In this episode, I am speaking with Cammy Benton, MD – who is board certified in family and functional medicine. Dr. Benton has spent many years educating herself on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. We will talk about the science on flu vaccines, their efficacy and risks.
In this podcast, Dr. Benton and I will discuss:
- Are the flu and influenza the same thing? (Very common and massive misconceptions). And are all “flus” flu-like illnesses caused by influenza?
- How accurate is the reporting on annual ‘flu’ deaths?
- The grand canyon-sized gap between public policy and science.
- Aluminum in vaccines – is it really harmful and how much is too much?
- The critical importance of doing a risk assessment on individual vaccines, based on your own health and genetics.
Ari: Hey there, this is Ari, welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast I’m very excited for today’s episode. With me now is Dr. Cammy Benton, who is an expert on the subject of vaccine science and specifically around safety and efficacy profiles of different vaccines. In this talk, she’s going to be talking primarily about the flu vaccine, and a lot of the research on that. It’s very, very exciting stuff. I’ve had a chance to look over her presentation in advance, and I’m very excited for this. A little bit about her. She graduated from the Brody School of Medicine in East Carolina in Greenville, North Carolina in 2000. She has the board certification for the the American– help me out with this one, Dr. Benton.
Dr. Benton: American Board of Integrative And Holistic Medicine.
Ari: There we go. It’s ABIHM. She’s board certified in family medicine and certified in functional medicine by the Institute Of Functional Medicine. Her real love is direct primary care and prevention. She owns Benton Integrative Medicine that she opened four years ago, that is a clinic specializing in direct primary care and functional medicine. As I said before, she’s really dug deep into the science on vaccines. In part one, actually, of this interview, we talked in a more conversational style, about her personal story. The story of vaccinating her own children, and how she started to develop an interest into vaccine science and why she’s now dedicated several years to that interest and that obsession.
In this podcast, it’s going to be a bit different. This one, she’s actually put together an awesome slide presentation, actually, with screenshots of a lot of this research, she can show you the studies. I think that is extremely important to do, given that this topic is so sensitive and so controversial, and so polarized. We have this narrative that anyone who has any doubts about the safety profiles of vaccines is a conspiracy theorist, or a quack, or anti science and all these names and insults get thrown out.
A lot of the people doing that name calling have not actually deeply explored the science themselves. I think that is a travesty, to be quite frank. I think it’s critical that we have more scientific awareness and more discussion and debate using good evidence to foster and facilitate that debate. With that in mind, welcome back, Dr. Benton, such a pleasure to have you and very excited to have you do this presentation. I’ll hand it over to you.
Dr. Benton: Thank you for having me again, Ari.
General flu statistics
Dr. Benton: The last time you asked me a lot of great questions, that I was like, this subject is so big and I could talk for days and days and days about this. Is that a scenario on the flu vaccines, and the aluminum adjuvants that are in a lot of the inactivated vaccines that we get. The flu vaccine is also from the last talk, that was one of the fights I had to fight where I used to work. That’s when I really started digging into this because I was physically getting ill from the vaccine and I had to find another solution.
Once I dug into the science, it just wow, the rabbit hole I went down. Just so you know, a lot of the information I get organized from the Physicians For Informed Consent, I’m a founding board member. That is a group of doctors and scientists and lawyers and parents, that we are trying to improve the access to information that’s not like what you always get.
It’s all from very highly regarded scientific sources, the CDC, NIH, PubMed articles. They just did such a great job. I just took a lot of studies from there. They’re wonderful resource if anyone wants to support them, it’d be great, but we have other great information sheets on the measles MMR, That immunocompromised school trial and everything is on that page that I have recommend, and the COVID-19 as well.
Ari: This is a resource for people to actually get a lot of the scientific research for themselves?
Dr. Benton: Right. You have it all right there. easy to find.
Ari: Okay. For people listening who are not watching the slideshow. Actually, I’d really recommend for people listening, watch this if you can, because, like I said, she’s actually going to be showing a lot of slides with visuals, with screenshots of study. I would recommend that if you can, but if you’re listening, the link to this resource is HTTPS://physiciansforinformedconsent.org/education.
Dr. Benton: Wonderful resource. We have statisticians who work on this. We’re slow because we’re doing such a good job of really vetting the information. I’m doing this for my kids, I’m doing it for myself and my kids. It’s worth fighting for. Again, I kept being told, “You can’t get sick from the flu shot,” everyone is told that. I was trained from the very beginning, “Oh, you don’t get sick of the flu shot, if you did, it’s coincidence. It’s an inactivated vaccine. However, part of the CDC, their own study, they did a three year study that was published in Vaccine, there’s a 65%, increased risk of suffering from a non flu, acute respiratory illness within 14 days of receiving the vaccine.
In other words, yes, you can, there’s a 65% increase risk of getting sick after the flu. At least it’s not the flu, at least you’re not gonna die, people have the assumption that once you get the flu, you’re going to die. We’ll discover in this data that indeed that’s not even the situation. You’re not likely to die from the flu, the odds are still in your favor. If I’m going to get sick anyway, then why do I want to take this thing to make me sick to keep me well. CDC’s own data. More than 85% of acute respiratory illnesses do not involve the flu. The majority are actually non flu illness anyway, that you’re going to get. We’re going to keep going through this data. Yes, you can get sick after the flu vaccine.
Ari: One quick question, you might have this in your presentation, so feel free to answer it later, if you do. From what I’ve read, especially in recent months, where I think we’ve all done a really deep dive around infectious disease and respiratory infections and viruses and things of that nature. There is a conflation between flu and influenza. From my understanding, in a lot of people’s minds, they’re the same thing. They were in my mind up until fairly recently.
My understanding now is that there are actually many different viruses, not only influenza that cause “the flu” or influenza like illness or flu-like illnesses, as the terms often go by. My understanding is that of those flu-like illnesses that are labeled the flu, it’s actually only a relatively small portion on the order of something like 20% of those flu-like illnesses are actually caused by influenza. Is that accurate?
Dr. Benton: Yes, or less I think the number is lower. I’m afraid to say it exactly, because I don’t want to say anything inaccurate, but it’s less than that even I remember. Exactly. There are literally hundreds of viruses that cause the flu-like illness, and even Coronavirus, not COVID-19, but Coronavirus has been responsible for a lot of the influenza-like illness and influenza-like illness deaths in the past. Even death due to flu-like illness caused by Coronavirus is not new at all, it’s not new at all.
When you look at the deaths from influenza in this country, in the United States. The CDC says on their page that they put all-cause pneumonia in with flu to inflate the desk quite frankly. The 80,000 a year, the 60,000 a year, that includes all-cause pneumonia, COPD, cancer related, asthma related, whatever all-cause pneumonia gets swamped in. Just like right now with the Coronavirus, that they just put on the CDC website, are they’re going to come up with a group diagnosis of pneumonia, flu and Coronavirus, like on together in one thing.
I do believe that we have the ability to do a better job of tracking than that. I’m suspicious of the reason why they would want to lock it all together just like with the flu, the tiniest percentage is due to actual flu. When you look at the National Vital Statistics, you can do it yourself. Look at the CDC. website lookup the National Vital Statistics site. Thing is CDC/wonder it’s been a while since I’ve looked, but you can actually look at influenza positive deaths. Throughout all these years it’s average is about 1 to 3000 for flu positive deaths on the death certificate.
That’s a far cry from the 60,000 or the 80,000, and it’s based on a mathematical model. Any death from the flu season can be related to the cause of the flu. Then children 80 to about 100 die a year in 72 million kids. Every death matters, I understand and I have compassion for all those family members, but it’s not the risk that’s being stated in the media that we need to be aware of.
