So, a little bit of what am I doing here. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dr. Phillip Buckhaults. I have a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology. I’m a cancer gene jock. Basically, I do cancer genomics research at the University of South Carolina. And what that means is that I’m kind of an expert on all the ways that the human genome can get messed with during your lifetime and which of those things cause cancer and which ones don’t.
So technically, that means that I’m very, very skilled in the art of DNA sequencing. I can figure out the sequence of things that I didn’t know what I was looking for. And I’m also pretty good, when I say ‘I,’ I mean the people in my laboratory—you’re not going to hear their names, but there’s a group of people that do this excellent work. We’re really good at detecting foreign pieces of DNA in places where they’re not supposed to be, even if they’re low levels.
And we used those skills during the pandemic to—we invented the COVID test that many of you did, a spit test, that came out of my lab because we were really good at that kind of stuff. And so I’ve earned a fair amount of respect in the state of South Carolina and in this body because we did a ton of COVID testing in the middle of the night when people were afraid, and we told them, ‘No, you don’t have COVID in your home,’ or ‘Yes, you do.’ So my qualifications to comment on this are both technical and kind of relational in the state of South Carolina.
I’ll cut to a very narrow theme here, but it does touch on lots of these regulatory issues. And I’ll leave it to you to expand on those if you want to. I’ll try to stay in this narrow lane of some problems in the Pfizer vaccine as a case study for places in which regulatory oversight could be improved.
The early publications showed that it stopped infection, but that only lasted for like a month.
In my professional evaluation of the literature, the Pfizer vaccine did a pretty good job of keeping people out of the cemetery, but it sucked at stopping the pandemic. And it was the best of sucky options that we had, and I still believe that it was deployed mostly in good faith, but there were a lot of shortcuts taken because the house was on fire, and we could do a better job next time from the lessons that we’re going to learn here. That’s my own personal view of this, but my philosophical bent here is, I’m sure many of you have heard of Occam’s razor, right? Choose the simplest of explanations.
Well, there’s another one called Hanlon’s razor, which is “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”.
And so I’m trying to be gracious here in many circumstances; there could be malice underneath, but I’m trying to see just incompetence to be gracious.
So the Pfizer vaccine is contaminated with plasma DNA. It’s not just mRNA. It’s got bits of DNA in it. This DNA is the DNA vector that was used as the template for the in vitro transcription reaction when they made the mRNA. I know this is true because I sequenced it in my own lab.
The vials of Pfizer vaccine that were given out here in Columbia, one of my colleagues was in charge of that vaccination program in the College of Pharmacy. And for reasons that I still don’t understand, he kept every single vial. So he had a whole freezer full of the empty vials. Well, the empty vials have a little tiny bit in the bottom of them. He gave them all to me, and I looked at them. We had two batches that were given out here in Columbia. And I checked these two batches, and I checked them by sequencing. And I sequenced all the DNA that was in the vaccine, and I can see what’s in there. And it’s surprising that there’s any DNA in there, and you can kind of work out what it is and how it got there. And I’m kind of alarmed about the possible consequences of this, both in terms of human health and biology, but you should be alarmed about the regulatory process that allowed it to get there.
So, this DNA, in my view, it could be causing some of the rare but serious side effects, like death from cardiac arrest. So there are a lot of cases now of people having suspicious deaths after the vaccine. It’s hard to prove what caused it; it’s just, you know, temporarily associated. And this DNA is a plausible mechanism.
This DNA can and likely will integrate into the genomic DNA of cells that got transfected with the vaccine mix. This is just the way it works. We do this in the lab all the time. We take pieces of DNA, we mix them up with a lipid complex, like the Pfizer vaccine is in. We pour it onto cells, and a lot of it gets into the cells, and a lot of it gets into the DNA of those cells, and it becomes a permanent fixture of the cell. It’s not just a temporary thing. It is in that cell, and all of its progeny from now on, forever more, amen.
