ONE MORE VOICE -- A BIG ONE -- SPEAKS OUT FOR COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY
By Dan Olmsted
More and more mainstream experts are standing up for the vaccine court and Hannah Poling and her parents -- and deserve our thanks and support. The latest is Dr. Bernadine Healy. Her bio from U.S. News & World Report, where the article we're pointing out is appearing in the current issue: "Dr. Bernadine Healy is Health Editor for U.S.News & World Report and writes the On Health column. She is a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and has served as director of the National Institutes of Health and president and CEO of the American Red Cross."
Here's the beauty part from her column: "Pediatricians were concerned enough about mercury, which is known to cause neurological damage in developing infant and fetal brains, that they mobilized to have thimerosal removed from childhood vaccines by 2002. Their concern was not autism but the lunacy of injecting mercury into little kids through mandated vaccines that together exceeded mercury safety guidelines designed for adults."
So by definition, the former head of the NIH says people like Paul Offit -- who calls it a mistake to take mercury out -- and organizations like the CDC, the World Health Organization and their ilk who are keeping mercury in flu shots in the U.S. and in standard immunizations around the world ... the former head of the NIH says they're lunatic(s).
That's about as harsh as anything we've ever said, isn't it? -- Dan Olmsted
Read the US News and World Report article HERE.
I have seen this same Dr. Healy on TV earnestly hyping the widespread use of Merck's Gardasil vaccine against a condition (cervical cancer) that NIH's own Office of Rare Diseases describes as rare. Let's not get too enthusiastic about her as an ally...
Posted by: Margo | April 13, 2008 at 02:46 PM
Apparently Dr. Healy has a sense of humor. When she became the first woman director of the National Institutes of Health, she joked, "Things are so bad, some have said, they couldn't even get a man to be NIH director."
Posted by: Twyla | April 13, 2008 at 12:45 PM
"In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed her director of the National Institutes of Health. She later served as dean of Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health and professor of medicine from 1995 to 1999..."
"The NIH had been without a director for almost two years,..."
I would really like to know what about the NIH had Dr. Healey leave bureaucracy and head into academia? Usually when corporate sector folks enter academia they do it because they are disgruntled and fed-up with the rat-race of corporate life :). Apparently nobody even wanted to head the NIH until Dr. Healey obliged. What's it about the NIH that people don't want to go there, and once they are there, they don't want to stay there?
The more we learn the more we realize how much we don't know!
Posted by: Good grief | April 13, 2008 at 08:21 AM
Read a bio of Dr. Bernadine Healy at: www.nlm.nih.gov/changingthefaceofmedicine/physicians/biography_145.html
Here are some excerpts:
"Cardiologist Bernadine Healy is a physician, educator, and health administrator who was the first woman to head the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Known for her outspoken, innovative policymaking, Dr. Healy has been particularly effective in addressing medical policy and research pertaining to women...
"Healy graduated first in her class at Hunter [high school], went on to Vassar where she graduated summa cum laude, earned her M.D. at Harvard Medical School, and completed her training in internal medicine and cardiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"After completing her internship and residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Healy spent two years at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health before returning to Hopkins in 1976, where she became a professor of medicine. She earned a reputation as a skilled cardiovascular researcher specializing in the pathology of heart attacks. She also became the school's first woman to serve as assistant dean for postdoctoral programs and faculty development.
"In 1984 President Ronald Reagan appointed Healy deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Policy. In 1985 she was appointed chairman of the Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where she directed the research programs of nine departments. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed her director of the National Institutes of Health. She later served as dean of Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health and professor of medicine from 1995 to 1999...
"The NIH had been without a director for almost two years, and Dr. Healy's appointment was viewed especially positively by many because of her experience in dealing with science policy issues...
"While she was at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Healy undertook a number of initiatives. She established an award program to keep talented scientists working within the grant system during funding lapses, oversaw the development of a major intramural genetics laboratory and an Institute for Nursing Research, and launched the $625 million Women's Health Initiative (a long-term health study involving 150,000 women). In the interest of better understanding the different ways disease and treatment affect men and women, she also established a policy whereby the National Institutes of Health would fund only those clinical trials that included both men and women when the condition being studied affected both genders.
"As president of the American Heart Association from 1998 to 1999, she initiated pioneering research into women's heart disease and demonstrated that medical progress depends on the public and medical community's perception that there is a problem to be solved. Healy set out to convince both the lay and medical sectors that heart disease is also a woman's disease, "not a man's disease in disguise."
