By J.B. Handley
Every Child By Two is a three-person organization, housed out of a tiny office in a rough part of Washington, D.C. that happens to receive the majority of their funding from Wyeth, a vaccine maker.
Recently, ECBT hit the radar screen of many autism parents by hiring a "celebrity", Amanda Peet, to help spread the message of vaccine makers that all vaccines are good for you and your babies. As everybody knows, Ms. Peet made her PR debut in Cookie Magazine, where she infamously stated that parents who do not vaccinate their children are "parasites."
A few weeks later, ECBT hosted a press conference in New York City to kick off the "Vaccinate Your Baby" campaign that featured Amanda Peet, Rosalyn Carter, Paul Offit, and a bunch of pissed off parents from our side of the aisle. On their web site, Vaccinate Your Baby discloses that their campaign is funded by Sanofi, another vaccine maker.
If you Google "Every Child By Two", the third link that comes up is a story that I wrote (HERE) for AoA back in August explaining the source of ECBT's funding (Wyeth). Perhaps it's coincidence, but that link was up BEFORE their press conference, and ECBT got no press. Even a vaccine-loving journalist may be a bit queasy covering a press conference of a vaccine-maker front group, I don't know.
Recently, 33% of ECBT contacted AoA (one of three employees). Rich Greenaway, Director of Operations, apparently had a gripe that we had used an actual photo of the ECBT Board of Directors at the top of the piece I wrote, and he asked us to remove it. Our stellar Managing Editor, Kim Stagliano, obliged the request right quick, and put up an equally attractive alternative photo, which you can check out HERE.
So what, you say? Well, I sort of agree with you and I can barely justify the time it takes to write about ECBT, but I was very, very struck by the email I saw from Mr. Greenaway himself to AoA asking to have this photo removed. You see, like many people, Mr. Greenaway has an automatic signature at the bottom of his emails, and I think I should just share his with you here, so you can see why I'm spending the time to write. So, I'm printing his entire signature for you, I'm not going to comment on the "666" in his street address, and I'm just going to direct you to the bottom of his signature, the part that I have chosen to bold:
Director of Operations and Special Projects
Every Child By Two
666 11th Street NW, Ste. 202
Washington, DC 20001-4542
voice (202) 783-7034 x17fax: (202) 783-7042
Green our vaccines?
The only green you will see by getting rid of vaccines or decreasing their use is the grass growing on the graves of children needlessly killed by preventable infections.
Mark Crislip, MD
Now, people certainly have a right to put whatever the heck they want to put on the signature of their emails, but I think it may be fair to wonder if the ECBT organization is in any way actually helping reach the goals they claim to have:
First, they put Amanda Peet in Cookie magazine and she calls us all parasites.
Then, Paul Offit takes credit for educating and recruiting Amanda Peet, shows up at the Vaccinate Your Baby press conference, and CBS Evening News does an expose on him and the AAP for their conflicts of interest.
Now, ECBT is promoting the "dead children" argument to counter Jenny McCarthy's call for green vaccines?
It's enough to make a parent like me grin from ear to ear.
You see, the dead children argument is a loser, and it's based on a public health strategy that CDC and AAP have explicitly employed for the last 15 years: try to scare the shit out of the public.
But, parents aren't buying it. And, the public is very wary of fear-mongering, just look at what is happening in our presidential election.
The CDC's vaccine program is at a crossroads, and sitting on very, very fragile ground right now. Just like our financial system, the vaccine program is held together with trust, in this case the trust between a parent and their doctor. That trust is eroding very quickly.
When parents hear about autism in their own communities on a daily basis, and when they hear from many parents of children with autism that vaccines were a primary trigger, they listen. When the only message they hear from doctors is "vaccinate or die", they stop listening.
Public health officials have two choices:
Continue to defend the current vaccine schedule and program against any and all criticism and continually state that the benefits outweigh the risks.
Re-adopt the philosophy of medicine to "do no harm" and reduce the schedule, demand that vaccines are more safely made, critically evaluate the side-effects, and put the children first.
While I'm on Choice #2, I will submit a clear proposal for public health officials to consider:
Restore the vaccine schedule from 1983, before vaccine makers were indemnified, with two changes: split the MMR and DTP shots into three separate shots. Offer any additional vaccines since made to extremely high risk groups when appropriate, like Hep B for children of Hep B moms. And, issue simple guidelines for parents to avoid high risks like multiple vaccines in one visit, vaccinating while on antibiotics, etc.
We all know that Choice #1 is the course of action for the immediate future from our health authorities. The fear-mongering, as exemplified by Rich Greenaway, will continue.
And, at some point, much as a set of events all transpired simultaneously to generate a tipping point to plunge our financial system into the abyss, so, too, will the vaccine program. Keep it up, Mr. Greenaway, your just moving things along.
JB Handley is co-founder of Generation Rescue and a contributor to Age of Autism.