July 1, 2022

What does "suggests" suggest? It makes something sound untrue, but you haven't shown anything untrue.

I'm trying to read — at Politico — "Clarence Thomas suggests Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’/Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing."
Maybe there was an earlier draft of this article that made more sense, but the way it is now, what Clarence Thomas "suggests" happened is the same thing Politico tells us really happened.

What's not true is that the vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses or cells derived from cells from aborted fetuses, but Thomas didn't say that. He said that some litigants opposed to a vaccine mandate "object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children."

You can read Thomas's whole opinion — dissenting from a denial of a grant of certiorari — here. He is joined by Alito and Gorsuch. Only 4 votes are needed to take the case. The issue is whether the mandate can be considered a "generally applicable" policy when it has some exceptions — medical exceptions.

54 comments:

n.n said...

Test beds derived from a child aborted by Choice (i.e. elective) to develop a non-sterilizing, mutagenic medical treatment with an uncharacteristically short and exclusive testing phase, distributed by choice, Choice, and mandate to the general population. That said, Politico is waging a campaign to discredit Thomas, through crafting a deceptive characterization brayed as a handmade tale, one of several under consideration by his opponents.

wendybar said...

That's Pravda for you!!!

tim in vermont said...

If they didn’t have lies…

Not Sure said...

The campaign to discredit Clarence Thomas has begun.

Michael K said...

I stopped reading "Politico" a long time ago. The ignorance vs malice issue is unsettled.

Achilles said...

The Politico is purposely being deceptive and dishonest.

When you choose to read purposely deceptive and dishonest sources you get a purposely deceptive and dishonest view of what is going on.

Almost every source linked on this blog is purposely dishonest.

Mark said...

Given the testing using fetal cells happened after the vaccines were developed, I disagree.

I wonder if the plaintiffs are contesting all vaccines and medicines who used such cells for testing or just cherry picking this one.

gilbar said...

This a critical, critical piece of our bodily autonomy
GET YOUR LAWS OFF OF MY BODY!!!
What Business does a bunch of MEN (and women) have deciding What *i* can Do, WITH MY BODY???

Lem said...

Most people don't read the articles before rushing to the socials and commenting something along the lines... 'can you believe this dope Thomas?'

Coming from what the socials call an "authoritative" source, making this type of headline is tantamount to "misinformation", "disinformation" and probably "mal-information" too.

dbp said...

The family of HEK 293 cell lines were derived from the kidneys of a single aborted or miscarried fetus in the Netherlands in 1973. HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney and 293 was from the clone that was finally successful.

The most successful vaccines, the mRNA versions use no tissue culture in any part of the production process. Possibly the vaccines were tested in HEK 293 cells, to see if they took-up the nanoparticles and went-on to express spike protein.

Gusty Winds said...

Why do people who consider themselves intelligent continue to call the COVID shots "vaccines" when in fact they are not vaccines?

It is amazing that most of the human race can be so easily manipulated simply by the motivation to fit in, and go along to get along. Truth be damned.

Gusty Winds said...

From the article: "All 16 health care workers were either fired, resigned, lost hospital admitting privileges or decided to receive the vaccine."

These are now the most valuable, ethical, and trusted people in the medical community, except the ones who took the shot.

In Sussex, WI we lost a GREAT long time primary care physician who was with Froedtert / Medical College of WI because he would not take the "vaccine". The clinic closed after he stepped down rather than take the shot. His wife who is also a local area physician said she will retire before she would take the shot. She must be some type of specialist because MCW is still employing her.

It's hard to trust any doctor who sold their soul to the COVID mRNA bs. Especially the one's who push in on children. Cowards.

Richard Dolan said...

The Politico write-up is quite lame. The sentence in Thomas’s opinion which the article is describing is followed by a citation to the cert petition. Anyone with even passing familiarity with legal writing will recognize that the Thomas opinion is simply describing the claims by the petitioner seeking cert. The point of his opinion is only that he (and the two who joined him) deemed the question presented by the petition to be sufficiently important that the Court should grant cert.

So nothing to see here, and the article (certainly the headline) is just silly spin evidently targeted against Thomas.

