Tag Archives: Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Brian Deer Rejects Film Offer, Gets Mad He’s Not in Film!

A critical film about Dr. Andrew Wakefield – the first scientist to raise a connection between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and autism – will soon be released. Yet the person mad about its release is his arch nemesis Brian Deer, who is credited with destroying Dr. Wakefield’s professional reputation. So angry was Deer that he even sent a letter and ultimatum to the documentary’s director.

The reason for Brian Deer’s anger? The documentary said he declined to be part of the film, when he did exactly that. When declining the offer, he even cited not being paid as his reason for doing so when he’s spent almost 15 years accusing Dr. Wakefield of being motivated by money.

The Facebook page of The Pathological Optimist provides details:

Miranda Bailey, the director of “The Pathological Optimist,” recently received a letter from journalist Brian Deer. For those who don’t know, Brian Deer was the journalist who originally investigated the paper published in the “The Lancet” written by Andrew Wakefield, and his colleagues. His reporting was instrumental to the UK General Medical Council’s investigation into Wakefield, which ultimately led to the loss of his medical license.

Read below as journalist Brian Deer “man-splains” to director Miranda Bailey how documentary filmmakers “should and should not behave.” He then goes on to accuse her of several fallacies before ultimately making demands and threats:

(From Deer’s letter): “If by midnight, Pacific, Tuesday, I have not received your assurance in these respects, or been offered by you a credible alternative plan to remedy the damage that your “documentary” inflicts on my reputation (presenting me, as you do, as too cowardly to defend my journalism), I will publish this letter to media, as well as to senior independent film makers, festival directors, and others who may be in a position to advise me. I give you four full days to decide and tell me what you are going to do.”

Brian Deer’s full letter is available to read using the link below along with Miranda Bailey’s response. We’re guessing that this is not the “apology” he was looking for.

Click here to read the full exchange between Miranda Bailey and Brian Deer. It’s comic gold.

Time for the folks behind The Pathological Optimist to reconsider who is pathological, and realize it’s not Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

Write New Child-Poisoner-in-Chief Brenda Fitzgerald

Write Brenda Fitzgerald on Twitter to @CDCDirector and tell her how you feel about her being new child-poisoner-in-chief at CDC.

Here are some ideas:

Tell her about your vaccine-injured child.

Tell her about the criminality of her agency and how you now regard her to be the chief mafia boss.

Tell her how all the science shows vaccines cause autism

Tell her how their 14 “studies” or whatever bullshit they cite doesn’t count as science.

Tell her that Dr. Andrew Wakefield was exonerated by the journal The Lancet.

Tell her mercury is still in vaccines.

Tell her Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is one of the most outspoken people against the cover-up by the vaccine program, even though his uncle signed it into existence.

Basically call her a liar, tell her the impact it has on children like yours and tell her you plan to make her job deservedly miserable. Also tell her that herd immunity is also a lie and that invoking it is basically telling people to sacrifice their children.

Just say anything you can think of so long as it’s not a physical threat. Also tell her that vaccines are inherently dangerous thanks to people like her. And also tell her that any benefit attributable to them was because of safety standards passed into law thanks to anti-vaccination activism.

Finally, tell her that the problem is and always will be vaccines. Their promoters, makers, sellers etc. totally lie about their risks and intentionally poison children for personal profit. As long as that is reality, you will never support vaccines. You could never be in favor of vaccines for moral reasons. And you will stand opposed to her as child-poisoner-in-chief for the duration of her tenure.

 

Do Not Tap Brenda Fitzgerald to Run CDC, President Trump!

Below is an open letter from the editor to President Trump urging him to rescind any consideration to appointing Georgia health commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald to CDC director.

Dear President Trump,

I was a huge supporter of you since before the primary contests. I supported you because you were miles ahead of all the other candidates in supporting vaccine safety.

So I was very disappointed to read the following from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

President Donald Trump is expected to tap the head of the Georgia Department of Public Health as the new director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to two administration sources.

