conspiracy-theories-everywhere

Occasionally, there are issues that come to my attention that need more than just one blog post to cover. One such issue popped up last week, and it’s one that’s kept you all very engaged, with the comment count on the original post rapidly approaching 200. I’m referring, of course, to the alleged CDC “whistleblower” who’s supposedly blown the lid on a “coverup” based on Brian Hooker’s incompetent “reanalysis” of a ten year old study (Destefano et al) that failed to find a link between age at MMR vaccination and the risk of developing autism. More specifically, given that Destefano et al was a case control study, there was no difference in the frequencies of ages at which children in the case group and the control group received their first MMR vaccination. In this, he claims to have been using data and CDC documents supplied to him by a “whistleblower” scientist from the CDC, Dr. William Thompson.

Brian Hooker took that data, incompetently analyzed it as a cohort study ignoring at least one major confounder, and reported that receiving the MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months was correlated with a 3.4-fold increased risk of autism in only one subgroup, African American males. the ironic thing, of course, is that, even if Hooker is 100% correct (and there are lots of reasons to to think that he isn’t), he’s just proven Andrew Wakefield wrong when it comes to all children other than African-American males.

That makes memes that have been popping up on Facebook and other social media, such as this, all the more examples of burning stupid:

memestupid

The idiotic uses of Hooker’s paper aside by clueless antivaccine activists aside, this entire affair and its co-optation by Andrew Wakefield for his own nefarious ends is a useful “teachable moment” in that it lets me remind my readers once again about a basic fact of the antivaccine movement. Specifically, as is the case for virtually all crank movements, conspiracy theories are part and parcel of the antivaccine movement. Indeed, so integral are they to the antivaccine world view that it is not too much of a stretch to conclude that the antivaccine movement needs them. Of course, the specific dominant conspiracy theory varies, depending on location and culture. For example, in Muslim societies in Third World countries, where resistance to the polio vaccine has hampered the goal of eliminating polio as smallpox has been eliminated, the central conspiracy theory is that the polio vaccine is an evil plot hatched by the West to sterilize Muslim youth and decrease the Muslim population. This particular conspiracy theory is of a piece with some of the more loony conspiracy theories that claim that vaccination is a plot to reduce the surplus population of the world through sterilization for purposes that remain unclear.

Perhaps the most common conspiracy theory in the U.S. is the belief that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “knew” that vaccines cause autism. In fact, if you believe these conspiracy theories, the CDC itself has demonstrated that vaccines cause autism but has assiduously covered up all evidence. Of course, as is also the case with conspiracy theories, the conspiracy isn’t perfect in that brave maverick doctors and investigators always find “evidence” of the “coverup,” such as it is.

Indeed, it was just such a conspiracy theory that got me into blogging about the antivaccine movement way back in 2005. Does anyone remember Simpsonwood? It’s one of the hoariest of hoary antivaccine conspiracy theories, dating back more than ten years and first brought to popular attention by that antivaccine crank par excellence Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. in his infamously bad “expose” called Deadly Immunity, simultaneously published in both Rolling Stone and Salon.com. I discussed this conspiracy theory in detail way back when it first landed with a plop on a world that didn’t need such fetid dreck oozing down its head and shoulders. So did Skeptico and Lindsay Beyerstein. More recently, both Emily Willingham and, yes, yours truly noted that the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory is truly a zombie that will not die, apparently even with a head shot, because Brian Hooker himself resurrected it six months ago.

So what is the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory? Basically, as I explained both in 2005 and 2014 (and a few times between). If you believe the antivaccine movement, it was all about covering up a link between the mercury-containing vaccine preservative thimerosal and autism. In reality, the Simpsonwood conference was all about examining evidence from the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a collaborative effort between the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and nine managed care organizations (MCOs) established in 1990 to monitor immunization safety and address the gaps in scientific knowledge about rare and serious events following immunization to determine if there really was a reason for concern about thimerosal in vaccines. Although the decision had been made in 1999 to remove thimoerosal from childhood vaccines, the decision hadn’t been fully implemented yet, and the CDC wanted to determine whether there was any cause for concern. It was hardly the action of a group that wanted to “cover up” anything, particularly the bit about publishing the entire transcript. None of this, however, prevented antivaccine activists, particularly the branch known as the “mercury militia” for its affinity for the set of antivaccine beliefs associated with mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism, from dreaming up all manner of conspiracy theories.

In reality, there was nothing nefarious going on at Simpsonwood. It was all rather mundane, actually. A preliminary result of an analysis by CDC epidemiologist Thomas Verstraeten, MD seemed to indicate an elevated risk of autism. However, in further analyses that eliminated confounders, the risk continued to fall until it disappeared, and that’s the analysis that was ultimately published, as I explained in detail not too long ago.

Meanwhile, back in 2013, Hooker was also busy criticizing another study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that pretty effectively demolished the antivaccine trope of “too many too soon.” Let’s just say that Hooker’s criticisms were less than convincing. Actually, let’s just say that convincing and Hooker’s criticisms weren’t even on the same continent, maybe not even on the same planet. They were a lovely example of Gish Galloping, special pleading, and insinuating conspiracies.

So it’s not surprising that the latest round launched by Wakefield and Hooker last week, in which they first revealed that there was a “CDC whistleblower” and then later revealed that this “whistleblower” is William Thompson, PhD, a senior researcher at the CDC, is resonating big time with the antivaccine movement. The Twitter hashtags #CDCwhistleblower and #CDCfraud, set up by antivaccine groups flogging the story, are going wild with Tweets like:

I must admit that that last one cracked me up. Then I thought: Great. Just what we need, the latest Jenny McCarthy wannabe. Be that as it may, no less a luminary of the antivaccine crank underground that Mike Adams himself proclaimed last week:

I'm posting this update to let Natural News readers know we are actively investigating this groundbreaking story which may turn out to be a larger cover-up than the Tuskegee experiments. Much like Tuskegee, this story also involves the suffering of African-Americans at the hands of a corporate-run medical cartel that systematically sacrifices lives for profit.

If what we are hearing so far is true, it means the CDC has deliberately run a decade-long cover-up which condemned tens of thousands of African-American children to a life of autism caused by MMR vaccines. It would also mean the CDC has engaged in a shameless conspiracy to hide the truth about the damage caused by vaccines, confirming the agency's primary mission of protecting pharmaceutical profits even at the expense of human life.

This story is potentially the greatest scientific conspiracy in the history of modern medicine. Accordingly, you can expect the entire mainstream media to completely censor the story and try to pretend it never happened.

I made fun of Wakefield’s comparing this “CDC coverup” to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, but Wakefield knows his audience. It resonates. Besides, there’s nothing like comparing a fake conspiracy theory to a real conspiracy from history to make the fake conspiracy theory seem less implausible. At the very least, the revulsion everyone feels over the Tuskegee experiment leads to a shut down of even the remnant of critical thinking faculties that might be left, particularly in cranks predisposed to believe the conspiracy theory in the first place.

So what really happened? Nearly three days later, we’re no closer to knowing what happened than we were on Friday. The CDC has not issued a statement. William Thompson has not issued a statement, nor has he or the CDC held a press conference. In essence, the CDC has ceded the public relations front to antivaccine cranks.

Right now, from my point of view, I can imagine three main possibilities for what happened. The first possibility from what I know is that Thompson had some sort of disagreement with his co-investigators, made the incredibly stupid—yes, stupid—decision to unburden himself to Brian Hooker, who, he must have known or should have known, is an antivaccine crank associated with Andrew Wakefield, and is now paying the price for that decision, much like Flounder in Animal House when he trusted his fraternity brothers with his car. The second possibility is that Thompson wanted to correct something Hooker was doing with the data and somehow let himself be drawn into saying things that could easily be taken out of context. The third, and (I hope) much less likely, possibility is that Thompson’s gone off the deep end and gone antivaccine.

