Remember: “The war abroad always comes home”.
And this one “starts with hyper-connectivity”.

“Cognitive warfare, when practiced effectively has strength, an insidious nature and disrupts our ordinary understandings and reactions to events. The term, cognitive warfare, requires some dissection and interpretation in the context of national security; broadly defined it is a disinformation process to psychologically wear down the receivers of the information. It is strategically spread through information resources like social media, networking, Internet resources, videos, photos taken out of context, simplistic resources like political cartoons and even well-planned websites that encourage the making of disinformation.”

Diana Mackiewicz
University of Massachusetts Lowell – Cognitive Warfare – Conference: INSS-Summer Institute 2018, Tel Aviv, Israel

Canada – NATO Innovation Challenge Fall 2021: Cognitive Warfare – 2021

Informational webinar on October 5th as Canada hosts the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge organized by Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM), Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) and the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) iHub. Innovators will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the concept of Cognitive Warfare as well as the Innovation Challenge’s eligibility requirements, application process and timeline.

Commenting on the video above, The Gray Zone notes:

The other institution that is managing the Fall 2021 NATO Innovation Challenge on behalf of Canada’s Department of National Defense is the Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).

A Canadian military officer who works with CANSOFCOM, Shekhar Gothi, was the final panelist in the October 5 NATO Association of Canada event. Gothi serves as CANSOFCOM’s “innovation officer” for Southern Ontario.

He concluded the event appealing for corporate investment in NATO’s cognitive warfare research.

The bi-annual Innovation Challenge is “part of the NATO battle rhythm,” Gothi declared enthusiastically.

He noted that, in the spring of 2021, Portugal held a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on warfare in outer space.

In spring 2020, the Netherlands hosted a NATO Innovation Challenge focused on Covid-19.

Gothi reassured corporate investors that NATO will bend over backward to defend their bottom lines: “I can assure everyone that the NATO innovation challenge indicates that all innovators will maintain complete control of their intellectual property. So NATO won’t take control of that. Neither will Canada. Innovators will maintain their control over their IP.”

The comment was a fitting conclusion to the panel, affirming that NATO and its allies in the military-industrial complex not only seek to dominate the world and the humans that inhabit it with unsettling cognitive warfare techniques, but to also ensure that corporations and their shareholders continue to profit from these imperial endeavors.

thegrayzone.com

SOURCE

Considerations on resilience

Since the early days of the Alliance, NATO has played an essential role in promoting and enhancing civil preparedness among its member states. Article 3 of the NATO founding treaty establishes the principle of resilience, which requires all Alliance member states to “maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.” This includes supporting the continuity of government, and the provision of essential services, including resilient civil communications systems.

NATO
SOURCE

A Taipei think tank and observers in Taiwan say China is trying to influence residents with “cognitive warfare,” hoping to reverse opposition to Beijing’s desired takeover of Taiwan so it can be accomplished without having to go to war.

Taiwanese attitudes have been drifting away from the mainland, especially among the younger generation, whose members see themselves “born independent” with no ties to China.

China’s effort, these analysts say, includes tactics ranging from military intimidation and propaganda to misinformation spread by its army of online trolls in a bid to manipulate public opinion. They say the complexity and frequency of the effort puts Taiwan on a constant defensive.

“Its ultimate goal is to control what’s between the ears. That is, your brain or how you think, which [Beijing] hopes leads to a change of behavior,” Tzeng Yi-suo, director of the cybersecurity division at the government-funded Institute of National Defense and Security Research in Taipei, told VOA.

Campaign intensifies amid COVID

Cognitive warfare is a fairly new term, but the concept has been around for decades. China has never stopped trying to deter the island’s separatists, according to Tzeng, who wrote about the Chinese efforts last month in the institute’s annual report on China’s political and military development.

Liberal democracies such as Taiwan, that ensure the free flow of information, are vulnerable to cognitive attacks by China, while China’s tightly controlled media and internet environment makes it difficult for democracies to counterattack, according to Tzeng.

China’s campaign has intensified since the outbreak of COVID-19, using official means such as flying military jets over Taiwan, and unofficial channels such as news outlets, social media and hackers to spread misinformation. The effort is aimed at dissuading Taiwan from pursuing actions contrary to Beijing’s interests, the report said.

China has used these tactics to attack Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration, undermine support for democracy and fuel Taiwan’s social tensions and political divide, it said.

NATO Releases Disturbing Stance on Cognitive Warfare

By Malcolm Harris – October 14, 2021  – Verity Weekly

Cyber and economic warfare are often seen as the future of war. There is, however, a new type of warfare being discussed. It is called “cognitive warfare.”

Cognitive warfare, similar to information warfare, involves the the swaying of public opinion as a means of war. What differentiates the two, is that information warfare is simply defined as the manipulation of public opinion via propaganda. Cognitive warfare, on the other hand, involves the literal manipulation of the human brain. Seems far fetched? Well according to a NATO-sponsored study, it is now being classified as a “sixth domain” of warfare. While even acknowledging the horrific dangers of this type of warfare, the report goes on to claim NATO should develop the means to use cognitive warfare to get ahead of China and Russia. There is far from any proof that either countries are developing cognitive warfare capabilities, with reports of information warfare being falsely labelled as “cognitive warfare.” The NATO Association of Canada has even admitted that cognitive warfare is “one of the hottest topics” for the military alliance.

The fact that NATO is lying about the ambitions of its enemies when it comes to developmental warfare is not surprising. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO has repeatedly exaggerated the threat of Russia in order to expand its influence eastward. Could the US government use these false pretexts in order to convince the public that cognitive control over our minds is necessary to defend ourselves? If you think that’s far fetched, then just look at how successful the government was in pushing for vaccines on children. Despite the overwhelming evidence that vaccines for children are unnecessary (studies have shown children are more likely to die from the vaccine than COVID-19 itself), the government has successfully manipulated a large portion of the public into believing they are indeed necessary. In the future, will some people be convinced to willingly volunteer to have chips placed in their heads, in order to protect themselves from “Russian cognitive attacks”?

SOURCE

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Lu Li-shih, a former teacher at the Republic of China Naval Academy, said: “This staged photograph is definitely ‘cognitive warfare’ to show the US doesn’t regard the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] as an immediate threat.
“In the photo, Commander Briggs looks very relaxed with his feet up watching the Liaoning ship just a few thousand yards away, while his deputy is also sitting beside him, showing they take their PLA counterparts lightly.”
One Hong Kong newspaper reported that the photo sent one clear message to China: “We’re watching you.”
The image comes as the US and the Philippines begin two weeks of military drills in a show of force against China after hundreds of ships anchored off Whitsun reef last month.

