Unity for All?
A Sad Announcement from Age of Autism

Lies and Misrepresentations from the New York Times and Seth Mnookin

JC Seth_MnookinBy John Stone

Elizabeth Hart has provided me with a transcript of newsreel footage by the New York Times full of lies and distortions, and using old footage Seth Mnookin and Andrew Wakefield (tinted to make him look scary). To be clear, despite the denials and  heavy talk the mainstream media - which is completely dependent on advertising revenue from the pharmaceutical industry - is disguising the fact that the United States government has already conceded that vaccines cause autism, and it does not remotely hinge upon the reputation of Andrew Wakefield. Here is Centers for Disease Control director, Julie Gerberding, on CNN explaining the Hannah Poling settlement, before she took the revolving door to become head of Merck’s vaccine division:

Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.

And here is the statement given on separate occasions to journalists Sharyl Attkisson and David Kirby by government (HHS HRSA) officials:

The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.

Beyond the weasel bureaucratic language the issue is clear: vaccines cause encephalopathies and some encephalopathies result in autism. If there were no long term effects from the encephalopathy there would be no compensation. Most significantly the United States government has avoided wider liability by coming to confidentiality agreements with the litigants. But they had conceded privately that vaccines cause autism.

Regarding the Wakefield episode the issue raised by a 12 case study is not one of statistical significance, it is one of causation. Of course, the paper never claimed to show causation - contrary to the deliberate misleading impression  given by the New York Times - but what we are talking about here are doctors quite properly listening to patient histories. Nor was there ever a claim that these were randomly selected children. That is a red herring dismissed by Mr Justice Mitting with much in the United Kingdom High Court in 2012 when he completely exonerated the senior author of the study, Prof John Walker-Smith (Wakefield having been denied funding to appeal).

As Mr Justice Mitting also showed the paper had nothing directly to do with the legal case. Nor did he find evidence of the data being tampered with.

That Wakefield was being retained by lawyers on behalf of the court was known to the Lancet long before the publication of the paper although they pretended not when allegations were made against Wakefield in 2004. Everyone connected with the case must have known about Wakefield’s involvement for years in 2004 but they pretended it was some kind of revelation. Wakefield was paid at standard rate of £150 over a period of seven years so the fees accumulated. One of the experts for the other, for instance, received £225,000 ($360,000) for work over a much shorter period.

Wakefield’s patent did not compete with MMR vaccine: it was to be a therapeutic product for bowel disease in the children which may tenuously have had an application as a measles vaccine, but what Wakefield advised at the time was splitting up MMR using spaced out single vaccines in which he had no financial interest. The British government then politicized the issue by withdrawing the option of single vaccines.

The British Medical Journal had to back down on key claims even before the findings in the High Court. The BMJ claims were shown to be false, even before Mr Justice Mitting’s High Court ruling. It is completely inappropriate to cite this publication at this stage.

Nor does it serve any honest purpose to label all vaccine critics as “anti-vaccine” but many people now with various shades of opinion are completely opposed to to a government-industry juggernaut tramply ordinary people and their children underfoot.

New York Times Retro Report

The Back Story on Trump and Vaccines and Conspiracy Theories

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004865674/the-back-story-on-trump-and-vaccines.html

Video transcript prepared by Elizabeth Hart

Voiceover: Over the last few years, Donald Trump has suggested there is a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism, even though there is no scientific evidence of a connection after numerous studies.

Seth Mnookin, Author of The Panic Virus:  There is data from millions and millions of children around the world and it all comes back showing the same thing, that there is zero association.  It doesn’t matter how many vaccines you get, it doesn’t matter when you get them, there is just no correlation whatsoever.

Video of Republican Presidential Debate

Trump:  We’ve had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, the child, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine, and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.  I only say, it’s not, I’m in favour of vaccines, do ‘em over a longer period of time, same amount but…

Convenor interruption:  Thank you

Trump:  …just in little sections.

Voiceover:  At a fundraiser during the campaign, Trump met with several anti-vaxxers, including the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield.  Why is this a big deal?

Seth Mnookin:  The current vaccine scares and controversies that we’re still dealing with today stem from the 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield, that appeared in The Lancet, a very respected medical journal published out of the UK.

Voiceover:  Despite the fact that it was a preliminary study, the British media ran with it.

Voiceover re Wakefield study:  Doctors at the Royal Free Hospital believe they may have discovered a link between the combination vaccine and a bowel disease that can progress to autism.

