January 21, 2011

Matt Lauer, Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos Adopt Skeptic Community/Science Media's Failing Tactics

A year and a half ago, my patience ran out with those in this debate pretending to be earnest seekers of truth, but whose words and actions revealed them to be closed and biased. I published an extensive piece detailing the problems I saw in the Skeptic movement (which I really now see as just the Contrarian movement, as they don't seem to be skeptical of some assertions that someone from Missouri would demand proof of, but merely oppose anything our community says no matter how reasonable) and in "science writers" who act as mere functionaries of Pharma and their friends/sometime employees in public health. It was entitled:


It details my earnest attempts to get through to these skeptics/science journalists, and an effort to point out that they are shooting themselves in the foot with their actions, and that our children are collateral damage in their efforts.  Long story short... they are some pretty myopic people and not open to self-evaluation, so their tactics continue to loose them the vaccine/autism wars.

(*After I posted the piece, Dr. David "Orac" Gorski sent me a flattering email saying he had actually always respected me and asked me to remove the piece. When I declined, he let the insults fly again. So... not the most honest and straightforward guy.

A few months later, we learned that Gorski has spent the last several years developing a drug for vaccine maker Sanofi, which he had some how forgotten to mention in his hundreds of posts about these issues, so I do feel a bit the sucker for approaching him as if he was actually a somewhat disinterested party in this debate. Had I known I would not have wasted so many hours trying to have a real discussion with him, but live and learn I guess.)

I hope you will take the time to read it, especially if you are someone who believes the media on this issue and  super especially if you are Matt Lauer, Anderson Coooper, George Stephanopolous or any other major news personality who has been handed a press release labeled "News" that was likely drafted in a Pharma conference room and told to get really angry at some guy named Andrew Wakefield.

Pharma Co and their emissaries have launched an extended (and what appears to be a) last ditch effort to bury the vaccine/autism story since the beginning of the year. Two books on how vaccine safety advocates are both ignorant and a threat to society, and an attempt to once again make Andrew Wakefield a scape goat and sacrifice him at the alter of the vaccine program.  And, of course, various and sundry supporting pieces hither and yon from the usual players.

This is, of course, just more of the same transparent "killing the messenger" tactic that has been losing them the vaccine/autism wars for the last ten years. But since their only other choice is to admit there are problems in the vaccine program and address them, no doubt costing them billions of dollars and landing a few of them in jail, they have decided to die with their boots on while taking a few doctors, lots of parents and untold thousands of innocent children down with them. It is pretty clear that the vaccine bubble is now deflating, but they are pumping with all their might, influence and dollars to keep that thing inflated. They seem to be telling themselves... "there are just two big holes in this... Wakefield and McCarthy. If we can convince the public that Wakefield is a crook and use the "Nuts and Sluts" defense against McCarthy, we can plug them and our bubble can grow with no end in site!!"

Yet they are astonished that bubble is still deflating.

Because they have incorrectly diagnosed the bubble's aliments. The hundreds of thousands of pin holes in it. The epidemic of autism, add, asthma, diabetes, allergies, developmental disability and delay... and all those other neurological and autoimmune disorders running rampant in our children. And the millions of people who are seeing it happen to children they love... seeing how it points back to the vaccine program and other toxic injuries... coming to ask all those unanswered questions and discovering all those unsupportable safety claims.... and knowing that whether or not some doctor they never heard of in the UK is or is not a big fat liar, has nothing to do with their concerns. Nor do Jenny McCarthy's boobs.

But still PharmaKorp trudges on in their ineffectiveness.

But now they are working to enlist some high profile media types to adopt their attack dog tactics, and the little backfires that they have been experiencing in the vaccine safety debate circles are now becoming big backfires on a national level.

Last year before Wakefield's book "Callous Disregard" came out, PharmaKorp launched an out of the blue attack on him, and Matt Lauer was awful to him on the Today show. Rather than having the intended result of finishing off Andrew Wakefield (because yanking his license four months earlier during his previous public execution had not quite done the job), the assault put Wakefield's book on the Amazon top ten list and Lauer's popularity took a hit. The autism and vaccine safety communities were angry at the unfairness of his interview, and the wider public saw the assault on Wakefield as unprofessional and their suspicions were raised (and they clicked on Amazon). The tongue in cheek "Land of the Lost" tribute facebook group called, "Matt Lauer Can Suck It" was even taken over by people upset with Lauer about the interview, who proceeded to tell Matt Lauer that he could actually "Suck It".






Yet despite how badly these tactics bomb... over and over and over... THEY still just up the ante? Why?

Now they have dragged Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopulos into it. I am curious as to how they pull this off. I assumed that after the Nancy Snydermand/Matt Lauer tiff where she got mad at him for insisting that vaccines were still contriversal, that she brought down heat on Lauer at NBC and he was told to put the screws to Wakefield. After all, Lauer's ex wife is the mother of a child with autism who believes that vaccines and gut issues are a factor, and it is rumored that Lauer and his current wife selectively vaccinated their own children. Add in NBC/GE ownership of large medical corporations and you can see how that happens.

But what were the conversations that had to take place with Cooper and Stephanopulos to make them behave like jerks and go hard on Wakefield? Who is the person that talked to them to get them all hyped up? That kind of aggression and "combativeness", as Stephanopoulos admitted to engaging in, doesn't just come from no where. What were they told, and by who, that would make them stick their necks out this far on a story that they don't even follow?

When Shephard Smith got pissed at the Bush administration for stranding thousands of people in a sinking New Orleans, he was not sticking his neck out or making assumptions or taking the word of someone in another country that people in need were being neglected to their detriment. He was standing in the middle of them, filming an abandoned dead body. He had all the facts and knew he had the high ground. Anger justified.

But Lauer, Cooper and Stephanopoulos? They don't actually know jack. So how exactly were they tricked into making asses of themselves and losing the trust of some of their regular viewiers?

