And clearly, they are at a very low risk of harm from COVID-19. There is no reason whatsoever to take any risk, especially not when you have such mounting evidence that something potentially is very, very wrong going on here.

Mr. Jekielek:

Something you said earlier, I was thinking about. At the beginning of the pandemic, there was an incredible amount of fear. There’s some evidence. Laura Dodsworth, for example, in the UK, found that there were actually behavioral units nudging people towards more fear. So, there was this incredible amount of fear, perhaps even among the bureaucrats that were making the decisions. 

Now, there’s a different kind of fear, this is what I’m hearing from you. This is the fear of being found out that you did something terribly wrong, at the very least. Maybe there’s other things going on, but fear has definitely figured very, very importantly in all of this. It has completely changed my thinking about human motivation, and what people are capable of in these kinds of situations.

Mr. Levi:

If there is a lesson I learned during the last two-and-a-half years is how powerful fear is as a mechanism to impact individuals. What I realized is that in many cases it shuts down intellect, rationale, and ethics. Scared people can do very, very bad things to each other and even to themselves. Being anchored in one specific source of fear is even worse. Let’s just look at all the scare and the fear that was used to drive lockdowns. 

If you would speak to parents and explain to them what are the implications of their kids not going to school for two years, or these grandparents not being able to hug their grandkids or to see them and be isolated, if you would be able to objectively explain this to them, I think that they would be able to make a much more thoughtful choice of how to balance the different risks.

But you anchor and you create fear for a one dimensional risk—getting infected with COVID. Again, this is not to say that COVID cannot be a dangerous illness for some people. It can. I want to make sure that’s clear. But there are other risks in life, and health consists of so many other dimensions. We just forgot about many of them, or health authorities and policy makers forgot about all of them, and they really acted driven by fear. 

That fear was fueled often by scientists and medical professionals that elevated, and sometimes, if I may say, manipulated data. Coming back to the paper you mentioned by John Ioannidis, that basically tells us the story very clearly. COVID-19 is very, very risky for older people and people with serious comorbidities, but it’s not risky for young people. It’s absolutely not risky for children. That fundamental insight should have guided everything that we’ve been doing, but unfortunately, it didn’t.

Mr. Jekielek:

You’ve been teaching in the field of risk management?

Mr. Levi:

Among other things. Analytics, data, risk management, healthcare, many things.

Mr. Jekielek:

Right, but specifically you have been interested in looking at all these different dimensions that you just described to actually figure out how to make good decisions about them. You’re the perfect person to look at this and say, “My goodness, these people have a monomania about COVID, and there’s all these other things they’re completely forgetting about.” You were actually asked to advise on this in a professional capacity, right? Please tell me a bit about that and how your advice was met.

Mr. Levi:

I’ve been interacting early on during the pandemic, both here in the U.S. with different states’ administrations and also in Israel with ministers. I’m going to tell you two anecdotes that maybe will tell you the story. Early on in the pandemic, I met with the governor of a state in the U.S. and the health secretary of that state, and that was in early March. That’s March of 2020. A team that I worked with prepared a map with all the nursing homes in the state. 

We basically told them, “You have to protect these people, because they are the most vulnerable high-risk population, and if you don’t protect them appropriately, you’re going to have pretty much a disaster.” Unfortunately, it took two to three months, and 2 to 3000 casualties among nursing homes from COVID for them to come back and work with us to develop some protocols of how to better protect nursing homes.

The other story is from Israel. A team that I was involved with, we were essentially the first to present the government in Israel with an analysis of the health damage, and the health consequences of lockdowns. I’m not talking about the economic impacts, I’m talking about the health implications. We used a very common methodology that is called lost years of life, which essentially is exactly the common methodology where you want to compare two potential approaches, and you want to see which one of them has more favorable long term health impact. 

What we’ve been able to show is that lockdowns would cause in the next coming decades more than a factor of 10,000, more lost years of life than all the deaths that Israel would experience from COVID-19. The reason is, and again, every person that dies is a tragedy, but most of the people that died from COVID were people over 70 with life expectancy of around three years.

