The state of Maine is considering, get this shocker, passing a law to prevent forced vaccination.
End of the world... I know.
So yesterday I hopped up to the state house when I heard that they were having debate on this bill. Turned out they were also considering a bill to, horror of all horrors... compel doctors to tell patients what is in a vaccine before administering it to them. I can almost hear the bodies dropping dead left and right as the pleague sweeps the nation because people know what is in a vaccine.
(BTW... if you are a Mainer, call your reps and senators and support these bills. Call the HHS committee and offer testimony.)
Of course the AMA, AAP, Insert alphabet soup Suits/hired guns lined up to tell us why these are horrible ideas, how vaccines are safe and magical and have saved the earth from falling into the sun and all sorts of the usual song and dance to prevent simply people from knowing what is in a vaccine and being able to say no.
The oddest thing to me is that they repeatedly, openly stated that they didn't want to tell people what is in a vaccine and give them a choice, because if they did, then more people would turn down vaccines. THEN they claimed to be for informed consent! I wanted to ask if they actually knew what informed consent was.
As has not been the norm in my experience of these types of proceedings, the committee hearing the testimony was really open and quite logical. It is odd for me to see public health officials being logical during vaccine hearings.
But the low point of the hearings was the testimony of one state representative from a town near mine who was also a former pediatric neurology nurse. Amidst the serious testimony of the vaccine injured and one woman who had lost her husband to mercury poisoning, this representative was jocular and truculent and found it an occasion to entertain the panel. But worse is that she truly had no understanding of the issues on which she was testifying. She said that vaccines were safe. She gushed with shallow pity for her patients that believed that their developmental delay was caused by their vaccines, claiming that she truly, earnestly wished that there was research that could tell us that vaccines caused autism, but there was just none that existed. And the cherry on the ignorance sunday was when she claimed that we know that mercury in vaccines does not cause autism, because the MMR study that said so was retracted.
I think at that point I had a mini stroke.
Fortunately I had a chance to testify and crammed as many facts into my three minutes as I could. Telling them, no vaccines are not "safe", they are legally and factually "Unavoidably Unsafe" that they kill and maim some which is why we have a VICP to begin with. Telling them that I would be producing 48 studies showing that vaccines can cause autism. And finally telling them how upsetting it was to hear a medical professional/elected official testify to the fact that MMR contained mercury when in fact the MMR and mercury have nothing to do with each other, and that the woman in question had not even ready the study on which she was testifying.
Following the hearing, I caught the representative in the lobby and asked her a simple question, "What can you tell me about vaccine encephalopathy?" I was trying to figure out if anyone had ever educated her on the fact that HHS has ruled and openly stated that vaccine encephalopathy causes autism. She did not respond well, at one point actually aggressively questioning me, "I have a masters degree from Yale! Where is your degree from?!" She has since apologized. At the end of the exchange she said she would read whatever research I sent to her, but insisted that none of it should be from junk sources. She would only accept university studies, peer-reviewed journal articles, federal public health emanations and the like. Although she was not so friendly about it, I thought "Great! I didn't even ask her if she would read anything and she just volunteered!"
So this morning I sent her a letter with my list of 48 studies.
What ensued is just another microcosm of the same old same old. I am publishing it all here to yet again, belabor the point that... well that public health is doomed. It is another Bagdad Bob story where someone who knows it all is going to plant her feet and insist that everything is sun and picnics on the Tigris when in truth the army is three blocks away. It is Geri Dawson issuing missives from her ivory tower that we are not to talk about vaccines and autism any more. It is delusion that parents are going to shut up and stop talking about vaccine dangers. It is just flat out denial of a reality that is pretty clear to at least half of all Americans now.
Bottom line, she offered false testimony to the State and refuses to hear corrections. Which means that she will continue to make bad decisions for Mainers health because they will be based on what is going on in the castle she has built in her head. I rarely share my exchanges with public health officials, but as she is both an elected official AND a medical professional holding herself out as a vaccine expert AND it turns out, a former board member of the Maine Autism Society and asserting autism expertise, she should be held triply accountable for her bad judgement and insistence on disseminating false information. So she does not get a pass.
As per our conversation yesterday following your testimony, I am forwarding you a list of the research that supports the supposition that vaccines can cause autism, as well as the federal government's own admission that vaccines can cause autism. The documents I am sending you are a part of the written testimony that I am submitting to the HHS committee.