And why? At this point, every journalist who actually has a career to care about (not talking about writers with no serious credentials like Trine Tsouderos or Seth Mnookin who are brought into to write hit pieces that elevate their profile) must know that the public is taking this issue very, very seriously. Even if they think that there is nothing to the vaccine/autism debate, don't they wonder why despite all the stories that they see coming across their desk declaring the debate over... that it only grows? Does the last guy to do it even take a look at the outcome of the previous guys to do it? Did Stephanopoulos even check reaction to Cooper's interview to see how badly it went over? And if so, did he care that his went over even worse?

So the point of this whole piece that I am writing is to, once again, with feeling, declare to the Pharma stragetists and media heads out there who are attacking our community in order to defend their over-zealous, under tested and destructive vaccine program and its profits...


IT DOESN'T WORK!

It has never worked! It didn't work when you started it in the blogesphere, it didn't work in local news, it doesn't work in the national news.


It didn't work when Skeptico did it.

It didn't work when Orac did it.

It didn't work when Chris Mooney did it.

It didn't work when Sheril Kirshenbaum did it.

It didn't work when Lori Kozlowski did it.

It didn't work when Virginia Hughes did it.

It didn't work when Thomas Maugh did it.

It didn't work when Trine Tsouderos did it.

It didn't work when Gardier Harris did it.

It didn't work when Nancy Snyderman did it.

It has never worked when Paul Offit does it, as his new book,"Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All," is currently #8,277 on Amazon's best seller list.

And it is not working as Seth Mnookin is trying his hand at the same failing tactics that all his predecessors have failed with. His book kicking the vaccine safety community didn't break the #1000 mark and continues to slide.

And you guys have been hyping the hell out of those two books!

It didn't work when Lauer did it.

It didn't work when Stephaholopoulos did it.

It didn't even work when Cooper and his "national treasure" baby blues did it.

So....

Whose up next? What media name will Pharma Co. forward scouts turn to next to expose the vicious murders that are vaccine safety advocates and parents of sick and dying children?

Or is the Old Stream Media taking note that doing Pharma Co's dirty work is only further hobbling their struggling industry by further eroding public trust in their reporting? Nah... probably not.

And what is the next story?  A few months from now when this media push falls flat, parents are purchasing even fewer vaccines and Andrew Wakefield is still booking speaking engagements and publising, will he fail to return home from work one evening only to be "discovered" three days later, unconscious in a Mexican hotel room filled with cocaine and under aged prostitutes, by a vacationing Brian Deer who is coincidently on holiday in Cancun? Exactly how far do they plan on trying to get this Wakefield story to stretch?

Pharma Co, with all their in depth market strategery has to know that this tac is not working on the public and is only losing the public trust in vaccines. So have they just decided that the masses may be lost, but at least they can keep doctors and researchers from questioning the party line publicly by creating a hostile environment through the media crush? That is not working too well either, but I think that might be the last line that Pharma Co. is trying to hold in this war. Eventually docs get pissed at being told what to do and what to think, so we will see how long that one holds out.

Pharma... Brian Deer (with your allusions to Wakefield's severed hand crawling across the floor)... the reason Wakefield won't die is that... please pay attention... that there are no real bullets in your gun. You guys are just flicking pebbles at him. The guy published a paper that says children with autism sometimes have serious GI issues and that sometimes they both come on after MMR. This is hard to discredit as it is also the active policy of the Federal Government of the United States of America. CDC tells their docs to screen for GI issues upon suspecting an autism diagnosis, because gastrointestinal distress IS associated with autism. HHS lists the symptoms of autism as a reaction to the MMR and DTaP vaccines on their web site, and they have paid many children for MMR induced autism.

So you need to understand... if tomorrow you publish video of Andrew Wakefield robbing a 7-11 with an AK-47 and taking a crippled 8 year old girl as a hostage, while Jenny McCarthy drives the get away car... it is not going to solve your vaccine sales problem. Because the vaccine program is the problem. The people talking about the problems in the vaccine program are not the problem. Trying to shut them up or shut them down is not working.

Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield did not kill Elias Tembenis. The DTaP vaccine did.

Any route Pharma Co takes ends badly for them. The vaccine bubble is over. It is not bursting all at once, but as soon as SCOTUS renders their Bruesewitz decision, bubble starts deflating in earnest. Because either the law suits will start flying fast and furious, or the public will finally understand that if they have a vaccine injury, they are on their own.

Happy pumping Pharma.


Update: See... doesn't work.

Bloomberg Businessweek:
Nearly Half of Americans Still Suspect Vaccine-Autism Link
18% don't trust measles-mumps-rubella shot, and 30% are undecided, Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll finds
By Amanda Gardner

Just a slim majority of Americans -- 52 percent -- think vaccines don't cause autism, a new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll found.

Conversely, 18 percent are convinced that vaccines, like the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, can cause the disorder, and another 30 percent aren't sure.

The poll was conducted last week, following news reports that said the lead researcher of a controversial 1998 study linking autism to the MMR vaccine had used fraudulent research to come to his conclusion.

The poll also found that parents who have lingering doubts about the vaccine were less likely to say that their children were fully vaccinated (86 percent), compared to 98 percent of parents who believe in the safety of vaccines.

Still, the percentage of fully vaccinated children remains high, at 92 percent, the poll found.

"This sounds like a cup half-empty/cup half-full story," said Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll. He noted that while the number of people who believe in a connection between vaccines and autism is "only 18 percent," that nonetheless translates to "millions and millions and millions of people, and it's clear that in some cases that has led them to not vaccinate their children."

Vaccine safety has been a major concern for many parents since the publication of the 1998 study, led by now disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield, which concluded that the MMR vaccine caused autism. The journal that originally published the study, The Lancet, has since retracted the paper and Wakefield was recently barred from practicing medicine in Britain.

In recent weeks, another leading British medical journal, BMJ, has published a series of articles purporting to expose deliberate fraud by Wakefield in his handling of the research that served as the basis for the 1998 study.

In the new Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll, 69 percent of respondents said they had heard about the theory that some vaccinations can cause autism.

But only half (47 percent) knew that the original Lancet study by Wakefield and other researchers had been retracted, and that some of that research is now alleged to be fraudulent.

"Forty-seven percent is a huge number and this is a relatively new thing [allegations of fraud], so it's remarkable that they have heard of it. But that still means that half the population has not," Taylor said.