With lockdowns, and especially the way they were implemented, and the fact that kids were kept from school, we can already see the health implications of those lockdowns with tremendous rates of mental health issues among kids, eating disorders, sleeping disorders, kids that lost school time. Increased inequity is another factor. 

The lockdowns that we implemented in so many countries around the world and the impact that they had on young individuals and children’s health, based on what we know, based on the science that we have had for years, are going to cause many young people to live shorter lives and many lost years of life, with a number that is 10,000 times higher than the lost years of life because of COVID. This is not going to be something that is happening in a week. It’s going to happen over the next five decades, the next three to five decades. 

We already see kids with major mental health and eating disorders. We know that a child that is falling into that level of problems is supposed to live a shorter life. This is known literature. This is not my research, I’m just summarizing the research.

Mr. Jekielek:

There are these astounding outcomes where young people gained on the average, tens of pounds.

Mr. Levi:

Absolutely.

Mr. Jekielek:

Morbid obesity.

Mr. Levi:

You’re right. We know there are studies that show that any kilogram, any pound that you gain as a child stays with you and is going to shorten your life. There are studies that show that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to listen to those voices when we were trying to show this study or to speak about this study to the Israeli government. We were just basically dismissed. 

The reason was that we didn’t ask the right questions. We didn’t present the right policy objectives that we needed to manage. If you just want to manage the number of infections of COVID-19, then you might be convinced that lockdowns are a very rational policy. But that’s a very wrong objective. You should have a multitude of objectives that really capture the holistic definition of health. That has to do with mental health, and that has to do with older people not being isolated.

We know that it shortened their life. You need to think about all of these aspects when you devise and implement policies. But unfortunately we adapted, based on fear, a one dimensional objective. And even that objective we didn’t manage very well, because we now know that lockdowns did not slow the pandemic. We know that as well, so we didn’t manage to get any progress on the one objective that we focused on. 

We actually sacrificed many other extremely important objectives that really have to do with the health of the younger people in our society and children. And to me, that is not only a scientific flaw, that is an ethical flaw. This is an ethical failure that as a society, we didn’t put the young and the children as a top priority. To me, that’s what a society is supposed to do.

Mr. Jekielek:

Scott Atlas has said a number of times, and is known for saying this, that as a society we used children as shields for adults, and that it’s unconscionable. What you’ve just explained to me allows me to understand that at a deeper level than I did before.

Mr. Levi:

And just to underscore what Scott Atlas said, it didn’t even help. In fact, in many ways it potentially enhanced the spread of the pandemic. We know that the most powerful mechanism of spreading infections like COVID-19 is multi-generational households. So, what did we do? We kept all the students or university students out of school, and we kept them at home. We kept all the children at home. We exactly created multi-generational households. 

What is striking is that the insights that I share with you now are not new. They were known. This is why I’m saying that this would have been the mainstream response two-and-a-half years ago. It seems that out of fear, we took the book and we threw it away, and we adopted something that is not science. We adopted something else.

Mr. Jekielek:

We adopted the Chinese communist totalitarian model.

Mr. Levi:

The initial response of China and the lockdowns that they conducted and the scare that came out of China definitely fueled the scare in the West. We now see in China that this lockdown and zero-COVID policy is failing miserably. It’s potentially going to bring China down, economically speaking. Not to mention that in China there were many people locked in their house for a month-and-a-half and not being able to even buy food or buy medical drugs.

This has definitely impacted the response from the West, unfortunately. To just expand on what you just said, we tend to relate human rights to the Left or Right. What I found is that human rights are something that can be supported or dismissed by both the Left side and the Right side of the political map. I’m a very apolitical person. I’m a scientist. What is striking to me is that freedom is a fundamental value of democratic societies, but it’s also a fundamental value of science. 

When I say that fear often shuts down values and ethics, there is no better example of how fear really caused people—who on regular days you would expect them to be voicing and leading with human rights promotion and with freedom—to be the most front line supporters of some of the most draconian policies that took away human rights from people, the very basic human right of deciding what kind of medical treatment you want or don’t want to take. 

But also in the scientific world, we are essentially imposing censorship mechanisms that I’ve never seen in my over 16 years as a scientist. I’ve never seen something close to that. I tend to say that we have new instances of a scientific inquisition. It’s to that level that science has deviated from some of the basic principles of scientific freedom.

