Eyal Shahar

Dr Eyal Shahar is a professor emeritus of public health in epidemiology and biostatistics. His research focuses on epidemiology and methodology. In recent years, Dr Shahar has also made significant contributions to research methodology, especially in the domain of causal diagrams and biases.


It was an evening in mid-March 2020. Almost two years had passed since I retired from the University of Arizona, where I was a Professor of Epidemiology in the College of Public Health.

I was watching the news from Israel, the country in which I lived during the first three decades of my life. The reporters were broadcasting a forthcoming catastrophe, a doomsday in the making. It was all about a new coronavirus epidemic which erupted in China and had reached Israel, Europe and parts of the US.

Like everyone, I have been following the news from the Far East since the beginning of the year. Although infectious diseases were not my subject matter research, epidemiologists are trained to think critically, to question what many accept at face value. The picture that emerged was far from clear. A few observations did not fit well with the apocalyptic predictions.

So, I decided to write a short article in Hebrew and submit it as an op-ed to a newspaper in Israel. That’s how the series of essays now published as The Covid Pandemic: Unconventional Analytical Essays (2020-2023) started. It was supposed to have ended about three years later with my summary of what has actually happened in Israel (as opposed to the official narrative), but I added a few more later articles on Covid vaccines. In between, I wrote about many aspects of the pandemic, drawing upon data from Sweden, Denmark, Europe, Arizona, the US, the UK, and Israel.

Image Credit: brownstone.org

Forty essays are included in the book. The first one was titled ‘Hold off on that Apocalyptic Consensus About the Coronavirus’ (March 24th 2020). All of them were written for the public at large and were data-driven. They were not based on ‘opinion’ or ‘intuition.’ They are science, as best as I know it. If written in a formal, academic style, many of these essays could have been submitted to epidemiology journals. Whether they would have passed the guards of official narratives is a different question.

What will you find in the book?

Back in 2020, I devoted several essays to lockdown-free Sweden and showed, unequivocally, the futility of lockdowns and the misleading comparison of Sweden to neighbouring Nordic countries. The last one in this series, published in 2022, was titled ‘Sweden or the World: Which was a Cautionary Tale?’, paraphrasing headlines that claimed the opposite in the spring of 2020.

Several essays have estimated the death toll of panic-triggered responses to the pandemic. By September 2021, before the return of the flu, between 15 per cent and 30 per cent of the excess mortality in the US may be attributed to the so-called mitigation efforts (‘The Mystery of Unaccounted Excess Deaths in the US’). These were lives that were lost in vain – at least 115,000 deaths and possibly twice as many. The consequences of lockdowns and disruptions of normal life did not end in 2021. Lives have continued to be lost in many countries, including the UK. Some of the mechanisms are described in my essay ‘Covid: The Death Toll of Panic.’

In numerous essays, I studied excess mortality and explained why trends should be examined over an entire winter (‘flu years’), not by calendar years. Using this approach, I estimated the excess mortality in Europe (‘How Severe was the Pandemic in Europe?’). In the first year (2019–2020), it was only somewhat higher than in a previous season with severe flu (2017–2018). The second year (2020–2021) was very harsh but far from apocalyptic – about twice as severe as 2017–2018. In both years, all-cause mortality would have been lower without lockdowns.

Over a dozen essays cover various aspects of Covid vaccines. I showed severe biases in influential studies from Israel and estimated the correct effectiveness against Covid death, which ranged from mediocre to zero or sometimes negative, in the frail elderly. Using data from the UK, I showed the questionable effectiveness of the first booster and the futility of the second (fourth dose). In three essays, I estimated the short-term fatality rate of Covid vaccines, which was unacceptable but fortunately not as high as others had suggested. Long-term fatality is difficult to estimate. One essay describes unacceptable rates of side-effects, as found in a largely unknown official survey in Israel (‘Downplaying the Side Effects of Boosters’).

Did Covid vaccines save millions of lives? Not according to a comparative analysis of Israel with Sweden in the winter of 2020-2021 (‘Thousands of Averted Covid Deaths in Israel: Science Fiction’). Nor did they reduce the delayed death toll of Covid in Denmark (‘Lockdown and Vaccines: Lessons from Denmark’).

In the last essay, which imagines a future perspective on Covid vaccines, I wrote:

Twenty years later, we are still studying the long-term morbidity and mortality consequences of disseminated lipid nanoparticles (the mRNA carriers), self-manufactured toxic spike protein and aberrant proteins in various tissues, elevated levels of IgG4 antibodies after repeated injections, and the integration of foreign DNA fragments into the genome.

These days, a group of scientists is studying cancer cells from vaccinated patients to determine if foreign DNA is present there. Chances are that you will not find much on this topic or on other vaccine-related effects in mainstream media. So, keep following The Daily Sceptic and Brownstone, as I have been doing for a long time. No end is in sight to the saga of Covid vaccines.

Republished from The Daily Sceptic.

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