Naval officers watch the Liaoning

COGNITIVE WARFARE

By Emily Bienvenue, Zac Rogers & Sian Troath May 14, 2019  THE COVE (Australian Defense publication)


The term cognitive warfare has entered the lexicon over the last couple of years. General David L. Goldfein (United States Air Force) remarked last year we are “transitioning from wars of attrition to wars of cognition”. Neuroscientist James Giordano has described the human brain as the battlefield of the 21st Century. Cognitive warfare represents the convergence of all that elements that have lived restlessly under the catch-all moniker of Information Warfare (IW) since the term’s emergence in the 1990s. However, military and intelligence organisations now grappling with this contentious new concept are finding cognitive warfare to be something greater than, or as Gestalt intended, different than, the sum of these parts. Cognitive warfare is IW with something added. As we begin to understand more about what has been added, awareness is growing that western military and intelligence organisations may have been caught playing the wrong game.

As Martin Libicki explained, IW burst onto the scene in the early 1990s in line with the shift from attrition-based to effects-based operations and the increasingly digitised and networked infrastructure underpinning contemporary warfare. It overarched lines of effort in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare (EW), psychological operations (PSYOPS), and cyber operations that in general raised the need to contend for and take advantage of control of information flows. These elements overlapped but remained disparate and lacked a unified concept and unity of effort. Despite the desire for integration being an ever-present agenda item, such unity did not eventuate and the individual streams continued to evolve, driven by more-or-less separate military and intelligence communities of interest.

The various elements under the IW construct were largely pursued throughout the ensuing period as adjuncts in support of objectives defined by the traditional remit of military organisations – namely, to deliver lethal kinetic effects on the battlefield. The War on Terror provided an unconventional sandbox for the refining of IW elements; but again, little impetus emerged for their drawing together under a unified concept. Influence operations across both cyber and human terrains remained episodic and an adjunct to a kinetic main effort – even while the separation between victory on the battlefield and the capacity for enduring political successes became starker. The disconnect should have been more unnerving for Western military organisations. The capacity for an adversary to contend for battlefield victory below the threshold of conventional conflict is only one aspect of asymmetry. The disconnect raises the more fundamental question of why, if battlefield superiority was demonstrably not resulting in political success, would a conventionally inferior opponent pursue such a pathway at all? What if strategic success – the causing of a preferable behaviour change in those with which we contend – could bypass the traditional battlefield altogether?

For the nation-state adversaries of the US and its allies, the disconnect provided an opportunity to observe and to learn. While the ‘winning without fighting’ ethos is a well understood heuristic of Chinese strategic culture, as Wirtz has suggested also, Russian strategic culture has consistently excelled at imagining some of the non-intuitive and strategic level implications of technological change. Much more than mere opportunism, Russia’s unfavourable geo-strategic circumstances, combined with its deep distrust of US intentions, forced it to render strategic level gains from a weakening hand. Here-in lies the temporary advantage it gained in finding and filling the gap between IW and cognitive warfare. As Clint Watts has surmised, where IW described a war of information, the cognitive battlespace is a war for information as it is transformed into knowledge via the processes of cognition. The technologies of the networked digital age, conceived by the US and its allies as an accumulation of advantages on the conventional battlefield, and unleashed by the clamour for profit of the commercial sector, were transformed into a strategic gift for an imaginative adversary and thus presents us with the current dilemma. The convergence of IW into cognitive warfare has been forced upon us.

This gift emerged in the mid-2000s with the advent of hyper-connectivity, largely a product of the social media phenomenon and its attendant business model based on accessing the constant attention of the human brain. This phenomenon created the bridge between IW and cognitive war which has been exploited by an unscrupulous adversary. Hyper-connectivity created the opportunity to transform IW from a set of episodic activities, largely associated with operational lines-of-effort by military and intelligence practitioners in support of lethal and kinetic effects on the battlefield, into a single continuous effort to disrupt and deny the cognitive conditions in which whole societies are situated. Cognitive warfare gathers together the instruments of IW and takes us into the realm of ‘neuro-weapons’ – defined by Giordano as “anything that accesses the brain to contend against others”. When coordinated and directed at open liberal democratic societies, cognitive warfare has paid off in spades. The capacity of open societies to function – to sustain and renew the narratives upon which their superior material strength relies – gets quickly scrambled when certain cognitive processes are exposed to manipulation.

It remains an item of curiosity how American and allied military and strategic culture, imbued as it is with the insights of John Boyd and many others, has been slow to recognise the shift in orientation. Boyd’s OODA loop may be one of the most bastardised concepts in modern military strategy, but its central insights are absolutely prescient for the age of cognitive warfare. The loop’s second “O” – Orientation – subsumes each of its other points. Getting orientation wrong, no matter how well an actor can Observe, how quickly they can Decide, and how concisely they can Act, can nonetheless mean the actor is caught playing the wrong game. It centrality is made patently clear for anyone who actually reads Boyd, or any of a number of good biographies of his work. It is imperative that this strategic culture understands the way in which its own orientation has been turned against it.

As digitised and networked warfare has matured and evolved over the last 25 years into its contemporary iteration of Multi-Domain Battle (MDB), it has pursued better observation through superior ISR, better decision-making through big data and machine learning, and better action through the constant advance of military-technical capabilities. Its orientation, however, has remained the same. As Albert Palazzo has iterated, MDB remains oriented toward a military problem solvable by lethal kinetic means in which political success is considered as a follow-on phase and to which influence operations across cyber and human terrain remain adjunct lines of effort. What is becoming clearer is that the age of cognitive warfare is highlighting the joints and fissures in this basic construct to an unprecedented extent. General Michael Hayden has made this point in his 2018 book, The Assault on Intelligence.

Cognitive warfare presents us with an orientation problem. Adversary actors have strategised to avoid a confrontation with US and allied forces at their strongest point – namely, in high intensity conventional warfare. They have pursued gains in various domains that remain under the threshold of inducing a conventional military response. While US and allied forces have mused over ways to bolster below-the-threshold capabilities, the adversary has been busy changing the rules of the meta-contest. By denying, disrupting, and countering the narratives that underpin US and allied legitimacy, and by stifling our capacity to regenerate the preferred narrative via sophisticated and targeted disinformation operations, the adversary has changed the context within which force and the threat of force is situated. In other words, the diplomatic power of the traditional force-in-being of allied militaries to influence the behaviour of others is being diminished. Furthermore, the actual deployment of lethal kinetic capabilities will be subject to a similar reorientation where and when they occur. Simply put, lethal kinetic capability, as the traditional remit of military organisations, has undergone a reorientation at the hands of an adversary enabled by the hyper-connected digital age to manipulate its context to an unprecedented extent.

Cognitive war is not the fight most professional military practitioners wanted. A little discussed aspect is the extent to which our military and strategic culture perceives it as a deeply dishonourable fight. A cultural bias – if not a genuine cognitive blind spot – is at work and has slowed our response. But national security, before it is about winning kinetic battles and before it is centred on the profession of arms, is at its core about ensuring that people are safe to live their lives: it is about keeping the peace and protecting the population from harmful interference. This includes the harm that disrupts our capacity to conduct our collective social, economic, and political lives on our own terms.


