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Robertson Spouts Absurd AIDS Conspiracy Theory

Adding to the long list of bizarre and blatantly false things Pat Robertson has told his ignorant and credulous followers, on a show a few days ago he offered up a long-discredited conspiracy theory about AIDS coming about because of a WHO anti-polio program.

“I think the World Health Organization was doing some experiment in the Congo on a monkey virus, a monkey injection to fight polio and it wasn’t an injection, they put it in sugar cubes and they gave it to these Africans, a couple hundred thousand in the test,” Robertson said.

“This is the first time when monkey diseases crossed into the human condition and out of that has come this terrible thing. It seems to be transmitted so often through sexual contact and it was rife in the homosexual community but has then jumped into the heterosexual community.”

This has been definitively disproven by looking at the samples of the vaccine from the research, which contains no chimpanzee DNA.

Comments

  1. zero6ix says

    Pat Robertson parroted back an absurd claim involving science without actually looking up and fact checking said science in order for him to paint scientists as a cabal of dark wizards?

    Color me surprised.

  2. exdrone says

    Given the problems with the polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan, this craziness is ill-timed. Luckily, I doubt that Robertson has any viewership in the region, but clips can always be used for propaganda.

  3. cptdoom says

    Well, as least this theory was plausible, in that the experimental vaccine was given to hundreds of thousands of Africans (in experiments that, IIRC, should concern us vis-a-vis their ethics) and was made using organs that could have transmitted the virus. Unlike, say, “Obama’s a Muslim” which has no foundation, so maybe he’s improving a bit?

    Oh, never mind, he’s still claiming he can leg press more weight than any human alive, right?

  4. says

    There actually is a possible vaccine link: until the 1930s and the advent of improved portable refrigeration, it was not uncommon to vaccinate “carriers” to bring the vaccines into difficult to reach areas in the tropics. Once at a destination, the carrier would extract his own blood and derive a “secondary vaccine” from it, then use it on the local population. He would usually train a local to repeat the process, insuring that others in the area could be vaccinated. The carrier would then move on to a new destination. Typically, these carriers had been vaccinated against smallpox, cholera typhoid and plague; later that would include diphtheria, tuberculosis and yellow fever. The polio vaccine was not developed until 1952, after the practice had disappeared.

    This had the advantage of bringing inoculations to areas where climate and the technology of the day would have made it impossible. It also had a number of disadvantages. Blood types weren’t really worked out until 1939, and a secondary vaccine made from someone with an incompatible type could cause problems. And if the person had a blood-borne disease like hepatitis or HIV, chances were good that the virus would be present in the vaccine.

    The practice was abandoned, both out of recognition that disadvantages outweighed advantages, and because of improvements in the technology for storing and transporting vaccines. By then, though, secondary vaccines had been in use for more than 50 years, and the damage was done.

  5. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Actually, from what I’ve read, the OPV hypothesis of the origin of AIDS hasn’t been disproven. In fact, it seems quite plausible. Of course, the actual respectable theory does not include any maliciousness. It includes perhaps negligence, but it was a tragic accident.

    Here’s the short version: The OPV hypothesis is that a sample of the vaccine was flown over to the Belgian Congo in about 1957~ or thereabouts, and then grown locally in local chimp organs. Growing a vaccine locally is very common procedure. (Growing vaccines in animals organs was/is very common, but growing it in chimps specifically is not. However, the evidence is rather compelling that they did use chimps, and a lot of them.) So, the idea goes that the precursor of the AIDS virus, called SIV, got into the vaccine when it was grown in the chimp parts, and was later given to about million people in the Belgian Congo.

    Now, what they tested was not a sample of the vaccine locally grown. What they tested was a sample of the vaccine from America. Of course that would come back HIV and SIV free. The OPV hypothesis predicts that result.

    But really, this is rather an interesting case of what may be a true “conspiracy theory”. Unlike most conspiracy theories, the number of people who need to be in on this are only about half a dozen, including a few senior people on the editing board of Nature (or was it Science?).

    There’s been a couple of other purported disproofs too, but they all fall flat upon investigation.

    I consider this to be the most likely explanation of the origin of AIDS. Not proven, just most likely.

  6. Trebuchet says

    Pat Robertson is lying. He knows damn well AIDS is demons, transmitted from person to person in used clothing!

    And special rings to infect straight people when they shake hands.

  7. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @4 Gregory in seattle said, until the 1930s and the advent of improved portable refrigeration, it was not uncommon to vaccinate “carriers” to bring the vaccines into difficult to reach areas in the tropics (snip) The carrier would then move on to a new destination. Typically, these carriers had been vaccinated against smallpox, cholera typhoid and plague; later that would include diphtheria, tuberculosis and yellow fever.

    You are claiming that someone could be vaccinated against these diseases – both viral and bacterial – and somehow manage (in an area without enough infrastructure to sustain refrigeration) re-isolate some sort of a “secondary vaccine” to leave behind … that was somehow sustainable? Strange I never heard of this in my immunology classes or my pathogenic disease classes.

    Can you provide some sources for this?

    The one exception was the smallpox vaccine (cowpox) which could be carried to an area in a series of vaccinated individuals and the chain continued by sequentially vaccinating non-immune individuals from the lymph in the vaccinia pustules. The famous Balmis Expedition was the earliest example.

  8. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    @5 – The OPV hypothesis is that a sample of the vaccine was flown over to the Belgian Congo in about 1957~ or thereabouts, and then grown locally in local chimp organs.

    Except that none of the local clinics or hospitals had the facilities it takes to grow viruses in cell cultures, whether monkey or chimpanzee or human. It’s not something that you can just decide to do and whip up a batch of cells.

  9. Daniel Dashwood says

    Where do the Sooty Mangabeys fit in? One line of research indicates the jump from monkey to human probably resulted when a human was butchering or killing a sooty mangabey for bushmeat.

  10. raven says

    @5 – The OPV hypothesis is that a sample of the vaccine was flown over to the Belgian Congo in about 1957~ or thereabouts, and then grown locally in local chimp organs.

    Oh FFS, this is urban legend at best and pure crackpottery at worst. You can excuse Pat Robertson for being an 80 something old man who long ago lost contact with reality but the rest of you have Google.

