Author Archives: Jake Crosby

Dan Olmsted Exposes Evil “Journalist” for What He Is

It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

“Who Can Say?” — Journalist Who Alleged Wakefield Committed Fraud Backs Off Key Claim

By Dan Olmsted

Brian Deer, the British journalist who claimed researcher Andrew Wakefield committed fraud by linking the MMR vaccine to autism, now admits one of his key allegations against Wakefield may be flat-out wrong. Yet he insists it’s no big deal — that it does nothing to undercut his claim that Wakefield is “an elaborate fraud.”

“Not one of the children were reported on truthfully. Wakefield lied again and again,” journalist Brian Deer said in his post on Saturday, referring to Wakefield 12-child case series published in the Lancet in 1998.  But in the same post, Deer acknowledged that, contrary to his previous reporting, he is now unsure whether Wakefield falsely changed the timing of the MMR shot to put it before the autism symptoms began in a key case.

“Who can say?” Deer wrote Saturday.

The allegation that Wakefield reversed the timing of the shot — clear evidence of fraud, if true — was  featured in detail as the shocking opening to Deer’s 2012 series in the British Medical Journal titled “How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

Child 11’s autism symptoms developed “two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR,” Deer reported, “too soon” to be the cause. That “must have been a disappointment” to Wakefield, who proceeded to switch the sequence to suit his bias, Deer wrote. The father angrily “spotted the anomaly” after Deer identified and interviewed him, but  “needn’t have worried” that Wakefield would get away with it: “My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research.”

But on Saturday, after I showed that Deer is the one who got the sequence wrong – that the shot indisputably did come first, followed by the development of regressive autism — Deer wrote: “Who can say, years later?” In fact, I can say: The father, whom I also identified and interviewed, wrote Wakefield as early as 1997, and contemporaneous medical records establish, that the child got the MMR at 15 months, became sick for several months, developed autism symptoms by 18 months, and was given a formal autism diagnosis at age 3. The father has always said he believes the shot caused all those consequences — none of which Deer managed to reflect in his own investigation despite interviewing and e-mailing with Father 11 over an extended period of time.

The fact that a core element of his claim of research fraud is now a matter of uncertainty to Deer, the only man who made it, is a remarkable development under any circumstance, but considering the impact the claim has had on the autism debate in subsequent years, it is extraordinary. The claim has been used by officials around the world to say concerns about autism and vaccines have been “debunked” because they originated from a fraudulent research report. A typical example: Senator Dianne Feinstein of California wrote a constituent last week: “I understand that many parents are also concerned that vaccines may cause autism. This claim was published in 1998, in an article in the Lancet, a British medical journal. The researcher who authored the article was later found to have deliberately falsified data to produce a fraudulent link …”

Equally striking is how little its accuracy seems to matter to Deer, convinced as he is that Wakefield’s status as a charlatan is beyond dispute, even if such a central “fact” no longer supports it.

Deer, a veteran newspaper correspondent who, as he frequently points out, has won numerous prestigious journalism awards including the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for his Wakefield investigation, on Saturday offered no convincing reason for how he could have gotten something so central to his fraud claim against Wakefield so wrong. Instead he portrayed the father’s account as a “competing” explanation to the one Deer had independently settled on, based on a couple of unrelated court documents that led him to falsely infer that the autism symptoms preceded the shot in Child 11. Standard journalistic practice would be to check that assumption against the other, far more dispositive evidence that refuted it, and with the child’s father, who subsequently told me: “Mr. Deer’s article makes me appear irrational for continuing to believe that the MMR caused difficulties which predated its administration.”

Instead, on Saturday Deer sneered at the messenger – me – as he staged a full-scale retreat from the facts, using Father 11’s acknowledged but irrelevant antipathy toward Wakefield as cover. He called me “an undistinguished former journalist” who now runs a website “largely funded by anti-vaccine profiteers,” claiming that I had been “dumped some years ago from his post as a copy editor for a news agency owned by the Rev Sun Myung Moon – himself convicted of fraud … Olmsted has since sought a livelihood from his website, misleading vulnerable parents of children with autism. …  He sought to profit with his website by lying to parents whom he disgustingly purports to champion” and followed “British research cheat” Wakefield “into the toilet.”

Whatever. On Saturday Deer also tried to elevate a secondary issue – how long after the shot the autism symptoms occurred in Child 11 – into a replacement for his now-discredited claim that the entire sequence was reversed, an incomparably more serious and black-and-white issue. 

Ultimately, Deer suggested, the truth is unknowable.

“The father says one thing, the medical records another,” as Deer put it on Saturday. In fact, the father says one thing, and the medical records back him. (That does not mean the vaccine caused the autism, of course, but it does mean the father believed it did, and that Wakefield got the sequence right.) Only Deer’s idiosyncratic and journalistically unjustified misuse of a couple of stray medical records, unchecked by the reality described by everyone else, says another.