Mr. Jekielek:

At this point, it’s the perfect time to jump into this leaked video talking about vaccine harms. Of course, it’s in Hebrew. We’ve independently verified that everything is accurate. In fact, we’ve written a number of pieces with your help, so thank you for that. Let’s roll the first one.

Video:

[foreign language]

Mr. Levi:

Let me just give some background on what we see here. I’m going to start with a summary, a one line summary. Like other regulatory health agencies in the world, and regulatory agencies in the world, the Ministry of Health in Israel is actively hiding critical information about side effects of the vaccines from the Israeli public. 

Moreover, the Ministry of Health for the longest time did not really monitor side effects in a very appropriate way, and had a very dysfunctional system to monitor side effects of the vaccine. It’s important beyond Israel, because Israel was essentially the first country to launch the vaccination campaign, the national vaccination campaign. It did that under a very unique agreement with Pfizer that essentially made Israel a worldwide lab for the rest of the world.

Indeed, if you follow all the approval stages of the FDA for the vaccine, in each one of them, Pfizer is quoting and relying on data from Israel. In fact, some of the Israeli officials are presenting to the FDA about the booster outcomes, for example. Now what we see here is an internal discussion that was recorded between some senior officials from the Ministry of Health in Israel and a research team that the Ministry of Health itself hired to analyze side effects. Why did they hire the special team? 

Because only at the end of 2021, a year after vaccination started in Israel, was the Ministry of Health finally able to launch an appropriate system to surveille side effects and collect reports of side effects from patients. This is in contrast to what the Ministry of Health was saying publicly, including to the FDA, that they had a very robust system to monitor side effects.

After a year, they were finally able to launch the system and they basically hired this research team to investigate and study the reports that were received. What we just heard was part of multiple messages that this research team gave to the Ministry of Health. Here, what they told them is that they were surprised to find out that unlike what was told to the public and maybe against the existing narrative, many of the side effects are in fact not short term, but actually last weeks, months and sometimes over a year. 

When I say side effects, I talk about menses irregularities, and I talk about serious neurological side effects, and so forth. We just heard the head of the research team essentially advising the Ministry of Health officials to think medical legal, because they had a serious problem with potential lawsuits by patients, because they communicated to the public in Israel and to the world that the side effects are rare, and if they happen, they don’t last for a long period of time. They go away, but that’s not what the data is saying.

The data is suggesting that in a substantial number of cases, these side effects actually last for many, many weeks, months and over a year. So, he is advising them how to communicate and think carefully. How do they communicate this to the Israeli public? 

It seems that the Ministry of Health in Israel took this to their attention, because when you look at the actual report that they post in the public domain, they essentially took out a lot of the messages, a lot of the findings that were found by the research team that they hired. And moreover, they misrepresented the data and misrepresented the reporting rates of the different side effects, and made them look like very, very rare side effects. Whereas, the fact of the matter is, the reporting rates were much higher.

How did they do that? They did that by doing two things. They basically ignored the fact that the system was only launched at the end of 2021, a year after the vaccination started. When they considered the number of reports, they took this number and divided it by the total number of doses of vaccine that were given in Israel throughout the entire period of time. 

That’s clearly manipulative. The irony is that when they took the number of reports on menses irregularities, they divided it by the number of doses of men and women. I think that everybody could tell you that you don’t need to be a scientist to know that’s wrong.

Mr. Jekielek:

I was going to say it’s either manipulative or a really, really bad error.

Mr. Levi:

I don’t think it’s a bad error, because even after that was pointed out to them, they never really admitted that there was an error. They are also hiding from the Israeli public that these reports represent only 15, maybe 17 per cent of the population in Israel. The reason is, the data was collected, theoretically speaking, from four large HMOs, healthcare maintenance organizations. That’s how the healthcare system in Israel is set up. 

It’s very different than the U.S. The fact is, only one HMO was primarily reporting, and essentially these reports are only representing six months out of a year-and-a-half, and only 15 to 17 per cent of the population in Israel, rather than the entire population and all the doses that were given in Israel. When you actually look at these true reporting rates, you actually become very concerned that these are actually quite high reporting rates.That was another thing that the Ministry of Health manipulated. 