    To start with, polio is grown in monkey kidney cells which won’t grow the AIDS virus. Monkey, not chimpanzee. HIV only grows in immune system cells which is why it is an immune system specific disease. The virus infecting the polio substrate cells was SV40, which is a completely unrelated virus that causes no known disease in humans, who are only semipermissive for that virus in the first place.

    wikipedia OPV

    Data analyses in molecular biology and phylogenetic studies contradict the OPV AIDS hypothesis; consequently, scientific consensus regards the hypothesis as disproven.[3][4][5][6] The journal Nature has described the hypothesis as “refuted”.[7]

    and

    In South Africa, African green monkey tissue was used to amplify the Sabin vaccine. In French West Africa and Equatorial Africa, baboons were used to amplify a vaccine from the Pasteur Institute. In Poland, the CHAT vaccine was amplified using Asian macaques.[19]

    Monkeys won’t even support the growth of human or chimpanzee AIDS viruses. These viruses show a lot of host specificity. And in fact, we know where the human HIV 1 virus came from and roughly when. It’s highly related to the Chimpanzee virus and entered the human population before the polio virus vaccinations even started.

  11. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Tsu Dho Nimh
    What – do you think they flew in the million doses from America? Of course they prepared the vaccine locally. Everyone agrees they prepared it locally. We have uncontested eye witness testimony from all sides that the vaccine was prepared locally.

    The place where this was done is called the Lindi Camp. It had both the expertise (from foreigners) and the equipment to do exactly that – to grow the vaccine locally.

    This was not just done out of the blue. It was a large concerted effort to find an alternative to the injected Salk vaccine. (IIRC, the sole competitor at the time was working in the Soviet Union.) In the usual grand American tradition, we exploited poor foreigners, and the vaccine was tested in Africa. Of course, there was no particular malicious intent, except of course for using them as unwitting guinea pigs for a new mostly-untested vaccine. It was a rather large undertaking. Receipts show that it had the largest collection of chimps ever – around 400 animals. (Last I checked specifically chimps was a contentious claim, but no one disputes that the vaccine was made at the Lindi Camp.)

    Please take a moment to educate yourself on a topic before pulling stuff out of thin air.

    For a primer from the “dark side”, see:
    http://www.aidsorigins.com/origins-aids-pandemic

    Or try out wikipedia if you want the slant from the other direction. The wikipedia OPV AIDS hypothesis talk page makes for some interesting reading.

  12. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Raven

    To start with, polio is grown in monkey kidney cells which won’t grow the AIDS virus. Monkey, not chimpanzee.

    The first contention is that the OPV vaccine prepared in 1957-1959 was grown in chimp organs, not monkeys. This is supported by material evidence (IIRC receipts, contracts, etc.), and from eye witness testimony of several African nurses working at the camp.

    It [HIV] … entered the human population before the polio virus vaccinations even started.

    Citations please. The last time I checked, the only evidence which could support this claim is a certain paper using a genetic dating technique which assumes that the rate of mutation is roughly constant over time. However, this technique is inapplicable for RNA retroviruses like HIV. I’ve read the paper. Furthermore, it makes a faulty assumption. Even if the dating technique is valid – which isn’t not – the conclusions of the paper rest on the assumption of a single point of crossover from chimp to human. In the context of the OPV hypothesis, this is not a safe assumption. There may have been many crossover points, the four hundred sacrificed chimps plus the million people given the vaccine, which makes the entire paper worthless.

    Furthermore, note that we do not have a single confirmed case of human HIV before 1957. The first confirmed human HIV cases date to near exactly the time of the OPV vaccine, and the statistical correlation between the first confirmed human HIV cases and the OPV vaccination sites is amazingly high. Combine that with the evidence that they did use chimps to prepare the vaccine, and it is rather compelling IMHO.

    PS: I’m not attacking vaccines in general. They are a wonderful tool, and we should continue to use them. </3 the anti-vaxxors.

  13. raven says

    What – do you think they flew in the million doses from America? Of course they prepared the vaccine locally. Everyone agrees they prepared it locally. We have uncontested eye witness testimony from all sides that the vaccine was prepared locally.

    The crackpots are here. They are lying. It’s all they have.

    wikipedia OPV AIDS hypothesis:

    In 2003, Edward Hooper published additional statements that he believed supported his hypothesis in an article in the London Review of Books.[25] These included accounts of in interview with Jacques Kanyama, a virology technician at the lab in Stanleyville (the Laboratoire Médical de Stanleyville (LMS)) responsible for testing the CHAT vaccine and performing the initial set of vaccinations, who was reported to have said that batches of CHAT had been produced on site by Paul Osterrieth. In addition, Philip Elebe, a microbiology technician, was claimed to have said that tissue cultures were being produced from Lindi chimpanzees. Osterrieth has denied these claims and stated that this work would not have been possible in this laboratory,[26][27] stating that:

    at no time did I ever attempt to make cell cultures from chimpanzee tissues. In addition, I wish to state categorically that no poliovaccine was ever produced or could have been produced in Stanleyville, since the facilities were totally inadequate for the production or control of poliovaccine.[19]

    In his book, Hooper also stated that Gaston Ninane was involved in using chimpanzee cells to produce vaccine in Congo. Ninane responded to this allegation by stating that he could “categorically deny” ever having tried to make tissue cultures from chimpanzee cells.[11] The people involved in vaccine production and distribution from America state that no vaccine was prepared locally in Congo and that only the CHAT vaccine from America was used. Barbara Cohen, the technician who was responsible for running the American laboratory that produced this vaccine stated:

    The OPV AIDS nonTheory is discussed on wikipedia and elsewhere.

    We know roughly when AIDS entered the human population. Early 20th century and long before the polio vaccine was even developed.

    I’m not going to bother with this any more. I’m far too busy fixing my tinfoil hat and fighting off the UFO aliens who just landed in my backyard.

  14. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Raven
    You are the one who is lying, or in way over your head. It is trivial to find that all sides agree the vaccine was prepared locally.

    Come back when you get some honesty and intellectual honesty.

  15. pocketnerd says

    And then those gay WHO employees started wearing rings that would cut you when you shook hands so they could infect you with monkey-polio-AIDS and then demand funding for research to cure it.

    IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!!!!!1111

  16. Ichthyic says

    But really, this is rather an interesting case of what may be a true “conspiracy theory”. Unlike most conspiracy theories, the number of people who need to be in on this are only about half a dozen, including a few senior people on the editing board of Nature (or was it Science?).

    come on.

    one, what Robertson was talking about was the ORIGINS of HIV, not transmission vectors.

    as to the origins of it, here’s a decent summary of the recent research on that:

    http://perspectivesinmedicine.org/content/1/1/a006841.full.pdf+

    open source.

    short:

    precursors to HIV were extant in various groups of simians that coexisted with humans LONG (as in: likely thousands of years) before HIV became commonly known in humans, and is likely a result of cross-infection and evolution, just like the many potent strains of flu virus that have occurred over the last centuries in humans.

    it seems highly unlikely that vaccinations as a vector played a large role.

  17. Ichthyic says

    The OPV hypothesis is that a sample of the vaccine was flown over to the Belgian Congo in about 1957~ or thereabouts, and then grown locally in local chimp organs.

    …current molecular data trace the evolution of the HIV1 strain back to the very early part of the last century, btw, effectively eliminating as a vector anything that came after about 1920.

    sorry, this OPV hypo is a wash.

  18. Ichthyic says

    using a genetic dating technique which assumes that the rate of mutation is roughly constant over time.

    did you need a lesson in how molecular dating techniques work?

    you could just google scholar it up if you want to actually understand how it works, and why it has been so reliable.

  19. Ichthyic says

    Come back when you get some honesty and intellectual honesty

    LOL

    says the person who hasn’t the slightest clue what they are talking about.

  20. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Ichthyic
    It’s my understanding that RNA retroviruses change through both mutation and recombination, and the recombination plays havoc with the standard analysis used. IIRC, the paper paid some lip service to this and said it applied a correction factor to try and account for the recombinatio, and to justify that he cited a paper he himself wrote like 5 years earlier. From what I’ve seen, there’s a mixed response as to whether you can do reliable dating on RNA retroviruses.

    Regardless, that does nothing to address the other complaint which is that the analysis assumes a single point of infection, which is not justifiable under the OPV hypothesis due to the large number of purported chimps and humans involved.

    Also, if it did cross over to humans in the 1930s, why do we find many cases of human HIV infections right around 1959 in the Belgium Congo and none before and none in other geographical areas?

    it seems highly unlikely that vaccinations as a vector played a large role.

    That is the contention, now isn’t it? To the contrary, it seems quite likely that the OPV vaccine was the route SIV took to infect humans and become HIV.

  21. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Raven.
    You are falsely portraying this as me vs the entire scientific community. That is simply not true. There are a handful of people at Nature and Science preventing publication of these ideas. Unlike evolution vs creation, most scientists in the field are simply not informed on the issue, and they do not have a position one way or the other. As opposed to evolution vs creation, where many scientists in the relevant fields have heard of creation, and thoroughly debunked it. There simply does not exist this vast consensus of experts on this issue of OPV.

    If you can demonstrate the existence of that vast consensus of experts, I will apologize, and I will read their work and reconsider my position. However, AFAIK there is no such thing, and I’ve look decently hard.

    Thus, this is basically an ad hom. Rather than attacking my points, you dismiss me as a crank in a tinfoil hat without warrant.

  22. Ichthyic says

    Also, if it did cross over to humans in the 1930s, why do we find many cases of human HIV infections right around 1959 in the Belgium Congo and none before and none in other geographical areas?

    that is actually addressed in the paper I posted for you, should you choose to actually read it.

    . There are a handful of people at Nature and Science preventing publication of these ideas.

    now THAT’S a conspiracy theory! Well done?

  23. Ichthyic says

    It’s my understanding that RNA retroviruses change through both mutation and recombination, and the recombination plays havoc with the standard analysis used.

    your understanding is flawed. This is entirely accounted for in the models used.

  24. Ichthyic says

    it seems quite likely that the OPV vaccine was the route SIV took to infect humans and become HIV.

    again, conspiracy provided without evidence.

    fail.

    ALL the relevant research on origins is cited in the paper I posted for you to read, and is summarized correctly in the paper itself.

    if you choose to ignore all the molecular evidence, you indeed have sided against the science.

    your choice, but one that you inevitably can’t support rationally.

  25. Ichthyic says

    Thus, this is basically an ad hom. Rather than attacking my points, you dismiss me as a crank in a tinfoil hat without warrant.

    it’s frankly not entirely ad hom. I attacked your points directly, and you come back with another conspiracy theory.

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Ichthyic

    it’s frankly not entirely ad hom. I attacked your points directly, and you come back with another conspiracy theory.

    Not addressed to you. I started that post with “@Raven”.

    Are you going to address my point of the possibly faulty assumption of a single common ancestor in humans?

    And ok, I’ll read the paper. Let me guess beforehand – the build-up of industries and cities allowed HIV to spread only in the 1930s? Except there have been large cities in Africa for long before 1959 or 1930. And why did a strain of SIV not native to the Congo area show up in the Congo? Time to start reading I guess.

  27. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Also, if it did cross over to humans in the 1930s, why do we find many cases of human HIV infections right around 1959 in the Belgium Congo and none before and none in other geographical areas?

    In the late 1960s my epidemiology professor said that there were going to be some nasty diseases emerging from central Africa because it had all the factors it needed: Lots of political unrest to start populations moving, burgeoning refugee populations to concentrate the diseases, and increasingly good transportation to bring whatever it was out of there.

    When we finally started paying attention to Africa as a whole, we found ebola, Lassa fever, HIV and several other nasty diseases. Only HIV had the epidemiological characteristics to spread widely.

    As for finding it nearest the best medical sources where the vaccine was tested, it’s the street lamp phenomenom: they were the only ones equipped to do any looking. Someone dying in the bush of AIDS from bushmeat wouldn’t come to their attention. Someone in Brazzaville would.

