David Kirby to Dr. David Tayloe, President American Academy of Pediatrics
1:00PM EST - UPDATE: Dr. Tayloe, who is visiting the Middle East on AAP business, has written to David to thank him for the note and to let him know that the Academy will issue a formal reply soon. Stay tuned here for further developments.
Managing Editor's Note: David Kirby sent this letter to Dr. David Tayloe, new president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
November 22, 2008
David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP
President, American Academy of Pediatrics
Dear Dr Tayloe,
It has been seven months since I had the pleasure of meeting you in Los Angeles at the “Larry King Live" studio. Allow me to congratulate you on your inauguration as President of the Academy.
I am writing because I have just received a copy of a letter from Elie Ward (HERE) Co-Chair of the NYS Immunization Coalition, a project of the AAP. The letter was sent to Rep. Carolyn Maloney in regards to the Congressional briefing on vaccines and autism that she sponsored on Capitol Hill in September.
In the letter, Ms. Ward accuses me of presenting “misinformation” as well as “unscientific, irrational proposals” to staff members of more than 90 House and Senate offices, as well as two US Representatives who were in the room.
The letter also accuses “a few people, some of whom are making a great deal of money from the suffering and false hope of frightened parents,” of continuing to “beat the drum for this discredited position.”
I take these remarks by a representative of the American Academy of Pediatrics very seriously. I also wonder why the Academy would not direct these allegations to me personally, but instead chose to send them to a member of Congress, who does not, and can not answer for me.
As for the allegations made by this AAP-affiliated individual, I respectfully ask the Academy to provide specific instances of “misinformation” attributed to me during the Capitol Hill briefing of September 23, 2008.
If, by her remark, Ms. Ward was referring to my discussion of a National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences’ panel report on the VSD database, then I would refer her, and you, to the following letter that I sent to Dr. Stephen Cha, a health advisor to Rep. Henry Waxman, on the subject (HERE).
I also respectfully ask that the AAP please provide me with specific instances of “nonscientific” or “irrational proposals” that I put forth at the briefing, so that I may respond accordingly. Specifically, which slides among those that I presented would meet these criteria? (The slides are available at Evidence of Harm.)
If you cannot do so, I will take this to mean that you concur with me, and that I did not in fact present any “nonscientific” or “irrational” proposals during the Congressional briefing.
I have also asked Ms. Ward if she, and by extension the AAP, considers me to be one of those people who are “making a great deal of money” from the vaccine-autism debate.
In the interest of public disclosure, I can categorically state that I have earned approximately $140,000 from my autism-related activities. This includes the advance and royalties from my book, “Evidence of Harm,” all speaking fees, a movie option and various freelance writing assignments. This income has been spread out over a six-year period (2003-2008, inclusive), for an average of about $23,300 per year. That amount covered my rent in New York City, but not much else.
I disclose this information publically as a way of encouraging Dr. Paul Offit, who is mentioned several times in Ms. Ward’s letter, of doing the same in terms of his projected income for his role in developing a U.S.-approved rotavirus vaccine.
Dr. Offit told Newsweek Magazine (HERE) that he earned a “small percentage” of the estimated $182 million in royalties expected from the product.
In the public interest, I hope that the AAP would urge Dr. Offit to disclose this amount, as I feel it is pertinent to the discussion at hand (and it is another reason why I chose to disclose my own earnings related to autism). How much of a “small percentage” was his share? Was it 0.5% ($910,000) or was it closer to, say, 3% ($5.46 million)?
Dr. Offit said it was, "like winning the lottery."
I certainly do not begrudge Dr. Offit making a profit from his work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and I am sure that his royalty payments represent many years of hard work on behalf of the vaccine manufacturer. But it does not appear to be an insignificant amount and, therefore, it seems to me, is as worthy of scrutiny by the American Academy of Pediatrics as is my income from autism work.
Finally, I would also like to ask if you agree that my position, (that the debate over vaccines and autism is not over) has been “discredited,” especially when so many leading authorities and organizations do seem to believe that more research in this regard is likely warranted (Please see list below).
