If you go to the Canadian Covid Care Alliance website, wwwcanadiancovidcarealliance.org you can sign this letter in support of Dr. Bridle.
To whom it may concern,
We offer this letter in support of Professor Bridle’s exemplary character and scientific intellect, and, most importantly, his right to express his scientific opinions freely and unfettered. We believe the opinions he has expressed regarding SARS-CoV-2 and the new mRNA/DNA vaccinations have always been underpinned and substantiated by the published literature and deductive reasoning. Although his opinions might appear to be contrary to the prevailing narrative, we state emphatically that this is even more reason for him to be permitted to express his thoughts freely and without fear of official censure and abuse.
The very essence of scientific inquiry is based on the principle of constant interrogative thinking and a healthy degree of skepticism and debate in relation to any one biological phenomenon (which applies to other areas of research as well). However, it is with great alarm and deep concern for the principles of the scientific method that we have seen Professor Bridle’s very character impugned as he dared to rely on the accumulative scientific data to support his call for the application of caution in relation to the current nucleic acid therapy-based vaccinations for COVID-19.
In fact, we are disturbed to see the depths to which those who do not agree with him have sunk, including some of his local colleagues. The critical letters, false websites, tweets and posts being sent to attack his character and qualifications are at best sophomoric, and at worse childish, if not criminal.
Is it no longer possible to have scientific disagreements without resorting to character assassination? If this is the case, then the pursuit and application of science is in possibly jeopardy.
The public, which provides the main source of research funding through various government agencies, will no longer be able to trust that unbiased and open scientific debate surrounding new technologies or data still occurs.
If we are fortunate, perhaps science is only in a holding pattern and we can still rescue this noble discipline. However, this will occur only if the scientific community is willing to have open conversations about the facts from all viewpoints without resorting to ad hominem attacks or other forms of unfair and wholly inappropriate acts of overt and often times publicly aired vengeance! A return to ‘sober scientific thought and argumentation’, is the only way we will be able to rebuild trust among the public.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a high degree of uncertainty, along with novel technologies that have not been tested widely in humans until now. We recognize and appreciate that these vaccines were developed with the best of intentions, but when serious signals of injury are being observed (as is the case now, Figure 1), the prudent and wise decision is to pause vaccination programs.
This is particularly so with the young who are actually at low risk of serious illness with COVID-19, but are currently developing myocarditis following vaccination at an alarming rate! Unfortunately, those that develop myocarditis do not fully ‘recover’ and are at increased long term risk for an array of cardiological problems ranging from arrhythmias to cardiomyopathy! This alone can be taken as a sign that issues pertaining to the new vaccines must be elucidated, and the science behind the vaccines must be open to scrutiny and debate.
Yet it has been difficult to challenge some of the new ideas due to the sense of urgency. However, it is exactly at times like this that it is critical for all voices to be heard so that regrettable errors can be detected early to prevent serious clinical problems that might arise in people who have been vaccinated. We see Professor Bridle as one of those expert voices encouraging people to think carefully about all the evidence and being willing to change direction as warranted when new data comes to light. Yet, despite the scientific validity of his concerns (echoed recently by a Senior Editor of the British Medical Journal –Peter Doshi, one of the original inventors of nucleic acid vaccine platforms – Dr. Robert Malone, the WHO, and countless others), his messaging and his professional character are being attacked. We do not object to those who argue with his conclusions as this is the very ethos of scientific inquiry. However, we cannot support those who attack his credentials and character or try to remove his presentations from public view.
By its very nature, drug development, and the science associated with this endeavor require that as new data emerge, new thinking, possibly even changing of the course of investigation are critically important. In fact, we applaud Professor Bridle’s courage to bring a debate forward despite knowing that his message might (and evidently has) result(ed) in harsh confrontation. Professor Bridle has a proven track record in viral immunology, the two key disciplines most closely aligned with understanding and responding to the SARS-CoV-2 viral pandemic. Professor Bridle’s expertise has been recognized nationally and internationally. For example, Professor Bridle was the recipient of the 2020 Zoetis Award for Research Excellence at the University of Guelph. He has also made important and novel contributions to the field of cancer research and vaccinology, especially in the development of novel biotherapies. With this in-depth knowledge and experience in hand, he is well-equipped, perhaps better than most that have argued against him, to discuss the virus and the technologies currently employed for its control.
