Salon Founder: “Deadly Immunity” Retraction “Smacks of Editorial Cowardice”

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Photo credit: Salon.com

By Jake Crosby

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has an article up on his personal website that gives fascinating insight into the retraction of his piece “Deadly Immunity” by Salon.com, including a letter from the site’s founder. In his letter to Kennedy last month, Salon.com founder and former editor-in-chief David Talbot condemned Salon’s retraction of Kennedy’s 2005 article on the government cover-up of harm – such as autism and other developmental disorders – caused by thimerosal. The piece was retracted in 2011 by Salon’s then-editor Kerry Lauerman, who said at the time, “We’ve grown to believe the best reader service is to delete the piece entirely.” Talbot slammed Lauerman’s decision, saying – among other criticisms – that it “smacks of editorial cowardice”:

I was dismayed when I first heard that Salon had removed your article about the hazards of thimerosal from its web archives. As you know, I was no longer the editor of Salon when your article was published. And I am not an expert on the subject. But without taking a position on mercury preservatives in vaccines, I know enough about the debate — and about the pharmaceutical industry’s general track record on putting profits before people, as well as the compromised nature of regulatory oversight in this country when it comes to powerful industries — to know that “disappearing” your article was not the proper decision.

I founded Salon to be a fearless and independent publication — one that was open to a wide range of views, particularly those that were controversial or contested within the mainstream media. Removing your article from the Salon archives was a violation of that spirit and smacks of editorial cowardice. If I had been editor at the time, I would not have done so — and I would have offered you the opportunity to debate your critics in Salon’s pages.

In my day, Salon did not cave to pressure — and we risked corporate media scorn, advertising boycotts, threats of FBI investigations by powerful members of Congress, and even bomb scares because of our rigorous independence. Throwing a writer to the wolves when the heat got too hot was never the Salon way. It pains me, now that I’m on the sidelines, to ever see Salon wilt in the face of such pressure.”

Rolling Stone Magazine also published Kennedy’s piece, but never retracted it even after the magazine’s editors reviewed Salon’s explanation for the “Deadly Immunity” retraction and the book that prompted it: “Panic Virus,” by Seth Mnookin. It was Mnookin’s book that gave rise to the rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s piece, which Rolling Stone has since dispelled.

Now that Mnookin’s self-described personal friend Kerry Lauerman has taken his editorial cowardice over to The Washington Post, Salon’s current editor-in-chief David Daley should do the editorially courageous thing and restore “Deadly Immunity” to Salon’s archives. Not doing so would make him just as much of an editorial coward as Lauerman.

See on The Epoch Times.

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JAMA Study Implicates Early MMR Vaccine in Causing Autism

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Editor’s Note: The hyperlink to the study goes to an archived webpage because the full text version is no longer available on the JAMA website.

By Jake Crosby

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that is widely touted to argue against the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine’s association with autism actually provides evidence for a connection. Based on computation from the study results, children who received a dose of the MMR vaccine before age four had a risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis by age four that was more than twice as high as children who received a dose after age four but before age five.

Because both groups received a dose of MMR vaccine – one largely before the bulk of autism diagnoses were made and one following it – the comparison is less likely to suffer from bias that might affect those involving children never vaccinated with MMR or those who received both recommended doses. Parents might be discouraged from giving a child a second dose of MMR or MMR at all if a child had a negative reaction to the first dose or to a dose of a different vaccine. Similarly, parents of children with autism may be more likely to take seriously concerns about vaccinations’ association with autism and more likely to withhold vaccines from their children. These potential biases make studying the timing of MMR vaccination in relation to autism preferable, though the authors of this study did not bother to do this. Nonetheless, the complete data sets from the study are needed to confirm whether this association holds when controlling for other variables.

Yet the crude findings are similar to results that were omitted from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was published in the medical journal Pediatrics in 2004 and has also been cited to deny autism’s association with MMR. Those findings showed an odds of earlier MMR vaccination that was more than two-fold higher among African-American children with autism spectrum disorders compared to their non-ASD counterparts of the same race. According to study coauthor William Thompson who has come forward as a federal whistleblower, the findings were omitted from the published manuscript in breach of final study protocol. Pediatrics has refused to consider the paper for retraction, even though it should be considered according to the guidelines in publishing ethics that the journal claims to follow. Now what CDC researchers found more than a decade ago seems to only be confirmed by the results of this much larger study published in JAMA.

