By Rob Verkerk PhD, executive and scientific director, ANH-Intl and ANH-USA


  • A key paper published in a Springer Nature journal that exposed multiple problems with the “safe and effective” narrative espoused by the scientific and medical establishment was recently published, then retracted
  • The journal gave several reasons for the retraction, that occurred after nearly 5 months of peer review, and allowed no right of reply or appeal
  • The capture of leading academic journals by the medical-industrial complex makes it almost impossible for dissenting scientists to use ‘accepted’ science to challenge the prevailing narrative
  • Steve Kirsch, veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and one time covid vaccine trial funder, a co-author of the paper, is suing Springer Nature for damages caused by the paper’s retraction.

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“The medical journals get to decide what is true and what is not and evidence doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is their perception of reality.”
- Steve Kirsch, Steve Kirsch’s newsletter (, 19 Feb 2024

A slam dunk…?

A leading cardiologist, Dr Peter McCullough, two scientists, Jessica Rose PhD and Stephanie Seneff, and veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and an early covid vaccine trial funder, Steve Kirsch, were among the counter-narrative experts who published a comprehensive scientific article in the Springer Nature journal Cureus late January that laid bare the extent to which the public had been misled over the available science on the safety and effectiveness of  COVID-19 vaccines. The article, which underwent a nearly 5 month intensive peer review process, documents major problems in the way that data, which led to emergency use authorisations (EUAs), subsequent registration and then global mass vaccination, were interpreted and communicated to the public. The publisher, the Springer Nature group, is one of the biggest academic publishers in the world.

For those of us who have had concerns about the safety of mRNA vaccines, the publication of the article cemented many of our views over the extent to which the official narrative around COVID-19 and the silver bullet offered to the world in the form of novel mRNA genetic vaccines had been manipulated. We had already tendered such concerns between 2020 and 2022 through our own analyses of available information (see our 300+ covid article repository here [in reverse chronological order]). Recognising the censorship ongoing in the journals, and the need to reach beyond an academic audience, we chose to publish most of our interpretation of events on our own website. An exception was my lead authorship of a paper on outcomes among unvaccinated individuals which was pulled from one preprint server before being published in 2022 in the newly established, uncensored, peer reviewed journal, the International Journal for Vaccine Research, Theory and Practice.  

This aside, the Cureus paper seemed, to many of us, the bang-up-to-date slam dunk that should have told the world this new technology had failed to live up to the propaganda and censorship machines that accompanied its roll-out. Worse than that, the world had been duped, and many had been harmed or even killed unnecessarily – and a staggeringly large number of people around the world had been shielded from this reality. Maybe this paper would change that?

When you rattle the cage….

Surprise, surprise, a month later, the article was retracted by Cureus, the journal claiming the following in its retraction notice:

Which particular cited references were they referring to? Why not specify them? Probably because they needed a reason to pull the paper, for no real reason, as Steve Kirsch himself suggests, other than it being counter-narrative.

Steve Kirsch has now published the full response in his Substack that was sent to the authors, and eight points are detailed. The editors state that the “significant number of concerns…can’t be remedied with a correction.” In other words, there is no right of reply, no appeal process. Every single one of these 8 points can be contested and each one challenges foundational and increasingly flimsy pillars upheld by protagonists of the mainstream narrative.

One of the difficulties that authors had was to rely on science published in mainstream journals. This is because these journal have all bought into the “follow the narrative” policy. The authors then relied on 8 cited studies in their narrative review that remain on preprint servers so have not been peer reviewed, but these were just 8 out of 293 references in total (i.e. less than 3%). This paradox brought about by the capture of scientific journals creates an untenable situation for any scientist trying to expose the flawed narrative.

Let’s remind ourselves that the preprint servers were the primary medium by which nearly all scientific articles were published during the push and thrust of the early days of the pandemic given that the circumstances were deemed an emergency and there wasn’t enough time to allow peer review. But when it turned out the policy of most journals was to reject counter-narrative papers, some of these articles were left out in the cold and remained on preprint servers, despite a significant proportion of these containing crucial data, information and interpretations. A smaller fraction of these were pulled from certain preprint servers, such as ResearchGate. Forever leaving the big scientific journals (and all who rely on the perspectives they offer), health authorities, the mainstream media and millions around the world with a warped picture of the science on these novel genetic vaccines. 

In an effort to balance distorted and censored science, it is entirely appropriate that a few of these preprints were included by the authors of the Cureus paper, such as the systematic review led by Cochrane co-founder Peter Gøtzsche showing serious harms of the vaccines. Or Kevin McKernan et al’s two papers that revealed the presence of extraneous DNA fragments in the vaccines (here and here) that had no reason to be there had appropriate quality control for a synthetic biology vaccine been upheld.  Or Denis Rancourt and colleagues’ preprint that disputes, with evidence, the multiple, often unsupported claims published in major journals, such as this paper in the International Journal of Molecular Science, that the vaccines saved millions of lives.

The first author of the Cureus article is Nathaniel Mead, an MSc scientist trained at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, North Carolina (USA). He’d be hard to pigeon hole as a conspiracy theorist; he’s published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals and worked in the field of integrative medicine, especially cancer care, since the mid-1980s. He has also co-authored a book published by Harper Collins, The Rapid Recovery Handbook, in 2006, with a foreword by Dr Mehmet Oz. OK, a Big Pharma acolyte maybe he is not, but his track record shows him to be a highly competent scientist and educator all the same.

Rotten at the top

The reality is that, at the very highest editorial level of the major journals and publishing groups, there appears to be an insatiable desire to efface any counter-narrative science, regardless of its quality. Even if the science had been good enough to make it through a tough peer review process and had been approved for publication by the journals’ lower echelon editors, as was the case for the Cureus paper, it’s days are likely to be numbered if it rattles cages in sensitive places.  