"While at the American Red Cross, Healy worked to upgrade blood services, develop and execute a strategic plan for organizational integration and human capital development, recruited staff from government and industry, and expanded bilateral and multi-lateral international work in Africa, India, and Turkey. Dr. Healy led the American Red Cross response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. These efforts included recovery and response work in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon, and creation of a $200 million family grant program for victim's families, grieving and healing programs in chapters throughout the country, international response for the families of foreign nationals caught in the disaster, and the initiation of a strategic blood reserve from "extra" blood collections.
"In addition to her various administrative positions, Dr. Healy has continued to treat patients during much of her career. Her research has led to deeper understanding of the pathology and treatment of heart attacks, especially in women. An author as well as a policymaker and manager, Dr. Healy has written or co-authored more than 220 peer-reviewed manuscripts on cardiovascular research and health and science policy."
So much for the "parents vs. science" b__lsh_t. This is a heavy duty, experienced doctor, researcher, and administrator, who not only says the words "the lunacy of injecting mercury into little kids through mandated vaccines that together exceeded mercury safety guidelines designed for adults", but also says:
"I would not be too quick to dismiss Hannah as an anomaly," and
"population studies are not granular enough to detect individual metabolic, genetic, or immunological variation that might make some children under certain circumstances susceptible to neurological complications after vaccination," and
"the rise of this disorder, which shows up before age 3, happens to coincide with the increased number and type of vaccine shots in the first few years of life. So as a trigger, vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility," and
"Go back 40 or 50 years. The medical literature is replete with reports of neurological reactions to vaccines, such as mood changes, seizures, brain inflammation, and swelling. Several hundred cases of the paralytic illness Guillain-Barré after the swine flu vaccine were blamed on the government and gave Gerald Ford heartburn — but eventually led to the vaccine court," and
"There is no evidence that removal of thimerosal from vaccines has lowered autism rates. But autism numbers are not precise, so I would say that considerably more research is still needed on some provocative findings. After all, thimerosal crosses the placenta, and pregnant women are advised to get flu shots, which often contain it. Studies in mice suggest that genetic variation influences brain sensitivity to the toxic effects of mercury. And a primate study designed to mimic vaccination in infants reported in 2005 that thimerosal may clear from the blood in a matter of days but leaves inorganic mercury behind in the brain. [She's paying attention!]
"The debate roils on—even about research. The Institute of Medicine in its last report on vaccines and autism in 2004 said that more research on the vaccine question is counterproductive: Finding a susceptibility to this risk in some infants would call into question the universal vaccination strategy that is a bedrock of immunization programs and could lead to widespread rejection of vaccines. The IOM concluded that efforts to find a link between vaccines and autism 'must be balanced against the broader benefit of the current vaccine program for all children.'
"Wow. Medicine has moved ahead only because doctors, researchers, and yes, families, have openly challenged even the most sacred medical dogma. At the risk of incurring the wrath of some of my dearest colleagues, I say thank goodness for the vaccine court."
This is really major. She is correct to say that there is no evidence that removal of mercury from vaccines caused a decrease in autism. (Actually, there is no evidence that mercury has been completely removed.) But she does not leave it at that. She says that mercury is dangerous and more studies are needed, and that vaccines have been shown to cause serious adverse reactions.
Posted by: Twyla | April 13, 2008 at 12:26 AM
I think I recall the AAP actually arguing in favor of thimerosal in flu vaccines...or at least against a ban on thimerosal. They don't deserve much, if any, credit for the removal of this toxic stuff from vaccines for infants.
Posted by: Deborah | April 12, 2008 at 10:25 PM
Excuse me, the PEDIATRICIANS mobilized? I didn't see any pediatricians at my state hearings! Let's not rewrite history here, folks. It was the MOMS and DADS and GRANDPAS and GRANDMAS that did a lot of the work!
Posted by: Barb | April 12, 2008 at 08:34 PM
An article that contains (the following) misstatements will never be a good thing. It is very worrisome to me that any of us would think otherwise, just to read Offit-world referred to as lunancy. I pray for an article that is factual AND refers to the Offits of this world as lunacy. This issue to too important for us to settle for anything less.
"Even though autism has a strong genetic basis, and she has a coexisting rare mitochondrial disorder..." --- Dr. Poling said the only correct word in a statement like that, as it pertains to Hannah, is "mitochondria."
"No doubt some of the increase is soft, due to broader diagnostic criteria, greater awareness..."
------------"It is actually harder now than it was in 1980, when autism was first introduced as a disorder, to meet the criteria." Michelle Rowe, Ph.D. - Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia -------------
"...they mobilized to have thimerosal removed from childhood vaccines by 2002." --- And? It's still in childhood vaccines, according to the FDA's CBER page. And we know pregnant women and children in CA were given Thimerosal containing flu shots in 2006, despite the "ban" in 2001.