About the Authors:

Emily Bienvenue, Zac Rogers & Sian Troath

Dr Emily Bienvenue is a Senior Analyst in the Defence Science and Technology Group’s, Joint and Operations Analysis Division. Her research interests include trust as a strategic resource, the changing nature of warfare, and competition below the threshold of conflict.

The views expressed here are her own and do not represent the official view of the Australian Defence Department.

Zac Rogers is a senior researcher at the Centre for United States and Asia Policy Studies and PhD candidate at the College of Business, Government, and Law, Flinders University of South Australia.

Sian Troath is a PhD candidate at Flinders University, and a combined Flinders University-DST Group research associate working on Modelling Complex Warfighting (MCW) Strategic Response (SR) 4 – Modelling Complex Human Systems. Her areas of expertise are international relations theory, trust theory, Australian foreign policy, Australia-Indonesia relations, and Anglo-American relations.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

THE PERSPECTIVE FROM THE OTHER SIDE

Media, Cognitive Warfare and One World Government Social Engineering

Walt Peretto 13 October 2021  / IRANIAN COUCIL FOR DEFENDING THE TRUTH

Ownership of mainstream media and popular social media is imperative to control desired narrative during psychological and military operations. In the last 30 years, it has been the accessibility and freedom of the internet which has been invaluable for the communication of independent and objective analysis which is often evidence-based rather than information used in cognitive warfare for perception manipulation.

We now live in a time where the powers that shouldn’t be are scrambling to find methods to disrupt these free lines of communication without appearing to be an all-out assault on freedom-of-speech; so the current methodology is slow implementation of concepts like “community standards” violations to shut down people who are often disseminating information that government does not want communicated. When a new forum is formed that allows freedom of speech—that forum quickly attracts attention and efforts are quickly made to either buy out the forum and disparage it publicly — sometimes labeling it as politically “right-wing” which automatically loses most users who may identify as politically “left-wing.”

With the popular accessibility of the internet starting in the 1990s, the exchanges of information and ideas have been facilitated throughout the globe. Before internet popularity, channels of information were mainly held by mainstream media corporations. In the last twenty-five years, billions of people worldwide have been exchanging information instantly outside of official government and corporate filters. These developments have fractured the monopoly on information once held by government and corporations on behalf of elite interests worldwide. 

A significant percentage of the global population still blindly trusts corporate mainstream media and prestigious academic sources of news and information without verification. These same people instinctively avoid ‘alternative’ sources of news and information. However, a growing number of people have awoken to the realization that mainstream media sources of information are agenda-driven and often purposely deceiving while engaging in systemic censorship. These are the people more inclined to seek alternative sources of information and communicate using channels free from corporate and academic monopolies. The current battle to disturb and eventually shut down these channels are extremely important to one-world-government social-engineers. This is a major battleground in today’s cognitive warfare.

As we enter the mid-2020s, it will likely be increasingly difficult to freely exchange evidence-based and independent research and analysis on the internet. There is a cognitive war against freedom of information in the emerging totalitarian global scheme. Unlike conventional warfare, cognitive warfare is everywhere a communication device is used. Independent researchers, analysts, and journalists are being disrupted and banned from forums like YouTube and Facebook.

To counteract cognitive warfare and ultimately avoid a one-world-government dystopia—engage your neighbors and build local and personal relationships of information exchange and commerce as opposed to relying on long-distance electronic communications. Get off the grid as much as possible and reverse the psyop of ‘social-distancing’ that the Covid-19 operation has promoted for the last year and a half. 

OTHER ANGLES

Cognitive Electronic Warfare: Conceptual Design and Architecture – 2020

Qinghan XiaoPages – 48 – 65     |    Revised – 30-11-2020     |    Published – 31-12-2020 Published in International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems (IJAE) Volume – 9   Issue – 3    |    Publication Date – December 2020 

ABSTRACT

Computing revolution is heralding the transition from digital to cognitive that is the third significant era in the history of computer technology: the cognitive era. It is about the use of computers to mimic human thought processes, such as perception, memory, learning and decision-making in highly dynamic environments. In recent years, there is a growing research interest in the development of cognitive capabilities in radio frequency technologies. Using cognition-based techniques, a radar system would be able to perceive its operational environment, fine-tune and accordingly adjust its emission parameters, such as the pulse width, pulse repetition interval, and transmitter power, to perform its assigned task optimally. It is certain that traditional electronic warfare (EW) methods, which rely on pre-programmed attack strategies, will not be able to efficiently engage with such a radar threat. Therefore, the next generation of EW systems needs to be enhanced with cognitive abilities so that they can make autonomous decisions in response to changing situations, and cope with new, unknown radar signals. Because the system architecture is a blueprint, this paper presents a conceptual cognitive EW architecture that carries out both electronic support and electronic attack operations to synthesize close-to-optimal countermeasures subject to performance goals.

The cognitive warfare: Aspects of new strategic thinking

March 5, 2018 By Gagliano Giuseppe / Modern Diplomacy

Combining the strategic observations on revolutionary war – those made by Colonel Trinquier during the war in Algeria, in   particular–with US strategy regarding information warfare, the authors Harbulot and Lucas, leading experts  at the French École de guerre économique, and Moinet, Director of the DESS (Intelligence économique et développement des Entreprises) – place their emphasis on the profoundly innovative and strategic role played by information warfare and on its implications for companies. Naturally enough, it emerges with clarity that the authors’ intention is to utilize cognitive warfare in defense of the interests of French companies against their US competitors.

It is undeniable – in the opinion of the authors – that the date of September 11, 2001, represented a change in strategic thinking  of fundamental importance. Undoubtedly, the war in the Persian Gulf, the US military intervention  in Somalia, and the conflicts in former Yugoslavia had already presaged – even if in terms not yet precisely defined – an evolution of military strategy in the direction of newer strategic scenarios. It is enough to consider – the authors observe – that   at the time of the invasion of Kuwait, US public opinion was mobilized following a disinformation process planned at military level or more exactly, at psychological warfare level. In this regard, it is sufficient to recall how the televised landing of US troops on the beaches of Mogadishu, the televised lynching of a US Army soldier enabled the marginalization of the politico-military dimension of the civil war in progress. Yet the importance ascribed to the manipulation of information was determined by the  conviction  –  which  proved  to be correct – that the absolute mastery of the production of knowledge both upstream (the educational system) and downstream (Internet, media audio-visual means) can ensure – the authors emphasize – the long-lasting legitimacy of the control of world  affairs.

