May 23, 2023Liked by Paul Offit

As well as honoring these scientists for whom I am forever grateful, I also am grateful for of all those brave souls who participated in the clinical trials.

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I wish this kind of news would have been streaming and shouting over the 24/7 media cycles! So many people were victimized and frightened out of their normal lives because of the never-ending gloom and doom. Thank you for making such efforts to bring reason and facts to us. Science, compassion and humanity rock!!!

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An outstanding moment, thank you for sharing. Worthy of shedding a tear and embracing I shared a tear and a sanitized handshake with another doctor who gave me my first mRNA shots.

I’m looking forward to the return of another event near the grounds of the Franklin Institute, namely the Philadelphia Science Festival. I miss it dearly.

I also remember walking down to Washington Square to listen to the pots and pans and calls of encouragement around 7 PM in those darkest days.

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Yet Moderna and Pfizer and their two CEOs, Bancel and Bourla, could be called "stone cold evil" for withholding intellectual property to keep their undeserved profits. Dean Baker: "The issue of bottling up technology is central to the story of the massive and unnecessary loss of life in the pandemic. The official death toll worldwide is already over 4.7 million, but we know this is a gross understatement. To take one of the hardest hit countries, India now officially reports 445,000 deaths from the pandemic, but a study by the Center for Global Development put the number of excess deaths in India, as of July, at 3.4 million and possibly over 4 million. In Mexico, the number of excess deaths is more than 240,000 higher than the official death toll from COVID-19, and in South Africa the gap is 150,000. Clearly, the death toll is several million higher than the already horrific official number.

But the question here is: how much did the drug industry’s bottling up of technology contribute to this disaster? The provisions of TRIPS require countries throughout the world to have US-type patent laws. This means that countries like South Africa, Brazil, and India (the world largest manufacturer of pharmaceuticals), which might have had the technical expertise to produce the COVID vaccines, as well as treatments and tests, could not simply start shifting production to pandemic-related items. They needed to have the authorization of manufacturers who had patent rights.

… We should think about current rules on intellectual property in the same way. They have no moral or economic rationale. (Yeah, I know we can tell stories about how they are needed for innovation, but they aren’t true.) The laws on intellectual property are designed to make a relatively small number of people very rich. In doing so, they not only make everyone else poorer, but they also cost millions or even tens of millions of lives."


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My father was Dr Francis J Sweeney the Medical Director of Jefferson Hospital and an Infectious Disease MD in Philly for many years. He is credited with bringing the Polio Vaccine to Philly in the "Victory Over Polio" campaign - see page 341 at Jefferson Archives, and his portrait is hung at Jefferson Hospital. -https://jdc.jefferson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1013&context=wagner2

I wrote a piece about Vaccine Safety in 2023, you are featured, and I would ask that you fact check me. Thanks for your consideration.


Michael Sweeney

Father to Dustin

New York, NY

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The emergency has passed, the shell-shock is wearing off, and now public health has to keep monitoring a new microbial fellow traveler.

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