Dr. Tom Cowan’s has some wacky ideas, but in what world can Amazon ban a Simon & Schuster book?
Audio Clip: 0:02 ‘Hi, everybody, Hi Dr. Nic. Dr Nic this malpractice committee has received a few complaints against you.’
Alex Tsakiris: 0:12 – That’s of course the Simpsons and today’s show does dive into what some people see as medical quackery and what other people see as cutting edge conspiracy science. Here’s a clip:
Published in Nature three years ago, again in 2016. In 2016 he was on this. He can give you all the stats on the camels and how many of the camels had the virus and how many camels had the, the antibodies and then, you know, so he’s been doing that work for 10 years. So he just –
Dr. Tom Cowan: 0:49 – Show me the picture.
Alex Tsakiris: 0:46 – Show you the picture. Here’s the-
Dr. Tom Cowan: 0:49 – Your name is Alex right? Alex, right now show me the picture of the isolated virus.
Alex Tsakiris: 0:55 – Show, (Laughs)-
Dr. Tom Cowan: 0:58 – Show it to me.
Alex Tsakiris: 0:59 – Flat earth-
Dr. Tom Cowan: 1:00 – You said you believe this guy? Show me the picture.
Alex Tsakiris: 1:02 – Flat earth science. That’s what the flat earth guys do. They say, Hey, I can’t see the rest. Show me, show me.
Alex Tsakiris: 1:13
Welcome to Skeptiko where we explore controversial science and spirituality with leading researchers, thinkers and their critics. Today we welcome Dr. Tom Cowan to Skeptiko. Tom is the author of, showing it here on the screen, a Simon and Schuster book, mind you ,The Contagion Myth. Why viruses including Coronavirus are not the cause of disease and this is a book by the way, you know, if you look down in the corner here, there’s a little click button for Barnes and Noble and Amazon and if you click Amazon, you’ll see that a page is not found. This is a book that has been banned on Amazon, imagine that. I think that’s, that might be the most interesting part of this story. So the central, the central premise of Tom’s book, The Contagion Myth, is that Coronavirus doesn’t exist. Which, I have to say when I first heard it during my interview with David Ike who is someone who I really respect but I know David doesn’t always dig into the science or get the science right but when I first heard it, it had a real Flat Earth kind of ring to it like, you know, like a reverse conspiracy, over the top conspiracy claim. So when one of your representatives Dr. Cowan pinged me and said, Hey, would you like to have a chat with this guy? I jumped at the opportunity because I think this is really an interesting topic to talk about so thanks for joining me.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 2:55
Thank you, it’s actually just a few corrections it’s Cowan not Cohen.
Alex Tsakiris: 3:01
Did i say C- I keep saying that. Yeah, It’s Cowan I’m sorry. I’m sorry, It’s Cowan, I’m sorry.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 3:06
But you can call me Tom if that will make it easier.
Alex Tsakiris: 3:09
I will Tom.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 3:09
I think just as a note, it was not actually published by Simon and Schuster, it was published by a company called Skyhorse and I think Simon and Schuster is technically the distributor, not the publisher.
Alex Tsakiris : 3:24
Okay, well, I just think it’s fascinating that Simon and Schuster put their name on the book and yet it’s a book that’s been banned by Amazon. I think that’s amazing. But I do have to say, I mean, just kind of right to it the central premise that Coronavirus hasn’t been isolated in a lab is just, i mean, you’re not serious about that are you? I mean, that’s just kind of flat earth thing. I got so many I can show you some of the
Dr. Tom Cowan: 3:57
So let me start that if I would by,if I can just.
Alex Tsakiris: 4:06
Yeah, go ahead.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 4:08
If I can respond to that and I’ll tell you how this came about if you want but let me just read from this was a January 2020 CDC bulletin on basically making testing for, sorry, this was a published,sorry, this was published in European surveillance which is a major European epidemiology journal and they say quote, this is January 2020, quote the ongoing outbreak of recently emerged novel Coronavirus poses a challenge to public health laboratories as virus isolates are unavailable. Further, they say in the problem of developing a test because these virologists were tasked with developing a test for this virus and again let me quote from the actual study. This is in peer reviewed a scientific literature, quote, we aim to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available. In other words, they were tasked and they spoke about the challenge of developing a test when they actually didn’t have any virus available to make a test for and I can imagine that, that was in fact challenging because if somebody said I want you to make a test for a unicorn it would be nice to at least see the unicorn. Now, that’s not the only one because in the CDC bulletin from 2020 now we’re talking July, so this is later. This is the CDC and again, I’ll quote, since no quantified virus isolates of this 2019 star’s code to virus are currently available. In other words that’s the CDC saying we have no isolates, we have never isolated purified and seen this virus. So I could go on because a group of us who’ve been working on this actually emailed and communicated with the six top articles that say they isolated and characterized and purified the virus and in writing all of them admitted that they never actually isolated and purified the virus in writing. So those are simply the facts and I can tell you how we got there if you want but I’ll let you sort of guide the conversation here.
