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Katie Wright on CNN's Dr. Gupta Autism MMR Story

Off-target By Katie Wright

I remember when the Poling verdict was released Dr. Sanjay Gupta was on CNN discussing the ruling. He appeared completely shocked. More importantly Gupta had actually read the judgment and seemed astonished by the content. Like most doctors he had not believed that over vaccination could ever result in a regression into autism. The Polings case put the reality of vaccine-induced autism into stark relief. Gupta could not find fault with the ruling and acknowledged that Hannah’s father was a neurologist, obviously someone who grasped the complexities of the situation.

I have seen that look so many times. It is a plaintive and sad expression. It happens when someone actually reads the studies and says to themselves, “What? The Danish Serum Institut only counted the out patient ASD population in the prevalence pre test but then counted the out and in patient population (which is significant in DK) in the post test yet did not acknowledge that in there discussion and summary.

The Serum Institut really wanted to bump up those numbers as if to say, “look autism is rising as fast in DK as in the US - and after we made our vaccines safer so that cannot be a factor!” They also wanted to provide fertile ground for the massive American funded ASD epidemiology studies of Danish autism. The American autism epidemic has been a tremendous financial boon for the Danish Serum Institut, the University of Aarhus and assorted thieves within the scientific community (I am not merely casting aspersions here, Dr. Poul Thorsen really did steal our research money for personal spending sprees, check it out online). The rate of ASD in DK is nowhere near as high as in the US. And most interestingly the vast majority of ASD Danes are relatively HF/ Asperger’s. They have a minimal problem with regression and/or medically affected/ induced autism. When my mother in law talks to fellow Danish parents and grandparents about her grandson’s autism they look at her in disbelief. They have no idea what she is talking about. Most Danish autistic kids were “different” from birth, nearly all verbal and no ASD child she knows has these weird GI symptoms.

My mother in law, a proud Dane, was horrified at the malfeasance within University of Aarhus, where she was once a student. It was impossible for her to make sense of the situation and the only conclusion she could make shocked and saddened her: they cooked the books and stole money.

Dr. Gupta appeared to have the same reckoning after the Polings decision. He was so obviously uncomfortable on camera and said that the medical community needed to start listening more to parents like the Polings rather than demonize them.

Last night CNN’s AC 360 featured Dr. Gupta, Andrew Wakefield, the author of a Paul Offit style book and an uncharacteristically rude Anderson Cooper. Anderson’s snappish and angry demeanor brought to mind Bill O’Reilly or that crazy “Mad Dog” guy on CNBC. Do yourself a favor Anderson, take it down a notch a notch. Try allowing your guests to respond to your question and then actually listen to the response while maintaining your composure. Cooper was highly agitated. Meanwhile I was at home, awake at 10:30 PM with my exhausted but unable to sleep severely autistic 9 yr. Christian had had an all day ivig procedure to help repair his destroyed immune system. Yet there is Anderson Cooper colossally worked up, taking this autism discussion ultra personally. Totally bizarre.

I barely understood the interview because Cooper’s interruptions were so constant. It is a shame because that is the only interview Wakefield is doing; it would have been nice to hear him complete a sentence.  Anderson Cooper is generally a great journalist, I enjoy his shows, but the producers really dropped the ball last night.

Cooper’s behavior was boorish, his questions crazy: “You have been given so many opportunities to replicate your work but you have refused!” Who, what, when, how? Did I miss something? Has Andy Wakefield been inundated with grant money to continue his research? Ha, very funny! Secondly the regressive autism/ GI findings HAVE been replicated by Krigsman and Gonzalez. Why didn’t these producers talk to any of those scientists or any of Wakefield’s patients? Isn’t what this is all about?

More embarrassing questions followed, “why and how did you diagnose these children with autism?” Wakefield responded that he did not diagnose any of the children; they were all referred to his practice by other doctors. Cooper: “you said that you found evidence of the MMR virus when you looked at the autistic children’s biopsies!” Again, Wakefield responded that expert pathologists had been brought into make the diagnoses, not him. The study had also been blinded. None of the doctors even knew they were examining biopsies from autistic children. Then the mea culpa question “are you responsible for the deaths of dozens of children from vaccine preventable illnesses!!!!” Anderson Cooper, that’s really sad, you are better than that.

Wakefield has never, ever, ever urged parents not to vaccinate. If you don’t believe me find the quote.  Cooper went on and on about Wakefield’s clearly evil plan to respond to huge parental demand for safer and separate MMR shots and how that would cause certain catastrophe…How dare parents have that choice! Such a choice obviously endangers the United States of America and everything we stand for….Really the average viewer would come away from that AC 360 show believing autism was no big deal at all, possibly a hoax foisted on the medical community by parents “latching on something to blame” for their kids’ problems. The REAL problem is the measles and woefully misinformed, crazy parents who want a safer vaccine schedule- not autism.

Anderson Cooper did not ask one question about the fact  70% of ASD children have GI problems. Cooper did not ask why so many ASD parents want their autistic child scoped. In short or children had no voice on the panel.

