The other side of the Judy Mikovits story
When the documentary Plandemic came out a few months ago, I didn’t think much about it. A doctor client of mine saw it and told me that he had no reason to believe it wasn’t true and accurate. I said nothing. In my work for medical mavericks, I have been involved in a number of documentaries (I even have an IMDB co-starring credit in a very popular one), so I have a good sense of what I’ll call advocacy documentaries are made. As a result, and again, because I represent mavericks for a living, I come to the table with a healthy degree of skepticism.
Then the book came out, Plague of Corruption, and like the documentary, a firestorm erupted. I hadn’t planned on reading it or writing about the controversy. However, the book had a foreword by Bobby Kennedy, who is a both a thought-leader and the most cogent and effective advocate of the vaccine issue and important health issues in general. As a result, I pay very close attention to what he says. So I got the book (the audible version).
Bobby’s foreword blew me away, and I said as much in a recent post I did about it, and how important it was since a group of clinicians using HCQ called a press conference to challenge the accepted rejection of the treatment they have seen work in their patients. Here is that post.
If you haven’t read his foreword, the general part (non-Judy Mikovits story) of which is quoted in my post, you should because as I said in my post, these clinicians are right in line with the kind of brave professionals Bobby wrote about in his foreword.
I didn’t say much about the actual Judy Mikovits story for a few reasons, not the least of which is that I had a hard time getting through the book. I’ll leave it at that for now.
After writing the post, I got an email from someone accusing me of spreading misinformation, and that he had proof that she had, in fact, stole lab books or and maybe other stuff, and attached some affidavits. More directly, that he had personal knowledge about some of it and was listed in some book about her, him working with her or something like that. Honestly, the whole theft issue doesn’t interest me because she was never convicted nor even ever formally charged with a crime. (I would feel differently if the lab books showed the problems discussed below, but I don’t know that anyone has suggested that.)
But what did highly interest me was a commentary written by two scientists which contain a very, very detailed summary of the whole Mikovits XMRV story, the other side of the story if you will. (I quoted the email and all the links referenced in a comment to the post here: https://rickjaffeesq.com/2020/08/04/bobby-kennedys-intro-to-plague-of-corruption-is-even-more-important-now-after-the-attacks-on-the-frontline-doctors-and-the-firing-of-board-certified-physician-dr-simone-gold/#comment-21900 , if you want to look at the other links and points I am not addressing in this post).
The article was published in a journal that is part of the Mary Ann Liebert journal publishing house. I know it and respect their work. They publish highly regarded journals about integrative medicine, so they are not nonthinking conventionalists. (One of their journals did a positive article about me and my work. Well, no one gets it right all the time.)
The title of the article is harsh: “Fake Science: XMRV, COVID-19, and the Toxic Legacy of Dr. Judy Mikovits”. But if valid, it is well deserved.
If you are what the article calls the “In Judy we trust” camp, don’t bother reading it, as it will have your anti-analytical defense mechanisms working overtime. But if you have an open mind, then you should read it. Also, it has an excellent and short summary exposition about retroviruses.
The article lays out chronologically what happened, all the players, and how she became an academic pariah, (well deserved if true and the related lab evidence is accurately reported).
There are two big claims. First, that her XMRV findings in ME/CFS patients are invalid and what she really found was laboratory contamination in her samples. That is based on the fact that there was just one virus sequence which she found in the many patients she tested. That never happens with retrovirus as there are more like “swarms of related sequences.” So what she really found was just one sample of the retrovirus which contaminated the rest of her samples.
The second, related and even more damming finding was that her samples contained genes that had been engineered in someone else’s lab and which could not have possibly come from the ME/CFS patients themselves. This finding led to the likely conclusion that she had “spiked” her samples with this other researcher’s material, presumably to create or amplify the XMRV retrovirus to justify her conclusion that the retrovirus caused ME/CFS. And if so, then that my friends is a textbook definition of scientific fraud. (My view. The article said it was “prima facie evidence of scientific fraud.”)
These arguments are laid out starting at the last paragraph on page 546 to page 547. Maybe people who have more technical knowledge than me might have a different view, but that’s the way I read it.
The rest of the commentary tells the rest of the other side of the story, why she was fired, and how her paper(s) was(were) retracted.