Lastly, the research team was essentially talking about clear evidence that these reports in many cases demonstrate causal relationship to the vaccine. How did they infer that? They inferred that based on a phenomenon that is called re-challenge. What does this mean? It means that when I took one dose of the vaccine and had a neurological reaction, and then when I took the second dose of the vaccine, this neurological reaction either came back or became worse. 

Now, I have a situation when every time that I take the vaccine, I see the same response. That is called re-challenge, because the vaccine, every dose of the vaccine is re-challenging the appearance of the side effect. In which case, it’s a common kind of methodology, and we’re going to see a video where the head of the research team is explaining that. It’s a common methodology to basically conclude there is a causal relationship with the vaccine.

Now, this is a system where they actually know the individuals. The Ministry of Health currently knows that there are people that have clear evidence that they were harmed by the vaccine. Not only that, they did not expose the fact that there is evidence of a causal relationship to the public in Israel. They also did not reach out to these individuals to try and compensate them and take care of them. 

There are many, many failures. As much as I want to give them the benefit of the doubt that these are maybe innocent errors, it’s very hard to believe given the mounting evidence of so many things that were hidden here, and that this is something innocent.

Video:

[foreign language]

Mr. Jekielek:

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. This is saying that 90 per cent of the reports that talked about menstrual irregularities were actually of long term nature.

Mr. Levi:

90 per cent of the ones that mention the duration of the phenomena. Some did not have any reference to that topic, but it’s a substantial number. This story is really illustrative of what we’ve seen around this vaccine. If you think back about the very first reports from women about menses irregularities, they were immediately dismissed by saying, “This is fake news, this is just misinformation.” 

We see at the beginning of the video, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, who is the number two healthcare official in the Ministry of Health interviewing on Israeli TV, and basically saying something along the lines, “Okay, maybe there is a phenomenon like that, but it’s just short term. Nothing to worry about, go vaccinate.” Now what this research team has found, and you see that in the conversation and how they report, the fact of the matter is that this is not a short term phenomenon.

In fact, there are women that suffer for weeks and months and over a year sometimes from irregular menstrual cycle, and different types of irregularities. Again, there is evidence that this is directly caused by the vaccine because of the re-challenge. Every time that they take the vaccine or another dose of the vaccine, and we all know that now we need to take another booster, every time that they take another dose of the vaccine, the phenomena, or the side effect, or the irregularity is coming back, or becoming worse. There is no acknowledgement from anybody in the Ministry of Health. There is no acknowledgement that I am aware of from any health authority or health agency in the world that says, “Hey, there is a problem here.”

Even now people kind of dismiss it, “Oh, it’s the short term. It doesn’t have any impact, because we don’t know the mechanism. There is no plausible mechanism that can make this happen in a way that has some serious implications.” So, people say, “Oh, this cannot impact fertility.” Frankly speaking, I don’t understand how someone can say that when they don’t have an explanation of how it is happening. People don’t know, but they assume that nothing is wrong. The worst thing is that they ignore the voice of the patient.

I worked with healthcare systems for over 16 years. Patient-centric medicine is one of the things that is being promoted as a fundamental principle of how we should be thinking about medicine. What is more patient-centric? Basically, patient-centric is to listen to what women are saying. 

So you see, the mental mindset of, “I cannot admit that anything is wrong,” is so powerful at the moment that it makes us pretty much cruel. So many women are experiencing this and some studies and some surveys talk about even 40 per cent of women. I don’t know the exact number, but the numbers are substantial, and for such a long period of time. How can you not pay attention, investigate, understand the mechanisms, and see what are the implications? 

Remember, we are giving this vaccine to 17 year-old-old, 16 year-old girls. Are we going to say to ourselves that everything is okay, and nothing is wrong, when young women are experiencing adverse events like that? It’s beyond me to understand why we are taking that approach, other than if we are very much in the mindset that we have to deny any harm.

Mr. Jekielek:

From what I’ve understood, at least from what I’ve read, this type of information has been coming from multiple different sources, including from the actual Pfizer data sets themselves.