Yet  in  light  of the American political-military choices and reflections on the revolutionary war in Algeria, French strategy felt the need to define in strict terms exactly what information warfare is. First of all, the expression used in the context of French strategy is the one of cognitive warfare defined as the capacity to use knowledge for the purpose of conflict. In this regard, it is by no mere chance that Rand Corporation information warfare specialists John Arquilla and David Rundfeldt assert the domination  of  information  to  be  fundamental  to American strategy. Secondly, the ample and systematic use of information warfare by the US creates the need – in geographical-strategic  terms–for the European Union to do some serious thinking on cognitive warfare. On the other hand, the absence of legal regulation of manipulation of knowledge in the architecture of security inherited at the end of the Cold War can only lead to serious concern above all for economic security of European companies and must consequently bring about the formulation of a strategy of dissuasion and the use of subversive techniques that must be capable of creating barriers against attempts at destabilization.

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To be continued?
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! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them

This was not published for the plebs, but for their own consumption. They’ve been intoxicating themselves for quite a while, but this is one of the most striking examples I’ve seen lately.
“No Means No!”
As opposed to “hesitancy”.



Here’s the study, my brief critical notes come after.

COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Canada: Content Analysis of Tweets Using the Theoretical Domains Framework

J Med Internet Res.  .Published online 2021 Apr 13. doi: 10.2196/26874

Monitoring Editor: Rita Kukafka and Corey Basch
Reviewed by Romaric Marcilly and Christina Cheng Janessa Griffith, BA, MSc,1,2,3 Husayn Marani, BHSc, MSc,4 and Helen Monkman, BSc, MA, PhD51

Abstract

Background

With the approval of two COVID-19 vaccines in Canada, many people feel a sense of relief, as hope is on the horizon. However, only about 75% of people in Canada plan to receive one of the vaccines.

Objective

The purpose of this study is to determine the reasons why people in Canada feel hesitant toward receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Methods

We screened 3915 tweets from public Twitter profiles in Canada by using the search words “vaccine” and “COVID.” The tweets that met the inclusion criteria (ie, those about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy) were coded via content analysis. Codes were then organized into themes and interpreted by using the Theoretical Domains Framework.

Results

Overall, 605 tweets were identified as those about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Vaccine hesitancy stemmed from the following themes: concerns over safety, suspicion about political or economic forces driving the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccine development, a lack of knowledge about the vaccine, antivaccine or confusing messages from authority figures, and a lack of legal liability from vaccine companies. This study also examined mistrust toward the medical industry not due to hesitancy, but due to the legacy of communities marginalized by health care institutions. These themes were categorized into the following five Theoretical Domains Framework constructs: knowledge, beliefs about consequences, environmental context and resources, social influence, and emotion.

Conclusions

With the World Health Organization stating that one of the worst threats to global health is vaccine hesitancy, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the reasons behind this reluctance. By using a behavioral science framework, this study adds to the emerging knowledge about vaccine hesitancy in relation to COVID-19 vaccines by analyzing public discourse in tweets in real time. Health care leaders and clinicians may use this knowledge to develop public health interventions that are responsive to the concerns of people who are hesitant to receive vaccines.

Introduction

The approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines sent waves of excitement and relief across the world. However, some people remain hesitant about receiving a vaccine for COVID-19 [1,2]. The World Health Organization noted in 2019 that one of the greatest threats to global health was vaccine hesitancy [3]. Emerging international evidence on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy suggests that there is a range of reasons for this reluctance, including doubts about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, political or pharmaceutical mistrust, belief in natural immunity, and the belief that the virus is mild or not life-threatening [46].

For herd immunity to any communicable disease to be effective, a considerable portion of the population needs to be vaccinated or have antibodies present from being recently infected. Achieving herd immunity is difficult when a large portion of the public is not vaccinated. For herd immunity to be effective for measles and polio, 95% and 80% of the population need to be vaccinated, respectively [7]. The exact percentage required for herd immunity to COVID-19 is difficult to estimate [7].

A Statistics Canada survey conducted in September 2020 (before a vaccine was approved) indicated that 75% of Canadians were either likely or somewhat likely to receive a vaccination [8]. An Angus Reid Institute [4] study conducted between December 8 and 11, 2020 found that 48% of Canadians sampled wanted to be vaccinated immediately if a vaccine was available, and 31% wanted to be vaccinated but preferred to wait. Additionally, 7% of respondents indicated that they were unsure if they would receive a vaccination, and 14% indicated that they would not get vaccinated [4].

In the context of influenza vaccinations, there remains a broad, ethical imperative to respect others’ agency over personal health decisions (eg, choosing to not get vaccinated). However, from a public health ethics perspective, the decision to not be vaccinated creates a conflict between population safety and personal liberty [9]. As of yet, COVID-19 vaccination has not been deemed mandatory by any nation, but conversations about whether such a public mandate should exist are emerging [10]. Whether vaccines are mandated, it is worthwhile for public institutions to understand how to change behaviors concerning vaccine hesitancy to ensure that informed decision-making practices are being exercised.

Previous research has suggested that behavioral change interventions are more successful when they are grounded in theory [11]. Thus, we selected a behavioral change framework to guide this study. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was selected because of its ability to help identify the barriers and facilitators to behavior change while taking into account social and environmental factors [12]. Other public health interventions have used the TDF. For example, Garbutt et al [13] used this framework to improve human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in primary care settings. The use of such theories can facilitate the development of comprehensive health education programs [11], but this requires correctly identifying the attributes of individuals and their surroundings, which influence behavioral patterns [14]. As Bandura [15] and other behavioral theorists have posited, social norms, social relationships, and social networks have a substantial and persistent influence on behaviors [15]. It is worth understanding public discourse about vaccine hesitancy in order to develop interventions that are responsive to the needs of the population and effectively address their concerns.

In the past decade, there has been a particular interest in the utility of Twitter as a tool for monitoring and surveilling public health [16], detecting trends [17], conducting research, and disseminating information [18,19]. A systematic review of using Twitter data for health research found that most studies were in the overlapping fields of public health (23%) and infectious disease (20%) [18]. With 187 million active users worldwide as of January 2021 [20], Twitter has become a powerful social network for disseminating important public health information.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, social networking platforms like Facebook and YouTube have become stricter with their oversight of the spread of COVID-19 misinformation by deleting false information and providing hyperlinks to government websites containing credible and validated information on COVID-19. Twitter took a similar screening approach in May 2020 [21], yet the scale, spread, and speed of information sharing has made this process challenging. Further, at the start of the pandemic, Twitter introduced a system for verifying COVID-19 experts (indicated with a blue checkmark), including physicians, epidemiologists, scientists, and academics, to provide credible information concerning COVID-19 [22]. Yet, there continues to be influential individuals who have also been verified by Twitter and have enough public credibility to contradict expert opinions or present false information.

