Cdc_autismBy Anne Dachel, Media Editor

Late Tuesday night a news story came out on the Internet from WXIA TV in Atlanta called  Autism Controversy: The CDC Responds.  Just the title was intriguing since I've heard from a number of reporters that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don't do on camera interviews about the vaccine-autism controversy.  They usually just refer members of the press to the CDC website for answers.  There reporters are resoundingly told that exhaustive studies show no link between the vaccines our children receive and autism.

(From Kim: Hey! How about a contest! Write a caption for this photo in CDC style. In the movie, Dr. Evil is saying, "La-ser" in a manner that connotes "big fat lie."  So have at it!)

The official being interviewed on TV in Atanta was Dr. Melinda Wharton, Deputy Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.  I had to wonder how they could find anyone at the CDC willing to be taped defending vaccines in the midst of the massive controversy linking them to autism.  Dr. Wharton staunchly supported the vaccine program with lots of claims, most of which predictably were some version of the long-time CDC chant of "studies show no link."

Even though most of what Dr. Wharton claimed seemed to be an outrageous distortion of the facts and an insult to the autism community, I will admit it must have taken courage to go public like this.  I had to consider that she really believes what she tells people about vaccine safety issues.  Maybe it was the military-like uniform she was wearing.  She seemed like a CDC soldier giving us the official view and she at least will always be able to say that she was just following her marching orders.

The half hour long interview was done by Jaye Watson, who'd admittedly talked to lots of parents regarding this issue.  Jaye referred to parents' concerns about vaccines and the claim that vaccines cause autism throughout the interview.  Dr. Wharton dutifully acknowledged the difficulties involved with raising a child with autism.  That said, she would not concede that there was any validity to parents' belief that vaccines causes autism. 

Dr. Wharton could hardly be expected to say anything else.  The CDC has no choice but to defend the vaccine program as safe.  It's just amazing that we keep on asking them.
Tired parents in the autism community certainly didn't need to once again hear about the research showing that it's safe to inject mercury into children and that the CDC is doing even more studies about this mysterious disorder.   It's hard to imagine how officials at the CDC can even keep track of all the autism studies.  And there's always another one coming along. 

Dr. Wharton said that because of the high vaccination rate in the U.S, it wouldn't be possible to do a comparison study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children for autism rates.  She didn't say anyone at the CDC had even looked for kids who haven't been vaccinated.

Dr. Wharton admitted nothing.  She carefully talked about the "big increase in RECOGNIZED autism."   It looks like the autism rate could be one in 10 and CDC officials would still be congratulating doctors and themselves for "better diagnosing" and "better studies."  Dr. Wharton would only say that genes played a role in autism.  Could there be other factors?  She answered her own question, "I DON'T KNOW."
It was hard to sit in my chair and listen to Dr. Wharton's controlled responses.  I would love to have asked about some of the things I'm always bringing up in my writing.

Why should we listen to an official from the agency that runs the vaccine schedule and expect an unbiased response to the question: Are vaccines harming children?

How can Dr. Wharton defend thimerosal as safe when it was never tested and approved by the FDA BEFORE it was allowed in our children's vaccines?  All the studies done 75 years after the fact could hardly make up for this horrendous oversight failure.

How can the CDC expect that their easily manipulated epidemiological studies will disprove a scientific fact: Mercury is the second deadliest element on Earth and a known neurotoxin?
Why does Dr. Wharton pretend that it's only parents who challenge vaccine safety claims and ignore the host of scientists who back them up?

Dr. Wharton knows mercury is still in unconscionable levels in ninety percent of the flu vaccines available, still she tells us it's only in "some" flu vaccines.

The CDC knows that the rate of one in 150 came from studies of eight year olds, not eighty year olds.  We simply don't have the adult population with an autism rate of anything like one in 150.  Eighty percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and people at the CDC have to be worried of what's going to happen in the next few years as more and more children with autism become adults dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care.  When one in every 150 eighteen year olds isn't going on to college, getting a job, or entering the military, but is going on disability for life with autism (including one in every 94 boys) people will demand answers: Why didn't anyone tell us about this?   Why weren't people doing something about autism, especially the officials who get billions of dollars to run health care in the U.S.? 

I think this will best be described as a tsunami.  It will be sudden and overwhelming.  People will stunned by this disaster.  I can't imagine how this will turn out.  There's really no precedent for it.  I can't recall another time in history when this has happened.  Epidemics and plagues have always been around and they've devastated populations.  But people in the past died.  There weren't large numbers of survivors to care for.  But with autism, for the first time a society will be left with a disabled generation of young adults to support for the rest of their long lives.  These children are bankrupting our schools and I doubt that things will be any better when we have to take over total support and care.  No one is doing anything to prepare for this.  It's amazing. 