So that’s why I’m kind of alarmed about this DNA being in the vaccine. It’s different from RNA because it can be permanent. This is a real hazard for genome modification of long-lived somatic cells, like stem cells. And it could theoretically cause a sustained autoimmune attack toward that tissue. It’s also a very real theoretical risk of future cancer in some people. Depending on where in the genome this foreign piece of DNA lands, it can interrupt a tumor suppressor or activate an oncogene. I think it’ll be rare, but I think the risk is not zero, and it may be high enough that we ought to figure out if this is happening or not. And then again, the autoimmunity thing is not my wheelhouse. I’m not an immunologist, but the cancer risk is, that’s my bag. I know this is a thing, and it is a possibility.
A little nerdy science here: the central dogma of molecular biology is that DNA gets transcribed into RNA. And then RNA gets translated into protein. This is just how life runs.
Why does this matter? Well, DNA, for the purposes of this discussion, DNA is a long-lived information storage device. What you were born with, you’re going to die with, and passed on to your kids. DNA lasts for hundreds of thousands of years, and it can endure for generations if you pass it on to your kids. So alterations to the DNA, they stick around.
RNA, by its nature, is temporary. It doesn’t last, and that feature of RNA was part of the sales pitch for the vaccine. The pseudo-uridine was supposed to make the RNA last a little bit longer, but still, it’s a transient phenomenon. We’re talking hours to days.
And then proteins, once they are made, also don’t last forever. They last for hours to days.
But something that makes its way into DNA has the potential to last for a very long time, maybe a lifetime.
So this is a picture of the sequencing run that I did in the lab from a couple of batches of the Pfizer vaccine.
- LHS: All those little bitty lines here are the little tiny pieces of DNA that are in the vaccine. They don’t belong there. They’re not part of the sales pitch for the marketing campaign. And they’re there. There’s a lot of them.
- RHS: This little graph here in the middle is the size distribution that peaks around 100 base pairs, 120 base pairs. So the DNA pieces that are in the vaccine are short little pieces, about 120 base pairs. There are some that are about 500 base pairs, a few that are even 5,000, but most of them are around 100 base pairs.
Why is this important? Because the probability of a piece of DNA integrating into the human genome is unrelated to its size. Your genome risk is just a function of how many particles there are. So it’s like, you know, if you shoot a shotgun at a washboard, if you shoot a slug, you have some probability of hitting it, and if you shoot buckshot, you have a bigger probability of hitting it with some shot, right? All these little pieces of DNA that are in the vaccine are analogous to buckshot. You have many, many thousands of opportunities to modify a cell of a vaccinated person. The pieces are very small because during the process, they chopped them up to try to make them go away, but they actually increased the hazard of genome modification in the process. That’s how this got here.
In my view, somebody should go about sequencing DNA samples from stem cells of people who are vaccinated and find out if this theoretical risk has happened or not. I think this is a real serious oversight, regulatory oversight that happened at the federal level, and somebody should force this to happen somewhere.
Senator Tom Corbin (Chairman): Dr. Buckhaults, are you capable of doing that?
Yeah, we do that kind of thing, but in order for it to be trustworthy by the public, this has to be done by lots of people.
Senator Tom Corbin: I’ll talk to you more about that later.
Yeah, this is our deal. This is why I know this should have been done at the federal level.
So we took all these pieces of DNA and we used them to glue together what the source DNA must have been. This is what we do in the lab all the time.
- LHS: And all these little red and green lines here, these all end up as little pieces of DNA. This must have had 100,000 pieces of DNA in this sequencing run.
- RHS: And you can put them all back together and see what they came from is this circle over here. It’s a plasmid that you can go shopping online to buy from Agilent, and it’s clear that Pfizer took this plasmid, and then they cloned spike into it, and they used it in a process called in vitro transcription translation, in vitro transcription where you feed an RNA polymerase this plasmid and it makes a whole bunch of mRNA copies for you.
- (The reagents are from Agilent? The same company that has the Internet of Things Patent?? The same patent that purports to identify, tag, track, and remote-control literally everything on the planet??? ~ Penny)
- LowerLHS: And then you take this mRNA and you mix it with the lipid nanoparticle transfection reagent, and now you’ve got your mRNA vaccine, but they failed to get the DNA out before they did this. So these little pieces, they did make some effort to chop it up, so all these little pieces of the plasmid got packaged in with the RNA. It’s clear as day what happened just from the forensics of looking at the DNA sequencing.
