Berenson: Our Public Health Establishment Won’t Be Honest

15 Dec 2021

BUCK: We have with us our friend, Alex Berenson, author of the best-selling book, Pandemia. Get it before it is banned by Big Tech and all the rest. He also has a Substack where he’s putting out information day in and day out about covid. Alex, I mean, when you’re right, you’re right. You’ve been right a lot. Thanks for being here with us.

BERENSON: Thanks for having me. Before we get started, I have to say one thing about Pandemia, which is right now you can get it on Amazon Kindle or Nook or Apple for $2.99, and it is currently the best-selling book in the country on Apple. It’s number two on Kindle. I would like to get it to be number one. I would like to be able to send that email to Elizabeth Warren who tried to get Amazon to ban me. So it’s $2.99. It’s 12 bucks off the normal Kindle price, and, you know, people really want the truth right now. And if you want to understand what is happening now, you have to understand what happened the last two years, and that’s what Pandemia is.

BUCK: Absolutely. Go get your copy, folks, $2.99 at Kindle. Hook it up today. Alex, tell me this, Joe Biden… I don’t know if you heard it earlier in the show. I actually was gonna say if you’ve seen it on Twitter, but maybe not because they banned you. You’re never gonna be banned from the Clay and Buck show, though, Alex; don’t worry.

But there’s a clip going around of Biden — I think this is in last 24 hours — just saying this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and that you won’t spread the virus if you get the shot. We know… I mean, tell us about how not true that is, but also what are the numbers at this point? It feels like breakthrough cases, they’ve just memory holed the notion of breakthrough cases because they’re breaking through everywhere.

BERENSON: Yeah, I mean, first of all, I can’t believe he would have said that in the last 24 hours. Now, as we know, he has some element of mild cognitive impairment, so he may just have forgotten what today’s lie is. But I’ll tell you this. The governor of New Jersey — who’s been saying a couple of months ago, making clearly untrue statements about the number of vaccinated people in the hospital. There’s a clip today which I just saw on Twitter — because I’m banned, I can still see it.

You know, I haven’t had my hands cut off. And he said that 47% of people in the hospital now in New Jersey are vaccinated and not boosted. And the reason they’re starting to tell the truth about it is because they want people to get boosters and I think because the truth is so obvious to anybody who is alive and is vaccinated or is vaccinated that they can’t hide it anymore.

BUCK: If 50% of people in any state Alex, real quick, if 50% of people close to it in any state in the hospital are vaccinated and forget about the boosters for a second, isn’t that a failure of the policy that they were rolling out all summer?

BERENSON: Well, they would say no, and they would say, “No, there’s still some protection against severe disease and death,” and the people who’ve been vaccinated, it’s more than 50%, and those people are older, so they’re more likely to be hospitalized. And then we can get into an argument about something called Simpson’s Paradox and what the numbers really say, which I’m not gonna do because it’s complicated and will bore people.

But here’s the truth. The truth is the numbers have been way higher than 1% or 3% or 5% of people in the hospital being fully vaccinated for a long time. And they’ve been lying about it all year. And the reason I can say that with certainty is because human biology is the same everywhere and we know what the numbers are out of the U.K., which doesn’t lie about this, and we know what the numbers are out of Israel, which doesn’t lie about this.

So we’ve known for a long time that the numbers the CDC is offering are basically untrue, and there’s a couple reasons for that, one of which is that the American health care system is so screwed up that the hospitals are not necessarily recording every vaccinated person as vaccinated when they come in. So, you know, if you got vaccinated somewhere else and, you know, you’re old and sick and you don’t tell them that you were vaccinated or you can’t even remember when you were vaccinated at all though you know you were, you may go in their system as “unknown” which translates at the CDC level to unvaccinated.

So that’s clearly been happening. I’ve talked to people in hospitals about that. I can’t tell you how much it’s been happening, but it has been happening. The takeaway is this is something else that they lied about. They have lied or been wrong about almost every crucial event in the last two years and this is another one.

CLAY: Alex, what do we know… I’ll give you an opportunity here because I think the answer could actually be positive. What do we know about Omicron so far based on all the data that has been coming in? Israel, England, United States has some data, and is that data reflective of that? If it were to pass Delta as the primary variant, this would actually be really good news for covid, the spread, based on the data that we’re seeing right now? I understand things can change, but it seems like a much less virulent version of covid than certainly Delta.