This is unacceptable. That same person, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, wrote in that same paper three years ago this:

I’ve heard all the arguments against vaccination. All have been debunked, including the infamous 1980s study in Europe about a similar vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, and a supposed link – that we now know to be false – to autism, which shattered vaccine use in Europe. 

The lead author of that “infamous” study is who you met with last summer, Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Even the journal that retracted his paper know their basis for doing so is false.

If you want a genuine vaccine safety commission as you promised Robert F. Kennedy Jr., it will not work with federal agency heads all wanting to keep the status quo. You have already appointed someone to run the FDA who has testified that he will challenge you on vaccine safety. There was no major outcry then because, unlike CDC, FDA does not dictate federal vaccine policy.

The CDC policies, by contrast, influence mandatory state vaccination policies throughout the entire country. Its chief responsibilities include the conflicting positions of safety regulation and routine promotion. A senior scientist from the CDC has since come forward with allegations that he and his colleagues manipulated and hid research results. At the time, you tweeted:

Shortly before the election, the previous CDC director blocked the whistleblower who you said was proving you right about vaccines from testifying under oath in a deposition. Yet every indication suggests that the person you are reportedly considering for the role would do the same.

I understand the temptation to appoint establishment-friendly people as you seek Senate support to repeal Obamacare. But like Obamacare, the autism epidemic has also heaped tremendous healthcare costs on the American people. We will not eliminate the rising costs of Obamacare by accepting the rising cost of autism.

In a meeting you held with advocates, you were told that you were the only one who can fix the autism epidemic. You replied that you will. You also said in front of 23 million viewers that you would push for safer vaccinations and that you believed doing so would have a major impact on autism. Many people voted for you this past election because of that.

Now is your chance to fulfill your campaign promises. We appreciate that you have not backed down over your desire to put together a vaccine safety commission. Such a commission can only be effective, however, with federal health agency chiefs open to its policies. FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb is already not open and neither would Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald be should you appoint her CDC director. Please withdraw any consideration of Dr. Fitzgerald. That way, we can truly end the autism epidemic and Make America Great Again!

Your supporter,

Jake Crosby, MPH

John Oliver Proves He Knows Vaccine Injury Like He Does Islamic Terrorism

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John Oliver with scene from Bataclan Theatre massacre by ISIS terrorists in Paris, November 13th, 2015

There is nothing more damning of John Oliver than the words of John Oliver. All of the following are from his June 25th episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

On President Trump’s decision to space out vaccinations:

…it’s the middle ground between sense and nonsense. It’s like saying, ‘It would be crazy to eat that entire bar of soap, so I’ll just eat half of it.’

On exonerated British doctor Andrew Wakefield:

He’s basically the Lance Armstrong of doctors.

On mercury in flu shots still given to pregnant mothers:

So we essentially spent time and energy solving a problem that never existed. It’s like spending years fighting to get marshmallows out of Lucky Charms because a few people think minions can choke to death on them. 

On retired Congressman Dan Burton’s issue with lack of safety studies:

Proving a negative is an impossible standard. And that is also a slippery slope, because it means that I can say to youYouDan Burton, are a DONKEY FUCKER!’

Yet knowingly proving a negative to prove there is no conspiracy to cover up vaccine harms, falsely claiming:

On those rare occasions when there have been issues with vaccines, they’ve been pulled and fast. And I know that that explanation will still not satisfy some.

Finally, and worst of all, on his own infant son born premature:

We are vaccinating him fully, on schedule. And if I can overcome the temptation to listen to the irrational shouting of my terrified lizard brain, then I believe that everyone can.

Captain Picard facepalm

 

PERVERT ALERT: “Scientist” W. Ian Lipkin Sued for Degeneracy

No, this pervert alert is not for Anthony Weiner. The pervert alert is for vaccine apologist “scientist” extraordinaire Ian Lipkin who is now being sued by his colleague Dr. Mady Hornig. Among the charges are taking credit for her work, preventing her from speaking at public meetings and asking her to diagnose a lesion on his ass! (whut?)