As you can see, when you have been advising your patients that vaccination could not be responsible for their developmental delays and disabilities or autism, you have been offering them false information. I have been working very hard at the federal level, along with many other vaccine safety advocates, to get public health officials to inform those involved in vaccine administration and the care of children and to put this information in the hands of professionals like yourself so that they can understand the true known risks of vaccination. Unfortunately, as the hearings yesterday have demonstrated, they have failed to do so.
I am hoping that you will review the information I am attaching, and be spurred to investigate them and how they fit into the vaccine injury picture and the current autism epidemic.
I am also hoping you will hold your professional associations and public health authorities accountable for not informing you of this research and allowing you to give false testimony to patients and the State of Maine.
I also wanted to call your attention to the US Department of Health and Human Resources, Health Resources Services Administration, Vaccine Injury Compensation Program's table of compensated vaccine injuries which I will also be including in my written testimony. http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/table.htm
You will note that HRSA recognizes and compensates vaccine deaths as well as an array of neurological and autoimmune conditions known to be caused by vaccines. You will also note that both MMR and DTaP are known to cause vaccine encephalopathy (brain damage). If you check the symptoms of this encephalopathy (scroll down to the middle of the page) in children 18 months and older, you will find that they include:
1. Loss of eye contact
2. Not responsive to normal speech
3. Don't seem to recognize familiar people
This is a description of a child regressing into autism. This is an accurate description of my child following his DTaP vaccine. However for displaying these symptoms following the shot, he was diagnosed with "autism" and never even evaluated for "vaccine encephalopathy," despite my continued insistence to my pediatrician that I believed his vaccines were involved. He insisted that the AAP assured him that vaccines were not involved in autism causation. Later when I learned about the HRSA description of this vaccine injury, I forwarded it to my pediatrician with a letter asking if he knew about this vaccine reaction and if this is what could have happened to my son. He has never responded to my queries. It was past the 3 year statute of limitations placed on vaccine injury, and I can now never file for compensation for my son's likely vaccine induced brain damage that was called "autism" by his doctors.
(You will also note that seizures are often a feature of vaccine encephalopathy, and about a third of those diagnosed with "autism" also have seizures.)
Following the publication of the Hannah Poling case in 2008 in which HRSA compensated a child for her DTaP/MMR induced encephalopathy that caused her autism, and CBS News investigation that showed that VICP has been paying autism cases since at least 1991, HRSA was forced to admit that yes, vaccine encephalopathy causes autism. This was their official statement on the case to a reporter's inquiry. (emphasis added)
From: Bowman, David (HRSA) [mailto:DBowman@hrsa.gov]
Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5:22 PM
Subject: HRSA Statement
In response to your most recent inquiry, HRSA has the following
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.
Office of Communications
Health Resources and Services Administration
Note that HRSA freely admits that they don't even track how often vaccines cause autism, after admitting that HRSA knows that they do cause autism. This is dereliction of duty. HHS owes this information to the public.
Further, in correcting you on the fact that mercury has never been included in the MMR, as the MMR vaccine is a live virus vaccine and mercury kills all living things it comes into contact with rendering the vaccine useless, I have had to do what parents who have been studying vaccine injuries have had to do with medical professionals far too often. Explain to those presenting themselves as experts on vaccination, what the basics of vaccine/autism causation theory are. It is heartbreaking to find out how many doctors don't even know what the issues involved are.
This is a colleague of mine, Rebecca Estepp of San Diego, having to explain on Fox News to Dr. Marc Seigel, their medical expert, that the MMR has never contained mercury. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sp5YWZVnpeI
It should not be that parents like Ms. Estepp and myself have to educate medical professionals on their own professed field of expertise.
I understand, as you stated to me, that you do not like "self-proclaimed experts," but I hope you can see why parents have had to become self-informed on vaccine injury. Because the medical profession is ignoring the evidence of widespread vaccine damage that they are causing by closing their eyes and repeating talking points, and because families carry the burden of injury while public health and Pharma remains both untouchable and unaccountable because of the unjust 1986 childhood vaccine injury law.
