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OLMSTED ON AUTISM: BILL GATES AND THE MORAL IMPERATIVE

Gates_of_hell_2By Dan Olmsted

You’ve probably seen that Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft to devote full time to the charity he and his wife, Melinda, has created. The foundation has done indisputably good works and – now that Gates pal Warren Buffett has chipped in his entire $50 billion fortune – intends to literally redouble its efforts.

One of those efforts is to create and promulgate vaccinations. This post is not about whether vaccinations are a good idea, the best way to fight diseases like malaria, the practicality of continuing to pour millions into the search for an AIDS vaccine – it’s not about any of that. The issue is: Given that the foundation sees mass vaccination as a direct route to better health outcomes for the world’s poor, the foundation (which now means Bill Gates himself) has an affirmative duty – a moral imperative – to make sure those vaccines are as safe as humanly possible.

To quote from a Reuters story on Thursday: “The 52-year-old, whose boyish looks seem at odds with his graying hair, will leave behind a life's work developing software to devote energy to finding new vaccines or to micro-finance projects in the developing world.”

I don’t need to know what kinds of vaccines they’re talking about – and how many will come in multi-dose vials preserved with thimerosal -- to know where the moral imperative is here: There are now so many questions about the safety of some vaccine and vaccine ingredients – particularly thimerosal, the fancy name for a big dollop of poisonous ethyl mercury  – that a group with the power and reach of the Gates Foundation needs to make sure it’s doing no harm in its laudable effort to do good.

As recently as three or four months ago, the foundation might have gotten away with simply reciting the mantra that all available studies show no connection between vaccines and autism, vaccines and asthma, vaccines and … whatever. But along came Hannah Poling and the government’s concession that vaccines triggered autistic regression; then came Bernadine Healy, the former head of the NIH, to state that the science simply hasn’t been done to exonerate vaccines; and just last week, David Kirby wrote about the CDC’s Julie Gerberding and her multiple concurrences with the complaint that the CDC’s central vaccine safety study is, well, worthless.

At the moment there is NO good science, in other words, to reassure the Gates Foundation that its quest to save the world via vaccination is as safe as it might have thought. Now comes Bill Gates, at an opportune moment indeed, to devote full time to the foundation that bears his name and (along with the PC) will be his legacy. He ought to order a comprehensive look at the risks as well as the benefits of vaccines, and it ought to be his first order of business.

Because, you see, it’s a moral imperative. It’s also imperative that Warren Buffett weigh in on this. You can’t give away $50 billion without taking at least some interest in whether it’s doing more harm than good; that, too, is a moral imperative.
--
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism

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Hello , this message is for Mr,Bill Gates, my name is nora i have a child with autism , and i have him going to mexico for stem cell therapy which is working, i wanted to know if you have some kind of ficially ability to help mothers with with a child affected by this disease, my son has changed with therapy with i had to take 2 jobs to pay for his treatement.

"But, frankly, I also think that if this was tenable theory health officials internationally would be latching on to it like crazy."

Touche' John. Hit the nail on the head.

Also, the links I provided are not "short figures". They are included in the articles. I apologize if you do not have access, but most scientific journals require a subscription. Unfortunately, even in the information age, reliable sources of info are not free.

D's Advocate

You seem to be short on actual figures. The figure given by the BBC (impeccable source!) which tallies with my previous memory indicates a rise in average paternal in the UK from 27.2 in 1971 to 30.1 years in 1999, or about 1 year a decade. I am not sure how this could have driven a ~7-fold rise in the autism rate in the years 1987-92.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/parenting/dads/olderdads.shtml

I don't know that we have any figures for the age of paternity in the US: I came across this which gave the average age for motherhood (presumably first time) as having risen from 21.4 years in 1971 to 25.1 in December 2003, (which is still much younger than the UK (29.1), so likely paternity rose by a roughly similar figure (3.7 years over a 32-33 year period).

http://scienceweek.com/2004/sa040820-5.htm

I could see how this could help to inflate figures (if the phenomenon was well accounted) but I cannot see how it could drive the wild increases we have seen.

Incidentally, I also do not see that this is necessarily an alternative theory to vaccines if paternal age increases genetic vulnerability.

