In Virtual Town Hall, U.S. Army Sought to Convert — and Coerce — Vaccine Skeptics

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In Virtual Town Hall, U.S. Army Sought to Convert — and Coerce — Vaccine Skeptics
The U.S. Army Facebook live town hall was designed to promote maximum conversion of soldiers to take the COVID vaccines, and to convince them to persuade their friends and family to do the same.


by Pam Long, The Defender
April 27, 2021


Earlier this month, the U.S. Army hosted a Facebook live town hall on the topic of concerns about COVID-19 vaccines.

The virtual town hall followed this format:

  • Affirm soldiers who took the experimental vaccine or question soldiers who have not yet taken the vaccine.
  • Legitimize an Army doctor as a drug expert to counter risks or concerns without citing any references for the information provided.
  • Leverage the influence of the Sergeant Major of the Army, the highest ranking non-commissioned officer, to persuade soldiers to risk taking the experimental drug without providing factual informed consent.

This format was designed to not only promote maximum conversion of soldiers to take the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) drug, but also to convince them to persuade their friends and family to do the same.

The overall tone of the town hall was respectful and caring, but the false efficacy claims and risk omissions are indicators of dysfunctional groupthink at best, or cult mentality at worst.

The U.S. Army leadership is persuading soldiers to put blind faith in an EUA drug using miraculous claims even the manufacturers do not make about their products.

The six-person town hall panel consisted of Sergeant Major of the Army (SMA) Michael Grinston; Dr. Steven Cersovsky, science advisor to the U.S. Army Medical Command; three U.S. Army service members; and a moderator.

The one-hour session addressed three main concerns about the COVID vaccine among military members: infertility, variants of the virus and the speed with which the vaccines were developed.

Cersovsky began the town hall with an evangelistic sales pitch for the vaccine beginning with this statement: “The good news is the vaccine is available, there is light at the end of the tunnel and taking the vaccine protects you, protects the community and protects our nation.”

Cersovsky went on to acknowledge concerns about the speed with which the vaccines were developed and the risks that may pose to public safety, but then said, the “only risk to public safety is not getting vaccinated.”

According to Cersovsky, viral salvation can be achieved only by getting the vaccine. He vaguely referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and “data” without actually providing any data from the clinical trials or surveillance systems.

The medical ethics of informed consent requires doctors to tell patients the risk of the disease, the known benefits of the medical intervention, the known risks of the intervention and alternatives to the intervention. Cersovsky mentioned none of these.

In the case of the COVID vaccine, informed consent requires doctors inform soldiers of the following:

  • Risk of disease: Most people have a 99.9% survival rate for SARS-CoV2, with increased risk of severe disease in elderly populations with co-morbid health conditions. Per the CDC, the most frequent underlying medical conditions were obesity (35.1%), diabetes (8.4%) and pulmonary disease (7.8%).
  • Efficacy of Intervention: EUA COVID vaccines did not demonstrate prevention of infection or transmission of the virus in the clinical trials. Symptom prevention is the primary endpoint for the clinical trials. Consent to a COVID vaccine is equivalent to voluntary participation in an ongoing phase 3 clinical trial ending in 2022 or 2023.
  • Risks of Intervention: The manufacturers reported a comprehensive list of known adverse reactions in the Moderna COVID-19 EUA Fact Sheet and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 EUA Fact Sheet including severe reactions of anaphylaxis, appendicitis, Bell’s Palsy and death. On April 13, U.S. health officials temporarily suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over concerns of potential fatal blood clotting disorders. In the event of an adverse reaction, participants are not eligible for compensation because COVID vaccines are shielded from liability under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act of March 2020 as a “countermeasure.”
  • Alternatives: There is a research-based meta-analysis of more than 562 studies of effective preventative alternatives including long-term established therapeutics of Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and vitamin D.
Fertility risks

In addressing concerns about infertility, Cersovsky definitively stated, “I can tell you for certain that’s not the case.” Although pregnant women were excluded in the original clinical trials, Cersovsky claimed that over the past several months after vaccine rollout there is a ”very robust data set that the CDC has and others … very safe vaccines for use in pregnancy.”

Cersovsky added that for pregnant women, “the safety profile has been excellent. No adverse events in that group, just as we have seen in the broader population.”

Yet Cersovsky did not mention that as of April 16, 462 pregnant women reported adverse events related to COVID vaccines to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System. The reports included 132 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.

The CDC is currently enrolling pregnant women in the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry, and has confirmed 4,478 pregnant women, but the CDC has yet to publish a report from the v-safe registry nor publish data from healthcare systems in the Vaccine Safety Datalink to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

It is manipulative and unethical for anyone to claim there is no risk in pregnancy, in the absence of evidence the drug is safe in pregnancy.

Cersovsky claimed there are benefits in pregnancy from the vaccine that are neither established by data nor research. He asserted:

“ … there are advantages, especially in pregnant women, in getting the vaccine. One, it protects them because they may be at higher risk from severe outcomes if they do get infected. Two, there’s the ability to pass on — what is called passive immunity — to pass on some of that immunity to the fetus, to the unborn child which will persist for many months after birth. So that gives the baby some protection too.”

Cersovsky refuted any possibility of the vaccine impacting the fertility of women, declaring,“there is no possible mechanism for that to happen.”

However, if there were no mechanism of reproductive risks, then why is the CDC dedicated to studying the unknown effects of the vaccine through the Vaccine Safety Datalink, which states: “Miscarriage and stillbirth that occurs among people who received COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy; Adverse outcomes in pregnancy following COVID-19 vaccination, including: Pregnancy complications, Birth outcomes, Infant outcomes for the first year of life (includes infant death, birth defects, and developmental disorders)?

Cersovsky is gaslighting women in uniform.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) assessment report of the Moderna mRNA-1273 COVID=19 vaccine reported in March the following for the developmental and reproductive toxicity in female rats: “The overall pregnancy index was numerically lower in mRNA-1273-vaccinated female rats (84.1%), compared to control animals (93.2%).”

The CDC declares pregnancy outcomes are unknown because the clinical trials did not scientifically study developmental and reproductive toxicity in female or male humans in the experimental design, and yet irresponsibly the CDC assumes no risk to pregnancy based on what “experts believe.”

According to the CDC statement on pregnancy and the COVID19 vaccine:

“Limited data are available about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are pregnant. Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant. However, there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people. Clinical trials that look at the safety and how well the COVID-19 vaccines work in pregnant people are underway or planned. Vaccine manufacturers are also monitoring data from people in the clinical trials who received vaccine and became pregnant. Studies in animals receiving a ModernaPfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine before or during pregnancy found no safety concerns. CDC and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) have safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about vaccination during pregnancy and will closely monitor that information. Most of the pregnancies in these systems are ongoing, so we don’t yet have information on the outcomes of these pregnancies. We need to continue to follow pregnancies long-term to understand effects on pregnancy and infants.”


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