Tag Archives: Time Magazine

BREAKING: Italy’s New Government Opposes Mandatory Vaccination Law

The editor predicted that Italy’s new mandatory vaccination law will fuel a populist backlash to the ruling class, writing in The Epoch Times nine months ago:

The voters who elected Trump and rejected Clinton knew where both candidates stood on vaccinations. Similarly, Italian voters will head to the ballots in next year’s election knowing that Italy’s populists stood up for their vaccine exemption rights while Italy’s Democrats stripped them away.

The Italian people made their voices heard by voting the populists into power and voting the ruling Partito Democratico into minority status. Autism Investigated concluded:

Yesterday’s election outcome just astronomically raised the likelihood that the Lorenzin Law will soon be discarded to the ash heap of history.

That likelihood now looks like virtual certainty with the swearing in of Italy’s new government and a new health minister opposed to the mandatory vaccination law. Age of Autism Europe editor John Stone writes:

After months of negotiations Italian have finally managed to form a government based on the Five Star Movement and the Northern League both of whom were opposed to vaccine mandates piloted by Beatrice Lorenzin and the previous center left government –  the new Health Minister, Giulia Grillo, is “In favor of vaccines, but against Lorenzin’s law“.

Lorenzin has left the government. Her law will soon follow.

Fake News Media Lies About Vaccination Survey of Autism Families

A new survey showing that parents of children with autism are less likely to keep poisoning their kids was misrepresented by the fake news media as evidence against vaccines causing autism. Props to World Mercury Project for calling the Fake News Network on their BS.

And they’re not the only one. TIME Magazine is even more dishonest: “Kids With Autism Are Less Likely to Be Vaccinated”

“Less likely to be fully vaccinated.” – CNN

“Less likely to be vaccinated.” – TIME

Both CNN and TIME are owned by Time Warner, which tells you all you need to know about that crooked company. Have they learned nothing after publicizing a fake dossier that accused the president of paying prostitutes to douse him with urine? Maybe the White House removed MLK’s bust too.

You cannot broadcast lies about the president and then claim the president is attacking journalism for calling you on it. Likewise, you cannot broadcast lies about the autism community and vaccines and expect people to trust you on vaccine reporting. What more can you expect from a network that now pretends that the below story never happened?

ITALY ELECTION: The Populists Decimate The Political Establishment

Read TIME’s recent piece “How Anti-Vaxxers Could Help Decide Italy’s Election” and the editor’s August 2017 article in The Epoch Times entitled “Italy’s New Mandatory Vaccine Law Will Fuel a Populist Backlash.” 

A populist-led coalition and a populist political party have collectively amassed 70% of the vote in Italy’s Sunday election. The populist Northern League (Lega Nord) now leads a coalition of right-wing parties which in turn now have the highest share of seats in the country’s parliament. The populist 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle/M5S) now controls more seats than any other party. Last year, both Lega Nord and M5S unanimously opposed a new law mandating 12 vaccinations for Italian schoolchildren but did not have enough seats to defeat it.

Now they do.

In contrast, the once-dominant Partito Democratico that overwhelmingly passed the new law failed to even gain a fifth of the vote. Its leader Matteo Renzi has just resigned in humiliation. He previously resigned as prime minister in 2016 over a failed constitutional referendum. Now in 2018, populist leaders Matteo Salvini of Lega Nord and Luigi Di Maio of M5S are vying to run Italy.

Regardless of who the next prime minister will be, opponents of the mandatory vaccination law (nicknamed the “Lorenzin Law” after Italy’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin) now dominate the government. The prime minister must have the confidence of a majority of parliament. Yesterday’s election outcome just astronomically raised the likelihood that the Lorenzin Law will soon be discarded to the ash heap of history.

TIME: How Anti-Vaxxers Could Help Decide Italy’s Election

Italy’s Lega Nord party (Northern League) Matteo Salvini answers questions at the Foreign Press Association in Rome on February 22, 2018. Salvini and his coalition run for the March 4, 2018 vote aimed at electing Parliament and Senate members. / AFP PHOTO / Alberto PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Autism Investigated Note: Read the editor’s piece for The Epoch Times last summer on how mandatory vaccination will affect Italy’s upcoming election. Ignore the pro-vax tone of the TIME article below.

