Deputy the Anti-Vaccinator: What Anti-Scientific Theories Does Yuriy Kamelchuk Spread

Refutation of Yuriy Kamelchuk’s fakes from the Mokryk Po Zhyvomu interview

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A journalist by education, an entrepreneur, a business coach, a coach and a consultant, and now an MP from the “Servant of the People” and… an anti-vaccinator and supporter of conspiracy theories. Meet Yuriy Kamelchuk.

Yuriy Kamelchuk has been mentioned often lately. He is known for his statements about the “fictional disease COVID-19” and even got several times in our fact checks. And On December 17, Kamelchuk gave an interview to Danylo Mokryk on the Mokryk Po Zhyvomu program. We counted 11 fakes and pseudo-scientific theories in this video. That is, on average, Kamelchuk was telling fakes at least every 4 minutes throughout the interview. But they were concentrated in only one part of it — about the WHO, the coronavirus, vaccines and… ”women’s energy”.

But that doesn’t stop Kamelchuk from bragging about his critical thinking skills: “The thing is that I question it through critical thinking, if I don’t hear the right arguments in response, I still doubt it.”

Well, at VoxCheck, we know exactly what true critical thinking is.  

Fakes about the Covid-19

We have previously caught Kamelchuk lying about the fact that Covid-19 is a common flu, and that tests do not detect the virus, and about the allegedly hidden morbidity statistics. Next, we debunk Kamelchuk’s fakes about the coronavirus from the last interview.

Manipulation

“The question is what doctors call it. The question is what the WHO calls it. The question is who believes in it”.

Yuriy Kamelchuk about the coronavirus, 17/12/2020 (06:37- 06:43)

No, coronavirus is NOT a matter of faith and name.

On March 11, due to the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, the WHO declared a pandemic. Then there were more than 118 thousand confirmed cases and more than 4 thousand deaths. On December 17, 74.8 million people were registered as infected and more than 1.6 million died worldwide.

The existence of SARS-CoV-2 virus has been proven by scientific studies, and photos of the virus genome under the microscope are publicly available. The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has also published microscopic images of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. 

A reminder of the names:

  • 2019-nCoV – that is how the “Wuhan virus” was called as soon as it appeared. The name  stands for “new coronavirus 2019”.
  • SARS-CoV-2 is now the official name of the virus. It was studied and named as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus – that is, the coronavirus that causes acute respiratory syndrome. The official name for atypical pneumonia in 2003 also began with “SARS”.
  • COVID-19 is the name of a disease caused by a new coronavirus. Hence the name: COVID is a coronavirus disease, which was discovered in 2019.

Manipulation

“It is not a state to mislead us. In my opinion, the WHO is more likely to mislead us. And in my opinion, our Ministry of Health cannot help but hear the WHO, because it will have big problems at the global level. <…> They (MOH – ed.) believe in certain medical norms and standards, norms and standards for the recognition of certain diseases, methods and algorithms for determining how to test them and how to treat them, protocols, etc. Here’s what they believe in — in the medical system. I don’t believe in the medical system for the most part.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk about the WHO, 17/12/2020 (07:26 – 07:43) (08:20 – 08:37)

Kamelchuk may or may not believe in anything. But the Ministry of Health is guided by WHO standards and practices not because of belief in them, but because they have a scientific basis.

For example, regarding the tests, the accuracy of which Kamelchuk had also previously denied.

PCR test determines the presence of DNA or RNA of a particular virus, i.e. its genetic material. This is what distinguishes SARS-CoV-2 from other viruses. We talked in detail about how the polymerase chain reaction method works in this video

In addition, no test has 100% accuracy outside the laboratory conditions. At present, PCR tests are the most accurate in determining SARS-CoV-2, although there is a possibility of false-positive and false-negative results. Studies show that false-negative results can occur in 2% to 33% of cases. The number of false-positive tests is unknown, with estimates ranging from 0.4% to 8%.

We have refuted similar false claims about PCR testing here and here

False

“Unfortunately, it is not the first year when people are dying (from the flu, SARS and pneumonia – ed.) and this is also a fact. They have been sick and have been dying not for the first year, this all was happening, but we were not shown. Now they have started to show it in an enlarged format just to instill even more fear in people.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk on mortality, 17/12/2020 (09:02 – 09:28)

Open sources contain data on the causes of death of Ukrainians since at least 2005. This year, data has started to be published more promptly with a separate daily coverage on Covid-19 mortality and morbidity data. The way most of the countries do. Thus, on December 17, the day of this interview with Yuriy Kamelchuk, 15,996 deaths from Covid-19 were registered — in just 9 months of the pandemic. For comparison, for the whole 2019, 12,500 people died from all respiratory diseases (which are a much broader category). The year before that, in 2018 — 12,000 people had died. So, the Covid-19 problem is important.

But it is worth remembering that mortality from other diseases for which there are already vaccines or specific treatments in no way offsets mortality from a specific new disease for which there is no specific treatment or vaccine freely available.