Although the type of criticism Professor Bridle is receiving is not unexpected, it is grossly unethical to take this opportunity to defame his character or to demand the removal of his funding from agencies by which he has been respected and closely aligned for years. This is in fact contemptible. As fellow scientists, we are appalled to see emails to funding agencies demanding the removal of Dr. Bridle’s funding. Where would we be without courageous researchers willing to stand up for their ideas and debate the science openly? Many key discoveries would have been lost if others were not willing to listen and exchange ideas.
It has been deplorable to see colleagues berating Professor Bridle on Twitter and Facebook without so much as contacting him to ask for a discussion of the issues. In fact, not one colleague who signed the recent open letter in the “Worms and Germs” blog (https://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/) has taken the time to contact Professor Bridle to discuss his thinking around the literature that he cites.
The core academic group, and many others of us signing this petition have taken the opportunity to personally discuss these ideas with Professor Bridle on numerous occasions. Although we may not always endorse every idea he has put forward, we agree totally with a need for caution around the vaccination of children under 18 years of age, particularly without parental consent. We also fully support his right to freedom of speech and academic freedom so that he can express as freely as possible his scientific ideas, which are motivated by his desire to serve and protect the Canadian public.
We also point out that it seems pusillanimous that many of the complaints against Professor Bridle have come from anonymous ‘keyboard warriors’. Those who do not provide their identities and are not willing to engage in a fair and open debate of these ideas in front of the public have no business to deride Professor Bridle, although they too have the freedom to be critical of his opinions, even if they (the detractors) are right or wrong.
If they are confident that Professor Bridle and others are incorrect, why are his critics unwilling to participate in an open conversation or even a debate?
Along these lines, Professor Bridle and many other colleagues requested that the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, and any members of the Ontario COVID Task Force participate in an open forum. This invitation was not acknowledged except by local MPs, and no invitation accepted.
Invitations to specific colleagues posting negative comments on social media, including those that initiated the open letter in Worms and Germs, have also not been accepted. We believe, given the critical nature of this matter, the issues surrounding COVID vaccinations should be debated in front of the Canadian public by people with differing views. We are confident in the ability of Canadians to draw their own well-thought out conclusions, provided that they are given the opportunity to listen to and think about all sides of the argument whether or not they agree with Professor Bridle.
We were also shocked that individuals, also unknown, have made websites using his name (e.g. https://byrambridle.com/) to post harmful and slanderous comments about Professor Bridle. This site is replete with disinformation and outright lies, which are being promulgated to defame Professor Bridle. Then there are the ‘fact checkers’! What, exactly are their credentials? Who are they? And when one reads their so-called fact-checks, it becomes painfully obvious that apart from attacking Professor Bridle or simply being dismissive of his comments, these ghost-like ‘experts’ cannot challenge Professor Bridle on any grounds that have any scientific merit.
With respect to his position regarding the spike protein being a concern given its vaccine-induced expression in various tissues, including immune privileged sites, there are now many publications demonstrating precisely that the spike protein can be hazardous. We have provided limited reference here, since we are addressing the bigger issues of academic freedom, but will provide more upon request. However, a few key publications are worth mentioning since the idea of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein being pathogenic seems to be what is most troubling to Professor Bridle’s detractors.
A recent paper by Ogata et al. (2021) published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab465/6279075) showed that plasma collected from 11 of 13 health care workers had detectable levels of spike protein and/or S1 antigens as early as one day and up to 28 days (in one individual) following vaccination with the mRNA-1273 Moderna vaccine. Although the amounts of spike proteins were low, it is worthy of further investigation for a number of reasons:
Reports of vaccine adverse events such as vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia (VITT) and myocarditis, associated with both the mRNA and DNA vaccines, seem to be due, at least in part, to binding of spike protein to the ACE2 receptor on endothelial cells within the blood vessels. VITT was a key reason why the AstraZeneca vaccine was eventually suspended in Canada and elsewhere.