  28. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Ichthyic
    http://perspectivesinmedicine.org/content/1/1/a006841.full.pdf+

    How humans acquired the ape precursors of HIV-1 groups M, N, O, and P is not known; however, based on the biology of these viruses, transmission must have occurred through cutaneous or mucous membrane exposure to infected ape blood and/or body fluids. Such exposures occur most commonly in the context of bushmeat hunting (Peeters et al. 2002). Whatever the circumstances, it seems clear that human–ape encounters in west central Africa have resulted in four independent cross-species transmission events. Molecular clock analyses have dated the onset of the group M and O epidemics to the beginning of the twentieth century (Korber et al. 2000; Lemey et al. 2004; Worobey et al. 2008).

    So, actually, it adds absolutely nothing to the conversation which I did not already bring up. Wonderful. IIRC, that’s the paper I read, which wrongly assumes a single point of infection for each of the HIV lineages, which is completely unjustified under the OPV hypothesis, thereby invalidating the entirety of the paper.

    Furthermore, IIRC, this is the paper by Worobey where Worobey cites another paper by Worobey in defense of his molecular dating of viruses like HIV. Wonderful.

    It answers none of my questions. It does not answer why the first confirmed cases just happened to occur in 1959 in Congo, none before, and none in other geographical areas. I had hoped that it would, but it seems that you need to focus on your reading comprehension.

    I was hoping we can go farther than what I already knew.

  29. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Tsu Dho Nimh
    And that reasoning is correct. It’s merely coincidental evidence. That’s why I think the idea is only weakly supported.

    It’s still the best supported scenario, but far from conclusively demonstrated.

  30. Ichthyic says

    Not addressed to you. I started that post with “@Raven”.

    so what?

    Are you going to address my point of the possibly faulty assumption of a single common ancestor in humans?

    not worth bothering with. you don’t understand the basic concepts well enough to have a discussion about it in a comments thread like this.

    that’s not ad hom, btw, that’s a conclusion based on evidence presented by yourself so far.

    Let me guess beforehand

    that’s your problem, and is the root behind all conspiracy theorists… unable to get over confirmation and recall bias. good luck with that.

  31. Ichthyic says

    So, actually, it adds absolutely nothing to the conversation which I did not already bring up.

    you didn’t actually read the fucking paper, like I expected, you scanned for something that would support your pre-existing bias, and ignored the context of it.

    Raven was right. I should never have bothered.

  32. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    OK … I took the time to look up the Congo immunization program.

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/bulletin/1960/Vol22/Vol22-No3-4/bulletin_1960_22%283-4%29_203-213.pdf

    The vaccine stock concentration (from pool #13) was recieved at Leopoldville frozen and concentrated. (it was not grown there)

    It was tested (to make sure it wasn’t going to go rogue) by injecting into monkeys and chimpanzees … TESTED, not propagated in these animals.

    It was diluted with neutral saline and administered by dropper to the children and toddlers.

    Note that there is no route for this vaccine that goes through chimps – they were dead-end test subjects, not the source of tissue cultures.

    Note also that there was no propagation of the vaccine virus at Leopoldville. It came in and was diluted with sterile saline.

    (I was misinformed: one institute in Leopoldville was doing cell cultures to look for wild virus infections, and other samples were shipped back to Philly) What was grown in monkey kidney tissue cultures (not chimpanzee cells) was virus from any patients who developed paralysis … and that was identified to make sure it was a wild virus infection and not the Koprowski strain reverting to full strength. It was NOT used for vaccine production.

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Ichthyic
    Why are you being like this? Of course it matters if I was talking to someone else when I said that “they” were using ad hom. That means I didn’t say you were using ad hom. Come on man.

    yes, it does. you just don’t like the answers.

    No, it doesn’t answer the most important question. It did nothing to answer my objection that the dating technique relies on a false premise that there is a single point of crossover for one of the HIV strains. The known dating data could be made congruent if there was “10 to 100″ crossovers instead of the assumed one, which is entirely plausible with the mass OPV vaccination campaign.

    It does nothing to explain the unlikely coincidence of the statistically significant and high correlation in time and geographic space between the first confirmed cases of human AIDS and the OPV vaccination sites.

    It does nothing to assuage my fears that using a molecular dating technique on a virus that can evolve 90% via recombination is quite unreliable. It does nothing to assuage my fears that such recombination if it happened early in the ancestry is rather undetectable from what evidence we have now.

    @Tsu Dho Nimh

    Note that there is no route for this vaccine that goes through chimps – they were dead-end test subjects, not the source of tissue cultures.

    Let me ask this – hypothetically speaking, if we lived in a different world where the vaccine was prepared locally at Stanleyville in chimp parts, and then administered to the million people in the Congo, could this plausibly explain the crossover of SIV from chimps to humans? Would that change your estimation of the OPV hypothesis?

    Note that we have the eye witness testimony of seven people who worked at the lab in Stanleyville who say exactly that. We also have uncontested (AFAIK) records of over 400 chimps being brought to the facility which were later killed. That is more or less the largest concentration of chimps in captivity ever. There’s a very short list why you would need 400 dead chimps. The eye witness testimony includes several people who say that daily the lab manager would sacrifice chimps to preserve their organs in a way consistent to produce cell cultures.

    At this point, it is basically “he said / she said”.

    The OPV hypothesis is that the half-dozen eye witnesses with personal monetary interests are lying (imagine the liabilities and so on), and that the half-dozen disinterested African nurse eyewitnesses working there are telling the truth about whether the vaccine was prepared locally in chimps.

    With the circumstantial evidence of the massive chimp population, it leans one way.

    Furthermore, you can look at the stories of those against the OPV theory who were involved with in the original OPV in Africa. Their testimony has changed over the years as new evidence has come in to refute their positions. They’ve said contradictory things. They had to have been lying at one point, or simply “misremembering” completely. It’s all well documented by Hooper.

    Furthermore, it’s my understanding that it’s entirely implausible that the OP vaccine was shipped from America and merely diluted. What happened was that it was grown on site, and then the high concentration vials were delivered to vaccination sites where they were diluted in saline as you say. However, there still needed to be the amplification locally in monkey or ape parts.

  34. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    ElightenmentLiberal …

    Plotkin explains the whys and the wherefores of the chimps, and dismembers many other of Hooper’s claims in this article:

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/32/7/1068.long

    And this is the 1960s source of what the OPV project was doing … it’s a primary resource (along with the other two PDF parts of it). If they say they were shipping in frozen concentrate vaccine from Wistar in Philadelphia, to be diluted on-site for the administration, they were shipping it in.