I hope that you will do as I have done and do your own independent research into vaccine injury for the sake of children in Maine.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the information I have given you, and would be happy to make myself available to you for questions, to point you toward further resources or to sit down with you to discuss the information further.
Ginger Taylor, M.S.
Maine Coalition for Vaccine Choice
Adventures In Autism
Research list here: http://adventuresinautism.com/StudiesforGraham.doc
Representative Graham responded to the large amount of information that I sent to her in the time span of 1 hour and 20 minutes. This makes it unlikely that she had the time to review the 48 research papers that I sent to her. Although she asked me for information from only reputable sources (which at the time she said she considered to be something to the effect of universities, journals, public health statement) she apparently had changed her critera for what is acceptable debate material and will now only accept, "studies certified through the National Institutes of Health or the CDC"
Further, she took issue with the fact that I discussed my exchange with her on my private facebook account (I mean, "mercury in the MMR" and "I went to Yale!"... cummon... how do you NOT share that on facebook). She believed it was "inappropriate" for me to do so.
Her response to me.
Subject: RE: Research on Vaccine Autism Causation
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 13:39:38 -0400 From:
To: 'Ginger Taylor'
First I apologize for being frustrated with you yesterday. As I said 3 times outside the hearing that I could not speak with you as I had a meeting to get to. It was a town council meeting that it was important that I attend. I typically am calmer but I felt attacked by you.
I see no studies that you sent certified through the National Institutes of Health or the CDC. Until a direct cause and effect relationship can be established for the cause of Autism Spectrum disorder, no one can say that vaccines or their ingredients are the cause. I am committed to the care of children and adults with ASD and I have been on the Board of the Autism Society of Maine. I am a pediatric nurse practitioner and worked in for 6 years with children with developmental delay, autism and epilepsy. My job was to treat and support children and families as best I could. There rest of career has been committed to providing primary care for children and families. As a Legislator, I will be a voice for children and their families.
I do not intend to continue a discussion with you. We will not agree. Angry divisive debates get us no where fast. I ask for your respect. I have been notified that you are making inappropriate comments about me on Facebook. I would urge you not to continue.
Let us agree to disagree and move on.
Rep. Anne P Graham
House District #109, Parts of Gray, North Yarmouth and Pownal
Her commitment to be a voice for children and families apparently does not extend to my children or my family.
She does not have my respect.
My response to her:
Thank you for your response and thank you for your apology. While I believed I was simply asking you what you could tell me about vaccine encephalopathy, I do regret that you felt attacked by my question.
While I strongly disagree with your assessment of the material I have sent you that met your request of being only from established universities, peer-reviewed journals and federal health authorities, and I disagree that debates that are divisive should not take place, I will respect your request not to contact you again on the matter.
However, I do not believe my public comments about your testimony or your behavior toward me are inappropriate, as you are a publicly elected official and your testimony and behavior in the state offices toward citizens of Maine is open for public discussion and scrutiny. I believe your defensiveness and unwillingness to answer earnest questions about the topic of vaccination and autism on which you claim to be an expert, speaks to your credibility on the subject and your fitness to serve in public office. While I am sure this is one of the more difficult aspects of holding elected office and may make you feel uncomfortable, which is unfortunate, I feel it is in the greater public interest to document, as I feel appropriate, your vaccine injury denialism in the face of copious amounts of published science and HRSA admissions. This will allow members of the public and your colleagues in the Maine Legislature to have a fuller understanding of your understanding of the facts of the matter so that they can judge your credibility as a source for vaccine safety information.
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Ginger Taylor, M.S.
But apparently that was not her last comment. She really does not think that I should be able to talk about her on facebook.
Subject: RE: Research on Vaccine Autism Causation
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2011 15:01:14 -0400
From: Anne Graham
To: 'Ginger Taylor'
This is my last comment. I don’t mind feedback but comments that border on slander on Facebook are highly inappropriate and I ask that you refrain from such postings.
Rep. Anne P Graham
House District #109, Parts of Gray, North Yarmouth and Pownal
Note that the worst accusation she can make is that it "borders on slander", not that it is slander. (Slander - noun. a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.) No where has she pointed out where I have even come close to slander or asked me to retract anything. (She does know she is a public official, right?) Further note that she does not claim that anything I have written is not an accurate account of what happened.
My reply to her.
