Tag Archives: Dr. Brian Hooker

CDC Cover-up’s Ivan Oransky Conceals BMC Violation

ivan-oransky

By Jake Crosby

 

Some journalists are just ignorant; Ivan Oransky is not. He is Vice President of the “Association of Health Care Journalists” (AHCJ) – an organization of “journalists” funded by vaccine industry-tied groups dedicated to helping the CDC carry out its cover-up into the media. He also co-edits the blog “Retraction Watch,” which gleefully reported on the withdrawal of Dr. Brian Hooker’s paper that reported the very relationship between MMR and autism that CDC omitted from its original study. Oransky knows full well BioMed Central (BMC) breached policy when it pulled Dr. Hooker’s paper, but did Oransky report that, even though his blog reported on the removal of Dr. Hooker’s paper? Of course not, but he inadvertently revealed his knowledge of it in the email exchange I had with him after he vehemently defended the article’s deletion. Oransky also defended drastically altering my comment on his blog, grossly distorting what I said. (See full email exchange below)

After Oransky’s blog wrote about the pulling of Dr. Hooker’s paper without reporting about the BMC violation, CNN wrote an article from the same perspective as Oransky’s blog the very next day. CNN also added that Dr. Hooker’s paper was removed in a note above every relevant CNN iReport – without noting the BMC violation – disabled editing on the iReport CNN linked to from its article. What more can you expect when, as written elsewhere, Oransky’s wife is a writer/producer for none other than CNN?

Earlier this year, millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit – who advised CDC’s immunization program while the fraud the whistleblower described was taking place – announced at AHCJ’s annual meeting that there should be “journalism jail” for journalists who write stories about debate on vaccines i.e. who try to report on the cover-up honestly. AHCJ gave pharma PR agent Trine Tsouderos an award for her hit pieces against notable scientists opposed to adverse vaccine side-effects like Dr. Boyd Haley. Over the years AHCJ has invited other co-conspirators such as Brian Deer, Walter Orenstein, Alison Singer, Diana SchendelArthur Allen and Seth Mnookin to its annual conference. Mnookin and Oransky were old college friends; they also have dishonesty in common. Additionally, AHCJ has even teamed up with CDC to train reporters to disseminate its propaganda – no doubt in line with former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ statement about telling media outlets not to report on vaccine dangers.

As Congress investigates the CDC for fraud like that revealed by the whistleblower William Thompson, Congress should also investigate CDC’s collusion with “journalists” like Ivan Oransky, AHCJ and related people and groups who don’t abide by journalistic standards and therefore do not deserve any press freedom protections. Such people should be fully investigated as co-conspirators and any investigation that leaves them out or fails to recognize them as such will be wholly inadequate.

The below email exchange demonstrates that all the more:

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Hi,

The text of my comment was altered to make it look like I said something I didn’t:

“How come no one is reporting that I believe BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal?”

This is what I really said:

“How come no one is reporting that BioMed Central’s take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article is clearly a violation of the publisher’s own policies on article removal, which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of threatened legal claims”

I don’t want anyone to report what “I believe,” I want journalists to report what actually happened. It is clear from BioMed Central’s policies that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article was a violation of them. Reporting on the take-down without reporting on the violation lends undue legitimacy to the censorship of a scientific paper.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 7:29 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

 

What you said left out most of BMC’s actual policy, and that leaves it as your belief that they violated said policy. Your choice is to have it as is, which conforms to our comment policy, particularly the part about unverified allegations, or have it deleted altogether. You’re welcome to post whatever version you want elsewhere.

 

On Monday, September 1, 2014, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

It’s not my “belief,” you can view the entire policy on BMC’s website and see for yourself that it contradicts the excuse for pulling the paper: http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/permanency 

I also said I wanted others to report on this – not on my opinion of it. So the wording still misrepresents what I said, even without taking verification into account.

 

Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Mon, September 01, 2014 8:18 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: “adam.marcus1@gmail.com” adam.marcus1@gmail.com
We included the entire policy, which you neglected to do and which contradicts what you wrote, along with both statements about why the paper was removed, which you also neglected to do. Your choice is still to have it as is, or simply deleted. Just let us know which you would like.

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:46 AM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

No, it backs up what I wrote, and I explain that fully. You neglect to explain how it’s contradicted at all. I included the entire policy in a screenshot on the webpage I linked to along with the statement that was more specific, contrary to your claim that I didn’t. You chopped the second half of my first sentence, making it less immediately clear how the policy was violated. It’s also misleading to portray me as asking why nobody is reporting that I believe a certain way about this issue, as opposed to simply asking why nobody is reporting on the issue itself.

By mangling my comment this way, are you trying to make me want you to delete my comment?

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 3:56 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” <info@autisminvestigated.com>, Adam
Marcus <>

The second half of that sentence, “which states such action is only done under the explicit avoidance of “threatened legal claims,” is incorrect and misrepresents BMC’s policy. The part of the policy in question: “…in the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have no option but to remove that material from our site and those sites on which we have deposited the material in question.