Meanwhile, last night Mike Adams released what is purported to be a letter from Dr. Thompson to Dr. Julie Gerberding, head of the CDC at the time, dated February 2nd, 2004. The funny thing about this letter is that it doesn’t actually reveal evidence of a CDC coverup in the least. It mentions nothing of Destefano et al. Instead, it expresses concern about Thompson’s having to appear before what he predicts will be a hostile group in front of Representative David Weldon, concern that the CDC is losing the PR war, and a suggestion that Dr. Gerberding respond to Weldon’s letter. None of this supports a coverup, but it's sure being furiously spun that way.

If Dr. Thompson did say what he is represented as having said on the Wakefield video (I don’t trust Wakefield for a moment to have edited the tape of Thompson’s conversations with Hooker honestly), then Thompson has done enormous damage. This is the sort of thing that antivaccine activists like Hooker have been waiting for for years: A “whistleblower” CDC official of senior rank who gives them a seemingly plausible story of malfeasance and coverup to trumpet to the world. This is not going away. It will become part of antivaccine lore, to be repeated over and over basically forever as evidence that the “CDC knew.” If he didn’t, he really needs to find a way to get out in front of this and give his side of the story now. The longer this festers, the less effective his response will be. The same is true of the CDC. The longer it remains silent, the more antivaccine activists will spin it as being part of the conspiracy.

I can sort of understand why Dr. Thompson might elect to remain silent. If he’s in any sort of legal trouble, speaking out might not be wise. On the other hand, I can’t figure out for the life of me why the CDC hasn’t at least issued a statement clarifying what has happened by now. Failure to do so is utterly irresponsible and only feeds the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement. For the key government agency charged with disease prevention and overseeing of the vaccine program to let such nonsense continue to fester without even an attempt to refute it is a failure to do its duty of monumental proportions.

More like this

Remember yesterday how, I referenced the ever-awesome bit about the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and how after pulling the pin you must count to three, no more, no less, before lobbing the grenade at thine enemies? The implication was, of course, that I was on my…
The antivaccine movement and conspiracy theories go together like beer and Buffalo wings, except that neither are as good as, yes, beer and Buffalo wings. Maybe it’s more like manure and compost. In any case, the antivaccine movement is rife with conspiracy theories. I’ve heard and written about…
They say that truth is stranger than fiction. I never really necessarily believed it, but yesterday was a day that might well serve as anecdotal evidence to support that adage. Indeed, yesterday was perfectly bookended by two major developments in the case of the so-called “CDC whistleblower,”…
I know that when last I commented, I expressed the desire to move on from the topic of the CDC whistleblower case after having covered it for a week. And so was my intent. However, this being a holiday in the US and my having had an odd experience on Friday led me to think that one last update is…

Tuskegee wasn't covered up. They published their results, IIRC.

By Bob Blaskiewicz (not verified) on 24 Aug 2014 #permalink

In this, he claims to have been using data and CDC documents supplied to him by a “whistleblower” scientist from the CDC, Dr. William Thompson.

There's a very good chance that I've missed something here, so I would appreciate it somebody would help clear me up. I'm relying on Focus Autism's version:

"The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on the DeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study."

Hooker was plainly using the same MADDSP data set as DeStefano et al., and it didn't come from Thompson unless the TN paper was a genuinely insane fraud. So if Hooker already had this FOIA trove, as well as the real data, what on earth is Thompson supposed to have "supplied" other than telling him what to conclude and how from what he already had?

Thank you for putting this in context, highlighting how unsupported this conspiracy theory is, how flimsy a basis for the claims of the anti-vaccine movement.

I hope someone in the CDC listens. We could use an official answer to what happened.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 24 Aug 2014 #permalink

Good point Narad.

I was under the impression that when FOIA requests come in to any large agency, that there is a public access employee who handles those requests...in conjunction with the legal department of that agency. That's been my experience with FOIA requests for Medicaid audits (conducted by State auditors) and available for my son's group home.

It's also been my experience, working for a smaller County health department, that FOIA requests went through public access/in house attorneys.

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Thompson would be searching for records to comply with Hooker's FOIA requests and that detail that Hooker stated on the video "When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC"...just doesn't ring true.

Yes, the CDC should have issued a statement of some sort...even an interim statement...by now.

No matter what the subject matter is, relying on a conspiracy theory to make your case is always the end of the line. Whether it is UFOs, GMOs, Trilateral Commission, moon landing hoaxers, or vaccines, if the proponent's argument requires you the accept a massive conspiracy, run away as fast as you can.

I should clarify that I don't think the data set came from the FOIA(s) either, unless this actually sprang into being only as a result of this nuttery.

OT re Mike Adams; I was shopping Amazon last week for a Field Strength Meter. In particular I looked at: Extech 480846 8GHz RF Electromagnetic Field Strength Meter. Checking the reviews, I was surprised to find one by The Health Ranger. Hilarity ensues. He never figures out how to use his meter, and is corrected on several points by another reviewer. Checking his list of Amazon reviews, it turns out that he has trouble with a lot of technical equipment. If he can't get this common technology going, I'm sure he's having great success with his spectrometer.

By Gary Crowell (not verified) on 24 Aug 2014 #permalink

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Thompson would be searching for records to comply with Hooker’s FOIA requests and that detail that Hooker stated on the video “When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC”

ZOMG, speaking of 404, the HHS employee directory has been disappeared!

That seals it.

No matter what Thompson says, if it does not fit the antivaxer script they will say he buckled under pressure

By Kelly M Bray (not verified) on 24 Aug 2014 #permalink

Narad, I saw that posting from the CDC....quite interesting.

I'm a bit confused about the original DeStefano study and Hooker's study, because Hooker states the birth years of the children in both studies are 1986-1993:

http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/16

Methods

The author embarked on the present study to evaluate whether a relationship exists between child age when the first MMR vaccine was administered among cases diagnosed with autism and controls born between 1986 through 1993 among school children in metropolitan Atlanta. The Pearson’s chi-squared method was used to assess relative risks of receiving an autism diagnosis within the total cohort as well as among different race and gender categories.

Narad...The directory may be pulled off the internet because the crazies are trying to reach every department in the CDC...not just the Vaccine Division.

Sadly, Jim Stone has completely ignored this story, instead raving incoherently about, inter alia, a vet who had the temerity to tell him that ocean water was not in fact a rehydrating electrolyte-replacement fluid for a dog.

Narad…The directory may be pulled off the internet because the crazies are trying to reach every department in the CDC

Well, if you go to the top-level site, it offers a flimsy message about "performing some maintenance." HMMMMMM.

I’m a bit confused about the original DeStefano study and Hooker’s study, because Hooker states the birth years of the children in both studies are 1986-1993

They were. The 1996 MADDSP data set included ASD for ages 3–10.

Thanks for the clarification, Narad.

Hooker was plainly using the same MADDSP data set as DeStefano et al., and it didn’t come from Thompson unless the TN paper was a genuinely insane fraud. So if Hooker already had this FOIA trove, as well as the real data, what on earth is Thompson supposed to have “supplied” other than telling him what to conclude and how from what he already had?

That makes no sense to me either. And if Thompson was working so closely with Hooker as Hooker claims then why would Thompson let Hooker make such spectacular statistical blunders with the data set so as to render it completely useless out of the gate?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Frosty @5 -- Agreed about the conspiracy theories. To your list I'd like to add one spectacular example, namely global warming "skeptics"; their position cannot hold together unless the entire enterprise of physical science has been co-opted by a shadowy conspiracy of "watermelons" ("green on the outside, red on the inside" -- get it?) out to use global warming as an excuse to exert social control and reduce us all to penury.

This is preposterous, of course. But unfortunately, there's a huge amount of money and political clout behind it -- it's a much more difficult situation than the vaccine front. On the global warming issue, the right-wing media and Republican party have adopted the anti-science propaganda as gospel; so far, at least, this hasn't happened with anti-vax lunacy.

By palindrom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

“When the call from Thompson came in, I recognized that 404 area code as coming from the CDC”…just doesn’t ring true.