While Cooper came across as smug and over confident, Sanjay Gupta looked he would rather be anywhere else than on that show. When Wakefield answered his questions, Gupta clearly was stumped; Wakefield’s answers appeared to make sense to Gupta- no follow up questions at all. While Cooper got increasingly worked up over the course of the interview Gupta grew quieter. He appeared loathe to make any pronouncements, repeating old talking points like autism is really rising and until we know why parents do not feel they can trust health officials. While Cooper went on and on about some weird conspiracy that we are supposedly engaged in Gupta looked like he wanted to press an eject button on his seat. Discomfort and unease were all over his face and in his body language. I would guess he was afraid of saying something that would come back to haunt him. Cooper isn’t a doctor, he makes a mistake, so what- but Gupka would look very foolish. I think Gupta knows more than he wishes he did.

By the next evening Gupta had been schooled by the CDC/ Paul Offit p.r. machine, or better yet his peers. Never, ever, under-estimate the desire of those in the media to be loved and accepted. Gupta appeared to swallow his ethical and scientific concerns and allowed Paul Offit to insinuate on his evening news story that Andy Wakefield killed/ is responsible for killing/ caused the deaths of a number of children. Sanjay Gupta should be ashamed of himself, he knows better.

Comments

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shell

1 in 10 kids now have a form of autism. The stories are the same around the world in contries that have begun to follow our vaccine schedule. India, Canada, Australia, England.. When we changed the laws to Not allow pharma companies to be sued, we suddenly went from approx 9 vaccines to as many as 59 in early chilhood. Aluminum, antifreeze.. see "Recovering Autism and Special Needs on Youtube."

Hans RAIBLE

The comparison with MS is instructive:
In MS, the plugging of the jugular veins can be shown on an MRI machine, and you can also show what happens when you remove the plugs.
This is easy to understand, and people get very angry when told that they should wait. In fact, they travel long distances to get their plugs removed in Poland or Italy.

In autism, things are mainly invisible to the layman (they happen in the brain and in the gut) and they are more difficult to understand, so the usual arguments (not proven; more tests needed; faulty thinking; cheating patients etc) are accepted by most people, and nothing happens.

Hans Raible, Stuttgart, Germany

Nicole Beurkens

Well written, as usual, Katie. I felt the same way as I watched. Beyond sad and utterly frustrating!

michael framson

Anderson Cooper is not better than that. He was relishing the earning of his merit badge of media vigilantism.

How do earn your merit badge for media vigilantism? You beat up on parents with children with autism who just read and understand the science in all its flaws and limitations. You beat up on doctors who listen to parents who describe with great detail what happened to their children.

You attack Clinicians who practice medicine based on a greater understanding of what health is. And you certainly attack everyone who is not buying into the pharma government line on anything to do with autism.

Anderson will join the rest of his screwed up profession and toast themselves how wonderful they are.

treegirl

@nora.....Nora, where is the link to that clip.. I haven't seen that one.

@Everyone.......The only one I was was Anderson being a pit bull for no apparent reason other than believing the crap he's been fed. What a fool. I"m so embarrassed for him. I use to like him, especially during Katrina... But I am no fan now. Does he have financial ties to pharma.... Isn't his family well to do?

Nora

Katie,

I posted this on Anderson Cooper's Facebook site. Dr. Kupta's eyes at the end of the segment where he discussed with Anderson Cooper were a dead give a way of his guilty feelings.
And I agree the next day he was entirely different. He was there to do his job and collect a pay check.

Jen

Come to think of it I have kind of assumed that people in the US know all about this MS news but I just read someone's comments on a blog and she was saying that in the US pharma is allowed to advertise and there has been quite an information black out there. Maybe we have heard much more about here in Canada. Ironically, though, our government is dragging it's heels on this promising new treatment and your privatized healthcare system is where a lot of Canadians are having the procedure done.
My friend's neurologist at the MS clinic has been completely unsupportive toward her choice to do this but her family doctor told her if he were her he would do it. There are some doctors with MS who have already had the surgery and are advocating for it ( I know of an Irish doctor).