Age of Autism has the goods:

Dachel Wake Up: Columbia Autism Scientists in Butt Ugly Lawsuit

Note: You can read the legal filing here.  Hornig v. Lipkin

May 20, 2017, New York Post: Columbia professor says boss made her inspect his butt

A Columbia University scientist claims her boss — and former lover — repeatedly dropped his drawers and demanded she diagnose a lesion on his butt.

Associate Professor Mady Hornig says her boss at the university’s Mailman School of Public Health also demanded co-credit for her work; kicked her under the table at meetings to keep her from speaking; presented her work as his own, and kept her from getting tenure, Hornig claims in a Manhattan federal court lawsuit.

In 2014, Professor Walter Ian Lipkin, head of the Center for Infection & Immunity, called Hornig into his office and “demanded that she look at lesions on his buttocks,” Hornig alleges. He did so again a year later, Hornig charges.

Lipkin is familiar to us at Age of Autism. I wrote about his Wall Street Journal piece, Anti-Vaccination Lunacy Won’t Stop, where he denounced ‘Vaxxed’ and said Robert De Niro did the right thing pulling it from Tribeca. https://www.wsj.com/articles/anti-vaccination-lunacy-wont-stop-1459721652

“The filmmakers claim they have not stated that autism is caused by the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, known as MMR. However, that is the inescapable message of ‘Vaxxed.’ And it is certainly the stance of Andrew Wakefield, the discredited British researcher who is the movie’s director and co-writer.

(Continue reading at Age of Autism)

The New American Calls Bullshit on Measles Exploitation

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Measles Outbreak Prompts Outrage Against Anti-vaxers

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An outbreak of measles amongst a small unvaccinated population in Minnesota could spell trouble for the anti-vax community as it may prompt yet another push for forced vaccinations by vaccine advocates. The media is using the latest outbreak to criticize anti-vax groups and tout the “benefits” of vaccinations, despite the science that links vaccines to a number of long-term health issues.

In the United States, every child by the age of 18 is expected to receive a total of 69 doses of 16 different vaccines, most of which use controversial ingredients. Many parents of autistic children have concluded that these vaccines and the vaccination schedule utilized in the United States play a role in the rise of autism and have sounded the alarm for other parents to think twice before administering vaccines to their children. Unfortunately, those skeptics then become prime targets whenever there is an outbreak of a disease for which a vaccine exists.

On May 8, for example, CNN reported that of the 48 confirmed cases of measles in Minnesota, 41 are Somali-Americans who “bought into the fears that vaccines cause autism, and thus eschewed getting vaccines for their children.” CNN cites Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health, who claims that the Somali-Americans fell prey to the anti-vaccine groups that targeted them after it was discovered in 2008 that a disproportionate number of Somali children were receiving special education for autism. According to the Washington Post, a University of Minnesota study found that Somali children were about as likely as white children to be identified with autism, although they were more likely to have intellectual disabilities.

Ehresmann added, “I want to be very clear that this outbreak has nothing to do with being Somali. It’s just the sheer fact of being unvaccinated.”

In its overzealous effort to defend vaccines, CNN cited a pro-vaccine expert whose claims seem to undermine assertions that vaccines and autism have no relationship. Michael Osterholm, regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a former state epidemiologist for Minnesota, said, “Between 2000 and roughly 2008, the Somali community in Minnesota actually had some of the highest vaccination rates for 2-year-olds of any population in the state.”

As observed by Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),

The truth is, nobody knows how many vaccine victims there are in America, how many of the 1 in 6 learning disabled children; or the 1 in 9 with asthma; or the 1 in 100 who develop autism; or the 1 in 450 who become diabetic, can trace their chronic inflammation, disease and disability back to vaccine reactions that have been dismissed by public health officials and doctors for the past century as just “a coincidence.”

And even when scientists are forced to confront the data, they simply dismiss it on the grounds that there is not enough evidence to establish a “causal” relationship.

But sadly, it seems the scientific community is not interested in conducting any studies that might establish a causal relationship. According to public testimony of Dr. Heather Rice at the Vermont Department of Health, “No true prospective, randomized and controlled study of health outcomes of vaccinated people versus unvaccinated has ever been conducted by the U.S. by CDC or any other agency in the 50 years or more of an accelerating schedule of vaccinations.”