Mr. Levi:

Absolutely. Unfortunately, we see a trend across many countries, the U.S., Israel and to some degree other countries, where health agencies are holding back critical information that one would expect should have been released long ago and analyzed, not only released. But the FDA here in the U.S. and the Ministry of Health in Israel, you have to take them to court to make them release data. 

We’ve seen that with the documents of the clinical trials of Pfizer. It took a federal court of law to force them to release it against their initial intention to keep it for 75 years. Why don’t you think that’s relevant now? You see that with the Israeli Ministry of Health that very recently there was a court order basically that forces the Ministry of Health to release to the public data on all causal mortality across different age groups.

Again, these are things that you would expect are health outcomes that health agencies across the world would not only reveal publicly and let scientists analyze, but would analyze the data themselves and allow the public to understand what are the risk-benefit of these vaccines. What are the impact of these vaccines on all causal mortality and other health outcomes, in a way that is informative so that people can make their risk-benefit decision based on their age, health, background, and beliefs? But it is unheard of that health agencies behave in a way that you need to take them to court to release data.

Mr. Jekielek:

You actually would think if you truly believe that these vaccines are “safe and effective”, you would do the studies to prove it, right?

Mr. Levi:

Of course.

Mr. Jekielek:

In fact, it would help allay all these fears which have been created through what you call this so-called misinformation, right? How weird?

Mr. Levi:

Yes. It’s hard to explain. Think about what makes public health policies successful. What are the principles that we all believed to be fundamental to the success of public health policies? Transparency, trust, and empathy are the three fundamental principles. We lost transparency, as we can see. As a result, we lost trust. And the problem is that we also lost empathy. 

There is no better illustration of how much we lost empathy than the way we treat vaccine injured people. The commitment to take care of people that get injured from vaccines is fundamental to the success of vaccine programs. In fact, the more pro-vaccine you are, you should be promoting that more strongly, because even the best vaccines are very important vaccines that are extremely important for public health. But no vaccine is 100 per cent safe. There is always harm or risk of harm.

If we as a society are not committed to take care and acknowledge and compensate the people that are injured by any vaccine, we are essentially undermining the ability to have successful vaccine programs going forward. The data from Israel is very, very powerful about this. Israel traditionally has 98 per cent adherence to all traditional vaccines. 

Essentially, everybody in Israel gets vaccinated. When you look at the first two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, we’ve seen above 80 per cent, close to 90 per cent depending on the age group adherence. When it came to the third booster, we already saw less than 50 per cent adherence. Now, when we talk about the bivalent booster, we are talking about 2, 3 per cent. That illustrates to you what is happening.

This is in an environment when the Ministry of Health has full control in the media, and full control to do whatever they want. The only explanation is that they lost the trust of people. Unfortunately, that’s true for other countries, including the U.S. They lost it because they did not maintain transparency, because they did not maintain trust, and because they themselves were caught spreading misinformation, like saying, for example, “Menses irregularities is short term,” without really knowing that it’s short term. 

And above all they don’t show empathy. They don’t show empathy to people that took the vaccine and got injured. What can make someone call these people anti-vaxxers or misinformation spreaders? Again, I hate the term anti-vaxxers, because it’s a diminishing term that should not be used against anybody, but definitely it’s insane to use that against someone that got injured from the vaccine that they actually took. 

We need to go back to the basics and restore trust and we will be able to do that only with transparency and empathy. We are missing both at the moment, unfortunately.

Mr. Jekielek:

One of the things that I find paradoxical here is that I was inclined early in the pandemic to really trust the Israeli data. The reason is for Israel the health of the population is kind of an existential question. That’s how I see it. I figure if anyone’s going to get it right, Israel is going to get it right. You’re telling me a very different story.

Mr. Levi:

You probably were right to have that assumption for other reasons as well, because Israel also has an amazing healthcare system. We have amazing doctors and we also have a national health systems that unlike the U.S. In the U.S., you don’t really have a health system. You have separated hospital systems that are not really connecting to each other. In Israel, you have a national healthcare system, and you have data on every patient for decades. You have a great small countries’ best logistics. 