jen

Grace, so glad you asked.
I find the parallels of the autism battle to be astoundingly similar to what the MS patients are going through since Dr. Zamboni announced just last Fall that he had a revolutionary way of viewing and treating MS. Through researching to help his own wife's MS, Dr. Zamboni came across some research done by another doctor whose son had published them on the internet. His theory was that chronic venous blockages were the cause of many if not most of the symptoms of MS. This theory is known as CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) and it is treated by simple angioplasty in order to "unblock" the veins. This is revolutionary because up until now, MS has been seen as an auto-immune disease and a huge chunk of their research goes toward genetic studies. The MS Societies are hugely pharma funded, either directly or indirectly. They fund many of the neurologist's research, lectures etc. MS patients are absolutely furious and growing more furious by the minute at the refusal of the MS Societies to support this promising treatment avenue. Of course angioplasty clinics exist everywhere in the world, they just haven't been used to treat MS and usually, they are working on veins, I think, instead of arteries. Anyways, SO many people have gone to places ranging from India, Mexico, the U.S., Poland etc. to have this angioplasty surgery done (first they need a doppler scan of their neck/chest veins to make sure that they do indeed have blockages) and are coming back feeling better that it is really remarkable. Of course since it has not been clinically studied, it is all considered anecdotal still. Many patients, even immediately after the surgery, can feel their extremities when they haven't been able to for years! Many are walking when they have not been able to for years. That happened to my friend. Her doctor not only "ballooned" her veins but made the valves a little bigger to ensure good blood flow. She is so much better! Still needs physio to deal with all the atrophied muscles, though.
Anyways, sorry to take up so much space with this but it really floors me how similar your battles are. Pharma is crapping their pants over this because, as you can imagine, if a simple surgery can help MS patients then their little goldmine dries up considerably. Here's a partial list of MS drugs: interferon, anti-virals, pain and anti-inflammatory meds, coricosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents, spasticity and tremor meds, meds for vertigo, depression etc. !!!!! And I think that doesn't include the experimental drugs being worked on. Many of these drugs are dangerous and MS patients are seeking out this doppler testing and surgery in droves! My friend went to a clinic in California. If you send me your email I will send you specific info.
Last week an idiot reporter in Calgary who likes to scoop stuff from the science bloggers wrote a really negative article on the CCSVI theory. He has also written negatively about autism and its connection to vaccines. Check out this link to get more scoop on the MS issue. Trust me it's huge and is completely threatening pharma.

www.rabble.ca/news/2010/07/treatment-multiple-sclerosis-not-yet-given-its-due

Cynthia Cournoyer

Why now?

Because the flu vaccine is a failure. It is unpopular and they didn't sell their stock this flu season. They (vaccinators and their financeers) are looking ahead to next year at dismal profits. They are looking ahead to the same thing happening with other vaccines. That drop in profit scares them silly.

Proving, again, that we are the ultimate agent of change. Not the CDC, not the government, but each one of us with our closed wallet every time we walk into a flu-shot-providing-pharmacy.

@SpeechTXJulie

anderson lost all credibility in my books last night. i will never watch him again. until the show where he has his tail between his legs and apologizes to andy.

Heidi N

Andy really is bearing an overwhelming amount of backlash. The autism recovery movement and desires for a better vaccination program encompasses a vast amount of people. I sought out and found research that says vaccines can cause nerve damage and other disabling symptoms. So, why is Andy getting all the blame as if he is the only one in this movement or ever did vaccine research. I am sorry Andy that they are picking on you. It's so unjustified. Frankly, if you have so much power, that you alone are responsible for so much, than you should speak more often because obviously you get listened to. Maybe you should run for a political office.

Twyla

Pamela posted an interview of Dr. John Poling by Dr. Gupta. It was interesting. One of the things that struck me was that both men said that as doctors they had been (basically) indoctrinated that vaccines do not cause autism. Dr. Poling said that he would not have believed it if he had not seen it happen to his own daughter. That seems to so often be the case.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxfgqsZ8BV0

KHW

Sad.

Grace

@Jen, I have a sister with MS - can you please share what you are referring to regarding an MS crisis & Pharma's lost revenue?

Jen

It all makes me wonder who is next? The Cochrane Collaborative? They're like the little Dutch boy putting a finger in the dam to try and stop the flow.
I am heartened to see other reporters dealing with this issue (such as the Danish man recently at our site) and trust me, another big thing that will be taking up a lot of pharma's time and concern is this whole MS crisis happening right now. Pharma stands to lose tons of revenue with all the MS drugs ( anti-inflammatories, chemotherapy drugs etc.) I hope Paully profit's book bombs big time and Anderson Cooper and his mommies' stock plunges.

Kevin Barry

Great article Katie!

Kristina

I've been to a lot of doctors, and I guarantee that there are several errors in each of my charts. For sure, some of my doctors have been better than others, but should they all be publicly humiliated and demonized because I could say, "that's not true" to some things in my chart? If a sociopathic stalker journalist were to compare all my charts, he would be sure to find discrepancies.

Which of my charts are more likely to be correct? The ones from doctors that cared about me and spent a lot of time with me. Certainly not the ones from hospitals where they interviewed me in less than a minute while I was in pain and I had not built up trust with the person interviewing me.

Pamela

Two interviews that prove Gupta knows better.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh-nkD5LSIg&feature=related.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxfgqsZ8BV0

Pamela

I've been out of the loop for a few days, so forgive me if this has been proposed but the recycling of the Wakefield ruling through the BMJ is very interesting given the Offit book was just released.

Brilliant move by the pharma PR machine to position Offit against a scientist who has question the safety of a vaccine and who was later "discredited" on the subject. It goes a long way in making Offit look much more legitimate in the eyes of the average Joe.

treegirl

Next time somone gets on the air with Anderson or another voice, they need to simply say this...., "you are supposedly a journalist, would be agree to sit down for the required time alotment needed for you to understand the other side of the story? If he says no... than on air the asker needs to say, "than you are not a journalist who seeks the truth, rather I propose you are there to spread propaganda, end of interview."

bensmyson

I understand why NBC attacks anything questioning vaccine safety, their business relationship with Bill Gates/ Gates Foundation.