The troubling history of epidemiological studies used to disprove the MMR causes autism despite finding associations predates even the CDC study. A 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and even larger than the recent JAMA study yielded results from which a 45% increased risk for autism associated with MMR vaccination was computed, despite concluding no connection. The scientist who computed that risk explained why the association was potentially meaningful in a letter to the journal, but the journal never published it. The principle investigator Poul Thorsen (who also found but did not publish results implicating mercury in vaccines in causing autism) of the NEJM study has since become a most-wanted international fugitive who was indicted on fraud charges.

Even after his indictment in 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) included his study as one of just four to support the IOM’s position that MMR vaccination does not cause autism. Another IOM-cited study published in the Lancet in 1999 showed a relationship between timing of MMR vaccination and parental concern of child development in a sample of children with autism, according to a slide from an IOM-commissioned epidemiological review.

As the studies used to disprove an association between MMR and autism continue to mount, so too does the evidence favoring a causal relationship. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry claiming autism rose as MMR was removed from use in Japan neglected the fact that the rise was correlated to single measles and rubella vaccines routinely given just four weeks apart. Another study published in JAMA in 2001 claimed that MMR vaccination coverage in California rose marginally while autism occurrence exploded, only for other scientists to then point out that the coverage of MMR vaccination given at younger ages also exploded.

The JAMA study is the latest such study to find an association while claiming to find none, and it probably won’t be the last. Its senior author and Drexel University epidemiologist Craig Newschaffer was previously quoted in 2007 by the LA Times as saying, “Those studies just kept piling up that showed no association between MMR or thimerosal exposure and autism…Among the scientific community, it’s pretty generally accepted that there is no link.”

How ironic that studies he cited to say there is no link actually found a link, and then his own study would later find the same.

See on The Epoch Times.

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CA SB277 Bill Co-Sponsor Called Senior CDC Scientist a “Fraud”

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By Jake Crosby

In a tweet sent to over 3,000 followers, California State Senator and vaccine exemption elimination bill co-sponsor Dr. Richard Pan called senior Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist-turned-whistleblower Dr. William Thompson “another Wakefield fraud.” Pan’s calling Thompson a “Wakefield fraud” was a reference to de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who publicized Thompson’s identity and voice recordings without his permission in a series of videos released online. Yet the article linked to in Pan’s tweet concerned a paper authored by neither Thompson nor Wakefield, was never found to be fraudulent and which in no way detracted from what Thompson himself said in a public statement released last August:

“I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African-American males who received the [measles, mumps, rubella] MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

Richard Pan’s calling Thompson a “fraud” comes at a time when the California legislature is considering passing Senate Bill 277, co-sponsored by Pan. That bill would eliminate all statewide, so-called non-medical exemptions from the CDC’s recommended routine childhood vaccination schedule, which CDC defended by committing research misconduct according to a researcher who is still a senior scientist at CDC. That means that Pan’s bill would mandate that California schoolchildren be subjected to vaccine side-effects that CDC is covering up.

It is hardly any wonder why Thompson was called “another Wakefield fraud” by Pan, who in doing so proved himself as dishonest as the CDC’s ongoing fraudulent defense of its vaccination schedule. It does not matter that Pan is a medical doctor, because he is also a medical liar. His bill must be killed.

See on The Epoch Times.

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CA SB277 Bill Mandates Harm From CDC Cover-Up

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By Jake Crosby

What if the state could fraudulently deny susceptibility of many patients to adverse vaccine side-effects and then force those same patients to subject themselves to unnecessary harm by getting vaccinated? That is exactly what California Senate Bill SB277 does by eliminating “non-medical” exemptions – exemptions for safety concerns dishonestly denied by the state.

Yet the bill has already passed the Senate Health Committee vote and has been endorsed by The LA Times and Sacramento Bee. Reporters from both newspapers have seen the documentary “Trace Amounts,” so both newspapers know that talking points like the “overwhelming scientific consensus” supporting the safety of vaccines are fraudulent. As the film made clear, it’s not just the presence of mercury in vaccines that is the problem – the complete removal of which in Denmark preceded a fall in autism prevalence. The dishonesty of the vaccine program in denying harm from that substance and other vaccines utterly destroys the credibility of federal immunization policy and should destroy any statewide attempt to make it mandatory. Chillingly enough, LA and Sacramento “journalists” support the bill anyway. That means they are not journalists, but propagandists for the cover-up who should be investigated as such.