As I’ve shown in a 10-part series,  this tendentious approach applies to the entirety of Deer’s reporting on Wakefield, including Deer’s accusation that in five of the 12 children – Child 11 included – autism symptoms occurred before the shots were given. In fact, those cases are no more illustrative of Deer’s allegation of the shot-symptoms sequence than Child 11. Nonetheless, when one “fact” starts to wobble, Deer refers to all the other facts that have not been as closely scrutinized as if they offer some sort of collective support – “Of course, my reports did not hinge on child 11, or on any individual case,” he said Saturday. “As explained in the most detailed account of Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct, it rested on the findings (as the BMJ noted) that not one of the children were reported upon truthfully. Wakefield lied and lied again.”And if that’s not enough, well, Wakefield’s license to practice medicine was revoked and the Lancet paper was retracted (largely based on the “facts” Deer alleged).At some point, though, Deer’s claims – or anyone else’s – must hinge on the facts of individual cases if they are to add up to widely accepted evidence of “Wakefield’s grotesque misconduct.” Just saying so doesn’t make it so; referring to “lie after lie” doesn’t constitute “an elaborate fraud” unless each “lie” can be shown to be exactly that. (Deer’s piece on my own reporting was titled, “Dan Olmsted lies for research doctor.” One is tempted to rewrite the headline as “Lying Undistinguished Former Journalist Lies for Lying Research Fraud Wakefield.”)The timing of shots and symptoms in just 12 children more than a decade ago may seem trivial, but the issue is anything but arcane. Millions of cases of autism have occurred since 1998, when Wakefield sounded what he believed was an “early warning” of a possible link between vaccination and autism that required further research and led to his suggestion that until that was complete, the M, M, and R in the MMR should be given separately. Thousands of parents have subsequently described such an outcome, but because Wakefield has supposedly been “discredited” and his work “debunked” — by Brian Deer — that and other evidence have been dismissed.

I first wrote about Deer’s investigation in 2012. Let me again spell out what I learned from Father 11 and how it differed from Deer’s account.

I met Father 11, who like Deer I identified from my own independent reporting, at a Peet’s Coffee shop in an affluent, picture-perfect Southern California enclave, and we sat outside in the mid-60s sunshine he jokingly called “a little frosty.” A wealthy businessman who lives in a gated community nearby, he wore a light jacket emblazoned with “Cal,” for the University of California at Berkeley where he got an engineering degree. He carried a thin file folder and a spiral notebook.

In this laid-back setting, it was hard to grasp the role he and his family have played in one of the major medical controversies of our time, one that unfolded in a foggy city 6,000 miles to the east.

This father is Deer’s best witness among the parents of the 12 children described in the Lancet paper – in fact, his only one, the lone parent who is hostile to Wakefield, not just a little frosty, but coldly angry. His anonymous comments to Deer in the BMJ seemed to fully support the January 5, 2011, cover story: “Secrets of the MMR Scare: How the Case Against the MMR Was Fixed.”

“My investigation of the MMR issue exposed the frauds behind Wakefield’s research,” wrote the ludicrously self-aggrandizing correspondent.

Child 11, in fact, was Deer’s opening into fraud. He was among those “whose parents apparently blamed MMR,” but Deer commented acidly that “Child 11’s case must have been a disappointment. Records show his behavioural symptoms began too soon.” [Italics in original] Deer quoted from a Royal Free Hospital discharge summary: “His developmental milestones were normal until 13 months of age. In the period 13-18 months he developed slow speech patterns and repetitive hand movements. Over this period his parents remarked on his slow gradual deterioration.”

Deer summarized: “That put the symptom two months earlier than reported in the Lancet, and a month before the boy had MMR. And this was not the only anomaly to catch the father’s eye. …” (Note that it is Deer, not the discharge paper, saying the symptoms came “a month before the boy had MMR.”)

Well yes, if you’ve got a parent saying that a child developed autism before he got the MMR shot, and you’ve got a research paper saying the opposite and suggesting a link between the shot and the disorder, and pulling the same stunt with several other children, you’ve got your fraud right there.

The BMJ report was the coup de grace for serious consideration of a link between vaccines and autism. Wakefield was “convicted of fraud,” wrote Time magazine in an article titled “The Dangers of the Antivaccine Movement.” An editorial in The New York Times, titled Autism Fraud,noted Britain’s General Medical Council had already stripped Wakefield of his medical license, and the Lancet retracted the paper: “Now the British Medical Journal has taken the extraordinary step of publishing a lengthy report by Brian Deer, the British investigative journalist who first brought the paper’s flaws to light — and has put its own reputation on the line by endorsing his findings.”

Indeed it did.

“Clear evidence of falsification of data should now close the door on this damaging vaccine scare,” Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee wrote. She said “there is no doubt it was Wakefield” who was responsible for the “elaborate fraud,” despite having 12 co-authors.H

old the door, please. I was about to learn that Deer’s explosive claim about Child 11 – Exhibit A in this alleged hoax — was false. And that was just the first step of my journey into a world where things were not at all as they seemed.

The father opened the file folder – guarding the papers against a fickle coastal breeze — and showed me a letter he had written on January 1, 1997, to “Dr. Andrew Wakefield, Royal Free Hospital, London, England.”“My son [name deleted] at age 15 months, was immunized with the Merck MMR vaccine and became ill for the next several months,” the letter began.“As his pediatric records indicate he came down with a viral infection, and shortly thereafter viral pneumonia. His condition slowly deteriorated over time, and was diagnosed as being autistic on his birthday at age 3. The onset of his autistic behavior began around 18 months. … He was diagnosed as moderate to severe, with no speech, no eye contact, and cognitive function at 6 months overall.”