Andrew Wakefield:  We would not have come to this, nor present this paper for publication in The Lancet, unless we had conducted extensive virological studies already.

Voiceover:  But actually there were some major problems with Wakefield’s study.  First of all, it was comprised of only 12 children.

Seth Mnookin:  The notion that you would take a 12 person case study and make claims about a population as a whole is ridiculous.

Voiceover:  And that’s not all.  There was a major conflict of interest at play.

Seth Mnookin:  Right before this paper came out, Andrew Wakefield took out a patent for an alternative measles vaccine, of exactly the type that parents would want if his hypothesis was true.

Voiceover:  And then there was Wakefield’s financial interest in making the connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Vision of BMJ article: How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed – In the first part of a special BMJ series, Brian Deer exposes the bogus data behind claims that launched a worldwide scare over the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, and reveals how the appearance of a link with autism was manufactured at a London medical school.

Seth Mnookin:  Andrew Wakefield was receiving money from a lawyer who was working with parents intent on suing vaccine manufacturers.

Info box:  According to BMJ, Wakefield received more than 435,000 pounds ($674,000) from the lawyers.  Godlee said the study shows that of the 12 cases Wakefield examined in his paper, five showed developmental problems before receiving the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and three never had autism.

Voiceover:  Wakefield was paid approximately $674,000 for his work on the case.

Seth Mnookin:  Another thing, he claimed in the paper that the children that he looked at were just a random group of kids.  It turns out that many of them were actually sent to him by this lawyer.

 Voiceover:  And when Wakefield needed a control group of healthy children, he took blood samples from kids attending his son’s birthday party.

Seth Mnookin:  When I first heard about it my immediate thought was, worse birthday party ever, and perhaps the most shocking revelation is that he faked some of the data.

Voiceover:  An investigation by the British Medical Journal, BMJ, found that Wakefield had altered or misrepresented all 12 of the cases he had cited, and ten of his original co-authors withdrew their names from the study.

Seth Mnookin:  Andrew Wakefield lost his licence a couple of years ago, close to the period in time when The Lancet paper was retracted.

Voiceover:  Despite losing his medical licence, and follow-up studies on hundreds of thousands of children that contradict his findings, Wakefield feels optimistic since Trump’s election.  He recently told Stat News that he found Trump genuinely interested and open-minded on this issue.

John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Elizabeth Hart

Two more perspectives to consider...

Mercola: Trump sets off media firestorm with creation of vaccine safety review panel: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/24/new-vaccine-safety-review-panel.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170124Z3&et_cid=DM131863&et_rid=1855040246

QUOTE: Why are vaccine proponents so terrified of an honest vaccine safety review? This in and of itself raises serious questions. Another fact that should give everyone pause is the witch hunt unleashed on anyone who dares to question the never-proven-hypothesis that vaccines are so unequivocally safe and beneficial for everyone that everyone should be forced, by law, to get vaccinated with every government-recommended vaccine. END OF QUOTE.

Nature journal: Trump's vaccine-commission idea is biased and dangerous: http://www.nature.com/news/trump-s-vaccine-commission-idea-is-biased-and-dangerous-1.21310

QUOTE: Scientists, medics and commentators who have fought vaccine disinformation in the past must take a deep breath and return to the fray. There is no need to wait for this commission to be announced officially. There is no need to wait until it issues its findings. There is no cause to be surprised if it shows little regard for science — or even if it targets scientists who speak out in favour of vaccination. Those who claim a link between vaccines and autism can do so only by discrediting the scientific evidence and, often, the scientists who gathered it. Kennedy’s reference to investigating vaccine safety “and scientific integrity” provides ample warning of what is to come. Scientists should get their retaliation in first. Lives are at stake. END OF QUOTE.

Barry

John Stone: But that's just the point. It is no different now. At some point during the twentieth century the press convinced itself that it was a neutral reporter of facts and led the public to believe that was the case, and, while journalists who do investigate and report from a factual basis, such as Dan and Sharyl Attkisson, still exist, the press remains, like it was in the 19th century, the great manipulator of perception. Therein lies their great danger. One of the best things about Trump is that he puts them in their place.

*******

I agree, except I don't think the press ever convinced itself that it was a neutral reporter of facts. These people have been lying to the public for the get go, and they knew it. In fact I'm pretty sure that's the whole reason they were brought into existence.

What has changed, is that the is public is finally waking up to it.

It's kinda fun to watch actually, because it would appear that these morons only have one page in their playbook. And they harder they play it, the more they hasten that awakening.