Still, the retraction and allegations of fraud do seem to have influenced public perception. Among those who had been following the news about Wakefield, only 35 percent believed the vaccine-autism theory, compared to 65 percent who had not kept up to date on the latest developments.

"There seems to be reasonable support for vaccination and I think this will increase with the revelation that a lot of this stuff was based on fraud or bad science," said Dr. Kenneth Bromberg, chairman of pediatrics and director of the Vaccine Research Center at the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City.

Overall, 69 percent of adults polled agreed that schools should require vaccinations -- including, interestingly, 52 percent of those who believe that autism might be connected to vaccinations.

Sixteen percent of all adults surveyed said they knew of at least one family whose children had not received all recommended vaccines due to concerns about autism. One-quarter of those who believed the vaccine-autism theory said they knew at least one family that had not fully vaccinated their children.

Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, which supports more research into the safety of vaccinations, said autism is just one concern linked to vaccines.

"Parents have legitimate questions about vaccine risks and want better vaccine science to define those risks for their own child," she said. "This concern long predated the debate about vaccines and autism. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 was passed by Congress, in part, to address those concerns but has not done the job.

"The Harris poll points out the urgent need for a renewed effort to conduct new vaccine safety studies that are methodologically sound and free from real or perceived conflicts of interest," Fisher added, "or a significant portion of the public will continue to question the conclusions."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 110 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, part of a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

The Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll was conducted online within the United States from Jan. 11-13, and included 2,026 adults over the age of 18. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.

More information

Read more about the poll methodology and findings at Harris Interactive.

Another Update: Seriously... not working.

Novartis Q4 profit down as vaccine demand drops
Jan 27, 2011 5:32 AM ET
By The Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss drug maker Novartis AG saw fourth quarter net profit slip 2 percent on the year to $2.32 billion amid one-off charges and a sharp drop in demand for its pandemic flu vaccine, the company said Thursday.

Profit in the October-December period was hurt by one-time charges of $789 million, including restructuring costs in the U.S. and Germany — only partially offset by a one-time gain of $392 million, the pharmaceutical company said.

Revenue in the fourth quarter grew from $12.92 billion to $14.19 billion. However, the vaccine division suffered a 74 percent decline in sales to $361 million following the end of the pandemic flu in 2010, after sales for the flu vaccine totaled $1 billion a year earlier.

The maker of hypertension drug Diovan and anticancer treatment Glivec — known as Gleevec in the United States — said its 2010 full year sales were up by 14 percent to $50.62 billion, including $2.4 billion revenue from the full consolidation of eye care specialist Alcon, Inc.

Full year 2010 net profit was up to $8.45 billion from $9.96 billion a year earlier, the company, based in Basel, said.

"Novartis achieved excellent results in 2010 as all divisions contributed to above-market growth," Chief Executive Joseph Jimenez said.

The company's results were helped by 13 key product approvals and the breakthrough of the multiple sclerosis medication, Gilenya, which has also been launched in the U.S., he said.

Analysts at Zuercher Kantonalbank said while Novartis' revenue is fully in line with market expectations, its net profit remained slightly below expectations.

In its outlook, Novartis said it expects sales to grow at constant currency rates by a "double-digit mark," and productivity gains to help improve margins while absorbing price cuts, generic competition and the loss of the pandemic flu vaccine sales.

The company's shares were trading lower on Switzerland's stock exchange Thursday morning, falling by 1.74 percent to 53.50 Swiss Francs ($56.71).

28 comments:

Minority said...

I do hope you are right about SCOTUS. It seems to me that if they say the damage was unavoidable, they are spitting in the eye of the vaccine court for denying compensation. And if they say the damage was avoidable they are opening the door for lawsuits against the drug companies for basically leaning back and letting crappy vaccines flow on to the market and injure people and children and infants.

B said...

Let me get right to the point: I LOVE YOU! great post!

The Ingredient Detective said...

You're right. The debate is not over (even the newspapers here in Australia had triumphant headlines, saying things like "Vaccine-Autism case finally closed".) It's just getting started...

Julie said...

Great post! It's heartening to see that the media is out of step with real opinions, especially when I start to feel like my efforts to protect my child have me way out in the weeds. People with more education are vaccine doubters because we can SMELL those lousy talking points a hundred miles away. We're undistracted by pompous certitudes because we never lose sight of that nagging vortex no one ever seems to address... "Okay, then what DOES cause autism, you know-it-all jackasses??"

Johnny said...

Great info and you are one of my heroes. I have two daughters 23 years apart and I thank god for them. Been looking into vaccines for about 2 years and the more I look the sicker I become. I stopped vaccinating my youngest 2 years ago. I go back and look at her photos when she received her vaccines and her eyes are either to close to together or one eye is floating around. Now 2 years with no vaccines and her face is full of life, eyes seem to be back to normal. Thank you for being such a great and loving person. You are helping many people. Thank you, John

McMillan Clan said...

Ginger, Thank you for doing the work that I just can't seem to do...I can't even read the whole book "Age of Autism" because it's like reading a horror story- reliving this mess in my son's life is just awful....
I hope that one day the media will catch on with us parents and finally agree, but by then I am sure that BIG PHARMA will own all of us, and all of the media outlets, and all of our liberties.

Thomas said...

Great job as usual, Ginger!

lusionis said...

Very... weird article you wrote. Because you criticize the amazon ranking of the books, yet the two HYPED books on Age of Autism are in the 30k range. I would say that this movement and mindset that you are somehow winning is a little misplaced if we were going to compare books. (Which was obviously a focus for you since you mentioned their amazon rank.)

Not to mention that the statistic of 92% still vaccinating their children is proof that you aren't "winning" anything. The public clearly still very much believes in vaccines, 92% isn't failing by any standard.

Ginger Taylor said...

Iusions,

Age of Autism came out six months ago. The two books I mentioned were released this month. This is the peak of their sales.