Althouse adds the point that the statement in the cert petition paraphrased by Thomas has the virtue of being accurate. And indeed it is. The petitioners’ point was that, because cells derived from abortions had been used in the process of developing the vaccines, they would be complicit in the sin of abortion if they accepted for themselves the product resulting from that process. That’s obviously a religious perspective, and not one likely to be widely shared, even though evidently sincerely held by these petitioners.

The interesting point to me about all this is that notion of being complicit in a long-ago wrong if one accepts a benefit to which that wrong contributed in some way. That theory is alive and well in many areas today. The NYRB recently reviewed several books making the case that America’s elite universities- including all of the Ivies plus many more — benefited from slavery at their founding, either directly like Georgetown ( the founding Jesuits had a tobacco farm worked by slaves, and they eventually sold the slaves to keep the new college going), or indirectly by being funded from the banking, insurance and other profits of the slave trade). The larger point, that the entire American economy in the pre-Civil War period benefited from the slave trade is plainly also true. A theory of complicity in past wrongs, quite like that raised by the petitioners in the case Thomas was describing, underlies the many demands today for reparations based on the university’s involvement with and benefiting from slavery centuries ago. In response the universities are setting aside huge resources as a form of reparations— Harvard alone has set up a $100 million fund to study and publish its own involvement with slavery.

So perhaps the religious concern in the Thomas case isn’t is so odd after all.

Sebastian said...

Do progs ever represent Thomas fairly? For that matter, do they ever represent conservatives fairly?

For a recent example, look at Dave Leonhardt, by no means the looniest, on SCOTUS and EPA: the court doesn't care about climate change! Etc. etc.

Kate said...

To be fair, the game of telephone goes both ways. Some on the Right will hear a garbled version of what @dbp explains and may think that actual aborted cells are contained in each vaccine.

That's not what Thomas thinks or says, but journalism likes to make sensational claims and rebut imagined arguments.

However, is Thomas suggesting that religious objections, even the ones based on faulty logic, still need to be protected?

Yancey Ward said...

It is all but certain that the vaccines were tested on cell lines during development, and it all but certain that many of the human cell lines are ultimately sourced from human embryos- I can think of at least 4 such lines that were routinely being used when I was researcher, and it has been only around a decade since I retired. These sorts of tests are routine in drug development and normal vaccine development, and the m-RNA vaccines are combination of both molecular drugs and vaccines. The only way such testing was not done for these particular products is if Pfizer and Moderna skipped every single normal procedure for assessing efficacy and safety before injecting them directly into people.

People trying to distinguish between development and testing are idiots who don't even understand what the word 'development' means in the pharmaceutical business- the testing is part of the development process, even after you have constructed the molecule or vaccine.

hawkeyedjb said...

Yes, Politico is lying - deliberately. They know readers will not look below the surface because they are simply confirming the biases of their own audience. They are thoroughly, completely dishonest - in other words, "fact-checkers."

Bruce Hayden said...

“ The most successful vaccines, the mRNA versions use no tissue culture in any part of the production process. Possibly the vaccines were tested in HEK 293 cells, to see if they took-up the nanoparticles and went-on to express spike protein.”

Too bad that these vaccines weren’t then adequately tested for long term safety and efficacy.

But, yes, the Pharma companies didn’t apparently actually use the cell line for initially creating the vaccines. That was apparently done by finding the section of RNA in the decoded genome map of the virus that creates the spike proteins in future copies of the virus. They then fabricated that sequence, substituting N1-Methylpseudouridine (abbreviated m1Ψ) for Uridine(U) in the genetic sequence (presumably for stability in shipping and storage, but that substitution is probably why these vaccines are so physically dangerous long term, because the manufactured mRNA breaks down in months, and not the usual hours), added the 3’ cap and UTR and 5’ tail and UTR, encased it in a capsid, and voilà, mRNA vaccines.

Buckwheathikes said...

"they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children."

And that is a perfectly valid reason for objecting on religious or even other grounds.

If there are products and services which are "derived from" the cells of aborted children, then there becomes a monetary or beneficial incentive to always ensure that there are aborted children. That will lead to an abortion industry (which, hey, abortion is already an industry in that tens of thousands of people make lots of money performing or advocating for them).