Let’s remind ourselves of some recent history. This is the very similar scenario that Andrew Wakefield found himself in when he first authored his now famous (others, who have usually never read it, might say infamous) Lancet paper from 1998, suggesting the possibility, and the need for further study, of a possible link between MMR vaccines and autism in children. Or, just a year later, Arpad Pusztai’s comparative study on genetically-modified (GM) potatoes showing evidence of considerable harm to rats following ingestion of these compared with control (non-GM) potatoes. Both papers were initially published, widely celebrated and then, all of a sudden, very unceremoniously pulled. More than that, witchhunts were subsequently launched that aimed to completely destroy the reputation of both lead authors. These were the cases that primed the machine that now works to wipe out any counter-narrative science, especially when it targets a novel, massively lucrative money making venture, whether this involves genetic vaccines or the genetic engineering or editing of our foods.

The Cureus kernel

For many mainstream scientists, the ‘retracted’ stamp on a paper means it’s not worth the ‘paper’ it’s written on. However, for an increasing number of us who recognise how twisted and captured the academic system has become, we might be even more drawn to read and study a retracted paper. It begs the question: what did they not want people to see? Bad science or the wrong kind of science? 

In this respect, there is something of a silver lining; articles that have been retracted are still available to read and download. As the paper’s title implies, those who choose not to read it will be unlikely to learn lessons from the COVID-19 mass vaccination program. We urge you to download and read the paper, via the hyperlinks below, the latter being the full PDF of the article.

>>> Mead et al. Retraction: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: Lessons Learned from the Registrational Trials and Global Vaccination Campaign. Cureus 2024 Feb; 16(2): r137.

>>> [Download PDF]

Those short of time may want some key take aways from the paper, which you’ll find below:

  • The data used by the vaccine manufacturers and regulatory authorities to justify the incredible, nearly 100% effectiveness and high level of safety of the genetic vaccines in Phase 3 trials was heavily misrepresented.
  • One of the important ways this misrepresentation occurred was by using very limited data points (numbers of subjects) to publicise relative risk reduction rather than absolute risk reduction.
  • The trials were in no way representative of whole populations targeted by the vaccines, because they omitted children, pregnant women, frail elderly persons, those who were immunocompromised, had cancer, autoimmune diseases, or other chronic inflammatory conditions.
  • Information from whistleblowers involved with the trials, as well as vaccinees, show substantial problems with data integrity and management of vaccinees, revealing that harms (adverse events), including deaths, were routinely and deliberately omitted from official data.
  • The narrative that endeavours to view the global COVID-19 vaccine campaign as a roaring success has placed inadequate emphasis on some studies published in major journals that have exposed failures associated with the vaccines, such as those relating to the lack of effect on transmission, the creation of selection pressure that induces new immune escape variants, and the Cleveland studies that showed that COVID-19 disease rates increased proportionately with the number of vaccinations (boosters) received.
  • The paper proposes various mechanisms that may give rise to COVID-19 vaccine-related harms, such as molecular mimicry, antigen cross-reactivity, pathogenic priming, viral reactivation and immune exhaustion.
  • It also reveals mechanisms that likely explain why the vaccines have been much less effective than claimed by their manufacturers, relying only on partially sterilising neutralising antibodies on the adaptive side of the immune system, which, when associated with mass vaccination, also generated immune escape variants that perpetuated COVID-19 disease for longer than would have been the case had natural, rather than vaccinal, immunity been allowed to develop in more people.
  • Proponents of the mainstream narrative chose to widely ignore the all-important, ‘first responder’ innate side of the immune system, the very side that was responsible for the much greater natural immunity of children, as compared with older adults.
  • The paper also demonstrates gross oversight by regulators and manufacturers with regard to safety and quality control, such as the failure to disclose process-related impurities such as cancer-promoting simian virus (SV) 40 promoters.

What next?

Steve Kirsch isn’t someone who’s going to take this lying down. He said in his substack on 6 March that he would be suing Springer Nature, the publisher. For a cool $250 million.  

He is making 4 claims against Springer Nature: defamation, breach of implied contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and tortious interference. It’s good in our view that these arguments are primarily legal, not scientific, but then again, the legal system is also known to lack objectivity when money starts to change hands. Kirsch has told Springer Nature its editors should be sacked, that their retracted paper should be reinstated, and a public apology issued.

This will be an important case, regardless of outcome. We all know that the implications of a loss for Springer Nature could be a deadly blow for the whole, increasingly shaky house of cards of the Big Pharma/Big Government/Big Journal/Medical Establishment. Fatal perhaps not, but massively damaging because of the precedent it would set. That’s also why a clear win will be so tough. But being a passive bystander just isn’t an option either, assuming you have the capacity, as Steve Kirsch does, to do something about it.

We would like to thank Steve Kirsch for putting his money where his mouth is. Big Pharma might do that every day, but pharma companies do this for profit and for market control, surprisingly often at the expense of the public’s health (see here and here). When more of those who have a much more well-aligned moral compass, who care about the ethics of science, who care about trying to redress the rise of scientific and medical authoritarianism, who genuinely care about the rights of those injured by these genetic vaccines that are, bizarrely, still referred to as “safe and effective” by health authorities, do as Mr Kirsch has done, we stand a chance of getting the pendulum to swing back in the right direction. Where good ethical practice, transparency and scientific discourse are once again reinstated as core values by all scientific journals, health authorities and makers of medical products.

We’ll keep you posted on the outcomes as the case is launched and progresses.

Our work is funded by donation, so please consider donating now to help support our many campaigns, as well as our activism, research and education. Thank you.


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