And Age of Autism got almost no press from the Pharma supported media. They actively suppressed the publicity as a matter of fact.

http://bigjournalism.com/gtaylor/2010/09/26/the-real-story-behind-autism-patient-donald-t/

And 98% of parents vaccinating is not a problem for me. I am not trying to get people to stop vaccinating, merely to get people to make informed decisions in vaccinations, and to be aware of the damage they can do.

I want to know what percentage of parents are vaccinating according to the CDC schedule, as opposed to ten and 20 years ago.

Parents who are vaccinating their kids, yet delaying, separating the shots and dropping the unimportant ones like RotaTeq are in that "still vaccinating" group. But they are doing it according to what they believe their child's own best interest is. That is a WIN for us.

Apparently you actually buy the line that people like me are "anti-vaccine" and want to end the vaccine program.

I don't.

I want full disclosure, the right to sue for damages, informed consent, and for parents to be in control of what is going into their childrens' bodies with out coercion or trickery.

JUST LIKE WITH ANY OTHER PHARMACUTICAL!

So yea.... we are winning, and those who want the public to just stop asking questions and do what they are told... are loosing.

David said...

"A few months later, we learned that Gorski has spent the last several years developing a drug for vaccine maker Sanofi, which he had some how forgotten to mention in his hundreds of posts about these issues, so I do feel a bit the sucker for approaching him as if he was actually a somewhat disinterested party in this debate."

The only person you've been a sucker for is Jake Crosby, who spread this lie about me, as I described before he did it:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5627

And then again after he did it:

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=5827

Bottom line: I've never taken one red cent from Sanofi-Aventis. Indeed, using Jake's "logic," such as it is, if J.B. Handley's company handles any pharmaceutical accounts, I could just invoke Jake's fallacious reasoning and as easily claim that he is a pharma shill for whatever company his firm handles.

Whatever our differences, I thought you were smarter than that. Apparently I was wrong. A shame.

Ginger Taylor said...

Dr. Gorski,

Did you develop a Sanofi drug?

Evvy Dense said...

This makes me very sad.
Ginger does not seem to understand science. It does not matter how many people's intuition votes for something to be real. Science is about testing theories. One study making a claim is only useful for directing future studies. It must be reproducible.
I know that you and your friends at AoA are 100% sincere in your desire to help children. However, you have been blinded by you passion and see conspiracies anywhere people don't think like you. To me that is religion, not science.
The saddest part for me is looking at the decade we have spent so much time and money looking for a link between vaccines and autism instead of using those resources to find the real cause. It is the autistic children who are suffering as a result of your zealous pursuit of the vaccine monster and your inability to actually learn from the science that has been done to answer your questions.

Ginger Taylor said...

Ev,

You want to talk science? Great?

Here is my question. My son regressed into autism following his 18 month vaccinations. He got:

DTaP
Polio
HIB
Pnumo
Hep B

They didn't contain thimerosal and he has never received the MMR.

Please show me the research that looks at the link between:

The ingredients of these vaccines and autism.

These individual vaccines and autism.

This vaccine combination, given together and autism.

I have searched for years and have never found even one study.

In addition, can you please show me the research that differentiates HHS VICP injury table vaccine reaction of "encephalopathy" and "autism". Because my son was given the DTaP vaccine, developed the symptoms listed on the VICP table under "encephalopathy" and was given a diagnosis of "autism" for those symptoms.

So show me the research?

Evvy Dense said...

So... You are correct that not every combination of vaccines has been exhaustively researched. However, you are stating an overly simplified view of what research is needed. I recommend you read Austin Bradford Hill's classic essay on thinking about causal evidence (see http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/hill).
He was one of the people that helped the world see that smoking led to cancer. In looking for a cause and effect relationship you should start by looking at the strength of the association between the exposure and the condition you think is being caused. Then examine the consistency of the observed association. Specificity of the association, the third characteristic which invariably we must consider. The fourth characteristic is the temporal relationship of the association – which is the cart and which is the horse? This is a question which might be particularly relevant with diseases of slow development. Fifthly, if the association is one which can reveal a biological gradient, or dose-response curve, then we should look most carefully for such evidence. It will be helpful if the causation we suspect is biologically plausible. But this is a feature I am convinced we cannot demand.

If you really want to learn more you can read this article and then follow up with more recent takes on the subject.

13 years ago the theory was put forward that MMR caused autism. Research was done looking for a link between the two, but many epidemiological studies from around the world did not find any link. Much of the focus then shifted to mercury. That led to the removal from all routine vaccines for children under 3, but subsequent research again found no association between dose of mercury and autism. Then the theories shifted again. As you state in your comments they did not continue checking every vaccine combination. However, I would argue that much of the research was focused on the wrong question. They were looking for specifics. What we needed to do was look at what side effects people (like yourself) came after which shots. When you examine the stories of vaccines followed by autism there is no consistent pattern. In time many of the AoA people have even changed their stories to fit their most recent theory. Because each vaccine is composed of different ingredients there would be a specific exposure followed by specific symptoms or disease. Your child's symptoms were noticed after the DTaP, Polio, HIB, Pnumo and Hep B. J.B. Handley's son developed his after a flu shot. Some claim it was the DTaP and HIB combination. Many claim it was the MMR. Jenny originally said her son declined over months but others say days or hours. Can you understand that for there to be a cause and effect you would need to see a pattern somewhere?

The other problem I have is that many of the stories from parents who believe the vaccines caused their children's autism are not substantiated by the doctors who have seen and treated them. Having given thousands of vaccines, and treated many children with autism, I (nor any doctor I have ever met) has seen a temporal correlation that would make causality likely. Of course that does not mean that sometimes one thing follows another, but if it is just as likely to come before or after the exposure then it isn't the cause.

I am sorry this is so long winded but I want you to realize that those of us in medicine who treat these children are listening. We just can't find what you say you see, no matter how hard we look.

DFranco said...

Ginger - LOVE your post. I had a nice discussion with our ped about vaccinations several months ago and what I thought he could do with them - other than put them in my kids. I also emailed him the 25 measly pages of research I've gathered on my own, but never heard back.

Even taking a vaccine/autism link out of the equation, how can I trust an industry that lies, cheats, and steals all in the name of having my kids' health at heart? The impropriety at the FDA, USDA, WHO, NIH, and Big Pharma is astonishing, and yet NO ONE talks about it.

