By DAN OLMSTED
Below is an e-mail I've been waiting a long time to see -- someone from the mainstream media trying to get their mind around the fact that the United States government has conceded that vaccines triggered autistic regression. By now you've all read about this case and David Kirby's brilliant reporting and analysis of this watershed development (if not, click HERE for a link to David's A of A and Huffington Post column and HERE for the text of the settlement). What is so great is to see a news outlet scrambling to get the story quickly and get it right. The author of the memo, Dan Childs of ABCNews.com, sent it to various interested parties looking for feedback. So far, so good -- that's the way to solicit as wide a range of input as possible. Now to watch the coverage unfold -- and who's to say whether we'll ultimately be grinding our teeth once again or popping champagne. But for now, it's a complete blast to watch, especially for someone like me who's felt like a resident of Bizarro World for the past three years as Big Media covered its ears, eyes and mouths while the biggest health scandal of our lives has unfolded on their watch. Meantime, pass thoughts on to Mr. Childs the e-mail below, won't you? (And copy us by commenting on this post.)
From: ABC MEDICINE <ABC.MEDICINE@abc.com>
Sent: Tue Feb 26 12:56:31 2008
Subject: Federal Government May Have Conceded on Vaccine-Autism Case -- ABC News Interest
This is Dan Childs, producer of the Health page of ABCNews.com. I hope this message finds you well.
There has been a buzz lately about the possible concession of a vaccine-related case by the government. Much of this talk has surrounded a column posted on the Huffington Post. ...
ABC News is still assessing the validity of this report, but we would like to be ready to responsibly cover this issue if the report does, in fact, prove to be true.
In short, the column suggests that the federal government has chosen to concede to one case in which the plaintiff claims that her child developed features consistent with an autism spectrum disorder after receiving her vaccinations. Based on this case, the column further suggests that something about the vaccines may trigger autism-like illness in children who are susceptible to mitochondrial disorders.
Depending on what we find out, various ABC News platforms may be interested in covering this development. I am also interested in writing a story for ABCNews.com on this topic.
With this in mind, I was hoping that you would be willing to lendexpertise to come of the questions that we have about this possible development. Specifically:
1) With regard to the idea that vaccines may trigger mitochondrial disorders, what evidence are you aware of that would point to this possibility?
2) If it turns out that the federal government did concede in this case, what arethoughts on this move?
Any other comments you have on this are most appreciated.
Please note thatcomments will be considered on the record and available for use in a story on ABCNews.com unless you specifically request that responses be used for background purposes only. Please also be sure to include full contact information in case we would like to get in touch with you for further information.
If you receive this message after 10AM on Wednesday, Feb. 27, please disregard it as the deadline for this story will have passed.
Thanks, and I look forward to talking with you soon!
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.
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