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(LifeSiteNews) — The lead author of a highly acclaimed peer-reviewed study which demonstrated the dangerous nature of experimental COVID-19 inoculations has decried the corruption of academia following his paper’s curious retraction.
“Academia is broken,” Dr. Ronald Kostoff told LifeSiteNews in an email interview. They are “the worst offender of all the stakeholders… because they know better, and still promote the mandating of these highly toxic substances.”
Kostoff, an aerospace scientist who has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles, was the first author of a study titled “Why are we vaccinating children against COVID-19?” The paper was part of a special September 14, 2021 issue of the Elsevier journal Toxicology Reports (TR) focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authors analyzed the toxic effects of the experimental COVID-19 inoculations, the profound inadequacy of their clinical trials to ensure safety, and in evaluating the cost-benefit considerations, arrived at a jarring conclusion in stark contrast to the general narrative:
A novel best-case scenario cost-benefit analysis showed very conservatively that there are five times the number of deaths attributable to each inoculation vs those attributable to COVID-19 in the most vulnerable 65+ demographic. The risk of death from COVID-19 decreases drastically as age decreases, and the longer-term effects of the inoculations on lower age groups will increase their risk-benefit ratio, perhaps substantially.
Having undergone “a rigorous independent peer review” prior to publication, Elsevier, a Dutch publisher with over £2.6 billion in revenue (2019), initiated what Kostoff called a “unilateral review” of the paper within several months of release utilizing the paid Editor-in-Chief of another Elsevier journal , named Dr. Lawrence Lash, and “an anonymous reviewer of unknown independence and expertise.”
According to an May 1 op-ed Kostoff wrote in TrialSiteNews (TSN), he received notification of this review’s comments and a request to respond on February 28, which he did with great thoroughness with a March 10 submission. Six days later he was notified that his article would be retracted, and on March 21 one of the paper’s seven co-authors, Dr. Aris Tsatsakis, who had served as TR’s Editor-in-Chief, resigned for personal reasons. Tsatsakis was replaced “the same day” by the “contractor,” Dr. Lash, who had recommended the retraction.
In his TSN column titled “Anatomy of a Retraction,” Kostoff includes access to the 18-page document of his responses to Lash and the anonymous reviewer “verbatim” in order to “provide all the details of the retraction process so that the reader could decide the credibility of Elsevier’s unilateral decision to retract our paper.”
Normally, according to neurosurgeon Dr. Russel Blaylock, following the rigorous process of peer review and publication in these medical journals, the only grounds for retracting such papers has been in cases of fraud or if “some other major hidden problem is discovered after the paper is in print.” Otherwise, “the paper remains in the scientific literature.”
But since the arrival of the COVID-19 enterprise, Blaylock says this has all changed with medical publishers utilizing the “unprecedented tactic” of removing “dissenting doctors from their positions as journal editors, reviewers and [the] retracting of their scientific papers from journals, even after these papers have been in print.”
“We are now witnessing a growing number of excellent scientific papers, written by top experts in the field, being retracted from major medical and scientific journals weeks, months and even years after publication,” Blaylock wrote. “A careful review indicates that in far too many instances the authors dared question accepted dogma by the controllers of scientific publications—especially concerning the safety, alternative treatments or efficacy of vaccines.”
Kostoff responds to reviewers: ‘What kind of protection’ is a shot that makes recipients more vulnerable to disease?
In the case of Kostoff’s study, the reviewers made three general arguments which all appeared to stand on very weak ground.
They first argued that a paper focused on the toxic effects of COVID-19 inoculations did not fit the “scope” of a special issue dedicated to the COVID-19 pandemic in a publication called “Toxicology Reports.”
Kostoff commented in his op-ed, “Dr. Lash’s inability to recognize/admit the perfect match between the theme of our article and the TR Special Issue should have disqualified his participation in the remainder of the review!”
Secondly, the TR retraction notice asserted that an “external review” led by Lash, the new Editor-in-Chief of the publication, demonstrated “inappropriate bias in multiple ways” including how the paper’s use of “the key terms ‘inoculation’ and ‘vaccination’ diverges from common use and are incorrect, indicating clear evidence of bias.”
Kostoff, who according to his bio was listed in “2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century,” replied stating that the paper’s authors “used the term ‘inoculation’ rather than ‘vaccine’ in the TR paper because the substance does not meet the legal definition of a vaccine, nor does it function as a vaccine (prevent infection, prevent viral transmission). In fact, present data from the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and many other countries show that after six months post-inoculation, the ‘vaccine’ recipient enters the stage of negative effectiveness and becomes more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection than the ‘unvaccinated.’ What kind of protection is that?”
In his formal defense, he also cited how these terms are defined by the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) showing that they are used as synonyms. The health agency’s definition of “immunization” says it is a term “often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.”
“Thus, the CDC seems to have little, if any, problem with the use of the term ‘inoculation,’” Kostoff demonstrated.