CNN Ted Turner, Google Ted Turner vaccines, billions

Wired Magazine, about to go under

Chicago Tribune, in bankruptcy

Lancet, publisher on GSK Board of Directors

Sunday Times, publisher on the Board of GSK

Anderson Cooper, trust fund loaded with pharmastock, mommy's circle same thing

What I want to know is what did Brian Deer do in Atlanta while he lives there a few years ago.

And last but not least, Google the headline "Will autism fraud report be a vaccine booster?", now Google "Will autism fraud report be a vaccine booster?" and WorldNow

WorldNow s an advertising, media company that controls a good deal of media websites.

If you go to any of those 10,000 sites that come up from your Google search, let me know if you find one that accepts comments. Other stories do on the sites but I have yet to find one that will allow comments on "Will autism fraud report be a vaccine booster?"

Ya think .....

casey

This whole last week of stories has left me speechless. Why now? Oh I know! Because almost all parents with half a brain are pausing to think about vaccines for their kiddos. Pharma profits are down.

And since Big Pharma, logically, is connected to Big Media... well its great advertising.

This is a PR war of the highest order. We have to keep talking, keep being vocal, and not let this bullsh*t go unanswered.

nhokkanen

AC 360 has a Facebook page with several autism entries where one can leave comments and links.

http://www.facebook.com/AC360

Twyla

I got so mad when Anderson Cooper told Dr. Wakefield he was not here to promote his book but to answer questions. He would not even let Dr. Wakefield answer the questions! He kept interrupting him mid-sentence! He was on his highhorse, thinking he was being such a great aggressive investigative journalist, but he doesn't even understand these issues.

And as many have pointed out, what is being overlooked is, what is the real problem? As Jim Carey said, "The problem is the problem." The problem here is chidren with severe bowel symptoms and autism. How to treat them? How to prevent this from occurring in other children?

Twyla

As Garbo said, why now? Why are Brian Deer and the BMJ etc. dredging this up now? Maybe because of the current study comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated:
http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/07/new-study-shows-vaccines-cause-brain-changes-found-in-autism.html

“The results indicate that multiple vaccine exposures during the previous 3-4 months may have had a significant impact on brain growth and development in ways that are consistent with the published data on autism. For the amygdala, the novel findings of abnormal growth and function appear to be a function of more recent vaccine exposures - the 12-month primary MMR vaccine and the DTaP and Hib boosters.

“In an accompanying editorial Dr. Kris Turlejski, the Editor-in-Chief, described the findings as ‘alarming’, ‘support[ing] the possibility that there is a link between early immunization and the etiology of autism.’

“In the same primate model, the research team has already identified delayed acquisition of vital brainstem reflexes in infants exposed to the thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine on the first day of life, compared with unvaccinated animals. A larger, second phase study is currently underway to see if these findings can be replicated.

“Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who is not a listed author but whose support in the design of the study is acknowledged, said ‘I hope the model will not only provide important insights into the origins of autism, but also ways of safely testing possible new autism treatments and vaccines.’”


What better way to discredit this than to ramp up the allegations against Dr. Wakefield to include deliberate falsification. These allegations are bullshit, and Brian Deer is an ignorant, unprincipled, strange, non-professional person who does not deserve to be listened to, yet mysteriously attracts so much attention.

Never mind that Dr. Wakefield is not listed as one of the authors of this study. He is only one of the 13 authors of the Lancet study, yet he is the one focused on. World renowned John Walker-Smith actually managed the treatment of these children, but apparently he would be harder to bash, although they did take away his license to practice too.

We keep hearing that most of the authors of the Lancet study recanted. Six years later. Why the change of heart? Fear of undergoing treatment like what Wakefield and Murch and Walker-Smith received? Or did they have no idea what the paper said when they co-authored it?

Grossly unethical to investigate these children’s severe health issues, but never mind that guy Poul Thorsen who absconded with millions in research money after holding two jobs simultaneously thousands of miles apart and doing research for the CDC – no reason to question his research!

Laura

I have noticed in the last few months that CNN.com only posts pro-vax stories. Has anyone ever investigated ties between CNN and pharm?

Twyla

In the CNN transcript that Penny linked to Dr. Gupta said, “In science you`re supposed to randomize children, you know, pick them at random. And they said that Dr. Wakefield actually hand-chose specific children to be part of the study which, you know, gives the idea that maybe he was gaming the results to some extent. That is the allegation.” One often hears this, and to me it is such a strange statement. This Lancet paper did not say anything about the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease among people with autism. This paper simply focused on this group of patients. “We investigated a consecutive series of children with chronic enterocolitis and regressive developmental disorder.” “We saw several children who, after a period of apparent normality, lost acquired skills, including communication. They all had gastrointestinal symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and bloating and, in some cases, food intolerance. We describe the clinical findings, and gastrointestinal features of these children.”
http://www.lifehealthchoices.com/images/lancetwakefield.pdf

Surely Dr. Gupta knows the difference between:
• an epidemiological study looking at prevalence, in which case you would need to randomly choose subjects – for example looking at randomly chosen children with autism and counting how many have IBD to see how often does IBD occur in children with autism, and
• a case series study in which you are looking at a similar group of patients and studying their health issues in depth.