Meanwhile, the politicians who vote in favor of the bill despite not having seen “Trace Amounts” should be voted out for failing their constituents. The bill’s architect Richard Pan should further lose his medical license for coercing people into subjecting their children to harmful immunization policies defended on lies.

See on The Epoch Times.

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“Trace Amounts” Documentary Leaves No Trace of Doubt

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By Jake Crosby

What if the most effective argument against vaccination mandates is not even a direct argument against mandates themselves? What if the most effective argument is simply shining a light on the corruption within federal agencies responsible for immunization policies states mandate and on the greater greed – not the greater good – behind the “trace amounts” of one particularly toxic vaccine ingredient?

That is certainly what energetic filmmaker Eric Gladen seems to be proving with nationwide screenings of his documentary “Trace Amounts” about the harm being done to children worldwide by the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. What began as his own personal struggles with mercury poisoning that he attributed to a thimerosal-laced tetanus vaccine mushroomed into a decade-long journey to uncover the troubled history behind this known neurotoxin and its connection to the autism epidemic affecting America’s children.

“Trace Amounts” has already been credited with the death of legislation proposing elimination of vaccine exemptions – notably in Oregon. The film’s effectiveness should be no mystery to anyone who actually has watched the documentary. It leaves no room for reasonable doubt about thimerosal’s causation of neurological disorders or efforts by the CDC to conceal that harm from the public. Since then, the “Trace Amounts” tour has made its way here to Texas where Texans’ rights to forgo vaccination are currently under legislative threat.

As the state legislature of California also considers a senate bill to eliminate vaccine exemptions, “Trace Amounts” is now making its way to the state capital of Sacramento. The bill’s supporters will have to answer to the fact that they are seeking to force people to subject their children to a vaccine schedule based on recommendations by a federal agency that covers up vaccine injuries. Just viewing the documentary’s two-minute trailer should be enough to worry rights-denying politicians like Richard Pan – the bill’s architect. He and others like him will have far more explaining to do to whoever watches the full documentary.

Addendum: See on The Epoch Times.

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SafeMinds’ President Supports CDC “Sock-Puppet”

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By Jake Crosby

Sallie Bernard is the president of an organization which claims to oppose the presence of mercury in vaccines and to raise concerns about autism’s association with vaccination – the Coalition for SafeMinds (Sensible action for ending mercury-induced disorders). Yet Bernard – who has not responded when questioned for this article – is still a board member of and fundraiser for Autism Speaks even after it has been dubbed a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by the SafeMinds-sponsored Age of Autism blog. The criticism was in response to a position statement by Autism Speaks proclaiming that vaccines don’t cause autism and urging that all children be fully vaccinated. Yet the week after the statement, Sallie Bernard was quoted in a press release about her plan to raise money for Autism Speaks’ Light It Up Blue Aspen campaign:

“Light It Up Blue Aspen raised a great deal of funds for Autism thanks to dedicated supporters like Sentient Jet. We look forward to another successful event that will have a positive impact on the families in our community and all the people living within the Autism spectrum disorder.”

Though Bernard did not respond to questions concerning her continual support of Autism Speaks, the event details shed further light on Bernard’s role in the fundraiser that was held on February 15th, 2015:

“Bid on luxury items from Aspen Magazine’s ‘shades of blue’ silent auction table or on one-of-a-kind live auction experiences while raising funds and awareness for Autism.  Hosted by Tom and Sallie Bernard along with honored and celebrity guests Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley, Dr. Laura Berman of Emmy winning CBS show, The Doctors and more!”