But, frankly, I also think that if this was tenable theory health officials internationally would be latching on to it like crazy.

This phenomenon applies to a number of fertility problems, as well as developmental abnormalities involving the children of older parents.


http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/Sex/Story?id=5322966&page=2

"D's Advocate -
Although the average age of parents may have increased, as parents are not starting families at as young an age, in the old days before birth control people used to keep having babies until the wives reached menopause, yet they had very low rates of autism -- no reports of a lot of autistic last-borns."

If you look at the birth rates according to age, what you are saying is not accurate. The data speaks for itself and has been collected over decades. The number of births, in the U.S. and developed nations, has increased for older mothers relative to the population. This isn't a perception issue...these are numbers. We do not have the same number of births in the population in later years as we do now.


Mark, that isn't a "solitary piece of evidence". Other epidemiological studies have been performed that suggest the same relationship.
http://www.springerlink.com/content/n64073525w753846/
http://www.springerlink.com/content/m5814t073m776r12/
http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/63/9/1026

There are plenty more. Sorry to break it to you.

Sophist FCD and Alek,

Most people here swallowed the benefits far outweigh the risks rhetoric, which is why they are here. Why should they doubt the evidence of their own eyes and ears before they doubt Bill Gates? And besides, we are simply asking to be listened to.

Let me give you an idea. In the UK the annual projected cost of autism was upgraded from two billion dollars in 2001 to fifty-six billion dollars in 2008. That is a lot of money (even for Bill and Melinda Gates or Warren Buffet), it is a lot of human misery, and it is a great burden for society (even that bit of it which it shoulders). And that is just in the UK, with a population on fifth the size of the US.

This is worth consideration, and even dialogue.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11708392?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/pressAndInformationOffice/newsAndEvents/archives/2007/EconomicConsequencesAutism.htm

D's Advocate -
Although the average age of parents may have increased, as parents are not starting families at as young an age, in the old days before birth control people used to keep having babies until the wives reached menopause, yet they had very low rates of autism -- no reports of a lot of autistic last-borns.

When I was pregnant with my last baby, my doctor said that there is an increased risk of genetic disorders involving the wrong number of chromosones -- where instead of a pair of each type of chromosone there is either one missing or one extra (trisomy). But she said that age does not generally cause an increased risk of other types of genetic disorders.

My oh my... How can you possibily insinuate that Bill Gates has SINISTER intentions. He is, without comparison, the biggest philanthropist the world has ever known. You are the sinister ones, trying to spread these lies about him which are 1) unprooked, 2) unwarranted, 3) unsupported, and 4) just plain outlandish conspiracy theories. What's wrong with you? Can you put forward ONE piece of solid evidence for your claims?

It goes without saying, of course, that vaccines are the most successful public health measure in history. Trying to convince people that they're somehow harmful is incredibly irresponsible.

You people are all missing a serious point. Even if it were to be accepted for the nonce that vaccines cause everything you claim they cause, the fact remains that these are the vaccines that are available now. A safe vaccine developed tomorrow does nothing for someone who died today. As we type, there are vaccines sitting around in warehouses that can save tens millions of lives in the time it would take to develop new ones. In this situation there are two, and only two, options available; either we can give people the vaccines you believe cause autism, or we can stand around and watch people die who could have been saved.

So go ahead, advocate for "better", "greener" vaccines if you must. But even if you are right and we are wrong about vaccines, advocating that we not use the vaccines we have *right now* to save people who are dying *right now* is nothing short of sociopathy.

So what happened in the 80s that could cause the 7-fold rise in autism?

Any theories about the rise in autism need to consider the fact that during the 80s the blind-leading-the-blind CDC was doing its best not to acknowledge the contagious neuroimmunological epidemic which was euphemistically called "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome." (Read Hillary Johnson's "Osler's Web" for the outrageous story.)

Is the rise in autism an epiphenomenon of the CFS epidemic and the epidemic of the virus linked to CFS, namely HHV-6?

If the frustrated autism activists sat down with some of the frustrated CFS activists, they would find out that they have a lot in common. A CDC that can not be trusted. An arrogant authoritarian medical establishment. A lazy self-satisfied press. And HHV-6.

