A professor at New Mexico State University was relieved of his teaching duties for A.) refusing to wear a mask, B.) refusing to get the vaccine, C.) refusing to get tested for Covid and D.) refusing to enforce the school’s mask policy for his students. Essentially, it’s the quad-fecta of poor health practices (as defined by the CDC, NIH, and World Health Organization).

David Clements claims that he is being punished for exercising his right to free speech and “thinking for himself”. The video from his first day of class, which he himself recorded and posted, shows a couple of things: he’s using his platform as a finance professor to promote conspiracy theories and he doesn’t have a grasp of how to read data.

The video, which isn’t included in most of the online news coverage but which you can check out below, shows Mr. Clements haranguing students about the university’s policy and mocking students who get up to leave. I’ve included the video (below) because I think it’s important to point out when charlatan’s and hucksters misuse data and explain how they’re doing it.

At about the 3:00 minute mark Clements begins making claims about the “number of deaths attributed to the Covid vaccines”. He claims the vaccine has “killed 1,536 in the UK”, and “12,791 in the U.S.”. He’s already bragged to his class about how he “knows how to think” and that they will learn this skill in his class. He also claims that these “vaccine deaths” are “not in dispute” and have been “reported in VAERS”.

OK. Here we go.

The VAERS that he mentions is the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System which is run by the Department of Health and Human Services. It does say that the number of reported deaths among vaccinated people is over 12 thousand. But the crucial part of the data, and that one that Clements and others like him omit, is that the CDC clearly states that these figures don’t imply any causality between getting the vaccines and subsequent health issues up to and including death. Further, the FDA REQUIRES medical providers to report ANY death after Covid-19 vaccinations. This is a crucial, crucial distinction. Clements’ version is that 12,791 deaths have been caused by Covid vaccines…and it’s “NOT IN DISPUTE!!!”

The ACTUAL data says that over 12, 000 (later modified to less than 7K) died of ANYTHING after getting vaccinated. I guess the big takeaway from Clements’ screed is that “COVID vaccines don’t convey immortality”.

Reuters has a thorough debunking of this misleading argument. So has Politifact and USA Today.

My first impulse is to think that this kind of misinterpretation of data from a college professor HAS to be intentionally misleading. But, Clements is also a proponent of Trump’s “Stolen Election” lie and actually participated at the My Pillow Guy’s Crackpot Cyber Symposium…so, maybe he’s just not as good at “thinking” as he likes to brag.

Well…maybe Trump University is hiring.

 

 

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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