BioMed Central therefore reserves the right to cease to make available articles that it has been advised are potentially defamatory or that infringe any intellectual property right, or are otherwise unlawful.”

The two relevant notices also make it clear that your original comment’s claim that “However, Dr. Hooker’s paper was only taken down on the excuse of ‘possible undeclared competing interests'” is also incorrect.

You continue to have two choices: Leaving the comment as is, or have it deleted.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 9:52 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Actually, it is correct and is an accurate representation. The reason of “threatened legal claims” is the reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles, that was not the reason it gave for striking Dr. Hooker’s article. That’s clear in this “open access” publisher’s policy you partially quoted.

The more specific notice made it clear that “undeclared possible competing interests” was the reason for the paper’s removal and that “validity” and “public interest” were concerns supposedly stemming from that. Regardless, none of these are “threatened legal claims” – the actual reason BioMed Central gives for striking articles according to policy. Since this was not the reason given for striking Dr. Hooker’s article, his article was therefore deleted in violation of that policy.

One of my readers – ironically the one who told me to contact you – said your misrepresentation of my comment as asking why no one is reporting “that I believe” a certain way about an issue makes me look “unhinged.”

Is that your intent? Either censoring me or making me look unhinged, but giving me a choice between the two so you can then claim you did one or the other with my approval? Sure looks like it.

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Tue, September 02, 2014 7:22 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

You wrote that removal “is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: “that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.” That makes “only” incorrect, and a misrepresentation of the policy.

Our only intent is to verify claims in our comments, and the claim your comment made is incorrect. You continue to have two choices: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 1:41 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Well given that “threatened legal claims” are what the publisher says it hopes to avoid when taking down articles for either of those reasons, “threatened legal claims” are essentially the publisher’s only reason for taking down articles. Since none of what you quote was given in the publisher’s excuse for pulling Dr. Hooker’s article, will you at least finally acknowledge its deletion was in violation of the publisher’s policy for article removal?

Well you’re not acting like that’s your intent by treating verified facts as unverified claims. Nor are you acting like that’s your intent by giving me this ultimatum of either allowing you to keep my butchered comment up as is or having it deleted altogether without replacing it with a corrected version. As you can see from my comment submission (attached), your representation me as asking why others aren’t reporting “that I believe” a certain way is not only “unverified,” but plainly false.

commenttoretractionwatch 

 

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 10:51 am
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

Your two choices for this comment remain: Leave the comment as it is now, or delete it. If you want to submit future comments, you’re more than welcome to do so, but they too will be subject to our comments policy.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 8:38 PM, <info@autisminvestigated.com> wrote:

Why the silence on BMC’s violation of its own policy?

You clearly did not follow your own comments policy in the way you edited my comment, which I do not approve of. That said, I won’t approve of you deleting it without putting up a corrected version either.

Looks like you and BMC both have trouble following your own rules.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Mangled comment misquotes me.
From: Ivan Oransky ivan-oransky@erols.com
Date: Thu, September 04, 2014 5:55 pm
To: “info@autisminvestigated.com” info@autisminvestigated.com
Cc: Adam Marcus <adam.marcus1@gmail.com>

To repeat: You misrepresented BMC’s policy, and you misrepresented the reasons they stated for the removal. You then based the “violation” allegation on your misrepresentations, which made the allegations inaccurate. We then edited your comment so that it no longer included those misrepresentations and inaccuracies.

You are free to post a new comment, as has also been mentioned in this thread, that will also be subject to our comments policy. If that is what you mean by “corrected version,” you’re welcome to submit one. Your choices for the already-posted comment, however, remain the same as they’ve been throughout this exchange.

Ivan Oransky, MD
Vice President and Global Editorial Director, MedPage Today http://medpagetoday.com
Co-Founder, Retraction Watch http://retractionwatch.com
Founder, Embargo Watch http://embargowatch.wordpress.com
Adjunct Associate Professor, New York University’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program
Vice President, Association of Health Care Journalists
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
http://twitter.com/ivanoransky
917-359-2113

 

Finally, I responded:

Here’s what you said:

“You wrote that removal ‘is only done under the explicit avoidance of ‘threatened legal claims.'” The policy actually gives two other reasons for removal: ‘that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory.'”

In your priggish and failed attempt to correct me on BMC’s policy for removing articles, you inadvertently showed that the take-down of Dr. Hooker’s article did violate BMC’s policy. BMC provided no such reasons for deleting Dr. Hooker’s article in either statement, even if you count whatever possible concerns that were raised from the reason of “possible undeclared competing interests” as reasons as well.

Don’t expect any more comment submissions from me.

 

I’ve never heard anything back since.

