Andrew Wakefield’s back, and he’s sure trying to come back big.
I knew when I last wrote about his utter humiliation and disrepute that he wouldn’t stay away for long. In fact, he stayed away longer than I thought–a whole three months. Unfortunately, though, he appears to be on a full media blitz to try to rehabilitate his image in the wake of his having been found to have committed research misconduct, leading to The Lancet retracting his article that started the anti=vaccine MMR scare back in 1998, which further led to NeuroToxicology withdrawing his execrably bad “monkey business” study before it actually saw print. All of this was too much even for the board of directors at his autism quackery clinic, Thoughtful House, who, spearheaded by Jane Johnson, who is ironically enough, an heiress to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune and also on the board of directors of Thoughtful House, appears basically to have fired Wakefield.
Tomorrow appears to mark the beginning of Wakefield’s “coming out.” I’ve already written how Wakefield will be the keynote speaker at Autism One and its associated anti-vaccine rally this Wednesday in Grant Park. Somehow, though, he’s managed to score an interview with Matt Lauer again on NBC’s The Today Show, no doubt because Lauer was a pushover in a “tell both sides” NBC special on Andrew Wakefield last summer, not to mention because the the General Medical Council GMC) will meet tomorrow and at that meeting Wakefield will likely be “struck off” (that delightful British expression for being “struck off” the list of licensed medical doctors in the U.K.). In fact, given the time difference between the U.K. and New York, it’s quite possible that Wakefield may be struck off by the time Lauer interviews him.
Not surprisingly, already the anti-vaccine forces are rallying to show support for Wakefield. They’ll be there with Age of Autism T-shirts and, no doubt, anti-vaccine signs, signs supporting Wakefield, signs castigating the GMC, and handing out fliers that say things like this:
Let this notice serve as warning to all entities behind the orchestrated efforts of the witch hunt against Dr. Andrew Wakefield & his two colleagues, Dr. Walker & Dr. Smith, as well as the well being of our children. You had better think twice before trying to pull off another kangaroo court this coming Monday. You don’t dare to take these good doctors licenses away because you don’t want to meet our wrath you have been fueling. “We The People” are many & we will be watching. We will save our children by bringing them out of harms way, no matter what more you do to cover up the truth. We will be holding accountable every person we find who works to hold our children in harms way. You can all take that to your bank.
They even refer to a “rally” that will start at 8 AM. Yours truly is also mentioned:
I wonder if it would piss off the Orac’s trolls if we gave Wakefield an honorary Knighthood?
Actually, it wouldn’t piss me off. I would laugh heartily at such antics.
I don’t live in New York, but I wonder if it’s possible to mount some sort of skeptical response. The anti-vaccine propaganda should be countered somehow, but I don’t know if it will be possible on such short notice.