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says measles “is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.” But if the pro-vaccine community is confident in the effectiveness of vaccinations, then they should have no fears of contraction.

And whether the CDC can even be considered a trustworthy entity is another issue. According to a controversial 2016 film directed by autism advocate Dr. Andrew Wakefield entitled Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe, the CDC was behind a major cover-up of the MMR vaccine’s connection to autism. The documentary is based on revelations by CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, a former senior scientist at the CDC who admits that the organization destroyed evidence linking the MMR vaccination to autism.

But while Thompson’s revelations were groundbreaking, the mainstream media virtually staged an all-out blackout. Instead, it waits for stories of “measles outbreaks” to launch a media firestorm.

“Anti-vaccine groups blamed in Minnesota measles outbreak,” CNN reports. “Measles outbreak in Minnesota caused by vaccine skeptics,” an NBC News headline reads. “Unfounded autism fears are fueling Minnesota’s measles outbreak,” NPR opines. And a Fox News headline reads, “Minnesota measles outbreak: Officials say Somali families ‘targeted with misinformation.’” When it comes to vaccinations, all mainstream media outlets seem to be on the same side.

Perhaps that “bipartisan” approach to this subject is because the mainstream media is virtually owned by the pharmaceutical industry. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the chairman of the World Mercury Project, which seeks a global ban on mercury, the press has been “coopted” by the pharmaceutical industry. Big Pharma, he says, is the single largest contributor to advertising revenue to network news divisions, at approximately $5.4 billion per year.

“A network news broadcast these days … is just a vehicle for selling pharmaceutical products,” Kennedy asserts.

In fact, it was the media’s silence on the CDC whistleblower that inspired Del Bigtree, an Emmy award-winning medical journalist, to produce Vaxxed:

I want the media to be held accountable for the weeks and weeks of covering a measles outbreak at Disneyland, terrifying people when only 644 people were affected. That’s .000002% of the people in this country, which effectively translates to zero, when one in 45 kids is now diagnosed with autism. I’d like the media to explain why it won’t cover the story of a top CDC scientist who admits they committed fraud on the MMR study when they discovered a causal link between the vaccine and autism, a disease that is accelerating so fast it could spell the end of our society. If that’s not a story, what is?

Thompson’s revelations did garner the attention of Florida Republican Congressman Bill Posey, who called on Congress to conduct a formal investigation into the allegations against the CDC in July 2015:

I believe it’s our duty to ensure that the documents that Dr. Thompson provided are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of Congress and the house committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So, I ask Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.

Unfortunately, Posey’s request fell on deaf ears, while media portrayal of the Minnesota measles outbreak does not. 

Related: ALL MMR VAX BACKERS CAUSE AUTISM AND MEASLES

ALL MMR VAX BACKERS CAUSE AUTISM AND MEASLES


There is no available measles vaccine, only the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The former prevents measles, the latter causes measles to linger in the guts of children who developed autism and GI disease as a result of MMR. Measles has made a comeback in the US and UK because there is no measles vaccine available – just the MMR which every child should be protected from. Below is a nearly 20-year old story about the withdrawal of the measles vaccine in the UK by the manufacturer because of – get this – high demand for its use. That demand followed publication of exonerated Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s paper on MMR-injured children. Former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden is complicit in covering up their injuries.

Measles jab withdrawn due to ‘high demand’

PARENTS CONCERNED about inoculating their children with the controversial triple vaccine MMR will be forced to travel to Europe if they want a single measles vaccination, it was revealed yesterday.

The company that makes the single measles vaccine said it was withdrawing it from sale in Britain because it could not meet demand.

From now on parents will have only the option of using MMR, which has been linked by one study, published in the medical journal The Lancet, to autism and bowel disease.

Last night Pasteur Merieux MSD, the Paris-based company that makes both the triple and single vaccines, said the single vaccine had been available in Britain on a named-patient basis only.