Mark

Thanks, and yes you are right - it is a serious distraction.

John, you're being far too nice to D's Advocate. You are absolutely correct in pointing out the weakness of the old dad study. As far as I know, the Israeli study is the SOLITARY piece of evidence being trotted out to support the claim that older (and presumably damaged) sperm is an autism risk. This is based, as you point out, on a handful of 40 year old former Israeli soldiers.

And the CNV work is way overblown as well: contradictory findings between the only published studies, results that are remarkably fragile upon close inspection (I encourage anyone so inclined to read the appendix of the much hyped NEJM article, you'll be surprised how weak the methods and findings are), and a research direction that suggest no intervention model OF ANY kind.

With something as dramatic as the autism epidemic, marginal changes like later marriage and random DNA damage (remember they haven't replicated any gene findings) are extremely unlikely to be the driving force. We need to stop being distracted by this kind of static and get focused on the likely environmental sources of the problem. Kudos to you John, for pointing that out.

D's Advocate

I think you have misunderstood my point. It might be a significant risk for older fatherhood, but it could not be a driving force behind the rise in autism. I cannot find it now but I remember sending Lenny Schafer my calculation based on UK figures, which from memory suggested that average paternal age had drifted up by two years over a period of two decades (remarkably evenly). I don't know whether I got the calculation right but I thought about 90 years to double the autism rate by that mechanism, whereas we had experienced a perhaps 7-fold rise between 1987 and 1992. Even if I got it wrong I believe that it could only have had a marginal impact on the rate.

John Stone: "...Additionally, any rise in the average paternal age would have to be quite drastic to have any impact at all, when we have seen rises of many times."

I don't see how you can make that conclusion (perhaps you could expand a bit more on this).

Trends like the incidence of Down's Syndrome are very tightly correlated with parental age: the likelihood of a chromosomal non-disjunction event increase over time, with environmental factors, such as x-rays, contributing to the likelihood. With the increased evidence indicating de novo mutations (primarily gene deletion and copy number variants) are a contributor, why would age be ruled out? Developed nations, such as the U.S. and Europe, are having children later in life (http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/indicators/79BirthRates.cfm). This trend is clearly apparent looking at the birth rates through the 80's to today. GenXers are getting married later and having children later. Why wouldn't this be a possible result of an obvious trend in developed populations?

Dan-
I for one would love to see you do a piece on what trends educators are seeing. So often we here the epidemic being blamed on better diagnosis. Well if that were the case professionals with lengthy careers in education wouldn't be making comments like Lisa's.
Angela S.

There seems to be quite a lot of comment here about parental age as a possible factor in autism. This perhaps derives from the Reichenberg study 'Advancing paternal age and autism', based on the Israeli draft board registry.

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/63/9/1026

By far the most interesting aspect of this study is the incidental information that with very complete data for six annual birth cohorts from the 1980s (before the great vaccination), the overall autism rate was 8.4 cases per 10,000.

On the other hand, the usefulness of the data relating to paternal age was seriously compromised by the very small number of cases with a father over the age of 40. Additionally, any rise in the average paternal age would have to be quite drastic to have any impact at all, when we have seen rises of many times.

By the time the study was carried out all the subjects were over 17 and the study was submitted for publication in March 2005, so the six consecutive years, while not identified, could not really have extended beyond 1987, so the hard figure for an autism rate of 8.4 per 10,000 for children born in that epoch is fascinating.

http://www.autismuk.com/index1sub1.htm

Wow! This article is quite the topic of discussion on the science blogs!

http://scienceblogs.com
/insolence/2008/07/
what_was_that_about_not_being_antivaccine.php#more

Even some of our comments here are discussed.

I truly don't understand Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett. I would have thought that those two, in particular, would be able to look at the facts objectively. Even the CDC, FDA, and NIH are now looking into the autism/vaccine connection a bit more. I wish that Mr. Gates would comment on this subject. To see him so blindly adopt a mainstream belief like this makes me wonder if he doesn't have political aspirations. That's the only thing I can think of.

Has anyone here attempted to contact either of them about this subject?

