Tag Archives: Michael Brown

Anti-vaxers, what is it that you know that we don’t ?

32 members of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School class of 1966 held a 55th reunion by Zoom a week ago.  All 32 have been (voluntarily) vaccinated.

Among the attendees were 

l. Mike Brown — Nobel Laureate whose work led to the statins — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Stuart_Brown

2. Jerry Gardner — All American Basketball Player Kansas ’62  — https://kuathletics.com/roster/jerry-gardner/ — but far from a dumb jock — established a GastroIntestinal program at the National Institutes of Health

3. An (emeritus) professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical School 

4. The (emeritus) director of the radiology residency program at Yale Medical School

5. An (emeritus)  professor of medicine at Albert Einstein Medical school

6. A (retired) Rear Admiral in the US Navy

There are several more deans and professors among the 32, but you get the idea.

All classmates who spent their careers taking care of the sick (such as yours truly) were board certified in their specialties.  Some were even board examiners for certification in their specialties (such as yrs trly).

Don’t do as I do, do as I say never works.  Anyone who’s raised kids knows that.  The Penn Med class of 1966 has put its money where its mouth is.

So what is it that you know about vaccines that we don’t?  Please get vaccinated.  The new strain (B.1.1.7) is 50% more lethal and much more infectious than the original pandemic virus  [ Nature vol. 593 pp. 270 – 274 ’21 ].

Addendum 20 May:  I thought the following comment and my response were worth placing in the body of the post.

From DH :The one thing everyone in your sample has in common is old age and thus relatively high risk of death if infected with COVID. A lot of the people I argue with online are not absolute anti-vaxxers, but claim that for healthy people under 30, the risk-reward calculus favors not getting vaccinated (e.g., because the vaccines were “rushed”).

I disagree with them, but to be fair to them, your class of 1966 example is not an argument that addresses their claim.

Response:  DH — thanks for commenting: I quite agree with what you say, but there are larger issues. My sample is small but I know several antiVaxers in their 70s. The proportion of unvaccinated minorities is larger than their proportion in the population. Many of them live in multigenerational households so an infected 30 year old could kill granny. Just look at what’s going on in India.

Even worse is the fact that the newer mutations may be more virulent as well as more infectious. This has now been shown to be the case for B.1.1.7 [ Nature vol. 593 pp. 270 – 274 ’21 ]. Even if the vaccines aren’t quite as effective (in vitro) against the new strains, they still offer protection. We will inevitably continue to see new mutants. A vaccinated population is our best hope.

Watch this space

I know far more about head trauma than any neurologist should. For three and a half years I worked with two active neurosurgeons covering a huge area of an eastern state. Our drawing radius ranged from 35 to 125 miles depending on direction. I was on first call every other night and weekend, and covered all the patients (including the neurosurgical ones) during those times. It’s amazing what you’ll do to get your kids through college. I was the first to see any head trauma cases that came in whether our service admitted them or not (multiple trauma cases usually went to general surgery and/or orthopedics, with our group following them as consultants).

So it’s time to talk about orbital (eye socket) fractures. This has great relevance for the case against Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. As far as I can tell, whether Wilson did or not sustain an orbital fracture is extremely controversial, with statements and denials all over the internet (most of them 5 -6 days old).

The truth of the matter will be very easy to establish once his X-rays (and CAT scans) are available. If Wilson sustained any head trauma at all, it is inconceivable to me that he didn’t have X-rays and CAT scans out the gazoo (technical term).

Some orbital fractures are very easy to see with a CAT scan, which shows bone beautifully. The orbit is adjacent to sinuses (air filled spaces) below and toward the nose. Fractures bleed. Normally the sinuses are filled with air which doesn’t stop X-rays, so they normally look black. Bone stops X-rays so they look white on CAT scan. Blood (or mucus) is very easy to see in a sinus on a CAT scan.

There is always a question about how old a fracture is, but if blood is found in a sinus adjacent to the fracture, you can conclude that the fracture is new.

Sometimes there is a sinus (the frontal sinus) above the orbit, but not always. The side of the orbit toward the ear is just bone.

So the data is out there somewhere. Watch this space for more interpretation should Wilson actually have sustained one.

The only other data available for all to see, are the convenience store videos, which show how Brown was acting shortly before he was killed. It isn’t pretty. I’m sure there are better links to it, so ignore the right wing chatter, and just look at the data. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/18/Michael-Brown-Allegedly-Bum-Rushed-Officer-Punched-Him-in-Face-Grabbed-Gun-Taunted-Him

Brown was big (reportedly 6′ 4” and 300 pounds), and the video shows him pushing a clerk who doesn’t even come up to his shoulder, when the clerk (who also appears to be a person of color) confronts him.