Unfortunately what happened is, and again, maybe driven by fear, Israel signed an agreement with Pfizer. When you read that agreement, most of that agreement is not exposed to the public, but part of it is exposed. And that agreement basically has a goal. When you read the goal, you have to be puzzled. The goal says, “The goal of the collaboration is to see what will be the needed vaccination rates to achieve vaccine-induced herd immunity.”

When you read that, you essentially understand that at this moment, Israel basically took the boundaries that should exist between the regulator and the vendor, Pfizer and the Ministry of Health, and completely took them out and created a very blurry situation where suddenly, the Ministry of Health in Israel is adopting an agenda that is not necessarily aligned with the interests of the people of Israel. What is more striking is that in this agreement, there is a lot of discussion about collecting a lot of data about infection rates, vaccination rates, and severe illness from COVID, but there is no mentioning of side effects.

If you understand this context, you essentially have to conclude that willingly or unwillingly, consciously or subconsciously, I don’t think the Israeli officials, the leaders of the Ministry of Health in Israel could be objective about this vaccine. Moreover, they actually wrote together with Pfizer people articles about the vaccine in the academic literature. This is a completely distorted situation, and that might explain the aggressive vaccination policies that Israel has launched. 

There are many boosters in Israel, we have four boosters in Israel. Our green passports were actually conditioned on receiving a third booster. Unfortunately, they also promoted this idea of boosters and the idea of vaccination in the U.S. It was a known fact, everybody that knew the healthcare system in Israel knew that the system that we had until the end of 2021 for the first year of the vaccination campaign to monitor side effects was completely dysfunctional.

Medical doctors would have told you this privately. Patients basically had a form that allowed them 20 characters to report on the side effects, or 20 words. This was a completely dysfunctional system. Nevertheless, when they presented to the FDA expert committee, they wanted to give the impression that everything is under control, “We monitor the data.” 

Unfortunately, that was not the case. As we know, only at the end of 2021, did they even have a system. Even after that, they did not analyze all the data. In fact, this research team that I mentioned before, at the end of May 2022, their contract was basically terminated, in spite of the fact that we know that a lot of the data had not been analyzed yet. So, no collection until the end of 2021, and even beyond that, no real analysis and definitely no transparency in exposing the data to the Israeli public.

Mr. Jekielek:

And then potentially spurious analysis because of these gaps in the data.

Mr. Levi:

Absolutely. In the next video we can actually see, it’s taken partially from the discussion that the FDA had with its expert committee on the approval of the third booster.

Speaker 6:

I have to say that I was pretty surprised with Retsef Levi’s comment that Israel doesn’t follow adverse events. It’s our data, I’m in charge of it. So, I know exactly what is being reported to us.

Speaker 7:

If Dr. Alroy-Preis is the one in charge of the adverse events reporting system, why then, even though she has been aware since March of the findings from the study commissioned by the Ministry of Health itself, and even though the research team prepared a detailed presentation intended for the public, why then has this presentation not been published to this very day?

Speaker 5:

[foreign language]

Mr. Jekielek:

In fact, we did, as you know, reach out to the Ministry of Health and ask them about the veracity of these videos, whether they were real and accurate. We didn’t get a response. But later, Reuters reached out and they basically said, “Yes, this was true, but that perhaps they were somehow taken out of context.” What’s your response?

Mr. Levi:

By the way, I want to take the opportunity and really acknowledge Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz, who is a prominent Israeli journalist that exposed this story to the public and worked also with the Epoch Times. She reached out to the Ministry of Health multiple times and also to the research team to get a response. The story with the fact checkers of Reuters is quite striking. 

In fact, I reached out to their fact checkers at some point and I showed them the parts of the videos. Some of them we just watched here. I told them, “Hey, there is a story here. Why don’t you validate this?” So, they reached out to the Ministry of Health, and they still refused to respond. Then, they came back to me and they basically told me, “We are not going to write about this because the Ministry of Health does not respond.”

When I asked them, “The fact that they don’t respond cannot protect them, right? Why would that protect them?” They said, “These are our rules.” So, I moved on. Then, one day I open my email, and I get a link to a fact checker from Reuters who essentially somehow got a response from the Ministry of Health, and then wrote a complete piece on this, not asking for our response, that basically presents this as taken out of context and misinformation. 

