Explanatory Power of Pandemic Autopsies

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Critical Insights Coming from Time Honored Procedure


Autopsies have been a critical exercise in human and veterinary medicine for thousands of years.  The modern autopsy is powerful with antemortem radiographic imaging, forensic toxicology looking for drugs and poisons, genetic tests, and microbiological techniques to evaluate for the presence of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, prions).  Besides gross organ inspection, photography, and weight measurement, one of the most powerful parts of the autopsy is histopathologic examination.  This involves slicing tissues, stains, and examination under microscopy.  Newer “minimally” invasive techniques make the autopsy procedure more acceptable to families and have considerable yield before the pandemic era with a new cause of death found in about 17% and >80% having important clinical questions answered.[i]  In the novel coronavirus pandemic, autopsies have led to breakthrough understandings of the processes leading to death after both the viral infection and COVID-19 vaccination.  In April 2020, Carsana and colleagues described blood vessel injury and micro blood clots in the lungs and many organs in COVID-19 autopsies which led to the understanding that blood thinners should be considered in severe cases.[ii] Chertow et al, from the National Institutes of Health found that SARS-CoV-2 is abundant, alive and replicating for months in those who eventually die due to the infection.[iii]  No wonder patients intermittently test positive for SARS-CoV-2 for months afterwards!

Probably the most powerful application of the pandemic autopsy has been in death after COVID-19 vaccination, best exemplified by a case report from Dr. Michael Morz working at the Institute of Pathology ’Georg Schmorl’, The Municipal Hospital Dresden-Friedrichstadt, in Dresden, Germany.

He described a 76 year old man with Parkinson’s Disease who in May 2021 received the AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 vaccine and suffered “cardiovascular side effects” so the second dose in the series was changed to Pfizer BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine/Comirnaty and was given in July 2021 after which the “family noted obvious behavioral and psychological changes (e.g., he did not want to be touched anymore and experienced increased anxiety, lethargy, and social withdrawal even from close family members).” Furthermore, there was a striking worsening of his Parkinson’s symptoms, which led to need for wheelchair support. He never fully recovered from these side effects after the first two vaccinations but still got another Pfizer injection in December 2021 and three weeks later he collapsed and died.  The autopsy showed vaccine-induced Spike protein deposition, inflammation and damage in the brain and heart.  Dr. Morz concluded repeated vaccination caused the death.  An analysis from McLachlan et al early in 2021 from the CDC VAERS system found that death after vaccination occurred most frequently in the elderly where death would not be unexpected due to other problems, yet the vignette in VAERS indicated like the Morz case no other immediate explanation was disclosed other than the vaccine.[iv]

Thus here are some powerful conclusions concerning COVID-19 vaccination:  1) death after injection in seniors may not be attributed to the vaccine unless an autopsy is performed, 2) massive inflammation in the brain the heart may be coincident and together drive the death, 3) adverse cardiovascular and neurologic symptoms afterwards are a strong contra-indication to additional injections, 4) cognitive decline should not be written off to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or other conditions and as in this case; families should suspect the vaccines are making the condition worse, 5) the only way for our seniors to be free of this horrific threat is to decline boosters and seek early treatment if the illness occurs.  Finally, and especially for young persons without a clear cause of death, COVID-19 vaccination cannot be ruled out as the cause unless families come forward and indicate it was not administered.  But as in this case, the smoking gun is COVID-19 vaccination.

[i] Blokker BM, Weustink AC, Wagensveld IM, von der Thüsen JH, Pezzato A, Dammers R, Bakker J, Renken NS, den Bakker MA, van Kemenade FJ, Krestin GP, Hunink MGM, Oosterhuis JW. Conventional Autopsy versus Minimally Invasive Autopsy with Postmortem MRI, CT, and CT-guided Biopsy: Comparison of Diagnostic Performance. Radiology. 2018 Dec;289(3):658-667. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2018180924. Epub 2018 Sep 25. PMID: 30251930.

[ii] Pulmonary post-mortem findings in a large series of COVID-19 cases from Northern Italy Luca Carsana, Aurelio Sonzogni, Ahmed Nasr, Roberta Simona Rossi, Alessandro Pellegrinelli, Pietro Zerbi, Roberto Rech, Riccardo Colombo, Spinello Antinori, Mario Corbellino, Massimo Galli, Emanuele Catena, Antonella Tosoni, Andrea Gianatti, Manuela Nebuloni medRxiv 2020.04.19.20054262; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.19.20054262

[iii] Daniel Chertow, Sydney Stein, Sabrina Ramelli et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection and persistence throughout the human body and brain, 20 December 2021, PREPRINT (Version 1) available at Research Square [https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-1139035/v1]

[iv] McLachlan, Scott & Osman, Magda & Dube, Kudakwashe & Chiketero, Patience & Choi, Yvonne & Fenton, Norman. (2021). Analysis of COVID-19 vaccine death reports from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) Database Interim: Results and Analysis. 10.13140/RG.2.2.26987.26402.

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