 

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology

BioMed Central Breached Its Policies By Deleting Brian Hooker’s Study

808620v1v1

By Jake Crosby

Below is the excuse the publisher BioMed Central gave for deleting Dr. Brian Hooker’s study from the medical journal Translational Neurodegeneration:

takedown
But whatever “possible undeclared competing interests” may have been outstanding, they clearly did not warrant taking down the article according to BioMed Central’s own policy for removing articles below. In particular, note the section boxed in red and how it clearly does not apply to Dr. Hooker’s paper at all:
 biomedcentralremoval

There is nothing “unlawful” about “possible undeclared competing interests,” and the excuse for removing Dr. Hooker’s study makes no mention of “threatened legal claims.” BioMed Central breached its own “Permanency of articles” policy by deleting his study, amounting to scientific censorship and casting serious doubt on the objectivity of the publisher’s ongoing investigation of the paper. Moreover, the statement from the CDC whistleblower who coauthored the original study Dr. Hooker reanalyzed the data from lends credence to the validity of his conclusions.

Expanding on these concerns, I wrote the following in email to BioMed Central with the subject title, “Pulling Dr. Hooker’s paper violates your policies”:

Dear BioMed Central,

I am an epidemiologist, graduate student and editor of an autism news website. I am writing because I understand you have removed an article from one of your journals titled “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data,” by Dr. Brian Hooker out of concern for the validity of its conclusions because of “possible undeclared competing interests of the author and peer reviewers.” I should say I know Dr. Hooker personally and consider him a colleague and friend, though I am making this inquiry entirely on my own behalf and not on his or anybody else’s.

I have three questions for you concerning your take-down of his paper:

1.) What possible competing interests are there among the author and peer reviewers that have not already been declared and are so serious that they would warrant the deletion of Dr. Hooker’s paper?

2.) Shouldn’t the below admission from a coauthor of the original CDC study from which Dr. Hooker reanalyzed the data be an encouraging indication of his paper’s validity?

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

http://www.morganverkamp.com/august-27-2014-press-release-statement-of-william-w-thompson-ph-d-regarding-the-2004-article-examining-the-possibility-of-a-relationship-between-mmr-vaccine-and-autism/

3.) According to BioMed Central’s “Permanency of articles” policy, even articles that are retracted remain in the public domain: “…the original article remains in the public domain and the subsequent correction or retraction will be widely indexed.”

This paper is not even retracted, despite an erroneous report from TIME Magazine. Yet Dr. Hooker’s paper has already been removed against your publisher’s policy which states:

“The preservation of scientific research is a cornerstone of science and as such we will use our best efforts to ensure that material published by BioMed Central is preserved and remains available for access.”

This is further backed up by the following statement, which very specifically lays out what reasons would justify the deletion of material from the public domain:

“However in the exceptional event that material is considered to infringe certain rights or is defamatory we may have no option but to remove that material from our site and those sites on which we have deposited the material in question.

BioMed Central therefore reserves the right to cease to make available articles that it has been advised are potentially defamatory or that infringe any intellectual property right, or are otherwise unlawful.”

Clearly, the questions about paper’s validity and any subsequent “public interest” did not warrant its deletion. There was nothing potentially defamatory, copyright-infringing or otherwise unlawful about Dr. Hooker’s paper. Regardless of whether non-declaration of possible competing interests by the author or peer reviewers is true, there is nothing that would be “unlawful” about it.

BioMed Central clearly lays out how it handles the removal of such material:

“Where this occurs the article will remain indexed. However in place of the article or header the following will appear:

“BioMed Central regrets that this article is no longer available to avoid threatened legal claims”.”

http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/permanency

This does not apply to Dr. Hooker’s paper at all, and no such statement was made in place of his paper. It is therefore clear that you pulled his paper in breach of your own stated policies.

How can readers trust the objectivity of any subsequent editorial investigation since your reason for pulling the paper is contradicted by your own permanency policy in the first place? That reason hypocritically calls into question the objectivity of the author and peer reviewers, yet your investigation is not being conducted in an objective manner.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH
Editor, Autism Investigated
www.autisminvestigated.com

BioMed Central sent me this reply:

Dear Jake,

Thank you for your message. We are not providing further comment until the investigation is concluded.
I will keep your email and let you know when that is.

Best wishes,

Anna

Anna Perman
Media Officer

I then responded:

Dear Anna,

Will you at least explain why his paper should stay down when deleting it in the first place clearly goes against your permanency policy?

Jake

Receiving an automatic reply, I sent a similar email to another BioMed Central employee only to receive an automatic reply from that person as well. As the study remains deleted, the publisher’s subsequent “investigation” of it is clearly anything but objective.

BioMed Central should abide by its own policies, and restore Dr. Hooker’s study to the public domain of Translational Neurodegeneration immediately.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Whistleblower Confirms Wakefield Outed Him Without Permission

Whistleblower Betrayal

Editor’s Note: The moratorium on the whistleblower’s identity here has now been lifted.

By Jake Crosby

Despite denying it in the comments here, Andrew Wakefield has released the identity of a whistleblower from CDC without his permission according to a statement from the whistleblower himself. In that statement released today and reproduced below, CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson confirms he had no choice over publicizing his name or recordings of his voice and was not even aware he was being recorded (fifth paragraph boldface mine):

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—AUGUST 27, 2014

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, Ph. D., REGARDING THE 2004 ARTICLE EXAMINING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM


My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I have worked since 1998.