By TARA JOHN

In late 2015, Italian virologist Roberto Burioni took part in a Q&A with young mothers on a Facebook group and was alarmed to find many of them spouting conspiracy theories about vaccinations. The measles shot, they said, gives children autism.

The 55-year-old decided to take a deeper look online and realized there was an ecosystem of Italian anti-vaccination groups on the social media site. In spring 2016, Burioni sat down, fired up his laptop and began debunking anti-vaccination conspiracy theories on his public Facebook page.

“I started writing because I was fed up of social media being at the hands of people telling lies,” Burioni, who is a professor of microbiology and virology at the Vita-Salute University San Raffaele, Milan, says during a phone interview. “All the voices [online] in Italy were against vaccination. There was no debate and I did what I could to start one.”

Just over two years later that debate has gone from an online feud to a live political issue in the Italian general election due on March 4. As skepticism about vaccines has become widespread in Italy, so-called “anti-vaxxers” have become a voting bloc for the populist parties vying for votes. As a result, two of the leading populist parties — the far-right League (formerly the Northern League) and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (5SM) — have pledged, if elected, to scrap a law passed in July that made ten vaccinations compulsory for children under the age of 16. If they do, health experts warn it could be a huge step backwards in the global fight for children’s health.

Vaccine skepticism in Italy dates back to a debunked 1998 study by Andrew Wakefield that linked the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) shot typically given to children after their first birthday to autism. The discredited idea took hold among an “intellectual fringe” in Italy, says Andrea Grignolio, a medicine historian at the La Sapienza University of Rome. The skeptics tend to be “rich and older parents,” he says, “who are susceptible to both alternative treatments, like homeopathy, and conspiracy theories.”

The waters surrounding the issue of vaccination were muddied further by a 2012 court ruling in the city of Rimini, northeast Italy, that a child’s autism had in fact been caused by the MMR vaccination. The Rimini ruling was overturned in 2015, but the judgement had by then done its damage. According to Grignolio, vaccine skeptics today make up 5% of the population while vaccine hesitancy— which the WHO defines as a “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services”— is estimated to affect a further 10% of Italy’s 60 million-strong population. ‘That’s millions of people,” Grignolio says.

It shouldn’t be a huge surprise, then, that measles has made a troubling comeback in Italy. Cases jumped nearly six-fold from around 870 cases in 2016 to more than 5,000 cases last year. In the last six months of 2017, Italy was ranked sixth-highest worldwide in measles cases after India, Nigeria, the Ukraine and China. The mandatory vaccine legislation, nicknamed the Lorenzin law after the country’s health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, was introduced last year to combat the troubling increase.

Age of Autism Thinks Opposing Vaccines Is Misogynist

Age of Autism has taken its self-victimizing to a whole new level by alleging it is misogynist to use the label of “anti-vaxxer”:

The Misogyny of the Anti-Vaxxer Label

We look forward to the day that the institutional acceptance of misogyny toward women who speak out against vaccine injury and who have the courage to share their painful, personal stories of how vaccines harmed their children is cast aside. It’s about TIME.

Crying sexism over an issue that has nothing to do with gender equality is bad enough. Saying it is “misogynist” to use the anti-vaxxer label even worse.

They did not cause the massive declines in infectious diseases they supposedly prevent. They only cause new epidemics of autoimmune and other diseases.

Ask any of the so-called “vaccine safety advocates” like the Age of Autism folks or JB Handley about what a safe vaccine looks like, and they can’t tell you. They can’t describe a safe vaccine any more than they can describe love potion. There is no safe vaccine because there is not even a system in place that ensures safe vaccines, if such a process is realistic in the 21st century.

Vaccines will continue to hurt and kill kids as long as we don’t work to completely dismantle their reputation based on lies. Age of Autism is so determined to be pro-vaccine that it will call anyone suggesting otherwise a misogynist. One-third of its contributors are men anyway.

The bottom line is that Autism Investigated’s editor is a proud anti-vaxxer, and you should be one too.