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/bulletin/1960/Vol22/Vol22-No3-4/bulletin_1960_22%283-4%29_203-213.pdf

    What – do you think they flew in the million doses from America? Of course they prepared the vaccine locally. Everyone agrees they prepared it locally. We have uncontested eye witness testimony from all sides that the vaccine was prepared locally. Prepared … not produced, not grown in cell cultures, harvested, purified and concentrated. If you would bothr to read the published paper by the ones who were actually doing the field trials … It was SHIPPED in as a frozen concentrate from Wistar’s production facility, aliquoted out locally, and diluted for administration locally.

    So it was “prepared” for administration like I “prepare” chicken and dumplings for dinner. I do the final prep work, I don’t grind my own grain into flour and slaughter my own chickens.

  35. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    if we lived in a different world where the vaccine was prepared locally at Stanleyville in chimp parts, and then administered to the million people in the Congo, could this plausibly explain the crossover of SIV from chimps to humans? Would that change your estimation of the OPV hypothesis?

    In your alternate universe, what primary sources do you have indicating this was true. Read Plotkin’s article, please.

    there’s a very short list why you would need 400 dead chimps

    Read Plotkin’s article: Dr. Fritz Deinhardt came to the Congo in late 1957 and early 1958 to attempt infection of chimpanzees with human hepatitis viruses.

    NOTE: No researcher will mess with chimpanzees if there is any alternate animal model. They are smart, strong and will rip your arm off and beat you to death with it.

    Furthermore, it’s my understanding that it’s entirely implausible that the OP vaccine was shipped from America and merely diluted. Why would your “understanding” lead you to this conclusion, when the materials and methods section of the 1960 report on the OPV trial specifies that it was shipped in?

  36. raven says

    if we lived in a different world where the vaccine was prepared locally at Stanleyville in chimp parts, and then administered to the million people in the Congo, could this plausibly explain the crossover of SIV from chimps to humans? Would that change your estimation of the OPV hypothesis?

    Cthulhu, this is stupid. Glad I skipped the whole crackpot’s thread.

    Hooper, the guy who made it all up was and is ignorant of basic HIV biology.

    1. Even if the polio vaccine was made in the Congo from infected Chimpanzee’s used to make primary kidney cell cultures, it wouldn’t transmit SIV.

    Which I already explained and EL didn’t understand. SIV/HIV is lymphotrophic, meaining it only grows in immune system cells. Polio is grown in kidney cells. SIV/HIV from chimpanzees won’t even grow in chimpanzee kidney cell cultures and it is a labile virus so even contaminating amounts wouldn’t make it through all the various steps in making a polio vaccine.

    2. We now know the source of the chimp virus that mutated to human HIV and have a good idea of the timeline. It entered the human population sometime in the early 20th century, long before the polio vaccine was even invented.

    The actual science behind SIV and HIV is far more complicated and far more interesting than any ignorant crackpot conspiracy theories.

  37. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Everyone.
    Could we please stop quoting the molecular data as though it’s a disproof. It’s consistent with both the bushmeat and the OPV hypothesis. The data is largely consistent with a hundred crossover events in 1959.

    It was also suggested that SIV specifically could not grow in the particular cultures. Perhaps. However, the probable preparation process leaves open the large possibility that lymphocytes contaminate the culture.

    It was suggested that the virus could never survive the vaccination program. This is back-of-napkin reasoning. It’s wishful thinking. Also, SV-40 called – your claim is bullshit.

    It was suggested that the vaccine was not prepared locally. We have several eye witness testimonies of African nurses who worked there who say otherwise, before some recanted. We have quotes from two Belgium doctors who say that the vaccine was grown in Stanleyville before they later recanted. We have quotes from Koprowski who said that in other countries when the vaccine was used that it could have been grown locally. We have good documented evidence that CHAT vaccine programs in other countries grew it locally and did not fly it in.

    Let’s look at the alternative. SIV crossed over to humans to become HIV over 4 times, at least once per strain, sometime around 1900 or 1920. It did not do so earlier despite a thousands of years or more of close human ape contact. the strains of SIV which crossed over seem to not be geographically close to the Congo where the first confirmed cases are. There were no reported cases of extreme human immune deficiency for the next 40 to 60 years despite the relatively good local African medical establishment in the Congo. Somewhere during that time, more than one person, probably a lot more people, traveled a great distance to the Congo, to a dozen different towns to infect at least over 50 people who became the first confirmed cases of human HIV in 1959 in the Congo. These causes would later be detected by the same good local African medical establishment. 68% of those cases in the Congo happened to be traceable to the same cities where OPV was administered, which is higher than the correlation with Kinshasa. Furthermore, the likely point of infection would be remote hunter gatherer groups, but we’ve tested some of those groups, and the HIV in those groups postdate the HIV strains in 1959 Congo.

    Or, half a dozen people lied. They lied about not growing it locally. They lied that they did not use the readily available massive population of captured chimps.

    You have no hard evidence to deny the OPV hypothesis. You have a couple of obscure papers written by interested parties which say they didn’t do it. You have the same interested parties today claiming they didn’t do it. You have no hard material evidence – the purported evidence quoted elsewhere not withstanding. When you add in the rest of the circumstantial evidence, with the known rate of small groups humans lying for their own commercial interests and reputation, you find that you have a very plausible case.

    It’s not like the moon landing. Instead of hundreds of thousands of people in on it, the number of required people are less than a dozen. It also does not require disparate groups of people to be in on it, like the USSR would need to be in on it for the moon landing. Instead, the group required to be part of this conspiracy are part of a tightly nit commercial interest which happened to be testing an new untested experimental vaccine on a million unwitting and often involuntary Africans. Unlike the moon landing, there is a clear financial interest, and an interest after the fact to preserve their reputation. Also, there’s a clear interest to preserve the good names of vaccines, because they fear what would happen if people wrongly thought that this implicated modern vaccines as well, or worse “lost faith” in the whole modern medical establishment.

  38. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    SIV crossed over to humans to become HIV over 4 times, at least once per strain, sometime around 1900 or 1920. It did not do so earlier despite a thousands of years or more of close human ape contact.

