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BBC ‘embarrassed’ after accidentally airing medical opinion on COVID vaccine

News outlet apologizes, finds professor to provide rebuttal

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January 19, 2023

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06:11 AM

BBC ‘embarrassed’ after accidentally airing medical opinion on COVID vaccine

BBC staffers last week were reportedly “alarmed and embarrassed” after realizing they had accidentally aired a medical opinion that challenged federal science on the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The medical opinion came from Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a prominent London-based cardiologist and consultant for the National Health Service (NHS). Dr. Malhotra, who throughout his career believed vaccines were "the Holy Grail of medicine,” pushed the COVID-19 shots aggressively until July 2022 when his father died unexpectedly from a sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Malhotra was stunned by the postmortem, which showed severe blockages in two of his father’s major arteries. 

“I knew my dad’s medical history inside out,” said Dr Malhotra. “He was one of the fittest guys I knew, who kept up his 10,000 steps a day even in lockdown. Just a few weeks before we were walking up mountains together. 

“We did some heart scans a few years earlier and all was clear, so when the post-mortem showed severe blockages I couldn’t understand it, even though it was my [area of] expertise. 

The cardiologist began heavily researching the COVID-19 vaccines and has since been warning about the possible harmful effects of the shots. 

Last week, Dr. Malhotra appeared on BBC to provide his medical opinion on the UK government’s guidance regarding a new cholesterol-lowering statin pill which would be taken daily to reduce the risk of cardiac events, which have been on the rise. 

But Dr. Malhotra overstayed his welcome when he offered his medical opinion that the COVID vaccine causes cardiovascular risk. 

One of the reasons this is coming to the news just now, obviously there has been a big concern about excess deaths. . . . [S]ince the pandemic there has been 30,000 excess deaths specifically due to coronary heart disease, that's my area of expertise. . . . What my own research has found and this is something that is probably a likely contributing factor, is that the COVID mRNA vaccines do carry cardiovascular risk. And I’ve actually called for the suspension of this pending an inquiry, because there’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment over what’s causing the excess deaths.

The vaccine has certainly helped people who are high risk, but now we should be reassured that [the] Omicron circulating is really no worse than the flu. This is really time to pause the vaccine rollout.

A peer-reviewed study from MIT last year showed that the COVID shots — not the virus — are correlated to a 25% increase in cardiac events. 

But that did not stop federal science soundboards such as Snopes, Deadline and The Guardian from saying that Dr. Malhotra “fraudulently claimed without evidence that some coronavirus vaccines could be behind excess deaths from coronary artery disease.” (emphasis added) 

The BBC was roundly criticized online for airing Dr. Malhotra’s evidence-based opinion, including from authorized science amplifiers such as Dr. Neil Stone, an infectious disease doctor who is concerned that saying the virus is from Wuhan, China might be racist. 

Within hours, the BBC found a respiratory physician and mucosal immunologist to reaffirm government messaging about side effects from the vaccine being “very, very rare” in rebuttal to Dr. Malhotra. 

“I did a rapid response interview on the BBC news channel this morning to say that vaccine side effects very, very rare in comparison with the preventable risks of COVID-19. The staff seemed alarmed and embarrassed that they had given him the a platform [sic],” tweeted Professor Peter Openshaw. 

The BBC also put out a statement to temper the damage caused by the segment: 

“Dr Aseem Malhotra was invited on to the BBC News Channel to talk about the latest NICE recommendations on statins. During the discussion he made unprompted claims about the Covid mRNA vaccine. We then asked Professor Peter Openshaw, who represents the overwhelming scientific consensus on the vaccine, to be interviewed on air on this topic and he challenged and rebutted the claims that had been made.” 

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