The ongoing support of Autism Speaks by SafeMinds’ president is less surprising when put into context. Despite public perception of SafeMinds as crusading against mercury in vaccinations, the group has done more to undermine such efforts. The organization gained notoriety for hijacking the 2012 congressional autism hearing after its lobbyist misrepresented a key organizer of the event to congressional staff that prevented him from testifying about the CDC cover-up of vaccine injury. The misrepresentation also caused the hearing topic itself to be changed away from the cover-up and to the vaguer “federal response” to autism’s rising prevalence instead. The same organizer SafeMinds effectively kept out of the congressional hearing also criticized the group for not supporting a worldwide ban of thimerosal – the mercury-based preservative in vaccines. SafeMinds was also implicated in the throwing of the autism omnibus that denied justice to 4,900 petitioners for vaccine injury claims and also tried to set up a security trap for two expert witnesses at its 2012 congressional briefing on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Back in 2004, SafeMinds was aware the Institute of Medicine (IOM) was operating in breach of its congressional charter at the behest of CDC only to later thank IOM for holding the very meeting SafeMinds initially protested against. That meeting would become the final precursor to the infamous 2004 IOM report that was produced to whitewash any association between autism and vaccines. When Autism Speaks put out a message concurring with the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report denying vaccine dangers, Bernard remained on the board without making a sound.

In 2012 shortly before the congressional autism hearing, a former donor to SafeMinds asked her to step down from Autism Speaks’ board due to the organization’s views on vaccines. She reportedly demanded $1 million in return for her resignation; the donor refused. Bernard did not reply to questioning for this article when asked to confirm the amount of money she allegedly demanded. She did not make any attempt to justify her ongoing support of Autism Speaks either.

Yet Sallie Bernard was raising money for Autism Speaks right after the organization was called a “Sock-Puppet For The CDC” by a blog that SafeMinds sponsors. If SafeMinds’ president would remain on the board of a CDC sock-puppet group and continue to raise money for it, then perhaps she is a sock-puppet for the CDC herself.

See on The Epoch Times.

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Elizabeth Warren Makes CDC Official Lie to Congress

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By Jake Crosby

Senator Elizabeth Warren – in trying to make a dig at Senator Rand Paul for his remarks about vaccines causing “profound mental disorders” – ended up making a top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official lie to Congress. Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, lied about vaccine dangers when cross-examined by Senator Warren. The false testimony was made in a hearing held on February 10th, 2015 by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has a history whitewashing CDC’s research misconduct.

Senator Warren asked Schuchat, “Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism?”

Schuchat said flatly, “No.”

Asked the same question again, only about whether there is any evidence vaccines cause “profound mental disorders,” Schuchat said,  “No, but some of the diseases we vaccinate against can.” She also denied preservatives like thimerosal are toxic at the levels found in vaccines or that the timing of vaccination incurs any increased risk of side-effects.

Schuchat also stated, “Vaccines do not cause autism.”

Schuchat’s dishonest remarks are contradicted by what was first acknowledged within her own branch at CDC at least 15 years ago, that vaccines indeed cause autism according to its own research findings. CDC researchers even prepared a formal scientific abstract of similar results from an earlier analysis that they intended to present at CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference in 2000. Yet CDC denied these findings in a public presentation before the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which was commissioned by CDC to produce a report in 2004 denying any association between the exposure and the outcome in question.

Today, Anne Schuchat’s position is even less tenable now that whistleblower and senior CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson plans to testify before Congress’ House Science Committee about fudging a report to absolve the measles, mumps, rubella vaccination of a role in causing autism. The lead author of that report Dr. Frank Destefano who is currently director of CDC’s Immunization Safety Office even admitted there was a “possibility” that vaccines can cause autism in a recently recorded interview with journalist Sharyl Attkisson.

Why Schuchat would feel so emboldened as to give such blatantly dishonest testimony before the Senate is perhaps best explained by a congressional report released in 2007. The report sought to absolve CDC of wrongdoing in relation to its vaccine safety research concerning autism despite the proof to the contrary, and that report was produced by none other than the Senate HELP Committee.

No wonder the committee was so welcoming of Schuchat’s dishonesty; HELP has been a longtime facilitator of the lies her agency parrots.

See on The Epoch Times.

Correction: Dr. Schuchat’s testimony was not given under oath and was therefore not perjury as this article previously stated.

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Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig on Vaccines – A College Grudge?

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By Jake Crosby

Some “journalists” spread misinformation denying the dangers of vaccines because they are trained to by CDC, for which they deserve none of the protections intended for a free press and should be fully investigated by Congress. For The New Republic’s newly-hired Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig – who wrote hit-pieces against Rand Paul and Chris Christie while ignoring Obama contradicting himself on vaccines – the most likely reason is a lot pettier. It goes back to her years as a student at Brandeis University where she seemed to have developed a personal grudge against your humble blogger: me.