We often hear these days about “autisms” plural – subtypes of autism – heterogeneity. Autism is a broad spectrum, and individuals have a variety of health issues and cognitive abilities, respond differently to treatments, have different onsets/history and different etiologies. Yet, studies are so often done on randomly chosen subjects, with general conclusions drawn about what does or does not cause autism and what is or is not an effective treatment. Doesn’t it make sense to study groups who have similar symptoms to try to identify and understand their particular issues?

The Lancet paper says that these were a “consecutive series” of children with certain attributes. These doctors are gastroenterologists. If they were interested in studying the bowel issues reported in this group of children, should they also have randomly drawn from their other patients, such as adults with Crones disease and no autism? Should they have included autistic children with no bowel disease? Should they have randomly chosen healthy neurotyical children to study? That makes no sense.

Yes, they did do some comparison of healthy children and these 12 subjects. But this was just the very beginning of exploring these children’s issues, not a claim to definitive conclusions applying to everyone with autism and bowel disease. This should have resulted in further research, not vilification.

Cherry Sperlin Misra

Carol, Thats a terrific comment. Apparently Brian Deer belongs to the old Lord of The Flies school of thought. And wasnt he smug about claiming to speak with the children's parents.
How was that? Imagine the scene -
Brian: Hello, Mrs. Cavender, My name is Brian Deer and I'd like to ask you about your son Derek....
Mrs. Cavender: Drop dead you #%&*#

So then after a couple more attempts Mr. Deer asked one of his pals to make the calls

Twyla

When watching the CNN interview with Seth Mnookin, I noticed just what Katie describes regarding Dr. Gupta's facial expressions and body language. He sat very still, serious, no appreciative nods or smiles while Mnookin was speaking -- and I really wondered what he was thinking. His comment was understated -- saying that Dr. Wakefield's work was already considered discredited in the scientific community but that this won't really change anything and that we are still unable to say what causes autism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNYO2Uy3r1k&feature=relmfu

I wonder, what does Dr. Gupta really think? And how much does he feel he can say what he thinks?

Cautionary note: This interview with Seth Mnookin is infuriating. And what is frustrating is that if I did not know anything about the subject I would find him convincing. He repeats all the talking points – such as what science has proven and disproven. Fact is, important science has not been done, such as:

• comparison of health/cognitive issues in vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children (retrospective study) or animals (prospective study – except a study of monkeys is underway which shows differences consistent with changes seen in the brains of children with autism)

• in depth study of vaccine injured children (except for the Lancet paper whose authors are being punished and vilified).

Even Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the NIH, said that “when she began researching autism and vaccines she found credible published, peer-reviewed scientific studies that support the idea of an association. That seemed to counter what many of her colleagues had been saying for years. She dug a little deeper and was surprised to find that the government has not embarked upon some of the most basic research that could help answer the question of a link.”
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500803_162-4090144-500803.html
Also see: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/05/12/cbsnews_investigates/main4086809.shtml

Mnookin ignores the study JB mentioned on higher rates of disabilities in boys who receive Hep B shots, and other studies showing the impact of thimerosal on hamsters in Peru, higher rates of asthma among babies receiving certain vaccines at earlier dates in Canada, immune system dysregulation and neuroinflammation among people with autism, mitochondrial disorder among people with autism, and so much more. Yes, we don’t have a smoking gun study proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that vaccines cause autism but there is a whole lot of research supporting the so called “anecdotal” evidence of what parents have witnessed in their children.

NTB

I think the problem is that this was all orchestrated above Cooper's pay grade. He was fed information and took it from there. They used him because his show is popular, people like him and they believe what he says. He was the "mouthpiece" as it were. The problem is so much bigger than this.

A fabulous article though.

Becky

Anderson Cooper's "interview" was the most unprofessional piece of garbage I've ever seen. I've never seen the likes of it. People serving life sentences in prison have had fairer interviews. Utterly disgusting and bizarro. Cooper acted as though Andy's work was a personal assault.

Allie c

Are you kidding me? CNN's ratings have been down and they are criticized for not taking sides, now they have us all talking and most of us will keep watching to see hoe this shakes out. I think they accomplished their objective, regardless of the truth.

Jen

It must be very emasculating for Anderson Cooper to be told how to slant his program. I mean, not even reading Wakefield's book when he is the subject of controversy, how pathetic.
For how long can they pretend they don't know the other side? Why aren't they all over the bullshot studies ( with SERIOUS flaws) like Fombonne's and Thorsens'??????

Alisa

Wow I have to agree with you all. AC was the rudest, most slanted interviewer I've ever seen. He was downright hostile. I completely support Dr. Wakefield, but even if I wasn't sure about all of this, Cooper and Gupta's behavior makes me distrust them.

Sandra Lopriore

"Anderson Cooper did not ask one question about the fact 70% of ASD children have GI problems."