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

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub-group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with the receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

I am grateful for the many supportive emails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data of development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists outside of the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted out of the building as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan, Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Andrew Wakefield did not just betray the CDC whistleblower. I too was betrayed by Wakefield since he lied to me directly here that he had obtained permission from Dr. Thompson when he had not.

Shame on you, Andy.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Andrew Wakefield Betrays CDC Whistleblower

download

By Jake Crosby

When I wrote the article SafeMinds Steals The Show, Literally… early last year, I never thought I would write a piece I would enjoy writing even less than I enjoyed writing that one.

I was wrong.

Andrew Wakefield has betrayed the CDC whistleblower by releasing his name without his consent. On the Autism Media Channel website, a video hosted by Wakefield is up announcing the whistleblower’s name and playing recordings of his voice. In the video is scientist and parent Dr. Brian Hooker, who had been in discussions with the whistleblower and made the catastrophic mistake of sharing his identity with Wakefield. Complicit in the betrayal is Age of Autism, which is promoting Wakefield’s video while repeating the whistleblower’s name.

In commentary to a small group of people later relayed to Autism Investigated, attorney Robert Krakow commented:

“I am very familiar with the information [whistleblower] offered. Disclosure of [whistleblower]’s existence and identity at this point in time is a colossal blunder and an inexplicable error in judgment that damages irreparably the opportunity to use [whistleblower]’s very valuable information and testimony effectively.  I know that Brian Hooker did not make the disclosure.”

It remains truly ironic that Andrew Wakefield – a man betrayed by the Lancet editor a decade ago – would turn around and betray the trust of someone who has come forward with valuable information about the fraud committed in a federal agency. Also ironic is that Wakefield similarly betrayed the trust of Dr. Brian Hooker, whose congressional activities have been repeatedly undermined by groups associated with Age of Autism.

More will be reported as this story develops.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

 

CDC WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS YET MORE RESEARCH FRAUD

Whistleblower

A STUDY BY FOCUS AUTISM FOUNDATION FINDS: CDC WHISTLEBLOWER REVEALS WIDESPREAD MANIPULATION OF SCIENTIFIC DATA AND TOP-DOWN PRESSURE ON CDC SCIENTISTS TO SUPPORT THE FRAUDULENT APPLICATION OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES ON VACCINE SAFETY

Whistleblower Says CDC Knew in 2003 of Higher Autism Rate Among African-American Boys Receiving MMR Shot Earlier Than 36 Months

WATCHUNG, NJ–(Marketwired – August 18, 2014) – A top research scientist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover data manipulation by the CDC that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys. The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on the DeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study.

Dr. Hooker’s study, published August 8 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Translational Neurodegenerationshows that African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months.

According to Dr. Hooker, the CDC whistleblower informant — who wishes to remain anonymous — guided him to evidence that a statistically significant relationship between the age the MMR vaccine was first given and autism incidence in African-American boys was hidden by CDC researchers. After data were gathered on 2,583 children living in Atlanta, Georgia who were born between 1986 and 1993, CDC researchers excluded children that did not have a valid State of Georgia birth certificate — reducing the sample size being studied by 41%. Hooker explains that by introducing this arbitrary criteria into the analysis, the cohort size was sharply reduced, eliminating the statistical power of the findings and negating the strong MMR-autism link in African American boys.

Dr. Hooker has worked closely with the CDC whistleblower, and he viewed highly sensitive documents related to the study via Congressional request from U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The CDC documents from Congress and discussions that Hooker had with the whistleblower reveal widespread manipulation of scientific data and top-down pressure on CDC scientists to support fraudulent application of government policies on vaccine safety. Based on raw data used in the 2004 DeStefano et al study obtained under FOIA, Dr. Hooker found that the link between MMR vaccination and autism in African-American boys was obscured by the introduction of irrelevant and unnecessary birth certificate criteria — ostensibly to reduce the size of the study.

The results of the original study first appeared in the journal Pediatrics which receives financial support from vaccine makers via advertising and direct donations, according to a CBS News report. The DeStefano et al study is widely used by the CDC and other public health organizations to dismiss any link between vaccines and autism — a neurological disorder on the rise.

Dr. Hooker stated “The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up.” The whistleblower confirmed this.

When asked if there could be any scientific basis for excluding children born outside of Georgia, Hooker responded, “I know of none, and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study.” He added, “The exclusion is reminiscent of tactics historically used to deprive African-Americans of the vote by requiring valid birth certificates.”

Dr. Hooker concluded further study is needed to determine why this specific effect (3.4-fold increase when MMR is administered prior to 36 months) is seen exclusively in African-American males, and determine whether delaying the first MMR vaccination should be advised for this population. A link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been conceded in cases compensated by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

The CDC whistleblower informant, who has worked for the government agency for over a decade, remarked to Dr. Hooker in phone calls: “We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.” The whistleblower alleges criminal wrongdoing of his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.