Whether or not one believes that vaccines play a part in autism regression, it is hard to believe that anyone has a level of certainty, either way, where they wouldn't at least like to see more research done in certain areas. After what I've read I have a lot of questions about whether or not Hep-b and Tetanus, in the same body, with enough boosters, help the aluminum adjuvant cross the blood/brain barrier. I'm sure those who have commented here also have similar questions that they would like to see answered through more research.

Like this article states, how that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ignore the recent developments?

Well, this may all have a very logical answer. Look at Windows. The problem is, no matter how well I remember(backup) the words and skills he has learned, he has lost them. Unfortunately, no matter how many times he goes to bed and wakes up (reboots), he still has autism in the morning. I still have high hopes for a service pack though.

"Clean water will not do anything for repiratory viruses or toxic bacterial by-products, such as Botulinum tetani. "

D's advocate:
Thanks for splitting hairs here - the point is and still is, people living in poverty without access to clean water, proper nutrition and without a waste disposal system have very little chance of being healthy no matter how many vaccines you pump into them.

Regarding the average age of parents, since I have been working as a substitute teacher and going from school to school, I haven't have much opportunity to get to know the parents or their ages. However, I just finished up a long-term sub position (two months) in one classroom. In that room I had two autistic girls and one ADHD boy who were receiving special ed services. Additionally, I had three other boys with SERIOUS attention deficit problems who were not receiving any services. One of the boys literally had no ability to focus his eyes. Even during the last few days, when we were watching movies that the kids' loved, he was physically unable to watch the movie. His eyes constantly shifted focus, and he appeared to have no control over it. I got to know the parents of the one girl who was seriously autistic. Her parents looked like they were in the early 30s, which would have placed her birth (age 9) in their mid-20s. I also got to know the one special ed boy (also age 9)with ADHD. His parents looked to be in their early 30s as well.

dan,
walk into any school and find the teachers who have been teaching 20-25 years. not administrators...teachers. they all say the same thing. our classrooms are a mess. and the ones that try a new diet (at the least) do better.

D's Advocate -

In a word: No. My early years of teaching, from 1987 to 1996 or so, I was in the inner city (that would be NY) and most of the kids who had difficulty were termed "crack babies" or had fetal alcohol syndrome. None of them had Autism. Some were violent, some were out of it, but it was very different than what I see now on a professional level.

The last 10 years or so are completely different. The first child I ever saw with autism was a toe-walker with echolalia who was in kindergarten about 12 years ago. He is now in the Autism class in the high school. I had never seen any child like him. More were to come, of course, and the numbers have DEFINITELY increased in the last 10 years. These kids all exhibit varying degrees of severity in regard to their symptoms.

The children with Autism who now are in the inclusion class of my school all have parents in their 30's.

Where I live, we have 50 kids classified with Autism in our school district. Many of the parents know each other. My husband and I are among the oldest. Most had their kids in their 20's. Does this help you?

Ginger at Adventures in Autism has a post on a Washington Post article today, that features a family affected by autism. The dad happens to be a vax researcher for the Jonas Salk Institute. He disavows the link between autism and vaccines and categorizes it as a genetic disease that can only happen in utero, despite his wife's research showing the thimerosal connection and the effectiveness of biomed treatments. He seems totally dismissive of her. He also happens to be a consultant to the Gates Foundation. On the micro level, I feel sorry for the whole family, especially the wife and the poor girl who clearly isn't getting the kind of treatment that might help her. When the whole thing comes crashing down, when the truth comes out, what is this husband going to say to his wife then? How will their marriage even survive? How will he live with himself? On the macro, this is the type of scientist the Gates Foundation is working with. So completely missing the boat it's scary.

Lisa and Dianne,

I am currious, as teachers you've noticed an increase in special needs kids over the years. I am wondering what are your observations as to the age of the parents you are dealing with. Do they tend to be older than they have been in the past?

Thanks in advance.

Hi Lisa,
Your comments are very powerful. First-hand observations by those who work on the front lines with today's kids carry more weight with me than any epi stuff. I would love to discuss this more with you -- if you're up for that please e-mail me at olmsted.dan@gmail.com
thanks.

Lisa -
You are one of a very few. I am also a teacher, and I have also seen a huge increase in the number of struggling children (including my daughter). But so have my colleagues, and I can tell you that they are not looking at this like you or I.

