By Dan Olmsted
Brian Deer's appearances in Wisconsin yesterday and today -- and Andy Wakefield's press conference there Thursday -- are coming amid the continued crumbling of Deer's British Medical Journal case against Wakefield. Check out the depositions from Andy's defamation suit against Deer, including the first one, featuring a British Medical Journal fact checker who can't remember too many facts and doesn't sound like she checked too many, either (including whether the children did or did not have autism, kind of a key point).
“The parents’ story is the most valuable starting point, and if the parents say, ‘This is what happened to my child, they were normal, they had a vaccine, now they're not normal,’ and this happens not once, but thousands of times around the world, then we have to take that very seriously,” Wakefield told a crowd of about 50 at a local park, according to WKBT in LaCrosse. “Here we have, for the first time, something in autism, which is directly treatable and where we can make the lives of these children so much better, and what a tragedy not to capitalize on that,” said Wakefield.
I got an e-mail press query yesterday: "Do you think Dr. Wakefield has a chance at rebuilding his reputation among most Americans after what has occurred in recent years?" My response: Andy plans to address Deer's claims that he engineered "an elaborate fraud" in the 1998 Lancet paper. It's certainly appropriate for Deer and others to investigate that paper, but it's also important for other journalists to hold Deer to high standards of accuracy and fairness in making such a serious and important claim.
I spent several months both in the US and England investigating Deer's claims. I found no evidence of fraud at all and have so far written 10 articles about that at AgeOfAutism.com. The vindication of Andy's co-author, John Walker-Smith, puts Deer in an even more problematic position, in that Walker-Smith independently vouched for the accuracy of many statements in the Lancet paper that Deer claims were fraudulently manipulated by Wakefield.
The fact is, based on my own reporting including interviews with
parents in Lancet paper and many other sources, I believe that the MMR does
cause bowel disease and autism. Thousands of parents and others know it to
their great sorrow and have tried to sound the alarm. Andy will be speaking
along with some of those parents. Ultimately, because he and they are telling
the truth, his reputation will be rebuilt. The quickest way for that to happen
is to get Deer's false claims in front of a jury, which Andy and his supporters
are diligently working to do.
Read the depositions HERE. Learn more at Dr. Wakefield's justice fund.