The one thing I hope is that officials like Dr. Wharton will still be in their positions so we can get them to go back on camera to explain how the epidemic of autism escaped notice by the CDC.  I'll be interested in Dr Wharton's opinion about how we should provide for all these disabled adults.  I wonder if we'll again hear "I DON'T KNOW" from her.


Sandy Gottstein

Thanks, Anne, for another great column. I thought you and your readers might be interested in what happened when I brought up doing studies using never vaccinated children as controls with the CDC and NIH. Dan wrote about it awhile back in his column, "Question of the Year" and I wrote about it in my column, "Thank you, Congressman Shays". Here's the link: http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/Sept_27_02/Scandal35.htm

All the best,

Kelli Ann Davis

Hey Anne,

I talked to the CDC official (at the IACC meeting in DC today) who actually released the "1 in 150" prevalence rate. I asked her if she had read the latest numbers from Ray Gallup and Dr. Yazbek (she hadn't) and so I'll be sending her that information.

It was interesting to note that Secretary Leavitt mentioned the words "treatable" and "preventable" in the same sentence today. Unlike another Committee member who characterized Jenny McCarthy's media blitz and recovery of her son as "problematic".

She told me later in the lunch line it was "unfair" to the mothers of 20 year olds who were coming up to her asking,"Is there something we missed?" I asked her if she had ever read Jenny's book or heard her talk. Can you guess what she told me?

I told her I had a big problem with her describing Jenny McCarthy's recovery of her son as "problematic". I told her we should be cheering over the fact that she and thousands of other parents HAD RECOVERED THEIR CHILDREN.

Anyways, Lyn Redwood followed up right after her statement and told the story of her son. It was very moving and reinforced that fact that our kids get better after biomedical interventions.


Angela Warner

What a great piece Anne! Your are a remarkable writer and I have to say I love the picture of Dr. Evil! How absolutely fitting!

My husband and I stayed up late that night and watched it a few times together after the children (all four of them) were in bed.

We came up with a few additional points. The first being that Dr. Wharton admits that there are 17,000 children in the US that go unvaccinated every year, yet they can't seem to find those children who are unvaccinated. Dr. Wharton states that a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated children and autism would be "enormously difficult". Well... Dr. Wharton the "enormously difficult" has already been done! I refer to the survey sponsored by Generation Rescue in which it was found that vaccinated populations of children are 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder, and 61% more likely to have autism. Out of the 17,674 children located in the study in only 9 counties in two states, 991 were found to be completely unvaccinated. This tells me (no I don't have a math degree - sorry folks) that there are far more than 17,000 children in the US who are unvaccinated. The problem is the CDC doesn't want to get off their laurels and actually do it - because they already know it's true for one - and because if they actually do it no matter how they twist the data eventually someone will get their hands on the raw data. FOIA folks.. but I'm sure eventually they would make that disappear as they have done before!

And as my husband wrote in an email that we sent out to all of our friends and family with links to both Jenny's interview and that of Dr. Wharton...

"Dr. Melinda Wharton added this remarkably discriminatory comment "...The other thing to consider when thinking about doing such a study is that people who have chosen not to give their children any vaccines at all probably are quite different from the general population in terms of other ways they raise their children, other ways they access health care, whether or not there are other exposures may be important in causing autism which of course we don't know if there are any exposures at all. But if there were any differences in the way they accessed the health care system, what kind of doctors they see and how long it takes them for a diagnosis it could be really difficult even if you had a large enough population to do it." Whiskey Tango Foxtrot !!! OMG!!! I would personally like to say at this point that I am extremely satisfied with my role as "quite different from the general population", thank you very much."

The other issue that my husband and I found incredibly interesting is the young girl Dr. Wharton refered to in the interview who developed the measels after returning from an overseas trip. While there was not alot of information shared regarding the situation; we are of the opinion that this child was most likely vaccinated against measels. Think about it... if she wasn't vaccinated, this would have been the perfect opportunity for Dr. Wharton to get even further up on her soapbox and state the continued mantra of the CDC - get your child vaccinated! And a perfect opportunity for those of us who are educated and make the informed decision NOT to vaccinate our children, to be chastised once again.


"Why should we listen to an official from the agency that runs the vaccine schedule and expect an unbiased response to the question: Are vaccines harming children?"

Especially after hearing her say this.....

Dr. Melinda Wharton, Acting Deputy Director of the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

"CDC is also funding a follow-up study of a group of Italian children who had participated in a prior DTaP trial in the 1990's in which thimerosal exposure was randomly allocated. A pilot study has determined the feasibility of recruiting these participants for a follow-up study of neurodevelopmental outcomes. The children will be evaluated using a similar test battery as in the Thimerosal and NDD Follow-Up Study. Testing of children for the main study will begin this fall."

"thimerosal exposure was randomly allocated"

Huh? You randomly poisoned kids???


This woman admits to testing a known toxin on children in Italy.

Oh, yea, that adds to her credibility.

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