Ari: If I could just add one thing here, because I think you’ve spoken to a couple of common misconceptions and again, misconceptions that I had up until relatively recently. There’s two I think misconceptions stacked on top of one another here. One is that flu and influenza are synonymous terms, they’re not. That the “flu deaths” that the CDC reports on every year that we hear are somewhere in the range of 30,000 to 80,000 deaths per year from the flu is actually, as you said, not influenza. But is a compilation of many, many different viruses, many respiratory viruses and all of the other things. You mentioned, COPD, pneumonia, and those preexisting conditions and [crosstalk]
Dr. Benton: Stuff you relate in, whatever.
Ari: It seems to me, I’m curious if you agree, it seems to me that there is a sort of intentional confusion going on there. That I think probably 99% of the population is under the impression as I was, that flu and influenza are the same and that all of those people are dying every year. 30,000 to 80,000 are dying every year from influenza. Neither of those two things are true.
Dr. Benton: Right.
Dr. Benton: I was taught that at my residency at Chapel Hill and they were like, they would just, “The size of a city dies every year, do the flu.” I’ve heard attending talk meetings, “So many people, tens of thousands of people a year are dying from the flu.” I’m like, “No, no good look, go look.” They come back silent. They don’t know.
What doctors are taught about vaccines in med school
Ari: Maybe this is taking us down a rabbit trail, but why is that? Why are they lumping together all of these numbers to come up with this sum of 30,000 to 80,000?
Dr. Benton: Like I said last time, I think that a lot–
Ari: [unintelligible] Like a flu.
Dr. Benton: I think in general when it comes to vaccines, vaccine science is settled. You don’t have to ask questions. I think that when you’re in training as a doctor, there’s so much to learn. Especially as a family doctor I had to learn everything about every subject, every age and so you welcome a part of science that’s considered settled that you don’t have to question. We have been trained for decades. You don’t question it or you’re one of the crazy ones. You’re a quack, you’re a danger to society. You don’t want to be one of those crazy quack, dangerous to society. We accept that blind.
You don’t want to question it, also when you’re going through training, you don’t have the confidence to question it really because they break you down. They break you down and they train you of how to be. It’s kind of like the military, but it’s in medicine. They kind of break you and then later on you’re free to discuss and discover whatever you want for the most part. They don’t just question it. I think it’s just many things are passed down by generations of doctors.
We get our lectures and we’re told the same talk points at all the lectures, at all the conferences that are sponsored by pharmas. Every conferences we have pharma sponsored people. Our continuing medical education on our websites for like family medicine groups or internal medicine groups, they’re sponsored by pharma. We get our free education through pharma. I think that’s why.
The science on the flu vaccine
Ari: Got it. Just one point and then I’ll let you get back to the slides. The second line here says more than 85% of acute respiratory illnesses do not involve the flu. Is that do not involve influenza?
Dr. Benton: Influenza, yes.
Dr. Benton: Exactly. Now, most people will, “At least maybe it’ll decrease the severity and keep us out of the hospital.” That’s where a lot of people, at least target the flu for that, the flu vaccine. We look at, there’s three big studies here, one is the NIH, that’s the national institutes for health. The Cochrane Review, which is considered a bastion for unbiased scientific information, at least in the past. There’s some question recently, they’ve gotten funding from interesting sources in the last few years. Prior to that they were considered really an unbiased resource for scientific information, and the Mayo clinic.
The NIH they analyze 170 million episodes of medical care and found no evidence that indicated the vaccination would reduce hospitalizations. That’s an NIH study and that was published in 2020 of this year. The Cochrane Review, they looked at 52 clinical trials. Again, Cochran, they try to get rid of studies that are not ethical or not clean. They try to as much as possible go through and they found the same thing. They did not find a significant difference in hospitalizations between the vaccinated or unvaccinated adults, and that was published in 2018.
In the Mayo Clinic this is a case-control study, they looked at this since the trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, basically the flu shot. They said it’s not effective in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations. Again, that’s the difference between a flu-like illness versus is this truly influenza. When they actually really look at influenza, not only did they find that it did not decrease hospitalizations. In children, they found a three-fold increase risk of hospitalization in some of those who did get the vaccine at ages 6 months to 18 years of age. Not just less hospitalization, but more, three-fold increased risk of hospitalization. That’s a big deal.
Ari: This is crazy and I’m actually familiar with the Cochrane Reviews. I want to emphasize to listeners who are not familiar. The Cochrane Review has been held up as the pinnacle of evidence-based medicine. This is as good as science gets. That 2008 Cochrane Review they said very directly, as you’ve cited here, that there is no significant evidence to show that the flu vaccine decreases hospitalizations. What’s really fascinating to me about this is literally this morning or yesterday, I was reading an article on vaccines, talking about a COVID vaccine and things of that nature.
They actually made a reference to the flu vaccine and said even as this vaccine is only 50% effective, like the flu vaccine, it would still reduce the hospitalizations and deaths by millions of people. Something like to that effect, implying that the flu vaccine does that. What’s interesting to me is again, we have 2018 Cochrane Review, a pinnacle of evidence-based medicine saying, there’s no good evidence to say the flu vaccine reduces hospitalizations. It’s very bizarre that you can have those two things coexisting with one another.
Dr. Benton: It’s disturbing how few doctors actually know this. For the doctor that knew me, they’re like, “No, no, no, it can’t be hidden, let’s start going through the data.” They just don’t want to believe me, because it’s just ingrained in our brains. Just so you know, we get quality of care measures, we have quality of care measures we have to follow in a clinic. Then we get our bonuses based upon how much quality of care we give, and that includes giving a flu vaccine. There are bonuses tied to how many flu shots we give and pneumonia vaccines and it matters in a clinic and if you’re at a corporate setting.
Then he was like, “At least if I get it, I’ll prevent someone else from getting it.” That would be the transmission rate. Socially it does not even decrease transmission rate. A CDC funded study found that– They studied a 328 households. Once basically influenza was introduced into the home, it got spread. It didn’t matter if they were all vaccinated or not.
No decrease risk of transmission was the– And this is a CDC funded study. The next one, again, the Cochrane Library, they looked at 50 studies. They said, “The influenza vaccines have a modest effect in reducing influenza symptoms and working days lost.” It’s not specific but there’s no evidence that they affect complications such as pneumonia or transmission rate. Again, big studies, it does not decrease spread.
Vaccine failures. The CDC talks about it’s called antigenic drift, so basically, we have to guess a year in advance there’s mutations. There’s just a shift in the strains of influenza, so it’s easy to miss the active strain. When even Cochrane looks back, they have higher numbers. If you’ve got perfectly matched year, the vaccine has a couple strains, two to four strains, and it matches exactly what’s coming, you might be up to 60% effective. We have not had much luck in actually predicting a year in advance exactly the strains, that’s been the problem and there is this antigenic drift.
That’s why there’s so many people who still get the flu illness or influenza-like illness at least, in spite of getting the vaccine. The data from the CDC Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network, indicate a 65% vaccine failure rate between 2014 and 2018. If you fear the flu that much, maybe that little bit of percentage is worth it to you. I believe in everyone having the right to choose. This is where I’m against mandates and I’m against this blanket idea that the flu vaccine is so wonderful. If people just could recall back to their childhood, or back to their early adulthood, I’m 47, so whoever is older than that.
If you look back at your childhood, no one cared about the flu, no one feared the flu, maybe little people which matter. I appreciate that their health is a little bit at higher risk, that’s the ones at a higher risk for dying from the flu. In general, most adults did not fear the flu. In the last 10 years, people have begun to be terrified of the flu. Every year, it’s like an escalation of fear and everyone rushing to get the flu shot because they’re afraid of dying. They forgot their own childhood that they were not afraid at all of the flu, they were not afraid as an adult. Where does fear come from? I think it’s important to ask this.
How people got immunity in the past
Ari: The same is true with chickenpox, right? When I was a kid, we had no fear of chickenpox, it was just a normal thing that every kid got. You had chickenpox parties, so that you could get it and just get it over with.
Dr. Benton: Same thing with measles even back in the 1960s. They had TV shows for that.
