Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will be familiar with the fraudulent purveyor of far-right propaganda Peter Imanuelsen, who styles himself Peter Sweden, but is in fact originally from Norway, lives in the North Yorkshire town of Northallerton, and holds a British Passport. His claim to report from Sweden is therefore dubious at best. And now his portfolio of Fake News has seen another risible addition.
Not from Sweden. And not bringing you news
Imanuelsen has followed his Fake claim that the Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for those intending to visit Sweden - it’s another pack of lies - with claims about vaccines. This is another subject on which he knows Sweet Jack, but for an aspiring far-right scare merchant, knowledge is never allowed to get in the way of good, dishonest propagandising. So it was that he took to Twitter to set out his stall.
His first punt was to ask “Did you know that vaccines cause autism? And that in many vaccines they use the cells of aborted babies. I am not kidding you. When you take your baby to be vaccinated, they inject cells from another baby that has been killed. No wonder it is causing autism”. Autism? “Few medical myths have been debunked as thoroughly as this one” tells the USA Today vaccination myth buster.
And “cells from aborted babies”? Er, no. USA Today myth buster again: “Vaccines don't contain fetal tissue … Vaccines against hepatitis A, chickenpox and rabies also have been made with cell lines that derive from fetal tissue … The viruses are purified before being used in vaccines, and no human cells remain in the final shots given to children”.
Not going too well, was it? Imanuelsen had another go: “Don't put all the crap into it like Mercury, Aluminum and cells cultivated from aborted babies. Those things aren't healthy”. Myth buster again: “Vaccines have never contained methyl mercury, the toxic metal that can cause brain damage … Aluminum is used in small amounts in some vaccines to stimulate a better immune response … Yet babies get far more aluminum from food, including breast milk, than from vaccines”. Oh dear!
Even when he latched on to something related to reality, Imanuelsen couldn’t stop wildly exaggerating: “This reminds me of what happened in Sweden back in 2010 with the swine flu scare. Lots of people in Sweden rushed to vaccinate themselves. But it gave horrible side effects, hundreds of people got a syndrome where they just fall asleep all of a sudden. They get state compensation”. Not quite.
Here’s what Radio Sweden has told: “there is a clear link between the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix and an increased risk of getting narcolepsy … The study looked at all cases of narcolepsy reported in Sweden from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010. Sixty-nine children and juveniles with narcolepsy out of the 81 cases discovered had received the Pandemrix vaccine”. Not hundreds. And it doesn’t stand up his claim.
Still, onwards and, er, onwards, eh? “In case you don't know. I am old enough to remember the swine flu scare back in 2010 (I actually got it). In Sweden everyone rushed to get vaccinated against it. However, it caused sever [sic] brain damge [sic] to hundres [sic] of people. And more died in Sweden than in Norway w/out vaccine”. And the kernel of reality that has had to be exaggerated to produce this claim?
“Health investigators are under more pressure as two elderly women are reported to have died, days after receiving the swine flu vaccine. It brings the total number of deaths linked to the vaccine in Sweden to four” reported The Local at the time. All four deaths were of people classified as “high risk” - they had existing medical conditions. No “severe brain damage”. No “hundreds of deaths”. But plenty of bullshit.
Still, Imanuelsen was up for a little self-congratulation: “And yes, the swine flu was pretty bad when I got it. I actually developed pneumonia because of it and had to be hospitalized. But I survived without any harm. The people who got vaccines and got irreversible brain damage did not fare so well. I think I made the right desicion [sic]”. Idiot.
So when he followed all of that with “Boy, people get so easily offended today over nothing. Do some research yourself if there is something you are questioning”, the amount of scepticism and derision was off the scale, even among his own supporters.
Peter Imanuelsen, aka Peter Sweden, is not just a far-right smear merchant, a Holocaust denier, a bigot, and a liar, he is also a congenitally stupid clown. But you probably knew that anyway.