Note: As if to prove Nancy's point, yesterday we got this comment from Ken Reibel, "Autism News Beat" blogger, and mocker extraordinaire. Imagine belittling families whose kids are sick, injured, maybe have died. Ken enjoys such sport. Don't be like Ken. Be human. "I think a Vaxxed clown car would be more appropriate."
By Nancy Hokkanen
On August 25 the VaxXed bus arrived in Minneapolis, bringing Polly Tommey and driver Anu Vaidya for a second round of interviews memorializing people’s adverse reactions to vaccines. The number of interviewees’ signatures on the big black RV
Craig Egan, Karen Ernst and Patsy Stinchfield view the VaxXed bus. (Photo by TEAM TMR’s Rogue Zebra.)
is more than 6,400.
During the 8-hour stop at Minnehaha Falls Park, Tommey and Vaidya were welcomed by dozens of appreciative vaccine injury victims and their families, along with local natural health practitioners and health freedom advocates. Visitors talked and networked by the bus and under a gazebo, distracted occasionally by brief showers – and for a short time by an impotent handful of misguided protesters.
The peripatetic Tommey, a compassionate autism mum, had allowed herself only a brief break following her internationally-publicized Australia trip with Dr. Suzanne Humphries. Among the complications and corruptions: the Australian Prime Minister’s wife chairs a pharma corporation that’s collaborated with Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline.
The official VAXXED YouTube Channel is home to Polly Tommey’s VaxXed bus interviews. As with other stops, Tommey live-streamed interviews on VaxXed’s Facebook page and using the Periscope app.
How does Polly continue this emotionally challenging archiving of vaccine injury testimonies? “Each sad report makes me more motivated to keep going,” said Tommey. “The next story is what keeps me going. ‘How dare you hurt that person; how dare you kill that mother’s baby’... That pain, it’s a knife right to the heart... I look into the eyes of these other parents, and I see it; it makes my heart weep every single time. We have to stop ‘people in pain.’”
Vaidya has driven about half of the roughly 40,000 miles on the VaxXed bus. Like the autism parents he meets, he has become an insightful analyst of his voluminous readings and firsthand observations. “At a certain point, anecdotal evidence actually builds on itself and becomes a large enough data set to be scientifically relevant – at which point you should be developing scientific studies and actually research it,” Vaidya said. “So to disregard anecdotal data is to say that you don’t even want to think about a hypothetical scientific discovery. Which is anti-science.”
Protesters at VaxXed bus in Minneapolis 8-25-17. (Photo by TEAM TMR’s Rogue Zebra.)
Some Minnesota VaxXed interviews were done earlier, off the bus, such as a conversation with a doctor who formerly was staunchly pro-vaccination. Dr. Bob Zajac is a board-certified pediatrician and father of eight with 15 years in child development and special education. A self-described former “bully” about vaccines, he began noticing that chiropractic patients were healthier than his. “When I started reading vaccine inserts, I was blown away at what had been studied or not studied… It changed my life when I saw vaccines having a higher injury rate than expected.”
Without violating patient confidentiality, Dr. Zajac talked about two undeniable cases of vaccine injury in his practice. “Hard to admit that I struggled with recognizing that really happened to my patient… it opened up my eyes.” He now reads an hour a day about vaccine issues, and acknowledged the amount of information gathering done by parents: “Once your child is injured by vaccines, you’ll never stop researching it.”
Organizers of the Minneapolis VaxXed stop withheld its Mississippi River stop location publicly because of troublemakers. One was Craig Egan, a miscreant with suspect funding who boasts online about his national stalking of the bus and its grieving visitors. Nonetheless he and a handful of protesters appeared brandishing a few signs (such as the inapplicable “Mutant and Proud”), but left after some sprinkles of rain. Someone even attempted to shut down the VaxXed event by calling park police, though event organizers had a permit.
"I wonder why Craig Egan and the rest of his trolls are trying to intimidate families who have vaccine injured children?” asked Wayne Rohde of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota. “He has no heart or conscience for understanding others who are living and struggling with disabilities."
Another empathy-challenged intruder was Karen Ernst of the faux consumer group Voices for Vaccines, who showed up to
Karen Ernst of Voices for Vaccines and Craig Egan laugh it up while vaccine injury victims, families and advocates visit the VaxXed bus in Minneapolis 8-25-17. (Photo from Egan’s site.)
lurk and smirk. Though the VaxXed bus is a travelling monument recognizing health damage and deaths caused by vaccines, photos taken that day indicate she found the gathering amusing. Her disturbingly inappropriate affect is profoundly disrespectful at an event commemorating the sick and dead, their caregivers, and their mourners.
