More Notes on Aseem Malhotra and Associates

From AFP Canada:

A cardiologist from the United Kingdom says Covid-19 vaccines should be suspended because they pose a greater threat than the virus itself…. Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra appeared September 27, 2022 in a press conference with the World Council for Health — a group that has previously spread vaccine misinformation — to call for the “immediate and complete suspension of Covid-19 vaccine.”

…Following the press conference, Malhotra tweeted about his paper, titled: “Curing the pandemic of misinformation on Covid-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine.” Published in Insulin Resistance — an open-access journal where Malhotra serves on the editorial board — the article received thousands of interactions on social media, according to CrowdTangle, a monitoring tool.

….The findings were further amplified in articles and posts from organizations that AFP has previously found to spread vaccine misinformation, including Children’s Health Defense, The Epoch Times and the Gateway Pundit. On October 3, 2022, Malhotra appeared on an online program hosted by Del Bigtree, CEO of the anti-vaccination Informed Consent Action Network.

We can add an online appearance with Russell Brand to the list. The AFP article goes on to fact-check Malhotra’s work in some detail. I discussed the press conference and provided some links here.

As has been widely discussed, Malhotra’s paper was a review article that sifts through other studies for evidence – and despite Malhotra’s expertise being in cardiology, it makes forays into areas such as the effectiveness of Covid vaccination, based on a reassassment of statistical information already published elsewhere.

Malhotra’s supporters have made made a big deal about the fact that the paper was peer reviewed; the journal editor, Caryn Zinn, says that the process was “rigorous”, although given the number of errors and misrepresentations that have been identified since publication some have doubts have been raised. There’s nothing wrong with the fact that Malhotra is on the editorial board, but the paper contains only a token reference to insulin to fit the scope of the journal’s title, and as such it is reasonable to suppose that the journal was chosen because Malhotra had reason to believe he would get an easier ride. Malhotra and Zinn could put such speculation to rest by publishing the reviewers’ comments so that we could judge for ourselves.

Malhotra’s paper includes a reference to Zoë Harcombe, an “obesity researcher” who is involved with the anti-Covid vaccination group HART – Malhotra describes her as having “investigated” the possibility that the UK Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation may have been “biased” due to members working for organisations that have received funding from Bill Gates. Malhotra, Harcombe and Zinn have actually been networked since before Covid – along with a high-profile sports scientist in South Africa named Tim Noakes they have advocated together against sugar and carbohydrates, and in favour of fat, and against the use of statins. In 2016, Zinn and Harcombe provided testimony in support of Noakes when he was being investigated by the Health Professionals’ Council of SA over a complaint lodged by the president of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. The hearing found in Noakes’ favour, and Harcombe and Zinn are associated with his Noakes Foundation. Noakes has praised Malhotra’s paper as a “brilliant, brilliant article”.

In 2019 Harcombe and Malhotra featured in a story in the Mail on Sunday on “the deadly propaganda of the statin deniers”. Harcombe and a third person discussed, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, are currently suing the paper for libel. The paper’s critical perspective was perhaps unexpected, given that novelties in health and diet advice are a perennial Mail favourite – indeed, Malhotra and Harcombe have both written pieces that have been published under the Mail banner (although it’s not clear for which paper). A possible explanation is the detail that Harcombe and Malhotra had been “invited to brief deputy Labour leader Tom Watson” – this, then, was another line of attack against Watson, already under pressure due to his disastrous investment in the “VIP abuse” hoaxer Carl Beech.