The Pfizer biodistribution data sent to the Japanese regulatory authorities demonstrating in rodents that within 15 minutes of immunization the lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) carrying a mRNA construct could be found in multiple organs and tissues including the blood, bone marrow, brain, ovaries, liver, spleen, adrenal glands and other sites (https://www.naturalnews.com/files/Pfizer-bio-distribution-confidential-document-translated-to-english.pdf).
This was of concern, since following traditional vaccination the foreign protein would be expected to stay close to the site of injection and the draining lymph-nodes, but not migrate to various tissues, particularly immune-privileged sites where expression of foreign protein can induce inflammatory damage. These results should at least be confirmed in other species before further vaccination of children. Also, traditional vaccines deliver a known amount of foreign protein, whereas the mRNA and DNA vaccines rely on the host to produce an unknown amount of foreign spike protein. Children may be different than adults with respect to the amount of spike protein they produce due to effects of age and metabolism.
The publication by Zhang and Shyy et al. (2021) in Circulation Research (https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.318902) showing that the viral spike protein plays a key role in the disease itself, by allowing attack of the vascular system at the cellular level. This again pointed to a potential concern about any amount of spike protein induction in the circulation.
Another publication by Nuovo et al. (2021) in the Annals of Diagnostic Pathology showing endothelial cell damage, including within the microvessels of the brain, could readily be induced by viral S1 subunit injection in mice (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758180/).
A recent preprint by Patterson et al. (2021) showing that human non-classical monocytes capable of causing inflammation, and found in circulation, can carry the SARS-CoV-2 S1 protein for up to 15 months following infection (https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.25.449905v1). In a recent online interview with Dr. Bruce Patterson, he stated that similar observations have been seen post-vaccination. He noted spike proteins carried for many months in monocytic cells associated with long-term effects of COVID-19, and possibly long-term adverse vaccines effects. This requires further investigation.
A couple of small studies, one by Low et al. (2021) indicated that following BNT162b2 vaccination, there is at least a minimal transfer of vaccine mRNA secretion into human milk (up to 2 ng/ml) (https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.27.21256151) and another study by Bertrant et al. (2021) documented that a few infants experienced some adverse symptoms, although mild, following suckling from vaccinated mothers https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.21.21255841). These small studies imply that vaccine mRNA can be transferred from mothers to infants in breast milk and may cause some symptoms in the children.
A publication by Lagoumintzis et al. (2021) indicating a small “toxin-like” epitope on the viral spike glycoprotein with homology to a snake venom toxin (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33503469/) also requires further investigation.
Many of the troubling features of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein occur following natural infection, but the difference is that using LNPs has the potential to quickly deliver the mRNA encoding spike to almost all tissues examined. The current mRNA and DNA vaccine platforms are also designed to induce high expression of stable spike on the cell surface, and an inflammatory response is directed against the transfected cells rather than just the virus. Moreover, it seems that whenever the viral spike protein gets into circulation, there is the potential for additional adverse reactions. Even with rare adverse events, this is a large number of people to consider with mass vaccination. We could provide many more publications for discussion, but the aforementioned should be sufficient evidence to help people understand why Professor Bridle suggested pausing the mass vaccination of children. This recommendation is also in line with a recent WHO cautionary note around the vaccination of children which states “there is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendation for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19”.
These concerning and emerging findings regarding the viral spike protein were unanticipated by all of us, including Dr. Bridle, who admits this openly. However, when Professor Bridle became aware of research showing that the spike protein could be toxic, he concluded that suspending the roll out of these vaccines for children, particularly without parental consent, would be the prudent course of action.
Therefore, it is our opinion that Professor Bridle, as an ethical scientist, had no choice but to speak out. His views have not been challenged on a scientific level, and he continues to be open to conversation around these issues.
In fact, many world experts agree with his concerns. He participated in international symposia when invited (e.g. COVID Plan B 2020 and 2021, and was hosted by respected colleagues in New Zealand, https://www.covidplanb.co.nz/).
He also gave several very informative interviews to the media. The fact that some of these presentations or interviews caused discomfort and debate is not a crime, but is rather a breath of fresh air in what has become a highly censored environment.
This environment is tantamount to an echo chamber where those who do not conform are shamed and ridiculed. This is completely anathema to scientific discourse, and is also antithetical to the principles of free speech that are linked inextricably to the maintenance, and improvement of a free and open society.