Thank you for reiterating your request. I will respond by reiterating my intention to continue to discuss the matter openly and accurately, and assert that there is absolutely nothing slanderous or even "borderline slander" about my comments online.
I am sure this is completely presumptuous of me to offer you advice on how you have chosen to conduct your exchanges with me on vaccine safety, but I will offer it anyway and you are free to ignore me as you have said you will not be contacting me again.
This unwillingness to have an open exchange with me, and your additional pressure on me not to talk about your poor behavior, is exactly why the vaccine rates are dropping in Maine. This happens time and time again. Elected officials, public health officials and medical professionals make untenable vaccine safety statements, members of the public attempt to engage them on the veracity of those statements, and the conversation is shut down, often by bullying those members of the public. This does not inspire confidence in the vaccine program, it alerts the public in a very loud way, that those repeating the mantra, "vaccines are safe" either have something to hide, or know they cannot win a true vaccine safety debate.
When you shut down the debate, you tell the public that you know you are wrong. Why would you run away and suppress discussion if all the facts where on your side? Mainer's are not suckers Representative Graham. You can have all the letters after your name in the world, and a resume as long as Abe Lincoln's hat, but if you can't stand up to a single question from the mother of a disabled child, you loose the argument. You didn't avoid a divisive debate with me, you lost the debate on the first question then stormed out of the arena.
I believe that if you truly cared about childrens' safety, as you claim to, you would have embraced the chance to educate me on true vaccine injury when I asked you the simple question, "What can you tell me about vaccine encephalopathy?"
Vaccine uptake is decreasing, not because of one study on MMR (which again, has nothing to do with mercury), it is because like the more than 100 people who have responded to my facebook post on our exchange, so many Mainers have all seen some or all of the 48 studies and HRSA admission that I sent you, as well as the head of CDC admitting CNN that vaccines cause autism (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg). The public is willing to look at the science that you declare by some strange executive caviat 'not applicable'. To them, you betray the fact that you live in an arcane construct where people with letters after their name get to say things in complete contradiction to available evidence, and even common sense, and are expected to be believed because... well... "I went to Yale!"
This subject is literally a matter of life and death for the most vulnerable among us. Both children at risk from death and disability from disease and children at risk for death and disability from vaccination. Your refusal to even answer one simple question, or engage the mother of a disabled child/published author on vaccine safety, in my estimation, ensures that the public confidence in the vaccine program will continue to erode, that more parents will come to refuse vaccination all together. The end result of that will be that children who could be safely vaccinated will go completely unvaccinated, and children for whom vaccination is not safe, will continue to be inappropriately vaccinated, permanently injured and killed by vaccines.
I think that your choices over the last two days are destructive and I implore you to change your course.
I have been writing about vaccine injury for five years on my blog, Adventures In Autism. I repeatedly ask the question of public health officials who have chosen the route you are taking the question... "what is your plan?" Refusal to engage vaccine safety advocates and parents of vaccine injured children is not working. Vaccine rates are dropping BECAUSE of the shut down of public debate. You have asked me not to talk to you about vaccine injury any more... Do you think that fixes the problem? Do you think that makes all the questions and facts I have sent you go away? It is the political equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling, "La, la, la... I'm not listening."
Five years ago a few friends kinda of looked at me politely and you could tell they thought I was a little crazy to say vaccines caused my son's autism. Now they all call me for advice on how to deal with their pediatricians who are pushing them on vaccines they don't want and where to go for vaccine vaccine decision making. I don't even think I know any parents who adhere to the recommended schedule any more. You are loosing the "vaccine wars" because you won't take people like me seriously and treat me like an equal worthy of being heard. Because I don't have an MD? You do remember that I am the injured party here, right? But trying to ask you, the self-proclaimed expert, about things that apply to my son's case make you feel "attacked?" The only thing my questions do is point out your lack of credibility. Am I not owed answers for my son's condition by those who hold them selves out as vaccine experts? Remember, I cannot go to court and force any doctor to answer my questions. CDC and AAP literally don't return my calls or letters.
As I testified in the hearing... once you have a vaccine injury... YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. The public sees how true that is when people like you respond to parent like me, then way you have this week.
So, Representative Graham... I am going to ask my question to you again, although I know it is likely simply a rhetorical one as you refuse to engage me on substantive issues of vaccine safety.
