By Mary Beth Pfeiffer, Senior Investigative Reporter at Trial Site News | I’m a fire-in-the-belly muckraker who abhors the role of money-fueled corruption in government and medicine. My job: Expose it.

Twenty people who were harmed by Covid-19 vaccines came to Washington D.C. this week—sick, bereaved, from a dozen states—seeking help from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  

This is what they got: One hour with the top vaccine official in the United States—in a Zoom call to their hotel conference room. 

Two had lost sons, 16 and 34 years old, soon after their shots. Three were in wheelchairs, including a girl, 14. A surgeon, nurse practitioner, teacher, and most others can no longer work. Once healthy and fit, many had been eager to be vaccinated.

“They were hiding behind a monitor,” said Brianne Dressen, 41, a Utah mother of two who was incapacitated in a vaccine trial for which she enthusiastically volunteered in November 2020. “All of us, we came out here, and Peter Marks could not get out of his house and meet with us.”

The virtual meeting, which I sat in on, was punctuated by FDA language that the attendees told me they had heard in five such meetings before, specifically about the connection between their suffering and Covid vaccinations. 

“The data is not sufficiently robust,” Dr. Peter Marks said repeatedly. “With these low rates, it’s very hard to know what you’re looking at.” The word “rare” was used, and, of course, the phrase “1 in a million.”

And then there was this: “That’s not to say we won’t continue to look.”

Beyond telling several wrenching stories, these debilitated Americans, part of a patient advocacy group called React19, urged the agency to alert doctors to a devastating condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome, particularly in children. React 19’s website lists about 30 science articles on potential vaccine-related MIS, calling it “a poorly understood, underreported, hyperinflammation of multiple organ systems.” The Covid-associated syndrome may also occur after vaccination, the group argued, and, may go unrecognized.

The Covid Factor

The MIS debate has parallels to another vaccine injury, myocarditis, that claimed the life of Ernesto Ramirez Jr., 16, five days after his Pfizer mRNA shot. The boy’s father, Ernesto Sr., has campaigned to gain recognition for the condition, with an FDA official telling him at one point, “This is a situation we are all going through.” Maybe so.

But as myocarditis cases piled up, the government’s denial of vaccine-caused heart damage was intense. A major paper was withdrawn under pressure, and a Centers for Disease Control article disputed the vaccine role in the deaths of two boys. Today, the CDC acknowledges the vaccine-myocarditis link, even if asserting it is “rarely” reported. Doctors know now to look for it. Research has suggested it is more prevalent than first thought.

On multisystem inflammatory syndrome, the FDA Zoom meeting ultimately turned on a simple question: How many pediatric cases, of a condition that cripples multiple bodily systems, are too many? 

But here’s the rub. If a disabled child with MIS had a hint of having had Covid—a common reality of a highly imperfect vaccine—the case is tossed to the “not-the-vaccine” pile. 

According to Marks, 58 vaccinated children, 5 to 11 years old, have been diagnosed with the inflammatory syndrome, which, research shows, puts nearly 60 percent in intensive care units and involves heart, kidney, respiratory and blood damage. However, of those 58, Marks told the group, 54 had “laboratory evidence” of prior Covid. Two did not; two were “unclear.” The 54 were discounted.

“At the end of the day, given 7.3 million (vaccinated) children involved here,” Marks said, “it was impossible to make a clear association.” 

He pointed to a recent Lancet article that found 21 cases among 12-to-20-years-olds, but concluded, as with myocarditis, the condition was “rare.”  

“The (MIS) association is too weak…either in adults or in children,” Marks said. 

Joel Wallskog, co-chair of React19, is a Milwaukee orthopedist who performed 850 surgeries a year before the unthinkable happened from a shot in the arm. At 52, he is retired because he cannot stand steady enough to wield a scalpel.

“It’s truly an unfortunate waste of time to meet with them,” he said of the meeting.

Asked Dressen in an email to Marks: “How many cases of MIS are needed before MIS is listed on the vaccine safety label?” 

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