Adding insult to vaccine injury, Ernst approached the bus with Patsy Stinchfield, a long-time Children’s Hospital nurse, media favorite and (per Linkedin) “Infection Preventionist” who’s pushing to add a third MMR shot to children’s vaccination schedules. “I was shocked to see Patsy Stinchfield attend with a paid troll who has made serious violent threats to the VaxXed crew,” said Patti Carroll of the Vaccine Safety Council of Minnesota. “This supposed ‘professional’ took part in harassing people who were telling their vaccine injury stories.”
Rather than listen to victims’ health realities or suggest medical treatments, Nurse Stinchfield patronized them by proposing what amounted to irrelevant “alternate facts.” “Stinchfield actually tried to suggest alternative diagnoses for them — without knowing anything about their medical history, which vaccines were received, or what their health status was at the time of the vaccine injury,” Carroll said. “This is a perfect example of the callous disregard shown by the medical establishment toward those who are harmed by vaccines."
That same day the self-serving Stinchfield apparently made a YouTube video with Egan, who to all but the cognitively dissonant appears at times emotionally unstable. Also that day, Minnesota officials declared that state’s measles epidemic ended. Though the Internet abounds with Stinchfield’s quotes about measles, she is suspiciously quiet regarding Minnesota’s epidemic of mumps in vaccinated people – whose etiology likely hearkens back to vaccine failure and the Merck whistleblower “Protocol 007” lawsuit in Pennsylvania.
To victims of iatrogenic injury, being perversely subjected to cruel harassment by a pharma-friendly nurse should warrant professional repercussions. "Why does Patsy Stinchfield berate and ridicule parents of vaccine-injured children, who are waiting in line to share their story?” Rohde asked. “That is not professional; that is not what a caring medical practitioner would do. Maybe the state medical board should review her actions.”
As a VaxXed driver Vaidya has interacted with a variety of protesters at the bus who’ve been misinformed about Tommey’s intent, and/or don’t realize the evidentiary value of the myriad vaccine injury recordings. “What we’re out here to do is these stories; it’s not about making a big public statement,” said Vaidya. “And so situations like today where we have people show up that are protesting, it just doesn’t make any sense – the argument being that since it’s anecdotal, it should be disregarded.” In describing evaluation of scientific evidence Vaidya cited historical examples such as Galileo and Babylonia, adding, “The truth of the matter is that most discovery science has started from an anecdotal perspective.”
Why is Minnesota such a hot-button stop for the VaxXed team? Because it’s a financially entangled hub of vaccine promotion, home to:
- Merck researchers Dr. Gregory Poland and Dr. Robert Jacobson, at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic;
- pharma-funded faux consumer groups Immunization Action Coalition and Voices for Vaccines, whose members publish scientific inaccuracies and malign vaccine injury victims online, and whose board members have financial conflicts of interest;
- CIDRAP, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; in fall 2012 director Michael Osterholm angered many by suggesting influenza vaccinations need an extensive, expensive “Manhattan Project” revamping;
- America's Health Insurance Plans' Vaccination and Immunization Working Group member Dr. James Nordin, whose hot-button studies include flu shots, Tdap and HPV vaccines during pregnancy (why?); wheezing in asthmatic children after nasal vaccination (now withdrawn); and race/ethnic disparities after vaccination (think #CDCwhistleblower).
- former ACIP member and measles alarmist Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease division director who has an autistic son.
With so much pressure from vaccine promoters, Minnesota is also home to:
- ever-increasing numbers of educated parents of vaccine-injured children working to prevent others’ injuries;
- including a disproportionately large population of Somali immigrant families whose children suffer a high rate of autism caused by the MMR vaccine;
- established health freedom activists united with other groups across the state, nation and internationally;
- organized pushback maintaining one of the strongest vaccine exemption policies in the U.S., including a philosophical exemption.
Though the VaxXed crew is performing a crucial public outreach service by archiving medical experiences for posterity, they do not receive state or federal funding. The VaxXed website provides a wealth of vaccine safety information; one important file is downloads of the CDC autism/MMR files released by CDC senior scientist Dr. William Thompson.
Davenport, Iowa was the next stop for the VaxXed bus, followed by stops in Missouri and then safely back to Texas. The bus’s home base is about 200 miles northwest of Houston, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall.
To help bring an end to vaccine injuries, Tommey advises everyone to report their families’ vaccine injury observations online. “Join us on social media; join our team,” Tommey said. “And go out on their social media, and go out on everywhere, because we have to. We have to shout, and the best shouting is out on social media these days. Contact us; if anybody wants to be an ambassador, they just contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”