Additionally, I have had many people think I'm off my rocker by pointing a finger at vaccines. I'm one-of-those-parents-looking-to-place-the-blame in their eyes. You, on the other hand, can spread the word without that stigma.
Diane

One of the unfortunate terms or phrases in this so called age of autism is "humanitarian profiteering".

We see it everywhere in bulk.

Gates is among those blindly attempting to cloak profit-taking with the skin of good works. We can see the error of their ways, but to them they really believe what they are doing is honorable.

There is nothing more unenthical than to see the corporate institution leaders and their collection of assorted charity wharf rats seated at the head of the table on behalf of affected children then proceed to lie, cheat, and steal to create in many cases what amounts to six figures worth of personal income.

One of the suggested ways to settle the Omnibus Autism was to solicit penalties against those responsible for creating the vaccine injury epidemic for chunks of cash necessary to help with pay-outs.

What would prevent Gates or Buffet from coughing up a few billion dollars each to directly help fund VICP pay-outs?

If Gates and Buffet could chip in a few billion dollars each why can't Merck, GSK, and the rest do the same?

Diane, I agree with everything you wrote.

I do not know Mr. Gates, nor do I know if he has paid much attention to the Hannah Poling concession or to the words of Dr. Bernadine Healy or of Julie Gerberding. I do not know if he has vaccinated his child, nor do I know his opinion on whether or not vaccines cause, or could conceivably cause autism.

What I do know is that he and his wife helped launch GAVI (Global Allliance for Vaccines and Immunization) in 1999. They spent 750 million in funds to help launch GAVI. They purchased DTP (not DTaP) with those funds. How do I know this? I checked out the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation website.

Bill Gates is a highly intelligent person, with skills way beyond my mental capacity to understand or replicate. What I do not understand is why his mission is to vaccinate the world, rather than to improve sanitation for the people in the poorest nations, thus reducing the spread of many diseases. Polio will never be eradicated until the water supply and sanitation in India are addressed. The live vaccine strain of polio, from the oral drops themselves, continues to be recycled in the waste water there attacking more and more people who would otherwise be polio-free.

I cannot believe it possible that Mr. Gates would not know that vaccine strain Polio outbreaks are occurring in India, when he is so active in his Foundation, and even, I, a person removed from it all, know this. I believe he most certainly is aware all that is happening. The question is: what is he going to do with this information? My guess is that he will continue as he has in the past, promoting full use of vaccines. That is what his foundation was designed to do.

To the person who commented that unless people are personally affected, they are not paying attention to the Polling case and other major developments: I am happy to say you are wrong. I for one am paying attention, even though I do not have children and I have no one close to me who has been personally affected. I woke up to the crisis merely by working as a substitute teacher this past two years. Never in my life have I seen so many neurologically damaged children -- autism, ADD, ADHD, smart kidss with serious learning disabilities, ticks. I used to work with kids in the 80's and early 90's and I never saw any of this. Then I spent a decade out of the loop, and when I returned I was truly horrified. So now I am regularly following the news on this issue, and I have talked to other people who are following it as well -- not because we have a child who is sick but rather because we ALL feel we have a very personal stake in the outcome. So please don't think that you and your close relatives are the only ones following this news. You're not.

For what it is worth I tracked down my response in the Guardian to Bill Gates last year:-

Dear Mr Gates,

Could I take the opportunity to question the wisdom of administering twenty vaccines to developing world infants between birth and 14 weeks (not mention the excessive mercury burden mentioned above). This would be controversial in the developed world where infants have adequate nutrition, sanitation, housing: I ask without these things is this really the best thing to do? Would it not be better to focus on environment first at the very least?

The vaccine schedule is equivalent to what a US infant might get by 6 months if the parents did not have the sense, or the opportunity, to delay. The use of Hepatis B is highly controversial and is not done in the UK: many developing world infants get a shot at birth.

http://www.jpands.org/vol11no1/girard.pdf

I am sure it is all well meant, but I question the good sense. Whooping cough vaccine is also a hazardous vaccine which on the best evidence is ineffective. The WHO evidence base has recently been attacked even in the Lancet. Please make sure you are doing the right thing.