The 404 area code isn't sufficient to identify the origin as the CDC. At one time it would have told you that the call came from metro Atlanta, but in this era of phone number portability, that's no longer true.

However, it is possible that he saw 404-867-5309 (or whatever the actual number is), and knew that CDC phone numbers have the form 404-867-xxxx (or whatever the actual exchange is). To take a real world example: I can't be sure (as I would have been ten years ago) that a 617 area code is coming from the Boston area, but if the number is 617-495-xxxx, I know the caller is at Harvard University.

But there's another problem with Hooker's claim: If he really had an inside source at the CDC feeding him information, why would that source use his office phone number, rather than a cell phone, to contact Hooker? Whereas if the caller were responding to an FOIA request, that would be part of the caller's official duties, so it would make sense to use an official CDC number. So either Thompson was being very stupid in calling Hooker from his office phone, or Hooker is shading the truth here. The former possibility isn't ruled out, and the two aren't mutually exclusive, but I find the latter more likely.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ Narad:

During Friday's broadcast @ PRN, Hooker makes it sound as if he was already going over FOIA data and THEN Thompson contacted him. He later stated that he had "tens of thousands of pages" ( which he hasn't gone through yet) as if to imply that Thompson supplied it. HOWEVER he may have just had access to "tens of ........." . It sounded deliberately vague. I wonder why.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

And still no word from Thompson....or the CDC for that matter....both look bad.

I notice that the faithful are trumpetting the fact that the mainstream media hasn't yet commented on this earth-shattering revelation about governmental malfeasance.

In their looking-glass world, that is proof positive that it is important. From what I've observed, our web woo-meisters and anti-vax reporters are keen to make their audiences miistrustful of the mainstream media and to come to THEM instead for news.

How do they accomplish this? For example, @ PRN, a great deal of time is allocated to narrating how the government, the media and corporations have lied, cheated and mis-used the public trust- even if they have to go back a hundred years or more. They produce a steady diet of meat-y tidbits** to create an atmosphere of discomfort surrounding any institutions, be they governmental, academic or media.

And then they present themselves as those who bear witness to the un-varnished truth to whom the public should be grateful and reward with loyalty.
It is simultaneously laughter inducing and dis-heartening to hear or read followers' messages of thanks to "Dr Null" or Mikey or anti-vax webmeisters " for all you do".

** even the vegans

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

I notice that the faithful are trumpetting the fact that the mainstream media hasn’t yet commented on this earth-shattering revelation about governmental malfeasance.

When you're that far down the rabbit hole, any action that can be connected to your pet conspiracy theory, however implausibly, is taken as evidence for the conspiracy. If the MSM reports the story, the say, "See? There really is a conspiracy!" If the MSM fails to report the story, they say, "See? The media is in on the conspiracy!"

The internet makes this more of a problem. A conspiracy theorist can hang out on a discussion board with like-minded conspiracy theorists, where dissenting voices can be (and often are) moderated out of existence. It's not like meatspace, where onlookers can point at the ranter, laugh, and say, "What a maroon!" Conspiracy theories could still spread by mail and telephone, but adherents usually[1] had to be a bit more circumspect about it.

[1]Compare the conspiracy theories about water fluoridation, which were lampooned in Doctor Strangelove ("Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?").

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ Eric Lund:

Well, here's to creating a point-and-laugh culture on the internet AS WE ARE!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Looks like the CNN iReport is back up, with a producer note:

"CNN PRODUCER NOTE CNN iReport is the network’s user-generated news community. This story was initially pulled for further review after it was flagged by the community. CNN has reached out to the CDC for comment and is working to confirm the claims in this iReport."

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1164794

Uh-oh, big danger: the anti-vaxxers are making a play for black Americans. Everyone here needs to understand this: there is a standard tactic in American politics that has to do with trying to get one or another disadvantaged minority on-side, and thereby claim immunity to further questions by playing the 'race card.'

This famously happened with something called 'Proposition 8' in California, where religious extremists said whatever they needed to say to persuade black pastors that 'teh homos' were conspiring to 'destroy black families' by demanding the right to marriage. They succeeded at getting Proposition 8 passed, and after it was all over, a lot of black pastors recognized that they'd been conned and ended up supporting the right to marry, but it was too late.

There is another one of these things going around by anti-abortionists, trying to convince black community leaders that abortion is some kind of eugenic conspiracy to kill black babies.

Right now there is a big outrage over the murder of a black teenager by a white police officer, so in this political climate, a new 'revelation' about a white conspiracy to make black kids autistic is more likely to be taken seriously.

This aspect needs to be dealt with immediately, or it will become much more difficult if it's let to fester.

I think you're being awfully charitable torwards Hooker and Wakefield--I think it's equally plausible that they concocted the whole "whistleblower" incident and attributed it to Dr Thompson. If he denies it, they can just claim that their usual list of boogeymen "got to him" and forced him to change his story. Should that come to pass, I hope Dr Thompson will seek legal action against Hooker and Wakefield.

With the passage of time, I thought the moment right to chop three extraneous minutes from my video clip of Wakefield threatening a "whistleblower" in 2008.

Now the pattern is much clearer: you see a government employee concerned about an aspect of policy, who comunicates this information to a third party. That third party then introduces Wakefield.

Wakefield then purports to speak for the informant, in a manner that the audience cannot check, and threatens the employee that, if he does not come forward, then Wakefield will betray him.

Wakefield does betray him. In 2008, it was about two months after the threat. On the latest occasion, I'm not sure if it was 24 or 48 hours after the threat.

So, if the "whistleblower" had passed the information, what was the need to disclose his identity? According to what I read on the web, documents allegedly prove fraud and the anti-vaxxers claim they have it.

The scenario of Dr Thompson and Wakefield working together, and of Dr Thompson "whistleblowing" is, in my view, laughable.

Just as in 2008, someone was ensnared, via a third party (in 2008 it was through Richard Barr, a lawyer, and in this case it was Brian Hooker). These third parties should now come forward themselves and explain whether they were party to this conduct, or whether they condemn it.

And then, of course, there is this man David Lewis, who should also make a statement of his position on betraying government employees in this manner. And then we can take that up with the front "whistleblower" entity with which he claims credentials.

Anyhow: here is the shortened video that, I guess, Dr Thompson never saw before talking with Brian Hooker.

http://briandeer.com/solved/whistleblower-betrayed.htm

By Brian Deer (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

How's this for some real conspiracy theories: Universal vaccines by definition don't make a lot of money (the government would stop any company for charging large premiums over manufacturing, and subsidizes their manufacture because no one wants to make them.)

You know who makes *real* money? Energy companies (coal) that dump a thousand times more mercury into the environment than any vaccine exposes you to. It just takes a few [paid] voices to rile up those without research skills. Am I on to something?

Let's hope it's not a conspiracy to dissuade black people from vaccinating their kids so they'll get vaccine preventable diseases.

Brain Deer, thank you! That video is a lot more clear, and really does demonstrate how Wakefield has basically positioned himself as a Venus fly-trap for people in the scientific (vaccine) community who might express dissent on some topic in private, portraying policy disagreements as Watergate-like criminal scandals. He really is a bottom-feeder of the lowest variety.

By BooRadley (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Well, I don't know- maybe it's just me- but don't these awe-inspiring announcements seem to pop up on schedule?
Perhaps when attention of the faithful appears to be flaging or when donations are down or when a conference of the woo-besotten is on the event horizon ( AoA has one in October IIRC)?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

That should be FLAGGING...

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

A class action lawsuit is being prepared by mothers with autistic children

Couldn't get anywhere in the OAP so how is this going to work any better? Hitching your wagons to Hooker and Wakefield are not going to prove to be productive.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Anyone know if/when the CDC is planning on releasing a statement? I know Orac said he had a source...

To all appearances, the CDC is frittering away its time on minor annoyances like Ebola, salmonella outbreaks, and e-cigarettes instead of the vital task of responding to rumors from blogs.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ ScienceMom -- why only mothers? No offense (I'm not a mom) but why do we not see a lot of Warrior Dads out there on the barricades?