Manipulation

“I will explain now again why I call the disease fictional. Because this all have been for a long time and many years ago. Because the coronavirus was mentioned even in 2015 by African countries.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk about the “fictional” coronavirus, 12/17/2020 (11:24 – 11:39)

The coronavirus did exist before. But it concerned different strains of the virus.

Coronaviruses are a whole group of viruses. They are united by their appearance (they look like a crown) and a similar chemical composition. Almost half a hundred coronaviruses have been found in the world, and 7 of them are human ones. SARS-Cov-2 is a new virus.

By the way, we have previously disproved the fakes stating that everyone seemed to already know about the same virus in 2003 and it had even been known how to treat it back in 1976. Let us emphasize once again that these are different strains of coronaviruses.

False

“And I’ve seen how it affects many people when I put a mask on. It gets easier for them, I can suffer. Although physically, I will say, I’m tired of breathing this, first of all, there is insufficient amount of air, which can lead to pulmonary insufficiency, by the way.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk on the harm from face masks, 17/12/2020 (17:36 – 17:50)

And we have repeatedly debunked similar fakes.

Scientists believe that when wearing a mask, there is no significant change in the body’s oxygen saturation.

Because of wearing the mask, we do not inhale the carbon dioxide that we have just exhaled. The molecules of carbon dioxide are too small, and therefore they do not linger on the mask and pass through it, so there can be no talk of hypoxia (lack of oxygen).

The WHO also emphasizes that the proper use of masks does not reduce the amount of oxygen and, accordingly, does not increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the body.

It is noteworthy that despite the public objection to COVID-19, in the Verkhovna Rada Kamelchuk votes for laws that help fight the disease or can prevent its spread. He himself explained this in an interview as the “factional subordination.” But there is more about the deputy’s vote below.

Fakes about vaccination

Yuriy Kamelchuk is an anti-vaccinator. Although he calls himself, like most opponents of vaccinations do, a supporter of the “free choice”.

And recently, on his Facebook page, he shared a fake about the allegedly banned film by Robert de Niro “Vaccinated”. When we pointed out a mistake to Kamelchuk in the comments to the post, he deleted our comment. And this does not seem to be the first time he has done so.

Also, Kamelchuk compares vaccinations to alcohol and smoking. Saying, they give short-term relief, but the consequences are terrible. Next we are telling which anti-scientific theories about vaccination Kamelchuk voiced this time.

Manipulation

“I believe, that it (vaccination — ed.) exists, I believe, that it can help someone, but I do not trust it because of its ineffectiveness, side effects and so on.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk about vaccination, 17/12/2020 (08:46 – 08:53)

Moderate side effects after vaccination are normal. Vaccines can cause fever or pain and redness at the injection site. Mild reactions go away on their own within a few days. Serious, long-lasting side effects are extremely rare.

Ineffective and dangerous vaccines are simply not allowed to be produced.

However, any vaccine must be tested before widespread use. This should be monitored by regulatory authorities, such as the European Medicines Agency if it is an EU country, or the Food and Drug Administration if it is the United States, and so on. The WHO also provides recommendations for the use of drugs at the international level.

What is better: naturally acquired immunity or vaccination?

The key issue is the price of acquiring a natural immunity. For example, polio can paralyze for a lifetime. Pregnant women with rubella can give birth to children with hearing, vision, heart, lung, liver and other organs defects. A complication after measles can be encephalitis – inflammation of the brain, which can lead to hearing loss and impaired intellectual development.

We talked in detail about the benefits of vaccination here.

False

“There are negative consequences (of vaccines from Covid-19 — ed.) from the well-known companies. There are side effects that require treatments afterwards. No one died there, but they were treated later. All this speaks of inefficiency at this stage.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk on side effects of vaccines, 17/12/2020 (18:28 – 18:41)

Vaccination against the coronavirus has begun only a week before this interview. For example, Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine can cause significant allergic reactions, but these side effects are very rare. At the moment, no vaccine company has reported massive complex side effects that would lead to “diseases to be treated.”

Usually, the side effects of vaccines are determined during their testing, i.e. BEFORE the start of production and vaccination of the population. If the vaccine shows massive complex side effects, it is being finalized until it is safe.

False

“The vaccine (against polio and smallpox — ed.) Was needed in order to overcome the effects of some previous exposure. Perhaps at some point it is an industrial influence. And maybe at some point, it’s water purity. That is, there may be other reasons. The vaccine is already covering the consequences, not the primary cause.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk on the effect of vaccines, 17/12/2020 (24:55 – 25:14)

On the contrary, vaccines work to prevent the disease, not to overcome its consequences.

Vaccination is usually a weaker or inactive version of the pathogen. Vaccines at the cellular level work by a similar principle with virus infection. The organism notices the threat and B-lymphocytes produce antibodies against it, which provide immunity. As a result, this mechanism is remembered, so in case of a new infection, the body will remember how to protect itself.

Vaccines are proven to be effective, and protection against disease continues if you receive all doses of the vaccine in time. Thanks to vaccination, smallpox has completely disappeared, the number of cases of polio has dropped by 99%, the number of deaths from tetanus has decreased by 96%, from measles — by 75%.