John Stone (Jun 06 07, 10:53am)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/jun/06/fightingaidsinafricapreven?commentpage=1

While I agree with Dan's point in writing this piece, I (sadly) doubt it will happen. And it has nothing to do with Bill Gates's money, intentions or rumored spectrum disorder.

It has to do with something much, much bigger.

It has to do with people in the US, and probably most of the world, knowing little to nothing about vaccines and their relationship to neurodevelopmental issues. If it is not their child, or the child of someone VERY close to them - I'm talking sister, brother, best friend since 2nd grade kinda thing - then its just another blurb here and there on the news or in a magazine or paper.

Hannah Poling was HUGE to us. Finally, FINALLY we got a concession from the government regarding this horrible case of a child being harmed. This is big! Now everyone will know. FINALLY the world will see.

Well, everyone does not know. A friend was over the other day. She is a woman who is compassionate, intelligent and cautious when vaccinating her kids. She "seemed to remember hearing something about that case". (You could see the look in her face trying to dig back into her memory about where she heard it....how many times did YOU hear it???)

Now, as parents who believe the very same thing happened to our children, we just figured the whole world had finally learned the truth. The problem was they didn't learn anything because they didn't really hear it because they weren't paying attention. Its not part of their existance.

Bill Gates is part of this aforementioned group of individuals. And there are way more of them than there are of us.

Disclosure: I'm not saying we should stop the fight, but the fight itself is just like autism. Its like climbing Kiliminjaro, barefoot, with 100 pounds on your back and nothing to drink. And its cold.

I have to say that the "folk wisdom" about Bill Gates and Asperger's never crossed my mind in writing this piece. If you go back and read the original article by Hans Asperger in 1944 -- as Mark and I have done -- it's clear these children were so disturbed they were in residential mental hospital settings, not going to private schools for gifted kids like Gates and Paul Allen. If they ended up sweeping a broom for a living, it would have to be considered a miracle. The average length of time in public school of Asperger's kids was about a day, during which time they had managed to tear apart the classroom if not the teacher herself. Gates and Allen are from the generation before the one that got smacked with the "spectrum" of disabilities -- not special abilities -- that is causing such a crisis right now. Let Gates be Gates and let's worry about the kids who are truly damaged. That's what I want Gates an Buffett to think hard about as they spread vaccines around the world at the same moment more and more legitimate concerns are being raised.

I found this link as a very good description on Bill Gates and aspergers.

http://www.jonathans-stories.com/non-fiction/undiagnosing.html#Bill%20Gates

AJ wrote-

"Secondly, its common knowledge the man has
Aspergers, so get over it. If you want to continue to think he is smart and introverted, so be it.

I never said Gates was autistic, I said he has Aspergers."


AJ-
Yikes--what the hell are you reading to get this info so wrong? Aspergers is on the autism spectrum. Gates IS smart, introverted, and I'll add a businessman (gifted). Are you a Fombonne groupie too?
Please curb your enthusiasm on things that you are not too educated about.

PS--Dan--I think you are so on target to focus on the moral (ethical) obligation that Gates et al have. They are private business people with a *gift* of money, yet without the knowledge (blinded by the light?) to use it safely, it then becomes a curse.

Whenever I hear someone say, "...it's common knowledge that..." I get a cold shiver. It reminds me of what my partner told me several times whenever I made some general sweeping statement, and he would ask me, "Where did you hear that?" If I couldn't remember where I'd heard or learned it, and could only say, "but everybody knows this" or "it's common knowledge that..." he would inform me that it was brain-washing and/or mind-control at work. Since I KNEW without a doubt that what I was saying was true, hell, everybody knows this, yet I could not say where I learned it, or even remember actually having learned it, I had to agree with him. What a scary feeling.

If you go to the Gates Foundation website you can look at the job opening under health initiatives and see exactly what they have in mind. While I agree that the amount of their funding gives them an obligation to do good, it doesn't give them an obligation to join our particular cause. It does, however, present us with a HUGE opportunity to educate and lobby, and to try to encourage sympathetic, informed researchers and MDs to apply for the positions within the Gates Foundation health initiative that might be able to influence their policies in this arena.