So glad to be off the hamster wheel. 20 years from now, when "science the moving target" says, "Oops, we made some mistakes back there," my kids will thank me for being a bit of a nut about it all now. :-)

God bless you!

Mom of a Half Dozen Kids said...

Thank you. Thank you for your work. <3

Autism Mom Rising said...

I have really enjoyed this intelligent and civil discussion between Ginger and Evvy. My son was a perfectly normal infant until six months of age, mid-Oct 2002. I just watched his baby videos for the first time, which confirmed memory.

He had been sick, so sick that oral antibiotics weren't working so he was adminstered two antibiotics shots a couple days apart. Within a few days of that he was given a prevnar and a Dpt. Within a week of all this happening he began to change. I wouldn't say he was suddenly autistic because that is not quite how it happened. It was more like he began cutting in and out-he would be the same social, attached baby he'd always been and then suddenly it would be as if someone had hit a light switch and he'd go into his own world....he'd go back and forth like that all day. Over time he spent more and more time in his own world. When I described this to my son's neuro years later he said, "that sounds like infant petite mal seizures." (My son has full brain multi-focals) I don't want to blame the vaccines, I truly don't as I am a meningitis survivor and a strong believer I'm the need for a vaccine program. Yet, I cannot rule vaccine injury out either because of timing and the fact that the Dpt insert says it can trigger seizures. I wonder though if the vaccine wasn't the problem but being sick + powerful antibiotics + vaccine may have been a tipping point. I don't speak out on the subject because I'm not entirely sure I understand what happened. I will say that I wish peds would quit vaccinating kids when they are sick. I also think the regressive form of autism may actually be petite mal seizures that get missed by doctors. My son went from high functioning autism at age 3 to severe and in a diaper at 7. The ped kept dismissing the regressions as "just the autism". It wasn't until a behavior therapist told me she'd seen another kid like this and it ended up being seizures that we figured it out.

Ginger Taylor said...

Evvy,

Sorry for forgetting about this thread... been launching a new book, (Vaccine Epidemic, get your copy in book stores today, already in its second printing!)

I want to answer you in two parts... because you seemed to have missed the point that I have been trying to drive home, but that no one in your community seems to be getting. (I will address your other points a bit later).

I am answering you this way because I really want you to understand where you and people like you are going wrong. I get the sense you are listening... and I really hope you are. So please read this reply carefully and with some self-reflection, as it is earnestly meant to be a teaching moment for you and not written out of anger on my part. Please, please pay attention to this.

Your last comment is WHY you are loosing the vaccine wars... I am offering you an analysis... I hope you will consider it carefully as it is yet another microcausm example of what happens over and over and over and over.

The initial post I wrote more than a year ago made the point to your community that the burden of proof was on YOU to sell US on your products and point of view. Rather than doing that, you community has not only insulted us, you ACTIVELY prevent us from healing our sick children.

Those I was writing to, in the hopes they would understand where they were going wrong, didn't get it.

This blog piece is to reinforce that point. And to explain that attacking us does not and will not work, because you are not solving the actual problem. That you have not met your burden of proof that your products and point of view are good for the customer. That you have actually LOST the debate, and don't know it because you are not listening. That going into your ivory tower, locking us outside and performing yet another symposium entitled, "We Are Smart, Jenny McCarthy is Stupid and Andy Wakefield Eats Babies for Breakfast" only serves to reinforce the WRONG ideas you are circulating in your cloistered group AND you fail to note that we are out here, with access to the rest of the world, taking your arguments apart at kitchen tables, in coffee shops and over back fences accross the world. I am trying to point out that attacking your customer base... parents like me making vaccine decisions... will only loose you the war FASTER.

And AGAIN... I made the point to you, Evvy, that YOU the 'scientist' has to sell me the 'just a mom' on the idea that the vaccine program is safe, and does not cause autism.

So I presented you with the questions I need answered before I can be convince of that... research on specific vaccines my son received, after which he regressed into "autism".

Your response was this: "So... You are correct that not every combination of vaccines has been exhaustively researched".

Ok... you made an admission that more should have been done. Great. That is the right start. The next sentence should have been, "You are right, we don't really have evidence to make the blanket statement that 'vaccines don't cause autism', and we need to get that answered properly so that parents can vaccinate their kids with confidence."

cont...

Ginger Taylor said...

THAT statement would have said to me,... "ok... earnest guy who is not in denial about lack of evidence in vaccine safety... this is a guy I can deal with".

But you didn't, you BLEW OFF MY CONCERNS. You said, "However, you are stating an overly simplified view of what research is needed."

FAIL!

The research that I believe is needed to sell me a vaccine IS the research that is needed to sell me a vaccine! You, the salesman, actually presume to tell me, the customer, that I am an idiot and I don't know how to ask the basic questions on how to keep my son safe! (Only a bit more insulting to me and I have an MS in Clinicial Counseling from Johns Hopkins, so you can assume I know at least the very basics about scientific inquiry and passed a few stats classes.)

Do you not see that?
THEN you launch into an argument that tells me, a woman who has been reading and writing about autism/vaccine injury pretty much every day for six years, that you have not done your reading and don't know the basics of OUR problems with the program. You have bought into the strawman arguments sold by Novella and Orac (with all their vaccine industry ties and $$).

You tell me back the story of MY COMMUNITY, tell it wrong, and expect me to be convinced by it? All I can liken it to is you taking a train from the Hamptons to Harlem, and walking up to a group of unemployed guys on the corner and proceeding to tell them about how blacks have an equal shot in this country and they don't know anything about black history in America. Launching into this kind diatribe to them at BEST will get run off their corner. But you are so arrogant (sorry to be harsh) that you actually think you can come to our neighborhood and tell us our life and our history... and the research that we pour through to help us figure out what happened to our kids and to try to heal them?

Again... I know this is harsh, and I don't want to be hurtful, but I feel I need to be frank... can you see how that just makes you look like an ass?

Can you understand why you are loosing this war? You have lost the debate and you don't even know it.