When I was an undergraduate student at my and Bruenig’s alma mater of Brandeis University, I began an initiative to found a student group dedicated to raising awareness for autism spectrum disorders on campus. Bruenig wrote an article for a campus newspaper that gave sole credit for the founding of the club to someone else and none to me. This was in spite of the fact that Bruenig was well-aware of my involvement in the club, and it was I who originally introduced her to the person she credited. So I contacted the newspaper about the inaccuracy, and a correction was made to the piece. End of story, or so I thought.

The issue merely lay dormant until later that same semester when de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield gave a lecture at Brandeis University to respond to the unfounded allegations of fraud and unethical research leveled against him. I organized the event and invited him to speak, even though my opinion of him has since lowered substantially for his recent outing of a CDC whistleblower. On Facebook, I invited everybody I knew from Brandeis to Wakefield’s talk. That included Bruenig, who was a Facebook “friend” of mine at the time. She never showed up.

A few weeks after his talk, I suddenly saw that she had written a hit-piece against Wakefield in the same student newspaper where she previously failed to credit me with the founding of the club. Her article repeated many of the false allegations he addressed in his Brandeis talk, which she never attended despite my invite to her. She also wrote that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine’s link to autism was disproved, even though she referred to the link between vaccines and autism being under “debate” in her earlier article.

Apparently, she decided to take it personally that I requested her article be corrected for an inaccuracy that was not only her fault, but possibly intentional. She also appeared to have boasted of her plan on Reddit to write her attack on Wakefield days before his Brandeis talk that she never went to. Ultimately, I left a since-removed comment under her article pointing out how her attack on Wakefield related to her earlier denial of credit to my role in the founding of a club. End of story, or so I thought again – how wrong I was.

Fast forward four years, and Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has started writing articles attacking critics of the vaccine program just two days after she began writing for The New Republic. She even cited the dishonest work of international fugitive Poul Thorsen, knowing full-well of his fraud indictment.

In a truly ironic statement, Bruenig explained what it would take for voluntary vaccination to “work” in America:

“Unless we can manage to leave self-interest on the back burner and pull together in favor of our society’s most vulnerable people mainly for their own sake…”

Would Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig be willing to make her interest in protecting her own health secondary to that of “society’s most vulnerable people”? I doubt it, especially if she would continue to hold a grudge from her days as an undergrad – a grudge stemming from something that was her fault.

Letting a grudge from four years ago shape your views on an important public health issue is about as self-interested as it gets. The New Republic is already declining, but it hit a new low with the hiring of Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig.

See on The Epoch Times.

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Obama Contradicts Himself on Vaccines, Paul and Christie Get Slammed

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By Jake Crosby

Likely GOP presidential candidates Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are being slammed in the media for giving their own honest and consistent positions on the role of vaccination choice, with Paul further slammed for bringing awareness to vaccine injury. Yet it was President Barack Obama who gave contradictory stances on vaccinations in an interview he gave before the Super Bowl in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak.

In response to NBC’s Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie, President Obama gave the following stance on vaccination (boldface mine):

“The science is, you know, pretty indisputable. We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”

But then in that same interview, Obama gave as a reason to vaccinate the protection of people who have reasons not to vaccinate (boldface mine):

“…the folks who can’t get vaccinated – small infants for example or the people with certain, uh you know, vulnerabilities that, that can’t get vaccinated – they suddenly become much more vulnerable. They’re counting on us to create this protective fence because most people have been vaccinated.”

It was “certain…vulnerabilities” Obama cited as reasons for why some people cannot get vaccinated shortly after saying there weren’t any reasons to not get vaccinated. Obama then told viewers to listen to the CDC, even though a senior CDC scientist William Thompson recently came out as a whistleblower against the federal suppression of research results associating measles, mumps and rubella vaccination with autism in certain vulnerable children.

Yet the media is attacking Senator Paul and Governor Christie for making the argument that the decision to vaccinate cannot fall solely on the state. Christie’s office was even forced to release a follow-up statement hours after his comments. Rand Paul was further attacked for his commentary on adverse neurological side-effects from vaccination.