According to David Lewis, PhD, former senior-level microbiologist with the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research & Development, skewing scientific data to support government policies is a major problem at federal agencies, including EPA, CDC, and USDA. Lewis, who was terminated by EPA for publishing papers in Nature that questioned the science the agency uses to support certain regulations, believes top-down pressure on federal scientists and researchers working on government-funded projects in academia is jeopardizing public health.

“Working for the government is no different than working for corporations. You either toe the line or find yourself looking for another way to make a living,” Lewis says. “No one would be surprised if Merck published unreliable data supporting the safety of its products. Why would anyone be surprised that the CDC is publishing skewed data to conclude that the vaccines it recommends are safe? We need a better system, where scientists are free to be honest.”

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illness — focusing on the role of vaccinations. Learn more at www.Focusautism.org

Contact information
Jenny Kefauver
Phone: 703-842-7405
703-850-3533
Email: jenny@jkpublicrelationsdc.com

Originally posted on Marketwired

Cover-up Scandal: CDC’s Vaccine Research Exposed as Flawed and Falsified

CDC’s Vaccine Safety Research is Exposed as Flawed and Falsified in Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal

Substantial Scientific Evidence Exists that Vaccine Ingredient is a Developmental Neurotoxin

Watchung, NJ, June 12, 2014
by A Shot of Truth

Just months after U.S. Congressman Bill Posey compared the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s vaccine safety studies to the SEC’s Bernie Madoff scandal, malfeasance in the CDC’s studies of thimerosal-containing vaccines has, for the first time, been documented in peer-reviewed scientific literature. While the CDC states on its website that “low doses of thimerosal in vaccines do not cause harm, and are only associated with minor local injection site reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site,” the journal BioMed Research International now provides direct evidence that the CDC’s safety assurances about the mercury-containing preservative are not fact-based, according to the article’s lead author, Brian Hooker, PhD.

The paper opens by citing over 165 studies that have found Thimerosal to be harmful, including 16 studies that had reported outcomes in human infants and children of death, acrodynia, poisoning, allergic reaction, malformations, auto-immune reaction, Well’s syndrome, developmental delay and neurodevelopmental disorders including tics, speech delay, language delay, ADHD and autism. These findings by multiple independent research groups over the past 75+ years have consistently found thimerosal to be harmful. “Substantial scientific evidence exists and has existed for many years that the vaccine ingredient thimerosal is a developmental neurotoxin” says George Lucier, former Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program.

Studies showing harm from thimerosal sharply contradict published outcomes of six CDC coauthored and sponsored papers – the very studies that CDC relies upon to declare that thimerosal is “safe” for use in infant and maternal vaccines. Dr. Hooker, biochemist and vaccine industry watchdog, said of the six CDC studies, “Each of these papers is fatally flawed from a statistics standpoint and several of the papers represent issues of scientific malfeasance.  For example, important data showing a relationship between thimerosal exposure and autism are withheld from three of the publications (Price et al. 2010, Verstraeten et al. 2003 and Madsen et al. 2003).  This type of cherry-picking of data by the CDC in order to change the results of important research studies to support flawed and dangerous vaccination policies should not be tolerated.”

Dr. Boyd Haley, international expert in mercury toxicity and a co-author of the recently published paper said “There is no doubt that authorities in the CDC have initiated and participated in a cover-up of vaccine-induced damage from thimerosal to our children—-and this I consider criminal.” The paper, “Methodological Issues and Evidence of Malfeasance in Research Purporting to Show Thimerosal in Vaccines is Safe,” was published on June 6 and contains eight pages of evidence that the CDC has had knowledge of the vaccine preservative’s neurological risks, yet continues to cover them up.

The paper concludes, “five of the publications examined in this review were directly commissioned by the CDC, raising the possible issue of conflict of interests or research bias, since vaccine promotion is a central mission of the CDC. Conceivably, if serious neurological disorders are found to be related to Thimerosal in vaccines, such findings could possibly be viewed as damaging to the vaccine program.”

Dr. Hooker has submitted over 100 FOIA requests to the CDC over the past 10 years and has amassed thousands of pages of documents showing malfeasance in the CDC’s vaccine safety program.  Hooker revealed that one CDC document quoted a top official instructing CDC employees to “Review all correspondences and documents to see if there is ‘foreseeable harm’ to the agency if they were released” so the documents could be redacted by CDC attorneys prior to release.

Barry Segal, founder of the Focus Autism Foundation and former entrepreneur whose company sales peaked near $2 billion said, “We are in the process of exposing what may be the biggest federal scandal ever with immense damage to our economy and our people, especially our children who are the future of our country. Their health has been compromised by mercury in vaccines. We need Congress to take action now. Thimerosal must be banned.”

A more effective vaccine preservative “2PE” has replaced thimerosal in many other vaccines and possesses a much better safety profile according to Dr. Hooker.

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information to the public that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. To learn more, visit FocusAutism.org.  A Shot of Truth is an educational campaign sponsored by Focus Autism

BioMed Research International

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/247218/

Focusautism.org – www.focusautism.org

A Shot of Truth – www.ashotoftruth.org

See Also:

CDC Caught Hiding Data Showing Mercury in Vaccines Linked to Autism

Originally published at Health Impact News Daily

 

Watch Jake Crosby’s AutismOne 2014 Talk

Props to AutismOne’s Teri Arranga for her introduction.