Katie you just reminded me of a conversation I had with my pediatrician....when I asked my pediatrician (who was irritated at the fact I am concerned about further vaccination) if he had any other children with Autism in his practice with GI problems and he told me "no." Needless to say I did not believe him....it is astonishing how uninformed these doctors are and how it seems to me how unconcerned they are about being uninformed. I still feel like our kids are an acceptible casualty. I am no doctor, but my child fell apart after catching strep (PANDAS) so how am I suppose to think her immune system can handle anything including another vaccine?

Julie Obradovic

When Dr. Gupta spoke on CNN the first time before Cooper, he repeatedly said he'd been racking his brains all day to figure out why Wakefield would do this. He couldn't come up with any explanation for why anyone in their right mind would. And he was troubled by it, you could tell. And why is that? Because anyone who looks at what Andy is actually accused of has to shake their head in disbelief. It just doesn't make sense, and Gupta knows it. But no one has actually talked about what the allegations are. No one has explored what the "elaborate fraud" actually is. So let's look, shall we?

According to the journalist who brought this all to light, Dr. Wakefield seized the opportunity of the children being brought to him in order to unleash the mad scientist in him all along. Rather than help them, he decided to use the parents for financial gain, experiment on their on children, falsify data, lie about their diagnoses, manipulate the pathology reports and the lab that did them, and somehow do it all under the nose of the colleagues and mentors working with him who never had a clue. In fact, he was so evil, he even paid off kids at a birthday party to participate.

Once he passed all this illegitimate science past everyone, he even got it published in one of the world's most prestigious journals without anyone realizing how badly they had been burned. And he did it all for money and to make a name for himself. Yes, at the end of the day, his plan for fame and fortune was to experiment on kids, falsify data, manipulate his colleagues, publish fraudulent science, risk his career, go against his oath, take on the vaccine industry and scare the world at large, putting children in harm's way and allowing the world to explode in infectious disease.

MU-WAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!!!

And he would have gotten away for it too, if it weren't for a pesky journalist in search of the truth who managed to figure all of this out on his own, six years after the study was published.

Seriously, people? Seriously? For Andy Wakefield to have pulled this off would have to make him an egotistical maniac with genius capabilities beyond what anyone can imagine. And that's the story the world would rather believe than this:

Those children were sick and had measles strain vaccine virus in their guts, and that meant we may have done something very wrong that should be further investigated.

Psycho, genius doctor with an agenda to fool the world for fortune and fame when presented with the opportunity?

Or sick kids with an unpleasant pathology that implicated an entire industry?

You decide.

Joanna

I too was surprised at how one sided this was. And it was clear that Anderson Cooper had not read the Lancet study. I'm sorry, how can you ask a valid interview w/o doing your research. I guess Anderson is successful enough that he doesn't need to do his homework anymore. But, Seth Mnookin was the best. Apparently, we parents are so stupid we will believe anything, and it is just as likely (as vaccines having a link to autism) that microwave popcorn is linked to autism. That came out around the same time too. Well, if my kid had eaten 50 bowls of microwave popcorn, and then regressed into autism, maybe I would think that. But, we aren't just looking around for ANYTHING. Then, he said that giving parents or someone who does believe in a link between vaccines and autism equal time in a discussion was like having a someone who believes the earth is flat have a one-on-one debate with someone who knows it is round. Very interesting Seth - when that was being debated do you recall which was the viewpoint of the majority, including the best and brightest minds, and which viewpoint led to be ostracized, excommunicated, and even executed?

Garbo

What would happen to TV ad revenues if pharma boycotted them? Seems to me like someone said "Jump!" and AC and the rest of them are now competing to see who can say "How High?" the loudest.

The big question is Why Now? I find it hard to believe this is all about pushing proffit's book or Brian Deer's pathological guilt projection. Maybe some other researchers out there are about to publish something important and are being schooled in the consequences in an effort to suppress the science.

Theodora Trudorn

Wow! If I wanted to see that much snark and sarcasm in a news show I would watch the Onion News Network!! Get it together Cooper!! Journalism is supposed to be about BALANCE!!! I know, how awful, right?! For as much as he slams Fox News, they sure are looking at things in a more balanced manner than he is!!!

Not to mention it would due to not get your opinions spoon fed to you by an apparent narcicist! (Cooper and Deer)

Penny

Gupta's facial expressions were telling during the Joy Behar interview with him and actor Gary Cole, last night, as Cole described a violent reaction his daughter had following vaccination. Gupta's verbal response told a completely other tale, though. I cannot locate the video clip; the transcript is here:

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1101/06/joy.01.html

julie

We have to keep in mind that five years ago the vaccine-autism connection was not ever discussed in the mainstream media 5 years ago. Now it's everywhere. This is a good thing, even though the Pharma-owned media is in hysterical denial mode.

When my son was born in 2005, autism was not in my mind at all. I agonized over whether to circumcise, what I should eat while breast feeding, you name it. I worried about everything but vaccines-- I just accepted them blindly. This would not be the case today.