WHAT IS YOUR PLAN?
There are only more and more parents just like me out there who want answers. And none of them care that you went to Yale if you continue to make statements so erroneous as to claim there is mercury in the MMR, which shows you know about as much on the vaccine safety debates as might be expected of a gas station attendant. Are they allowed to ask you questions? Are they not allowed to talk about the fact that you don't know what you are talking about? Because the whole world is taking about vaccine injury and they are not going to stop and wait for people like you who are stuck in a 1950's paradigm that says the guy in the white coat is the only one who can read a study and draw a conclusion.
What is your plan?
I hope that this difficult experience will be a humbling one and that you will realize how destructive the course you are on is for children like my son and for children who need vaccines and will not receive them because parents know that "experts" like you are not trustworthy. So there is my advice to you.
I understand you do not wish to speak with me further on this, but I remain open to whatever discussion you are willing to have with me. I am sorry that my advice has been so long winded and unless I hear from you, I will not contact you again.
But honestly, my beautiful baby was given a DTaP vaccine, and suffered a vaccine encephalopathy that was misdiagnosed as "autism." So I don't really care if you feel offended or your feathers are ruffled because I have called you out publicly. His injury has devastated our family and our lives revolve around finding answers for him and preventing this horrible thing from happening to any other child. I believe that people like you owe me answers. I believe people like you own me solutions. I believe people like you owe me help in getting an accurate picture of his medical condition and effective medical care for his physical illness. It is very difficult for me to have to swallow that I am not allowed to question elected official/vaccine/autism/neurology expert on my son's life altering brain damage/autism. I hope you understand that your false information, your arrogance and your abysmal treatment of me is very difficult for me to bear, as you suffer no consequences for it, but families like mine do.
Master of Science, Clinical Counseling
Johns Hopkins University
Mother of Chandler Taylor, age 8
A little boy of whom you claim to care about the health and welfare, but refuse to answer questions that may make him better.
A little boy that cannot receive appropriate medical treatment for his condition because medical professionals like you continue to deny that it even exists even though HHS has said that it does.
P.S. I will be publishing all the letters in this exchange.
By the time I finished this thing I was just weeping.
And I am just so disgusted.
This is one of the public officials that I have to go to, and beg for permission to say no to a vaccine?
Exactly how many rings am I supposed to kiss to get public officials to perform their civic duty? How many insults am I supposed to take for trying to get information to help our kids... MY OWN SON! How long will I get the - Who the hell do you think you are for challenging and expert with published research and statements by federal health agencies - treatment? I am supposed to walk on egg shells for people like this
Excuse me... this allegedly prideful woman living in her suspected, self-imposed, probable ignorance. I wouldn't want to upset her highness with my "borderline slander" by calling a duck, a duck.
Plus until CDC or NIH issues a study saying that in their opinion Anne P. Graham is prideful or ignorant, I don't think anyone is allowed to say that she is.
Have I mentioned that she went to Yale?
Addendum: I have been contacted by an earnest member of the Maine Legislature with the following message:
"Anne Graham is claiming she is being harassed by some who were opposed to her testimony at the public hearing. If you know of any of that would you ask those people to please stop?"
I replied that I know of no one who has contacted her, and on two occasions that people on fb raised the issue of contacting her, I have asked them not to, as she stated that she felt "attacked" by me merely asking her a simple question following the meeting, so it stands to reason that having my writing about her behavior when I asked the simple questions would be seen by her as a further attack.
However, I will put out the message again that Representative Graham does not want be harassed on this matter. I do not know what she considers "harassment." So to be on the safe side, please consider not contacting her on this matter.
On a related note, this blog piece has apparently been tagged on Facebook as "objectionable material" and people are having trouble sharing the link for the page. I am assuming that Representative Graham has complained about it to prevent this story from spreading, but have no way of knowing for sure.
As always, I expect that my readers who speak to any of the subjects of my articles to behave respectfully toward them. Even when they are angry.
But of course, this is a free country and expressing your experiences and opinions about elected officials is THE point of the first amendment to the US Constitution, so if Rep. Graham's expectation is that such speech about her should be suppressed... well... it can't and shouldn't and that is something that she should have gotten straight on before she put her name on a ballot.
So. Don't harass Rep. Graham. Whatever that means.