To that end, I hope you will encourage Ms. Ward, or any member of the Immunization Coalition, or anyone else affiliated with the AAP, to agree to discuss these issues and allegations with me, in person, before a live audience, in a reasoned and controlled debate format.
I am available at any time for such a discussion, not unlike the event I will have in March in NYC, when Dr. Marc Siegel, of NYU Medical Center, and I will talk about the vaccine-autism controversy at a major educational conference sponsored by WNET-Channel 13 (PBS) in New York. (Please see HERE.)
Again, in the interest of public disclosure, this letter will be shared on the Age of Autism blog. Many thanks for your attention to this matter.
During 2008, all of the following groups and individuals have advocated or considered exploring possible links between vaccines and autism:
1) Both Presidential Candidates
2) Director of the CDC
3) Former head of the NIH and American Red Cross
4) Chair of the U.S. House Science Subcommittee on Investigations
5) Dr. Jon Poling, Pediatric Neurologist
6) HHS Vaccine Safety Working Group
7) CDC Vaccine Safety Research Agenda
8) Medical personnel at HHS Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
9) Members of the Strategic Planning Workgroup of the IAC Committee
10) Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network - CISA
11) Autism researchers at Johns Hopkins University Medical School
12) America's health insurance companies
13) Autism Speaks
14) The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
WOW!!! Let freedom ring! This letter may end up in the history books one day - you will be known as the man who helped save the children!
Bless you!!! Bless you!!!
How can these people continue to hide behind their "titles" and profit from our children's pain?
As I walked past the CDC building in Washington during the Green the Vaccine Rally - Everyone was chanting "Too Many Too Soon" - I had to speak the truth as well to them - "You broke him - Now come fix him!"
Keep up the great work and you are a rock for all of us parents who know that our children were injuried!
Posted by: Amy Trail | November 26, 2008 at 07:25 AM
I sent a e-mail to my US Representatives stating.
"It has come to my attention that some members that attended the CONGRESSIONAL AUTISM-VACCINE BRIEFING have received letters or perhaps received a visit from a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics saying In the letter, accuses of presenting “misinformation” as well as “unscientific, irrational proposals” to staff members of more than 90 House and Senate offices, as well as two US Representatives who were in the room.
If this has happen or if it does happen I/we would like the opportunity to respond. Below is a letter from David Kirby (one of the presenters) asking the President, American Academy of Pediatrics, David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP of the Academy to provide specific instances of “misinformation” attributed to him during the Capitol Hill briefing of September 23, 2008."
I put a copy of the letter here.
Posted by: Jeff R. | November 25, 2008 at 02:52 PM
Actually Anne the kids in the Gulf Region are *not* doing better. Some countries send health workers door to door to vaccinate.
Dubai is a Pharma mecca - no pun intended.
The Middle East were at 1:150 before we were.
When I was fortunate enough to meet a Saudi princess whose son was battling ASD, the first thing I gave her was a copy of Evidence of Harm with some DAN DVDs tucked inside.
All politics aside Autism knows no boundaries.
Arab parents are going through the same struggle we are here, with only 2 practicing DAN doctors in that whole region.
Posted by: karenatlanta | November 25, 2008 at 10:46 AM
The AAP and Autism Speaks are partnering for money. AAP creates the autism and AS creates "awareness." God help America when the Middle East realizes what we've sent them.
Posted by: Stagmom | November 24, 2008 at 08:38 PM
I am standing here applauding your letter. Wonderful and Awesome doesn't cut it. I can't wait to hear the response. Let us all hope it is what we want to hear and not more gobbledygook from those who cannot cover their behinds fast enough.
Posted by: Jan | November 24, 2008 at 08:33 PM
I am sure the AAP are just buying time. Why can't he just sit down and respond?
Posted by: K Fuller Yuba City | November 24, 2008 at 08:30 PM
"Dr. Tayloe, who is visiting the Middle East on AAP business, has written to David to thank him for the note and to let him know that the Academy will issue a formal reply soon."