    We don’t know that it didn’t … what it did not do if there were earlier episodes was not only jump the species boundary but manage to propagate itself in the new species by finding new hosts and then get recognized and diagnosed. A single hunter in an isolated village contracting HIV from a chimpanzee kill wasn’t going to be an effective spreader when compared to a Congolese truck driver who visited prostitutes along his route.

    However, the probable preparation process leaves open the large possibility that lymphocytes contaminate the culture. There was no culturing going on! Vaccine was not produced in the Congo. Read Plotkin!

    However, what was the “preparation process” you assume happened that contaminated the vaccine that was not produced there?

    Lymphocytes won’t multiple in the usual cell culture used for kidneys. I’ve grown lymphocytes for chromosome analysis and they require the addition of a specific chemical to force them to reproduce. There would be absolutely no reason to add this chemical to the medium for kidney cells, because they are fairly easy to grow.

    It was suggested that the vaccine was not prepared locally. Stop using weasel words. It was not “suggested”, it was EXPLICITLY stated in the 1960 WHO report about the field trials that the vaccine was flown in frozen as a concentrate and diluted for use as needed. That specific batch was produced by Wistar, in Philadelphia.

    Note that this WHO publication predates the detection of HIV so there would be absolutely no reason to hide any use of chimpanzees or hide vaccine production.

    And, as you are bringing up human nature as proof: if any lab in the Congo had been able to manufacture polio vaccine, they would have bragged about it all over the local papers and in their annual report. It would have been hot shit! Hitting the big time! They didn’t. If you would actually READ Plotkin’s article you will see that the lab’s report listed the numbers of cell cultures they made and the uses for them: and none of it was for making vaccines.

    It was suggested that the vaccine was not prepared locally. We have several eye witness testimonies of African nurses who worked there who say otherwise, The word they used in French, also means packaging. That is in accord with the published report from 1960: aliquoting and diluting.

    If you had ever seen what it takes to actually grow enough virus for vaccines you would realize that their description of the activity is not what was happening. It takes racks and racks of tissue culture bottles, large sterile facilities, and a large support staff.

    You have a couple of obscure papers written by interested parties which say they didn’t do it. You have the same interested parties today claiming they didn’t do it. I don’t consider something published by WHO, about an early successful vaccine trial, to be obscure. And neither is a paper presented at an international conference of top immunologists “obscure”. You are trying to spin the presentation again with vocabulary.

    Plotkin refers to the original paperwork, the original lab notes, and materials published at the time of the trials. Given that AIDS/HIV was not recognized until years later, what would be the purpose for hiding the use of chimpanzee cells?

  39. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Do you want me to cite to the interviews of people who say otherwise? This is just silly. You’re treating the words of Plotkin, Koprowski, and the other half dozen as gospel for no discernable reason, and yet you’re entirely ignoring the words of the African nurses, the two Belgium doctors (who later recanted), and others. I see no reason for this unwarranted assumption of the truth of Koprowski et al, and the unwarranted assumption that the African nurses are lying. I can play this too – Why would they lie about where they produced it? I don’t know offhand. Why would the African nurses lie? What’s to gain?

  40. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Do me a favor. Acquire The River as I have just done. (I figured if I am going to argue this, I might as well be sufficiently educated on all sides.) Read the foreword by Bill Hamilton, considered IIRC to be one of the best biologists of our time. In the forward, he himself clearly believes that there is a small little conspiracy going on, at the very least a suppression of discussion of this hypothesis which he finds plausible. The suppression is taking the form of threat of civil litigation by Koprowski and others, and by the refusal of many of the science journals, including Science and Nature, to publish anything about the OPV hypothesis while more than readily publishing anything against the hypothesis. This is not some crackpot conspiracy theory, unless you’re willing to dismiss people like Bill Hamilton too.

  41. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    For good measure, you should also read up on the HeLa coverup. Here’s a fun little paper on it.
    http://www.whale.to/a/pascal.html
    It’s a little hyperbolic, and doesn’t conform to the usual ways one writes a scientific paper. It might have to do with that it’s written by a philosopher (AFAIK) and not a medical scientist. However, the fact claims about HeLa and the coverup and how the medical establishment destroyed one man’s career over it are not under dispute anymore. The medical establishment has come to terms with it. And as Louis Pascal argues, it’s happening again.

  42. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    Hooper had a very strong incentive to stir up manufactrovery … he had a book to sell to the general public. He had an advance to justify and royalties to collect.

    Do you want me to cite to the interviews of people who say otherwise?

    Yes, names, please, including their professional training and where they were working and what they did during the trials.

    the unwarranted assumption that the African nurses are lying I am not saying they were lying. However, Hooper may have mininterpreted the French word for “packaging” or “preparing” and assumed it meant “produced or manufactured”.

    the two Belgium doctors (who later recanted)

    Names please? A couple of the doctors have made statements that they are extremely unhappy that words were attributed to them, and what was implied by Hooper that was not true. Is this is what you consider ‘recanting’?

    You’re treating the words of Plotkin, Koprowski, and the other half dozen as gospel for no discernable reason

    Because their documents are primary resources … and the polio trial protocol and data was published well before any trace of HIV was on the medical radar.

    Because they were there, boots on the ground as it was happening. Hooper was 5 or 6 years old at the time.

    Because some of the claims made by Hooper don’t fit the known data published by various HIV researchers, geographically or chronologically. Some of them are huge errors – as if someone was blaming Hanta virus on the KKK and misplaced Kayenta into Kentucky.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_early_AIDS_cases (if it was in the vaccine, one would expect the first cases in children, not adults, because children under 5 were the target population)

    Because some of the claims made by Hooper make no sense from a technical perspective. I have cultured lymphocytes, I have inoculated cell cultures to isolate viruses. And even in the mid 1970s in a major medical center it was tricky. In a primitive lab, culturing sufficient quantities of any virus for making vaccines would have been impossible. As described by Osterreith, his lab in Stanleyville didn’t even have an isolation hood until he McGuyvered one.