Anne: Let’s hope it’s not a conspiracy to dissuade black people from vaccinating their kids so they’ll get vaccine preventable diseases.

Sadly, that is exactly what it is. They managed to pull the wool over the local Somali community's eyes for a long, long while. There have been a few people who broke away from Wakefield's spell, but not nearly enough.

Now they're creating a phony incident with (possibly) a non-existent doctor, targeting poor communities that will swallow the lies hook, line and sinker. And all because someone at AOA thought 'geez, we're whiter than white bread over here.' Swear to god, these guys make Lex Luthor look like an angel.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

I think that someone should enumerate the COIs of the parties most active in *l'affaire Hooker et la CDC*- here's a start:

Hooker- has a child with autism, has a case in vaccine court', has had truck with several anti-vaccine organisations/ thought leaders** ( Focus Autism, CoMeD, AoA, AJW, the Geiers ),etc

AJW-is suing journals, their editors and journalists, has monetary interests, has an axe to grind etc

Anyone else?

** oh, I know

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ PGP:

"Whiter than white bread"?
Oh come now, that sound like the folks around here, too!

( only joking, I know what you mean)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Shay: The fathers usually get driven away as the mothers spiral down the rabbit hole that is the anti-vax movement or they're doormats. I can think of maybe four or five male anti-vaxxers. I think a lot of the problem is that women tend to be socialized toward solving problems with emotions and feelings rather than actual rational solutions. So when something big goes wrong, they go with whatever explanation 'feels right.'

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

CDC did put out a statement - basically saying they stand by the results of the study & welcome anyone to look at the data and publish alternative results in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

I should have made that clearer: the husbands that do stay are doormats, and leave every decision to their wives.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

PGP,

(possibly) a non-existent doctor,

Are you seriously suggesting that one of the authors of Stefano's paper is fictitious?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ Lawrence:

Where is the statement?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ ScienceMom — why only mothers? No offense (I’m not a mom) but why do we not see a lot of Warrior Dads out there on the barricades?

Not sure now that you mention it. Perhaps the thought of an angry mob of mummies is far more intimidating and shame-inducing and will cause CDC officials to run weeping into the streets or something.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Darn SM - beat me to it!

I stand corrected, then, on the CDC's priorities.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

I do have to ask, though, whether there is evidence for the hit squads after Dr. Thompson that apparently so many at AOA (and a few who have posted here) fear.

I see Dr. Thompson as being played by Bruce Willis in the movie version.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Sorry Lawrence, just happened to see it and have the SBM page open. Next time I'll speak only when spoken to. :D (yeah right)

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Thanks, ladies! ( or should I say, 'sister minions"?)

At any rate, isn't one major point amongst the carpers that they eliminated ONLY black children w/o Georgia birth certficates whilst the white ones sans bc were OK'd? Not the case obviously.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

It'll be hilarious if the reason Dr. Thompson hasn't responded is that he's preparing a lawsuit against Hooker & Wakefield.....

Science Mom, Lawrence...and AoA scooped me !

Lawrence - a consummation devoutly to be wished.

AND here is the reeking, biofilm-laden icing on the irresponsible conspiracy mongers' filthy, rotting cake:

*CNN caught red handed covering up CDC medical genocide of African-American babies*

@ Natural News today ( where the frig else?)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Uh-oh, big danger: the anti-vaxxers are making a play for black Americans.

I got a good chuckle out of this AoA entry:

The truth may set him free, but what of our children? What about contacting the meat eater Al Sharpton in this issue, I am sure all the Black caucuses will go flipping out today if they heard this?

You don't actually know (m)any Black folk, do you Kathy?

“Scientific” fraudsters like former CDC head Julie Gerberding, currently president of Merck’s Vaccine division (gotta love that revolving door) watch out!

A class action lawsuit is being prepared by mothers with autistic children

SEE [John "escorted off the premises" Rappoport]

Peaches, toddle back over to godlikeproductions or wherever you came from. Hint: If a lawyer is going to make a statement about a client's tactical, it sure the fυck isn't going to be to American Loon #1050.

It’ll be hilarious if the reason Dr. Thompson hasn’t responded is that he’s preparing a lawsuit against Hooker & Wakefield…..

Another hilarious lawsuit I'd like to see is "Doctor" Wakefield vs The Kid over his hit piece. "Doctor" Wakefield is not amused, and he has been known to sue journalist who print facts, so it's not too far fetched he would sue a "journalist" who prints something like -

Jake, in light of your serious allegation that I “betrayed” the whistleblower by disclosing his name without permission....

The misinformation you have put out has spread through an already divided community.

Also, unlike Mr. Deer, The Kid lives in TX, so there wouldn't be any jurisdiction issues.

Heh - I'm talking myself into believing it could happen.

The big question is, who do we want to win?

^ And Rappoport's "legal analysis" is imbecilic, as though this required actually saying. He seems to be unable to even distinguish a criminal from a civil case:

He can become a witness for these mothers, or if he goes into seclusion and refuses to make a clear, complete, and definitive public statement, he could wind up being sued.

What the fυck is that supposed to mean? AL1050 has been delegated to make threats that would probably get an actual lawyer sanctioned and possibly amount to civil extortion?

^^ In any event, a real threat of this sort (as opposed to the ravings of Rappoport) would immediately torpedo the testimony. It's just phenomenally stupid, and as such, I would like to encourage AL1050 to keep up the good work.

“Doctor” Wakefield is not amused, and he has been known to sue journalist who print facts

Right, but he's already promised to sue Emily Willingham just as soon as he's no longer overwhelmed with his BMJ suit sitting around doing nothing in particular.

I think a lot of the problem is that women tend to be socialized toward solving problems with emotions and feelings rather than actual rational solutions. So when something big goes wrong, they go with whatever explanation ‘feels right.’

Such as yourself?

Kreb: Are you seriously suggesting that one of the authors of Stefano’s paper is fictitious?

It's one of the three possibilities. Either he had a total breakdown, they're using his name without his permission or he's utterly fictional.

Narad: I try to discipline myself out of that. Emotions are for the net, private time and leisure- emphatically not for real life.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

" I can’t figure out for the life of me why the CDC hasn’t at least issued a statement clarifying what has happened by now."

I don't know how much influence politicians have over the CDC, or how politically the CDC acts to preserve funding. But the Dems are running away from Ferguson at light speed right now lest they jostle enough win-nuts to tip a Senate race and possible control of the Senate. The CDC and/or its political allies may be calculating that a firm refutation of Hooker would only fuel the fire of crazy. (The only Reason that might calm these folks is referenced in pp. 335-337 of Snow Crash.) You know, 'the Streisand effect' and 'don't feed the trolls.' If there ARE any political sensitivities here, I'd look for statements from Thompson and CDC in the second week of November.

It’s one of the three possibilities. Either he had a total breakdown, they’re using his name without his permission or he’s utterly fictional.

Le Sigh. Only one is even remotely a possibility. If you would care to even do a modicum of looking, Dr. Thompson is quite real and has a stellar publication list and to channel Narad, here
let me help you with that.
Wakefield is a predatory, mercenary nob but he isn't so stupid as to pull Thompson's name out of thin air as his "whistleblower".

Narad: I try to discipline myself out of that. Emotions are for the net, private time and leisure- emphatically not for real life.

Hint for you, all of those take place in "real life". Are you just trolling?

By Science Mom (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Here are the possibilities I see (in no particular order)

1) It's a hoax by Wakefield, et al
2) It's a hoax on Wakefield et al
3) He had some disagreements with his co-authors or colleagues, and was taken out of context to either a moderate or extreme degree (this is almost certainly true if it was his voice, no matter what - NO WAY was he thinking it was like Tuskeegee, Pol pot, Hitler, and Stalin. Even if he's gone frankly psychotic, he wasn't thinking along those lines.)
4) He was mentally or emotionally impaired when speaking with Hooker (intoxicated? Breakdown? Dunno.)
5) He's angry with his coworkers, possibly quitting the CDC, and is "rewriting history" about something they did that was possibly ethically questionable, but that he thought was justified (both scientifically and ethically) at the time
6) He and Wakefield are both Reptilians/Anunnaki feeling threatened by the scientific progress of the Earthlings.
7) CDC is actually run by Reptilians/Anunnaki and this valiant human, Thompson, has Exited the Matrix of MindControl (thank you, Rappoport!) in an attempt to liberate we enslaved humans.