Tayloe is in the Middle East on AAP business? Has the AAP has done so well with America's children that Tayloe is now spreading AAP monitored health care abroad?
I can't image what aspect our health care anyone in the Middle East would want to duplicate in their country. Not only does
autism rage at an epidemic rate in the U.S., but lots of other things are wrong too.
"America's tweens and teens more than doubled their use of type 2 diabetes medications between 2002 and 2005, with girls between 10 and 14 years of age showing a 166 percent increase."
"The number of children with food allergies has jumped by 18% in the last ten years."
"About 17 percent are obese and the future does not look promising."
"Prescriptions for asthma increased 46.5 percent, while those for attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity leapt 40 percent and were three times more prevalent among boys than girls. Cholesterol treatments rose 15 percent."
The health of U.S. children is on a par with a third world country. Maybe Tayloe could ask around for some ideas because I'm sure kids in the Middle East are doing a lot better than our kids are.
Posted by: Anne Dachel | November 24, 2008 at 08:29 PM
"1:00PM EST - UPDATE: Dr. Tayloe, who is visiting the Middle East on AAP business, has written to David to thank him for the note and to let him know that the Academy will issue a formal reply soon".
Yeah... because he has nothing pressing to take care of here at home... I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he is over there helping sick/injured children or some other good cause. I will pray that he isn't over there trying to export our life-saving vaccination policies :(
Great letter, David. I love the fact that we are now the more rational ones and they are the crazies.
Posted by: Sue M. | November 24, 2008 at 06:40 PM
David the letter you wrote is excellent. I will be very interested to hear the response the AAP comes up with. More garbage I'm sure with a few mentions of Pauly's book.
If they are going to make accusations such as they did, then they better be willing to do as you did... disclosure. The only people getting rich off this are the vaccine patent holders and makers. How dumb do they think we are?
You are a man of great integrity fighting for our kids and for the truth! I think it's safe to say that you will never have any idea how appreciative and grateful our community is for all you've done and continue to do. Thank you.
Oh yeh... you damn well deserve a raise :) !!
Posted by: Angela Warner | November 24, 2008 at 05:25 PM
Speaking of the vaccination schedule -- notice the new "spin" as evidenced in the current issue of Time:
“Poling's case is unique in that she received five injections in one day in order to catch up after falling behind the recommended vaccination schedule.”
Did you catch the subtle implications?
1.) Puts blame on the parents (for not *sticking* to the recommended vaccine schedule)
2.) Gives the impression that if you stick to the recommended schedule then you won't get *five injections* in one day (which, as we know it totally false) and
3.) Undercuts the message of an alternate vaccine schedule (much like the one GR has been promoting).
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis | November 24, 2008 at 04:48 PM
Hum, what will the "O" fficial response be?
More droning about how vaccines save lives.
For once could pediatricians care about child safety.
While the AAP is partying it up in Dubai another child falls to vaccine injury.
Maybe we'll get lucky and TayLo will have sex on the beach.
Posted by: Blahblahblah | November 24, 2008 at 04:09 PM
exactly Mr. Moffitt! Daily I wonder...how in the world has it been 5 YEARS since my son's diagnosis, and all but one pediatrician in my town still do NOTHING for our children except send them to a neurologist to get adult drugs. If there had been an exhaustive search, attempts at helping our kids along the way, I would not be so angry. But they have done NOTHING except say it's not vaccines. GET OFF YOUR BUTTS AND FIGURE IT OUT THEN!!!!
Posted by: kim | November 24, 2008 at 03:43 PM
The following excerpt is from my letter to the "originators" of the letter sent to Rep. Carolyn Maloney:
"Indeed, David Kirby, like myself, appears interested only in exploring potential issues upon which we can find "common ground" between your organization and parents of children with autism. Such as, spreading out vaccines, not giving vaccines to children in poor health, conducting critical research of those children who regressed and developed autism, not giving multiple vaccines to "catch up" on missed vaccinations, urgent investigation of mitochondria research to identify those children at risk prior to receiving a "one size fits all" vaccine, acknowledging studies that have been used for at least a decade to deny "any link between vaccines and autism" are flawed, joining parents urging a study of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations, to ascertain if BOTH populations have suffered the same, inexplicable, dramatic increase in chronic autoimmune disorders...on and on.