Alex Tsakiris: 6:54
Okay, well, this guy who I thought was interesting because he’s from the University of Saskatchewan and I like saying Saskatchewan so I use him, but he’s also one of the top virologist in the world and you know, Darrell, what’s his name? Fel zorana, Bell Serrano, he’s up there in Saskatchewan. So he isolated the virus. But more importantly, like in 2006..
Dr. Tom Cowan: 7:19
I doubt that he isolated the virus.
Alex Tsakiris: 7:21
Dr. Tom Cowan: 7:22
If he did he should immediately let the CDC know that he did that because the CDC is under the impression that they actually have never isolated the virus.
Alex Tsakiris: 7:33
Well i don’t think, there he is in his lab, i don’t think he’s keeping it a secret
Dr. Tom Cowan: 7:40
Well then i can tell you, i could review his paper and demonstrate that in fact he couldn’t possibly have isolated this virus.
Alex Tsakiris: 7:50
There we go, there we go. I love it. So you realize this is a guy published in Nature, obviously, one of the top science journals in the world in 2016 mind you, on his work he’s virologist and you know, part of the reason I guess why he got pulled into the COVID thing is he did all this work with camels strangely enough you know there’s all these viruses and animals that sometime crossover and there’s all these viruses in these camels that looked like the SARS. So he was over there studying that for years and years. He’s an expert, he has a lab like this and he has all these people in his lab and the idea that he is so grossly incompetent, which would really be, we would have you know, you guys up there in Canada, like Matt, we could go sue this guy, probably make millions if he is falsely claiming that he got the material, which he said was very difficult to get at the beginning and then he isolated the virus, if he’s falsely making that claim, gosh, let’s go at him. But again, it just doesn’t seem likely that this guy, in this lab published in Nature woke up one day and kissed his wife, goodbye and said, Okay, now I’m going to go falsify a bunch of science that I built my whole reputation and my whole life on.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 9:13
All i have to tell you is, again, we have the six most important papers all of which claim they isolated and purified the SARS code to virus. Some of them were published in Nature and New England Journal of Medicine and my team actually emailed them because we could tell from the paper that there was no possible way they isolated the virus. All you have to do is actually, because I could describe if you want, how we isolate and demonstrate a purified virus, it’s very clear that they didn’t do that. The reason they didn’t do it is because they changed the rules. So whether he’s deliberately doing that Or not I don’t know. But they all admitted publicly and in writing, which you could tell from the from the papers that they didn’t ,couldn’t possibly have isolated and purified the virus.
Alex Tsakiris: 10:14
That just well,what did Darrell say when you talk to him?
Dr. Tom Cowan: 10:20
I don’t remember whether we talked to him or not. I don’t remember if he was the lead author of one of these six papers.
Alex Tsakiris: 10:27
But he’s one of the top for anything
Dr. Tom Cowan: 10:30
They say the same thing all the time.
Alex Tsakiris: 10:31
The idea that there’s these virologist, professional virologist, like I said.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 10:37
Let me interrupt you here because if we’re going to be talking about who said what, then this conversation is not going to be productive. If we want to talk about the science and how a virologist demonstrates isolation and purification then your listeners might learn something, if you want to try to ask me why he’s doing what he’s doing, I have no idea. Because I’ve never talked to the guy.
Alex Tsakiris: 11:06
Yeah, but the point is, he’s saying you’re full of crap. He’s saying I got a sample, I isolated the virus. He’s even saying that since he does work with animals that he then, you know, injected the virus that he isolated into a certain species of monkeys which I don’t know how I feel about that but these monkeys then demonstrated all the symptoms of COVID. So no, he’s saying..
Dr. Tom Cowan: 11:33
I can tell from just this, looking at this highlight that you’re putting there and that his way of isolating is using surrogate markers which are completely invalid as anybody who understands the science would know.
Alex Tsakiris: 11:50
So this guy doesn’t understand the science that’s what you’re saying?
Dr. Tom Cowan: 11:53
He has a misconception.
Alex Tsakiris: 11:57
So this guy..
