There he was on Valentine’s Day last week, Andrew Wakefield, appearing back in the UK for the first time in a decade, to present the European premiere of his movie VAXXED, which concerns all the statistical jiggery-pokery employed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government body invested with protecting the nation against infectious diseases, to conceal any link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.
Wakefield, you may remember, is the British gastroenterologist whose research had first uncovered a possible link between the triple vaccine and the development of autism and gastrointestinal disorders.
Wakefield was demonized by the UK press until, in a kangaroo court of the General Medical Council, his license to practice medicine was revoked.
US government deception
The authorities and the media did not shut him up, however. Bloodied but unbowed, Wakefield moved to America, carried on doing research into the MMR and has produced VAXXED, the extraordinary movie interviewing CDC insiders detailing exactly how the government agency managed to massage away, in their statistical analysis, a giant increase in autism among African American boys in the study.
The risk was never published because the CDC cherry-picked which participants they wanted to include in their analysis, reducing their study sample by 41 per cent, disqualifying most of the African Americans included in the original data, and skewing the final results to make it appear the vaccine carried minimal risk.
In VAXXED, Dr Walter Thompson one of the CDC insiders involved in the study finally speaks up, to explain about the agency’s deception.
Compelled to make an honest breast of it, he sent thousands of xeroxed pages of the original full data to Dr Brian Hooker, who re-analyzed it and finally discovered an enormous excess risk of autism among children who get the vaccine.
The movie includes heartbreaking home videos from parents, showing the stark difference in the development and capabilities of their children right before they received the MMR vaccine and after when they’ve lost speech, sociability, and much more.
Although not in the movie, there’s other evidence from the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology shows a possible link between the introduction of human fetal cell lines in the manufacture of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccines and autism.
A cover up by the very US government body charged with the task of protecting the nation’s health of Watergate-like proportions is pretty scandalous.
But here’s the biggest scandal of all.
Not one major news outlet on either side of the Atlantic covered the story. Instead, the UK and US press decided to shoot the messenger.
Wakefield called a fraud
Time magazine highlighted Andy Wakefield in a feature on ‘Great Science Frauds.’ The Huffington Post headlined its article about VAXXED with ‘Disgraced Anti-vaccine Dr Andrew Wakefield Reignites Public Health Fears,’ and, just for good measure, with the subhead: ‘Unethical and immoral but also despicable and irresponsible.’
The Times, which has rabidly pursued Wakefield like a pack of dogs after a fox, was apoplectic over the fact that Amazon Instant Video and Apple’s iTunes, were selling the video and demanded that it be immediately stopped.
The usual ragtag of skeptics, one formerly associated with a lobbying organisation taking donations from Big Pharma and the likes of Coca-Cola, harassed the Curzon, where the UK screening was due to be launched until the theatre pulled it.
The organizers were reduced to passing around information about the screening surreptitiously as though sharing the address of a speakeasy during Prohibition.
Public hero number 1
Ultimately all the media’s efforts at suppression didn’t work. It was shown at Regent’s College, at an even larger venue, and was totally sold-out, with a crowd who gave Wakefield a standing ovation when he appeared on stage.
And so they should.
Wakefield is a hero. He had a nice life in the UK with a nice job as a well-established gastroenterologist. He saw a link in his pediatric patients presenting with gut problems and autism right after the MMR and had his career destroyed because he felt that simply asking the question about a triple live-vaccine instead of blithely accepting what the pharmaceutical industry maintained about safety was the moral thing to do.
He’s another Daniel Ellsberg, the US military analyst who in the 1970s risked everything to disclose what became the Pentagon Papers, what the US government was really doing in Vietnam.
Wakefield was just doing the press’s job for them. But instead of going after the story, the press has gone after the messenger. In disclosing Big Pharma’s outrageous deception with the MMR, Wakefield has had to put up with the kind of vilification that would destroy the ordinary man.
Here’s what I, as a journalist, cannot figure out. What is the press doing, siding with the authorities and not digging further? Maybe Trump is right, and the press does have an agenda, and it’s all about protecting the status quo. The good guys have become the bad guys.
Shame, shame on them.
For anyone who wants to watch the movie: http://vaxxedthemovie.com/stream