"My friend, these are not "irrational proposals".....in fact....it is those refusing to consider them that act "irrationally"."
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | November 24, 2008 at 03:28 PM
What you all do for us is not unlike operating a lemonade stand at the gates of hell, and those who are shoveling the coal should be ashamed of themselves. When group homes are more numerous than pharmacies and pubs, I believe they will regret not listening sooner.
Posted by: Ben's Dad | November 24, 2008 at 02:31 PM
David, you epitomize personal integrity. You've worked hard to investigate and share information, at great personal expense. Thank you.
State departments of health and their partner pharmaceutical front groups have been able to provide misinformation to state legislators, from innuendo to outright lies. It's way past time that these false claims get scrutinized and the instigators receive appropriate legal penalties.
Posted by: nhokkanen | November 24, 2008 at 02:14 PM
Go David! Go David! Go David!
WOOOOOHOOOO! Good for you for holding this woman accountable.
And as always, thank you for your hard work...and FWIW I think you deserve a lot more than 23,000 annually for your work in our community...but then again that's what makes us different-we do it because we love the truth and we love our kids, not because we love our money.
Posted by: Meg N | November 24, 2008 at 01:36 PM
Thanks greatly for standing up for our children who cannot speak for themselves.
Posted by: Bob Mulligan | November 24, 2008 at 01:26 PM
Mr Kirby - when I think of the beating you've taken for $23,300 per year, the fact that you persist tells me where your interests lie. You've challenged Dr Offit to disclose his earnings from the rota patent sale alone. His refusal to do so speaks louder than any propaganda the likes of NYIC can spew forth.
You put your cards on the table. They either have to call you, or fold. No rock to hide under. So whadda ya got, Dr Offit? Time to show 'em....
You and Kent - you're definitely sharing the same vibe today with your timely posts - a nice 1-2 punch delivered in response to this sniveling little bit of character assassination. Thanks for hanging in there for the sake of all children, autism or otherwise.
Posted by: Randy | November 24, 2008 at 01:09 PM
What a letter. Thank you for standing your ground on our behalf and thank you for making personal disclosures for this purpose. I had no idea you were doing all of this-- really-- out of the kindness of your heart. I hope that you do end up being compensated one day.
I'll repeat again as I always do that your book saved my twins. It woke us up, led to resources and shored up our resolve against disinformation. What we discovered through treatment and testing (in the same labs used by the government, by the by) only confirmed all of the information you brought to light in the book and in your later articles and presentations. My kids have massive mercury levels, mitochondrial dysfunction, elevated serum ammonia, impaired immunity, liver and GI function, allergies that don't run in the family, etc., and they get better as these things are treated. So I'd say, no, the case on vaccines is not closed.
Posted by: Gatogorra | November 24, 2008 at 01:06 PM
Thanks, David, for all your important work in this regard, of forcing a REAL look at the adverse effects of vaccines, particularly including autism. (And thanks as well to Clifford G. Miller for joining in the fray, with such 'clinical' expertise.)
I'm wondering what the move of Rep. Henry Waxman to chairman of the Health, Environment & Commerce Committee will do to the cause of getting a closer look made at the side effects of vaccines, particularly including autism (based on case histories if nothing else). That committee oversees such areas as 'consumer protection' and 'health', and I know that Rep. Waxman gave Rep. Dan Burton a very hard time when the latter was trying to get this autism/thimerosal issue investigated by Congress. David: Do you sense that Dr. Stephen Cha - health advisor to Rep. Waxman - will keep an open mind on this subject, or are we going to have a more difficult row to hoe now??