Multiple specialists in the United States confirmed the autism diagnosis, the letter added, as well as their suspicions of the MMR vaccine as the cause. Further workups in California also revealed “indeterminant inflammatory bowel disease” — the dual syndrome Wakefield was then investigating at the Royal Free. That was why the father wanted the hospital’s pediatric gastroenterologists to evaluate his child.

So – first came the shot, then the symptoms. The father’s account, and medical records created before he got anywhere near Wakefield, could not be clearer. But didn’t he tell Brian Deer exactly the opposite, as recounted in the opening of the BMJ cover story? And didn’t a hospital record confirm that?

No. And no.

Though you’d never know it, the father was actually disputing how long after the shot specific symptoms occurred. In fact, the father did directly blame the MMR for causing his son’s illnesses and autistic regression – a fact that appears to have escaped Deer’s notice, or at least acknowledgement.

Yes, the father was angry at Wakefield. Yes, he disagreed with other points, some of them unrelated to the content of the Lancet article. But no – he did not say that the symptoms came before the shot. That was not an “anomaly” in the Lancet paper that caught his eye, as Deer wrote.

And the discharge document itself? It was simply wrong, one of thousands of pieces of paper generated by many medical personnel in a complicated medical case stretching over many years; perhaps the “13-18 months” was a typo for “15-18,” since that is what the father had reported all along. Regardless, the father says he never told Deer that the symptoms came first, and there is no evidence to the contrary. Deer apparently did not bother to check that one piece of paper against the large volume of other evidence, or to confirm it with the father, or to make sure that his own claim that symptoms began “a month before the boy had MMR” coincided with any actual chronology.

As far as I can tell, no one on the planet — no doctor, no parent, no document – has ever said Child 11 was anything but healthy and developing normally before the MMR. No one, that is, but Brian Deer in the BMJ. And here we see Deer at work: Because Wakefield was by definition a fraud – because Deer said so – any discrepancies between data in the Lancet paper and any other source was proof against Wakefield. One document says 13-18 months for the period of regression? That was evidence enough that Wakefield “used bogus data … to manufacture a link” between the MMR and autism.

To my surprise as we sat outside in Southern California, the father told me he hadn’t read the BMJ article, and he declined my offer to quote from it or have him read it during our visit. He would rather lay out the sequence in his own words, he told me.

That turned out to be a useful approach.

His son had been completely healthy and developing normally, he said, until the MMR shot at 15 months triggered a downhill progression.

“I very much believe it,” he said about the relationship of the shot to the symptoms: The measles component of the vaccine triggered an immune deficiency that produced the cascade of devastating physical and mental problems. This, in fact, was Wakefield’s provisional hypothesis.

How did Brian Deer miss all this? How did he misrepresent the core of the alleged fraud and claim the symptoms came before the shot? How did he rely on the father to rage against Wakefield but completely omit the fact he believed his child’s autism did not just come after the vaccine but was caused by it?

Who can say?

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Originally posted on Age of Autism

Dan Olmsted Rips Crooked Hillary Clinton

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It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

Weekly Wrap: Bait and Switch

By Dan Olmsted

‘Bout spit up my ginger ale Monday night when I saw an ad from Hillary Clinton taking on Donald Trump for his arm-flapping imitation of a disabled reporter — Trump claims he didn’t remember the reporter and was just lampooning his excitedness, not his illness.

The Hillary ad’s mom said, “It’s not uncommon for autistic kids to flap their hands,” showing a teenage boy doing just that. “When I saw that [Trump], that was completely disqualifying. I’m a Republican, but this election is so much more than party. My son Max can’t live in Trump world, so I’m crossing Party Lines and voting for Hillary. I don’t always agree with her, but she’s reasonable, she’s smart, people can work with her to solve problems. I want to be able to tell kids that I did the right thing when it really mattered.”

Oh gosh, well, where to start. Many AOA readers will regard the idea that Hillary is looking out for autistic kids as a canard, to use one of my favorite words for a lie, a fable, a hoary bit of nonsense. Without her resolute “sky is blue” defense of vaccines and her government-heavy intervention in children’s health in the 1990s — progressives always know what’s best, and especially love hepping de chewdwen — we might not have an epidemic to begin with, or at least we might have stopped it earlier, which would have really helped kids. Right now about a trillion dollars would be a nice round figure for the kind of help that’s needed.

So yes, galling. But somehow I find even more annoying the elision of the reporter’s disability, a joint abnormality, with autism. I mean, the mom didn’t exactly say it was the same thing, and the point was kind of the same, but the idea was clearly left that Trump was mocking a child with autism. Which, again, is kind of maddening as his view that vaccines cause autism is exactly correct, and Hillary’s claim that they don’t is exactly wrong.

Is it any wonder we’re going half mad this election season, or half of us are going mad and the other half are just mad, or whatever? Don’t take advantage of autism, OK?

