Tag Archives: Jama

Major Opponent of Vaccine Safety Commission Conspired Against Scientists

Former Maryland Secretary of Health Joshua Sharfstein left, with FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Twitter of FDA Commissioner

Last year, Joshua Sharfstein wrote an article in JAMA vocally opposing the creation of a vaccine safety commission under President Trump. Entirely undisclosed in his article was the conspiracy Sharfstein led against two scientists for their views on vaccine safety while he was Maryland Secretary of Health. Autism Investigated subsequently contacted JAMA‘s editor-in-chief. JAMA‘s legal counsel responded instead.

From: Jake Crosby
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2018 4:41 PM
To: Howard Bauchner
Subject: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest and Conspiracy Against Scientists
Dear Dr. Bauchner,

Last year, you ran an article by Joshua Sharfstein that opposed the Trump Administration’s commitment to vaccine safety.(1) Dr. Sharfstein omitted that as Maryland Secretary of Health, he led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.(2)(3) By the time of Sharfstein’s article, a court ruled that the department he led violated their confidentiality by posting public their medical information.(4) Just last February, that same board Sharfstein was in charge of was ordered to pay them $2.5 million for its actions under Sharfstein’s leadership. The ruling judge even compared the actions of Sharfstein’s board members and staff to Watergate:

“If their testimony were to be believed, which the court does not, it is the worst case of collective amnesia in the history of Maryland government and on par with the collective memory failure on display at the Watergate hearings.”(5)

Sharfstein acknowledges in his article that a vaccine safety commission under Trump would also concentrate on scientific integrity. He has much to lose professionally and personally from the formation of such a commission due to his department’s conspiracy against two scientists for their views on vaccines. Given AMA’s organizational stance against the commission, it is all the more pressing for Dr. Sharfstein to disclose his department’s attacks on two scientists for their vaccine skepticism when he defends the existing public health system that he is a part of in JAMA.

Sincerely,

Jake Crosby, MPH

Disclosure: I have done my epidemiology thesis on vaccine safety with the Geiers in 2013 and received funding from Autism Media Channel and Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute. I was also a paid campaign field representative and a volunteer for President Trump and other Republican candidates during the 2016 election cycle. I edit AutismInvestigated.com.

1. Vaccines and the Trump Administration https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2614172

2. In the Matter of Mark R. Geier, M.D.: Order for Summary Suspension of License to Practice Medicine, P. 5, Clause 8. April 27, 2011. https://www.mbp.state.md.us/bpqapp/Orders/D2425004.271.PDF

3. “O’Malley Ousts David Geier from autism commission,” by Frank D. Roylance Baltimore Sun, May 20, 2011.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-geier-autism-commission-20110520-story.html

4. “Court rebukes board for publicizing doctor’s confidential info,” Professional Licensing Report, February 11, 2016.
http://www.professionallicensingreport.org/board-in-trouble-for-public-release-of-doctors-confidential-info/

5. “Regulators who targeted anti-vaccine doctor may pay millions for humiliating him,” by Fenit Nirappil. Washington Post, February 3, 2018.

From: Joseph Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
To: Jake Crosby
Cc: Howard Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 7:23 am
Subject: RE Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Mr. Crosby,

The Maryland Board of Physicians [MBOP] includes 22 members who are appointed by the Governor, not the state’s secretary of health. Complaints regarding Dr. Geier were filed with the MBOP years before Dr. Sharfstein was appointed Secretary. The documents you submitted and the timelines within them do not support the allegation that Dr. Sharfstein “led state government attacks on two vaccine researchers for their opposition to thimerosal in vaccines.”

Sincerely,

[Description: cid:image001.png@01CF9202.5B3F03C0]

Joseph P. Thornton, JD
Editorial Counsel
AMA Plaza, Suite 39300
330 N. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-5885
312-464-4609
joseph.thornton@jamanetwork.org

________________________________

From: Jake Crosby
To: Joseph.Thornton <Joseph.Thornton@jamanetwork.org>
Cc: Howard.Bauchner <Howard.Bauchner@jamanetwork.org>
Sent: Fri, Jun 8, 2018 5:53 pm
Subject: Re: Joshua Sharfstein’s Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

Dear Atty. Thornton,
 

Maryland’s Secretary of Health plays a direct role in the appointment of the majority of board members (boldface mine):

“11 practicing licensed physicians, including 1 Doctor of Osteopathy, appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Secretary of the Department of Health (MDH)”

“1 physician representative of MDH nominated by the Secretary(1)

 
A vaccine activist filed a complaint against the board in 2006, but the board suspended Dr. Geier’s license in 2011 only months after Sharfstein’s appointment. That timeline absolutely implicates Sharfstein’s role. The suspension also cites the Institute of Medicine’s 2004 report that attacked Dr. Geier’s research. Sharfstein writes about IOM in his JAMA article:
 
These reports blunted national concern and were one reason why the major outbreaks that occurred in Europe around that time (and since) have not been seen in the United States.
 