We can combat the spread of misinformation by creating targeted approaches to changing behaviors and promoting the understanding of vaccines. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy among people in Canada by conducting a content analysis of tweets through the lens of behavioral science. Our findings can be used to develop behavior change strategies and policies that are responsive to target populations.Go to:

Methods

Study Design

Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to microblog and socially network. Each user is allowed up to 280 characters in a post (called a tweet). Users can post text, pictures, videos, or links to websites. Users who have registered for an account can tweet, like, and comment on another user’s tweet and repost tweets (called a retweet). Registered users can also follow accounts and send private messages to each other. Unregistered users can read tweets, retweets, and comments but cannot engage in any interactions [23].

Twitter was selected because of its ability to capture real-time data [19]. Other studies have used Twitter to capture data on vaccine hesitancy. One study compared survey results about vaccine hesitancy in 2018 (before the COVID-19 pandemic) to data captured from Twitter and found that the data were similar to each other [24]. The study argued that Twitter could potentially be used instead of surveys in some contexts and similar results would be obtained [24]. Another study went as far as saying that Twitter is a “sentinel tool” for identifying public opinions on vaccinations [25]. Thus, Twitter was selected as the site of data collection because it offers a publicly available repository of discourse data (ie, tweets) that are captured in a specific point in time for a specific geographic area.

This study did not require research ethics approval, as it was based on data that were publicly available. Other Canadian-based studies [26] have forgone ethical review by using publicly available Twitter data, as some sources are anonymous or unidentifiable. Only the Twitter user’s username (ie, handle), city or town, and tweet content were extracted. This paper only presents aggregated data. Moreover, no interaction occurred between the authors of this study and any of the Twitter users.

Data Collection

After the researcher (JG) was approved for a developer account on Twitter, she received credentials for accessing Twitter’s application programming interface. By using a Jupyter environment, the researcher created a Python program to access Twitter’s application programming interface. Twitter allows access to tweets up to 1 week after they are posted. Thus, the researcher collected data from two time periods (December 18 and 23, 2020) to access 2 weeks’ worth of tweets. Tweets that contained the words “COVID” and “vaccine” were extracted. Similar to a library search, tweets were returned based on variations of these words, such as “COVID-19,” “COVID19,” “vaccination,” and “vaccinate.”

Data were extracted from tweets from December 10, 2020, to December 23, 2020. These dates were selected because they followed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approval announcement in Canada (December 9, 2020) and included the dates for the first vaccine administration in Canada (December 14, 2020) and the approval of the Moderna vaccine in Canada (December 23, 2020). This date range also accounted for the time frame when the highest number of searches for terms that included both “COVID” and “vaccine” occurred on Google, which perhaps indicated a spike in interest [27]. Thus, our data reflects a time period when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine was close to becoming a reality. Figure 1 provides a graph that shows when data were extracted and when COVID-19–related events occurred in Canada. Figure 1 – see it in original

A graph depicting Google Trends data for the combined search terms “covid” and “vaccine” aligning with vaccine approval and administration dates in Canada. Tweets that were posted between December 10 and 23, 2020 were eligible for analysis. This date range aligned with the time when the highest peaks in related Google search activity occurred in Canada. This figure indicates that the number of searches on Google for the combined words “COVID” and “vaccine” was highest in December 9, 2020. All other searches were relative to this highest peak. For example, on December 14, 2020, roughly 70% of related searches occurred in December 9, 2020 [28]. It was not possible to obtain more detailed numbers.

To only include tweets from Canada, the researchers used five geographic radiuses that covered most of Canada. However, several small areas were unintentionally omitted (Figure 2). It was not possible to know how many tweets were missed. Figure 2 see it in original

A map of where Twitter users were located. Tweets from outside of Canada (ie, those from the United States) were excluded.

Demographic data beyond users’ locations (ie, city or town) were not collected. It was possible to obtain estimates for other demographic information, such as age and gender, from third-party companies. However, this study was operating within the confines of publicly available data so as to disseminate the findings sooner.

Data Analysis

The results were exported to a comma-separated values file and were analyzed in Microsoft Excel. Tweets were randomized (ie, reordered) in Excel so that tweets were not included based on date. As we expected, the number of tweets extracted was insurmountably high for manual analysis. Therefore, we randomly selected 20% of the tweets to be screened for eligibility. This exceeded the number of randomly selected tweets in other studies, which only included 10% of returned tweets for screening [28]. Double screening was performed for 10% of the tweets to ensure consistency. Manual analysis was selected because this study was exploratory in nature; it was unclear what themes might emerge a priori. As such, training an automated analysis program was unfeasible.

Eligible tweets included any tweets from a Canadian location that contained an expression of hesitancy toward COVID-19 vaccines. These included tweets that provided links to articles or other media that expressed hesitancy toward any COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible tweets also included those with graphics that expressed sentiments of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. Tweets that expressed positive or unclear sentiments toward COVID-19 vaccines were excluded. Tweets captured from the United States (given the country’s geographic proximity to Canada) were also excluded. As data were extracted on two dates, several duplicate tweets were present. These were identified and deleted in Excel.

All tweets that were deemed eligible after screening were analyzed (ie, qualitatively coded) by 2 authors (JG and HMVM). These researchers had expertise in qualitative coding. Additionally, 10% of the eligible tweets were double-coded to ensure consistency.

In Excel, a content analysis was performed on all eligible tweets. The majority of health studies that use Twitter data (56%) have conducted content analyses [18]. Content analysis was performed as described by Sutton et al [28]; the content of each tweet was systematically reviewed by at least 1 researcher. The researcher(s) then coded the content of tweets according to their meaning. The resulting codes were then organized into thematic categories. Each eligible tweet could be coded into one or more themes.

Once themes emerged from the content analysis, they were mapped onto the TDF. The TDF was selected because it applies a theory-based approach to understanding behavior and has been used extensively in implementation science research. The TDF consists of the following 14 domains: knowledge; skills; social and professional roles and identities; beliefs about capabilities; optimism; beliefs about consequences; reinforcement; intentions; goals; memory, attention, and decision processes; environmental context and resources; social influences; emotion; and behavioral regulation. It has been used in other research pertaining to seasonal flu [29] and human papillomavirus vaccine hesitancy [13] to identify barriers to vaccine uptake and plan for implementation interventions.

To these Pharma-junkies, logic sounds like The Force to an Imperial Trooper, rather used to miss the target all the time, if you catch my reference

Results

Tweet Characteristics and Themes

In total, 18,132 tweets were returned as search results. Overall, 3915 tweets were screened for eligibility. These tweets represented 21.6% of the total number of tweets. It took approximately 1 hour to manually screen 100 tweets. The 10% (400/3915) of tweets that were double-screened resulted in a Cohen κ coefficient of 0.89, indicating an almost perfect agreement. After screening, 605 tweets met the inclusion criteria. This was represented in a modified PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) diagram (Figure 3).Figure 3

Modified PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) diagram of the data extraction process.