We also note people’s concerns about the variants of concern, including the Delta variant, which is still relatively minor in Canada, but now the most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 strain in England. The current data indicates that although the Delta variant is more transmissible, it is not more virulent. Figure 2 shows that hospitalization rates in England remained low even as the Delta variant became the dominant strain. There is no need for causing further alarm to the public, but rather simply report the facts. Figure 3 indicates death rates in Canada by province also continue to decline. Interestingly, although the overall death rate remains low, the Delta variant appears to be causing more deaths in the vaccinated than the non-vaccinated. The reasons for this are currently being considered, but firm conclusions have not yet been drawn. However, it is well known that the current vaccines do not prevent transmission in a significant portion of vaccinated people.
Another reason for the currently low death and hospitalization rates could be the approach of herd immunity. In fact, several papers point to solid immunity following recovery from COVID-19 (reviewed in https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674). One publication by a Canadian group reported that >90% of people in the Vancouver area already possessed antibodies to spike, nucleocapsid and other viral peptides of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/146316). Antibodies are a good indicator of immunity to this virus.
Although not every person will produce antibodies following COVID-19, the vast majority will, and since very few people are re-infected, one can safely assume that memory cells are also generated. The sophisticated SARS-CoV-2 antibody mapping array described in the paper by Majdoubi et al. (2021) was developed in Canada and is an excellent tool that can be used to determine the current level of population immunity in Canada. Immunity from natural exposure to this virus is likely to provide a more broad-based level of protection than vaccine-induce immunity, since the immune system gets to recognize all parts of the virus as opposed to just the spike protein. This could be assessed prior to vaccination, particularly as an alternative to vaccinating children until more evidence is available.
Professor Bridle is also well-known for his collaborative research efforts with colleagues at eighteen Canadian institutions. This has best been exemplified by Professor Bridle being a founding member of the highly successful National Centre of Excellence in Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment (BioCanRx), as well as being one of fifteen members of the pan-Canadian collaborative research network known as the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (OVC). These collaborations have led to unique opportunities for highly qualified personnel from OVC to gain interdisciplinary training.
Further, these collaborative networks have generated several clinical trials and a spin-off company known as Turnstone Biologics. He has also had notably productive collaborations with scientists such as Dr. Grant McFadden at Arizona State University (a leader in the field of oncolytic virotherapy research) and Dr. Jack Lawler at Harvard University (a leader in the field of cancer vascular normalization research); Professor Bridle has co-authored publications with both.
We see no reason for funding agencies to suddenly change their minds about the worth of Professor Bridle’s contributions or critical thinking skills. Professor Bridle is making unique and important contributions to his discipline, and we can see no reason that this should not continue well into the future.
It would be a great loss for our country to defame one of its own topflight scientists, because he is courageous enough to bring forth a difference of opinion. And to reiterate, his opinions relating to the spike protein, as well as the narrow immunity offered by the mRNA and DNA vaccines are supported by many highly credentialed scientists around the globe, including but not limited to Professor Robert Malone, one of the originators of mRNA technological platforms (https://youtu.be/U1pEtrEr2_s).
Professor Bridle’s research over the last several years has been funded by numerous granting agencies including the prestigious Terry Fox Research Institute New Investigator Award, Terry Fox Research Institute Program Project Grant, one Catalyst Grant and one Enabling Grant from BioCanRx, an Innovation Grant that was jointly funded by the Canadian Cancer Society and the CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research (ICR), an Operating Grant that was funded jointly by the Cancer Research Society and the CIHR-ICR), an NSERC Discovery Grant, an operating grant from the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, and operating grants from the Pet Trust Fund (he was the principal investigator on three and a co-applicant on three). He currently holds government grants to help develop safe and efficacious vaccines against COVID-19. Simply put, he is eminently qualified to speak on this topic.
As colleagues of Professor Bridle, we strongly support his rights to speak as an informed educator and researcher on the topic of COVID-19 vaccination. We fully acknowledge the benefits of vaccination in general, but under the circumstance support that out of an abundance of caution we should pause mass vaccination of children until we understand the features of the novel nucleic acid vaccines more fully. There are plenty of red flags at the moment and although we are well aware that many governments are moving ahead with mass vaccination of children we cannot endorse this policy without further investigation.