Thirdly, the retraction states the paper misinterpreted death numbers due to COVID-19 with an “erroneous conclusion that the vast majority of reported deaths due to COVID-19 are actually due to other comorbidities. Such an egregious misinterpretation and misrepresentation are unacceptable.”
Yet Kostoff responds that the CDC has acknowledged approximately “only ~5% of the deaths could be uniquely attributed to COVID-19. For the remainder of the deaths, ‘there were 4.0 additional conditions or causes per death.’ Thus, the attribution of deaths to any one cause (where multiple potential causes were present) was completely arbitrary.”
In addition, hospitals had enormous financial incentives to diagnose and place patients on ventilators according to government protocols, as they would receive “a payment of $100,000 (or more)” from the U.S. treasury for each such patient.
“Thus, in a death attribution process that was completely arbitrary for ~95% of the deaths attributed to COVID-19, there was a very strong financial incentive to classify deaths in this ~95% group as due to COVID-19,” Kostoff wrote.
Significant conflicts of interest for Elsevier and reviewers
In his formal response to the reviewers’ comments, the scientist – who has had numerous papers published on medical topics in peer-reviewed journals – also included an impressive analysis tracing conflicts of interest which taint Elsevier and the reviewer, Dr. Lash.
In short, he showed that enormous amounts of Elsevier’s annual revenues come from government and pharmaceutical “organizations that are very strong supporters and promoters of the COVID-19 mass inoculations,” providing the publishing corporation with “extremely strong incentives to do exactly what their clients demand, including suppressing critical data about COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ adverse effects.”
Furthermore, Dr. Lash had recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a study published in 2021. And observing that NIH is “a strong COVID-19 ‘vaccine’ promoter,” and presuming Lash would likely wish to receive NIH funding in the future, Kostoff questions how such a person “would be objective in reviewing a paper that questions COVID-19 mass ‘vaccination.’”
In contrast, Kostoff shared in his response that being retired and not having accepted any such research grants in the last ten years, his only stake is to ascertain the truth and report it which he felt an ethical responsibility to do.
During the seven months the paper was posted, it “achieved an Altimetric ranking of #160/~20,000,000 (the top one-thousandth of a percent), a metric of media impact,” wrote the author. Having read hundreds of tweets and media posts of the article, he says, “they were overwhelmingly positive, including strongly supportive statements from many Ph.Ds and M.D.s.”
Given there were no allegations of fraud or any other discovery of a major hidden problem with the paper, Kostoff concluded there were no issues presented by the reviewers, “that remotely justify retraction,” nor was there any “scientific basis for the re-review” of the paper in the first place.
“I believe these decisions were made by Elsevier solely to satisfy their industry and government clients who are extremely strong promoters and supporters of COVID-19 mass inoculation,” he wrote.
Dr. Peter McCullough paper showing ‘explosive’ myocarditis ‘unilaterally withdrawn’
Among other such papers targeted for retraction was one by Drs. Jessica Rose and Peter McCullough, titled “A Report on Myocarditis Adverse Events in the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in Association with COVID-19 Injectable Biological Products.” According to Kostoff, the paper passed peer-review “with flying colors” and was “published in the Elsevier journal Current Problems in Cardiology on 1 October 2021 and unilaterally withdrawn [here] by the journal a couple of weeks later.”
“The only explanation given for the withdrawal by Elsevier was ‘the journal is not willing to publish the paper,’” he reported.
“That’s it; that’s the new scientific criterion for publication: whether the editor wants to publish it or not, irrespective of its scientific merit or the judgment of the peer-reviewers,” Kostoff explained in his email correspondence.
In response, McCullough told LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen in November that due to this act of censorship, they would be “launching a full-scale lawsuit against Elsevier… for breach of contract.”
After reviewing their agreement with Elsevier, McCullough explained the only reasons the publisher could retract the paper “is if there was scientific misconduct or if there was some error in the data analysis that was found later on. And, in fact, none of that was mentioned.”
When asked by Westen what Elsevier was attempting to hide or suppress due to the retraction, McCullough said, “The most notable finding [in the paper] is that this myocarditis heart inflammation that occurs typically on the second shot after either Pfizer or Moderna, is explosive, and it happens within a few days of the second shot.”
Providing his own view on this trend to LifeSiteNews, Kostoff wrote, “We all know why our paper, the Rose-McCullough paper, the Walach-Klemens paper, and many others have been retracted, and/or are under vicious attack. They tell the truth about the dangers of the COVID-19 ‘vaccine,’ but go one step further and do not represent these problems as rare events. The rare event papers can survive, since that fits the official narrative. The non-rare event papers are the targets [of powerful interests].” And many of those who implement their aggressive censorship of these studies “reside in Academia.”
Referring back to the formal exchange between himself and the Elsevier reviewers, Kostoff concludes that the evidence is clear, “they had no case, pure and simple.”