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Was a Scientist Jailed After Discovering a Deadly Virus Delivered Through Vaccines?
Judy Mikovits did not discover a deadly virus delivered through vaccines; she was arrested for allegedly stealing equipment belonging to the Institute that fired her.
PUBLISHED 8 DECEMBER 2018
Researcher Judy Mikovits was thrown in jail after she refused to discredit research that led to the discovery that deadly retroviruses have been transmitted through vaccines.
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In 2009, biologist Judy Mikovits, who was then the research director of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome-focused Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), published a paper on what she and many others thought to be a major scientific breakthrough in the prestigious journal Science. Her team alleged to have demonstrated an association between a newly discovered retrovirus called “xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus” (XMRV) and the poorly understood condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), suggesting a potential viral cause for CFS.
The paper received substantial international coverage. However, as with so many other potentially groundbreaking studies, nobody — including many of the same researchers involved with the original study — was able to replicate its results. Numerous attempts failed to replicate the study, and the research itself came under increasing scrutiny for sloppy methods and its reliance on misleading or manufactured figures.
On 1 July 2011, Science’s editors issued a “statement of concern” about the paper. On 14 October 2011, the authors issued a partial retraction of their paper that touched on issues with some of their figures. Finally, on 23 December 2011, the editors of Science retracted the paper in full:
Three months later, the Whittemore Peterson Institute fired Judy Mikovits amid concerns over the integrity of her work and her collaboration with an outside scientist, as reported in the multidisciplinary scientific journal Nature:
A few months after that, Mikovits was arrested in southern California “on an ‘out of county warrant’ from Washoe County, Nevada, for allegedly taking lab notebooks, a computer, and other material from the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Reno, Nevada, after the WPI fired her.” The arrest came in conjunction with a lawsuit from WPI that sought a restraining order to block Mikovits’ destruction of data which they maintained belonged to the institute:
The charges were dropped, not because of the merits of the case, but due to a variety of complicating legal factors related to the family that runs the Whittemore Peterson Institute:
The “Deep State” Version of the Story
Fast forwarding to 2018, we find that Mikovits has become lionized by the medical conspiracy community, appearing on unreliable websites such as Natural News and giving talks at fringe conferences such as The Truth About Cancer and Autism One, with her claims echoing through the various clickbait factories that regurgitate wholesale content from these dubious organizations. For example, the website “Real Farmacy” described Mikovits’ saga as follows in a 28 November 2018 post:
Astute readers may note that the 2009 paper discussed above did not concern vaccines. Mikovits, following the publication of her since-retracted paper, made a series of unsupported claims that XMRV was the cause of myriad other medical maladies, including autism and cancer, and that XMRV in humans could have its origins in mouse cells used in the vaccine production process — a notion that has been exhaustively discredited.
Much of the material Mikovits used to make her point was also retracted, including a 2006 paper that alleged to show XMRV was present in human prostate cancer cells but actually produced erroneous results due to laboratory contamination.
An exhaustive body of work, which includes some of the same researchers involved in the original 2009 paper, has discredited any link between XMRV and disease. “The bottom line is we found no evidence of infection with XMRV … These results refute any correlation between these agents and disease,” said co-author Ian Lipkin of Columbia University in a press release.
To suggest that Mikovits’ arrest stemmed from a perceived threat to the vaccine industry or “The Deep State” and not her alleged refusal to return scientific data and equipment to the institute that fired her requires completely ignoring this large body of scientific work while solely relying on the narrative presented by Mikovits in her 2014 book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases.
In the introduction to that work, which entirely ignored her firing from Whittemore, Mikovits alleged that the federal government had threatened to arrest her if she set foot on National Institutes of Health property to participate in the study that attempted to validate her previous work:
Dr. Frank Rusetti is a long-time collaborator of Mikovits’. We reached out to Dr. Tony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institute of Health, about the existence of the email in which he allegedly threatened Mikovits with arrest, and he told us (via email):
We also reached out to both Rusetti and Mikovits via their consulting website for more information about this alleged email but have not received a response.
Since 2016, science has reached the consensus view that the XMRV detected in these various studies was a laboratory contaminant which affected the research cell lines used by the scientists conducting those studies, and that it was not a virus that had been transmitted to humans in any way. In a video produced by the conspiracy website Natural News in 2018, however, Mikovits made a series of additional claims that she had been fired and jailed for exposing that millions of Americans had supposedly been infected with viruses “that came from out of labs into humans via contaminated blood and vaccines”:
As noted above, Mikovits’ controversial paper did not demonstrate that XMRV “came out of the lab into humans via contaminated blood and vaccines”; rather, it speculated such after seemingly demonstrating a (now discredited) association between XMRV and CFS. To say Mikovits was jailed for exposing widespread virus transmission via vaccines or blood transfusions is false, not only because she was actually jailed for allegedly stealing property, but also because she never scientifically demonstrated the claim she suggests the government wanted to silence her over. In her interview with Natural News, Mikovits stated that the idea for the connection between viruses and vaccines came from another researcher in a paper published in 2011:
That paper, which referenced two other now-retracted papers in its abstract, only presented the vaccine scenario speculatively as a potential route for humans to acquire XMRV:
That study did conclude by opining that the “most likely mode of XMRV transmission points to mouse-derived biological products” and stating that the authors hoped the study would “spur further discussion and help to resolve the many remaining XMRV questions.” But in a paper published just five months later titled “XMRV: Not a Mousy Virus”, those same authors walked back claims of XMRV’s prevalence (and even its existence as a true human virus) based on results which called earlier laboratory methods into question:
Further research determined that all XMRV samples detected in these studies stemmed from a contaminated cell line affecting all the labs performing these studies, that it did not cause disease, and that it did not enter the population via vaccines or blood transfusions:
Therefore, Mikovits’ speculative claims linking her research to vaccine science, drawing the ire of “Big Pharma” and the “Deep State”, and her subsequent arrest are not rooted in science or reality. But although she may have lost the support of the scientific community, she appears to have found a new home in the pseudoscientific conspiracy world.
“In the United States of America … everything’s censored,” Mikovits said on the website of a man who guest hosts Alex Jones’ Infowars conspiracy ranting, “so to look at things like Natural News, to come to meetings like The Truth About Cancer, I was just floored today because today was the first time I was treated like a human being who had knowledge for a very long time.”
In 2020, Mikovits was featured in a film called “Plandemic” that supposedly exposed “the hidden agenda behind the COVID-19” coronavirus disease pandemic.
PUBLISHED 8 DECEMBER 2018
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Collective Evolution. 6 November 2018.
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