By BooRadley (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Mr. Wakefield love to sue....but he NEVER wins. Why? Because he is a fraud and a liar and he was caught.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ Boo Radley:

I'd go with the Reptilian CDC hypothesis myself.

-btw- As we all know by now, the tremors in American Canyon/ Napa are merely a cover-up for Draconis testing out his neweat faster-than-light recreational craft.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Autism now in 1 in 68 US children is of course caused by multiple factors. At best you can point to intermediate adverse effects like febrile seizures and aseptic meningitis as possible links, but true causation impossible.

The important question here is why risk it and vaccinate at all? The stock answer of course is Herd immunity. Better to spend the efforts on better nutrition, sanitation, education, and other public health efforts. If it were possible to do a blinded study, vaccines would lose big time to these non-medical efforts in preventing childhood diseases. Very clearly big pharma is making out - follow the money folks!

By Jason Casper (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

ScienceMom: Hint for you, all of those take place in “real life”. Are you just trolling?

I don't think you understand. 'Net' life is so removed from my real life, I might as well be a different person. Real life is work and running errands. Most of my leisure time is spent in fanspace- I put on a costume and face appropriate to the venue/show, unless I'm on vacation. My emotions live at home, like clothing that's too damaged and tatty for public wear.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

#74 ignorantly asks: <i.The important question here is why risk it and vaccinate at all?

In addition to that load of horse crap you just tried to shovel about vaccine efficacy, please try not to forget that vaccine-preventable diseases can visit your island as easily as anywhere else.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Jason -- speaking as someone who was born in 1955, let me assure you that we had great nutrition, clean water, indoor plumbing, safe food, and excellent education. We also had measles, mumps, whooping cough, and chicken pox, among other things. The only vaccine-preventable diseases we didn't get were smallpox and polio. Care to offer an explanation why?

I try to discipline myself out of that. Emotions are for the net, private time and leisure- emphatically not for real life.

1. OK, so for "leisure," you... adopt the very traits you complain to high heaven about having to witness "real life"?

I put on a costume and face appropriate to the venue/show

2. Just in over the wire. It's from Western Cluenion. When the rest of the "venue/show" keeps telling you that, no, the "costume and face" are not only not appropriate but tediously irritating, you are back to #1.

Mr. Casper: "The important question here is why risk it and vaccinate at all? "

You tell us. Give us the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that it would be okay dokay to let kids suffer from measles, pertussis, mumps, tetanus, rotavirus, diphtheria, polio, influenza, etc. Essentially give us the relative risks, but do it on the condition that there are no vaccines and the diseases are actively circulating. Just like they were just fifty years ago.

But the Dems are running away from Ferguson at light speed right now lest they jostle enough win-nuts to tip a Senate race and possible control of the Senate.

The pratfall over at Popehat was very impressive, BTW.

@Jason Casper:

The important question here is why risk it and vaccinate at all?

There are two reasons why your rhetorical question is invalid. First off, you assume that vaccination may be a risk factor for autism. It isn't. The question has been looked at in multiple studies. Recently a metaanalysis was done. Over 1 million individuals were looked at. If vaccination was causing even a fraction of autistics, the study would have turned it up. It didn't.
The second reason your question is invalid is that it assumes not vaccinating is a risk-free proposition. It isn't. Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Measles and HIB can all kill, and have. Mumps can render boys sterile and rubella can cause miscarriage.

If it were possible to do a blinded study, vaccines would lose big time to these non-medical efforts in preventing childhood diseases.

Given the massive falls in childhood disease rates, false. In fact, I once read that the elimination of smallpox (through vaccination) pays for itself every 26 days. Vaccination is a lot more cost effective than you think.

Follow the money folks!

The cost to treat even one case illnesses is multiple times the cost of a vaccination. Your claim is wrong.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

Please bring back preview or introduce an edit facility. Apologies for the grammatical errors.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 25 Aug 2014 #permalink

I made the mistake of clicking on the link & viewed the letter - it definitely doesn't say what it is presented to say....and I have a real problem with it not containing little things like headers or footers, not to mention not being on CDC letterhead.

Smells fishy to me.

Sorry Orac - of course you are always ahead of the rest of us.
Blinking boxes - sometimes you gotta hate em for their damned efficiency.

Erratum: I somehow omitted the "De" in DeStefano at #45, apologies for that.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Julian Frost 81 - Thanks for response. Actually I don't think you read what I wrote. I said there is no way to prove causation so it is a moot point. Likely a cause of Autism is mulitfactorial. Just because vaccines don't cause autism is not a reason to vaccinate.

As for risks-benefits of vaccination vs. the non medical approach I brought up, I understand your point - of course childhood illness has morbidity and mortality associated with it. Are vaccines the best approach to reduce these illnesses. It is pretty clear that improvements in standards of living reduced childhood illness rates well before vaccines were considered on a mass scale. Any effect vaccines have had epidemiologically are marginal in comparison.

@Chris 79 - thanks for response. As I alluded to improvements in standards of living are difficult to study but clearly a major factor in reducing childhood illness rates of the last 100 years. Nutrition, education, and poverty probably contribute much more to childhood disease than eliminating vaccines but can't prove it. Vaccines are big business my friend and you will never find research showing vaccines are not effective.

@Chris Hickie 79 - nice post! I can tell you went to High School at least.

@ Shay 80 - I never said childhood vaccines are not effective. Just that we over rely on their presumed overwhelming effectiveness. Sure there may be diseases that are reasonable to vaccinate. But we've gone overboard - I'll keep an eye on the pharma profits as a measure of quality of vaccine research.

By Jason Casper (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Jason - you've made several elementary mistakes:

1) Better sanitation and living conditions did not have a substantial impact on the "incidence" of Vaccine-Preventable diseases.

Better health care did cause "mortality" rates to drop - meaning that we could keep people alive better who had already been infected, but in no way or shape did incidence rates drop until the advent of vaccines.

How do you explain the 95 - 99.5% reduction in incidence rates of VPDs in the decades following the mass-vaccination programs? That's not an insubstantial decrease, by the way, given that almost everyone was exposed / infected by these diseases at some point in their childhood before vaccines.

Also, please explain how the rates of these diseases have shown a massive decrease in incidence in Third World Countries, where sanitation levels and standards of living have changed little over the past 50 years?

What might have changed? Perhaps vaccines?

2) Pharma Profits - given that it costs sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars just to bring a single treatment to market (through all of the sundry safety and effectiveness studies, clinical trials, etc), it has been & always will be much more profitable for these companies to develop treatments for chronic conditions than it will be to develop a vaccine that, at most, might be given three or four times (or just once, like the MMR) during a person's lifetime.

Your opinions are not based on established facts.

Better to spend the efforts on better nutrition, sanitation, education, and other public health efforts. If it were possible to do a blinded study, vaccines would lose big time to these non-medical efforts in preventing childhood diseases.

Dr. Mark Crislip, a senior infectious disease doctor for many years, says in his podcast that he has seen one case of the mumps in his practice. My mother, a run of the mill housewife, cared for three cases of the mumps one year in the sixties - my sister, a cousin, and myself.

Please state how nutrition, sanitation, education, and other public health efforts have improved today over the baseline of what was avail back in the dark ages of my youth.

But, hey, don't believe me. Ask your parents and grandparents about their experiences. Bonus points if you get them together to tell their stories. Then let us know if they share your outlook on vaccines.

@Johnny - I would also like Jason to explain exactly how "nutrition, sanitation & education" prevent the spread of airborne infectious diseases.....