Originally posted on AutismOne

So often, when we think of investigating autism, we think of discovering the physiological underpinnings. But what about the sociological forces that perpetuate the autism epidemic? Politics from without? Or – surprisingly – politics from within? In this startling lecture, Jacob Crosby, MPH, discusses the obstructionist forces that have hampered progress within the autism advocacy arena.

Jake Crosby, MPH

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a bachelor’s degree in both history and health and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a master’s degree in epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a PhD in epidemiology. For nearly five years, he was contributing editor to Age of Autism.

Originally posted at AutismOne

AutismOne is a non-profit charity organization 501(c)(3) started by a small group of parents of children with autism. Parents are and must remain the driving force of our community, the stakes are too high and the issues too sacred to delegate to outside interests. AUTISM IS A PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE BIOMEDICAL CONDITION. Autism is the result of environmental triggers. Autism is not caused by “bad” genes and the epidemic is not the result of “better” diagnosis. Children with autism suffer from gut bugs, allergies, heavy metal toxicity, mitochondrial disorders, antioxidant deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune diseases – all of which are treatable. THE KEY IS EDUCATION The AutismOne Conference, AutismOne Radio, AutismOne Outreach and Autism in Action initiatives educate more than 100,000 families every year about prevention, recovery, safety, and change.

Originally posted at AutismOne

 

Addendum: See AutismOne Slides

Congressman Bill Posey: “I think the CDC should be investigated.”

AUTISMONE CONGRESSMAN POSEY

U.S. Congressman Compares Corruption in CDC’s Vaccine Safety Studies to SEC’s Handling of Bernie Madoff Scandal

Congressman Bill Posey Has Strong Words for Government Agency. Concludes: “I think the CDC Should Be Investigated.”

WATCHUNG, N.J.April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — In an April 8 interview on AutismOne’s A Conversation of Hope radio show, Congressman Bill Posey’s strong resolve and demands for transparency were evident as he discussed the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s handling of vaccine safety studies which affect  “our most precious resource in our nation – our children.” The 30-minute interview, conducted by vaccine industry watchdog, PhD biochemist Brian Hooker, delves into what Posey called “the incestuous relationship between the public health community and the vaccine makers and public officials.”

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140415/MN03902

The Florida legislator, known as “Mr. Accountabililty,” did not mince words when criticizing current and past CDC officials including indicted fraudster Dr. Poul Thorsen; CDC director turned Merck Vaccine President Dr. Julie Gerberding; and the agency’s current spokesperson regarding autism and vaccines, Dr. Coleen Boyle.

On Thorsen, Posey said “If you read through the emails and learned about the meetings and the financial arrangement this crook had with the CDC, it will make you absolutely sick to your stomach. This was no casual researcher way down the line. This is the CDC’s key man in Denmark.  He was closely tied to the CDC’s top vaccine safety researchers… as long as Thorsen was cooking the books to produce the results they wanted, they didn’t care whether the studies were valid or how much money was being siphoned off the top…It’s like the Security and Exchange Commission and Bernie Madoff. But it’s worse because we’re talking about someone who basically stole money that was supposed to be used to improve the health and safety of our most vulnerable in our society – our young babies.”

Dr. Hooker remarked that Thorsen had collaborated with the CDC on 36 papers, not just one paper as claimed by Dr. Boyle, and that the agency refused to investigate studies exonerating vaccines’ role in causing autism following his indictment on wire fraud and money laundering. Posey described Boyle as “intentionally evasive,” in his questioning of her at a Congressional hearing.  “I asked her a very direct question. ‘Have you done a study comparing autism rates in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children?…’  She started telling us about everything she’s done …After she wasted three minutes, I cut her off and I demanded that she answer the question. And then, only then, did she admit that the federal government has never done that very simple, fundamental, basic study.”

About Boyle’s denial of a true increase in autism, Posey said, “I know we have an autism epidemic. You know it. She knows it.  She knows we know it. But for some reason they refuse to acknowledge it publicly.”  Regarding Boyle’s assertion that the increase is due to better diagnosing, Posey said, “I don’t think anybody that’s intellectually honest with this issue can begin to fathom that lame excuse that she uses.” He also described an orchestrated campaign on behalf of the CDC and vaccine industry: “people who do all the blogging and shredding anyone who dares question the unaccountable bureaucrats.” He spoke of “their little media network [that will] twist the truth to disparage, to malign, to vilify, to denigrate anybody who wants any kind of accountability….”

Posey then discussed his co-sponsorship with Rep. Carolyn Maloney of the Vaccine Safety Study Act. He said the proposed legislation would compel the government to conduct a retrospective vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study of health outcomes. He felt it could be done with “accountability and direct oversight of the government”

In his closing remarks, Posey said, “The CDC can’t be trusted regarding investigating vaccine safety. Huge conflict of interest.  I think the CDC should be investigated.”