Posted by: Stan | November 24, 2008 at 01:06 PM
What an excellent letter. It's so great to see you standing up for yourself (and your/our cause) against these idiots who think they can blithely make these slurs and be believed. I'm sure they don't want to debate the specifics about science and finances -- they just want to send out propaganda and have it taken at face value. As many have pointed out, Rep. Maloney knows better than that. Thank you so much for your continuing work on behalf of people with autism.
Posted by: Twyla | November 24, 2008 at 11:56 AM
Thanks David. Your continued efforts are very much appreciated and needed.
Perhaps your full disclosure will lead to others providing the same details?? One can hope.
Your are a wonderful person assisting hundreds of thousands of families who need you to keep asking questions and help get to the truth. (Something I would hope more in the press would work on doing...)
Posted by: Lisa @ TACA | November 24, 2008 at 11:45 AM
David, brother-in-arms, Anytime the AAP wants to see my two boys medical records and explain were all the mercury came from and why only chelation is getting it to come out. Non-scientific,irrational proposals PLEASE! They must be in a panic and grasping at straws. The ship is sinking and the rats are fleeing. David if I wasn,t putting all my money plus into recovering my boys I give you a raise. Dave
Posted by: Dave | November 24, 2008 at 11:41 AM
Incredible letter! I don't think the AAP's new spokesperson, Dr. Offit, will respond in turn. The truth behind the curtain is always found after you "follow the money" as Sharyl Atkisson did so well this Summer regarding Paul. Your public disclosure of just how little $$ you've generated from this issue only lends you further credibility.
I'm interested in how Paul's meeting with Rep. Maloney goes. She will need to arrange it around the cleaning staff schedule as I'm sure she doesn't want to stentch to linger too long!
Posted by: AutismFather | November 24, 2008 at 11:38 AM
You are a hero to Warrior Moms! I have so much respect for your journalistic integrity and the standard of professional from which you conduct yourself.
This letter is something I will be proud to present to our new pediatrician who told me that, while she is willing to work with me on an alternate vaccine schedule for our son, it has been categorically proven that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. I'll spare you and the readers my response to that comment, as I would just be preaching to the choir.
I appreciate the work you do and the high road you take in standing up to the propaganda machine of the AAP and CDC.
Posted by: Pamela | November 24, 2008 at 11:37 AM
The letter from the NYS Immunization Coalition [Elie Ward] is sadly ill-informed and out-of-date stating with quasi-religious unscientific zeal that "Vaccines save lives" and that "Childhood diseases that can kill and maim our children are just a plane ride away".
The facts show the chances of a US child dying from or being seriously injured by measles has become vanishingly small and not because of vaccines - see data from a US peer refereed medical paper by Halsey et al:-
US measles mortality declined without vaccines and would have continued to do so regardless to the extremely low levels we can see today. Mortality is the most severe kind of morbidity. Just as mortality has declined, other adverse effects of measles will have too.
People like Elie Ward of the NYS Immunization Coalition ignore the serious adverse effects of vaccines which surpass claimed benefits and chant these mantras religiously without regard to risk to US and UK children. It is not known how many children are killed and injured by vaccines because no one is counting. The whole area is pursued zealotically with a religious fervour.
The UK position shows the same picture as the USA:-
Measles - The UK Official Statistics
We also have the problem of the inflated claims to efficacy of vaccination because medical professionals tend not to report cases of measles in vaccinated children or the adverse effects of the vaccines.
Should you gamble with your child's health when the risks of not taking the gamble are so low and the risks of adverse effects are so severe?
Vaccination nowadays is like buying a lottery ticket where the top prizes are not worth the costs of the shots - children avoiding a few days in bed in exchange for children in large numbers developing autism and other chronic lifetime conditions which cost millions over their lifetimes.
Posted by: Clifford G. Miller | November 24, 2008 at 11:28 AM
"I can categorically state that I have earned approximately $140,000 from my autism-related activities. This includes the advance and royalties from my book, “Evidence of Harm,” all speaking fees, a movie option and various freelance writing assignments. This income has been spread out over a six-year period (2003-2008, inclusive), for an average of about $23,300 per year."