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Originally posted on Age of Autism

Dan Olmsted’s Final “Weekly Wrap”: Bernie, Bobby, Andy, and Donald

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It is with great sadness that Autism Investigated relays the announcement that Dan Olmsted – Age of Autism’s founding editor – has passed away. While I have had my differences with him and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

Age of Autism Weekly Wrap: Bernie, Bobby, Andy and Donald

By Dan Olmsted

Bernard Rimland, Bobby Kennedy Jr., Andy Wakefield and now Donald Trump — yes he does!  — represent a kind of mainstream thread of vaccine safety advocacy. The first three put themselves forward and paid a price – Rimland went from the father of “autism isn’t caused by parenting” to being considered a fringe quack kook multivitamins cure autism kind of guy. Bobby went from respected environmental Riverkeeper Kennedy scion who beat GE and got the Hudson cleaned up to mercury-thimerosal-obsessed. 

Donald Trump was inaugurated as president Friday, saying what Bernie said. And if ever a paragraph break was called for (pick your reason) this is it.

Dr. Bernie Rimland conspiracy theorist fringe quack kook. And Andy, well, Andy didn’t even pass go – he was considered a fraudulent finge quack kook from just about Day 1.

Covering autism through the prism of an environmental illness, with vaccine safety a paramount issue, I do have more familiarity with these four folks than I might otherwise. Bernie was an indifferent dresser with a messy beard (me too) who, at least in my memory, thundered with the truth. My single favorite quote in my decade on this beat is his statement that “The autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.” This is brilliantly simple, stark and bold. First you have to stipulate that autism has increased exponentially (it has – that’s the subject of Mark Blaxill and my book out later this year). Then you have to be both narrow enough – pointing not just to some vague chemical or environmental exposure – and broad enough – pointing not just to one vaccine, or one ingredient – to survive the onslaught of denial and rebuke and phony science you can expect the minute you say such a thing. (“Excessive vaccinations” even leaves room for mercury as the prime cause, because if they hadn’t added all those vaccines with mercury, kids wouldn’t have gotten enough of it to cause an epidemic – bad as it is at any dose The MMR also fits — three live viruses in one, and now a fourth in the MMRV; talk about excessive!)

Lately I’ve been thinking of Bernie, as a new president who says much the same thing takes the oath of office; protecting our kids might be described as Job One. Now that he is one day in office I certainly hope that he will take on the issue and bring Bernie’s claim front and center. I think our collective minds were pretty much blown when he summoned Bobby to the Tower and sent him down with some sort of message, garbled or tentative as it may have been, that he intends to tackle vaccines and autism and that people like Bobby are going to play a major role.

What’s more, before the election Trump met with Andy and some kindred spirits who are editors and sponsors of this blog and listened attentively.

These are huge developments that have been a bit overwhelmed – perhaps by presidential-elect design – by the whole shakeup going on in the transfer of power. More than trial balloons, less that full-fledged policy initiatives, they have made the CDC quake in its cesspool, if that’s possible, and the usual talking heads like Offit and Schaffner turn purple with rage (makes me think of Dylan: “The man standing next to me, his head was exploding. Well, I was praying the pieces wouldn’t fall on me.”) The mainstream media is both outraged and, one senses, outgunned at the moment. Who cares about the mainstream media anyway? The best story we got out of the Kennedy meeting was from BuzzFeed, which interviewed both me (I?) and J.B. Handley and, except for repeating the antivax canard (which I told them not to in writing) treated the event as news, not as a crime scene. While I was on the phone with them going through security at National Airport, Nature magazine was on the other line. Quite a moment for a humble blogger.

Everyone comes to this issue from a different perspective, although of course for most it’s witnessing or understanding the fact that vaccine damage is much more frequent and much more serious than the “experts” will admit. For Bobby it was understanding the damage of environmental mercury and hearing from enough autism moms to intuit the connection. For Andy it was a call from the mother of two autistic children in England. He tried to interrupt and refer her on to the neurodevelopmental department, but then she started talking about strange GI issues they had, and, thank God, he stopped to listen.

For Bernie it was the recognition that he and his wife were not bad enough parents to have caused their son Mark’s nonstop screaming as an infant and his subsequent odd behaviors. That opened into an insight that autism was not genetic but environmental, and that led into vaccines.

We’ve had committees and commissions before – Mark Blaxill served on one and, with Barbara Loe Fisher, valiantly dissented from its blue ribbon inanity. (See the excellent “From Safety Last to Children First.”)

So however they – and we – got here, the moment is ripe, and Bernie’s dictum ought to be our guiding principle, one we can unite behind. I hope that before long the president will be sitting at a table with Bobby and Andy and many more people, including Mark and Barbara, who have fought long and hard to bring this issue to the fore. And I hope they leave an empty chair for Bernie and that, at least occasionally, everyone looks in its direction and remembers that there is much more common in our cause than anything we might occasionally fight over – that the autism epidemic is real, and excessive vaccinations are the cause.

Rebel Alliance, unite!

Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.

Originally posted on Age of Autism

RIP Dan Olmsted, Editor of Age of Autism

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From Age of Autism:

We are heartbroken to announce that our dear friend, our brilliant colleague, journalist par excellence, dedicated book co-author, the heart, soul and leader of our “rebel alliance,” Dan Olmsted,  passed away this weekend. 

