Tag Archives: Open Letter

BREAKING: AI Demands Daily Beast Retract Paul Offit Post on Vaccine-Miscarriage Study

Paul Offit has written a post for The Daily Beast arguing that a CDC study of miscarriage and influenza vaccination should have never been published. He bases his argument on his own misrepresentations of the study’s results. Read Autism Investigated’s below letter to The Daily Beast’s editorial team demanding they retract Offit’s post.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Paul Offit’s Article Misrepresents Study Findings, Should be
Retracted
From: <info@autisminvestigated.com>
Date: Sun, September 24, 2017 3:33 pm
To: editorial@thedailybeast.com

Dear Daily Beast,

Your contributor Paul Offit’s latest article “The Pregnancy Vaccine Scare That Should Have Never Been” makes multiple misrepresentations of a recent CDC study on influenza vaccination and miscarriage. Since these misrepresentations form the basis of his central argument that the study should never have been published, Offit’s article is fatally flawed and should be retracted by your publication.

Offit states about a recent study of miscarriage and flu vaccination that the study authors found no overall association with miscarriage and flu vaccination when they had:

“The CDC’s question prior to this study was “Does influenza vaccine cause spontaneous abortions?” The answer to that question was no. It was only after investigators sub-stratified their data to include those who had or hadn’t received a vaccine the previous year that they could find statistical significance.”

This is directly from the study, contradicting Offit’s claim:

“The overall adjusted odds ratio (aOR) was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.1–3.6)”

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X17308666

As someone who holds a degree in epidemiology (unlike Offit) and has analyzed the database used in this study (also unlike Offit), I can assure you that that is a significant association. The “95% CI” (confidence interval) excludes the number 1.0. Therefore, the answer to their study question would point in the “yes” direction.

This also demolishes his next point about the study, that the association was based on small numbers:

“After the CDC researchers had finished sub-stratifying their data, the numbers were small”, concluding the results due to “the curse of small numbers gleaned from a large database.” But even before the authors had computed their next association from a smaller sample, the association from their full study sample was already significant. But because Offit misrepresented the association as being insignificant, his point about the study’s findings being based solely on small numbers is also wrong.

His very first point was also wrong, too:

“Researchers had studied two influenza-vaccine seasons: 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The problem of first-trimester spontaneous abortions occurred during the first season but not the second.”

The study itself makes clear this happened in both seasons: “This effect modification was observed in each season”

Because the majority of Offit’s points are based on his own misrepresentations – including all those that discussed the study findings directly – simple corrections are too mild. The entire post should be retracted by The Daily Beast, especially since the purpose of the post was to make the case for why the study should have never been published. In reality, The Daily Beast should have never posted this fatally flawed article by Paul Offit and should now retract it.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

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