    Because I have studied lab animal management and worked in lab animal facilities … and it makes abso-fracking-lutely zero sense that anyone would deliberately want to use chimps in a process that was working well with monkeys. They are harder to collect, harder to keep alive (the ones at the congo facility had about a 50% mortality rate), harder to care for, they have fangs a pit bull would envy, and they WILL rip your face off. (I learned that barely 10 years after the Congo trials, so I assume it was known by more experienced researchers long before I came along)

    Because when you are in a clinical trial, you don’t alter the protocol. Changing from imported frozen concentrate vaccine made by one of the world’s best research institutions to an untested local production made in a primitive laboratory, in a different species is like pulling the Lotus engine out of your Indy car and replacing it with an old VW engine.
    \

  43. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Tsu Dho Nimh

    So, I’m reading the book, and following up on sources. I have a copy of this here, but can anyone find a better source for this document please?

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS/Wistar92.html

    Unfortunately, the origin of the kidneys used in the preparation of the 1957 vaccine is unlikely to ever be determined with any certainty.

    This is from the Wistar institute, the body which prepared the 1957 OPV under Koprowski. So don’t take it from Hooper. Take it directly from the bushmeat squad that they have no clue what kind of ape monkey or ape was actually used to prepare the vaccine.

    Read the book. See if the sources are true. I’m following up on them now. It seems that Koproski and crew have changed their position half a dozen times about which monkeys/apes were used for vaccination. At one point one is quoted as saying that they used a supplier which delivered the organs by themselves which makes identification of the actual species impossible.

    You know the game of hitting moles on the head with a hammer? You hit one, and 2 more come up. That’s how I feel like right now. Can we agree now that there are no reliable primary sources which say that chimps were not used in the preparation of the vaccine?

  44. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Err, sorry, I will get back to you on your other claims, but I’m sure you understand that it takes a while to do this, and I’d also rather like to finish reading Hooper’s book first.

  45. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I can do this one right now:

    Hooper had a very strong incentive to stir up manufactrovery … he had a book to sell to the general public. He had an advance to justify and royalties to collect.

    Right… This reminds me of the theists who occasionally accuse people like Aronra or Dawkins that the only reason they do it is for the book sales. This is like saying Aronra is doing what he’s doing because “he’s making millions of the youtube channel and the blog advertisements”. But in reality, Aronra is the guy with a regular job, and he earns a pittance from the sales.

    No, a money making scheme is something like The Way Of The Master by bananaman, who actually does make millions.

    So, you’re saying Hooper is a liar who is in it for the money, and consequently you’re implying he’s also rather stupid too. Do you really thinks he makes any significant amount of money from his book sales? Really?

    And you’re saying that there is no incentive on the other side to lie about their results, to take short cuts in procedures? There’s no reason now to lie about what’s happened?

    You’re talking about probable chump change vs millions or maybe even billions or more of dollars if we take into account the possibility of class action lawsuits. Like many of your charges, I’ll take it, and counter it to your sources, as it applies much better to your sources.

    Finally, are you going to say that Bill Hamilton was also in it for the money? He got his cut? Or was the most important person of our time in evolutionary biology merely a rube fooled by this “crank”? If I recall correctly, the only new things to happen since he died was the bogus test of the irrelevant vial, and the bogus molecular dating papers. So, Mr. Hamilton seemed pretty convinced this was plausible based on the available evidence, enough to write that rather scathing foreword to The River.

    If you want to look at the money, look at how Dr Koprowski sued Rolling Stone and Mr. Curtis over their publication, for libel. Rolling Stone caved, issued an apology, and paid a token $1 reward in a settlement. Or how about we look at how Dr. Koprowski and his associates have done a damn fine job of suppressing the documentary movie version of The River through lies and threats of lawsuits to anyone who would show it?

  46. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    http://www.uow.edu.au/~bmartin/dissent/documents/AIDS/Wistar92.html

    Unfortunately, the origin of the kidneys used in the preparation of the 1957 vaccine is unlikely to ever be determined with any certainty.

    This is from the Wistar institute, the body which prepared the 1957 OPV under Koprowski. So don’t take it from Hooper. Take it directly from the bushmeat squad that they have no clue what kind of ape monkey or ape was actually used to prepare the vaccine.

    I read the article at the link, and you seem to have missed this bit: “this vaccine was grown in primary monkey kidney cell cultures” The “origin” they were discussing was whether the kidneys were Indian macaque or African green monkeys. A crucial point here is the origin of the monkey kidneys used for growing the vaccines.

    That issue was settled later by having several labs do PCR on some of the vaccine … they recovered macaque DNA, not AGM or chimp DNA.

    BTW, that document backs up the information from the trials publication: the vaccine was produced by Wistar and shipped in as a frozen concentrate to be diluted before use into 300ml of saline.

    ===========

    I read “The River” when it first came out and was not convinced by the thin thread of circumstance from which he was weaving his thesis … a temporal correlation is not enough evidence for causation.

    The initial cases found in Africa don’t fit the expected epidemiology of a medication-induced outbreak.

    The vaccine was shipped in large “pool” lots, combining the production of many cultures and multiple monkey sources. So if a SIV carrying monkey was used, the virus would have been in an entire pool of vaccine, and several thousands of <5 year old children would have been inoculated with the SIV (46,000 or more).

    An epidemiologist would expect that in a few years after this massive accidental virus spread, several hundreds or thousands of children in the 5-10 year old age range would have established HIV infections and begun to develop AIDS. By the late 1960s it should have been REALLY clear that something was going on.

    They didn't. The first cases found, by testing old samples from the 1950s and early 1960s, were in adults.

    ===========

    Hooper has apparently switched theories now and is claiming that bootleg vaccine production in chimpanzee kidney cell cultures by Osterreith was the source, and fewer were infected … moving the goal posts.

    Osterreith does not agree, and explains in detail here why it was not possible, with a timeline of his activities – activities backed up by the contemporaneous lab documents published by the institute.

    http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/AIDS/Osterrieth04.pdf

    ============
    I don't understand why the thought of disease transmission by contact with body fluids from infected animals is so hard to accept. It's quite common:
    Tularemia
    Lassa fever
    Ebola
    Plague (recent case of a biologist and an infected cougar)
    Rabies
    Brucellosis
    Anthrax
    Tuberculosis

    The difference is that HIV manages to find a way to spread from human to human … the others above are dead-ends for the pathogen.

    There may be a few more. I'm 400+ miles from my medical books.

