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Pandemic of heart ailments? Elephant in the room: Distortion of science and history

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD, Epidemiologist* 

“Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one’s grudges ...is the height of inhumanity.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War
***
We are living in strange times! Amidst alarms of sudden deaths coinciding with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines all over the globe, there is a lot of hype about the new SARS-Cov-2 sub-variant JN.1 giving rise to a global heart failure pandemic! For the first time in the history of medicine the suspected cause (JN.1) is following the effect (heart failure)! This pandemic is witnessing the distortion of both science and history!
This is not to deny that JN.1 variant cannot be related to heart failure. All viruses, including the common cold virus, can lead to inflammation of the heart or viral myocarditis and the SARS-CoV-2 need not be an exemption. These are “acts of God” or “natural phenomena” depending on one’s belief and little can be done about it.
However, the Hippocrates Oath and the principle of bioethics demand, that first and foremost, medical interventions should “do no harm.” The precautionary principle calls for halting the intervention, at the slightest signal of harm. Certainly one would expect this for an experimental “Emergency Use Authorization” product administered to all and sundry including those at the least risk, at a scale unprecedented in public health history.
Circumstantial evidence suggests a possible link between the Covid-19 vaccines and increased mortality at a global level, particularly among young people. Excess deaths are striking people down in the prime of life worldwide but no one, including the medical profession, seems to care. Doctors voicing their genuine concerns about the safety of the vaccines are censored and accused of spreading misinformation.
First time in the history of medicine there appears to be two enemy camps that refuse to see eye to eye. The antagonism between the two camps continues while the mystery around the deaths of young people worldwide continues unabated. The tug-o-war between the two sides seems never to end. The majority of the people, i.e. 95% of the population, are the rope in the middle, being pulled from both ends; 2.5% on either side! 
Lacking proper information amidst the “noise of misinformation” and “information overload” they are unable to make up their minds. Of course the rope also includes many who are afraid to stick their neck out and opportunists who will throw their lot with the winning team of this tug-of-war. What a “stalemate” of the “normal curve” which is so popular among statisticians.
In this “tamasha” of tug-of-war, high quality studies which can throw some light on the paradox of rising deaths are rarely being undertaken in spite of the billions of dollars being expended for developing the vaccines. Rather, all studies seem to have a common goal, i.e. establish that the vaccines are safe and effective. Among the trash of poor quality studies (including a sloppy study by ICMR), there is a gem of a study which is hardly getting the attention it deserves.
The study was published in a peer reviewed journal few months ago. The study explored whether changes in the myocardium (muscle of the heart) occurred in people who had taken the Covid vaccine but did not have any symptoms. The researchers compared the uptake of a type of glucose, flurodeoxyglucose (FDG), by the heart muscles using positron emission tomography (PET) scan, a type of imaging technique. 
The study included 303 unvaccinated persons and 700 vaccinated participants. The study showed that those who had taken the Covid-19 vaccine had increased FDG uptake by the heart muscles, even while remaining asymptomatic, compared to the unvaccinated.
What are the implications of this study?
Scientists must acknowledge that there may be a problem with Covid-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, there is no indication of this so far
The study shows some physiological changes in those who had taken the vaccine even without any overt symptoms. What can be the implications of increased glucose intake by the vaccinated heart? It suggests that in some way the heart of those who receive the vaccine function in a different way compared to those who have not taken the vaccine. This type of asymptomatic myocarditis can be difficult to diagnose. 
By using PET scans the researchers studied the uptake of glucose tagged with a marker “flu-deoxy” which emits the positrons which can be picked up by a scan. Once FDG glucose is injected it concentrates in those tissues which utilize high levels of glucose. As mentioned the researchers found higher glucose utilization by the heart muscles in subjects who had been vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated.
Why should increased glucose uptake by the heart matter? Because of the disturbed physiology as the heart muscles normally utilize free fatty acids or fat for their energy requirements. The primary energy source for the heart is fat. One unit of fat gives more than double the energy obtained from carbohydrate. Fat as fuel is the most efficient energy system for proper functioning of the heart. If this is replaced by carbohydrate (glucose), this effectively means there is less energy reserve for the heart.
The average person in daily activities of living may not notice any ill effects of this inefficient “contaminated fuel.” But during periods of increased physical activity when the heart is put under stress this could be very significant. The heart of the vaccinated cannot have the same degree of capability by this compromised fuel of glucose. This altered physiology of the heart can have both short and long term adverse implications which call for detailed study.
For this we need our scientists to first acknowledge that there may be a problem with the Covid-19 vaccine. Unfortunately, there is no indication of this so far. The elephant in the room is growing bigger and knocking things down but still is not able to wake up our researchers and policy makers from their deep slumber.
This elegant study was published in September 2023. It is callousness on part of our scientists to ignore this and not follow up on the leads offered by this paper. The media too seems to be indifferent to this study which should have made headlines rather than the speculation that a new variant is likely to cause a pandemic of heart failures. Science is dead, long live Corona!
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*Professor in a Medical College at Pune. He served as an epidemiologist in the armed forces for over two decades. He recently ranked in Stanford University list of world’s top 2% scientists. He has written the book, “Covid-19 Pandemic: A Third Eye”

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