Paul Offit's book lives between 2,000 and 5,000 on Amazon and never broke 1,000 (and I have been checking). And Offit was on the Colbert Report! Mnookins book is doing the same, even though it has been hyped on Salon and has gotten main stream press everywhere.

Our book, Vaccine Epidemic, shot to 117 its second day out and has been living around 200-300 since then, and on day three, went into is second printing. With NO mainstream press at all.

You might want to tell yourself it is because "contraversy sells" and no one wants to read that everything is fine, but you have to stop kidding yourself. It is because you are on the wrong side of history, no one wants to read the industry line, and because on its face, you arguement does not holdup with people who don't have to believe it to prevent from being kicked out of the 'science club'.

So I am begging you... take a month and stop listening to the skeptic echo chamber, start reading our blogs... just for a month. Read Vaccine Epidemic, start with Chapter 18, my chapter, really find out what our ACTUAL arguments and questions are, then go back to skeptic town and see if they can address the real questions, not the straw men they are making.

Do you want to get to the bottom of this, or do you want do stay with science club?

Ginger Taylor said...

Evvy,


Now to address your comments:

“So... You are correct that not every combination of vaccines has been exhaustively researched”.

Yes I am.

But you are far too generous in your characterization that “not every combination of vaccines has been exhaustively researched”. The combination of shots given to two month old per CDC schedule has never been researched at all. Neither has 6 months of 6 months or 12 months or ANY combination which the CDC schedule directs pediatricians to administer. NONE.

Actually… I was not completely honest about the lack of research into my son’s case. There is one study that applies to him. Mostly.

It is this one that shows that boys given the thimerosal containing Hep B series begging the month after birth have a 3x higher chance of developing autism. (Chandler’s first dose at 3 weeks, which he reacted badly to, three months of fevers and “colic” –we now know colic is a GI problem that is treated with probiotics- and constipation that lasted two years until after we put him on the GFCF died following his neurological regression, was a Hg containing vaccine. The second two doses were not according to the lot numbers I looked up).

Hepatitis B Vaccination of Male Neonates and Autism

Annals of Epidemiology , Vol. 19, No. 9 ABSTRACTS (ACE), September 2009: 651-680,
p. 659

CM Gallagher, MS Goodman, Graduate Program in Public
Health, Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY

PURPOSE: Universal newborn immunization with hepatitis B vaccine was recommended in 1991; however, safety findings are mixed. The Vaccine Safety Datalink Workgroup reported no association between hepatitis B vaccination at birth and febrile episodes or neurological adverse events. Other studies found positive associations between
hepatitis B vaccination and ear infection, pharyngitis, and chronic arthritis; as well as receipt of early intervention/special education services (EIS); in probability samples of U.S. children. Children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) comprise a growing caseload for EIS. We evaluated the association between hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and parental report of ASD.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study used U.S. probability samples obtained from National Health Interview Survey 1997-2002 datasets. Logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the effect of neonatal hepatitis B vaccination on ASD risk amongboys age 3-17 years with shot records, adjusted for race, maternal education, and two-parent household.

RESULTS:Boyswho received the hepatitis B vaccine during the first month of life had 2.94 greater odds for ASD (nZ31 of 7,486; OR Z 2.94; p Z 0.03; 95% CI Z 1.10, 7.90)
compared to later- or unvaccinated boys.Non-Hispanicwhite boys were 61%less likely to haveASD(ORZ0.39; pZ0.04; 95% CIZ0.16, 0.94) relative to non-white boys.

CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that U.S. male neonates vaccinated with hepatitis B vaccine had a 3-fold greater risk of ASD; risk was greatest for non-white boys.

cont...

Ginger Taylor said...

...


“However, you are stating an overly simplified view of what research is needed. I recommend you read Austin Bradford Hill's classic essay on thinking about causal evidence (see http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/hill).
He was one of the people that helped the world see that smoking led to cancer. In looking for a cause and effect relationship you should start by looking at the strength of the association between the exposure and the condition you think is being caused. Then examine the consistency of the observed association. Specificity of the association, the third characteristic which invariably we must consider. The fourth characteristic is the temporal relationship of the association – which is the cart and which is the horse? This is a question which might be particularly relevant with diseases of slow development. Fifthly, if the association is one which can reveal a biological gradient, or dose-response curve, then we should look most carefully for such evidence. It will be helpful if the causation we suspect is biologically plausible. But this is a feature I am convinced we cannot demand. “

I read this and all I can think is… ‘does this guy realize that he is making our case for us?’

1. Strength of association? Yes. (Exposure to carcinogenic smoke in the lungs causes cancer in the lungs, first in vulnerable subsets.) Exposure to immune stimulants causes autoimmunity and brain inflammation, first in vulnerable subsets. Exposure to neurotoxins causes neurological damage, first in vulnerable subsets. Exposure to live viruses causes viral infections, first in vulnerable subsets.

2. Consistency of association? Yes. Seventy years of recorded observation beginning with the firs paper written on what would become “autism” by Leo Kanner himself, when he recorded that one of the first cases was a smallpox vaccine regression.

3. Specificity of the association? See number 1. CDC tells us that mercury causes GI problems. Our kids have horrible GI problems and test positive for mercury toxicity. Read a vaccine package insert and the HHS vaccine injury table… see that vaccines cause autoimmunity and neurological disease. Our kids have autoimmunity and neurological disease. Can vaccines cause brain swelling? See vaccine encephalopathy on HHS VICP table… Yes they can. Symptoms of vaccine encephalopathy? Loss of eye contact (autism), not responding to anything but loud shouts (autism), doesn’t seem to recognize family members (autism), frequently associated with seizures (autism). Live virus vaccines cause viral infections (read the package inserts and the VICP table), our kids have chronic viral infections with vaccine strain viruses… I could go on for days… does any of this seem specific enough?


cont...

Ginger Taylor said...

...