Barry Segal, founder of Focus Autism, which sponsors Dr. Hooker’s investigative research, called the interview “a game changer.”

Representative Bill Posey is serving his third term in Florida’s 8th Congressional District. He serves on the Committee for Science, Space and Technology. He was instrumental in the release of CDC documents regarding a link between vaccines and autism. These papers are now being analyzed by several researchers, including Dr. Brian Hooker.

Brian Hooker, PhD, PE, has 15 years experience in the field of bioengineering and is an associate professor at Simpson University where he specializes in biology and chemistry. His over 50 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Hooker has a son, aged 16, who developed normally but then regressed into autism after receiving Thimerosal (mercury-containing) vaccines.

The Focus Autism Foundation is dedicated to providing information that exposes the cause or causes of the autism epidemic and the rise of chronic illnesses – focusing specifically on the role of vaccinations. A Shot of Truth is an educational website sponsored by Focus Autism.  AutismOne is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides education and supports advocacy efforts for children and families touched by an autism diagnosis.

Media Contact: A Shot of Truth, A Shot of Truth, (844)367-2768, info@ashotoftruth.org

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com

SOURCE  A Shot of Truth



RELATED LINKS
http://www.ashotoftruth.org

Dr. Gary Kompothecras Helps Canary Party Hijack Hearings

drgaryjenmarkyacht

Addendum: Click above image to enlarge.

By Jake Crosby

Above is a photo of Canary Party Chairman Mark Blaxill and President Jennifer Larson with chiropractor Dr. Gary Kompothecras of 1-800-Ask-Gary fame on a yacht in Sarasota, Florida on April 30th, 2013 where they were meeting with congressmen, including Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (COGR) Chairman Darrell Issa. Jennifer Larson, in no ambiguous terms, made it clear whom she and Blaxill had to thank for meetings with congressmen in the above Facebook photo of her, Blaxill and Dr. Kompothecras:

“Thank you Dr. Gary Kompothecras. Dr. Gary made these meetings possible.”

Yes, thank you  Dr. Gary for making it possible for Mark Blaxill to hijack the congressional hearings. Dr. Kompothecras has considerable political influence and in recent years has given vast amounts of money to Congressman Issa’s campaign for Congress and those of other congressmen. Dr. Kompothecras’ political pull was key to having Issa commit to holding hearings on autism causation and the vaccine program in 2012.

Unfortunately, Dr. Kompothecras was also key in destroying what he helped launch. At the 2012 AutismOne conference, Kompothecras spilled the news of the upcoming congressional hearing to Mark Blaxill, who then undermined that hearing with the help of lobbyist Beth Clay, interfered with scientist Dr. Brian Hooker testifying on CDC’s research fraud and caused autism epidemic deniers Ari Ne’eman and Michael John Carley to show up instead, much to Kompothecras’ dismay. He was so angry about Ne’eman’s presence at the hearing that when Ne’eman offered to shake his hand, Kompothecras replied:

“I’m not gonna shake your hand you fucking clown!”

I cringed when Dr. Kompothecras bragged about this to me after the hearing. Yet his anger at Ari Ne’eman’s testifying did not stop him from giving Mark Blaxill a friendly pat on the shoulder at the hearing, despite Blaxill’s role in enabling Ne’eman to testify by having the hearing topic changed to the catch-all “federal response” on autism.

The disturbing details of how Blaxill hijacked the hearing did not deter Dr. Kompothecras from developing closer ties to Blaxill and Canary Party Dr. Hooker was pressured into “working with” Mark Blaxill by Dr. Kompothecras who made Hooker fear being cut off from COGR if he didn’t cooperate with Canary Party. That was when Canary Party put out an action alert that – unlike what Canary Party’s president promised to Dr. Brian Hooker – did not specifically ask Congress to investigate the CDC’s scientific misconduct.

Despite the false promise made to Dr. Hooker by Canary Party President Jennifer Larson that the Canary Party action alert would ask for an investigation specifically into CDC research fraud, Dr. Brian Hooker told me who the real architect of the action alert was:

“It was Mark’s doing. I called him on it after the action alert came out”

And in contrast to Mark Blaxill later claiming that it was Issa who wanted the next hearing to be about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP):

“He [Mark Blaxill] said that he was merely representing the consensus of the community and that the community wanted the NVICP hearing first,” said Hooker.

Also contradictory to Blaxill’s claim that the action alert represented the “consensus of the community” was the fact that the alert emphasized NVICP and led the community to ask Congressional COGR to investigate it. When asked to make a correction to the alert, Blaxill replied:

“What’s done is done.”

After Blaxill, Larson and Kompothecras’ April 30th, 2013 meeting with congressmen including COGR Chairman Issa, Jennifer Larson gave $40,000 to the Darrell Issa Victory Fund in May. This in turn was followed by Issa’s sitting on a panel at the AutismOne 2013 conference held later that same month. Mark Blaxill introduced that panel.

