Like many people, I approach the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the US with extreme trepidation, save for one fact: his public stance on vaccination.
Among the parade of people who have been heading in and out of Trump Tower in the last months were Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Andrew Wakefield.
Wakefield, you may recall, was the much maligned British gastroenterologist, whose research had first uncovered a possible link between the triple vaccine and the development of autism and gastrointestinal disorders.
Wakefield sacrificed his career to publicize the MMR–autism connection; after a complete vilification by the press, the British General Medical Council removed his license to practice medicine and he moved to America, to carry on his research.
Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and activist, is also an outspoken critic of current vaccine policy.
Commission on vaccine safety?
After a meeting with Trump in early January Kennedy announced that Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, backed off on that position, saying ‘The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a commission on autism, which affects so many families; however, no decisions have been made at this time,’ said the statement.
The interesting aspect to the two versions of that meeting is that President Trump is making a connection that no one in officialdom has had the nerve to
make: vaccines may have something to do with the explosion in autism in the West.
In questioning vaccines, Trump is not only taking on the pharmaceutical industry, the most profitable industry in the world. He is also taking on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the major government body invested with protecting the nation against infectious diseases.
The CDC’s data-tampering
In 2004, scientists at the CDC’s then National Immunization Program carried out a study intended to settle all the questions surrounding the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine (produced by drug company Merck) and a possible link to autism. They’d compared the ages of 624 autistic children at the time of their first MMR vaccination with some 1,800 children who’d developed normally.
When the study was published in 2004, it was considered a definitive refutation of the work of Dr Wakefield.
The CDC researchers had found no significant link between the vaccine and the development of autism, nor any statistically significant increased risk for any racial or ethnic group.
There the story stood for nearly nine years until biochemical engineer Brian Hooker, associate professor of biology at Simpson University in California, decided to take a fresh look at the data.
He filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the original data and, while reanalyzing it, he got a call from CDC epidemiologist Dr William Thompson, who’d been a co-author of the 2004 paper and who now felt compelled to set the story straight by offering to collaborate on the new paper.
During multiple phone calls, Thompson revealed some of the statistical jiggery-pokery that had been used to hone the sample size of the children to allow manipulation of the data.
The CDC investigators had in fact discovered a 3.4-fold (or 340 per cent) increase in autism for African American boys in the study. However, this risk was never published because, according to Thompson, he and his fellow researchers cherry-picked which participants they wanted to include in their analyses.
As the new study says, the original study by DeStefano et al. limited the total African American cohort to include only those individuals who possessed a
valid State of Georgia birth certificate, which decreased the statistical power of their analysis.
This reduced the study sample by a whopping 41 per cent, virtually disqualifying most of the African Americans originally included and ultimately skewing the final results to make it appear that the vaccine carried minimal risk.
New autism link emerges
After numerous discussions with Thompson, Hooker published his re-analysis in early August. This time, it clearly shows that the African American boys in the study given the MMR vaccine before 24 months of age were more likely to develop autism.
In a stroke, this study has finally vindicated the work of Wakefield.
Thompson’s whistleblowing offers shocking evidence of deception and fraud at the heart of the US government agency charged with vaccine safety.
This is not the first time the CDC has been caught in the act of questionable activities. For six years, Hooker—himself the father of a 16-year-old with autism who he claims is ‘vaccine-damaged’—doggedly filed requests through the Freedom of Information Act for the original data on studies supposedly demonstrating that the preservative thimerosal, the mercury-based preservative used in numerous vaccines, was not implicated in autism.
After the CDC repeatedly stalled in handing over these supposedly public documents, he was forced to file a lawsuit against them. Ultimately, he discovered that numerous studies supposedly proving the safety of thimerosal were seriously flawed.
But that’s only the beginning of the cover-up. Today, in the age of corporate-run media, there has been a virtual press blackout of a major act of conspiracy by a government agency—a scam potentially as big as Watergate—and it’s been left to the alternative press, including parent-led autism and vaccination sites, to run with the story.
When news about Hooker’s findings and Thompson’s whistleblowing were posted on the CNN website as an iReport (news posted by viewers), it got more than 45,000 views and 178 comments, largely from people requesting that the channel formally cover the story. Not only did CNN not cover the story, but it also deleted the iReport.
In 2007, Trump said during a press interview, “When I was growing up, autism wasn’t really a factor. And now all of a sudden, it’s an epidemic. Everybody has their theory. My theory, and I study it because I have young children, my theory is the shots. We’re giving these massive injections at one time, and I really think it does something to the children.”
Repeatedly he’s questioned the wisdom of giving a giant cocktail of vaccines to a baby or young child.
If Trump is serious about exploring the effect of multiple vaccines and taking on these corrupt government bodies, I just could warm to him, just a little bit.