4. Temporal association? I feel like this is a joke. I have friends who have run into emergency rooms with seizing children in their arms, hours after a vaccine and say, “he had his vaccines this morning and they are giving him seizures!” and it is never recorded, the staff will not acknowledge the parents ever said it, and when parents press it, docs will say, “vaccines can’t do that” regardless of the fact that the VICP says they can do it and pays people when it happens. Then the child never “comes back” and is eventually diagnosed with “autism”. One such family are our friends, Harry and Gina Tembenis. Harry is on the board of the National Autism Association. Their son Elias – vaccinated, seized, regressed into autism, died from his seizures years later, and last DEC VICP ruled the death a direct cause of the DTaP vaccine. Are you gonna tell me Elias’s autism had nothing to do with the DTaP? Even though DTaP encephalopathy lists the symptoms of autism? How dumb do you think parents are? Or are you just not looking at this stuff?

Temporal association is happening dozens of times a day. It is almost never recorded. I entered my son’s own vaccine reactions into VAERS five years after they took place. Our ped blew two serious reactions off.

5. Dose response. Just checking your understanding of the theory here. It is that there is a subset of the population (like the mito kids that Julie Gerberding admitted could regress into autism via vaccination) that will “respond” to lower “doses” than the rest of us in the general population. Just as not all people who smoke get lung cancer, not all who are vaccinated will react, and not all who eat peanuts will go into shock. The FIRST dose response research done on mercury found that the kids with the higest mercury from vaccines had a 600% increase in autism. They spent four years trying to unfind those findings. They couldn’t. So they bastardized the study and called it something it wasn’t, and published it. Then had to quietly admit to congress that it was “useless” in determining whether or not thimerosal can cause or contribute to autism. http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2005/08/heres-why-disdain.html
http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2008/06/julie-gerberding-tells-congress-that.html

cont...

Ginger Taylor said...

..



“13 years ago the theory was put forward that MMR caused autism.”

68 years ago the theory was put forth that smallpox vaccine caused autism. Parents have been suing vaccine makers for autism claims since at least the 1970’s. Those cases were folded into the VICP in 1986. I heard in my undergrad psych program at George Mason University that vaccines might cause autism in 1989. But Andrew Wakefield gets credit for it in 1998? Why? Because he was the first one to hold a press conference?

Can you see that you are being fed some very convenient facts with serious omissions?

“Research was done looking for a link between the two, but many epidemiological studies from around the world did not find any link.”

Do you understand that we hotly debate those studies? That we have accused some of those conducting the studies with fraud?

“Much of the focus then shifted to mercury.”

…Because our federal govt announced that children were getting up to 125x the EPA limit for Hg for their weight. So the vaccine injury/autism community became hopeful that the decades of vaccine regressions were the fault of ONE component of the vaccine, which made complete biological sense as mercury is a neurotoxin, and that the autism problem could be completely solved by removing that ONE component.

“That led to the removal from all routine vaccines for children under 3”

No it didn’t. Manufacture of lower dose mercury and mercury free vaccines began in 2001, but no recall was issued so those full dose mercury vaccines stayed on the shelves. We were checking docs offices and were finding full dose Hg vaccines on the shelves with expiration dates as late as 2007. This would mean that if thimerosal was implicated in autism, autism rates would have shot up from 88-91 when the schedule increased and when Heb B was admnisted at birth, would have been high through the 1990s until the announcement was made in 1999, and would have steadily dropped since then as those vaccine cycled out of the market and parents began to vaccinate more cautiously. Which means we would see autism rate by birth cohort charts that look like this:

http://www.thoughtfulhouse.org/tech-labs/disabilities/rates.php?s=IA&d=A

Which is exactly what we do see.

cont

Ginger Taylor said...

...


Last year they shut down the autism program at my son’s elementary school. They said it was not justified any more. When Chandler came in to Kindergarden, he was one of 11 kids. This year they only had 1 little girl with special needs.

“but subsequent research again found no association between dose of mercury and autism”.

Dude… this is just laughable. Here are around 45 studies that support an association between vaccines and autism, most of them implicate mercury.

http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2007/06/no-evidence-of-any-link.html

But the thing that is really egregious about this claim is that the basic study, the straight forward dose-response research design that Verstraeten began 12 years ago, has not and cannot be produced to show that increasing Hg does not increase autism. What gets published is so twisted and backward that no one buys them. Why do you? None of the studies actually even answer the question being asked. They are a joke to us. If you want to understand why, then actually sit down with us and we can point out to you why they are not convincing to us. You know… real scientific debate. The kind that skeptics are expressly forbidden to do by secret law or whatever.

“Then the theories shifted again”.

I see you have been reading Paul Offit’s talking points.

First off… no they haven’t. We still think that MMR causes vaccine encephalopathy, which is just another name for autism, if only because HHS believes that MMR causes vaccine encephalopathy/autism. We still think mercury is a causal factor. We also think that aluminum, adjuvants and several other mechanisms are in play. Because all of these things assault the immune and central nervous systems, and whatever the hell “autism” is, is a result of broken immune and CNS! We also think that pesticides, environmental mercury, maternal use of Rx drugs and other things are causing the same phenomena. Sustained attack on the body by toxins causes immune response, causes brain inflammation causes brain damage causes behavioral changes.

“First they thought it was Pal Mal brand cigarettes that caused lung cancer, then they thought it was Lucky Strike, now they have shifted to Malboro! These people are just desperate and looking for someone to blame for this clearly genetic lung cancer”.

“As you state in your comments they did not continue checking every vaccine combination.”

Right. If each vaccine contains enough immune stimulating adjuvant to create a sufficient immune reaction to go on a search and destroy mission for the introduced antigen in a child with typically functioning immune, detox and metabolic energy processes, then what will giving a child with already impaired immune, detox or mitochondrial functioning FIVE adjuvant containing vaccines at once do to them? WE HAVE NO IDEA! We are not even screening kids to look for mito problems, when HHS freely admits that when these kids are vaccinated they are subject to neurological injury, seizures and death!

You want to give my neurologicall impaired, autoimmune, mito biomarked child how many immune stimulants at once? With out any safety research. Pardon my French.. but screw you. I will take my chance with measles and Pertussis.

And that is only ONE of the hundreds of questions that there are no answers to.

cont

Ginger Taylor said...

...