After emails turned up in September of that year revealing Mark Blaxill’s role in sabotaging the omnibus autism proceeding – that both Drs. Hooker and Kompothecras are petitioners in – Kompothecras dismissed Blaxill’s actions as being from years prior. Yet the following month, Mark Blaxill said in a podcast interview that he was unapologetic about anything he has done. Small wonder that Dr. Hooker said that October, “I feel very betrayed by Dr. Gary” and has not heard much from him in the past year.

Then the congressional committee cancelled the December-scheduled NVICP hearing, noting the topic picked by Canary Party was overly divisive. Yet even after that, as well as revelations about Blaxill’s role in throwing the omnibus and his concealed pharmaceutical connections, Dr. Kompothecras still supports him and Canary Party.

According to a reliable source, the NVICP hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 15th, 2014; with Dr. Kompothecras’ help, the Canary Party is still undermining the congressional hearings that were meant to be about CDC research misconduct. In the mean time, Kompothocras has been having some legal troubles that range from him being investigated by the Florida Bar, to being sued by State Farm Insurance, and he  is suing Allstate Insurance and Bloomberg News.

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

Canary Party’s False Promises Led To Congressional Hearing Collapse

Hooker-Larson comment

(Click to enlarge)

By Jake Crosby

Above is a screenshot dated March 23rd of a Facebook post from Dr. Brian Hooker asking for people to call congressional staff and ask that the Congressional Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (COGR) specifically investigate data fraud committed by CDC to cover up the vaccine-autism link. Commenting beneath his Facebook post is none other than Jennifer Larson – President of the Canary Party:

“We are on it! Thanks Brian Hooker!”

But after weeks of planning a Canary Party Action Alert that was intended to support Brian Hooker’s investigation, suddenly Canary Party sent out an alert that did not represent what was promised to him:

“Chairman Issa stated there is nothing that is off-limits for what the OGR committee will continue to explore. Ask him to promptly schedule the next hearing to investigate government malfeasance in covering up the vaccine/autism connection including, as examples, the following areas:

• Evidence in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program showing clearly that vaccines can and do cause autism

• CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection

• CDC’s suppression of evidence of the autism epidemic”

This Action Alert reveals Canary Party’s strategy to shift the topic away from CDC’s cover-up of the thimerosal/autism connection. In the first bullet point, the Canary Party introduces NVICP as evidence that vaccines cause autism. Somehow, NVICP as evidence of vaccines’ link to autism later morphed into NVICP reform – the new topic for the next congressional hearing. But what happened to the topic promised to Dr. Hooker?

Not only was the CDC cover-up of thimerosal’s role in causing the autism epidemic buried in the middle of the Action Alert, but the wording was clearly favorable to the entirely different topic of NVICP. In fact, that was exactly what Canary Party’s Executive Director Patti Carroll asked for in a long letter she posted on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s Facebook page. And now, Canary Party claims NVICP was Issa’s idea all along, even though we can trace its origin to the above Action Alert.

Brian Hooker was not pleased with this turn of events and wrote on Facebook, “COGR is not ready for that investigation and I’ve been told by their staff many times that they do not yet have energy for the NVICP. We are so close to a CDC investigation. That is why I approached Jennifer about the Action Alert. The message is now confused. I’m very discouraged…”

Regarding the action alert specifically, Dr. Hooker commented:

“not effective… not what I talked to Jennifer about… very discouraged…”

He then expressed regret about the action alert entirely:

“If I would have know [sic] this, I would have withdrawn my request for an action alert.”

Sure enough, the December-scheduled NVICP hearing Canary Party requested (in violation of its promise to Dr. Brian Hooker) was cancelled. Without providing any direct quotes from those who cancelled the hearing , Canary Party immediately shifted blame on everything from interference by the vaccine industry to simply “poor timing”. The below quote from a legal source in direct contact with COGR Chairman Issa’s counsel, previously disclosed on Autism Investigated, tells an entirely different story:

“I was just informed by the Counsel for Chairman Issa that due to ‘great deal of reluctance about participating or being drawn into what they, in their private candid discussions with us, say they see as an overly divisive issue’ they are canceling the hearing.”

Certainly it was divisive of Canary Party to promise one thing and then suddenly deliver something else that aims to avoid the CDC’s suppression of evidence thimerosal causes autism. Similarly, it was divisive of Canary Party to misrepresent a vaccine-injured child’s case at its congressional briefing and then when her mother complained in the comments of the Canary Party-sponsored/edited Age of Autism blog, approve a barrage of anonymous attacks from commenters including one from an organizer of the briefing. Put them both together and the result is an overly divisive issue Congress is reluctant to touch.

At least three questions remain unanswered: Why did Canary Party introduce a new hearing topic when Brian Hooker was so close to exposing CDC malfeasance that legislators were grilling a top CDC official about vaccine safety? Why did Canary Party instead push for a topic that COGR has stated many times it is not ready to pursue? Lastly, why are members of the autism community still following the Canary Party?

Jake Crosby is editor of Autism Investigated. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy and a 2013 graduate of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services with a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology. He currently attends the University of Texas School of Public Health where he is studying for a Ph.D. in Epidemiology.