Meanwhile, the media praises Obama even after he gave contradictory opinions in the same interview on national television that went completely missed by his own interviewer. Such a glaring double-standard appears to be the fruits of an ongoing campaign by the Obama Administration to censor critics of government vaccination policy in media as first revealed five years ago by his then-HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius in an interview with Reader’s Digest:

“We have reached out to media outlets to try to get them to not give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting…”

HHS officials would later feign ignorance of the veracity of the above remark in response to queries by HDNet journalist Greg Dobbs. However, the CDC has been known to train journalists on how to report hot-button issues such as autism and vaccine safety in which CDC would clearly have a stake.

Whereas in the seventies it was the media that exposed the president’s role in the cover-up of the Watergate scandal, today the media is helping the president prolong the CDC cover-up of vaccine side-effects. That is more than evident in how mainstream media attacks Christie and Paul for their views while giving Obama a hall pass for his misleading statements about vaccine safety on NBC before he told viewers to listen to the CDC.

A chief instigator of the attacks on Christie is none other than the communications director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Mo Elleithee, who said in the below statement:

“If he wants to actually be a leader, then he should stop bowing to junk science and take a cue from President Obama by showing leadership that promotes facts and keeps our children and our nation safe”

Ironically, it is Barack Obama who should stop bowing to junk science and show leadership that promotes facts and keeps children and our nation safe. Making consistent and non-contradictory statements would help.

Christie may not be ready to tackle the issue of vaccine safety the way Paul has, but both likely presidential candidates show much more competent leadership than that of the man currently sitting in the White House. The American people deserve far better than Obama or any presidential candidate who adopts DNC’s position on vaccines for that matter.

See on The Epoch Times.

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Did Andrew Wakefield Out The CDC Whistleblower For Money?

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By Jake Crosby

Five months have elapsed since senior CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson – who spoke out about the suppression of research results linking autism to early measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine administration – was prematurely outed without his permission by de-licensed British doctor Andrew Wakefield. Yet one question still lingers: why did he do it?

The answer may lie in what Wakefield’s critics have accused him of being motivated by for the last decade: money.

Much of Wakefield’s personal income comes from his role as president of the Strategic Autism Initiative (SAI), a non-profit he runs for the purposes of funding autism research. However, only a small portion of SAI’s contributions actually went to autism research; the vast majority went into his pocket according to SAI’s latest available 990 form. He had also solicited donations for a libel suit he filed in Texas that was eventually dismissed on jurisdictional grounds where he was ordered to pay defendants’ legal costs.

Contributions for both Wakefield’s lawsuit and his non-profit came from the very community of parents of vaccine-injured children who Wakefield claims to be helping. His image and relevance to that community are what help him receive money from that community. As his lawsuit was winding down, his hijacking of the CDC whistleblower story gave Wakefield just what he would have needed to reinvigorate his hero role to the very people who had come to follow him so devoutly. It would also give him yet another reason to solicit money from his supporters.

What started as the release of online videos that mentioned the whistleblower by name and included surreptitious recordings of his voice became a two-month campaign to raise money for a documentary film Wakefield said he was making about the whistleblower saga. Yet only $2,325 – far below the lofty goal of $230,000 – was actually raised. And despite an ongoing campaign by Wakefield’s supporters to circulate the whistleblower story on Twitter and other social media sites, those efforts have had no appreciable impact on the story’s exposure. Nonetheless, Wakefield succeeded in galvanizing support for himself from his own community of followers even though his interference in the story likely eliminated any chance of widespread media coverage.

Now in 2015, prospects of the whistleblower William Thompson being able to testify about the CDC’s role in suppressing research associating autism with MMR vaccination before Congress appears to be supported by little else than rumors on blogs. A recent outbreak of measles in Disneyland has led to The Washington Post among other papers blaming the outbreak on Wakefield, dubbing him the “high priest” of the “anti-vaccine movement” despite never mentioning Thompson or any other examples of misconduct at CDC.

15 years after a researcher at CDC concluded a causal vaccine-autism association in email to colleagues while studying the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal, media focus remains fixed on Wakefield thanks in no small part to his own actions. Not only does that benefit CDC, but Wakefield also stands to benefit by the reinforcement of his image as a “martyr” to his support base that still provides him with sympathy and financial backing.

Tragically, the people who do not benefit at all while suffering the most from this ongoing narrative are the very community of people that is still largely misguided enough to keep following him without examining his possible motives.

Addendum: See on The Epoch Times.

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