“That meant it was only available to a very small number of people,” said Dr Veronique Maguin, the company’s marketing director.

“As demand grew we had to make an ethical decision about who the drug should be available to. It was a problem for the company because we could not satisfy everybody. Our main concern is one of public health and we felt we could not satisfy everybody.”

There has been a huge increase in demand for the single measles injection since the report last February in The Lancet on MMR, which also inoculates against mumps and rubella.

While a subsequent report published by the Medical Research Council found no evidence of the link, many parents remain suspicious of the triple vaccine and want to see more research carried out into its possible side- effects.

Some believe that receiving all three vaccines at once has a negative effect on the immune system.

Ann Coote, a founder member of the pressure group Jabs – Justice, Awareness, and Basic Support – said she was astounded the company was withdrawing the single vaccine.

“It does seem very strange. Most manufacturers faced with a demand for something would be rubbing their hands together,” she said.

“We get a lot of calls from parents who have lost faith in MMR and would prefer to have the option of a single vaccine. We would like to see MMR suspended and more research done.

“In the meantime single vaccines should be available. We are not against vaccines, we are against damage. Parents have a right to make a choice.”

Mrs Coote said many parents were considering travelling to Europe to purchase single jabs.

She said that her own daughter, Rachal, stopped breathing after being injected with the triple vaccine at the age of 18 months.

Now aged 11, Rachal still suffers from epileptic fits and has the mental age of a six-year-old.

Her daughter’s experience led Mrs Coote to set up Jabs, which has 1,700 members.

The Department of Health accepts the vaccine is not risk-free. “All drugs have side-effects,” said a spokeswoman. “We believe that there is more risk from not having the vaccination.”

She said the Government recommended having all three vaccinations at once, though she denied there had been any pressure placed on Pasteur Merieux MSD to withdraw the single vaccine.

“There is a risk to other children if a child is waiting to go back to the doctor for another vaccination. It is also more painful for the child,” she said.

“But the decision to withdraw the single vaccine is the company’s alone.”

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FAKE NEWS: FOUR VACCINE LIES FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE

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Science Magazine is fake science news and lies routinely about vaccine safety like the rest of the damn mainstream media and major science journals. Here’s four examples from their dishonest post “Four vaccine myths and where they come from” by one of their hired liars Lindzi Wessel. Autism Investigated will not refute all the lies because there are too many, just the major ones below.

“False: Vaccinations can cause autism”

Citing further concerns about ethics and misrepresentation, The Lancet retracted the paper in 2010. Shortly after, the United Kingdom’s General Medical Council permanently pulled Wakefield’s medical license.

The truth is, all those findings against Wakefield and his paper were completely overturned in a court decision that said the GMC used “faulty reasoning” and came to “wrong conclusion”(s). Even The Lancet acknowledges this.

[Brian] Hooker reanalyzed the data in 2014 and claimed CDC had hidden evidence that the vaccine could increase autism risk in black boys. In fact, CDC noted in the paper that rates of vaccination in the oldest age group were slightly higher in kids with autism.

Wait, what about for black kids? The CDC didn’t cover up effects for race because they reported effects for age? That’s a logical conclusion to draw, according to Science Magazine?

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Science Magazine completely dismisses Kennedy’s damning Deadly Immunity article of mercury in childhood vaccinations. The excuse was the ghostwritten retraction by the pedophile-defending Salon.com site. Science never went into the details of the retraction because it would show it to be worthless.

Science Magazine continued:

In 2001, well before Kennedy’s article or his related book, thimerosal was removed from all childhood vaccines in the United States except multidose vials of flu vaccine.

What it left out was that in 2004 those flu vaccines were recommended for pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy, which has since been linked to autism. It then went on to characterize autism declining post-thimerosal removal in Denmark as a “misinterpretation of epidemiogical data.” Actually, it’s seen in a graph of epidemiological data:

“False: Mercury in vaccines acts as a neurotoxin”

Remarkably, this entire section didn’t focus on work of any other doctor or scientist. It was merely an attack on the physician-son team Dr. Mark and David Geier, taking as gospel smears from the Institute of Medicine and the Maryland Board of Physicians. The Institute of Medicine was revealed in Kennedy’s own article as coming to a foregone conclusion about thimerosal being safe, and being paid to do so. The Maryland Board of Physicians was successfully sued by the Geiers for intentionally violating their confidentiality. Dr. Geier has also responded to the allegations publicly.

