March 29, 2008

An Invitation to Julie Gerberding to Help Her Find the Missing Information on Autism

Yesterday CNN posted an interview with Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC, whom many parents of autistic children, myself included, want removed from her post for her… well… I will be generous and call it “mismanagement” of the autism epidemic.

Dr. Gupta, who has seemed to actually want to investigate this since the Poling Case was brought to our attention, did the interview, and unfortunately, could not have made it easier on her. He lobbed softballs and challenged nothing that she said. But he did say he would “stay on this”, so I am not giving up hope on him.

Of course she stuck to the same talking points, ‘CDC cares about autism’, ‘CDC are parents too’, ‘autism rates the same, just better recognition’, ‘more needs to be done’, but failed to mention that she has been saying those same things since she took the job six years ago, but has not actually done one single thing for our kids.

I would just like to call attention to a couple of her bullshit (*) remarks:

“There have been at least 15 very good scientific studies and the Institute of Medicine that has searched this out. And they have concluded that there really is no association between vaccines and autism”

The IOM report and two of those “very good” studies are the thing that got me into this debate in the first place. (David Kirby wrote a very fat book about them, which CDC still has not responded to.) The IOM decision was a horrible one. It was not based on the research presented at the meetings, the findings contradicted themselves and we have the transcripts of one of the first meetings in which they say no matter what information comes to light, they were going to give CDC what they asked for, which was that vaccines would not be indicted.

When asked about the transcripts, Dr. Harvey Fineberg, head of the IOM, states that this is an incorrect interpretation of the comments, but will not offer any alternate interpretation of what else they could mean. (I wrote to him personally, but got no response.)

Additionally… well… if you read my blog you already know how I feel about those “very good” studies.

“33,000 children a year are saved from death associated with vaccines because of our immunization program”

There is absolutely no way for her to know this. As far as I know there is no door way into an alternate universe where everything is the same except that vaccination does not exist so that she can count how many kids there die and come back and make the report to us.

“One of the things that concerns me, while the attention is focused on vaccines, in a sense, it means that people are not looking for other causes."

Nice misdirection, but you forgot to misdirect us to something. What are these other causes that we might be examining? It can’t be genetics because pretty much ALL of the government research dollars have been going into them for decades. What is it that we have become distracted from?

And now for the biggest bullshit statement of the day:

“And we have got to keep reminding ourselves that the vaccine story is one that has been debated for many, many years now. We keep looking and looking and looking and really cannot turn up any information”.

Oh. My. God.

Really? Seriously? (Where are Amy and Seth when you need them).

Because I can. Random mom in a little town in Maine with internet access and the ability to read is finding more information than you can with your thousands of scientists and billions of dollars?

Come on Julie. (Can I call you Julie? I feel like I know you personally since your actions have had such a directly destructive impact on my son and the course of the lives of each of the members of our family) Let's set the bullshit aside. I know that you know that information too, because CDC visits this blog every day, Monday through Friday. (Half the time it is to read about what we are all saying about you personally).

Tell you what. I will give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. Perhaps all this information on causes and treatments has escaped your attention. But you are in luck!

The spring DAN! Conference is next week in Cherry Hill, NJ and they have LOADS of this missing information that you cannot seem to find. So I want to offer you a personal invitation to attend the conference with me.

I will pay all your expenses. And by that I mean I will make JB Handley pay all your expenses because I am broke from treating Chandler for his ‘autistic symptoms’. (update: JB confirmed, he's got you covered.)

Just let me know where and what time to pick you up on the evening of Wednesday, April 2. World Autism Day.

* My apologies for using this crass term for those who may not believe that it is appropriate, but after four years of hearing this junk, I have come to the conclusion that it is really the only accurate term to describe these statements any more. I will be using it from now on as a technical term to describe the form of speech described by Princeton Professor Harvey G. Frankfurt in his 2005 ethics book, “On Bullshit”.

UPDATE: Apparently I am a plagiarist. Mark Blaxill gave a talk at the 2006 Autism One conference where he invokes Frankfurt's ideas in reference to Harvey Feinberg's epidemic denial comments. It is a great talk and appropriate to the absurdity of the statements coming out of the CDC and their fellow travelers these days so I will post it. I had heard the speech from the podcast a few years ago and forgot about it. I thought John Stewart had introduced me to Frankfurt, but apparently I misremembered. ;)
HT: Carrie Elsass


Thing1Thing2Mom said...

Go Ginger! And I am so glad to hear that folks over at the CDC read this blog regularly because you speak so well for so many of us.

It's like I wrote my Senators and Congressman last week, "We are not going away and we'll see you in Washington, with Jenny, in June."

Oh and by the way "bullshit" is perfectly appropriate as far as I am concerned.

Carrie Elsass said...

I absolutely love reading your posts. I also refer you to Mark Blaxill's use of the same word to describe what we are fed from our esteemed "health professionals". My greatest hope is that we will actually see this house of cards collapse during our lifetimes. Blessings to you.

Ginger Taylor said...


I think I remember that he did something like that! Was it in reference to Frankfurt's book? I gotta go find that.


Ginger Taylor said...

Thanks Thing Mom.

Keep writing. Then call them. Then go visit them. Then write them again!