That's the point of being against it. We don't want a society were a never-ending supply of aborted children are required to function properly.

And come on. Is it any surprise, really, that racists within the Democrat Party would mischaracterize something that the most esteemed black man in America says? They hate Clarence Thomas. Because he's black. Because he defeated them. Because they are the political party in America founded on racism by racists, for racists.

Howard said...

Who cares. I'm sure Justice Thomas is just showing us his affirmative action level best intelligence. It's really unfair of Politico to make His Most Christian Honor look bad by using his own words.

Real American said...

if the truth was on their side, the leftists media wouldn't need to lie.

c365 said...

"testing using fetal cells happened after the vaccines were developed, I disagree."

That's silly. If they got data from the stem cells then they were used. When you test a drug on an animal, the drug was already "developed" too. But they still used animal testing.

The fact that (assuming no changes were made) they developed the vaccine, tested it on cells and made no changes (if true) points to how underdeveloped and undertested the vaccines would be. I would hope after looking at interactions with cells they could suggest improvements. As obviously, the vaccines are casing some serious issues for thousands of people.

Carol said...

Bullshit Gusty. I don't want to get covid and will take any reasonable measures not to get it. It's a nasty fucking plague with long tail after effects.

Four shots so far with no side effects.

Static Ping said...

dbp said...
The most successful vaccines, the mRNA versions use no tissue culture in any part of the production process.


The vaccines were developed developed using cell lines developed from aborted children, which everyone agrees is true. There is no dispute of this claim. Thomas is merely quoting what the one of the parties factually claims.

The media jumped all over this as "Thomas claims vaccines made from abortions" which is so incorrect that it straight malpractice. Either the reporters and editors are too stupid to understand the truth, or they don't care as long as it fits their narrative. (Yes, I should embrace the "and" in this case.) Either disqualifies the "journalists" from ever being trusted ever again.

madAsHell said...

What does "suggests" suggest?

It depends on what the meaning of is is!!

Balfegor said...

I overuse "suggests," but in a slightly different context -- to say that the evidence or precedent points in a certain direction but is far from dispositive (as opposed to "shows" or "demonstrates" or even "indicates"). I don't think "suggests" carries the implication that the proposition is untrue.

It's just a weasel word that softens the assertion. They're not saying he said it outright. Only that he suggested it. Raised the possibility. Was just asking questions.

Mike Petrik said...

@Gusty. I appreciate that words are often misused to mislead, but I don’t see why mRNA vaccines, however novel, are outside the commonly accepted definition.

Jersey Fled said...

The important thing as far as Politico is concerned is that their audience will belive it, true or not.

That's how the game is plated.

Most of us here are concerned with whether it is true or not. That's completely immaterial.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

I hope the media does not confirm that aborted babies make their way to medical research.
Best to keep a narrative of convenience.

n.n said...

why mRNA vaccines, however novel, are outside the commonly accepted definition

Not mRNA delivery and replication technology, but rather Covax-19/20/21/22 formulations that are non-sterilizing medical treatments for one, without an established long-term safety record for another, and pathogenic in at least a minority of the population, particularly young men and women who are at low-risk to suffer disease progression.

Gusty Winds said...

@Mike Petrik: According to the pre-COVID mRNA vaccine definition published by the CDC vaccination was, "the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease".

After the change it reads, "the act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce protection from a specific disease". That's a huge change. Immunity vs Protection.

1) The mRNA does not provide immunity as initially promised. Traditional vaccines provide immunity. 2) The mRNA does not prevent spread of COVID. Traditional vaccines prevent spread. Who gets four boosters of the measles vaccine...and still catches and spreads the measles? Nobody.

We can change the definition of "woman" to "anyone who identifies as a woman, who may or may not have a penis, and a Y chromosome", but that still doesn't make them a woman. It just makes us all fools.

The mRNA "vaccine" is the biggest lie we've ever been sold in our lifetimes. Trump was duped and so was anyone believed it. It is unneeded and dangerous. Especially for children and teenagers. To force it upon them is immoral and a violation of the Nuremberg Code.

Mark said...

