By Wayne Rohde and Lou Conte
Did the CDC Censor Vaxxed? Or Did the CDC’s Proxies Do It for them? Columbia University’s Dilemma
Please read Reports 1, 2, 3 and 4 here.
Many readers may not know Columbia University’s President, Lee C. Bollinger. However, if one explores the issues around censorship as Wayne Rohde and I have over the past several weeks, Bollinger’s name quickly emerges.
Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar, is a brilliant man and a champion of free speech. Please take a look at his biography on the Columbia University website As the biography notes, “his most recent book, Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for a New Century (Inalienable Rights), has placed Bollinger at the center of public discussion about the importance of global free speech to continued social progress.”
Bollinger has been willing to allow free speech, even when controversy ensues. In 2007 he allowed then Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia. The decision rankled many. Ahmadinejad did say some controversial and some would say offensive things (there are clips of the speech on YouTube if anyone wishes to see it).
In 2012, Bollinger “established the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression and Information Project, a new initiative joining international experts and activists with the University’s faculty and students to survey, document and strengthen free expression. He has named Agnès Callamard, a distinguished human rights advocate who was director of the organization ARTICLE 19, as executive director of the Project.”
The project has brought together many influential leaders on freedom of speech and freedom of the press like Callamard and Amal Clooney.
According to Bollinger, “Looking around the world today and seeing the pervasiveness of censorship in so many forms and societies, none of us should be under any illusions about the challenges we face in establishing international norms for a truly free press… Doing so requires that we both understand the facts on the ground and succeed in creating a global framework for protecting speech and expression. These are steps that have become inseparable from progress on human rights and continued worldwide economic growth.” [i]
Bollinger’s vision of freedom and opposition to censorship stands in stark contrast to the conduct of one of his professors, Dr. Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology and Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
From the Columbia University Public Health Now webpage:
On April 4, 2016, the Wall Street Journal ran an important op-ed from Ian Lipkin, Director of the Mailman School’s Center for Infection and Immunity. Lipkin and Mailman School Board of Overseers member Perri Peltz (MPH ’84) worked diligently behind the scenes to persuade organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival that the fraudulent science of Andrew Wakefield’s documentary “Vaxxed” had no place at the prestigious festival. When Lipkin learned that a private distributor had arranged a week of screenings at New York's Angelica Film Center, he went to work immediately on a piece that reminds us of the importance of scientific evidence in our ongoing work to understand and treat autism. [ii]
Lipkin writes in his April 3 Wall Street Journal Op Ed: “I am among those Mr. De Niro consulted. In a 45-minute phone conversation with him, I recommended that the festival withdraw the film from the “documentary” category and not screen it.”
Wayne Rohde and I have been writing a series on the censorship of Andrew Wakefield’s film, Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe. The film has been pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival, the Houston (Texas) Worldfest Film Festival and from screenings in Arizona at Harkins theatres after that company received pressure from pediatricians.
In our previous articles, we reported that Alison Singer, the President of the Autism Science Foundation, proudly declared in a March Guardian article that she and other members of the Immunization Action Coalition’s (IAC) Listserv were instrumental in having Vaxxed removed from the Tribeca Film Festival.
Singer told the Guardian, “Four or five years ago we weren’t as well organized and people didn’t realize the importance of responding quickly and strongly,” said Alison Singer, the president of the Autism Science Foundation and a member of the IAC listserv…Today, we know that we have to respond to every incident however large or small, because if you leave any of these discredited theories unchallenged, it allows people to think that there’s something still to be discussed.”
According to Singer, the IAC Listserv is a public relations response squad that snuffs out and counters public statements of those the Listserv decides are “anti-vaccine.”
However, in our last report, the IAC denied that they were responsible for the calls that lead to the Tribeca decision, essentially leaving Alison Singer ‘holding the bag.’
Alison Singer has not responded to our requests for information about the incident.
Thanks to the Columbia University website, another member of Alison Singer’s Listserv have now been revealed: Dr. Ian Lipkin.
We have information about other Listserv members from sources and we are constructing a list. For now, we are talking about Singer and Lipkin.
As the Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Lipkin helped bring millions of dollars of CDC and federal health funding he brings to Columbia. [iii] Lipkin also the Co-Chair of the CDC’s National Bio-surveillance Advisory Subcommittee. [iv]
It is also important to note that Lipkin’s name surfaces in the legally recorded conversations between Dr. Brian Hooker and Dr. William Thompson that serve as a critical component of Vaxxed. Lipkin likely knew about this as the Thompson/Hooker transcripts are public thanks to Kevin Barry’s book, Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism research Fraud at the CDC. [v]
Lipkin points out in his editorial that he was involved in research that exonerated the MMR vaccine. While Lipkin feels that his work was the final word, Thompson, who had some oversight responsibility at the CDC for Lipkin’s work told Brian Hooker something very different.
Dr. Thompson: “It was the worst study ever.”
What follows is an excerpt of the Thompson transcripts regarding Ian Lipkin and his MMR research from pages 103 and 104 of Vaccine Whistleblower:
Dr. Thompson: Where they went and did the biopsies. This Larry Pickering, Ian Lipkin . . .
Dr. Hooker: Oh yeah. I know all about this.
Dr. Thompson: Okay. Did you and I talk about this study?
Dr. Hooker: Ah, no. You and I have never . . . I’ve talked to Ian Lipkin about it. In fact, he and I . . .
Dr. Thompson: Okay.
Dr. Hooker: . . . are not speaking right now, because basically he doesn’t like me very much. Okay?