This is why we love you David.
Good people doing the right thing, a God send for our kids. Who knows how many kids you have saved.
Posted by: karenatlanta | November 24, 2008 at 10:19 AM
What a knee-slappingly good letter of response to the digs aimed at you though a letter to Rep. Carolyn Maloney. How bizarre that you should have to defend your reputation this way. My favorite part of your letter is when you ask the AAP to specifically state how your scientific evidence is incorrect and "If you cannot do so, I will take this to mean that you concur with me." How fabulous that you asked for their response, that you are not letting them off the hook for their attack on your Maloney Autism Briefing presentation. I cannot wait to hear if you get a response letter from the AAP. If they do not respond, they concur with your opinions and scientific evidence by omission. Gotta love it!
Posted by: Not an MD | November 24, 2008 at 09:59 AM
David, hero of warrior mothers, you are awesome!
Posted by: Michelle | November 24, 2008 at 09:42 AM
Elie Ward's letter to Rep. Maloney attacking you and Age of Autism is proof once again that if you can't discredit your oponent's claims, you slam their character. These are truly desperate times. I'm sure Maloney's far too informed to listen to them. It's amazing that they even try.
Posted by: Anne Dachel | November 24, 2008 at 09:39 AM
I hope someday to meet you in person. I want to give you a warm handshake and take you out to dinner. This letter is absolutely perfect. Not only is it a wonderdul kick in the pants for Ms. Ward, but it is so diplomatic that she probably wouldn't realize that it was a kick in the pants. Keep up the good work, and realize that you will always have a friend down here in Texas.
On a side note, the comment you made about your income from Autism were priceless. The Vaccine-thugs like to point to you as one of the profiteers of Autism.
Posted by: Craig Willoughby | November 24, 2008 at 09:26 AM
David, you have heard it before, but I'll say it again, you are such a hero and history will show this to be the case. Thank you from the bottom of my family's hearts for all that you do. In the Jewish faith, they say that to save one life is to save the world. You are saving thousands of lives, and therefore thousands of worlds.
Posted by: kim | November 24, 2008 at 09:17 AM
This is a great list of agencies/individuals at the end who would disagree with Nancy Schneiderman's "There is no controvery" remark made to many millions on the Today Show.
I wonder how her producers would react to seeing this list?
Posted by: DR | November 24, 2008 at 08:53 AM
I don't think the AAP has ever been accountable to anyone before. I think they have always been grandfathered-in by parents, government, schools, states, etc. They are not use to this and it is so apparent. It reminds me of my son trying to express his feelings- they come out odd, strange, unusual and all over the place.
Posted by: Holly M. | November 24, 2008 at 08:37 AM
I have had some recent media attention turn my way. I will not hesitate to name names when it comes to the attacks on our integrity and position.
If anyone has some extra talking points or coaching tips please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
David you and I both know we have the gut check intuitive feeling on our side as well as the bottom line truth. Nobody is running closer to the middle of the road than you.
I appreciate that you keep us grounded. The mainstream medical establishment should befriend you. If ever there were to be a calming of the seas, you would be the man to do it. Instead they go out of their way to tear you down. I am not sure who said it here but 2009 will be a battle. Keep up the good fight
Posted by: Tanners Dad | November 24, 2008 at 08:19 AM
Please keep us posted on this situation. It will be interesting to hear the response (if any).
I hope you know how much we all respect you, support you, and appreciate the obvious sacrifices you make in order to continue your work.
Thank you for all you do.
Posted by: Jeanne | November 24, 2008 at 07:52 AM
David- You're AWESOME!
There was a reason when I met you in Pittsburgh I just sort of stood there and looked at you. It probably seemed like a really an odd thing to do, but I am in awe of you.
Thank you so much for setting the record straight and asking for accountability from the AAP and Offit.
And- someone please give this man (Kirby) a raise. He is so worth it.
Posted by: Andrea | November 24, 2008 at 07:37 AM