That tells you something about their ethics and how they work. Maybe it connects to the fact that until recently the CEO of Reuters, who is now the chair of their foundation is on the board of Pfizer. Maybe it has something to do with that. Nevertheless, just to get the facts straight, anybody that watches this leaked video as a whole during the discussion can see that some of the researchers are actually expressing concern that these findings are not known to the public.

They even say that their conscience bothers them. We are going to hopefully very soon expose the entire video, and the entire discussion to the public. It’s going to be very, very clear that nothing was taken out of context. These are the facts. And I suggest, my friendly advice to the Ministry of Health in Israel, is to at least to start addressing the facts, because I think they owe some explanations to not only the Israeli public, but also to the medical professionals in Israel, and to the scientists in Israel. 

But I think most of them, their heart is in a good place, and they want to actually know the truth. We all want to know the truth, that’s the only thing that we need to aspire to. We just want to know the truth, the facts, and we are going to do that by exposing the data and analyzing it in a scientific manner, in a very cautious manner. But we need to know the truth.

Mr. Jekielek:

Retsef, as we finish up here, you’ve given me examples of basically very bad responses from the press. You’ve given me examples of healthcare authorities not listening to your advice even after asking for it, or at least not for a while. But professionally, what has been the impact of you taking this what you would call the mainstream approach that no one else seems to be taking?

Mr. Levi:

First, I don’t think it’s no one else. There are many, many serious scientists that I’m proud to interact with that take the same approach that I take, very similar.

Mr. Jekielek:

Okay, let’s call it a very, very small minority though.

Mr. Levi:

I would even push back on that. I don’t know to what extent they’re minority. They’re not being heard, because there is a very powerful censorship mechanisms in social media, in the media, and in some of the academic journals. But they do exist, and numbers are going up all the time as we speak. I think that’s a misconception, the narrative that there’s only a minority that doesn’t agree with the narrative is false. 

If you look at the Great Barrington Declaration, there were actually more people signing on than the alternative that supported lockdowns, right? That might be part of the problem, that there was an attempt to basically say, “We need to have public policy that is not hesitant and we are representing the science.” Whereas, it was a perceived consensus that never existed.

And I don’t think it exists now. In fact, more and more people realize that something is wrong here. To me personally, this has been a journey. I’ve been exposed to things that I’ve never been exposed to in terms of some dynamics that I didn’t think that exist or could exist. Luckily, in my direct community, COVID is not such a major issue. But when I interacted with the medical community, with whom I’ve worked for many years now, and with other communities, I’ve seen some quite powerful mechanisms of censorship that were very disturbing.

The paper that we talked about at the beginning of the conversation today, a week after it was published, by the way, it was invited by the journal to be submitted. It went through a rigorous review process like any academic publication, got published, and then a week later it was attacked in social media, but also multiple groups actively and still actively are trying to retract this paper. 

Where the only thing that the paper is claiming, “We have to check. There is a potential concerning signal, please check. We are using the most reliable data from the national EMS in Israel based on the diagnosis of the EMS teams in the field.” And then you suddenly see, and I joke, they throw the kitchen sink at you with the hope that something will stick and the paper will be retracted.

That was disturbing. But at the same time, I never felt more comfortable that what I and many others are doing is the right thing to do. I’m a father of six children. I don’t see any other way. The ability to trust science, the ability to trust the medical authorities, the medical systems and medicine—I’m a great believer in medicine and science, that’s my life—if this is not going to sustain, if we are going to also compromise fundamental values like human rights and the ability of someone to decide for themselves, if we are not going to put young people and children at the top of our value system, then if I didn’t do anything that I could do to make it right, I’m not a good father. That’s the way I see that. So, it’s clear to me what I need to do. It’s not easy all the time, but in some ways it’s easy, because you just don’t have any other choice.

Mr. Jekielek:

Dr. Retsef Levi, such a pleasure to have you on the show.

Mr. Levi:

It was a pleasure talking to you tonight.

Mr. Jekielek:

Thank you all for joining Dr. Retsef Levi and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek. Israel’s Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

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