Are COVID-19 shots set to contribute to the "decimation of the world's population"? No, that's not true: The claim is one of several presented without credible evidence during a video interview with Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a German microbiologist. He also alleges that the COVID-19 pandemic is "fake," that PCR tests lie, that the success of vaccines is measured by their impact on fatality rates rather than infection rates and that COVID-19 vaccines are killing people. All are recycled claims that have been debunked before by Lead Stories and others, including medical experts.
The nearly 40-minute interview was the basis of a post (archived here) published by The New American magazine on April 16, 2021. The post, titled "COVID Shots to 'Decimate World Population,' Warns Dr. Bhakdi," opened:
In this exclusive interview with The New American magazine's Senior Editor Alex Newman, world-renown German-Thai-American microbiologist Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi warns that the COVID hysteria is based on lies and that the COVID 'vaccines' are set to cause a global catastrophe and a decimation of the human population.
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In this exclusive interview with The New American magazine's Senior Editor Alex Newman, world-renown German-Thai-American microbiologist Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi warns that the COVID hysteria is based on lies and that the COVID "vaccines" are set to cause a global catastrophe and a decimation of the human population. Starting off, he explains that the PCR test ...
Until his retirement in 2012, Bhakdi was chair of medical microbiology at the University of Mainz in Germany. He is among a group of scientists who believe many governments have overreacted to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bhakdi and his wife, Karina Reiss, are the authors of a book titled: "Corona, False Alarm?"
At one minute, 30 seconds, he says:
I think that the pandemic is a fake.
Bhakdi blamed the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, claiming they are "dangerously inaccurate." At two minutes, 15 seconds, he says:
This COVID-19 business is completely crazy. People who are not ill, have no symptoms, are tested with a test that is lying most of the time.
There's no evidence the pandemic is fake. At the time of writing -- April 28, 2021 -- COVID-19 has killed more than 3.1 million people worldwide, including more than 570,000 in the United States and 82,000 in Germany.
There's also no evidence that PCR tests lie. Lead Stories has covered this claim before. See here for our previous debunk, which found that PCR tests accurately confirm the presence of the virus.
At higher amplification cycle thresholds, the virus may not be viable and a patient may not be infectious, but that doesn't mean the patient doesn't have the disease. The PCR test is the most widely used and trusted test for diagnosing COVID-19.
Around the 15-minute mark, Bhakdi began talking about the COVID-19 vaccines and fatality rates. He said that people under 70 have only a 0.05% chance of dying from COVID-19, a claim he's made -- and that Lead Stories has covered -- before. He then said that any vaccine would have to lower that number.
That's not true because that's not how vaccines work.
Vaccines primarily work by reducing the risk of infection, not infection fatality rates, as Lead Stories has written about before. The hope with the COVID-19 vaccines, as with all vaccines, is that people who otherwise would have contracted the disease, won't get it.
At 10 minutes, 44 seconds, Bhakdi says:
I believe they are killing people with this vaccination.
And, later, at 17 minutes, 30 seconds, he says:
It's never been tested on the elderly with pre-existing diseases. If they had done that, they would have these strings of deaths that we are now witnessing around the world without anyone doing any damn thing about it, which I think is so unethical, so unethical. It's criminal.
There's no evidence the vaccines are killing people.
More than 230 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States between December 14, 2020, and April 26, 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which follows up on any report of death. To date, at the time of writing -- April 28, 2021 -- the CDC has not detected patterns that would indicate a problem. It says:
A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.
Bhakdi offered no evidence to support his statement that there are "strings of deaths" around the world because of the COVID-19 vaccines.
He talked about various ways in which the vaccines purportedly kill people, including blood clots and "immune enhancement of the disease." At 24 minutes, 11 seconds, he says:
It's got to clot. There's no other way.
Bhakdi added that he and his wife had predicted that there would be "very severe thrombotic events," pointing to splitting headaches as a "typical sign that the blood is clotting in the veins of your brain."
The CDC has considered the issue of blood clots, especially in relation to the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine. On April 13, 2021, the agency recommended a pause in the use of that vaccine, as it looked into six reports involving a rare and severe type of blood clot. It ended the pause on April 23, 2021, determining that the clots were extremely rare and that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed its risks. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said then:
Our vaccine safety systems are working. We identified exceptionally rare events -- out of millions of doses of the Janssen COVID-19 administered -- and we paused to examine them more carefully. As we always do, we will continue to watch all signals closely as more Americans are vaccinated. I continue to be encouraged by the growing body of real-world evidence that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and they protect people from disease, hospitalization, and death.
Headaches are a common side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine and do not constitute evidence of a blood clot.
At 31 minutes, 38 seconds, Bhakdi discussed something called "immune enhancement of disease," stating that people who get the vaccine will be worse off than unvaccinated people when it comes to battling the virus.
At 32 minutes, 58 seconds, he told people to not get the vaccine, especially subsequent shots or boosters. He says:
Don't get a third or fourth or fifth because, if you do that, you are going to contribute to the decimation of the world's population.
Most medical experts believe the exact opposite is true. COVID-19 vaccines are widely seen as one of our best hopes of quashing the pandemic.
For starters, the hope is that the vaccine will prevent most infections. It's not 100% effective, though, meaning that some people who are vaccinated will still get sick. In those cases, the vaccine is thought to help protect people from getting severely ill. Again, according to the CDC:
There also is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. Despite this, some fully vaccinated people will still be hospitalized and die. However, the overall risk of hospitalization and death among fully vaccinated people will be much lower than among people with similar risk factors who are not vaccinated.
The agency recommends that people get the vaccine as soon as they become eligible.