Ari: It’s interesting. It’s worth noting that in Massachusetts, they just enacted a law that all school children have to get the yearly influenza shot. Again, to contrast it with this Cochrane Review and some of the studies you’ve already shown, it’s bizarre that you’re mandating something that has such poor evidence to support it. The gap between public policy and the evidence is like Grand Canyon-sized.
Dr. Benton: Right now, the University of California has mandated flu vaccines for their students too. So, you can’t go to college unless you get a flu shot, with this kind of data. They lost the first round of trying to fight this. They’re continuing, “Oh no, you’ve got to get it to save lives,” Right? Where’s the data?
I’m sure there’s some positive data that has magically appeared in the last few years, but when you look at the overall body of data, it does not support it. There’s a study here and it was published in the Clinical Infectious Disease journal in 2013. It says repeat doses may increase vaccine failure risk, because some studies show low effectiveness if they’re vaccinated two years in a row. Go get your flu shot every year, make it work less.
Ari: There’s one little thing I wanted to mention on the 2018 Cochrane Review. There’s one quote in there that I thought was really impressive. The researchers concluded, they said, “Reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin, but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions.” The researchers actually said that in Cochrane Review, which I almost couldn’t believe. They’re literally saying that there’s clear evidence of manipulating the data, manipulating the conclusions about the data to essentially claim effectiveness when the data don’t really support that.
Dr. Benton: The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy as well, they did a big meta-analysis too. They took even the Cochrane Database information and they even further eliminated conflicts of interest. They came up with similar results as the Cochrane did, but they also said the real problem is that there’s no incentive to create a safer, more effective vaccine because we are buying it as it is. They don’t need to worry about new science to make it more effective or safer. They don’t have to. We’re running to get it as fast as we can. It’s not effective, but we have been convinced.
People worry about their kids. Doctors I know they’re suddenly like, “I got to get my kid the flu shot because I’m afraid they’re going to die.” I’m like again, where’s that coming from? We did not worry about that as kids. Our parents didn’t worry about it, no one worried. People worried about the flu back in the turn of the century in 1900, because all they had was aspirin, which killed them off anyway, when they combine it with the flu. Really in modern age, there’s no reason to fear the flu. Some kids are at higher risk, and sometimes unlucky healthy people die. I could die going out the front door at this point.
Prior to widespread use of flu vaccine in children. There’s a study that show between 2000-2003, those under the age of 18 had a 0.00008% chance of dying from the flu. Again, you’re looking at really around 180 to 100 kids out of 72 million kids, it’s a pretty small percentage. Per the CDC, the deaths from influenza are uncommon among children with and without high-risk conditions. It didn’t really matter, it’s just bad luck and someone is going to die from something. We don’t live in a bubble. Actually, if you live in a bubble, you’ll be sicker, by not being exposed the world around us, actually.
Now the adults, so the adults. We have to be doing something, we have to be moving somewhere with this widespread flu vaccination policies that we’ve inspired in corporations across the country and nursing homes and schools. The Department of Health and Human Services, they funded a study for 33 years, to assess flu mortality between 1968 to 2001. The author stated that they could not correlate increase in vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group. We conclude that the observational studies substantially overestimate the vaccination benefit. This is our own government study. Then the NIH, same thing.
Basically, they analyzed all these deaths, 7.6 million deaths, and found a sharp increase in influenza vaccination rates to 65 years with no matching decrease in hospitalization or mortality rates. Again, why are we doing this? If you look further, which I didn’t even put this. If you look further in the Cochrane database information, those over 65 have really no benefit to these influenza vaccines, and they’re doing high dose vaccines. They’re doing a high dose, they’re trying their best to find a way to stimulate that immune system that’s impaired with age. Having no benefit in mortality and increase your risk for adverse reactions because it’s like double the strength.
Is relying on the flu vaccine really the best way forward?
Ari: This has been interesting, weird scenario. That the people who are the most at risk of dying from the flu are the ones where the flu vaccine is–. An already very poorly effective vaccine is actually the least effective, it’s even less effective in that vulnerable population. Because as you said, the elderly don’t mount an immune response very well.
Dr. Benton: For me, I do integrative medicine and holistic medicine, so my goal is how can we support your immune system. If it doesn’t show any benefit from this vaccine and putting in an immune modulator. We’re putting in an immune modulator to someone with an already weakened immune system.
How about we just work on the immune system to support vitamin D, cod liver oil, make sure their nutrition is adequate, make sure they see the sun outside, get an exercise and strength. People who break hips have high mortality within two years of breaking a hip. Let’s work on teaching them yoga and strengthening exercises. There’s so much we can do to help people stay healthy in the older years, besides injecting things that can potentially paralyze them or kill them.
Ari: I just want to mention again, for people listening, there are slides here that Dr. Benton is quoting, and she has the citations listed here, the names of the study. If you’re interested in looking any of them up, you can watch the slideshow and just type any of those names of the studies into Google and bring these up.
Dr. Benton: Healthcare workers, this is where I’ve gotten the big argument at work. When I was being told I had to get back to it. Again, I volunteered three years in a row to get the flu vaccine. I didn’t want it but I didn’t have strong feelings about it. I just stayed sick three years in a row. When they came to me about the mandate, and like the health care workers they have to do it to protect their patients. It’s about other people, it’s not about you. We hear a lot about it these days.
At that time, the director of this corporation, I asked him for the size and he said, “I don’t really have the science, but all the major organizations recommend it.” I wrote them all and the only information I got back from–. I wrote the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Medicine, internal medicine, OB-GYN, I wrote everyone. The only thing I got was the American Hospital Association, where they had a nursing home study where they had one nursing home where no one was really vaccinated for health care workers and the other one that they did vaccinate health care workers.
They found a lower rate of death in that group. However the risks of flu were the same, the risks of flu deaths were the same, but that’s still the study that they used to justify forcing flu vaccines. Then, of course, I found that there’s a 2% medicare bonus, something like that for corporations in having higher compliance rates for the flu for workers and I’m like, “Oh, that made a much bigger difference too.”
The Cochrane Review, good old Cochrane reviewed 30 studies for healthcare worker vaccination programs. They actually didn’t find still any decrease in complications like the lower risk for infection like pneumonia, hospitalization or death due to lower respiratory tract illness or all-cause mortality in people over the age of 60. This review does not provide reasonable evidence to support the vaccination of healthcare workers to prevent influenza.
There’s little evidence to justify medical care and public health practitioners from mandating the influenza vaccination for healthcare workers. Basically, again, no benefit. There were people losing their jobs across the country and people were hating on each other and other employees judging other people for not getting the flu vaccine and the reality is that the study did not show it in any form.
Ari: This is another 2016 Cochrane Review of 30 studies?
Dr. Benton: Yes, 2016. Just recent.
Ari: As good as evidence gets.
Dr. Benton: They have many studies pointing towards the same thing. They have 40 to 50 years of data for the flu vaccination. The science really has not changed much for the flu vaccine. Now you’re hearing all these, “Well, you’ve got to get the flu shot to protect against the coronavirus. That’s what you hear on the media, what doctors are actually saying in the doctor’s groups. That’s what, they’re saying in the COVID healthcare workers groups, “You’ve got to get the flu shot so it can decrease the burden from flu season.”
University of California system, the university system, is requiring it as well. Here the British Medical Journal published a Cochrane Analysis, it goes back to Cochrane. They say, “There’s a large gap between policy and what the data tell us.” When they rigorously look at the data and it’s surprising. It says, “Evidence shows that the inactivated vaccines have little or no effect on the effects measured. Reasons for the current gap between policy and evidence are unclear. But given the huge resources involved a reevaluation should be urgently undertaken.”
This is the British Medical journal, a super prestigious medical journal for information. I will tell you, the BMJ has done a great job. They’ve published a lot of great articles questioning the flu vaccine with data to support them. Our governments, our major prestigious universities, and journals are actually saying it just doesn’t work and it’s not matching. What’s being put out there by the media is not matching what the data shows.