It is pretty clear that improvements in standards of living reduced childhood illness rates well before vaccines were considered on a mass scale. Any effect vaccines have had epidemiologically are marginal in comparison.

Let me guess - you claim that "it is pretty clear" because at some point somebody showed you graphs that purported to be the disease "going away" before the vaccine, right?

You got played, son.

The disease hasn't gone away if people are still getting blinded by it. It hasn't gone away if people are still losing their hearing or fertility to it. It hasn't gone away if people are being paralyzed or maimed by it. Even if they make a full recovery after weeks or months of suffering, the disease still has NOT "gone away".

The graphs you were shown were graphs of *mortality* data only. Which means they essentially THREW OUT all cases where people got the disease and got blinded, deafened, sterilized, mentally impaired, had to have body parts amputated... they threw out ALL CASES of the disease except those that ended in death. And they said "Oh, hey, there's fewer of those, so that means the disease was 'going away' and we didn't need a vaccine."

That's the story you were sold, isn't it?

Why don't you try looking at the real data? Check it out here: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/meas.html The vaccine's impact is not "marginal". A lasting decrease by orders of magnitude is not "marginal" by anyone's standards. Or are you afraid to damage your smug certainty by looking at actual data?

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

We have in fact reduced the incidence of many diseases with better sanitation and standard of living. Skin infections are way down from historical levels, as are typhoid, dysentery, cholera, certain insect borne diseases, and some parasitic infections.

Diseases like mumps, measles, pertussis, chicken pox, smallpox, and polio aren't on that list.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

Jason Casper,
Allow me to tell you something from my own experience. Starting in 1980 I worked in clinical biochemistry laboratories in UK hospitals. Once or twice a week I would cover either a night or a weekend, doing urgent tests, mostly on blood. When I first started, I would often get a sample of cerebrospinal fluid from a child with suspected meningitis, and about 50% of the time it would be cloudy and purulent, strongly suggesting the child had meningitis.

During the early 1990s I noticed I was seeing fewer and fewer CSF samples from suspected meningitis cases, and when I did see these samples, I very rarely saw a cloudy one. I don't remember that last cloudy CSF sample I saw. It was only recently that I understood why this had changed so dramatically. The reason? Meningitis vaccines, introduced in the UK in 1992. There was no noticeable improvement in hygiene or lifestyle in the UK after 1992, which is just one reason I am confident vaccines were responsible.

It is pretty clear that improvements in standards of living reduced childhood illness rates well before vaccines were considered on a mass scale. Any effect vaccines have had epidemiologically are marginal in comparison.

That's not really true. The only diseases that are reduced by improved standards of living are those that are transmitted by the fecal-oral route, such as dysentery, and diseases like TB that thrive in overcrowded conditions. Improved hygiene even seems likely to have made polio a more dangerous disease, since children were exposed to it later than when sewage flowed freely in the streets.

It really isn't possible to prevent close physical contact between people, especially children, so the only realistic way to eliminate diseases like rotavirus, hepatitis A, and various meningitis-causing pathogens are vaccines. A flushing toilet, healthy lifestyle and diet will not make you immune to these diseases.

Measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae, diphtheria and pertussis are all airborne pathogens, and improved hygiene has little or no effect on transmission. These diseases used to kill thousands every year, and now kill very few in the developed world, thanks largely to vaccination.

It is true that improvements in hygiene resulted in dramatic decreases in infant mortality. In 1900 about 10% of children in the US died before the age of one. By 1940 that had fallen to 4%. Most of that improvement was due to improvements in social conditions and improved medical care. Infant mortality today in the US is currently about 0.6%, with a large proportion of that fall undoubtedly due to vaccination. I suggest you read this and also take a look at the same data in graphical form.

As I like to put it, improvements in hygiene improved matters from appalling to merely awful. Would you really be happy for 4 in 100 children to die before they reached their first birthday as they did in the 1940s? Even if modern medicine could save many people with infectious diseases who might have died a few decades ago, we shouldn't underestimate the burden a sick person is on society, or the suffering this entails. Surely it is better that hardly any children get measles in the US today, compared with the 500,000 or so that would get it each year in the US without a vaccine. In recent measles outbreaks in Europe, we have seen 8 deaths, 27 cases of measles encephalitis, 1,482 cases of pneumonia and 3 cases of SSPE. Do you think poor standards of living were responsible for this?

Sure there may be diseases that are reasonable to vaccinate. But we’ve gone overboard –

What vaccine on the current schedule is for a disease it is not reasonable to vaccinate against? Why do you think this?

I’ll keep an eye on the pharma profits as a measure of quality of vaccine research.

Are you suggesting that if vaccines were effective, drug companies wouldn't make any money? What about all the independent international research on vaccines that has found them safe and effective?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Jason Casper:

@Julian Frost 81 – Thanks for response. Actually I don’t think you read what I wrote. I said there is no way to prove causation so it is a moot point. Likely a cause of Autism is mulitfactorial.

Not even wrong.
There is a very easy way to prove causation. In Denmark, they looked at everyone born over a period of several years. The total number was over half a million. From that, they compared the autism rates in the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. No statistically significant difference. In a sample size that large, if vaccines were a cause it would have shown up, even if autism is multifactoral.

Just because vaccines don’t cause autism is not a reason to vaccinate.

True, but irrelevant. We vaccinate to protect children from the consequences of devastating diseases. As I said in my previous comment, not vaccinating is not a risk free option either.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 26 Aug 2014 #permalink

I had measles in the early 60s when I was 6 years old. My mother took me to get the vaccine which had just come out, but I had a sore throat and didn't get it. The next day I broke out in the measles rash. I was sick for about 10 days and it was no joke. High fevers, delirium, diarrhea, vomiting. I also had Hepatitis A when I was about 30 years old and it was awful. I wish the vaccine had existed back then.

But you recovered, Van, and that's the deceased equine that anti-vaxxers choose to flog. The way they look at it if it didn't kill you, then it couldn't have been serious.

Mr. Casper: "@Chris 79 – thanks for response. As I alluded to improvements in standards of living are difficult to study but clearly a major factor in reducing childhood illness rates of the last 100 years. Nutrition, education, and poverty probably contribute much more to childhood disease than eliminating vaccines but can’t prove it. Vaccines are big business my friend and you will never find research showing vaccines are not effective."

So vaccines are big business? Really, this intrigues me. So tell us if we stopped using the MMR vaccine and let every child get measles, how much money would be saved? Let's look at a couple of things, it costs no more than $100 to get a child two MMR doses. The recent Wales measles outbreak about one out of ten required hospitalization for things like pneumonia and/or encephalitis. Hospital care is often in the ten thousand or more dollar range (I know this from personal experience). So how is that cheaper? Show your work, something similar to this:
Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009

Also, I am intrigued at the notion that better sanitation caused measles to go down. Interesting. Below is US Census data for rate of measles incidence during the twentieth century. Please tell us what caused measles incidence in the USA to drop 90% between 1960 and 1970. Please do not mention deaths (mortality), any other decade or any other country.
From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Patience. I have a day job and, although I was aware of this statement several hours ago, I couldn't blog about it because, well, I have a demanding day job.

No hurry. Just curious about your thoughts. What would make a respectable senior CDC scientist to come out 13 years later about certain data omission? He has a lot to lose, just doubt he is looking for fame . He has been talking to Hooker for 10 month...

By Victoriya Hageney (not verified) on 27 Aug 2014 #permalink

"What would make a respectable senior CDC scientist to come out 13 years later about certain data omission?"

Well, data were not omitted. I don't know why that lie keeps on being perpetuated. What was omitted, according to Dr. Thompson, were findings based on those data. And I can't blame them for not presenting those findings. They don't make much sense given what we know about the study design.

Amazing how two sides of an as argument can make each other both look completely idiotic. The knee jerk reaction to condemn vaccination science is just as laughable as blind faith in the CDC to put citizens health before big pharmas profits and the belief that a child actually requires 37 shots by the time they're 5. Vaccines r a type of medicine whereas all have side effects which hopefully are outweighed by their stated goals.
If u don't believe in this science don't participate, If you are hesitant be hesitant and make your own vaccination schedule if you have full faith in what the government recommends go full in. No real argument needed as far more toxins are pumped in to kids through their diet and environment as some astute commenter's pointed out above.