A little bit of a regulatory note here: The way you do RNA transcription—in vitro transcription reactions— you have to give it a DNA template. And you can give it a DNA template that is just a synthetic piece of DNA that is only the instructions to make the RNA, and that’s what was done for getting the emergency use authorization and the clinical trial. It’s called process one if you look up that kind of stuff.
They made a PCR product of just the bits that they wanted, and then they did the in vitro transcription, made a bunch of RNA from that. There was no plasmid DNA to contaminate the stuff that was used for the trial. But that making that PCR product doesn’t scale the way that was necessary to vaccinate the whole world.
So a cheaper way to scale up the production of this template is to clone that PCR product into this plasmid vector, put the plasmid vector into bacteria, and then grow up big vats of bacteria. They make a lot of the plasmid DNA for you and use that plasmid DNA as the template to drive this transcription reaction to make your RNA. And that’s how the contamination ended up in the production batches, even though it was not in the stuff that was used for the authorization trials.
So I know it’s a little bit of nerdy science, but it has regulatory implications for you guys.
We can measure the quantity of this stuff pretty easily in the lab. We’re good at doing this kind of stuff. A colleague of mine at MIT made a little PCR test and we cloned it here. This is similar to the PCR test that you all took for the spit test. Same idea and same expertise behind it. And we can quantify exactly how much of this stuff is in a vaccine or any other tissue.
And I estimate that there were about 2 billion copies of the one piece that we’re looking for in every dose.
And if you look back at that map, I showed you where the little piece that we’re looking for is just that little bit right there.
But if you see 2 billion copies of this, there’s about 200 billion of everything else.
So what this means is that there’s probably about 200 billion pieces of this plasmid DNA encapsulated in the lipid nanoparticle—in each dose of the vaccine. So it’s ready to be delivered inside the cell. This is a bad idea.
My conclusions from this: we should check a bunch of people, getting tissue samples, especially if we focus on harmed people. But that’s not necessary; we could also just focus on regular unharmed people. And see if this plasma DNA is integrating into the genomes of any of their stem cells.
It leaves a calling card that is there. One of the reasons why I’m focusing on this is because it’s kind of different from a lot of the other imagined harms where you can’t really prove it. You can be suspicious because of the timing, but you can’t really prove it. This one you can prove it because it leaves a calling card. You find it in the stem cells of harmed people. It’s equivalent to finding a certain type of lead in someone who is now dead. It’s pretty reasonable to assume that that’s what caused it.
You guys should insist that the FDA force Pfizer to get the DNA out of the booster and all future versions of this vaccine.
I’m a real fan of this platform. I think it has the potential to treat cancers. I really believe that this platform is revolutionary. And in your lifetime, there will be mRNA vaccines against antigens in your unique cancer. But they’ve got to get this problem fixed. Right now, I think the financial incentives are too great to just keep on rolling with it, and it’s going to take some encouragement to get it out.
The regulation that allowed this DNA to be there in the first place, I don’t think that the amounts there actually exceed the regulation limits. In some batches it may; in the two batches that I looked at, one of them, it was just under the limit and one it was just over the limit. My colleague in Boston has looked at a fair number of other batches. And there’s a handful that are super high, and there’s a handful that are super low. But the fact that there is a regulatory threshold for the amount of DNA allowed in a vaccine is a throwback to an era when we were talking about vaccines that were like a recombinant protein or a dead virus, you know, attenuated virus produced in CHO cells or something like that. And the DNA that might be in it is naked DNA. And you might have a little bit in the vaccine. That’s not a problem because naked DNA gets chewed up immediately upon vaccination, and there’s no real mechanism for it to get inside the cells.
They inappropriately applied that regulatory limit to this new kind of vaccine where everything is encapsulated in a lipid nanoparticle. It’s basically packaged in a synthetic virus able to dump its contents into a cell. So I’m thinking Hanlon’s razor here. I don’t think there was anything nefarious here. I think it was just kind of a dumb oversight. And it’s going to take, because the financial incentives are so great to just, you know, sweep it under the rug, and the career incentives of people that approved this are going to be, “there’s nothing wrong here”, you know, it’s going to take some encouragement to make people prove that it’s okay. But I really believe this was an inappropriate application of an old school regulation to a new kind of vaccine.
And who knows, maybe we’ll check a bunch of people and we’ll find out for sure that this is indeed not a problem. And that will do the public good if we prove that.