I just did have to throw in one more, this is a Department of Defense study termed as 2017–2018 Influenza Season. They say, “The vaccine-derived virus interference was–” I’ll explain this. “Was significantly associated with coronavirus and human metapneumovirus.” Basically, by taking the flu vaccine you actually had other risks of upper–respiratory infections. Remember the earlier study with the CDC, there’s an increased risk of upper–respiratory infections, 65% increased risk.
In this one, there was a specifically a 36% increased risk of coronavirus associated in this study. Now, this not COVID-19, this happened before COVID-19. Still if we’re actually having the policy to try to control the pandemic, to try to decrease cases, why would we give a flu vaccine has been shown to increase the risk of coronavirus infection.
The gap between vaccine policy and data
Ari: If you’re going to enact a policy and say, for example as Massachusetts did, “We’re in this important time during coronavirus, we’re going to mandate a flu vaccine for all children. Everybody should get their flu vaccine to decrease their risk of co-occurring infections with influenza and COVID at the same time.” If those recommendations are being made you would have to assume that there’s has to be some kind of evidence to support the idea that getting a flu vaccine decreases risk of, for example, coronavirus infections.
I’ve looked into this, I think there’s three studies on this, if I remember, and this is one of the most clear ones. It showed as you said, an increased risk of coronavirus infection among those who got the flu vaccine. Which is, again as that previous BMJ article said, “The gap between policy and what the data tell us.” I think that seems to be a consistent theme of this whole presentation.
Dr. Benton: Right, really concerning. I think that’s the main stuff on the flu vaccine and hopefully, what people get out of this is that if you believe in the flu vaccine or you think it works for you then fine, do it if you want. I think that we all have to collectively take this information to our employers and say, “Listen, this is not what you think it is. I know what they say and I know what the masses think, but there are lots of times in history where the scientists were wrong and the media was wrong. I think that we need to be humbled a little bit and reevaluate the data and see the big picture.”
Honestly, if people want to have a more trustworthy vaccination program. Then they need to be able to see that our scientists are willing to really critically address these deficiencies in vaccines like the flu. If they want us to trust them for the other vaccines, then they need to look at the things like the flu and say, “Wow, this doesn’t make sense,” or, “Hepatitis B in a low-risk infant doesn’t make sense.” We need them to really address those inconsistencies to increase our trust. I don’t think they really care because the media does such a great job of teaching us nonstop.
Then we use each other as bullies and snitches and for control and oh, you’re a quack, you are a danger, you want to kill your grandma. We’re actually controlling each other’s responses and we’re all afraid to even ask this question. There’s data and you have data on your side here. Use this data. Look at Physicians for Informed Consent information and take this to your teachers, take it to your pastors. This is what’s it’s going to take, it’s really a grassroots effort of education. It’s not going to come from our doctors, it’s not going to come from our nurses, it’s not going to come from the universities. It’s going to come from all of us asking the questions and teaching each other.
Us saying, “No, I’m not going to take this flu vaccine because the studies do not support it and you need to look it, doctor or nurse practitioner or PA or whoever or RN. You need to look at the data because it’s not like what you think it is. Here is the information, take this, print this up.” Print up the Physicians For Informed Consent handouts, are beautifully done, two page. You can show them and say, “Wow, this is just the two-page quick document, look at it.” “Do you think I want to a rebuttal doctor?” Make them think, make them defend their case.
Ari: Absolutely. I have to say I think of the population as so certain about vaccines. People just in general lay public who have made up their mind on vaccines and it’s decided as an entire category. Vaccines are either good or bad, and almost invariably, I think 99% of the time those people who have made up their minds in that way have never actually bothered to actually look at the evidence. They are just going based on assumptions, what they’re hearing in the media, articles that they are reading, what they’re hearing from someone that they know.
As you were just alluding to, even among physicians, among MDs. I know many, many dozens of MDs and I’ve had conversations with them about vaccines and, for example, on the flu vaccine. For example, the Cochrane Reviews of 2018 and 2010 like, “Do you know about these reviews?” Almost invariably they have never read them. Like there’s this gap between public policy and the data, there’s also a big gap between public perception in the lay public and even among physicians about vaccine science and the actual science. These gaps, I think, really make it difficult for any sane, science-based discussion and debate to actually happen.
Dr. Benton: Again, doctors don’t even know, most doctors aren’t trained on even VAERS which is the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. When people have adverse reactions who do we report to? Even, our nurse manager at my original clinic didn’t know, I didn’t know. Most of the doctors at my clinic didn’t know. Where do we report vaccine injury. Most of us reported to the vaccine maker and we we’re just getting this back, “Thanks for letting us know but we disagree.”
We never even reported those to VAERS. Most doctors are not aware that the childhood schedule has tripled since 1986, that there’s no no liability for the vaccine makers. An act was passed in 1986, that you cannot sue the vaccine maker. I’m 47, when I was a kid, I had 24 doses of vaccines in my whole childhood, my mom had maybe 10 doses. At that point, even the 1960, ’70s, only half the population even got vaccinated. It’s not even at the rate that it is now for vaccination rates.
Then again, my age group 24 doses of vaccines, now there’s 24 doses of vaccines by six months of age. Most people are not aware than an adult, my age has fewer vaccines than a nine-month-old. That’s really something to be aware of and most doctors because we just learn it now we just assume we had the same vaccines that we had when we were kids. “Well, I’m fine, I did find with my vaccines. Why are you worried about it?” “Because it’s triple the schedule, there’s 46 doses by 6 years of age, 70 plus doses by 18 years of age, depending on the state.”
Actually now there’s four states requiring the flu vaccine, now five states, I think. There’s like four states require that Gardasil, which is the HPV vaccine that is very controversial, and it’s growing, just wait every state. Now, the New York Bar just released a statement recommending that we have mass vaccination for COVID as soon as it comes out, that it needs to be mandated. This is by the New York bar that just released this. That’s the direction that we’re heading.
It’s going to be us having to say, “No, we’re not going to take experimental vaccines, we want better safety data. We want us to actually have an honest discussion of the real data that’s out there, for instance, the flu vaccine.” I want doctors to know this data, and then still feel like, “Wow, I’m giving the flu vaccine because I’ve found enough research to offset this data right here,” but you can’t. The ones who have taught this information, God love them, but they’re still giving it like, “Well I have to. Is the quality care measures, and I don’t get a bonus unless I give. I’m like, “Well, what’s your scientific justification for doing that?” They’re like, “There isn’t.” These are people I know, that I know otherwise, are conscientious people, but they’re doing what they’re told to do. People are just by nature, I think love to follow orders.
Ari: I think we can’t underestimate the peer pressure effect and the cultural effect of how pharmaceutical companies have been so effective in promoting the narrative. That anybody who wants to even discuss the science of vaccines and have reasonable discussion and debate on it, is a quack and a danger to society. This is an absurd position, and we have a majority of the population that has accepted this and even unfortunately, a lot of doctors who have accepted that position as being reasonable.
For people listening, just imagine if the pharmaceutical companies were effective in promoting a narrative that everybody should just take pharmaceuticals. To discuss the pros and cons and safety profiles of pharmaceuticals as a broad category encompassing hundreds, thousands of different drugs with radically different efficacy and safety profiles. Imagine if they just promoted a narrative saying drugs are safe and effective. Anybody who wants to discuss the safety profiles and risks and side effects of drugs is a quack and a danger to society.
This would be the most ridiculous, not only unscientific but anti-scientific position that you’ve ever heard of. Even just to extend this further, let’s imagine they did it with supplements, let’s say all supplements are effective and perfectly safe. It’s not true, it’s just not true, it’s not true of any of these categories, not supplements, not foods, not pharmaceuticals, and not vaccines. We need to have reasonable discussion and debate around the scientific evidence on safety and efficacy profiles of all of the individual things within all of these categories.