John Stone

Hi Gary
It is certainly no better now.

Gary Ogden

John Stone: But that's just the point. It is no different now. At some point during the twentieth century the press convinced itself that it was a neutral reporter of facts and led the public to believe that was the case, and, while journalists who do investigate and report from a factual basis, such as Dan and Sharyl Attkisson, still exist, the press remains, like it was in the 19th century, the great manipulator of perception. Therein lies their great danger. One of the best things about Trump is that he puts them in their place.

John Stone

Hi Janet

I just looked this up - an old quote indeed - John Swinton 1829-1901. I am still taken aback by the blatant dishonesty. Swinton only just made the last century but surely we should expect better than this (though we are certainly not getting it).

Janet Newham

This is old but relevant: It was published in PAVE, Las Vegas, Nevada from a lengthy article on "Media Suppression" by Dana Baker. (sorry don't have date.) but it was made by long time editor of N.Y. TIMES, John Swainton at a banquet following his retirement.

"There is no such thing as a free press. You know it and I know it. There's not one of you who would dare write his honest opinions. The business of a journalist is to destroy truth, to lie, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mannon (the false god of riches and avarice) , and to sell himself, his country, and his race, for his daily bread. We are tools and vassess of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping jacks; they pull the strings, we dance; our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are the property of these men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

John Stone

Hi Angus & James

I don't know what I think about the US leaving the UN. Plainly, historically US politicians have felt they had too little inluence of the UN, on the other hand - as was demonstrated in my article from 2012 - the CDC actuallly direct WHO policy giving it far too much and largely hidden influence.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2012/12/the-british-dimension-the-who-mercury-cover-up-and-the-cdc.html


Hans Litten

Now there's a bill in Congress--"The Restoration of America 2017 Act"--that if passed with repeal U.S. involvement in UN and, more importantly, the World Health Organization. That means it would effectively sever CDC's relationship and financing of WHO projects, and end its global vaccine push.


It cant be that simple !

James Grundvig

President-Elect Trump threw out "red meat" so the wild dogs of the MSM would viciously attack the announcement. As the unhinged journalists devoured the story, now President Trump has a list and dossier on the paid Big Pharma shills and mouthpieces. He knows who they are and how to deal with this assault of having an open debate on the science of the safety of vaccines. Trump 1, MSM 0. Since he has called the Press the "Opposition Party" I see this as a good science to getting things down.

Now there's a bill in Congress--"The Restoration of America 2017 Act"--that if passed with repeal U.S. involvement in UN and, more importantly, the World Health Organization. That means it would effectively sever CDC's relationship and financing of WHO projects, and end its global vaccine push.

Angus Files

Thanks John for your level headed comment as always. I look forward to the day when these masters of dis-information aided and abetted by big money -are gone. I am not saying that dis-information has never existed but to be used against babies white ,black, Hispanic, protestant, catholic, Muslim or whatever your God is; is beyond forgiveness, there will be a Christian than can forgive them I cant that's for sure and we will remember their names for ever.

I see that possibly thanks to Trump it could be the end of WHO fingers crossed cut the lies they tell what have actually done NOTHING but misery and destruction to mankind.

https://truthkings.com/u-s-congress-introduces-bill-leave-united-nations/


MMR RIP

Bob Moffit

Seth Mnookin: The current vaccine scares and controversies that we’re still dealing with today stem from the 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield, that appeared in The Lancet, a very respected medical journal published out of the UK."

This is a classic example of what Shyral Attkisson defined as "deflection" in her book .. "Stonewalled" .. where the media .. in this case the NY Times .. allows Mnookin to .. "deflect" any serious discussion on the reasons we are dealing with steadily increasing "current vaccine scares and controversies" .. by once again .. shamelessly blaming Dr Wakefield's study .. a study Mnookin has .. for decades .. deliberately distorted as to the original facts, findings and recommendatons of the study .. as well as greatly exaggerating ANY lingering impact Wakefield's study has on "current vaccine scares and controversies".

Every editorial I have seen comment on President Trump's intention to create a commission to study vaccine safety and scientific integrity .. did NOT criticize the formation of the commission .. instead .. editors easily "deflected" attention from the creation of the commission itself .. to their favorite "smear targets" .. RFK and Dr. Wakefield.

Again .. eagerly awaiting Mnookin's, NY Times .. others .. to state CLEARLY THEIR REASONS A COMMISSION ON VACCINE SAFETY AND SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY WOULD BE HARMFUL TO PROTECTING THE PUBLIC HEALTH?


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