Sharfstein also leaves out of the article, his JAMA bio and disclosure statement that he was elected a fellow of IOM in 2014. 
 
Not only does the timeline of Sharfstein’s appointment correlate with Dr. Geier’s suspension, but Sharfstein’s resignation correlates with court decisions against the board. He announced in July 2014 that he would step down at the end of the year. According to the Professional Licensing Report article I cited, a board representative stood up a deposition by the Geiers’ attorney in June of 2014. The court would then grant the “ultimate sanction” in favor of the Geiers in December 2014, two weeks before Sharfstein actually stepped down.(2)
 
Joshua Sharfstein is completely conflicted. The kind of behavior his department engaged in and the fact that AMA’s and other physician groups’ positions are influenced by people like him is exactly why we need an independent commission to look into vaccines. Until that happens, I think the public should oppose them entirely. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
Jake Crosby, MPH
 
1. About the Board, Maryland Board of Physicians, Maryland Department of Health. Accessed June 8, 2018.
 
2. Anne Geier et al. v. Maryland Board of Physicians et al. Md. 371761-V, 1-11 (Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD 2014)
 
 

INFOWARS: Studies Prove Unvaccinated Children Are Healthier

Studies put to question the safety of current vaccination practices

Published on May 5, 2017

Celeste McGovern joins Rob Dew and Owen Shroyer to discuss the first ever study comparing the health levels of vaccinated and unvaccinated children.

See the studies here (updated, they got taken down but now they’re back!):

http://www.oatext.com/Preterm-birth-vaccination-and-neurodevelopmental-disorders-a-cross-sectional-study-of-6-to-12-year-old-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-children.php

http://www.oatext.com/Pilot-comparative-study-on-the-health-of-vaccinated-and-unvaccinated-6-to-12-year-old-U-S-children.php

The second of these listed studies was previously published then pulled by another journal after the child-poisoners threw a Twitter fit. Autism Investigated sent a letter to the publisher Frontiers telling them we would make sure their index on the National Library of Medicine would be taken away. Frontiers was also reminded of its publishing standards that it was breaching:

You are now considering blocking the paper’s publication even after post-peer review acceptance, thanks to online attacks from Twitter users who have neither read the study nor produced any inside knowledge about the study that would prove its findings to be invalid. You also lied to its readers that the publication was “provisionally accepted,” yet the abstract before it was deleted simply listed the study as “accepted” alongside a digital object identifier before it was taken down: http://www.autisminvestigated.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Screen-Shot-2016-11-28-at-09.36.00.png

Your guidelines also state that a study is not uploaded online until after final acceptance: http://home.frontiersin.org/about/review-system

Please tweet the link to the republished study to Frontiers on Twitter, repeating the threat of National Library de-listing. Please also be sure to troll the bitch who has led the charge for the study’s removal. Autism Investigated’s editor previously tweeted about her below:

 

Related: Vaccines:

JAMA Must Correct Study As Linking Flu Vax to Autism

Vaccines – Tantrum-Based Medicine

Discover Magazine Rips Attacks on Vaxxed/Unvaxxed Study

download

JAMA Must Correct Study As Linking Flu Vax to Autism

jamapediatrics_Hooker_2017_le_170006.pdfjamapediatrics_Donzelli_2017_le_170007.pdf

Click each letter to enlarge.

Since the journal JAMA Pediatrics published a study which showed an association between flu vaccine and autism despite concluding there was none, scientists have published letters in the journal to complain. One of those was by Dr. Brian Hooker, biochemist and autism father who was the first person contacted by the CDC’s vaccine safety whistleblower William Thompson.

The study found an elevated risk for autism from flu vaccination in pregnant women during the first month of pregnancy. Yet the authors attempted to explain this away with incorrect statistical methods and then issued the flawed recommendation that no changes in vaccination policy should be made. In 2004, the CDC expanded its flu vaccine recommendations in pregnant women to include the first trimester of pregnancy. Many cite this an an explanation for why the reported CDC prevalence of autism – generally speaking – did not decline as the mercury-based preservative thimerosal had been removed from other vaccines. Thimerosal remains in multi-dose vials of flu vaccine given to pregnant women.