By clicking the links, in the graphs, you can clearly see the correlation between the increase of the vaccination level against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus, and reduction of the incidence of these diseases.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2018 and 2019, influenza vaccination prevented approximately 4.4 million influenza cases, 2.3 million influenza-related medical visits, 58,000 hospitalizations, and 3,500 deaths. Besides, according to a CDC study, even in the case of infection after vaccination, the risk of complications and death is much lower than for unvaccinated patients.

False

“There are studies and observations of individuals who are silenced a lot around the world. About the autism. When a child in a normal state at the age of 2-3 gets vaccinated and after that has a developing of autism.”

Yuriy Kamelchuk on autism from vaccines, 17/12/2020 (25:48 – 26:04)

This is an old and one of the most popular anti-vaccinators’ fake. No link between vaccines and autism has been found. The components of vaccines or their effects on the body do not lead to autism.

Where did the fake come from? From Andrew Wakefield. This is a former gastroenterologist who tried to prove a link between the MMR vaccine and autism in his research. This study was withdrawn (removed and found to violate scientific standards) by the medical journal Lancet, and in 2010 it was removed from the medical register. It was criticized by other scholars.

We have refuted more fakes about the supposedly terrible diseases caused by vaccines here, here and here.

Pseudoscientific theories

We give just one brief comment for this block: no, Vedism is not a science. By the way, one of the organizations of the Vedas in Ukraine — “The Vedic World” — often spreads conspiracy theories and fakes about the coronavirus. And its representatives became co-organizers of the StopFakePandemic movement, which regularly protests under the Ministry of Health and the Verkhovna Rada against vaccinations, quarantine and even against 5G.

Yuriy Kamelchuk on the Vedic “sciences”, 17/12/2020 (22:31 – 23:15)

Yuriy Kamelchuk: “Prostitution, it takes away the energy of a woman who does it and it for sure does not add energy to a man who goes to such a woman.”

Danylo Mokryk: “Is this research medical too or what?”

YK: “It is among others. If you do not know, on occasion I can really give you examples, many psychologists will tell you about it. This is described in the Vedic sciences.

DM: “In the Vedic ones?”

UK: “Yes, in the Vedic ones. Not in the medical sciences, but in the Vedic sciences. ”

DM: “Vedas are not evidence-based medicine, but a philosophy.”

YK: “It’s not true. There are medical treatises, there are military treatises that were written a long time ago. And many things are still in use.“

Yuriy Kamelchuk on energy, 17/12/2020 (23:44 – 23:56)

“Distributing one’s energy, especially to foreigners, I will say from this point of view, leads to a decrease in the amount of energy in this country, in particular in Ukraine.”

The bonus. Beliefs vs. voting of the deputy

Now let’s carefully follow the deputy’s logic. He insists on using critical thinking and science (even Vedic one!). He also said in an interview that as a former journalist he is used to checking information:

“If you ask my personal opinion, look, like the former, but there are no former journalists, as a rule, I do not have 100% confidence until I check everything myself.”

However, Kamelchuk voted for the appointment of Serhiy Shkarlet, a former member of the Party of Regions and a plagiarist, as Minister of Education. And this is not an assumption, the relevant decision was published in September by the National Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. For some reason, Kamelchuk did not check this information on his own. But he says he doesn’t believe in anything with the word “national.” And he considers Shkarlet a good specialist, because “I saw his inner state.” The question of where at such moments the allegedly “critical” thinking of Kamelchuk goes — we leave to your discretion.

Yuriy Kamelchuk on the reasons for voting for Shkarlet, 17/12/2020 (01:02 – 01:36)

“Well, first of all. I saw his inner state when he came to us for the first time and got acquainted with us, despite the fact that on that day or somewhere literally very close to that day his wife died — he came. This shows a lot. On the one hand, it was not necessary to invite him that day, to be honest, in a human way. On the other hand, he did not spit on everything. And that speaks of his responsibility.“

Yuriy Kamelchuk on voting for Shkarlet, 17/12/2020 (02:11 – 02:15) (02:19 – 02:29) (02:41 – 02:53) (05:00 – 05:03)

“Concerning the plagiarism, I don’t know. I haven’t researched it, so I won’t even argue. <…> I question a little everything that begins with the word “national”. That is, you know, somewhere there is some state body. Honestly, this is my critical thinking. <…> His next steps are probably more important than those that were back then. I will explain. No, I have not checked. Exactly this thing (about Shkarlet’s plagiarism — ed.) I have not checked. <…> I can’t comment on plagiarism because I haven’t seen these documents.”

During this interview and in his other speeches, Kamelchuk regularly questioned data from the State Statistics Service and hinted at the country’s external governance. And also, he did not know about the existence of NSDC dashboards with detailed information on the incidence, so he was saying that Ukrainians are given little data on the incidence of COVID-19.

There will be no conclusions. We are just interested in the data on the basis of which MP Kamelchuk makes his decisions, on which, by the way, all Ukrainians depend.

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