Mike, if you're going to say "37 shots by the time they’re 5", you lose. In addition, we don't have "blind faith" in our authorities, but we do have a lot of trust in them. As for this:

If you are hesitant be hesitant and make your own vaccination schedule

That's just plain stupid. Do you really think that the CDC and the health authorities constructed the vaccine schedule by throwing darts at a wall? I sometimes think anti-vaxxers do believe that. That you assume that an ordinary citizen is as qualified to construct a vaccine schedule as people who study medicine, vaccines and vaccine safety, and know how to conduct a study into the safety of a vaccine, is astonishing, and not in a good way.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 29 Aug 2014 #permalink

Science Mom,

@ nutrition prof, the unadjusted cases and controls were 1824 and 624 respectively.

I know it's just a typo, but to be pedantic it's the other way round, 624 autistic children, 1824 matched controls.

This idea that people who accept that the CDC and IoM know what they are talking about do so on the basis of "blind faith" baffles me. I accept they know what they are talking about because they provide good evidence to support what they say, and in every case I have taken the time and trouble to look at the evidence I have found it compelling. The claim that we shouldn't trust "the CDC to put citizens health before big pharmas profits " also confuses me. How does the CDC benefit from drug companies making a profit?

No real argument needed as far more toxins are pumped in to kids through their diet and environment as some astute commenter’s pointed out above.

Which specific toxins are pumped into kids"? I suspect you mean aluminum, formaldehyde and mercury, all of which children get more from in food and air than in vaccines, or in the case of formaldehyde is produced through normal metabolism of food, but not in amounts that are anywhere near being toxic. The possible exception is mercury, which is present in some fish in amounts large enough to be of concern in pregnant women, but has only present in vaccines in tiny amounts, far too little to do any harm.

I get a little tired of people didactically spouting such ignorance as if it is some sort of common sense.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 29 Aug 2014 #permalink

That last comment was supposed to be directed at Mike. The first paragraph was another entirely separate comment intended for a different thread.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 29 Aug 2014 #permalink

Hey,
I just don't give a sh*t. I won't vaccinate myself or anyone else.
What I want is someone to prove that vaccines work.
You go and cite a bunch of statistics. Lets put the rubber on the road. Lets vaccinate bill gates with the ebola vaccine when it comes out and send him to africa.
$1,000 bucks says he wouldn't volunteer in Liberia if his life depended on it.
Luckily, all those south americans will kill us all with drug resistant TB before we can finish this argument.
Meanwhile, the medical fascists don't want a vaccine choice.
Immunizations my ass.
Go ahead get them. Suckers.

By Shaqeevala museppe (not verified) on 29 Aug 2014 #permalink

i just don't want monkey kidney remnants in me.
Or aborted fetus cells. I don't care what batch number, year, nuthin.
No monkey kidneys. I am allergic!
I ate one once. I was in Tibet at a buddhist conference. Got so sick. Swore off religion at that point....

By Shaqeevala museppe (not verified) on 29 Aug 2014 #permalink

Dear dear Lawrence, You seem to consider yourself a self-anointed authority on current USA Thimerosal-in-vaccine distribution. Good for you! So please produce your math. How many Thimerosal doses were injected annually in the US in 2013? Total approximate number please. Extra credit if you can group your result by age group. Let’s say 0 months to 9 months; 0 years to 6 years, 7 years to 15 years, 16 years to 20 years, 21 years to 50 years, 51 years to 80 years, 81 years to 100 years. Hell, you pick your own age groups if you already have them. Please make them similarly useful.

When that’s done, please give me that same data by first-world country, and then by third-world country. Go ahead an group the last two requests into two groups, my point will still be apparent.

Assuming that dear Lawrence is inadequately prepared to back up his piles of steaming wisdom, and/or because his cranium is anatomically mispositioned, can anybody else here product for this blog that data? Thanks in advance!

*produce...

@YoDaddie,

You should try doing your last comment (114) yourself.

If you wish to have a dialog instead of just expounding your personal opinion, you should be willing to answer questions as well as ask them.

Since you have chosen to respond to Lawrence's comment addressed to Jason Casper (93), perhaps you can answer his questions which Mr Casper has not answered.

Try responding to comments 95, 96 and 99 as well.

All of these people are presenting their personal analysis based on external sources of evidence, some of which are cited directly.

You're welcome to analyze those same data and explain them to us.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 30 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Shaqeevala Mussepe:

What I want is someone to prove that vaccines work.

Chris (another commenter here) has a table showing how the incidences of vaccine preventable diseases fell by over 90%. Chris, if you would please.
Let's look at what happens when vaccine rates collapse. Syria (which was polio free) is now experiencing a massive outbreak of that disease. After the Soviet Union disintegrated, there was a diphtheria outbreak in the former soviet republics. In other words, after vaccination programmes were introduced, disease rates collapsed, and when vaccination programmes collapse, the diseases come hurtling back. Simple enough for you?
[I] just don’t want monkey kidney remnants in me.
You repeat that absurd and false claim about monkey kidneys being in vaccines? You lose.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 30 Aug 2014 #permalink

Ask and you shall receive:

Shaqeevala Mussepe, the following is US Census data of measles incidence in the 20th Century. Please tell us why measles cases fell 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Do not mention deaths, any other disease, any other decade nor any other country.

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

YoDaddie,

Dear dear Lawrence,

You should get that passive aggression looked at, it's quite repugnant.

You seem to consider yourself a self-anointed authority on current USA Thimerosal-in-vaccine distribution. Good for you!

Providing a link to legitimate information does not make someone "a self-anointed authority". You might want to consider stopping your overuse of this phrase.

So please produce your math. How many Thimerosal doses were injected annually in the US in 2013?

What possible relevance does this have to anything? Earlier I asked for your most compelling piece of evidence that thimerosal in vaccines can cause any problems at all in children. You haven't provided any, because the thimerosal present in the entire vaccine schedule pre-2000, much less the miniscule amount of thimerosal in flu vaccines, cannot possibly be toxic. The amount of mercury in it is dwarfed by the amount we are all exposed to in food, air and water, and is in the much less toxic form of ethylmercury.
Please, explain how 25 mcg of mercury in a vaccine can harm a child that absorbs and retains 1,800 mcg of mercury each year through eating, drinking and breathing.

Assuming that dear Lawrence is inadequately prepared to back up his piles of steaming wisdom, and/or because his cranium is anatomically mispositioned, can anybody else here product for this blog that data? Thanks in advance!

You clearly have nothing of substance to argue here, so you resort to insult. Pathetic.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Aug 2014 #permalink

This is one of those cute little oped where a self proclaimed mental elitist uses anecdotal articles, opinions, and studies to denigrate a portion of the population who don't want to be injected with anything. Vegan earth lovers and Religious groups like can unite under that umbrella. But for some reason they aren't allowed to for fear of ridicule by some annointed medical establishment. Whose altrism is not exactly forthcoming. This is the equivalence of yelling racist in the medical field.
Let's do a reality documentary where we prove that vaccines work in real time.
Let's prove it once and for all. Can we do it? Is it possible?
Or, is it just articles like that that will continue the hate. The author hates that other people feel strongly against his opinion.
I think this author should be the first to volunteer.

By Orac neutralizer (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

Pick a 'nym and stick with it. Sockpuppets are not permitted. This will be your only warning, Shaqeevala museppe/Orac neutralizer.

