Autism Investigated and a Longtime Reader Challenge Peter Hotez

Not since Autism Investigated’s founding has the editor challenged the vaccine people at their own events. But on March 6, vaccine developer Peter Hotez came to University of North Florida to deny he poisoned his daughter Rachel into autism. He transcribed his denial into a book, titled Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism. Compared to past encounters between 2011-2013, both Hotez and the venue that hosted him were surprisingly friendly. The level of nonsense spewed was about the same, however.

Although the event was an “Autism Symposium,” Hotez spent much of his talk discussing infectious diseases. Among those were the neglected tropical diseases that he spent his career researching. He spent relatively little time discussing his daughter, although he was clear that she was very severely afflicted. He repeated the usual mantra of no link to autism, of course, mentioning the fraudulent retraction of the seminal autism-vaccine study. Hotez went even further to deny there is not even an autism epidemic. “It’s really better diagnosis.” The one good thing about his talk was when he plugged and read from Autism Investigated’s meme about him.

Autism Investigated attended the event with Maurine Meleck, a longtime reader, advocate, author and grandmother of two men diagnosed with autism. One of them is recovered, but the other is still disabled and she cares for him. Unexpectedly, she was the first to ask a question. When she brought up the recovery of one of her grandsons and the improvement of the other, Hotez completely denied recovery was even possible for autism. “You don’t recover from autism,” he said.

She continued, “Schools are exploding with children in special education, many of whom have autism. How could you deny there’s an epidemic?”

“I didn’t say there’s no epidemic,” he said.

“You did!”

Hotez doubled down on his denial, stating that by “better diagnosis” he meant better diagnosis of girls with autism. “The key take away from my talk is that whatever causes autism, vaccines are not to blame!”

A few more people asked questions after that. One was a woman who admitted she delayed the MMR vaccine for her child. Hotez didn’t approve, “I wouldn’t do that!”

Another questioner said she felt there was a real autism epidemic. Then the mic finally was passed to Autism Investigated.

Hotez was then asked about the seminal 1998 autism-vaccine study coauthors’ fraudulent retraction of the interpretation. Hotez didn’t even know about the coauthors’ retraction, “I think it was an expression of concern.” He was corrected, having been told how the coauthors’ retraction had nothing to do with the accuracy of the conclusion but was really a statement in favor of vaccines, making it a fraudulent retraction. Hotez mentioned that the lead author Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license. When Autism Investigated informed him that it was because he didn’t cosign the fraudulent retraction, Hotez deferred to talk afterwards.

After the event ended, the editor and Maurine Meleck both introduced themselves. Meleck gave Hotez a copy of her book Rooting Out Bedhead: Autism and Other Brushes with Chaos. Upon the introduction of Autism Investigated’s editor, Hotez nervously laughed, “Oh, so you’re Jake Crosby! You write such mean things about me!”

Giving Autism Investigated his business card, Hotez said, “I have to run to the airport, but would love to talk more!”

He did compliment Autism Investigated’s post on JB Handley, ironically, saying, “You’re one of the nice ones.” Of course, that’s comparing the editor to someone who’s not nice to other vaccine skeptics simply because they don’t think he’s the smartest man in the room.

The event was ultimately one giant paradox. It was an event that was strangely out of sync with other events where the response by other pro-vaccine speakers like Paul Offit were overtly hostile. Yet the event was ultimately the same in its pushing of nonsense to promote toxic vaccinations. Hotez will never stop being in denial of his daughter’s autism, for it would mean that vaccines were involved.

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15 Thoughts on “Autism Investigated and a Longtime Reader Challenge Peter Hotez

  1. Nancy Levinson on March 8, 2019 at 3:34 am said:

    A well-written piece giving a good summary of the session.
    What a daunting battle to fight for the truth regarding the obvious vaccine-autism link!
    A big shout-out to Jake Crosby and Maurine Meleck for their fortitude
    and doing the right thing.

  2. Bayareamom on March 8, 2019 at 5:28 pm said:

    I’ll second that, Nancy! Good job to you both, Jake!

  3. Carol on March 8, 2019 at 8:04 pm said:

    What does Hotez attribute his daughter’s autism to? His or his wife’s bad genes? Something else?

  4. Hotez is as bad as autism parent Susan Senator, Brookline MA., who often tweets and contributes to articles supporting vaccination and belittling parents who do not vaccinate. Her sister is a Pediatrician (enough said there!) and Susan is a a never, ending babbling self proclaimed advocate whose son has been abused in the placements she claimed were great. Parents like this need to spend less time preaching and writing books and more time actually focusing on their own issues.