Will Science condemn hormones and genital mutilation for “transgender” autists and acknowledge that there are only two genders? Doubtful.

“False: Spreading out vaccines can be safer for kids”

This section is entirely based on the talking points of millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit. He is not only conflicted, but is also an unhinged maniac who said children can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once. There is no comparison between a vaccine which contains loads of toxic ingredients injected directly into the body and antigens blocked by the human body’s natural defenses.

There is no room for the benefit of the doubt with Lindzi Wessel and Science Magazine. They are simply lying, along with the rest of the mainstream fake news.

Please form that vaccine safety commission soon, President Trump. We need it now more than ever.

UPDATE: Autism Investigated Video!

Remembering Dan Olmsted: The Journalist Who Taught Me That We Live in The Age of Autism

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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 devoted the entire week to posts honoring Dan Olmsted, and is now ending with a proper obituary. May we all honor Dan Olmsted’s life by ending the autism epidemic to make America great again! – Jake Crosby, MPH

How many journalists leave mainstream media to devote the rest of their lives to get to the bottom of the fastest growing neurological disorder among children in the United States? Because I can think of only one, and his name was Dan Olmsted.

“His loss leaves a huge vacuum for people who care about public health and children’s health in this country,” said Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “He’s had as much integrity as any reporter I’ve ever met and more courage than any I’ve ever met. He was willing to walk away from his job for the sake of truth.”

Dan Olmsted passed away unexpectedly on January 23rd, 2016 at the age of 64, and is survived by his spouse Mark Milett and sister Rosamund McDonel Augsburger. The news came as a shock to many who knew him, myself included. That shock was compounded by Dan’s unceasing endurance, writing articles non-stop until two days before his death. He left behind an incredible library of articles and books going back over a decade – most about the autism epidemic, and all related to it in some way. Second only to coping with his loss, the biggest challenge for me was selecting which articles of his to re-post for Autism Investigated’s 7-day tribute to his life. There are just so many!

“Here was a true journalist, not a doctor or a scientist, who did what the medical and scientific communities didn’t do but should have done: investigate the cause of autism,” said exonerated British doctor Andrew Wakefield.

Finding some new insight or lead about the age of autism was never a problem for Dan. When I first met him in 2009, he told me about the time he decided to start writing his Age of Autism column for United Press International. His editor was reportedly concerned that he wouldn’t find enough material to keep the column going.

“Are you kidding me? I can write one every week,” he relayed back to me.

That was all the way back in 2005, but he kept the column going for two years straight until leaving the news agency. His commitment to the cause would only escalate in 2007 when he founded his own news website dedicated to the topic he loved writing about so much: AgeofAutism.com.

It was there that I got my start in 2008 when I first began contributing. While I was a contributing editor, I learned so much from him. It is hard to know where to begin. His ability to investigate, uncover and write was unique and unparalleled, and I always benefited from his advice.

But eventually, a rift grew within our friendship. And one day, that rift grew big enough that it forced me to leave and start my own site – thus marking the beginning of Autism Investigated. We had ceased speaking for awhile, with very little communication in recent years. And despite sometimes citing Age of Autism, Autism Investigated had also been critical of Age of Autism’s coverage at times – particularly during the election cycle.

But despite the mixed signals Age of Autism may have sent about our now-president before the election, Dan Olmsted eventually came around to fully embracing President Trump. On the day of the inauguration just three days before Dan’s death, I was fortunate to have had an extremely friendly email exchange with him where he expressed the same optimism about the new president as he would do the next day in his final “Weekly Wrap” post.

But most encouraging of all was his colorful plea at the very end, one that Autism Investigated hopes will soon become a reality again:

…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 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