BERENSON: Great question, and I think of when I was on with you last week I said the answer to that question was “yes,” you know, that Omicron looked like pretty much a positive. I think the answer is more qualified right now for two reasons. The first is that there’s some data. There’s a study — not study but a population registry — out of Denmark that was just published earlier this week showing that the hospitalization levels there, although quite low, weren’t much different for Omicron as earlier variants.

The second — and the other thing that’s come up, and this has come up anecdotally in the U.S. but also with statistics elsewhere. This variant seems to care not at all about the vaccine, and there’s some evidence it actually is preferentially infecting people who’ve been vaccinated, which would mean it would sort of be a weak version of this terrifying thing called ADE, which is what a vaccination actually worsens your outcome after infection.

Now, we don’t have evidence that that’s happening, but we do have evidence that Omicron, you know, doesn’t… It seems to be able to infect people whether they’re vaccinated, based on, or anything else, which raises the question of why boost? Now, let me just pull back for one second. Your initial theory is right, though. From what we know out of South Africa, which has the most cases, it is less dangerous.

So the only way it could be really bad would be in the very short term, if a ton of people get infected. If a third of the country gets infected, let’s say, over a two-week period and it’s almost as bad as the previous variants — not quite as bad, but almost as bad — then you can do some math and get, you know, a lot of strain on the hospitals. Even if that happens, at the end of that period we should be in better shape because we have a lot of people who’ve gone through this and been done with it. But that’s sort of the worst case with Omicron right now. But I would agree with you. When I said last week and what you just asked, overall Omicron looks like a net positive in terms of what’s happening with covid.

BUCK: We’re speaking to Alex Berenson, author of Pandemia, best-selling book. Get your copy today, $2.99 on kindle. Alex, the vaccine makers have already talked about the possibility of an — now, they’re not saying they’re doing it, the possibility of an — Omicron-specific variant. There is also talk about a fourth shot. I believe the fourth shot is approved in Israel — correct me if that’s wrong — for people who are considered at high risk.

But, of course, the risk parameters keep changing over time as the vaccines wane in efficacy. Have we just completely abandoned the notion? There was a time when we believed it was, “Get the shot; you’re done.” Does anyone think there’s even on the horizon a “get the shot for covid, you won’t get infected, you don’t have to worry about it,” or has that just been completely abandoned?

BERENSON: I mean, that’s a great question, and I don’t know what they’re… You know, let’s say in a perfect world they could invent that shot. Okay, they could invent what’s called a pan-coronavirus vaccine that would work for all the variants and would work long term. I’m not sure they could sell it to anybody, okay, because the last year has been such, you know, a cluster and their promises have been so unmet that, you know, I mean, I’m not going anywhere near that for years and years.

And I would suspect that lots of people… Now, listen. I didn’t get the vaccine to begin with, but I think there are a lot of people who did get the vaccine who feel pretty cheated right now. And, you know, I wrote this on my Substack on Monday. I think… I mean, we’re talking medically right now, right? We’re still talking about some scientific questions.

But I do think politically and culturally, much of the United States is past covid and just wants this all — just wants people to stop talking about this. You know, until the day that the hospitals actually collapse, people are… The public health authorities have cried wolf one too many times or 10 too many times, and people, they don’t want to hear about it. If they didn’t get vaccinated, they’re not getting vaccinated.

If they did get vaccinated, they feel they did their bit for the team and they don’t understand why they should do this again a couple months later. And when people like Fauci or, you know, other public health, you know, grandees say, “Oh, we always thought we’d need a third shot, a fourth shot,” people know that’s not true. We were all alive six months ago. We can all remember six months ago.

CLAY: We’re talking to Alex Berenson. Encourage you to go grab his book, Pandemia. Alex, last year in mid-January the number of covid cases in the United States peaked. I believe it’s still the all-time high. Today, England hit a new high for all-time cases.


CLAY: What do you think — and I know, again, predictions are sometimes difficult, and I understand that that’s a challenge. But based on the data that you are seeing from Europe and around the world, what do you think the next month looks like? Do you believe that we are going to approach new highs in the number of cases here in January like we did last year?

BERENSON: I think it’s quite possible. I mean, and it’s not just the U.K. Germany is off the charts. The Netherlands off the charts. You know, I think cases don’t really matter that much, right, especially if it’s Omicron. And Omicron is less, you know, virulent as it seems to be. And I would certainly discourage people from panicking if the case number do go up. What matters, you know, again is hospitalizations and is deaths.