Through content analysis, the included tweets were grouped into the following major themes concerning vaccine hesitancy: safety, political skepticism, influence from authority figures, a lack of knowledge, and legal liability. The final theme included medical legacies. This theme was different from the other categories of vaccine hesitancy. The themes were not mutually exclusive. Examples of tweets were not provided with the presentation of the themes to preserve the anonymity of Twitter users. In the following subsections, each theme will be described.

Safety

Overall, 48.3% (292/605) of tweets were about safety. These were largely centered around the worry that the vaccine would cause more harm than good. These tweets also expressed concerns that the COVID-19 vaccine was developed more quickly than other vaccines and that the COVID-19 vaccine was not tested to the same rigorous extent as other vaccines. Apprehension over severe side effects was also noted from tweets, including those that reported on nurses fainting and vaccine trial participants experiencing Bell palsy.

Political Skepticism

Another major theme found in 32.4% (196/605) of tweets was skepticism toward the political motivations behind vaccine development. Several Twitter users presented conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine being a vehicle for exerting political control over citizens. Other participants felt that the vaccine was not tested enough due to political pressures to reopen the economy. Several Twitter users in Canada were also highly influenced by politics in the United States; they cited rumors about the White House threatening the leadership of the US Food and Drug Administration to rush vaccine approval or face forced resignation. Tweets also indicated concern over the influence of big, government-backed pharmaceutical companies (“Big Pharma”) that were motivated by profits instead of the desire to help people.

Deficits in Medical and Epidemiologic Literacy Concerning the Benefits of Vaccination

Many tweets (159/605, 26.3%) indicated a lack of knowledge about vaccines among Twitter users. For example, several users expressed the idea that if those who contracted COVID-19 had a ≥99% survival rate, then they should not have to receive a vaccine that is said to be 95% effective. Additionally, Twitter users questioned why anyone else should be concerned if they do not receive the vaccine, indicating a lack of understanding of herd immunity. Twitter users also reported concerns about how the vaccine would alter human DNA. Several Twitter users also felt that a lack of a vaccine for cancer, heart disease, and AIDS was proof that a new virus could not be cured. Additionally, Twitter users viewed COVID-19 as a mild disease; therefore, their interest in undergoing vaccination was low.

Authority Figures

Another theme we found was mistrust toward the COVID-19 vaccine resulting from Canadian and international authority figures not taking the vaccine (51/605, 8.4%). For example, several tweets highlighted users’ mistrust toward the CEO of Pfizer and political figureheads in Canadian politics like Doug Ford (the elected provincial leader of Ontario), as they were not taking the vaccine. However, later tweets criticized public figures such as Dr Bonnie Henry (the Provincial Health Officer of British Columbia) and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (a member of the US House of Representatives) for receiving the vaccine before frontline workers and older adults.

Legal Liability

To a smaller extent (19/605, 3.1%), Twitter users also expressed mistrust toward vaccines that was based on reports of not being able to take legal action against drug companies if a person experiences any side effects. Additionally, news of the Federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in Canada resulted in further skepticism toward vaccine safety.

Medical Legacies

The final theme was unlike all of the other themes of vaccine hesitancy in this paper—the legacy of harm caused by health care institutions that have traditionally targeted the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+ (LGBTQ+) community. Tweets (24/605, 4%) in this theme highlighted the lack of trust toward the COVID-19 vaccine resulting from how marginalized groups, such as the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, have been historically targeted by the medical community. For example, the Tuskegee syphilis experiments were referenced in several tweets. Moreover, the first people who were vaccinated in the United States were Black health care workers, and several Twitter users viewed this as forced participation in medical experiments. Additionally, a poster promoting COVID-19 vaccination was viewed as paralleling the stigmatization of people who take pre-exposure prophylaxis, a medication for people living with HIV.

Theoretical Domains Framework

Themes were mapped to the TDF and categorized into the following five domains: knowledge, beliefs about consequences, environmental context and resources, social influence, and emotion. The mapping of themes to TDF domains was an interpretive and consensus-driven exercise that was conducted by two study authors (JG and HM). Disagreement was reconciled by a third study author (HMVM). Figure 4 displays a representation of the themes that were mapped to the TDF. We provide insight into this framework in the Discussion section. Overall, themes were not mutually exclusive; themes were classified according to several TDF domains. Figure 4 see it in original

Themes were categorized based on the TDF. The TDF domains are represented by the dark-gray circles. The themes from the content analysis (smaller colored circles) were mapped to relevant TDF domains. TDF: Theoretical Domains Framework.

Discussion

Principal Results

Through content analysis and TDF application, this study identified the reasons behind vaccine hesitancy among Twitter users in Canada. The major themes that emerged included concerns over safety, suspicion about political or economic forces driving the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccine development, a lack of knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccine, messages from authority figures, and a lack of legal liability from vaccine companies. An additional theme regarding the historical impact of medical mistrust among marginalized communities was also presented. These themes were categorized into the following five TDF constructs: knowledge, beliefs about consequences, environmental context and resources, social influence, and emotion. Thus, efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy should focus on targeting these constructs.

Although evidence concerning vaccine hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine is still emerging, our findings are consistent with previous studies. A study from Israel found that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was related to concerns about safety and efficacy and the belief that the disease is mild [5]. This was similar to our study, wherein concerns about safety was the top reason for vaccine hesitancy. The efficacy of the vaccine and the belief that the virus is mild were grouped into the lack of knowledge theme, which was another top reason for vaccine hesitancy in our study. Another study surveyed individuals from Canada and the United States in May 2020 and reported that vaccine hesitancy correlated with a lack of trust about a vaccine’s benefit, concerns about safety (ie, unknown future health consequences), commercial profiteering, and a belief in natural immunity [6]. Of note, these respondents were more likely to receive a vaccine if there was evidence of rigorous testing and safety measures [6]. Both of these studies were conducted prior to the development and implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine. As such, their results were hypothetical.

This study identified the particular reasons why people in Canada may be hesitant to receive a vaccine, so that implementation scientists who are responsible for vaccine rollouts can become responsive to these concerns. Although the analyzed tweets were from Canada, we believe that the tweets’ themes may be generalizable to other contexts. To our knowledge, no other study has analyzed tweets to determine the reasons behind COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. This study’s contribution is especially important because the timing of our study coincided with the approval of the first two vaccines (ie, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) and the first vaccine administration in Canada.

Our results relate to vaccine hesitancy in general (ie, past research on non–COVID-19 vaccines), as prior related research has provided similar findings. For example, the influence of the media and people’s knowledge about vaccines, past experiences, perceptions of risk, and trust have all been documented [30]. However, hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccines presents new, unprecedented challenges; namely, the global COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any pandemic that has been experienced in the past century, herd immunity depends on vaccine participation on a global scale, and new SARS-CoV-2 strains can emerge if the virus has opportunities (ie, time and vectors) to mutate. Additionally, the long-term health consequences of COVID-19 are unknown [31].