Dr. Benton: Right, because like you said, people look at vaccines as just one entity, but each illness that were vaccinating against has a different risk assessment. Every vaccine has a different risks depend on which age, different age groups have different risks. By some studies, even racial like some African American boys have worse outcomes when it comes to adverse reactions. You have to look, is this a breastfed child? Is this the child that’s in a daycare? You have to look at different risk factors.
Mass vaccine against Hepatitis B when this is for sexually transmitted infections or for IV drug use or maternal. You can pass it down maternal through the placenta and the delivery, however they test every mother, so I get it. Again, if the mother has it is one thing, but all these low-risk families having to vaccinate their baby within the first two hours of life against something that comes from bodily fluids, it makes no sense. You can’t look at every vaccine as exactly the same under the blanket.
There are some diseases that’s more dangerous than the other, there’s some that’s treatable with antibiotics, there’s some that’s not. We deserve as patients to have a real conversation with our doctors, but the doctors have to actually been trained in it and they’ve not been trained. We’re literally taught here’s the vaccine schedule, safe and effective. Ignore the lawyer jargon that’s in the inserts. It’s just a [unintelligible 00:45:42]. That’s literary what we’re taught.
Ari: It’s anything that you say after the words vaccines are blank, is guaranteed to be wrong. Because there is no generalization that you can make about that entire category of substances. It’s like saying, food is blank, well, what are you talking about? Are you talking about blueberries or are you talking about doughnuts and french fries? Because they’re both food and they have very different health and safety profiles and side effect profiles, right? One can be very beneficial, one can be very harmful. Those things need to be considered and analyzed deeply in a nuanced way without these broad categories of thinking and painting with these broad brushstrokes. By people who haven’t actually explored the science deeply.
Aluminum adjuvants and chronic illness
Dr. Benton: Let’s talk about aluminum adjuvants. That is not a specific vaccine. Obviously, for those who don’t know much about vaccines this is actually something we put into vaccines that are not live. There’s live vaccines, like measles, there’s chicken pox, mumps, rubella, those are live vaccines. They actually are literally live and they can actually cause an illness similar to what you’re being vaccinated against.
Then they’re inactivated vaccines, they have to use aluminum adjuvant salts, it’s not the heavy metal aluminum, but it’s the salts, the aluminum salts that are meant to enhance your immune system. When they pair that aluminum adjuvant with an antigen, the antigen is the foreign substance, whether it be in like the disease that we’re talking about, like pertussis or tetanus or whatever. Or, quite frankly, and what I’m concerned about is that we have other things in that vaccine, we have human DNA with aborted fetal cell lines.
It’s not supposed to be whole DNA but they’ve been able to bind whole DNA fragments. There’s monkey kidney cells, there’s beef heart, there’s casein protein, there’s gluten in there. There’s all kinds of different proteins in there that if you put the aluminum adjuvant in there it can enhance the immune response to whatever’s in there with. We want it to obviously perfectly affect everyone, but for some people, their immune systems are overstimulated, and other people, it’s under-stimulated so they don’t have any immunity, some people have the perfect response.
For the overstimulated people you have to wonder, is that causing that rise of autoimmune diseases in our country? In the 1980s, when we had a lighter schedule, and also a lot less chemical exposure, who knows, and the epigenetic passing down of exposures. Meaning that my mother’s exposures get passed down to me and my exposures get passed on to my kid, right? In the 1980s, 12% of kids had a chronic disease state. Now 54% of kids have a chronic disease associated with them.
Ari: This number is just insane.
Dr. Benton: Staggering.
Ari: It’s almost unbelievable to just–
Dr. Benton: There’s an exponential rise of type one diabetes, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, there’s asthma, ear infections, eczema. There’s all these neurologic things like the sensory deficits, children with autism or other neurologic issues. There’s a rise and I’m not saying it’s all vaccines, I’m not saying that. We live in a chemical soup. There’s formaldehyde in our kitchen cabinets and the flooring, there’s flame retardants in our sofas. Our children are being inundated with chemicals and this is why we need to learn how to have a cleaner home environment as much as we possibly can.
Not everyone can afford an ecologically sound perfect house, but we’ve got to try. You have to wonder with this rise of autoimmune disease could it be because we have all these other animal and human proteins and DNA products attached to this aluminum salt solution that’s meant to stimulate your immune system. The aluminum-containing vaccines, again the inactivated vaccines, not the live ones. There’s Hepatitis B, there’s the tetanus ones, the ones for
pertussis and tetanus, pneumococcal, Haemophilus influenza- that’s the bacterial version of influenza- hepatitis A, the Human Papilloma Virus, that’s HPV vaccine or the Gardasil vaccine that people are aware of, and the meningococcal vaccine. They typically give that to 12-year-olds, and again before college, so they only have two doses of those. In Europe, they’re actually giving the meningitis vaccine to infants, and they’re pushing that earlier and earlier there.
It wouldn’t be surprising to me, that they’ll start adding that to the infant schedule since it’s already in Europe on the infant schedule there. There’s a lot to consider. The aluminum salts are they safe? We’ve been told that they’re safe. It’s got the GRAS status, which means Generally Recognized As Safe since 1975, but we actually did not have the technology to measure that size of product in the vaccines until 1990. Now, they’ve been able to study this a little more since the 1990s, and they found that there are effects on the nervous system and other parts of the body that causes motor skill impairment to encephalopathy, which is like basically brain damage, essentially, which is listed in all the vaccine inserts.
Encephalopathy is listed in all the vaccine inserts, so we’re taught to ignore.
The FDA in 2003 said, “The agency is concerned that young children and children with immature renal function are at higher risk for resulting from any exposure to aluminum.” There’s aluminum in all kinds of things, products. There’s baking products like baking soda, there’s deodorant. Aluminum comes in a lot of things, and there’s some other stuff is absorbed through our skin and absorbed through our GI tract. Most of it, our GI tract does a good job of getting rid of the aluminum. This is where they start talking about there’s oral.
You’ll hear people say, “There’s more aluminum in a pear than there is in a vaccine,” but we found that the GI tract really does a good job of blocking that. It shows that there’s the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. That’s the ATSDR. I don’t know how you even say that one for short either. In 2008, they actually did a study of the neurotoxic effects of aluminum. They said to avoid the negative effects, we need to have no more than 1,000 micrograms for 1 milligram of aluminum per kilogram for body weight, as it can lead to alterations in motor function, sensory function, and cognitive function.
This is what we’re hearing from the parents, they’re having concerns with their children regressing or having sensory issues. We’re told, “Oh, that’s just normal. It’s just the normal.” I am not willing to accept that.
Ari: If I can just add on that. It’s worth stating for people who are unaware, Aluminum is a well established neurotoxic agent. There are literally thousands of studies on the neurotoxic effects of aluminum. There are clear animal studies that do exposure to aluminum in varying dosages, in rodents, for example, that show very clear, neurotoxic effects and harm to brain development, and brain function, cognitive function, or motor function, other neurodevelopmental problems. It is very well established, and not even remotely controversial, that aluminum is indeed a neurotoxic substance.
The only controversy is about at what dosage will it have actually significant, neurotoxic effects.
Dr. Benton: Those who are totally for this, “This is safe and effective, it’s regarded as safe,” they just don’t believe parents when they say their children have these issues. We just are taught to not believe you, just so you know. They mostly measure it- like in some of the earlier studies, they looked at that oral ingestion of aluminum. They said that 1,000 microgram limit of the aluminum was based on 0.1% oral absorption because the digestive tract blocks nearly all the aluminum. For the intramuscular where they actually inject you, into your deltoid muscle for your flu shot for instance, or children through the thighs, says 100% may be absorbed over time.
Based upon that, just those numbers, it could be up to 1,000 times greater than the oral absorption. Of course, we’ve just not had enough studies on the intramuscular injections, unfortunately. If you convert the oral to the injected, and to avoid the neurotoxic effects of aluminum, you should have no more than 1 microgram of aluminum per kilogram for bodyweight- all this again is on the slideshow because it’s a lot. It’s a mouthful- that should enter the bloodstream on a daily basis.