Oh and Gupta knows. He's just afraid to open his mouth. I wouldn't care to be in his place. Cooper is just a pretty idiot. I lost all respect for him a few years ago when he was nasty to Michael Moore.

cmo

The "Hit pieces of journalism" by Dr. Nancy and Anderson Cooper yesterday were a bit obscene. I was suprised that Dr. Nancy did not hold up a copy of the new Offit book.

Has Dr. Nancy ever treated a child that has had diarrhea for two years ???

God bless Dr. Wakefield for putting up with the Cooper crap for another interview. It is difficult to respond to questions from a webcam & Cooper seemed to have the upper hand working from a studio.

In order for the pharma funds to finance the networks, Dr. Nancy and Cooper have to behave as they do.

It would be great someday if they would interview a few doctors who cut off the "wrong arm or leg" and still practice medicine in the UK and US.

The networks continue to miss the boat on the real questions...

40,000 new Autism cases a year and STILL Dr. Nancy has no clue as to what is causing something 30 times more common than polio...

Carol

As I mentioned in a previous post, when Cooper asked Deer if Deer was saying that Wakefield had falsified the medical histories of all of the children in the Lancet paper, Deer dodged the question by saying that he had showed the paper to the father of child 11 who said, "that's not true" about something or other. That was the total answer to Cooper's question. One father of one child said some unspecified thing wasn't true. Deer then went on to say that in his lectures Wakefield cites one study which directly contradicts something Wakefield claims. (Could you vague that up for me, Brian?)

But that started me thinking about Dr. Wakefield's recent lecture at the Boulder Public Library. In it he talks about a study titled "No Effect of MMR withdrawal on the incidence of autism: a total population study" by Honda et al. That sounds pretty contradictory of Wakefield.

But according to Wakefield, the data show that after MMR was withdrawn in Japan (due to problems with the mumps portion of vaccine), autism declined. Then a new vaccination policy was put in place: MR was given on one day, mumps vaccine 4 weeks later. After that, autism rates began to rise. Wakefield explains this by saying that due to the biology of live virus vaccines, this is similar to giving MMR. I think Deer might be referring to this study, but who knows with Mr. Shifty.

Wakefield talks about the data at 35:36 here:
http://www.vaccinesafetycoalition.com/event-video.html

Honda et al. is here:
http://fourteenstudies.org/pdf/MMR_5.pdf

Parent

As much as I love AC360 - I'm done with it now. Shame on you Anderson Cooper.

Then again, your ancestor Cornelius Vanderbilt would probably be proud. Didn't he love to exploit others for profit? Funny how that massive Vanderbilt fortune is mostly gone now.

At any rate, no more for B.S. this peon.

Steph M

" While Cooper went on and on about some weird conspiracy that we are supposedly engaged in Gupta looked like he wanted to press an eject button on his seat. Discomfort and unease were all over his face and in his body language. I would guess he was afraid of saying something that would come back to haunt him. Cooper isn’t a doctor, he makes a mistake, so what- but Gupka would look very foolish. I think Gupta knows more than he wishes he did."

Katie, my sentiments exactly.

StephM

Penny

AC and Dr Gupta look very foolish for not having looked curiously at Dr Wakefield's side of the story. Period. I was taught to be objective in my journalism classes. Neither AC nor Dr Gupta have been objective; they simply have not considered or been curious about Dr. Wakefield's story, which, ultimately, is the story of our CHILDREN. I don't understand the lack of curiosity, the inability to ask those curious questions, get the other viewpoint.

Lack of curiosity. Hmmmm. Inability to perspective take. Hmmmm. That's "theory of mind". Hmmmmmm.

nhokkanen

Cooper was utterly unprofessional. When Andrew Wakefield held up his book asking people to read its details about corruption, Cooper sputtered something like "I'm not going to let you promote your book." Heaven forbid that a journalist actually READ about what they're reporting.

Cooper's agitation reveals how fear of disease can be manipulated, and is being manipulated by media, government and manufacturers. Until that fear is acknowledged and compartmentalized, the truth about vaccine injury and safety infractions will continue to be obscured.

Gupta needs to start valuing the lives of vaccine-injured children as much as children stricken with childhood diseases.

mary

I don't watch any mainstream media because it's all lies. By the looks of the ratings and the full newspaper machines, I'm not the only one.

Who cares what these paid mouthpieces say -let's hear about the IVIG treatments.

Carol

There's a clip of Brian Deer "being interviewed" by Anderson Cooper on PharmaGossip. At one point Cooper asks him if Wakefield falsified the medical histories of all of the children in the Lancet paper. Deer answers by saying that he showed the Lancet paper to the father of child 11 and the father said, "That's not true." Then Deer changed the subject.

Do you think Anderson Cooper even noticed that Deer didn't answer the question? He didn't seem to.

sara

Thanks, Katie...seriously, what is going on here? Its fraud to publish an 'early report' study with a disclaimer that a link between MMR and gut issues has NOT been proven, but scientists endure no consequences for signing their names to Tamiflu studies ghost-written by Roche.

