The next time someone tells you I'm discredited or a conspiracy theorist or whatever...
Show them this.
A month ago The New Yorker wrote a long piece on Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who owns the Los Angeles Times and is the richest man in Los Angeles.
Dr. Soon-Shiong made his billions thanks to a chemotherapy drug called Abraxane, which is a repatented and dressed-up version of a nasty and somewhat effective drug called paclitaxel. Abraxane came out in 2005 and was among the first cancer drugs to cost a few thousand dollars a month - a price that seems almost quaint now, when some cost 10 times that much. (Because pharmaceutical companies are all about helping patients!)
Overall, the article wasn’t quite a hit piece, but it wasn’t favorable to Dr. Soon-Shiong - who by the way is an extremely serious Covid-phobe, a fact that doesn’t say much about his command of science. The writer, Stephen Witt, went into great and accurate detail about the history of Abraxane and Dr. Soon-Shiong’s many corporate machinations.
Witt even mentioned how “a comprehensive independent review, published in Annals of Oncology in 2006, concluded that Abraxane and similar drugs did “not really” offer a significant therapeutic benefit over established medicines, and termed them ‘old wine in a new bottle.’”
The article was deeply reported. Nicely written, too. No surprise, given where it ran. You may have heard of The New Yorker. For generations, it has been the most respected outlet in journalism, the place practically every serious reporter who can write a lick wants to end up.
Along the way Witt included this line: "A 2006 article in the New York Times reported that Abraxane was selling for forty-two hundred dollars per dose… Generic paclitaxel cost one-twenty-fifth as much.”
I remembered that article.
Because I wrote it.
Gee, I wonder where Witt found out about that Annals of Oncology article?
The point here isn’t that Witt plagiarized a bit of my piece, though he kinda did. That’s what magazine writers do.
The point here is that I could write a piece 15 YEARS AGO - about medicine and the games pharmaceutical companies play - that holds up well enough today for the New Yorker to steal from.
I am the same reporter now I was then.
Check that: I’m better now. I understand the games - and their stakes - better now than I ever have.
And I know that you all are depending on me in a way you shouldn’t have to, because coverage of Covid and the vaccines has been sucked into a political black hole that has made asking even the most basic questions next to impossible.
Thus I have the field of serious investigative journalism about the Covid vaccines - probably the most important medical story of our lives - more or less to myself. Believe it or not, I’d rather have much more competition.
I take this responsibility seriously. I am not hawking natural cures, I am not pretending that ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine is some cheap and easy solution, or that the vaccines sare some plot to kill 90 percent of the population. And probably 98% of the stories on this Substack are available to everyone for free. Which is a weird way to run a grift.
So, yeah, I’m doing my best. Which isn’t to say I don’t make mistakes. But those of you who have been reading me on Twitter and now here for the last 20 months - and that’s a lot of folks by now - know my record. Really, this little exercise in chest-thumping isn’t for you.
It’s for your friends and relatives and everyone you’re trying to convince.