April 22, 2008

Meet the New Boss, Totally Different As The Old Boss

Mr. Obama has joined Mr. McCain in sharing that he suspects that vaccines trigger autism. Hillary is not far behind them.

"We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it."
--Barack Obama, Pennsylvania Rally, April 21, 2008.

"It's indisputable that (autism) is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it. And we go back and forth and there's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in vaccines."
--John McCain, Texas town hall meeting, February 29, 2008.

"I am Committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines." When asked if she would support a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, she said: "Yes. We don't know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism - but we should find out.
--Hillary Clinton, A-CHAMP Questionnaire 2008.


It is all downhill from here.

Obama Climbs On The Vaccine Bandwagon
David Kirby
Huffington Post
April 22, 2008

No matter who wins in Pennsylvania today, the next President of the United States will support research into the growing evidence of some link between vaccines and autism.

Senator John McCain has already expressed his belief that vaccines and the mercury containing preservative thimerosal could be implicated in what he has rightly termed an "autism epidemic."

Senator Hillary Clinton, in response to a questionaire from the autism activist group A-CHAMP, wrote that she was "Committed to make investments to find the causes of autism, including possible environmental causes like vaccines." And when asked if she would support a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children, she said: "Yes. We don't know what, if any, kind of link there is between vaccines and autism - but we should find out.

And now, yesterday, at a rally in Pennsylvania, Barack Obama had this rather surprising thing to say:

"We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it."



So there you have it, our next President will share the views of such radical fringe crazies as, well, me, Democrat Robert Kennedy, Jr., Republican Joe Scarborough, former NIH and Red Cross chief Bernadine Healy, and several researchers at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the Universities of California and Washington and elsewhere.


All of us agree: Current evidence suggests that vaccines could be a contributing factor in some cases of autism, and more research is immediately required.

And yes, now the comments to this piece will come flying in, repeating the tired mantra that "this case is closed," that vaccines and thimerosal have been "completely vindicated," and that people like me are just trying to scare the public and drive them away from vaccines, leaving their children vulnerable and sick.

Of course, none of the above is true. So stay tuned.

To begin with, government researchers are currently looking into a number of factors that may trigger autism, including vaccines, their ingredients and the crowded vaccine schedule itself.

Secondly, on April 11th, I attended a top-level meeting in Washington where vaccine safety officials discussed all of the above issues, and more. Included on the Federal Draft Research Agenda for vaccine safety are now questions such as:

Can vaccines cause neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism?


Can vaccines in children with mitochondrial dysfunction cause significant "neurological deterioration?"

Can the combination live-virus measles, mumps and rubella vaccine cause seizures and long term damage in children?

Can vaccines cause autoimmune disease?

Can thimerosal cause tics or Tourette syndrome?

Can attenuated viruses in vaccines cause asthma in children?


So, no matter who is President next year, top government researchers will be examining the role of vaccines in autism and other childhood illnesses. Thus, the declarations of McCain, Clinton and now Obama, make good scientific sense.

But there is more.

Dozens of autism cases (and perhaps more) currently filed in so-called Vaccine Court will almost certainly be compensated this year. Why? Because a little girl named Hannah Poling with a supposedly rare mitochondrial condition was recently compensated for her own vaccine injuries, including autism and epilepsy.

But I have personally identified at least a dozen (and there are reports of many more) children with cases in the court who meet the exact same medical criteria as Hannah, and whose cases will almost surely be compensated as well -- each time with the attendant media fanfare.

My prediction is that, by Election Day, few Americans will still believe there is absolutely no evidence to link vaccines to at least some cases of regressive autism.

So the remarks by all three candidates not only reflect good science, they reflect good politics as well.

5 comments:

Jim said...

" The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it."

But has Obama looked at the science? Has he looked at the work (I assume published somewhere) of Boyd Haley on how Hg affects mito function? Has he looked at the work of Blaylock speculating about the orgins of neuroimmunity?

Will the next president fund, pronto, and off-label trial of Enbrel to see if it helps with autism via a neuro-inflammatory mechanism? Why isn't Autism Speaks doing this NOW (aside from the fact that AS does very little of substance ever)? Or ARI for that matter? Or the Neuroscience center that's doing the work with Alzheimer's? (it's off-label use, so I'd think that most onerous FDA-trial requirements would be off the table. An in-house IRB, informed consent, and go).

When are these people going to start LOOKING at the science that is already there?

"So the remarks by McCain and Obama not only reflect good science, they reflect good politics as well"

Unfortunately true - if any of the candidates truly came out in support of a "very probably link based on the most current scientific hypotheses", it would be political suicide - or a ticket to victory, given the number of ASD parents out there. Suicide that is, unless they ALL came out in favor of it?

Would there be a way to get all three candidates in a room together, along with the major "no link" studies, the counter-arguments (and published counter-studies where they exist - Denmark for example), the anecdotal evidence (no autism in the Amish), the emerging science on neuroimmunity and how Blaylock's speculations (actual findings?), Hayley and what he has to say, some expert on BPA (it does disrupt mitochondria), an expert on cellular effects of ultrasound, etc, etc.

AND immunologists to take a "middle ground" path with vaccines - immunologists who study not just *vaccines*, but the *immune system*, and know just how awe-inspiringly complex it is and how many things can possibly go wrong.

And have a 3 or 4 hour presentation (could any of the candidates spare that much time? Heck, the election IS only what - about 7 months away?), and GIVE them the science so they might be able to make up their own mind.

Maybe include one or two pro-vaccine people just to be "fair and balanced". We know where the balance of truth lies here..

Lynna Kay said...

I believe vaccinations triggered my son's autism...we have bloodwork that backs me up. So to the pro-vaccine people - give me a break.

In a perfect world I could believe what came out of a candidate's mouth....we all know we don't live in a perfect world. I won't truly know if they are sincere about finding the cause and funding research until they are in office and their actions will speak louder than words.

I agree with jim by the way on his Austim Speaks comment...I've thought they lacked substance for a while now. Glad I'm not the only one. The intent may be there, but no follow through in my opinion.

Thank you for your blog and keep it up!

qchan said...

When Obama said "including this person," he was pointing to someone in the audience, not referring to himself. You can see it on video right here:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/04/dr_obama_and_dr_mccain.html

So you might want to update this post.

(Or not.)

Ginger Taylor, M.S. said...

Thanks Q...

I will up date the post.

UnitedStatesAirForceAuxiliaryMember said...

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