All Choked Up: New CDC Director and Mandatory Screening Proponent Robert Redfield Gives Tearful Oath of Fealty to “Data-Driven Science” and Vaccines
By Adriana Gamondes
Is it no longer enough to make loud public pledges of loyalty to the industry medical model these days? Do we now have to give weeping declarations?
From The Washington Post:
Robert Redfield Jr., the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave a deeply personal agencywide address Thursday in which he repeatedly underscored the importance of science and data and said the CDC's most critical public health mission is to protect Americans “from that which we don't expect.”
The 66-year-old Redfield, a longtime AIDS researcher appointed to the job a week ago, was overcome by emotion twice during his brief remarks and a question-and-answer session. The University of Maryland medical professor had sought the top job at the CDC and the National Institutes of Health for more than a decade.
About 30 seconds into his address, he choked up and then regained his composure. He spoke of the honor of leading the best “science-based, data-driven agency in the world. I've dreamed of doing this for a long time.”
Redfield went on to discuss the subject of vaccination:
He also spoke of the importance of vaccines and recounted how as an Army doctor in the early 1980s, he helped persuade military leadership to vaccinate “every individual in the armed forces” against hepatitis B after a young soldier for whom Redfield had cared infected his wife and newborn child. “That's probably the most important thing I did in my life,” he said.
Robert Redfield may have been surprised by his appointment as the head of the CDC given his history: Redfield was investigated by the Pentagon in 1994 for overstating the effectiveness of the gp-160 AIDS vaccine—a vaccine which was tested in unethical human trials using child wards of the state in New York in 2004.
Was he crying from relief? The scandal originally broke while Redfield was leading an HIV vaccine study for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Redfield also drew public criticism for instituting mandated HIV screenings for military personnel and for segregating HIV-infected soldiers. But considering the CDC’s questionable ethical culture, rather than being a liability, Redfield’s near brush with charges of scientific fraud and willingness to employ draconian measures might have given him an edge.
Robert Redfield may be a man after the CDC’s own heart. It’s all a question of where the data is being “driven.” Redfield’s inconvenient data was “sloppily” misplaced and “inadvertently” misconstrued according to his defenders. CDC whistleblower William Thompson attests that the CDC’s data on a 340% increase in autism among black male infants receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 36 months found its way into a “large trash can.”
Redfield’s appointment at this critical juncture is particularly disconcerting considering what’s at stake in US vaccine policy—such as the 146 peer reviewed studies demonstrating a link between vaccines and autism and the current autism rate of 1:36; the status of the CDC whistleblower case, the politicized vaccine mandate campaign and loss of genuine informed consent at a time when there are several hundred vaccines in the approval pipeline.
In light of the stakes, it would be incautious to equate Redfield’s tears with a tender heart and humanitarian values. Nevertheless, he may be completely sincere in his passionate purpose, which could be the real problem. Worse than crocodile tears may be true believerism and grateful slavishness to power.
The danger that comes to mind has a name—something called “instrumentalism.” Instrumentalism has layered definitions and is tricky to evoke since it’s one of several earmarks of totalitarianism—a term which itself seems overused these days, though this is probably because it’s over-manifested. In any event, it’s only more disturbing that the campaign against medical rights is occurring within a wider context of general assaults on civil rights even according to mainstream sources like The Washington Post which has applauded incursions on medical freedom for years.
In 2012, WaPost’s Jonathan Turley highlights ten reasons why the United States is no longer the "land of the free,” citing the following expanded powers that have eroded rights and liberties post-9/11:
- Assassination of U.S. citizens
- Indefinite detention
- Arbitrary justice
- Warrantless searches
- Secret evidence
- War crimes
- Secret courts
- Immunity from judicial review
- Continual monitoring of citizens
- Extraordinary rendition
And all of the above could be explained very well by instrumentalism. One meaning of instrumentalism is that those who have unutilized technology at their disposal will have a tendency to find any way possible to use it—i.e., the Pentagon’s continuous bombing of Laos—a country that had nothing to do with the Vietnam war and had no military targets— from 1964 to roughly 1971 simply because unused bombs and planes were available. Or the current proliferation of SWAT assaults using armored tanks and military grade equipment because of a federal program that transfers military surplus to law-enforcement agencies across the country. Or the proliferation of warrantless searches due to the existence of surveillance technology.
Instrumentalism applied to public health has led to foisting drugs and biologics on the public simply because these products have been patented, not necessarily because they’re beneficial and harmless, and then potentially enforcing them via various other forms of instrumentality listed above.
Of course there’s also the profit motive which might be sufficient to explain avid contributions to injustice by those who have the most to gain, though only a psychological component could explain the avidity of those with less to gain or how most participants manage to live with themselves, retain the appearance of having human feelings, hug their dogs, relate to their families, etc. For that application, instrumentalism has another meaning as well regarding moral relativity—in other words, how those charged with carrying out unjust policies manage to justify their complicity.
In Facing the Extreme: Moral Life in Concentration Camps, the late French political historian Tzvetan Todorov wrote:
... the totalitarian power demands that its subjects restrict themselves in thought and deed to instrumentality and treat every action as if it were a means to something else rather than as an end in itself. In the realm of material production, the fulfillment of that demand does not yield particularly brilliant results, as expanding bureaucracies and the loss of personal initiative present formidable obstacles. In the domain of moral conduct, however, the demand is far more productive. The question is often asked how "ordinary people," "decent husbands and fathers" could have committed so many atrocities. Where was their conscience in all of this? The answer is by usurping social goals and restricting people to instrumentalist thinking, the totalitarian power manages to have its subjects accomplish whatever tasks they are assigned without its having to disturb the individual's moral structure at all. Guards who committed atrocities never stopped distinguishing between good and evil. Their moral faculty had not withered away. They simply believed the atrocity was in fact a "good thing," and thus not an atrocity at all—because the state, custodians of the standards of good and evil— told them so. The guards were not deprived of a moral sensibility but provided with a new one.
The idea is that some may still sleep well at night—and even wax tearfully sentimental—while simultaneously being sufficiently aware of doing harm to hide the evidence of it and yet not be clinically psychopathic. Also from the Washington Post article on Redfield’s appointment:
Too many people don't understand the importance of vaccination, he continued, mentioning the 130 children who have died this flu season. “We have got to get the American public to understand that vaccination is important and needs to be fully utilized.”
Several [CDC] staff members noted [Redfield’s] strong embrace of science and said they were especially gratified to hear him say that if the CDC has evidence to support a public health intervention, the intervention should be applied.
When there’s a will (and the patented products, and the means of fabricating evidence, and the means of enforcing an intervention, and an elaborate system of rationalization) there’s a way.
Let’s hope Redfield choked up from sheer nerves, not fanaticism, otherwise the chokehold is on us.
Adriana Gamondes is a Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and one of the blog’s social media administrators.