Ari: Dr. Benton, [crosstalk] if I just rephrase because I’m afraid people are going to miss some of the specifics there. When people take in, let’s say 1 milligram orally, in food, it was 1 milligram per kilogram was the safe limit based on oral dosage. If you take that 1 milligram in orally, 99.9% of it is not going to enter your bloodstream, it’s going to pass through the gastrointestinal tract and exit out of you. If you inject it, it is now 100% bioavailable and absorbed into the bloodstream because you’re literally injecting it directly into the bloodstream. Is that accurate?
Dr. Benton: Right, and it goes somewhere. It moves. There’s studies talking about where it travels into your body. No, the problem is how fast does it spread, and how much do you absorb, and where does it go. We need more data on it, but to say it’s just safe, it’s not. It’s not even scientifically valid to say that. On the slide show, it gives the ATSDR, which is that Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, there’s a limit that they give for newborns versus 2, 4, 6 months, and 12 months. It goes up to, for the 12 month, 9.3 micrograms per day.
The limit indicates that no more than 1 microgram of aluminum per kilogram of body weight should enter the bloodstream on a daily basis to avoid the neurotoxic effects of aluminum. Saying that again because if you look at these, for the ranges from 3.3 micrograms to 9.3 micrograms that they consider safe to prevent the neurotoxic effects, but then you look at the next page, it shows the amount of aluminum in vaccines. They have, for instance, in Prevnar, 125 micrograms, but all the way up for the Pediarix where they have a three in one, they have the DTaP.
Actually, it’s really more than three in one. It’s like five in one that had the DTaP which is diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, hepatitis B, and the polio vaccine all in one. There’s 850 micrograms in just 1 vaccine. When you take the collective of everything, this graph that physicians [unintelligible 00:57:14] consented, it shows that the administration one dose of each of the Prevnar, which is the pneumococcal, the PedvaxHIB, which is another combo, the Engerix B, and the Infanrix, there’s a whole bunch of combo things. It’s delivered at one visit.
Delivers 1,225 micrograms of aluminum. That’s over the limit, but we also don’t know how fast it gets absorbed. If you’re doing this at the newborn, the day of life, that 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, a little bit more, and then 12 months, we will collectively weigh over the limit for toxic levels for aluminum for an infant. Thanks to our tripled vaccine schedule.
Ari: It’s unclear how fast these– I guess the first point is, the amount of aluminum is way, way higher than the established safe limit by that agency you just referred to, ATSDR. The second point is that we also don’t know what happens as far as bioaccumulation of the aluminum in the body, how fast these things the body is able to excrete that aluminum that is entering. Is that accurate?
Dr. Benton: Yes, it’s accurate. There are kids that have renal problems, kidney function issues that we just don’t realize early on, or they have immature systems that just are still maturing in their infancy. Where are those safety studies for aluminum? In 2011, they actually compare the amount of aluminum vaccines to the ATSDR on the bloodstream limits, but they used the calculations based on 0.78% not on the 0.1% that they had determined earlier, and we’re not sure where they came up with that number. That was even faulty data because the main industry that we’re trying to follow is the ATSDR, which is part of the government that sets these standards.
We don’t know if it takes a month, or a year or more to actually, make it through and to totally disperse, but we’re just putting these deposits of aluminum salts into our muscles. It could be potentially by several hundreds more the amount that a child needs that would exceed that safety limit for neurotoxic effects. There are studies that show that aluminum from vaccines are absorbed by immune cells that travel to distant parts of the body, including the brain. We have those studies. There’s plenty of studies actually available for that part. Basically, my point is that I believe in informed consent. I’m a doctor who believes in that. I believe in discussing, “Here’s your risk, and here’s your benefit for this disease, for this vaccine. What are the real risk of dying from this disease? What’s the real risk of whatever?” That takes more than a 15-minute doctor visits, [sound cut] to start practicing in a regular setting for 15 minutes. I literally couldn’t sleep at night because I was like, “How do I get proper informed consent in 15-minutes?” You cannot. We’re spending an hour just on the flu vaccine and aluminum adjuvants.
How am I supposed to give this information to the parents, so they can feel like they’re making that informed decision? Obviously, I’m against mandates, and where there’s a risk, there must be a choice that’s not in any coerce way. That’s the problem is that there’s this mindset already, “You’re not going to be mandated, you have a choice. You have the choice to not work, or not drive, or go to college.” In the University of California system, you can’t go to school unless you get that flu shot. Is that really an option? They’ll say, “Sorry, you cannot now get an education because you don’t want to take a useless vaccine, and take a medical treatment that could cause you harm, that is not worth the benefit to you.” That is coercion, that is unethical.
By any measure, forced medical procedures should be against any kind of ethical policies. It is becoming more mainstream to accept the idea that is unethical to say no, that we are placing value judgments if you say no to this, or even question this at all. There are some book recommendations I did include in the slide. I think there’s super helpful because it does take so much time to read. If we’re going to research the car seats we put our kids in, or the mattresses, or the stuff we put on our bodies to avoid the chemicals, then we need to actually consider, you’re going to do your own research for what you inject into your body or for your kids because your doctor does not know.
I don’t care how much they think they know. They do not know. They have not studied it. They have accepted the rhetoric, period. One of my favorites is A Tale of Two Sides. Bob Sears, he actually came out as first John Philip Ryan, but he later said, “It was me.” He’s fantastic because he’s very scientific. He’s very thoughtful in how you approach like, “For this disease, this is your risk of dying. These are the treatments available for this disease. This is the vaccine. This is why they mandated this vaccine, and this is the real data behind it.” He does a beautiful job.
It’s written in a very conversational language for your average person to understand. He has all the science loaded up on his website through there so that we can always look at the references. It feels like a story that’s full of science. I love it. It’s great for parents. There’s The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, Paul Thomas, and Jennifer Margulis. It’s a more moderate schedule, but Paul Thomas did a study that I think you’re going to really like when he finally gets it published. His practice has over 13,000 children. He’s a well-known pediatrician in Oregon. He’s amazing.
He actually did a study where he separated out the children who follow the CDC schedule versus those by his vaccine-friendly plan versus those who were unvaccinated completely. You wouldn’t believe the difference in statistics for that. Basically, the ones that followed the CDC schedule actually had the autism rate of 1 in 69, much like the CDC says.
Ari: [crosstalk] is that 169 out of every [crosstalk]?
Dr. Benton: The 169 kids will have autism. That’s the rate that the CDC had said. Actually, in boys, it’s even younger. 1 in 49, I think [crosstalk].
Ari: 1 in 69, okay. I thought you were saying 169.
Dr. Benton: 1 in 69. Then in the ones that followed his vaccine-friendly plan, which is more of a moderate schedule, 1 in 450- don’t quote me on that- but it’s 1 in 400 something have autism. In the ones that are not vaccinated at all, it’s like 1 in 750. That kind of pattern follow along with asthma, ear infections, autoimmune diseases. When he came forward, the Oregon board started harassing him. They finally sent someone in, an external person, to look at the data, and they indeed confirmed what he had said. They had to leave him alone.
It was beautiful. I think he’s working on getting that published. He did a great job and he still is a hero of mine. Dissolving Illusions, Suzanne Humphries. She’s totally tough, smart. She’s a nephrologist. She deals in the whole history of smallpox, polio, measles, all these things. Your mind will be blown. It’s highly referenced, full of citations of history. It’s just history really. If people like history books and want to hear about the history of disease, you’re going to learn so much in this book. She’s a very methodical, very smart person who did an amazing job.
If you don’t like too much detail, skip to the polio chapter, but it was great. Then Vaccine Epidemic by Mary Holland. She’s a lawyer, who’s been in this fight for a long time. All these books are just great. Vaccine Epidemic, The HPV Vaccine On Trial also by Mary Holland. Those go into really the more of the politics behind this that goes into sort of the dirty history of pharma. How did they do in the trials? Really, the unethical methods that they’re using to create these studies that are so safe and effective, and really what they’re really hiding behind the scenes.