And I will say that, you know, whether it’s because, you know, the U.K. has boosted a lot of older people… So when you boost, you get this temporary benefit where people’s antibodies do go up and they are less likely to suffer severe disease and death in the short term. The problem is, you know, you don’t know what that looks like long-term. But if you’re dealing with, you know, the vulnerable people over 65 and especially over 75.

Giving them the booster, you know, in the short term reduces death counts and maybe reduces the strain on the hospital system. So that’s a good thing, and that is, you know, what we’ve done in the U.S. and they’ve done it in Europe. So the case counts are off the charts, but hospitalizations and deaths are not over there. And I would hope that would be a similar case here through the winter.

BUCK: Do we know, Alex, if Omicron natural immunity would be protective? Again, is there any data? Do we have any idea? I really have two natural immunity questions for you. One is if you get one variant, are you likely protected against the others? I know nothing is perfect. Even natural immunity is not perfect. But do we have any numbers on that? And also, at what point do we see that this disease feels like it will have infected a solid majority perhaps, you know, getting upwards of 60, 70% of the American people? This has been going on for two years.

BERENSON: Both great questions. The short answer is right now, I haven’t seen any studies about whether Omicron translates into other protections. But here’s how it works, right? The new variant chases out the old ones. So Delta came along and Delta was basically 100% of the covid out there. So it didn’t really matter whether Delta was protective against older variants. It mattered whether older variants were protective against Delta.

And that will be the question with Omicron: Will Omicron be protective against the stuff that comes next? And that becomes even more complicated now because we’re in a situation where many, many people have been vaccinated, and there’s some evidence, unfortunately — and it’s weak right now, and I don’t want to overstate it, but there’s some evidence — that vaccination may interfere with protective natural immunity after infections.

So, in other words, you get vaccinated, you get infected, your immunity is not as good as it would be as it would be had you been unvaccinated, infected, and recovered. And I don’t want to say that with any certainty. When I say the evidence is weak, I mean it’s weak, but it’s there. So that’s something else that… You know, here’s the thing. These are all really complicated questions.

Really good scientists and epidemiologist are gonna have to spend a lot of time looking at the data, you know, in labs figuring it out, and then we’re gonna have to have honest conversations about that. But our public health establishment won’t be honest, and this is what has come up with Pandemia. So you can’t have honest questions about whether masks work or whether lockdowns work or what the effect of lockdowns are or, you know, the negative effects of closing schools.

Because the people at the top have communicated to each other and to the media that there’s one strategy, and that’s the strategy that’s gonna be followed today. And if it changes tomorrow, you know, it is sort of this 1984 world where Big Brother can never be wrong. And we have really difficult questions ahead based both on these variants and on the fact that so many people have been vaccinated with these vaccines that don’t work as well as we were promised they work. And we need to be able to ask those and we are not asking them.

CLAY: Alex, quick question for you to close. Has anybody at Twitter apologized to you for canceling your account? Like, I don’t mean like Jack Dorsey himself, but has anybody at Twitter reached out and said, “Hey, by the way, the things that you were sharing in the summer have proven to be true”? Because it’s unbelievable to me that you’ve been banned by Twitter for things that have proven to be virtually a hundred percent true.

BERENSON: No. You suspect they have some lawyers, even if there were anybody there — and now that Jack is gone, I don’t know that there’s anybody there who would do that. But I suspect their lawyers would tell them, you know, if you say a word to that guy, you’re fired. Look, we all know I was right, you know, and I don’t say that actually with any pride.

It would be better for everybody if I’d been wrong, okay? It’d be better if I were the fool, you know, that some people on the left would like me to be. But, no, nobody’s said “boo” to me. And sooner or later, you know, I keep sort of hinting, “There’s gonna be a lawsuit. There’s gonna be a lawsuit.” Well, I’m gonna hint again: There’s gonna a lawsuit. And, you know, we’ll see what a jury — if it gets that far — makes of what I said and, you know, whether Twitter was right to kick me off.

CLAY: You need to file the lawsuit. It has to happen.

BERENSON: I’m hoping I get to that moment.

BUCK: Pandemia is the book, folks. Get your copy today, $2.99 on Kindle — great deal — and support our man, Alex here. Alex, thanks so much, buddy. Always appreciate you.

BERENSON: Thanks for having me, guys.

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