Age of Autism has been a family for many years, and to all of you, we send our condolences, as we are grateful for yours. 

We will share more information as it becomes available. And the rebel alliance will carry on in his name, we assure you.

Mark Blaxill, Kim Stagliano and the entire Age of Autism Team

While I have had my differences with Dan Olmsted and the Age of Autism site, I will be forever grateful to him for his friendship, advice and platform for my views. I’ve always respected him as a journalist and have never forgotten the excellent work he has done over the years, and I just had a very friendly exchange with him on the day of the inauguration. I will never stop missing him and offer my sincere condolences to the entire Age of Autism team. Autism Investigated will devote the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, including a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again!

Jake Crosby, MPH

Addendum: From Age of Autism to Autism Investigated

NEWT GINGRICH ON RFK CHAIRING VACCINE COMMISSION: “I’m very comfortable with him taking the position.”

Newt Gingrich speaks during an American Solutions rally Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Newt Gingrich speaks during an American Solutions rally Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – who has been a trusted adviser to President Trump – has come out in support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. chairing a federal commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. Autism Investigated would like to thank STAT News for helping make that happen, especially after it previously reported: Medical research’s best hope under President Trump? It’s Newt

Gingrich had also been highly critical of Kennedy for his vaccine positions in the past, but has since backed off from those criticisms. According to STAT News’ article on Kennedy’s newly announced vaccine safety commission:

…Gingrich backed away from his earlier criticism of Kennedy. As long as the panel is “appropriately organized” and has a realistic, scientific basis, he said, “I’m very comfortable with him taking the position.”

In a desperate attempt to try and cancel out the significance of Gingrich’s support, STAT News contacted all 23 Senators who serve on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (“HELP”) Committee. One of those Senators – Mike Enzi – even produced a sealed report back in 2007 which sought to clear certain federal agencies and private entities like the Institute of Medicine of the misconduct they committed in defending the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal.

STAT News seemed to get what they wanted for their article, Senators on key panel reject Donald Trump’s skepticism about vaccines:

Eighteen senators, including eight of the 12 Republicans in the committee’s majority, expressed confidence in the US vaccination system and recognized the health benefits of vaccination.

Or, maybe not:

Staff for two other Republicans, Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Richard Burr of North Carolina, declined to comment. (boldface mine)

In a comment submitted under that article, Autism Investigated attempted to point out to STAT News how it twice buried the lead: first with Gingrich supporting Kennedy’s commission in STAT News‘ initial article and then with Enzi refusing to call vaccines safe in its follow-up piece. The comment never appeared.

Instead, the comments were closed with this lovely gem from one of the editors:

We have closed comments on this article, due largely to the uncivil and outright nasty direction taken by what should be a civil and instructive conversation.

Never mind that the only real perpetrator was a squatter who had been attacking any commenter critical of STAT News’ dishonest hit-pieces against Kennedy. What a convenient excuse and time for STAT News to shut down comment threads under all those posts: right as it was being reminded of how it inadvertently got both a sitting US Senator and a former House Speaker to back away from their earlier defenses of the vaccine program.

But even better: STAT News got the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to now openly support Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity. Thanks STAT News!

Looks like Kennedy and President Trump are already well on their way to ending the autism epidemic and making America great again!

LIVESTREAM: THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION OF DONALD TRUMP

Watch Live: Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump & Mike Pence (Friday, January 20, 2017) #TrumpInaugural

Donald Trump Inauguration Day

The Inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States – Presidential Inauguration Donald Trump

Donald Trump Inaugural speech

Addendum: Autism Investigated’s past coverage of Donald Trump’s road to the White House, from beginning to end

Dr. Ben Carson Endorses Donald Trump for President

AI ENDORSES DONALD TRUMP TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN

Trump Backs Vaccine Safety, Calls Other Candidates “Bought”

Gov. Pence – Opponent of Eli Lilly and HPV Vaccine Mandate

Livestream: Republican National Convention 2016

First Presidential Debate Livestream: Donald Trump vs. Crooked Hillary

Fight Crooked Media, Donate to the Donald Trump Campaign!

Vice Presidential Debate Livestream: Gov. Pence vs. Corrupt Kaine

Second Presidential Debate Livestream: Donald Trump vs. Crooked Hillary

FINAL Presidential Debate Livestream: Donald Trump vs. Crooked Hillary

END THE AUTISM EPIDEMIC! VOTE FOR DONALD TRUMP!

DEPLORABLES PREVAIL!!!

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Autism has become an epidemic. Twenty-five years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control.

I am totally in favor of vaccines. But I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Because you take a baby in — and I’ve seen it — and I’ve seen it, and I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time.

Same exact amount, but you take this little beautiful baby, and you pump — I mean, it looks just like it’s meant for a horse, not for a child, and we’ve had so many instances, people that work for me.

Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.

I only say it’s not — I’m in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time, same amount.

But just in — in little sections. I think — and I think you’re going to have — I think you’re going to see a big impact on autism. – Donald Trump, GOP Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015

Facebook Censors Milo Yiannopoulos For Condemning Transgender Genital Mutilation of Autistic People

Breitbart Tech editor, political provocateur and LGBTQ Nation‘s 2016 “Person of the Year” Milo Yiannopoulos has confirmed to Autism Investigated that a post of his condemning the transgender lobby’s targeting of autistic kids for genital mutilation has been censored by Facebook. A frequent critic of social justice movements like third-wave feminism and Black Lives Matter, Yiannopoulos slammed this disturbing new trend of abuse after it was glorified in the pages of The Atlantic and further encouraged by the usual suspects of the autism community’s own social justice movement: neurodiversity.