  47. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Tsu Dho Nimh

    You are a liar or an incompetent boob. Had you actually read the book and remembered what was in there, you would not have many of the claims which you have made in this thread, such as:

    – You said no one in the Congo had the equipment to make cell cultures at the Lindi lab in the Congo. – The Lindi camp did. We have their own documents where they tried to do so, and IIRC where they succeeded. Furthermore, a friend of Koprowski in the area in the Congo was working on OPV, and successfully made OPV in chimp kidneys, and Koprowski knew about this, and this is all documented.

    – You said SV40 has not been linked to any diseases in humans. – Actually, studies have linked it to cancers. An aside mostly, but it’s an example of a claim which is documented as false in the book.

    – You said the 1960s were some magic time in Africa where we should exoect the new arrival of new diseases. – Actually, due to the slave trade, WW1 and WW2, the continent has been in turmoil for at least a century, and there is no reason to think that 1960, or even 1930, should be special. Furthermore, because of the slave trade, we can put a good bound on when AIDS became common.

    – You said the only reason we found AIDS in Africa when we did was because of the good medical infrastructure there. – False. Plenty of other colonies in Africa had comparable medical infrastructures. Furthermore, one of the reasons that Koprowski chose the Congo was the great already existing medical establishment. Thus your “street lamp” argument was merely pulled from your rear.

    – You strawman the OPV argument in post 34, demonstrating gross ignorance of the OPV argument or demonstrating willful dishonesty.

    – You implicitly suggest: “a Congolese truck driver who visited prostitutes along his route [is a more effective spreader]“. Except this doesn’t match the first known cases. There were several very early cases in more than one disparate rural areas far from truck routes, but the same cases were all close to CHAT vaccination sites.

    – You have made several arguments that the vaccine preparation and amplification techniques of the time in chimp kidneys would not allow passage of SIV. This is simply not true. There would be enough lymphocytes, esp if the chimp kidney culture was used for a final amplification. The centrifuges of the time were too weak. Depending on the details, SIV could have survived inside cells for to survive some steps and then break free into the serum to survive the filtration that would remove any bacteria and other cells. Furthermore, Koprowski and others at the time thought it was quite possible and wrote papers warning against it (but only after the CHAT trials in question). This really shouldn’t be this contended.

    – “Note that this WHO publication predates the detection of HIV so there would be absolutely no reason to hide any use of chimpanzees or hide vaccine production.” – Koprowski had a previous pattern of lying in similar papers (or gross incompetence in the mistakes) relating specifically to which substrate was used for the passage for attenuation of another related OPV. The paper said that chick embryos were used, but other surviving evidence clearly shows that he was copying Sabin’s new technique to attenuate the virus in “monkey” kidney substrate. Koprowski lied here, or was grossly mistaken here. He could have lied again, or been grossly mistaken again.

    – “And, as you are bringing up human nature as proof: if any lab in the Congo had been able to manufacture polio vaccine, they would have bragged about it all over the local papers and in their annual report. It would have been hot shit! Hitting the big time! They didn’t. If you would actually READ Plotkin’s article you will see that the lab’s report listed the numbers of cell cultures they made and the uses for them: and none of it was for making vaccines.” – But someone else clearly was, Koprowski’s friend (IIRC Jezierski). Thus you’re simply wrong. In fact, others at the time did comment on this (- some dubiously due to his fast pace).

    – Several times you mistakenly state that only children were vaccinated. Many of the workers at the camp were vaccinated with CHAT. In several of the campaigns, adults were also vaccinated.

    This is also important because you say the first known cases are adults, not kids.

    Keep in mind for the first 10 years we have very few AIDS cases – a lot of which Hooper personally discovered. I bet a couple newborns or young children dying would not have gotten the same attention as previously healthy adults dying.

    Also, Hooper has a few novel explanations or guesses why we see the infection spread over time that we do see. Ex: It’s possible that the people infected by the vaccine, some of them became mere carriers. Only ~15 later at sexual maturity do we see the explosion in cases in the Congo and elsewhere.

    – You made the argument several times that any smart person would not use chimps if they could avoid it, and thus they probably didn’t prepare CHAT in chimp kidneys. First, we have documented cases of Koprowski’s friend (Jezierski IIRC) where he did exactly that: prepare an OPV in chimp kidneys. Secondm your argument is irrelevant when they already had 400+ chimps there, and esp with papers of the time which showed that their kidneys would be unaffected after testing polio vaccine on the animal.

    – “Because when you are in a clinical trial, you don’t alter the protocol. Changing from imported frozen concentrate vaccine made by one of the world’s best research institutions to an untested local production made in a primitive laboratory, in a different species is like pulling the Lotus engine out of your Indy car and replacing it with an old VW engine.” – You have no idea what a rush they were in, and how much they were fkying by the seat of their pants.

    – You say Hooper is moving the goalposts. – Horseshit. His original book didn’t specify how or where the production took place with any certainty. Due to new information, he’s refined the theory. Refinement is not moving the goalposts you dipshit.

    – You said “they tested the vaccine, and no SIV nor chimp DNA”. – False. They tested vaccine samples that were of different lots than some if the ones used in the Congo. Even if not, it does not rule out just 1 pool that was prepared in Wistar or in Belgium in chimp, and it does not rule out local amplification in Congo in chimp.

    – “I don’t understand why the thought of disease transmission by contact with body fluids from infected animals is so hard to accept.” – It’s not hard to accept. It’s more coincidental than the OPV hypothesis and matches the known first AIDS HIV-1 cases far worse.

    No one is saying that iOPV-AIDS is conclusively demonstrated. It’s just plausible, and probable.

    This also relates to Hooper’s guess that a lot / “most” primary infections, esp of the natural route, are less contagious and less pathogenic.

    Again, it’s not that natural transfer is impossible. It’s just that if it was true, then there’s a lot more unexplained coincidences compared to OPV-AIDS.

    Overall, it’s quite evident that you have not read the book – which makes you a liar, or that you somehow forgot a dozen very relevant pieces of information. Overall, your posts have been quite pathetic. I don’t know if there’s a single true thing you’ve said, or at the very least any truth has been grossly outweighed by numerous falsehoods and seemingly outright fabrications.

    From reading the book, I see that there’s even more evidence which I was unaware of. It has only strengthened my belief that this is probably the truth.

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