“However, I would argue that much of the research was focused on the wrong question.”

And I would argue that you are doging the issue. If it is what the customer needs, then you have to give it to the customer before he will buy. So if you are not going to do it, then don’t be surprised that they don’t buy your product.

“They were looking for specifics. What we needed to do was look at what side effects people (like yourself) came after which shots. “

I promise you… no one is earnest looking for this. We report vaccine injury and we are dismissed and mocked. If it is adult, they are told they are faking an injury. I am sure you believe this… but it is just a lie. We are very sensitive to this because our docs treat us like crap for reporting. Mine, whom I went to church with, yelled at me and hung up the phone on me.

“When you examine the stories of vaccines followed by autism there is no consistent pattern. In time many of the AoA people have even changed their stories to fit their most recent theory.

If you are going to charge that, you have to prove that accusation. It is slander until you do. There absolutely IS a consistant pattern. Neurologically typical child, vaccinated, immune and neuro crash over the next days and weeks, never goes back to normal, starts doing strange things, autism diagnosis. Exams show GI problems, autoimmunity, metal tx, chronic viral infections, and on and on. It is the same story tens of thousands of times over. If you don’t believe us, then frankly … I don’t care. We have our own docs now who do and who treat our kids and our kids get better.

“Because each vaccine is composed of different ingredients there would be a specific exposure followed by specific symptoms or disease. Your child's symptoms were noticed after the DTaP, Polio, HIB, Pnumo and Hep B. J.B. Handley's son developed his after a flu shot. Some claim it was the DTaP and HIB combination. Many claim it was the MMR. Jenny originally said her son declined over months but others say days or hours. Can you understand that for there to be a cause and effect you would need to see a pattern somewhere?”

And you don’t see that children are being given a variety of immune stimulants and neurotoxins, then suffer neurological decline? That is the pattern dude! And we do have subsets of patterns. Kids with the full dose Hg schedule in the 1990s are the severe-nonverbal ones with seizures. My son and Jenny’s born during the HG transition, are higher functioning and easier to recover, but still have speech problems. Kids born after 2003 usually have great verbal skills. MMR regression kids seem to have more hypotonia. My son who never got MMR is very coordinated for a kid with autism. For the kids coming up now… there are not as many and they are milder cases.

There are none so blind that will not see.

cont

Ginger Taylor said...

...


“The other problem I have is that many of the stories from parents who believe the vaccines caused their children's autism are not substantiated by the doctors who have seen and treated them.”

And her is where I am going to ask you to read my chapter in vaccine epidemic. Or at least look up the Semmelweiss reflex.

You are using the psychological denial of pediatricians, fighting the horrible idea that they are causing damage to a generation of children, as proof that autism is not an iatrogenic illness.

“Having given thousands of vaccines, and treated many children with autism, I (nor any doctor I have ever met) has seen a temporal correlation that would make causality likely. Of course that does not mean that sometimes one thing follows another, but if it is just as likely to come before or after the exposure then it isn't the cause.”

Because you don’t want to see it. The doctors who do come to face this horrible reality… well it is a painful experience for them. Many of them had to leave their practices. I know one who is quitting mainstream medicine this spring to go outside the system and try to fix the damage that has been done.

When docs start to get serious about this topic, and begin to quietly talk to us and to their colleagues who have woken up to the truth about the vaccine program, they always say two things… the two big psychological blocks that are the ones that would prevent them from coming over to our side:

“If I believe as you do, then I can’t trust my professional association/public health any more. Not just on vaccine information, but for everything, because they are lying to me. How do I practice medicine then?

And

“If I believed as you do, I can’t do what I do any more.”

“I am sorry this is so long winded but I want you to realize that those of us in medicine who treat these children are listening. We just can't find what you say you see, no matter how hard we look.”

I don’t have any problem with long winded, as you can see.

But you need to really ask yourself… are you actually looking hard? Is just reading the party line and not, for a moment, challenging the myriad of problems in their arguments really looking? I can tell you that you have not hardly looked into this at all if Paul Offit is who you are taking your cues from. He is Merck. Might as well take medial advice from the former cheerleader Merck rep walking into your office to sell you the newest drug.

Tim Keller is a pastor in NY that I love. In talking to people on the question on whether or not God exists, he makes the challenge that there are some things that you can believe are not true, and there is little consequences if you are wrong. But that there are some things that you can’t just THINK that they aren’t true, you have to KNOW that they are not true.

For you, in order to continue in your profession, you have to KNOW what I am telling you is NOT true. You don’t know that and you can’t know that. The science to demonstrate such has not been done.

cont

Ginger Taylor said...

Now… I am going to leave you with one question, because if you are a practicing doc, administering vaccines, you HAVE to answer this or you are a shitty doc that doesn’t care about harming children.

Is the VICP ‘vaccine encephalopathy’ for DTaP and MMR just another description of what the psych profession terms “autism”? If you can’t answer that, then you should quit your job. THAT is your due diligence. You have to answer this question.

Here is the statement that HSRA resealed on this topic:

“From: Bowman, David (HRSA) [mailto:DBowman@hrsa.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5:22 PM
To: 'dkirby@nyc.rr.com'
Subject: HRSA Statement

David,

In response to your most recent inquiry, HRSA has the following
statement:

The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to
compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually
caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children
exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy
may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms
including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.

Some children who have been compensated for vaccine injuries may have
shown signs of autism before the decision to compensate, or may
ultimately end up with autism or autistic symptoms, but we do not track
cases on this basis.

Regards,

David Bowman
Office of Communications
Health Resources and Services Administration
301-443-3376”

The answer is YES! For many (most?) kids it is the same damn thing!!! HRSA releases a statement outright telling you that vaccines cause autism!

And adds that they care so little about it that they don’t even check to see how often it happens!

Why don’t you believe them?

I am going to say, as a trained therapist, that it is denial.

It is the Semmelweis reflex.


/end lecture

Foresam said...

The propaganda is still working. It's preventing you from seeing the solution. You have to forget this stupid debate and unite the autism community to win the Presidency. Then we can tell the truth and lock up the propaganda wizards.