Brian Hooker Rewards Wakefield For Betraying Whistleblower

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By Jake Crosby

Andrew Wakefield betrayed the trust of autism parent Dr. Brian Hooker and CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson by revealing his identity without his permission, eliminating any chance of widespread media coverage while giving his name away to CDC. Yet in spite of this, Dr. Hooker has apparently allowed Wakefield to be named with him in a formal complaint filed to CDC’s Office of Research Integrity. The complaint is based on the information Dr. Thompson disclosed.

Autism Investigated was first made aware of this debacle on Facebook, where a woman named Candyce Estave asked:

“I learned on Twitter that more news coming on Wednesday, this coming week, about ‪#‎CDCwhistleblower‬??? Anyone care to confirm? Brian Hooker?”

Sure enough, Brian Hooker confirmed in the comments:

“A complaint will be filed against the CDC in the Office of Research Integrity. The complaint is based on the whistleblower information”

Contributor and PR Coordinator for “Team TMR” Michelle Taff Schneider then elaborated:

“A formal complaint has been submitted to the Office of Research Integrity on behalf of Dr. Andrew Wakefield and Dr. Brian Hooker, detailing many of the events and evidence related to the fraudulent DeStefano paper. There is truly a mountain of disturbing, damning proof. The complaint will be made public on Age of Autism this week.”

Then confirming where she heard the news, Michelle Taff Schneider wrote: “Andy spoke of it publicly today at his Autism Education Summit lecture.”

Trying to get confirmation from Dr. Hooker, I wrote:

Brian, is it true you’re rewarding Wakefield for betraying the whistleblower? Please confirm.”

I called Brian Hooker and left a voice message, then got the following text from him about Wakefield:

“He has been cooperating recently regarding the media around the wb”

This is in spite of the fact that Wakefield has been continuously releasing videos with snippets of the whistleblower’s voice from when Brian Hooker recorded him without permission, including one most recently from a few days ago.

The attachment of Wakefield’s name to Dr. Thompson’s whistle-blowing will continue to be a major boost for those looking to discredit the story. A CDC-tied writer for ABC News has already lumped together Wakefield and Hooker by portraying them as dishonest researchers with retracted papers after the publisher BioMed Central and its journal Translational Neurodegeneration wrongly retracted Hooker’s reanalysis of CDC’s MMR study. TIME’s science editor and self-styled “Science Cop” Jeffrey Kluger – who has cozy vaccine ties to Salk’s son among others – posted a 2-minute video that “debunked” the whistleblower and ended with a photo-shopped mugshot of Wakefield.

Rather than enabling Wakefield to further mar the whistleblower story, Dr. Hooker should have condemned Wakefield for releasing the whistleblower’s identity months ago. A condemnation is all the more necessary now with Wakefield raising money for his own documentary to further hijack the whistleblower saga, but Dr. Hooker is now doing the polar opposite.

Should the whistleblower’s case against CDC fail, Brian Hooker’s latest fateful decision to include Wakefield’s name on his complaint may well be the cause.

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 Breaks Policy by Retracting Brian Hooker’s Study

retraction guidelines

By Jake Crosby

Above is a summary of the reasons that justify a possible paper retraction, according to Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)’s retraction guidelines that are also used by BioMed Central (BMC). However, none of the above reasons were even mentioned in BMC journal Translational Neurodegeneration’s below justification for retracting Dr. Brian Hooker’s study, “Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data”:hookerretraction

 

Clear evidence of unreliability, duplication, plagiarism and unethical research are all valid considerations for retracting a paper, but “concerns” are not according to the very retraction guidelines BMC says it follows. Such considerations do not include “undeclared competing interests” either. Although alerting readers to such non-disclosures may serve as a purpose of a retraction according to COPE, they are not justification for a retraction.

BMC’s retraction of Dr. Hooker’s paper is only the latest of policy breaches by the publisher after it deleted his article from its website in breach of policy on the permanency of articles. Citing a then-pending investigation, BMC refused to comment on that violation when contacted by Autism Investigated. Now with the paper retracted in breach of yet more policies supposedly followed by BMC, the publisher has even more explaining to do.

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

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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.