As everybody in this corner of the internet knows, a New Zealand Te Whatu Ora employee named Barry Young leaked four million vaccination records from New Zealand’s “pay per dose” vaccine programme to Steve Kirsch on 8 November. The records apparently pertain to doses administered to individual patients at apothecaries and doctors’ practices; vaccines administered by special mobile vaccination teams and at government mass vaccination centres were recorded separately and remain hidden from us.
Kirsch removed patient names from the data before providing a summary version to Norman Fenton and the full records to my friend William Briggs for independent review. Finally, on 30 November, he released the anonymised dataset to the internet and posted his own analysis to Substack, where he argues vigorously that the records show a vaccine-associated mortality rate of one death per 1,000 doses. This mortality rate would mean well over 13 million vaccine-induced deaths worldwide.
A lively Twitter debate has emerged about the significance of the data and their proper interpretation. Further drama has visited the real world. Young, the leaker, was arrested on Sunday for “dishonestly accessing Te Whatu Ora databases.” He faces up to seven years in prison, and was released on bail yesterday. Meanwhile, the New Zealand Ministry of Health secured a court injunction to stop the distribution of the leaked data, and used this authority to close Kirsch’s Wasabi file server. Friend-of-the-blog Kevin McKernan, who had agreed to mirror the dataset, likewise had his account with the file hosting service MEGA deleted with no notice, and at considerable personal and professional cost. These measures are of course contemptible and they will do nothing to stop the further spread of the leak, which is now all over the internet.
Some of you have asked me for my thoughts about the leak, but I didn’t want to say anything until Briggs posted his analysis, because his work has always been very important to me. I am pleased to say that he has now published his full, in-depth report. I encourage you to read the whole thing, and also to subscribe to his Substack. You won’t regret it.
See also his Twitter thread, where he summarises the most important points.
As for my thoughts:
1) New Zealand has reacted harshly against the leaker and against those who have hosted the leak, even in its anonymised form. This reaction cannot, in itself, be used to argue that there must be evidence of mass vaccine mortality in this dataset. I don’t know anything about New Zealand law, but I would not be surprised to find that the unauthorised release of non-anonymised patient records is a crime there. This not a comment on the justice of Young’s arrest, merely an observation. It is highly likely that New Zealand health authorities themselves are uncertain about what lurks in their vaccine records and what random internet people might find in them. Clearly they have been stupid enough to trigger the Streisand Effect by deleting the accounts of Kirsch and McKernan, so we should not expect too much of them. It is also possible that there are things other than vaccine mortality lurking in these numbers that they want to keep hidden from the public and that the internet has yet to discover. Finally, bureaucracies fight ferocious battles to keep even the most mundane records secret, because even the pretence of access to hidden information allows state officials to make statements that outsiders cannot challenge or verify.
2) I was fairly certain from the beginning that there would be nothing all that dramatic in these records, for the simple reason that all-cause New Zealand mortality does not leave room for massive vaccine mortality.
Consider all-cause mortality in New Zealand for the past five years:
2023 is not over yet, but 37,569 deaths have been counted there through the end of September. This is somewhat lower than the 38,052 deaths recorded by September 2022, so 2023 is on track to be a slightly better year.
New Zealand effectively shut itself off from the world in 2020 in an effort to stop Covid, and their measures inevitably stopped a lot of other viruses too. At great cost, they seem to have saved about 2,000 lives in the short term, accounting for the anomalously low death numbers in 2020. The elevated death numbers for 2022 – the year the pandemic reached New Zealand – are officially the fault of Covid, but some of them must simply represent a compensatory rise from the low point of 2020, because viruses tend to kill the very old and the very sick, and these people have to die sometime. In 2022 and 2023, I can see room for an absolute maximum of 8,000 excess deaths. Probably 2,000 of these are sick and frail people who would’ve died in 2020 had it been a normal year, and so we’re left with at most 6,000 excess deaths to divide between the arrival of Covid, the return of other viruses and the vaccines. This is remarkably close to the official Covid New Zealand death count, which is currently at 5,143.
It’s simple, then: How much room you think there is for direct vaccine mortality will depend on how much you dispute these official Covid death numbers. I propose that any more than 2,000 vaccine deaths is just not very plausible. Certainly, there is no way to make Kirsch’s estimated vaccine mortality rate of one death per 1,000 vaccinations work with these numbers. New Zealand has administered 12 million doses, which would mean 12,000 vaccine-induced deaths. I see no room for that kind of mortality here.
Some will surely object that the mortality numbers cannot be trusted, but if that’s the case, we are totally in the dark and we don’t know anything. Even if you want to argue that all Covid deaths are reassigned vaccine deaths, we still don’t have the numbers to make the math work. Of course, all of this applies only to direct vaccine mortality; some of the Covid deaths could be down to immune imprinting or vaccine-enhanced transmission of SARS-2, but these are somewhat different questions, which the leaked data don’t shed much light on.