Dr. Tom Cowan: 11:58
I can tell you exactly why he has a misconception if you want. If you don’t want, you can just stay with an argument about who’s right and then nobody will get anywhere.
Alex Tsakiris: 12:10
Well, Tom, Dr. Tom, that’s what this is, It’s an argument about who’s right and you’re claiming you’re right and this guy’s claiming he’s right ,so I don’t know how we would break it down any other way. But this guy who published ..
Dr. Tom Cowan: 12:25
I can tell you how to break it down.
Alex Tsakiris: 12:27
This guy who, No, this is how science is done. That’s why virologist say we got this thousands of virologists around the world who study this stuff. Why are these people claiming that none of these folks know what they’re doing? Or you’re claiming they’re all part of some conspiracy, which, hey, the reason I’m concerned about this is there are some really legitimate questions about how this COVID thing has been rolled out, the science behind it, how it’s used to prop it up and I am really, really concerned about the way science has been mishandled on the COVID thing. But this idea that they haven’t isolated the virus, I mean, flat earth stuff.
Dr. Tom Cowan: 13:16
I think we’re at an impasse here.
Alex Tsakiris: 13:19
Alex Tsakiris : 13:23
Impasse, indeed. I’m going to cut it off there and I do want to thank Dr. Tom Cowan for joining me today on Skeptiko. I think it’s great that he was willing to come on in and talk about this stuff and I’m certainly supportive of him having that opportunity. I can’t believe that Amazon banned his book, you know, later we talked about that. He said, other best selling books on Amazon. I don’t care what you think of this guy’s interpretation of the science. We have reached an absolute new level within this cancel culture where people are up in arms that they’re banning books! just unbelievable. But the other point, I guess, that I would rant on, and I probably will rant on in future episodes because it’s going to be coming up again and again, is this flat earth science thing and one of the advantages I think I have in going through the drills with Skeptiko, from the beginning, from Jump Street with Dean Raiden and that phony baloney, Yale neurologists skeptic, Dr. Steve Novella, do you remember one of the very first episodes of Skeptical where they, him and Dr. Ray Hyman from Oregon, since deceased were laughing about Dean Raiden and laughing about his work, laughing about his published research and I remember I told you at the time and I told you in the first book that I wrote that I’m interviewing these guys and I’m like, Oh, shit, they’re right in dmraid must be wrong, because no way they’d be laughing at this guy science. The point is, if you’re not always on that edge of doubting whether or not this edgy science, this frontier science is right or wrong, then I don’t think you’re really in the game. But the flip side of that, in my opinion, is this Dr. Tom Cowan, you haven’t proven it to me, no time? the job is for you to prove it to us, if you believe against all common sense and logic that this virus hasn’t been isolated, even though they’re spending billions and billions of dollars developing a vaccine, which would be impossible if they hadn’t isolated the virus and even though they’re competing not only within these multinational big farmer companies but they’re competing with other countries, like China has a vaccine, Russia has a vaccine, they’re all trying to get a leg up on the other ones to get a competitive advantage. All that is dependent on the idea that they have successfully isolated the virus at the very minimum. So if you’re going to go against that, if you’re going to be Tom Cowan, if you’re going to be quacky Andrew Kaufman and you’re going to stand up and say that you can’t do this flat earth thing where you say, oh, we’ll prove it to me, prove it to my satisfaction that you’ve isolated the virus. No, you prove it to us. You stand up like Dean Raiden stood up and do 20-30 experiments, publish them in peer reviewed journals, get other labs to replicate it, get other people with inside the community to support your work. Forget this flat earth, you got to prove it to me because I can’t see it this extreme empiricism. It’s just a joke and I feel like I need to point it out. I did another interview with Matt Blair, who was kind of riding shotgun in this one but didn’t say much and, uh, kind of point you to that in the notes and you can see it. It’s just kind of one of my personal little crusades here because I think there’s so many interesting, real, hard conspiratorial questions regarding COVID. But this notion that they haven’t isolated the virus, to me, that seems like, it just seems like a psyop to me, it just unknowingly I mean Cowan doesn’t know it’s a psyop, Kaufman doesn’t know what’s a psyop, but they’re letting that idea out there just to divide the conspiratorial community if you will into thinking Flat Earth bullshit. Okay, that’s a long rant I never usually do these but I felt it necessary in this case. If you have any thoughts on that? let me know I’m dying to hear. Otherwise, stick around. I got some more good Skeptiko’s coming up. They won’t all be like this one. Take care. Bye for now.
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