In Denmark, the reported autism prevalence went down by as much as a third as thimerosal was removed from childhood vaccines there during the 1990s. The elevated risk for autism associated with influenza vaccination during the first trimester of pregnancy was 20-25%. The potential implications of such a finding is profound.

The study was conducted by Kaiser Permanente, a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) that is in partnership with the CDC and other HMOs in a heavily guarded federal research project known as the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). JAMA journals’ publisher the American Medical Association sent a press release applauding a 2004 report from the Institute of Medicine that the CDC paid to have whitewash associations between vaccines and autism. The involvement of such institutions in the conduct and publication of such a study should only diminish public confidence in its integrity, along with its flawed conclusion and recommendation.

Nonetheless, the conclusion and recommendation should still be corrected. JAMA Pediatrics can be contacted here.

(H/t Age of Autism)

JAMA Study Implicates Early MMR Vaccine in Causing Autism

JAMA

Editor’s Note: The hyperlink to the study goes to an archived webpage because the full text version is no longer available on the JAMA website.

By Jake Crosby

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that is widely touted to argue against the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine’s association with autism actually provides evidence for a connection. Based on computation from the study results for participants with non-autism spectrum disorder-diagnosed (non-ASD) older siblings, children who received a dose of the MMR vaccine before age five had a risk for ASD diagnosis by age five that was 48% higher than in children who did not in analyses that corrected for certain potential biases.

Where both groups received a dose of MMR vaccine – one largely before the bulk of autism diagnoses were made and one following it – the comparison is less likely to suffer from bias that might affect those involving children never vaccinated with MMR or those who received both recommended doses. Parents might be discouraged from giving a child a second dose of MMR or MMR at all if a child had a negative reaction to the first dose or to a dose of a different vaccine. Similarly, parents of children with autism may be more likely to take seriously concerns about vaccinations’ association with autism and more likely to withhold vaccines from their children. These potential biases make studying the timing of MMR vaccination in relation to autism preferable, though the authors of this study did not bother to do this. Nonetheless, the complete data sets from the study are needed to confirm whether the aforementioned association holds when controlling for other variables.

Yet the crude findings are similar to results from a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was published in the medical journal Pediatrics in 2004 and has also been cited to deny autism’s association with MMR. Those findings showed an odds of earlier MMR vaccination that was more than two-fold higher among African-American children with autism spectrum disorders compared to their non-ASD counterparts of the same race. According to study coauthor William Thompson who has come forward as a federal whistleblower, that finding was omitted from the published manuscript in breach of final study protocol. Pediatrics has refused to consider the paper for retraction, even though it should be considered according to the guidelines in publishing ethics that the journal claims to follow. Now what CDC researchers found more than a decade ago seems to only be confirmed by the results of this much larger study published in JAMA.

The troubling history of epidemiological studies used to disprove the MMR causes autism despite finding associations predates even the CDC study. A 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and even larger than the recent JAMA study yielded results from which a 45% increased risk for autism associated with MMR vaccination was computed, despite concluding no connection. The scientist who computed that risk explained why the association was potentially meaningful in a letter to the journal, but the journal never published it. The principle investigator Poul Thorsen (who also found but did not publish results implicating mercury in vaccines in causing autism) of the NEJM study has since become a most-wanted international fugitive who was indicted on fraud charges.

Even after his indictment in 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) included his study as one of just four to support the IOM’s position that MMR vaccination does not cause autism. Another IOM-cited study published in the Lancet in 1999 showed a relationship between timing of MMR vaccination and parental concern of child development in a sample of children with autism, according to a slide from an IOM-commissioned epidemiological review.

As the studies used to disprove an association between MMR and autism continue to mount, so too does the evidence favoring a causal relationship. A study in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry claiming autism rose as MMR was removed from use in Japan neglected the fact that the rise was correlated to single measles and rubella vaccines routinely given just four weeks apart. Another study published in JAMA in 2001 claimed that MMR vaccination coverage in California rose marginally while autism occurrence exploded, only for other scientists to then point out that the coverage of MMR vaccination given at younger ages also exploded.

The JAMA study is the latest such study to find an association while claiming to find none, and it probably won’t be the last. Its senior author and Drexel University epidemiologist Craig Newschaffer was previously quoted in 2007 by the LA Times as saying, “Those studies just kept piling up that showed no association between MMR or thimerosal exposure and autism…Among the scientific community, it’s pretty generally accepted that there is no link.”

How ironic that studies he cited to say there is no link actually found a link, and then his own study would later find the same.

See on The Epoch Times.

Correction: More information concerning the study results has since come to the attention of Autism Investigated, including the realization that some of the content originally in this post was not accurate. The article has since been updated.