I hope these folks also avoid all these drugs which were tested using these same cell lines or their equivalent:

Common over the counter drugs tested on HEK-293 cells or derivative cell lines.

1. Tylenol / Acetaminophen

2. Advil / Motrin / Ibuprofen

3. Aspirin / Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA)

4. Aleve / Naproxen

5. Pseudoephedrine / Sudafed / / SudoGest, Suphedrine

6. Diphenhydramine / Benadryl

7. Loratadine / Claritin

8. Dextromethorphan / Delsym / Robafen Cough / Robitussin

9. Guaifenesin / Mucinex

10. Tums / Calcium Carbonate

11. Maalox / Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide

12. Docusate / Colace / Ex-Lax Stool Softener

13. Senna Glycoside / Sennoside / Senna / Ex-Lax / Senokot

14. Pepto-Bismol / Bismuth Subsalicylate

15. Phenylephrine / Preparation H / Vazculep / Suphedrine PE

16. Mepyramine / Pyrilamine

17. Lidocaine / Lidoderm / Recticare

Jim at said...

Stem cells or not, I oppose the Covid 'vaccines' because the damn things don't work.

iowan2 said...

You snippet posted stated the "vacines" were tested on cells from aborted babies. Not, the vaccine contained the cells.

Michael K said...


Blogger Howard said...

Who cares. I'm sure Justice Thomas is just showing us his affirmative action level best intelligence. It's really unfair of Politico to make His Most Christian Honor look bad by using his own words.


Well, Howard is showing us the systemic racism is alive and well on the left. You and Harry Reid, Howard.

By they way, they were not his words.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Politico seems to have edited the headline and lead so that it now reads:

“Clarence Thomas cites claim that Covid vaccines are ‘developed using cell lines derived from aborted children’
Cells derived from elective abortions have been used in vaccine research for decades, including for Covid-19 vaccines.”

The phrasing “aborted children” is what can be expected from the three most reactivist Justices (Thomas was joined by Alito and Gorsuch). But it can also be said that those cell lines saved the lives of millions of Americans who did and did not receive the vaccines. Score that use as a pull on the trolley lever if you must.

Owen said...

Regarding the discussion about whether mRNA products against Wu Flu should be called “vaccines” or something else…my own view is that we should caution users that the products do not prevent infection but may reduce severity of symptoms although they also seem to lose efficacy within a few months and may leave the recipient’s immunet system trained to defend against an irrelevant variant of the now-mutated virus.

Something like that (corrected and supplemented by people who, unlike me, know what is going on) needs, somehow, to be added to the word “vaccine” when used in this context.

walter said...

Bruce Hayden said... Too bad that these vaccines weren’t then adequately tested for long term safety and efficacy.
--
Yeah, and jabbing the pacebo group.
No worries. The new recipes of these for Fall won't get any testing.
Trust the Science!

gadfly said...

The real question here is: Did any or all of the 16 petitioners composed of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers ever get vaccinated using Merck’s MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) combination vaccine - wherein the rubella vaccine is made directly from fetal cell lines identified as WI-38. MMR was licensed in 1971 and must be given before children in New York schools attend, starting with daycare and pre-K.

WI-38 and MRC-5 fetal-derived cell lines were used in the initial testing of Covid vaccines to grow the coronavirus used in testing but never part of the vaccine itself. This technicality should have been used to toss the lower court ruling. The petitioners' religious rights claim was dead wrong as were the Supreme judges.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Politico has now done what Nixon used to call the partial hangout.

RMc said...

The campaign to discredit Clarence Thomas has begun.

Buddy, it's been going on for three decades. (Where have you been?)

Mikey NTH said...

Don't bother, Althouse. This is slandertown.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Balfegor said...

...Only that he suggested it. Raised the possibility. Was just asking questions.

Except we can read the exact words he wrote, and in no way do they suggest what the headline suggest. He did not raise it as a possibility. He asked no questions related to this.

It is certainly possible that some ignorant people will misunderstand what he wrote. If we had a press that was worth a warm bucket of piss they might write an article saying Thomas' statement was absolutely correct. Here's what it means, and here's what it doesn't mean

Balfegor said...