AJ:

If anyone is getting their “panties in a twist” it’s you:

“Secondly, its common knowledge the man has Aspergers, so get over it.”

A bit over reactive -- especially considering you have no idea if this *common knowledge* is based on fact (unless of course you’ve got an inside, personal track to Bill). I don’t ever recall Bill Gates *coming out* and proclaiming that he has Aspergers.

Do you seriously believe everything you read??? *If* you are a parent in this *fight* I would think you would have learned by now that everything you read is not necessarily *true* (think CDC, FDA, AAP spin). So until I hear it from Bill Gates mouth, I’m going to go on the assumption that he *doesn’t* have Aspergers – even if the Enquirer says so.

Additionally:

“I never said Gates was autistic, I said he has Aspergers.”

Last time I checked, Aspergers is included as a part of the *AUTISM* Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

That you wouldn’t *know* this basic concept -- coupled with the fact that you would try and challenge one of the best minds in our community (Mark Blaxill) on something as simple as this makes me *leery* that you even have a child on the spectrum.


"Why was Microsoft one of the first companies to cover ABA for its employees?"

Because lots of Microsoft's employees were having kids with autism. Pretty simple, and has nothing to do with Bill himself.

Mark, I agree with you. I was thinking if Bill Gates really does have Aspergers, then Aspergers needs to be completely disconnected from autism. It also should not be called a disability, but a personality (and all those children dx with Aspergers who are struggling in life every day should be called something else).

"Bill Gates doesn't come close. If you know anything about the life of the man, rather than the cartoons, you'd know that."

I am waiting with bated breath to hear what Bill Gates comes close to then. What is it that he has since you claim to know the "life" of the man.

And please do let me know why it is that he cannot see the autism-vaccine connection the way we see it. Since he is so smart, as you have claimed.

Why was Microsoft one of the first companies to cover ABA for its employees? Solely humanitarian reasons?

Mark, thank you for saying:

"Real Asperger's (the kind that gets diagnosd at 8 years of age and is basically "autism with language") is also a disabling condition"

I don't truly care if Gates has Asperger's or not. Fact is he's leading a full, productive and albeit misguided life. Something my son (who defnitely does NOT have genetic Asperger's and definitely DOES have all the medical issues attached to *our* kids), had I not 'gone off and implemented voo-doo for him', would never have been able to do.

Bottom line: Gates could do a ton of good with all that money. And I agree 100% with Dan Olmstead. Gates has a moral imperative to ensure that the vaccine programs he is promoting are safe. If not, he's no better than the next *drug pusher*.

"You took the words right out of my mouth. What good are vaccines without access to clean water?"

Clean water will not do anything for repiratory viruses or toxic bacterial by-products, such as Botulinum tetani.

A lot of dumb ideas become "common knowledge." The suggestion that Bill Gates has Asperger's (a condition many are calling "autistic" because it is part of the PDD family of disorders) is a dumb idea.

Real Asperger's (the kind that gets diagnosd at 8 years of age and is basically "autism with language") is also a disabling condition. Bill Gates doesn't come close. If you know anything about the life of the man, rather than the cartoons, you'd know that.

Jodee,
You took the words right out of my mouth. What good are vaccines without access to clean water?

From Mark -

"The notion that Bill Gates has Asperger's is just one more part of the bogus campaign to consider every smart and introverted person as somehow disabled and thereby to trivialize the disabling condition that is autism."

Huh? That was not the intent, that is your perception of my comment.

Secondly, its common knowledge the man has Aspergers, so get over it. If you want to continue to think he is smart and introverted, so be it.

I never said Gates was autistic, I said he has Aspergers.

Finally I was not alluding to his mental capacity to get the vaccine connection to autism but rather his mindset. There are a lot of genetic Aspergers adults who are just that, genetic Aspergers and do not believe vaccines have anything to do with their problem, assuming they even perceive they have a problem. There are no medical issues attached to these "genetic Aspergers" like in our kids.

Does that help unravel your panties in a twist over the f-ing issue?

Could it be that Bill Gates owns the patent on the micro-chip that will be implanted into each of us to track our vaccine records? Imagine not being able to go through a toll booth because your chip says that you are not up-to-date on your vaccine boosters.