That's " altruism" is case the word police are out, and the reader was unable to figure out what i was trying to say.
For further criticisms of my spelling and grammar, complaints will be accepted in writing by 10:45 am today at www.upyoursdotcom

By Orac neutralizer (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

As Orac's blog postings don't appear in a newspaper opposite to the editorial page, they aren't opeds,

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

@ orac. So you criticize my 'nym but not the content. Clever.
Do something bold. Name calling is for the weak minded. You can call me whatever you want. I just stick to the facts.
Which brings me to your article. A brilliant display of nothing.
Besides, you what ypu suggest had a remote possibilty of truth is shouldn't matter what others do. The vaccinated are protected from said illnesses.
2nd, the pharm. groups list side effects in their inserts. They list autism as on of them. But you didn't mention that doctors don't give the inserts for patients to read.
They obfuscate informed consent. They hand out a piece of paper telling you that your child may get a fever and to take tylenol an hour before the "immunizations" those aren't side effects. That is completely dishonest. And that is why your detractors have formed their opinion.
If the medical estab. was upfront from the beginning none of this would gained traction.
Now, if you decline you are given non compliant papers to sign.
That is a strategy to ostracize. Why do they have to do that. IF vaccines work so well?

By Orac neutralizer (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

Mephisto- pardon me. I'm not a genius like you so you get the upper hand. Let me know what the weather will be up there. And watch out for bird shit.

By Orac neutralizer (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Orac neutralizer

Orac is not making fun of your name. He is telling you to pick a name and stick with it. Using multiple different names for your comments is not allowed.

Orac neutralizer

Why are you asking permission to do your "reality documentary" ?

Just propose an ethical* test that would convince you either way (because you are actually open to the idea vaccines working, right?) and pick up a camera.

* because obviously you wouldn't just be wanting to deliberately expose people - even if vaccinated - to potentially lethal diseases, right?

"Let’s do a reality documentary where we prove that vaccines work in real time."

Dear Shaqeevala Mussepe/Orac Neutralizer/sockpuppet, please tell us why measlesincidence dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970.

Or better yet, what happened to Smallpox - a disease that killed more humans in recorded history than all of our wars combined.....

Orac neutralizer - re: "And watch out for bird shit." Always good advice, thanks.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Yo - above, given that no vaccines with Thimerasol (and only the influenza vaccine - given to adults, has it) are given to children today & haven't now for over a decade, you really do seem to be living in the past.

Got anything else?

*I'll also mention that the uptake for the Flu vaccine in general, is poor, compared to the vaccines on the pediatric schedule, so the number of people who receive a flu vaccine with Thimerasol is extremely low compared to the population at large.

2nd, the pharm. groups list side effects in their inserts. They list autism as on of them. But you didn’t mention that doctors don’t give the inserts for patients to read.
They obfuscate informed consent. They hand out a piece of paper telling you that your child may get a fever and to take tylenol an hour before the “immunizations” those aren’t side effects. That is completely dishonest. And that is why your detractors have formed their opinion.

Do you have evidence for any of this?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

You can call me whatever you want. I just stick to the facts.

Ha.
Ha, ha.
Ha! Ha! Ha!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

Let me know what the weather will be up there.

I puzzled over this a while, but decided that "Orac neutralizer" must be referring to the weather at altitude when I'm planning to fly out on a business trip soon. Based on what I see at the Aviation Weather Center, looks like it should be clear, winds out of the west at 40-70 knots, and temperatures -32 F. Of course, that's at 30,000 feet.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

@Mephistopheles O'Brien

Orac neutralizer also seems not to understand the purpose of a vaccine insert and how it is determined what to list in the "adverse effects" section.

@Todd W. - That certainly seems like a more reasonable explanation for "Orac neutralizer's" comments than anything I came up with, and fits the observations nicely.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

I changed my name because you have no proof of anything you are saying. Just opinion. Nothing clandestined. I ad neutralizing you orac.
Geesh, who thinks there is a conspiracy?
Do to the response i certainly got panties in a twist.
But no one has anything convincing to add. As to the insert argument. You'll just have try it for yourself.
If vaccines work, get them. But as i have seen it isn't straight forward as i pointed out.
Also, if they work let the free markets prove it. Most of you are here to agree with each other. I get that. belonging feels good. Right, Julie?
I just added my personal experience that i found dubious as the science it rode in on.
If vaccines work you don't get the disease from the non-vaccinated....if they even have it.
It was never my intention to convince anyone what to think.
But clearly I upset some of you. You can say it's because if this or that but i am happy with my decision as should you all be.
Still waiting for that definitive proof.

By Orac neutralzer (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

Orac neutralzer [sic]
Still waiting for that definitive proof.

Define what proof you would find acceptably definite.

Orac neutralizer: "If vaccines work, get them. But as i have seen it isn’t straight forward as i pointed out."

Explain why measles dropped 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Third time you have been asked.

I changed my name because you have no proof of anything you are saying.

Could you perhaps clarify how you got from point A to point B here?

If vaccines work you don’t get the disease from the non-vaccinated

Vaccines are like bulletproof vests.
Because you are wearing one doesn't mean you enjoy being shot at.
And vaccines, like bulletproof vests, aren't a 100% protection. So you have some right to ask your squadmates to stop drawing fire to your position.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 31 Aug 2014 #permalink

Orac Neutralizer, can you go to http://www.immunize.org/packageinserts/ I looked at a couple and couldn't find the autism listed on a couple I thought would be most likely to have them. Since you've seen it there can you point out which ones to save some time for the rest of us?

Can anyone provide me links to:
1)the original study with all the "so called fabricated data"
2)the reanalysis version of the data and study or second drafts that were produced as well as
3)the original recordings of the confession and any other
"Evidence" touted by natural news et al I heard also the cdc admitted it omitted data where is it
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AjQyLcCQJLE

By Shane Nolan (not verified) on 05 Sep 2014 #permalink

Can anyone provide me links to:
1)the original study with all the “so called fabricated data”

The URL for the Destefano et al paper are in the first paragraph of Orac's article, the very article that you are commenting on. You might need to pay AAP for access to the paper.
It's not clear what the “so called fabricated data” might refer to. Perhaps it's the subgroup that Destefano et al analyzed for potential confounders and then included in the proper place in the analysis.

2)the reanalysis version of the data and study

The URL for the Hooker paper is also in Orac's article, above. Since it's a such a questionable work, the journal has withdrawn publication, pending scientific and editorial evaluation. Pre-withdrawal (infringing) copies may be floating around the internet, but I'm not going to search for them.
I don't know whether Hooker makes his data available, or how you can get it.

or second drafts that were produced as well as

If you want drafts of the Hooker paper, you'll have to ask Hooker. AIUI, unpublished drafts are not usually made available.

3)the original recordings of the confession[sic] and any other “Evidence” touted by natural news et al

I presume that Hooker (or his lawyer) has these original recordings. Since Hooker is the only one incriminated by them (so far), I would doubt that he would make them available, even if he hasn't destroyed them yet. I also suspect that Thompson's lawyer has warned Hooker of a legal requirement to preserve the recordings for use as evidence, should Thompson or a prosecutor need them.

I heard also the cdc admitted it omitted data where is it

AIUI, the CDC announcement said that the data is all available. Normal protocol would suggest asking the author listed for correspondence (or the last author by default).

By Bill Price (not verified) on 05 Sep 2014 #permalink

Can anyone provide me links to:
1)the original study with all the “so called fabricated data”

Here.

2)the reanalysis version of the data and study or second drafts that were produced

Here.

Thanks.Sorry if this sounds silly to ask but the general gist is a study was done ten years ago and hooker with an axe to grind due to having an autistic son reanalysed the data and carried flawed calculations to fit preconcieved notions that mmr caused autism increase? This thing just seems to be getting more outta control and it everyday

By Shane Nolan (not verified) on 06 Sep 2014 #permalink

the general gist is a study was done ten years ago and hooker with an axe to grind due to having an autistic son reanalysed the data and carried flawed calculations to fit preconcieved notions that mmr caused autism increase?

Hooker didn't bother to provide enough information to verify whether the calculations were correct per se; they were most certainly inappropriate to apply to the data set, and he clearly misstates what DeStefano et al. were reporting. It was incompetent.

Normal protocol would suggest asking the author listed for correspondence (or the last author by default).

It's a restricted-access data set; one has to go through the front door.