Does this video provide factual proof that COVID-19 vaccines interfere with human reproduction, cause cancer and are ineffective? No, that's not true: Peer-reviewed and evidence-based information from qualified scientists has disproved those claims, which are made using faulty data and by reference to anecdotal information that would not pass muster as the basis for consequential public health decision-making, which relies on peer-reviewed and published reports from field work.
The claims appeared in a February 19, 2022, Facebook video (archived here) published on the grandmasterofdiscernment2 Facebook account under the title "Listen Carefully." It opened:
Listen closely to Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Reiner Fuellmich as they give alarming data points and explain why indemnification laws won't shield big pharma....We Have in All ...
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Feb 23 21:49:49 2022 UTC)
The video consists of German trial lawyer Reiner Fuellmich interviewing Robert Malone, M.D., a medical researcher and biochemist who contributed early research into mRNA vaccines, about their efforts to punish public health agencies for vaccinating people against COVID. Both men are leading anti-vaccine activists whose prior statements have been fact-checked by Lead Stories.
False Claim: Department of Defense data prove COVID vaccines increase the risk of cancer
At the 0:25 mark of the video, Malone declares:
So, we do have these data from DOD which are aligned with the data from Ryan Cole suggested suggesting that the cancer risk signal is real.
Lead Stories investigated, and found discredited evidence for, a claim that COVID vaccination led to sky-rocketing rates of miscarriage, cancer and neurological disorders were proven in the Defense Medical Epidemiology Database. The Department of Defense (DOD) had identified that under-reporting in prior years had made a spike in 2021 data, when reports were dutifully filed during the COVID vaccination campaign. A Pentagon spokesperson told Lead Stories the data had been taken offline while DOD staff seek to "identify and correct the root-cause of the data corruption."
Malone appears to be referring to Dr. Ryan Cole, who runs a medical testing lab near Boise, Idaho. Cole led opposition to COVID vaccination during that state's late 2021 surge in cases. Cole is board certified in dermatopathology, a medical specialty in which doctors are trained to do the lab work and analysis dermatologists and other specialists require for treatment of cancer. Cole is often described as "Mayo Clinic trained," but the famed Minnesota medical center distanced itself from Cole's anti-COVID-vaccine claims in a September 21, 2021, email to Lead Stories, when Mayo spokesman Bob Nellis wrote:
Mayo Clinic is aware of claims made by Dr. Ryan Cole regarding vaccines. Dr. Cole was trained at Mayo Clinic but is not a Mayo Clinic employee. His views do not represent Mayo Clinic.
Cole's anecdote-based claims -- including that COVID vaccines have caused a 20-fold increase in endometrial cancers -- stand in direct contrast to the findings of studies of the effectiveness and safety of COVID vaccines as published in peer-reviewed journals of science. There is no published research by Cole found in The National Library of Medicine, which draws on an index of more than 1 million science titles.
False Claim: COVID vaccines pose a risk to reproductive function
Summarizing what he says are problems with COVID vaccines, Malone goes on, at the 1:10 mark to say:
... the reproductive risk being a real event and that would potentially have implications all the way down to the children... So the risks, back to that with the DOD data, so we have the reproductive risks.
Malone has made this claim before, saying that the spike protein generated by the mRNA vaccines is toxic and causes permanent damage to vital organs, including the reproductive system.
Not true, says Professor Deborah Fuller, a Ph.D. microbiologist who runs a vaccine research lab at the University of Washington. The lab has worked on COVID-19 vaccine development since the first major U.S. outbreak, in Seattle, in 2020. In a January 27, 2022, email responding to Lead Stories' questions, Fuller wrote:
There is no evidence that the miniscule amount of Spike protein produced by the mRNA vaccines is toxic ... In fact, the studies that have been done to date show that only very, very small amounts are produced and rapidly eliminated from the body. The way the vaccine works is the protein is transiently expressed in the cells that the mRNA vaccine is delivered into and then the protein quickly disappears after initiating the immune response.
False Claim: The injections are not vaccines, not tested and not effective
At the 2:20 mark, Fuellmich, who has been conducting a make-believe "grand jury" investigation of public health officials who support vaccination against COVID, repeats three claims that have been repeatedly debunked, ignoring expert declarations that mRNA vaccines are injected medicine that strengthens immunity and that the vaccines were tested on tens of thousands of volunteers as part of a successful safety and effectiveness trial. Fuellmich repeats claims made by rock guitarist Ted Nugent, among others:
... these are not vaccines ... they're not tested...They are not effective.
Fuellmich says it without citing any evidence, in contrast to professional medical researchers, whose findings about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines were, before publication, submitted to peer review, the process by which competitive experts look at the methods, data and conclusions in a study proposed for publication and suggest corrections, clarifications and other changes that improve the final product or can cause editors to reject a study for publication.
Based on hundreds of millions of doses delivered since approval, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to declare the vaccine's rare risks are greatly outweighed by their effectiveness in preventing most infections and in reducing the severity of breakthrough infections.
And the testing on more than 70,000 volunteers was painstakingly documented in the reports on mRNA vaccine field trials published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Pfizer vaccine safety trial enrolled more than 40,000 volunteers and was published December 10, 2020, in the New England Journal of Medicine, showing the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed rare side effects.
Moderna's real-world trial enrolled more than 30,000 volunteers. The resulting study was published in a December 30, 2020, New England Journal of Medicine article.