    Her latest tweet-

    Susan Senator

    Mar 8
    I was interviewed by @USATODAY as part of their coverage of the dangerous #antivaxx movement:

    • My guess, is that people like Susan Senator, Peter Hotez and Mark Blaxill… are just pretending to be the parents of autistic children.

      And why the heck wouldn’t they lie about having an autistic child? It immediately exalts the opinions of otherwise pathetic ass-monkeys, into the opinions of people who’s thoughts might actually be worth listening to.

      From where I’m sitting, pretending to be the parent of an autistic child… is just a particularly insidious form of controlled opposition.

      • I have met Mark Blaxill’s daughter and Susan Senator’s son. I haven’t met Peter Hotez’s daughter, but there are pictures of her everywhere. Whatever their issues, they do all have children with autism.

      • Hi Barry,

        Susan Senator is indeed very real as is her need for never ending recognition.
        Her son Nat is the victim of yet another one of Susan’s failed housing situation decisions. She just blogged about it the other day. I think he has been in four different housing situations since he turned 21. My point is this, she has written numerous books claiming to be such an advocate and have knowledge of the entire system and what a person with disabilities needs in order to be successful. Unfortunately most of her ideas in that area have failed for her son so why in the HELL would anyone ever listen to this woman’s advice and opinions regarding vaccines? She is, imo, insufferable.

        Susan Senator

        Mar 20
        More Susan Senator Retweeted Lei Wiley-Mydske

        This. Susan Senator added,

        Lei Wiley-Mydske

        The antivax movement is inherently ableist and if you think vaccines cause autism, you’re not just wrong and anti-science, you are actively promoting stigma and hate against autistic people.
        0 replies 2 retweets 6 likes
        Reply Retweet 2 Like 6

  5. anotherinternetuser001 on March 11, 2019 at 1:54 am said:

    Well done. Thanks Jake and Maurine.

  6. Hans Litten on March 12, 2019 at 1:52 pm said:


    The BBC is delighted to announce

    Italy bans unvaccinated children from school

    Let the protests resume – End of the EU ? perhaps

  7. Hans Litten on March 12, 2019 at 6:29 pm said:

    US Cardinal Raymond Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, will deliver the opening and concluding address at the March 13 event.

    The conference has also received the endorsement of Bishop Athanasius Schneider, who in a letter to conference organizers called the use of aborted fetuses in vaccine research a “new barbarity of biological cannibalism.”

    ROME, March 11, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Should parents have the right to exercise conscientious objection in order to prevent their children from being inoculated with vaccines produced from aborted fetal cell lines? And what does science tell us about these vaccines?

    Scientists, ecclesiastics, activists and parents will gather at a Rome conference on March 13 to explore the history, science and politics surrounding the use of aborted fetuses in vaccines given to children around the world.

    The association organizing the event is called Renovatio 21. The conference will take place at 3:30pm at the Casa Bonus Pastor in Rome and will be themed: “Faith, Science and Conscience: using aborted fetuses for pharmaceutical production.”

    LifeSite spoke with one of the founders of Renovatio 21, Cristiano Lugli, ahead of the event.

    He pointed out that the use of aborted fetuses in vaccine research has been confirmed by one of its own great pioneers, Dr. Stanley Plotkin, a doctor and consultant of Sanofi-Pasteur.

    In a shocking courtroom interrogation in July 2018, Plotkin said that 76 aborted fetuses were used in one study alone. During the interrogation, Plotkin, a self-professed atheist who admitted to “taking issue with religious beliefs,” also said he would be “glad” to go to hell for having use “aborted tissues” in vaccines.

  8. Barry on March 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm said:

    . “The key take away from my talk is that whatever causes autism, vaccines are not to blame!”


    Amazing how they have no idea what IS causing autism… and yet they somehow know the one thing that couldn’t possibly be causing it.

    Sorry Hotez, my takeaway from your talk is that you know exactly what is causing autism. You’re just one of much larger group of scared, pathetic little men. Who live in fear of the world figuring out, what people like you have been doing to our kids.

  9. Hans Litten on March 19, 2019 at 10:13 am said:

    Chelsea Clinton on Twitter
    Found 13 hours ago

    “Thank you Dr. Dana Corriel, Chad Hermann, Elias Kass, Dr. Kristen Stuppy, Dr. Paul Offit & everyone working to fight vaccine #fakenews and protect our public health. #VaccinesWork:” [ 0

  10. Hans Litten on March 20, 2019 at 2:53 pm said:

    I hope you see this Peter Hotez

    Because to my mind there is more than a passing resemblance between you and this evil little war criminal :

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