It’s amazing. It’s worth reading this, especially if you have a child who is due for vaccines or a grandchild. It’s worth educating yourself because the doctors simply just don’t know. Been a fun journey for me learning all this stuff. It’s an unpopular journey, but it’s a fun journey. It’s been great.
Ari: Thank you for doing it, and thank you for having the courage to speak up and be willing to present this information, and do the work that you do. As I’d said at the beginning, with the climate as it is, with anybody who does what you’re doing, no matter how scientific you do it, people will attack you, and insult you. Most of the time, it’s people who have done a lot less digging into the actual science, who are just making assumptions about what the science says, and then will go and attack or insult you.
Dr. Benton: I do want to urge people that if they did this, if they start hearing about vaccines and you get this visceral response, like, you start getting agitated, your face gets spread, you get angry, then you especially need to be the one that needs to stop and read because you need to question yourself, why would you be so angry at someone asking a question? Why would you? Because I’ve run into these people, and I asked them this, “Why do you think I would choose to leave a much more lucrative position where we were number one in the entire system for quality care measures, making way a lot more money than I used to?
Why would I choose to go against everything I’ve learned and choose the hard run? Why would I choose to do that just for the fun of it?” I did it obviously, for me. I know why I did it. I did it for the right reasons. For that person who gets that visceral response and the anger response, for me, questioning as a physician, as a mother, why would you get so angry at me for just studying this? Why would you get angry at me for presenting this data? If you’re the one getting angry, then you of all people need to be the one to say, “Why am I so angry?
Who got me this angry?” Because it’s just science. There’s no reason to be this angry over science. It makes no sense to be this angry over science unless someone has talkedto you enough, media, and I’m talking about non-medical people, “How dare you question this?” I am a doctor, actually. I think I’m actually quite qualified to question this. I’m a mother, and I’ve researched this for going on six years now. I am very qualified and you need to check yourself. For those people, this is a challenge to them to look at the inside, honestly. I’m not trying to convince people to not vaccinate.
That’s not what I’m doing. I’m just like, inform yourself what you’re injecting in your body. We do need to question the media’s role with pharma in educating us.
Ari: Yes, 100%. I want to add a couple of points here. One is, in general, a person’s level of certainty on their views about something should be in direct correlation to the degree that they have studied that subject. Studied it on a scientific subject to the degree that they have studied the science on that subject. If you have a very strong opinion about a scientific subject, you better have spent years, and years, and years digging into the scientific literature, and you better know it inside and out. If you haven’t done that, then you have no right to a strong opinion on a scientific matter. None.
You can have an opinion, but it should be a very weakly confident position. It should be, “I’ve read it so and so, but I don’t really know. I’m not an expert on the subject.” The other point is that a scientific attitude is one that is deeply flexible and committed to the evidence. Whatever the evidence says, you can study, study, study and have a form of view based on the evidence. Then if stronger better evidence comes out that says that that’s not accurate, you should be willing to change your view and to always be committed to whatever the best evidence and the full value of evidence says. If you find yourself in a position where you are committed to a particular belief system instead of dogmas about something, about a scientific matter, and it doesn’t matter what science you’re presented with, you still are committed- how much science someone can show you that directly contradicts your belief system-
if you are still committed to that belief system, that is an anti-scientific position. It is, in other words, not a scientific way of thinking and operating.
Dr. Benton: To say science is settled is very unscientific, in general. Anyone who says science is settled, science is settled, there’s no discussion. That alone is anti-science.
Ari: 100%. The other one point I want to make here is, and you alluded to this, talking about informed consent, is risk assessment. There should be a risk assessment of each individual vaccine, and what are the risks of getting this disease? What is the efficacy of the vaccine? What is the ability of this vaccine to prevent me from getting this disease or prevent me from getting it severely? What are the risks of the vaccine?
Unfortunately, that kind of holistic risk assessment is almost entirely not done by the medical establishment. There’s a portrayal of the disease as very risky, even diseases which are actually very low risk, like the flu or chickenpox, and things like that, and a portrayal of the vaccine as being entirely effective in efficacy is often implied to be way higher than it actually is, and safety is implied to be perfect. Like the vaccine is without side effects. That’s the implications of the narrative, like the pharma funded narrative of what they’d like us to believe about vaccines.
This proper scientific thinking and risk assessment, what’s the risk of this, what’s the risk of this, what are the pros and cons of each approach, is being suppressed, and anybody who wants to do it, and who’s calling for it is being suppressed or censored, branded a quack, et cetera. Even beyond doing that on an individual vaccine level, there should also be a comprehensive big picture risk assessment of the entire vaccine schedule. There are certain segments of the population that have chosen to go unvaccinated. There should absolutely be- and this is, in my mind, Science 101, this is the basics of science that has to be done to establish proper risk assessment- you have to compare long term health outcomes, disease outcomes, rates of various kinds of childhood illnesses, as well as these long term disease outcomes, and even lifespan among unvaccinated people versus people who received the full vaccine schedule.
Dr. Benton: [unintelligible] is trying to do that study right now, and he’s trying to get funded for that. He’s trying to do a 18-year perspective study. If anyone wants to support him, out in Oregon, he really needs the support.
Ari: My point is only to say that those kinds of comprehensive, very scientific risk analysis, that is the only way we actually have solid data to know with great certainty, what is the proper choice to make for ourselves or our kids.
Dr. Benton: Good science would require that they use real placebo too. As I said in the last show, that most studies are using an aluminum adjuvanted solution. That includes all the human DNA, and the monkey kidney cells, the food proteins, everything, minus the infectious disease antigen. Either you use that aluminum adjuvant solution or another unrelated vaccine. They don’t use true placebo. That is scientifically dishonest. Most doctors don’t know that either.
Ari: Above all, I think there was some fascinating stuff on the flu vaccine, that you’ve presented here, and hope you blew some people’s minds as far as the actual existing science on the efficacy of that vaccine, and the stuff on the aluminum adjuvants is pretty mind-blowing as well. Also, I hope people will take away from this to be less dogmatic, make less assumptions, and be more committed to following the evidence, and think scientifically. Dr. Benton, I’ve ranted a little bit there, about my thoughts on scientific thinking and how annoyed I am at people who are being antiscience and their thinking on this subject in particular.
Do you have any thoughts that you want to leave people with? Any final words that you want to say?
Dr. Benton: I think there’s just a general move towards mandating more vaccines, and because of the lack of liability, for pharmaceutical companies, that’s not going to end. They’re going to keep adding to our schedule because we want more. We’re so afraid of infectious diseases that we want more, and more, and more. The reality is that we have enough knowledge in science that we can actually be more specific and have more personalized medicine, really, based upon your risk factors, your genetics, your family history, what your exposures are, what your risks are.
That is, we should be entering in the next era of personalized medicine. Now that I think that the COVID vaccine very well might become mandated at some point in the near future, I’m hoping that this scares grownups enough, they’re like, “Oh, I don’t want that experimental vaccine.” Hopefully, in this, you’ll also learn that a lot of the kids’ vaccines are also experimental really and that we need to be demanding that they stop and reevaluate the current vaccine schedule for children to make sure it’s truly safe and effective as they say. I would venture to say if they really use the placebo studies like they should use, they’re not going to have quite the same outcomes that they would have otherwise.
It’s going to really be a grassroots effort, again, of us talking to our pastors, our teachers, our principles, our neighbors. I think that’s the only way to stop it because me talking to other doctors is like talking till I’m blue in the face. For the people who know me well, they knew how much I studied. I was always a nerd anyway. Even knowing that they struggle so hard to believe, but even in my own story last time, I struggled hard to believe that it wasn’t what I was presented.
I was watching right in front of my face. We’re going to have to do this grassroot efforts, talk to our legislators, and say we are not going to accept more mandates. We need the current relationship between media and pharma, and the legislators examined for really just corrupt connections. We need to remove liability from vaccine makers to force them to truly do true safety studies and come up with more– If they want to do vaccines, I like the idea of people living longer great, but we can’t do it in exchange for our chronic diseases that really dramatically alter, for the worst, the quality of life of children.