"There is no evidence that removal of thimerosal from vaccines has lowered autism rates." --- Duh, it wasn't removed!
Posted by: biomedmama7 | April 12, 2008 at 09:45 AM
Iatrogenic profiteering: "Paul Offit -- who calls it a mistake to take mercury out -- and organizations like the CDC, the World Health Organization and their ilk who are keeping mercury in flu shots". Doctor Offit (the term "doctor" is here used loosely) seems one of the important "point men" who insure the ongoing profitability of pathologies induced by deliberately iatrogenic procedures. He's a team player with the CDC's director, the ACIP, WHO, and others who encourage injections of ethylmercury, aluminum,and other toxins.
Posted by: Teresa Binstock | April 12, 2008 at 08:51 AM
Nothing said by Dr. Offit surprises me any more. Nothing could be worse than his "theory" that 100,000 vaccines could be injected "safely" into a child prior to the age of six. At one time, I suspect Dr. Offit and Dr. Healy were on the same page.
Which makes Dr. Bernadine Healy's observation that it is pure lunacy to inject mercury into children, real progress.
Unfortunately, Dr. Offit and his ilk have "lashed themselves to the mast" of their vaccine ship.....and.....their ship is sinking.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | April 11, 2008 at 02:46 PM
Offit is not the only one who touting the "mercury isn't harmful" tune. Check this out - I was stunned to see this on abcnews.com. To silently continue administering thimerosal-containing flu vaccines to children whose parents may not know enough to ask is criminal enough; to say "it is safe" OUT LOUD is something else. What's so disturbing about this is I'm afraid that parents who aren't "in it" with us are looking to mainstream media regarding "current and factual" information. Tragic.
Posted by: Adrienne | April 11, 2008 at 02:14 PM
There are so many errors in that article that I cannot recommend it to ANYONE.
Are we supposed to be supportive of this because she calls lunacy lunacy, while misstating so many other things? BS.
Posted by: biomedmama7 | April 11, 2008 at 01:50 PM
This is a good (& timely) article to send to your Senators' Health staffers.
Posted by: Alison Davis | April 11, 2008 at 01:09 PM
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
(of scientific studies proving damage, therefore intentional)
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
(first Jenny, then the Polings blew up in their face- my goodness- all hell breakin loose here!)
All the king's horses and all the kings men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
(but they still have NYT's Gardiner Harris to defend them while they try...is he paid by the industry?)
Posted by: RimlandFanWA | April 11, 2008 at 11:57 AM
Offit said this last September: "During the next few years, thimerosal will probably be removed from influenza vaccines, and the court cases will probably settle down. But the thimerosal controversy should stand as a cautionary tale of how not to communicate theoretical risks to the public; otherwise, the lesson inherent in the collateral damage caused by its precipitous removal will remain unlearned."
I can't imagine any way of removing thimerosal would meet Offit's standards, since he calls the 1999 AAP/PHS recommendation for a phase-out of thimerosal-containing vaccines "a precipitous removal" that damaged the vaccine program for no reason. And why remove it in the first place? He's also called it a "gentle bacteriostat."
Posted by: Dan Olmsted | April 11, 2008 at 11:41 AM
"Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization remain unconvinced that thimerosal puts young children at risk."
Gee, what a shame - so much history, so much research, so many maimed and dead children (not to mention adults). What's it going to take to convince these people?
How about we shoot them up with equivalent amounts of these same shots by body weight, at the same frequency they are administered to babies and children. Then we will test them for titres. IF there are NONE, then we will revaccinate them and keep going till those FREAKING titers show up. If they still do not, then we should just vaccinate them anyway - JUST TO SEE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN!! Hey, we can be doctors and immunologists too!!
Posted by: CDC and WHO? | April 11, 2008 at 10:19 AM
"people like Paul Offit -- who calls it a mistake to take mercury out"
He said that? Really? REALLY? He said THAT? I don't believe this. Isn't he supposed to be a doctor? A doctor said that? I don't believe it. How could he? I am in disbelief? How come I missed this bombshell?
Posted by: What? | April 11, 2008 at 10:01 AM
Red rover, red rover, send Dr. Healy on over!
If you build it, they will come. We've built the truth, we've spoken the truth, now "they" are coming over to our side. It's just a matter of time now before more and more RESPECTED individuals get informed and stand up for what we've all been yelling for years and years. So exciting!
Posted by: Jeanne | April 11, 2008 at 09:45 AM