Our recommendation for the organizations responsible for implementing vaccination programs is to create behavioral interventions that are responsive to the concerns presented in this study. The mapping of these themes to the TDF provided us with preliminary insights into how to best target these behavioral interventions. For example, safety was a top concern that was found in the tweets, and we mapped safety to both knowledge and beliefs about consequences. Thus, targeting vaccine literacy may be beneficial, and this can be done by explaining how vaccines work, why they are safe, and how no steps were missed in the expedient process of COVID-19 vaccine development. However, trust in politicians and pharmaceutical companies is a vaccine hesitancy factor that is difficult to target because both groups are necessarily involved in vaccine rollouts. One approach to targeting this concern might be to have trusted physicians speak to their patients about why it is important to be immunized. This approach falls under the domain of emotion in the TDF.

Although providing details on interventions for responding to vaccine hesitancy was beyond the scope of this study, Table 1 provides example suggestions for interventions based on each TDF domain.

Table 1

Reasons for vaccine hesitation fell under several Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) constructs (left column). The rightmost column provides examples of intervention suggestions for responding to vaccine hesitancy in relation to the TDF construct.

TDF constructsContent analysis themeExample suggestions
KnowledgeLack of knowledgeIntroduce campaigns that educate the public about using clear language in media that are commonly used to digest content (eg, social media).
Social influenceAuthorityHave nonpolitical, respected older adult Canadian celebrities take the vaccine as an example. Such celebrities could be retired athletes or musicians.
Environmental context and resourcesPolitical skepticismEmphasize that vaccines are rooted in science and not politics. This is a difficult quality to understand.In action, this could be done by having messages come from trusted physicians instead of politicians.
Emotion and beliefs about consequencesSafetyHighlight examples of instances when the vaccine has worked.Reiterate the safety of the vaccine.Reiterate the fact that the steps in the scientific development of the vaccine were not missed.

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More research is necessary to determine whether addressing these concerns is effective in overcoming vaccine hesitancy.

Limitations

As of January 2021, roughly 6.45 million (~17%) Canadians use Twitter [32]. Therefore, the perspectives on vaccine hesitancy presented in this paper are not wholly representative of the perspectives of all people in Canada. All users included in this study represent people in Canada with broadband internet access, which, as the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, is an important determinant of health [33]. As such, we likely missed the perspectives of those who face challenges when accessing the internet. It is also possible that nonhuman Twitter users (bots) were represented in our sample. Previous research has found that Twitter bots have manipulated public opinion and fueled cascades of negative emotions related to topics about COVID-19 [34]. Without any way to systematically identify and exclude these tweets, we suspect that several such tweets were included in our analysis. We also searched for English-only tweets due to limitations in language expertise among this study’s authors. A more comprehensive content analysis that is representative of all people in Canada should include tweets that are written in other languages. This limitation may have resulted in themes not being identified, including those related to culturally specific concerns.

It was not possible to collect demographic data such as age, gender, and ethnicity while also preserving users’ anonymity. Thus, we were unable to analyze the demographic characteristics of Twitter users who expressed vaccine hesitancy.

Although the search strategy could have been expanded to include many more terms related to vaccination (eg, “shot,” “jab,” “immunization,” etc), the search results would have been insurmountable for conducting our manual analysis process. Additionally, terms related to hoax beliefs were not included; the inclusion of such terms would have likely produced more results. Although saturation was achieved for our search, we may have missed themes that used alternative language to express vaccine hesitancy.

Of note, the examples of interventions presented in Table 1 are merely suggestions. A behavioral scientist may have more informed suggestions about how to combat vaccine hesitancy according to the TDF.

Finally, the tweets related to the medical legacies discussed in this paper should not be viewed as tweets about vaccine hesitancy or conflated with those under the categories of safety, a lack of knowledge, political skepticism, messages from authority figures, and legal liability. As Mosby and Sridrovich [35] have emphasized, health care providers need to understand the history of “racially segregated health care and medical experimentation.” Additionally, Boyd [36] stated that the “hyper-focus on hesitancy implicitly blames Black communities for their undervaccination, and it obscures opportunities to address the primary barrier to COVID-19 vaccination: access.” Building trust in the medical system goes far beyond the suggestions presented in this paper.

Conclusions

Overall, this study identified the reasons why people in Canada may feel hesitant toward receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. These reasons fell under the following themes: safety concerns, suspicions about political or economic forces, a lack of knowledge, messages from authority figures, and a lack of legal liability from vaccine companies. Additionally, other tweets revealed the historical impact of medical mistrust among marginalized communities, which should not be viewed as hesitancy or as the result of the reasons identified in this paper. Overall, behavioral, implementation, and public health scientists can use theory-based approaches like the TDF to design interventions that are tailored to address the concerns that people have and improve the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine, thereby increasing the chances of achieving the threshold necessary for herd immunity.Go to:

Acknowledgments

JG conceived the study idea and was involved in all study activities, including study data extraction and analysis and manuscript preparation. HM supported the literature extraction and manuscript preparation. HMVM supported the coding of tweets and manuscript revision. This study was conducted without financial support.Go to:

Abbreviations

BIPOCBlack, Indigenous, and people of color
LGBTQ+lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+
PRISMAPreferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
TDFTheoretical Domains Framework

Footnotes

Conflicts of Interest: None declared.

LIVE FROM THE TRENCHES, Here’s just a few of the many reasons this is trash and whoever takes it seriously is a self-deluded clown:

  1. There’s almost no hesitancy in 2021. Whoever was hesitant before, stopped being so in 2020. Same way many of us stopped hesitating on 9/11. If they are not favorable, most of the messages out there are anti-certainly-harmful-covid-injections. Most of us don’t even think of them as “vaccines”. By a large.
  2. As opposed to the people they studied, Pharmafia self-intoxicates itself lumping Covid injections with vaccines. But the two draw support from different crowds. Which leads to the next self-intoxication:
  3. There’s new categories that their radar doesn’t even have sensors for: general pro-vaxxers who are either hesitant or determined not to take covid injections, as they keep taking vaccines. And the hesitant fraction of the fraction is tiny.
  4. Twitter is filled with pharmabots who infiltrate anti-vaxx communities. Thus, Pharmafia did a Hunter Biden again, and fell asleep with a meth pipe still hot between the upper lips. That was for sale.
    Besides that, it’s been shown that Twitter is the least accurate reflection of the general population of all social media networks, so the flaw is embedded in the pool.
  5. “Many tweets (159/605, 26.3%) indicated a lack of knowledge about vaccines among Twitter users” – Where does “many” start, that’s actually only a quarter, very little compared to how they portrait anti-vaxxers as generally Neanderthals. Also very little compared to pro-vaxx scores, where medical illiteracy is predominant even when they’re ideologically aligned with Pharmafia.
    A minimal intellectual decency requires a bit of comparative study there on the literacy – vaccine-opposition correlation. Or causation.
    But their main problem here is that they lump together ignoramus and people unaligned with the official lies exactly because they are in the know. The two don’t respond the same to whatever you want to do to them. Pharmafia’s gonna have a bad time if it keeps swallowing its own baits, can’t wait for the next laugh from them.
    I mean how much BS can you pack in a single sentence in a self-served “scientific” work? How is this any healthier than meth?
  6. There’s a huge mindset difference between someone who understood the truth and stopped hesitating and someone who’s in the process and still hesitating. Much larger than the difference between “anti-certainly-harmful-covid-injections” and “vaccine-hesitant”. Respectively, once you know, you can’t unknow. Once you left the womb, you can’t go back to be fed through an umbilical cord.
    So they only have a chance at people who don’t know enough yet and they can only hope to prevent them from getting there.
    But Pharmafia is guaranteed to fail as it keeps consuming the propaganda stash it fabricated for sale.

I wrote this mainly so we can mock them again later and shout “Told you so, dum’asses!’

PS: Isn’t “The Journal of Internet Medical Research” doing exactly what anti-vaxxers were mocked for with those “Google diplomas” 0IQ jokes?

To be continued?
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ORDER

This makes my blood boil, so I will refrain from more comments in this state, here are the facts.

A new study estimates the pandemic could cause over 400,000 deaths in the U.S. this year. It includes those who died of COVID-19 and people who died due to disruptions caused by the pandemic, NPR reports.
Just more fill-up for their FearPornHub, I thought. At first I couldn’t care about any more of this type of inane drivel, knowing the virus hasn’t been isolated and purified as per Koch’s postulates, they have no tests for Covid, thus they can’t to come up with any statistics, so it’s all just marketing mambo-jumbo to cover for The Great Reset and The Fourth Industrial Revolution, their official names for Covidiocracy.
BUT
One sequence made my red light blink. On review, it blew up my BS detectors:

ALCA: So why the discrepancy between the numbers they’re getting and the numbers that are being reported? Well, they think there are two reasons. Woolf says one of the reasons is that some people just aren’t having COVID-19 listed on their death certificates.
STEVEN WOOLF: The second is people who do not have COVID-19 but die because of disruptions caused by the pandemic. So an example would be somebody has chest pain. They’re scared to call 911 because they don’t want to get the virus, and they die of a heart attack.
CHANG: OK, but that’s not the same as dying from COVID-19.
PALCA: No, but if you’re trying to estimate the burden of the pandemic on American health and the nation’s health, then it’s certainly reasonable to count those kinds of deaths as related to – as blaming them on the pandemic.

So now, let’s say if I return to hunger-strike to protest their lies and literal terrorism, and if I die as a result of the protest, then I end up on their list and they will use me to sell more Covidiocracy.
This kinda leaves me no choice other than to make sure I die AFTER I eliminated Covidiocracy.

Below you have the full transcript of the NPR report:

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The total number of deaths related to COVID-19 in this country could top 400,000 by the end of the year. That’s according to a study out today in the medical journal JAMA. Four hundred thousand is about the number of Americans who died in World War II. Joining me now to talk about how researchers came up with this number is NPR science correspondent Joe Palca. Hey, Joe.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Hi, Ailsa.

CHANG: So, you know, we’ve been reporting that the number of COVID deaths is a bit more than 200,000 now. I don’t get it. Is that number actually going to double by the end of the year?

PALCA: Well, no because the study out today suggests that there’s an undercounting of deaths that could be related to COVID-19. Let me explain. So Steven Woolf is director of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, and he and his colleagues looked at deaths from all causes this year and compared those to historical death rates. And this year was higher, so they figured that the explanation is COVID-19 because that’s been the main difference in the health situation.

CHANG: Right.

PALCA: So why the discrepancy between the numbers they’re getting and the numbers that are being reported? Well, they think there are two reasons. Woolf says one of the reasons is that some people just aren’t having COVID-19 listed on their death certificates.

STEVEN WOOLF: The second is people who do not have COVID-19 but die because of disruptions caused by the pandemic. So an example would be somebody has chest pain. They’re scared to call 911 because they don’t want to get the virus, and they die of a heart attack.

CHANG: OK, but that’s not the same as dying from COVID-19.

PALCA: No, but if you’re trying to estimate the burden of the pandemic on American health and the nation’s health, then it’s certainly reasonable to count those kinds of deaths as related to – as blaming them on the pandemic.

CHANG: OK. So I take these numbers are for the U.S. as a whole, but are there regional differences when it comes to the impact of COVID?

PALCA: Yes, there were. In fact, states like New York and Massachusetts and Connecticut that responded aggressively when they saw their excess death rates ramp up at the start of the year also saw them come back to normal historical levels in about May – so about seven or eight weeks later. But states that never brought their outbreaks under control – they still continue to see a surge in these excess deaths, suggesting that public health measures was a big part in controlling things.

CHANG: And do we have any idea whether these excess deaths, as you call them, from the pandemic are showing up in other countries?

PALCA: Yes, this is a pattern that scientists are seeing in other countries. But there’s an interesting twist. So there’s a paper also being published in JAMA that compares how the excess death rates in the United States due to the pandemic compare to death rates in other countries that were hit hard like Italy and Spain and France. And remember; these are rates, not actual numbers because these are different-sized countries.

Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pittsburgh is a co-author of that study. And he says at the start of the year, the excess deaths in those countries were fairly comparable with the United States. But then they started dropping down to levels closer to what they were before the pandemic. And Emanuel says that wasn’t the case in the U.S. So what those countries – so what were those countries doing that we weren’t doing?

EZEKIEL EMANUEL: They didn’t have a vaccine that we didn’t have. They didn’t have some special cocktail treatment that we didn’t have. The difference is how conscientiously did we implement public health measures – physical distancing, masks, keeping crowds small, not moving inside for social gatherings? And we performed poorly.

CHANG: So is it possible to do better at this point and improve the situation here in the U.S.?

PALCA: Yes. Both Emanuel and Steven Woolf from Virginia Commonwealth University say that implementing those measures that Emanuel was just talking about would make a big difference, and the death rate could come down significantly by the end of the year. And a vaccine will help. Although when we get the vaccine and who will be able to get it, that’s a topic for another day.

CHANG: That’s NPR’s Joe Palca. Thank you, Joe.

PALCA: You’re welcome.


To be continued?
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Help SILVIEW.media survive and grow, please donate here, anything helps. Thank you!

! Articles can always be subject of later editing as a way of perfecting them