Re: Ignorance is Bliss:

Except we can read the exact words he wrote, and in no way do they suggest what the headline suggest. He did not raise it as a possibility. He asked no questions related to this.

I'm not going to defend the author of this article -- after all, it's framed like a rebuttal of an assertion (or suggestion) that appears in fact to be correct. I'm just explaining why I don't think "suggest" indicates skepticism.

farmgirl said...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027112/

About the use of fetal tissue in science. See, n.n? The whole baby isn’t thrown out with that birth water!!
/sarc

I have a good friend who believes that there may be dna left when the nuclei are extracted and that’s what causes autism. It’s as good a guess as any. Someone else’s dna in a foreign body might cause distress.

I wish I’d been born in an earlier time.

farmgirl said...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6027112/

About the use of fetal tissue in science. See, n.n? The whole baby isn’t thrown out with that birth water!!
/sarc

I have a good friend who believes that there may be dna left when the nuclei are extracted and that’s what causes autism. It’s as good a guess as any. Someone else’s dna in a foreign body might cause distress.

I wish I’d been born in an earlier time.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Stem cells or not, I oppose the Covid 'vaccines' because the damn things don't work.“

Don’t forget that they are dangerous too.

Two things seem to be going on. First, safety seems to have been assumed by the mRNA breaking down at the injection site. That would likely have happened if normal Uridine (U) had been utilized in the vaccine’s construction. But it was apparently switched out for N1-Methylpseudouridine (abbreviated m1Ψ). So, instead of the usual hours that mRNA exists, the mRNA in the vaccines has been detected months after injection. Given time, it migrates to inconvenient locations in the body, still churning away, generating spike proteins, which the immune system has been trained to know are pathogens. Cells expressing the spike proteins are very often killed as a result, and, for example, if they are in the heart muscle, myocarditis, etc results. The first injection is relatively safe because the immune system hasn’t been trained yet to recognize the spikes as pathogens.

Another problem is that 2nd etc jabs don’t really increase imprinting in the immune memory, but rather cause a massive triggering of the general immune system defenses when the immune system detects the spike proteins, having even previously imprinted. These spikes are readily detected as pathogens, in places they shouldn’t be, so a massive general immune response occurs. This allows other viruses, cancers, etc kept under control by the immune system to escape and flourish.

PenguinBelly said...

Politico used quotation marks. How can you miss it?

PenguinBelly said...

Besides which, how do you abort "children?" You abort the process, not the end result. You abort the process of producing a child, not a child. Abortion, properly understood, is a woman deciding not to produce a child which would be the end result of pregnancy, not killing an independent being that is already complete (fetus).

PenguinBelly said...

I posted above without reading the linked article, and I now realize that the quotation mark was your reinterpretation of the Thomas quote, not Politico's. So apparently you added the quotation mark yourself (yet asking your readers what is missing from Politico's suggestion)?

For what it is worth I thought it was obvious that we do not generally refer to what is in women's uterus "children."

P.S. What kind of comment system is this? Does it take a day to moderate?

gadfly said...

600 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been administered in America and 6 million deaths in total have occurred - that's including vaccinated individuals.

Statistically, vaccinated individuals' death rate was 5 times lower than the unvaccinated. That means that for every 100 deaths, 80 were unvaccinated. So claiming vaccines don't work is just so much bullshit.

Gusty Winds said...

@gadfly. The official US death total for COVID to date in the USA is 1.01 million to date not 6 million as you stated. The 1.01 million is a massaged, bloated number. But hey, what’s an extra 5 million when you spread false fear?

A real vaccine provides immunity. mRNA does not. Nor does it prevent spread.

Whatever it is, it’s not a vaccine.

JAORE said...

Here Howard... using (i.e. mis-using) the truth "Using [your] own words.

"Justice Thomas showing us intelligence using his words."
- Howard

Every word straight out of your post. In order no less!

I'm sure Justice Thomas appreciates your endorsement.

Curious George said...

"Carol said...
Bullshit Gusty. I don't want to get covid and will take any reasonable measures not to get it. It's a nasty fucking plague with long tail after effects.

Four shots so far with no side effects."

You're the one I see still driving around alone in your car, wearing a mask, aren't you?