We just have to create this demand for something different. Pharma has the ability to study more. There are really cool methods that they’re coming up with, out there, for vaccination that seems a lot safer than what we’re currently doing. There’s no reason to do anything different because we’re all fully accepting of what the policies are, without any questions or hesitations. I just encourage people to ask questions and demand true informed consent, and also support physicians from formal consent because we need more support, actually, and more numbers to show that we are in it together, we want people to be safe.
I think the truth is that, whether you’re for vaccines or against vaccines, or for some, or against some, we all want all our kids to be safe. We all want them to live a long, healthy, happy life. We really want the same thing. We just have different ideas about how to go about it. Of course, people like me, I prefer supporting the immune system and doing true risk assessments on kids. We need to have that conversation and be allowed to have that conversation, period.
Ari: Yes, 100%. I actually lied a little bit about that one being the last word, I have one more thing that I just thought of. It’s worth stating directly that I think neither you nor I, are opposed to vaccinations in principal. If you can allow me, for example, to take an inactivated influenza virus, and it’s a weakened strain, and I can take that. Let’s say it’s just distilled water and weakened Influenza virus, and no other ingredients. I can take that, and I can snort it through a natural route of exposure, like, through my nose, or I can put it in my mouth, in the mucus membranes there, and it’s being exposed through a pathway that that virus would normally encounter in my body.
My body can generate an immune response, and if there’s clear science, really good science, showing that that vaccine in fact works really well to prevent flu sickness, and is perfectly safe, there’s no good reason to oppose getting that. Do you agree with me on that?
Dr. Benton: Right.
Ari: This is actually a quote I meant to share earlier, but I didn’t want to interrupt your flow on adjuvants. This is the coordinator of the World Health Organization’s initiative for vaccine research Dr. Martin Howell Friede. He said, “We do not add adjuvants because we want to do so, but because vaccines will not work without them.” In most cases, in many cases, the body just doesn’t generate a significant enough immune response so they have to add these substances with known, for example, neurotoxicity. This is someone who’s held senior management positions in the vaccine industry, and he said, “I give courses every year on how do you develop vaccines.
How do you make vaccines? The first lesson of vaccine manufacturing is while making your vaccine, if you can avoid using an adjuvant, please do so. Lesson 2 is if you are going to use an adjuvant, use one that has a history of safety. Lesson 3 is if you’re not going to do that, think very carefully.” I thought these were profound words from somebody who’s actually deeply in the vaccine space and gives courses on vaccine manufacturing, who’s very clearly saying adjuvants, they’re basically in his view, a necessary evil, but they carry very clear dangers that should not be minimized or overlooked.
I think the principle of vaccines is a good one. I personally would prefer to get rid of all substances with known neurotoxicity in those vaccines, especially when you’re talking about injecting newborn babies, for example.
Dr. Benton: Like the kidney cells that are known to be carcinogenic.
Ari: Yes. In principle, with solid science, and the kinds of risk assessments that we were talking about earlier, there’s really no good reason to oppose the principle and the concept of vaccination. I just want to be clear that we’re not saying all vaccines are bad, all vaccines don’t work, all vaccines are unsafe. There are vaccines that have pretty good established efficacy, and that they do work well to prevent or minimize the severity of various diseases. There are vaccines that have better and worse safety profiles as well. Anyway, I wanted to put that forth as my thinking on that.
I’m curious if you agree with everything I said, or if you have any dispute?
Dr. Benton: I agree. It would be great if we could live free of disease, but just a reminder [unintelligible 01:23:08] certain infections actually when children mount a good, febrile response when they’re little, they actually have lower rates of cancers, lower rates of autoimmune disease. To some extent, we are designed to fight off infections when we’re little, and that actually stimulates our immune system for the better. Good febrile illnesses actually can be good for us. They can be dangerous, they can be good for us. Just like vaccines; it’s not all good, it’s not all bad.
Infectious diseases in kids is actually important to some extent if we can learn, teach doctors, and nurses, and PAs, and nurse practitioners how to support the immune system, just like the Vitamin A. In the World Health Organization, they found a 80% reduction in mortality if given high dose of Vitamin A with measles. That would be great for most doctors to know, but most doctors don’t even know that simple thing. Even in the middle of all the measles outbreaks and epidemics or whatever, are they talking about Vitamin A, any of those?
You don’t even hear it mentioned; an 80% reduction in death that had Vitamin A, and that is not getting mentioned in the news every single day. That tells me that the agenda is not to keep us well, is only to push that vaccine. I’m not saying don’t get the measles vaccine. I’m saying why are we not really focusing on the immune system? We need to look at the bigger picture. It becomes like this very much we have to live inside that box or else. We have to recognize we are responsible for our immune systems. Some people have weakened immune systems.
They need to take extra precautions to protect themselves. Then for people like me and you, who have good immune systems, we just learn how to support it. We learn how to support our children’s immune systems. That’s really if we want to do prevention, that’s where it is. Prevention is where it is. It’s nutrition, it’s in your environment, your toxic exposures, avoiding sugar. Those are easy, simple things we can do. We can teach people, and we need to empower people to really take their health in their own hands, and not just assume, like we’re trained, oh, people really don’t want to actually eat healthy. People don’t want to get well.
We make those assumptions, but we realize most people don’t want to be sick. You need to teach them the simple things to do to support their immune system.
Ari: That was beautiful what you just said. I’m so glad you brought up the point about getting infections when we’re young. That’s a critical point to make because I’ve read a whole bunch of research on, for example, kids who get chickenpox as opposed to kids who don’t, when they’re children, later in life, as you said, have a much lower risk of many types of cancers, many types of autoimmune diseases. That just paints an even more complex scientific picture of this really is a complex topic. When you go and start to fiddle with things, when you start to fiddle with nature in these ways, you really need to be cautious of what are the second and third-order consequences or side effects of doing that?
Let’s say you prevent kids from getting chickenpox, and let’s say you’re really effective in preventing all kids from getting chickenpox, and you completely eliminate chickenpox. It sounds like a great thing when you’re only looking at it in that level, but then when you now have this data on how that leads to increased rates of cancer or increased susceptibility to [crosstalk].
Dr. Benton: Shingles. Actually, there’s increased rates of shingles now, or the waning immunity by their 20s and 30s when it’s actually way more dangerous to get chickenpox as an adult than when you’re a kid. There’s many risks to not having chickenpox in the circulation. There’s actually benefits to it.
Ari: Exactly. My point is only to say that these are really complex scientific issues. When you make the mistake of analyzing them in a myopic, and reductionistic, and simplistic way, where it’s like infection bad, getting rid of this infection, good, you miss a lot of the big picture of what’s going on, and you’ve potentially missed that. I hope people took away from this that these really are complex scientific topics. Please explore the science for yourself, and form your own opinions, and form nuanced science evidence-based opinions.
Not just based on assumptions of what you’re hearing in the media, or what you heard from a friend, or whatever the popular mainstream narrative is. Dr. Benton, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for your time and spending a little extra time with me tonight. Where can people reach out to you if they want to get in touch with you?
Dr. Benton: At bensonintegrative.com is my clinic, and it has my contact information there. We would love to have you. We have people from all over. We do virtual medicine as well, and I’m licensed in a lot of states. We have patients in California, New Jersey, New York, but I’m in North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte. It’s been a blessing.
Ari: Thank you so much, Dr. Benton. Really such a pleasure, brilliant stuff. I really appreciate you sharing with my audience.
Dr. Benton: Thank you. Goodnight.
General flu statistics (03:10)
What doctors are taught about vaccines in med school (12:12)
The science on the flu vaccine (13:48)
Is relying on the flu vaccine really the best way forward? (27:11)
The gap between vaccine policy and data (33:55)
Aluminum adjuvants and chronic illness (46:17)