The end has a particularly damming summary and is worth quoting to fully tell the other side of the story: “So all in all Mikovits has form as a serial scientific fantasist who has consistently made unsubstantiated claims about mouse retroviruses as the cause of a number of human diseases. The only “evidence” she has ever published by her was unequivocally shown to stem from laboratory contamination and explicit fabrication of data. She was never a leading researcher in the field; her doctorial studies were only very minor contributions to the field and until the XMRV debacle, very few had ever heard of her. Her subsequent “research” took advantage of people desperate to have an explanation for their debilitating symptoms, giving them false hope and many a false narrative where they are the victims of a massive medical cover up.”
I don’t know about the last part, but to me, the important part is whether her results were really lab contamination and scientific fraud resulting from her spiking her samples to justify her results. If what the commentary says about that is accurate and scientifically sound, then she’s toast and deserves the scorn she has received.
Read the commentary and decide for yourselves. Here it is:
Finally, Why I am writing this?
Two reasons: It is an important issue and I think it is very, very important for people who have legitimate concerns about vaccines amid all the public health debates swirling around, to be informed and get it right. If Judy Mikovits is not the hero she portrays herself to be in the documentary and book, it would be better for the vaccine concerned community to acknowledge it and move on (or just allow her to fade back into Pariah world).
Second, and more much importantly, I hear she is coming out with a new book about why masks are not necessary in this pandemic. That view could have major and negative consequences for the health of millions. If it turns out that she is who and what the authors of this commentary say she is, maybe you should listen to someone else and stop promoting her.
But again: read the commentary and judge for yourselves.
Rick Jaffe, Esq.
8 thoughts on “The other side of the Judy Mikovits story”
“Honestly, the whole theft issue doesn’t interest me because she was never convicted nor even ever formally charged with a crime. (I would feel differently if the lab books showed the problems discussed below, but I don’t know that anyone has suggested that.) ”
The arrest warrant and criminal charge are public information. Criminal charges for theft were dropped in part due to Harvey’s unrelated illegal campaign contributions. They were dismissed without prejudice. Mikovits lost the civil lawsuit. https://retractionwatch.com/2016/02/16/court-dismisses-lawsuit-by-xmrv-chronic-fatigue-researcher/
You can visually see the scientific fraud in her western blot image, showing a duplicated western blot for two different experiments:
I think the arrest, non prosecution and civil case is just unimportant distracting noise. If it was lab contamination and/or scientific fraud because of intentional spiking the samples, she’s toast and everyone should be done with her. The other stuff is, as stated distraction and you can go back and forth about it if you want, but not me.
Mikovits co-authored a journal paper in 2012, admitting that XMRV was a lab contaminant: “A Multicenter Blinded Analysis Indicates No Association between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and either Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus or Polytropic Murine Leukemia Virus” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448165/
” The prevalence of plasma antibodies reactive with XMRV in plasma was similar in CFS/ME cases (9 of 147, or 6.1%) and controls (9 of 146, or 6.1%) (Table 3)” – Cross-reactive antibodies explain how the negative controls also tested positive for plasma antibodies reactive with XMRV.
As an attorney, you should be reporting accurate information about past court cases even if you do not choose to focus on the legal aspect.
The evidence does not support a public-health policy of using masks.
Denis Rancourt is a retired full professor of Physics, with 100s of published papers. You can read his review of the science at https://www.rcreader.com/commentary/masks-dont-work-covid-a-review-of-science-relevant-to-covide-19-social-policy
There is a good youtube debate at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQyLFdoeUNk&t=597s
I have been following your emails for a while now. I am in the Robert Kennedy Jr camp, and I have read Mikovitz s first book. I appreciate your thoughtful and grounded response on the above. Thank you for sending this and giving people an opportunity to think for themselves. It’s good to look at both sides. As a former, now retired psychologist, I got a look at plenty of sides of the issues in my work, each sounding like they are believe ‘their side’ to be the ‘right side’. I wish there were more critical thinking Americans out there willing to look at both sides of an issue and deciding for themselves, even If one needs to wade through all the disinformation. Respectfully, I am guessing RFK, Jr. wouldn’t have had enough knowledge of the detailed medical issues she raised to speak one way or the other To them. Perhaps these authors know enough about labs and strains to know the truth. Thanks again.
I read the commentary. I would like to see Judy M.s response to this commentary. There were red flags.
Ant time there is censorship of any science claim, even a debunked or biased claim, like they are doing to Mikovits by deplatforming her, you should know there is politics and business at stake and not science any more.
I’ve read her book, and she seemed credible. What happened to her (loss of all funding when you contradict the official narrative) has happened to many others.