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Yiannopoulos’ censored Facebook post

Like the bizarre “fat acceptance” movement of third-wave feminism that seeks the normalize the obesity epidemic, the neurodiversity movement seeks to normalize autism – now the fastest growing neurological disability among children in the US. The primary instigators of this campaign are the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) and its appallingly dull founder Ari Ne’eman, who served as the first autistic member of the National Council on Disability under President Barack Obama.

Since leaving the council, Ne’eman has remained an autistic darling of the left: continuing to voice his fringe opinions on the platform of victimhood, grievance culture and political correctness that characterizes the feminist and Black Lives Matter movements criticized by Yiannopoulos. Such opinions of Ne’eman’s include accusing Donald Trump of suggesting autistic people should be dead when he said vaccines are linked to autism. Ne’eman has also opposed measures to stop autistic children from elopement and drowning by claiming that tracking devices used for such purposes are oppressive to autistic people with a tendency to elope. Given Ne’eman’s already twisted vision for the autism community, it would only be a matter of time before neurodiversity would join forces with the transgender lobby Yiannopoulos vocally opposes.

That trans-neurodiversity alliance formed last year on the heels of a terrible tragedy. Danielle Jacobs – a 24-year old woman with Asperger Syndrome in Arizona – committed suicide by cop after complaining that her doctor would not prescribe her testosterone for her desired gender “transformation.” Given her issues of aggression as further evidenced by her complaints of suffering “meltdowns” and a widely viewed video of her hitting herself, more testosterone was probably one of the last things she needed. Nonetheless, Ne’eman and associated LGBT groups pounced on her death with a joint statement, proclaiming:

Trans and gender nonconforming autistic people—and all transgender and gender nonconforming people—have have a right to:

make medical decisions and access affirming health care, including transition-related medical care and trans-competent services related to autism (boldface mine)

Ne’eman and friends assert that Jacobs and other “trans autistics” should just be allowed to go ahead with their plans of genital mutilation, castration and deformity, and that critics like Yiannopoulos are presumably just “ableist” and “transphobic.” Yet even though Ne’eman supports giving more testosterone to autistic people who if anything have extremely elevated levels of the hormone already, he has condemned lowering elevated testosterone levels found in autistic children. When he has, Ari Ne’eman was quick to point out that the drug used to lower their testosterone has also been used to chemically castrate sex offenders. Never mind that he has partnered with the trans lobby to actually castrate autistic people.

And now with the censorship of Yiannopoulos’ post that called out this horrific new form of abuse against autistic people, so has Facebook.

FAKE NEWS REVEALED, Part II: The Ghostwriter Behind The Kennedy Retraction

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Scott Rosenberg, ghostwriter behind Kennedy retraction

With President-Elect Trump’s consideration of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as chair of a committee on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the shills of fake news have been relentlessly trying to convince Trump’s team to reconsider. The most widely circulated argument has been Salon.com’s retraction of Kennedy’s article “Deadly Immunitywhere he wrote on the government cover-up of the dangers of the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. The retraction was based on a bogus rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s article and was later condemned as editorial cowardice” by Salon.com’s founding editor-in-chief David Talbot. But now there is even more news that should bury the retraction of Kennedy’s work once and for all in this exclusive two-part series by Autism Investigated: the Salon.com editor-in-chief who took credit for the retraction of Deadly Immunity didn’t even read it, didn’t write its retraction statement and didn’t interview the person who started the rumor as portrayed on Salon.com. The first part of the series provided proof that he didn’t, this second part reveals who did.

That person is the MediaShift blogger whom the editor-in-chief misrepresented Kennedy’s article to in Part I: former Salon.com managing editor Scott Rosenberg. Rosenberg attended theScience Online 2011 annual conference with the Rolling Stone rumor-starter Seth Mnookin. The event ran from January 13-15 right before the article was retracted on the 16th. Both Mnookin and Rosenberg had books of theirs featured at the conference:

Scott Rosenberg – Not Kerry Lauerman – Interviewed Seth Mnookin

Rosenberg was also still contributing to Salon through 2011 when Kennedy’s piece was retracted. Yet Rosenberg would never disclose that in his MediaShift blog about Salon’s retraction of Kennedy’s article weeks later. Seth Mnookin’s first tweet about Salon’s interview used Science Online 2011 hashtag #scio11 – specifically for tweets Science Online meeting commentary and follow-up discussions – even though Lauerman was never at the conference while Rosenberg was:

 That was the first and last tweet by Mnookin about Salon’s coverage of his book and the removal of Kennedy’s article using the #scio11 hashtag. The purpose of the #scio11 hashtag according to a conference attendee was to denote tweets about Science Online 2011 “meeting commentary and follow-up discussions” by conference participants:”One goal of the conference was to be as inclusive as possible by livestreaming several of the sessions online and encouraging liberal use of the Twitter hashtag, #scio11, for meeting commentary and follow-up discussions.” Mnookin was also trying to score interviews at Science Online 2011 to pitch his book prior to the conference:

A Twitter search for both Mnookin and Rosenberg’s Twitter handles reveals substantial interaction between them at Science Online 2011, as well as Rosenberg tweeting about Salon’s retraction of his piece almost immediately after it happened. In contrast – Lauerman had no participation in Science Online 2011; a search with the #scio11 hashtag and his twitter handle yields nothing. Lauerman was not even in virtual attendance, despite it being an option for conference participants who could not physically be at the conference. He simply was not there at all.