Interesting. I recollect a blog contributed by Gates in Guardian Comment is Free - early 2007 I think - in which I addressed him politely and in very similar terms. I just went to look and it seems to have removed from the web.

If they truly wanted to eliminate disease in the third world, wouldn't it be much better to spend the money on developing clean drinking supplies and sanitation? Doesn't Bill Gates even know how these diseases are spread?

Becasue of what I gleaned from David Kirby's presentation and some of Dr. Deth's statements on fragile mitochondria (therefore suspectibility to autism via environmental assault) relating frequently to higher IQs, I can't help but think of Woody Allen in "Casino Royale" when I read about Gates' mass vax scheme. Remember Allen's evil master-mind character who wants to kill off every male on earth taller than himself? And that at the end of the film, everything blows up real big?

Not saying that Gates wants to bump off every kid smarter than himself, just saying he could. Whoopsy daisy.

The thing about people who are used to being right is that they think they're *always* right. Gates is surrounded by heaps of yes-men and the most well-spoken party-line proponents and probably suffers from what Chomsky calls "elite consensus". I'm afraid our lowly little reality-based scientific evidence doesn't filter through to those glorious heights.

Well, given that the head of Reuters is on the board of Merck, I'm guessing that Gates Foundation is probably pretty pumped up about Paul Offit and RotaTeq, intussusception be damned.

Speaking of safe vaccines, maybe it would be wise for the Gates Foundation to give a second thought to the HIV vaccine given that there are cases of AIDS without HIV, suggesting that they've been aiming at the wrong target for years. It may also explain why the AIDS vaccine effort seems to be going circles.

We all might be lucky they haven't found what they think is a good HIV vaccine if it's directed at something that isn't the cause. One doesn't want to think about the vaccine disaster that could create.

Given the new interest in the role of HHV-6 in AIDS, autism and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, maybe it's time for some of that Microsoft treasure to find its way into HHV-6 research.

With the new information about mitochondrial disorders potentially turning vaccines into lethal weapons, the Gates Foundation has a moral obligation to get to the bottom of the mitochondrial issue to avoid doing any harm.

The notion that Bill Gates has Asperger's is just one more part of the bogus campaign to consider every smart and introverted person as somehow disabled and thereby to trivialize the disabling condition that is autism.

Bill Gates may not act like Katie Couric, but he is by all accounts, brilliant, effective and skillful in human interaction. Let's not forget, he was one of the most successful salesmen in the history of the world.

I can't get my daughter to stop talking about Mickey Mouse, let alone conceive and execute brilliant business strategies. Bill Gates autistic? Give me a f-ing break!

The entire Gates Foundation has had me frightened since day one. Their initiative seems to lack respect to the reality of the news and science coming forth about harm to some children.

Why not spend the money on other causes?

Certainly if you are going to rest your financial nest egg and legacy on vaccines - why not see if they are safe and not listen only the vaccine / pharma rep?

I am super concerned

Just think of how many private jets Autism Speaks could get with that 50 billion!

"Now comes Bill Gates......He ought to order a comprehensive look at the risks as well as the benefits of vaccines, and it ought to be his first order of business."

I have no expectations of any kind from Bill Gates. I think this way because I know he has Aspergers' and I am not holding my breath about him getting the vaccine conection. I don't know anything about his wife Melinda, she might get the moral imperative argument.

All vaccine initiatives are freight trains heading for disaster and the only thing that will stop them would be enough number of people eventually saying no to vaccines. After the Autism Speaks experience I shudder at the thought of any corporation going into any semblance of any health care initiative for any reason whatsoever.

Sorry, but these guys don't give a damn about poor people's health. They want them vaccinated with as poisonous a vaccine they can get to make them sick and quick so that they die soon, because in these people's head, we are just too many on earth. Head management is not going to resolve the issues we are facing globally. Heart and spirit will.

So it is completely repulsive to see the wealthiest ones declare the vaccine war against the world by perpetuating the lies of Big Pharma.
There is nothing like a safe vaccine. Vaccination is a fraud, like private banks. Until both business contunue to ''run'' this planet, we are at great risk. Talk about risk management...

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