Jim Thompson

Katie, maybe Anderson Cooper and Dr. Gupta should investigate this:

Case 318702, Vaccinated 10/23/2007, Died 11/10/2007, National Vaccine Information Center fatal events, RotaTeq vaccine (co-invented by Dr. Offit):

“Information has been received from a physician concerning an approximately 5 month old male with a history of ‘reflux’ who in approximately October 2007, was vaccinated orally with a second dose of Rotateq. Two weeks post vaccination, on 08 NOV 2007, the patient was seen ‘in the office’ at which time the patient was ‘congested with on an off vomiting’. The patient presented with ‘a good bowel movement’ and was given amoxicillin and sent home. Approximately 16 hours later the patient was taken to the emergency room (ER). ‘The child passed away on 10 NOV 2007’.”

http://www.medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php

Maurine Meleck

Thanks for this piece, Katie. As if the first interview wasn't bad enough, last night's interview with Cooper and Deer surpassed anything I have ever heard. Cooper
allowed Deer to say anything and everything without ever interripting him. Deer's inflammatory statements about Wakefield were truly personal. And Deer with his fake laugh and smirk-------need I say more about him? The previous night the statement that really got to me was Cooper asking Mnookin if he thought Wakefield believed what he was sayng. Then Mnookin's response was that if one says something enough times, one starts to believe it.
I will never stop fighting for Wakefield, I will never stop fighting for Wakefield.
Maurine

Carol

Remember Wendell Potter told us how APCO threatened to "push Michael Moore off a cliff"? I think we're seeing a PR firm push Andrew Wakefield off a cliff.

And those dopey anchors are going to fall for it hook, line and sinker just like they did the "WMD in Iraq" wheeze.

I shouldn't be so hard on them because I fell for that one too. But it turned out that it was Scott Ritter, warts and all, who was telling the truth all along.

Media Scholar

Check this out keeping in mind the MMR vaccine certainly can and does do the same thing:

http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2010-12-01/story/inspired-mentors-child-atlantic-beach-woman-now-heads-agency

Leah Barker was 13 at the time, and her mom had just taken her for a walk in her wheelchair outside the hospital in her hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Barker wanted to know why it was so dark.

A case of red measles had ended with Barker getting encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The doctors said the outlook wasn't good, said her mom, Al Lynch.

"They told us she wasn't going to make it, and if she did, she was going to have severe brain damage," her mom said.

Barker's eyesight was gone, and doctors weren't optimistic about when, or if, it would come back. But Barker wasn't as concerned.

"I just never remember thinking that it would be permanent," she said.

DownWitDaSickness

...ironically Seth Mnookin's book is slated to come out on January 11 and Paul Offit's book on March 22 ... 2 great days to get the word out to buy Dr. Wakefield's Callous Disregard book to outsell them on THEIR on sale dates...

Just a thought...

DownWitDaSickness

...why even Alison Singer is a big fan of Seth's work, here is an excerpt from his webpage:

Alison Singer


22 hours ago
What we are seeing today is news but not science news. The
science on the Wakefield study was finished when study after study seeking
to replicate Wakefield’s findings came up short. The scientific method
requires that findings be replicable and Wakefield’s never were replicated, despite several
labs that set out specifically to do so. So in my mind, that answered the
scientific question.

What we are seeing today, though, has more value in terms of swaying public
opinion. I am hopeful that this is the last in a series of news/political
stories on this topic. First the Lancet retracted the paper. That made news.
Then the British Medical Council ruled that Wakefield’s conduct was
dishonest and irresponsible and stripped him of his medical license. Then
the Vaccine Court ruled in the Omnibus Autism Cases that there was no link
between MMR and autism, thimerosal and autism, or a combination of MMR and
thimerosal in causing autism. And now today we have BMJ calling Wakefield’s
work outright fraud. None of these were scientific events, but what they do
do is help families understand that when smart, impartial individuals (like you Seth!) look
at the science this is where they come out.

My hope is that after today’s events we will be able to put this behind us
and move forward with good science as our guide. But, the truth is that the
vaccine question will never go away completely until we can answer the
question of what DOES cause autism. It’s hard for some to accept what
doesn’t until we can tell them what does. That’s why it’s so critical, now
more than ever, that we fund good autism research and that’s what we do
at the Autism Science Foundation. http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org

DownWitDaSickness

Excellent observation, Katie... the "author of a Paul Offit style book" is Seth Mnookin who got many plugs for his upcoming book while on AC's show and even had the title of his book listed underneath his name, but when Dr. Wakefield stated he wasn't out to plug HIS own book, but rather that Sanjay should read Callous Disregard to get some answers, AC scolded Dr. Wakefield with , “Sir, I’m not here to let you pitch your book. I’m here to have you answer questions.” ...good job AC...plug Seth's book and not Dr. Wakefield's... sounds to me like AC is still traumatized of hearing of Mama Gloria's Sex-capades from the 1960s & 1970s !!!

Carol

I just saw a clip of Brian Deer with Anderson Cooper. Deer said that Wakefield preyed on vulnerable people and that it was an "animal thing." Really, you would think that it might occur to Cooper that there is something a little off about Deer.

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