Lauerman’s Motive For Retraction: Payback to Rosenberg in Exchange for Career Advancement

Kerry Lauerman had quite a rapport with Scott Rosenberg going back many years, specifically concerning the project Lauerman launched that was Rosenberg’s idea. This is what Rosenberg said about Lauerman in 2008:

“The Open Salon that opens its doors today — it’s been in private beta for a while — is an outgrowth of the work I did back then, but of course over the past year the project has evolved much further…It’s the work of Kerry Lauerman and his team — and, now that the participants are using it, it’s in the hands of Salon’s readers the people formerly known as Salon’s readers, to make of it something new and exciting.”

The implementation of Rosenberg’s idea by Lauerman was followed by his rapid accession to editor-in-chief just two years later. So naturally, Lauerman would feel indebted to Rosenberg which would in turn be a motive for Lauerman having Kennedy’s article retracted to please Rosenberg if Lauerman felt Rosenberg’s idea got him the highest editorial position. Lauerman not having personally interviewed Mnookin, read Kennedy’s piece or wrote Salon.com‘s retraction statement would also explain why Lauerman refused to even take Kennedy’s calls the night Lauerman told Kennedy via email that Salon.com would retract his piece on the night of the 15th – the last night of the conference attended by Mnookin and Rosenberg. 

Interestingly – following the retraction – Rosenberg went on to run the annual Science Online conferences regularly attended by Mnookin until the organization became insolvent and shut down in 2014. Lauerman did not read Kennedy’s article when it was pulled, did not interview Mnookin and likely yanked “Deadly Immunity” as a favor for a friend with strong Mnookin connections. Yet now years later, the result of this crooked behavior is used as justification to block Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from becoming chair of a badly needed commission to stop the ongoing harm being committed against innocent infants. Fortunately, the president-elect and the vice president-elect both seem pretty happy to have Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on their team.

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*Please send this article to the president-elect and vice president-elect*

FAKE NEWS REVEALED, Part I: Salon Editor Who “Retracted” Kennedy’s Article Didn’t Even Read It

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Kerry Lauerman, Salon.com editor-in-chief who deleted Robert F. Kennedy Jr. ‘s article without even reading it, is now executive “news” editor of Mic.

With President-Elect Trump’s consideration of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as chair of a committee on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the shills of fake news have been relentlessly trying to convince Trump’s team to reconsider. The most widely circulated argument has been Salon.com’s retraction of Kennedy’s article “Deadly Immunity”where he wrote on the government cover-up of the dangers of the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal. The retraction was based on a bogus rumor that Rolling Stone secretly retracted Kennedy’s article and was later condemned as editorial cowardice” by Salon.com’s founding editor-in-chief David Talbot. But now there is even more news that should bury the retraction of Kennedy’s work once and for all in this exclusive two-part series by Autism Investigated: the Salon.com editor-in-chief who took credit for the retraction of “Deadly Immunity” didn’t even read it, didn’t write its retraction statement and didn’t interview the person who started the rumor as portrayed on the site. This first part of the series provides proof that he didn’t, the second part will reveal who did.

That editor, Kerry Lauerman, has since made quite a career out of running outlets that delivered fake news. In 2014 he was hired by The Washington Post and in 2015 was made the newspaper’s National Projects Editor. Among Lauerman’s roles, according to the newspaper, would be “the planning, execution and coverage of some critically important events during the political year, such as the presidential debate and forum we’re co-sponsoring with Univision, and in guiding our preparations for the political conventions.” During that stint of Lauerman’s at WaPo, the now-president-elect stripped the newspaper of its press credentials because of its dishonest reporting.

Then the month before the election, Lauerman left the newspaper to become executive “news” editor of Mic – a creepy far-left site aimed at millennials that makes sensationalized stories out of the way men sit in subways. He still edits Micwhere he now pushes garbage rumors about the president-elect while he still attacks Kennedy.

