Fact Check: DOD Whistleblowers' 'Mind Blowing COVID Vaccine Injury Numbers' Were NOT Based On Accurate Data, Pentagon Says

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: DOD Whistleblowers' 'Mind Blowing COVID Vaccine Injury Numbers' Were NOT Based On Accurate Data, Pentagon Says Incorrect Data

Did Department of Defense (DOD) "whistleblowers" reveal what a headline claims were "mind-blowing COVID-19 vaccine injury numbers"? Yes, they did, but their figures were based on a comparison with what the Pentagon says were under-reported medical data from years preceding COVID-19 vaccines. A Pentagon spokesperson says the data has been taken "offline to identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption."

A January 24, 2022, panel discussion hosted by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin exposed some attention-grabbing figures on miscarriages, cancer and neurological issues that were attributed to the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) and brought to the attention of attorney Thomas Renz by three military physicians, whom he identified as whistleblowers. Because the numbers from preceding years were, according to the Pentagon, under-reported, their comparison to 2021 appeared to be exaggerated.

The claims appeared in an article and video (archived here) published by Red Voice Media on January 24, 2022, titled "Attorney Thomas Renz Reveals Mind Blowing COVID Jab Injury Numbers From DoD Whistleblowers [VIDEO]." It opened:

While the Democrats struggle to fix Joe Biden's public image and continue to push the COVID-19 jab, members of the GOP like Senator Ron Johnson are digging into the supposed pandemic and the data being suppressed from the general public. Since taking office, the Biden administration has been adamant about getting the jab and how it is the best option at fighting the virus.

However, recently, attorney Thomas Renz, who represents COVID-19 whistleblowers, spoke at a panel hosted by Senator Johnson. Instead of bashing the Democrats or Biden, Renz presented data showing the effects the jab could be having on the American people.

In the video, which is featured below, Renz detailed how data suggested that miscarriages have seen a 300% increase over the five year average. Following that same timeline, the attorney also revealed cancer is up 300%. Although such a high percentage can be alarming, when it came to neurological issues, the data introduced by Renz showed a 1000% increase.

This is what the post looked like on Red Voice Media on January 26, 2022:

Renz.png

(Source: Red Voice Media screenshot taken on Wed Jan 26 17:15:02 2022 UTC)

Renz has boosted his profile among COVID skeptics with federal lawsuits challenging coronavirus vaccines. America's Frontline Doctors, an anti-vaccine activist organization known to publicize unfounded and false medical claims, calls him part of their "Legal Eagle Dream Team." He appeared on January 24, 2022, in the panel discussion hosted by Johnson. At 33 seconds into the video embedded in the article, Renz credited the data he presented at the event to military physicians Lt. Col. Theresa M. Long, Lt. Colonel Peter Chambers and Dr. Samuel Sigoloff. Renz said:

We have substantial data showing that we saw, for example, miscarriages increase by 300% over the five-year average, almost. We saw [an] almost 300% increase in cancer over the five-year average. ... We saw, this one's amazing, neurological issues ... over a 1,000% increase.

Long and Chambers are part of lawsuits suing the Pentagon to stop its vaccine mandate.

In a February 1, 2022, email, DOD spokesperson Maj. Charlie Dietz said a review of the data contained in the DMED database was completed following a Lead Stories request on the whistleblower numbers. The review found the "data was incorrect for the years 2016-2020" and under-reported the numbers for that five-year span:

DMED is a web-based tool to query de-identified active component personnel and medical event data contained within the Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS).

Comparing the DMED database to the source data contained in DMSS, AFHSD [Armed Forces Surveillance Division] discovered that the total number of medical diagnoses from 2016-2020 that were accessible in DMED represented only a small fraction of actual medical diagnoses for those years. In contrast, the 2021 total number of medical diagnoses were up to date in DMED. Comparison of 2021 to 2016-2020 resulted in the appearance of significant increased occurrence of all medical diagnoses in 2021 because of the under reported data for 2016-2020. AFHSD has taken DMED offline to identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption.

Medical issues in the statistical comparison included:

Miscarriages

The CDC recommends a COVID vaccine for everyone 5 and over and says COVID vaccination is safe for pregnant people. There is no 300% increase in miscarriages:

A new CDC analysis of current data from the v-safe pregnancy registry assessed vaccination early in pregnancy and did not find an increased risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11-16% of pregnancies, and this study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13%, similar to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population.

Cancer

UCI Health, the teaching hospital for the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, says you can't get cancer from a COVID shot. Cancer isn't up 300%:

Do the COVID vaccines cause cancer?

The COVID vaccines do not cause cancer. In fact, scientific advancements have allowed these types of vaccines (mRNA vaccines and adenovirus vector vaccines) to treat cancer. The way these vaccines work is to provide an instruction set to make a protein. When used to treat cancer, these vaccines work to create proteins similar to those on the surface of cancer cells so that the body learns to recognize them as non-human and fights against them. In the same way, the COVID vaccines make the COVID-19 spike protein and help the body make antibodies and fight against the virus. The vaccine is not alive and cannot infect or change our cells.

Neurological issues

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recommends COVID vaccination for almost everyone. There is no tenfold increase in neurological issues:

Scientists are studying the risk to benefit ratio of the vaccine in someone who previously developed Guillain Barré syndrome after a vaccination. The general sense is the COVID-19 vaccine is safe in individuals whose Guillain-Barré syndrome was not associated with a previous vaccination.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis) has occurred in some people who have received the Janssen [Johnson & Johnson] COVID-19 Vaccine. In most of these people, symptoms began within 42 days following receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine. The chance of having this occur is very low.

Adverse events

The CDC website acknowledges that "serious adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination are rare but may occur" and must be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS):

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. FDA [Food and Drug Administration] requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it's unclear whether the vaccine was the cause. Reports of adverse events to VAERS following vaccination, including deaths, do not necessarily mean that a vaccine caused a health problem. More than 535 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through January 24, 2022. During this time, VAERS received 11,657 reports of death (0.0022%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA clinicians review reports of death to VAERS including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.


  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

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