Proof Lauerman Didn’t Read “Deadly Immunity”

A blog post for MediaShift dated January 24, 2011 provided a quote of Lauerman’s following the retraction. It proves Lauerman’s basic grasp of both the article and the context of the Kennedy quote he provided was so poor, Lauerman could not have read the article he censored:  

“It’s a seriously flawed story we feared could do real harm. People who have bought into the anti-vaccine panic have created a health crisis, and a flawed report that feeds that hysteria poses a real threat. With this particular story, the unproven logic that animates the piece — as when Kennedy says the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real’ — is not easily excisable, and no matter how many editor’s notes or Drudge-like, red-flashing sirens you place on a story to warn readers, there will be those who will take a well-known, respected American at his word. We simply didn’t think it was worth that risk.” (boldface mine) 

How Lauerman quoted Kennedy’s article to justify its retraction completely contradicts how the retraction statement quoted that same sentence in his article on Salon.com:   

In 2005, Salon published online an exclusive story by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that offered an explosive premise: that the mercury-based thimerosal compound present in vaccines until 2001 was dangerous, and that he was convinced that the link between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real.” (boldface mine)

The intro to Salon.com’s interview with Seth Mnookin – news fabricator extraordinaire who started the rumor that Rolling Stone canned Kennedy’s article – also contradicts the context in which Lauerman quoted Kennedy:  

In 2005, we published a report, “Deadly Immunity,” by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine (Salon had a co-publishing arrangement with the magazine at the time), in which Kennedy wrote that he became convinced that the link between thimerosal [a mercury-based compound once used in vaccines] and the epidemic of childhood neurological disorders is real” (boldface mine)

The only apparent place that misleadingly quoted Kennedy’s article the same way Lauerman did in 2011 was a CBS Moneywatch piece that also helped spread the false rumor that Rolling Stone pulled Kennedy’s article. That would mean Lauerman only read that piece instead of actually reading Deadly Immunity”.  And as one can see from a search result, there do not appear to be any other January 2011 sources that chopped the quote from Kennedy’s article to look like an absolute statement the way Lauerman did. The only way for Lauerman to have reasonably misrepresented Kennedy’s piece and quoted it out of context the way he did would have been for Lauerman not to have read his article and to have only read the CBS Moneywatch article with the chopped quote from Kennedy’s piece. Had Lauerman even bothered to read “Deadly Immunity”, he would know that his whole claimed pretense for retracting it was totally false. But the facts didn’t matter to him, as they continue to not matter to Salon.com. 

Since his reasoning is contradicted by both the retraction statement and the Salon.com interview as well, that would mean Lauerman did not write or conduct them either. But if he didn’t do either for Salon.com, who did? That will be revealed in Part II of this series, where the ghostwriter will be outed.

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*Please send this article to the president-elect and vice president-elect*

BREAKING: RFK JR. ASKED TO HEAD VACCINE SAFETY COMMITTEE

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at Trump Tower.

Read Autism Investigated’s below review of Robert F. Kennnedy Jr.’s book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak for The Epoch Times.

Letting the Science Speak Against Mercury in Vaccines

Review: ‘Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak,’ Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Skyhorse Press)

By Jake Crosby

The vaccine preservative and title subject of the book “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” may not be as well-known as the book’s editor, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and son of the late attorney general Robert F. Kennedy. Yet the public’s lack of knowledge about thimerosal is perhaps all the more reason why this book is so important, especially since the paperback edition (to be released Sept. 1) now contains 17 previously-written chapters that were excluded from the hardcover edition for being “too combustible,” according to Kennedy.

Roughly 50 percent mercury by weight, thimerosal is labeled “very toxic.” Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on earth and second overall. One would think those facts would be enough to end its use in any medicine once and for all, but if that were the case this book would never have been written. Despite the toxicity of mercury, it remains present in many routine vaccinations in the form of thimerosal, and its ongoing use remains staunchly defended by the vaccine industry.

The book’s subtitle, “The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury—a Known Neurotoxin—from Vaccines,” makes clear this book is more than just a case for why thimerosal is dangerous. Kennedy makes a compelling argument for vaccines to no longer contain thimerosal, from its toxicity, to its lack of necessity, to its association with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, and finally to the neglectful and even fraudulent attempts to hide that association by government agencies and media outlets.

As a result of mercury’s ongoing use in vaccines, “we are gambling with population health through the same intervention that we use to protect it,” as Harvard neurologist Dr. Martha Herbert concisely stated in the book’s introduction.

Some chapters such as the one on the biological basis for thimerosal causing autism contain scientific terms that may be difficult to follow without knowledge of college-level biology. Such is the challenge of making a case for causality of a behavioral disorder at the cellular level. Yet this is a challenge the book takes on commendably.

There is a new chapter on Dr. William Thompson, the senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who blew the whistle on his colleagues for hiding evidence of vaccines causing autism. There’s also a new forward by Congressman Bill Posey who recently read an explosive statement by Thompson to Congress.

The paperback edition of “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” has some of the same weaknesses as its hardcover predecessor. It is simply counter-intuitive to write a book outlining the proof for thimerosal’s role in causing autism only to cast doubt on that proof, as is done in the book’s preface by Dr. Mark Hyman. Kennedy and the other contributors to the book also still fall for the age-old trap of trying to prove they are not “anti-vaccine,” a burden no critic of the vaccine program should face or bother satisfying.

Overall, however, the book delivers well on its promise by making the case against the use of thimerosal in commonly administered, routine vaccinations by letting the science on the subject “speak” so to speak. That is something federal health agencies, media outlets and a myriad of special interests behind thimerosal’s continued use do not allow. For that reason, readers now have a unique opportunity to let the science supporting thimerosal’s immediate removal from vaccines speak to them by giving “Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak” a well-deserved read.

Jake Crosby is editor of the website Autism Investigated. Crosby has a masters in Public Health in epedemiology and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Epoch Times.