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The Original Paul Offit

Barnes smoking By Jake Crosby Offit standing

The Philadelphia physician consulted for a vaccine manufacturer and staunchly defended the vaccine industry, denying immunizations could cause a neurological disorder. He invented a pharmaceutical product that would make him millions. To the popular press, he was the vaccine industry spokesman – denying vaccine damage in his writing to The New York Times while failing to disclose blatant conflicts of interest. He abused statistics and exploited his MD status to gain undue credibility with the public, while multiple public health authorities backed his views. He was extremely critical of parents of vaccine-injured children. The vaccine he defended was harvested from a farm animal, putting human health at risk. 

And he died the year Paul Offit was born – 1951.

His name was Dr. Albert Barnes – a physician and consulting chemist for the smallpox vaccine manufacturer H.K. Mulford Co. at the turn of the 20th century.  At that time, there was a controversy raging over Mulford’s smallpox vaccinations and whether they were responsible for an outbreak of tetanus cases in the neighboring city of Camden, N.J. The concept of regulatory laws to ensure the safety and effectiveness of vaccination did not even exist, and contracting a deadly, acute illness such as tetanus from a contaminated vaccine was a real risk back then. With nine children dead, Camden had one of the worst single outbreaks of post-vaccination tetanus on record. Across the river in Philadelphia, half the public school desks were empty due to fears of the vaccine.

To get to the bottom of this tragedy, the Camden Board of Health commissioned none other than Dr. Barnes – consultant to H.K Mulford Co. - to determine the root cause. The results were hardly surprising:

“It is hence evident that the infection from tetanus could not have been caused by the vaccine,” he wrote in a letter to the editor of The New York Times on November 19, 1901.“All the vaccine employed has been subjected to rigid bacteriological examination, and in not a single instance have tetanus germs been found.”

Who was really to blame for the cause of tetanus, according to Dr. Barnes?

In the Camden cases, the patients’ arms after vaccination were neglected by the parents of the children…In not one of the cases had the vaccination received proper care, but had been exposed to infection from every possible source.”

Answer: “the parents”

“In every one of the Camden cases the doctors who performed the vaccinations were not again consulted until the appearance of symptoms of tetanus, when they found the vaccination uncovered, except by dirty clothing, rags &c.”

Dr. Barnes’ entire letter is archived at The New York Times for anyone who can stomache it. (Scroll to the bottom for the beginning of the letter.) Note that the letter only mentions “seven” cases, suggesting two more children would die of post-vaccination tetanus in Camden: (See HERE)

What Barnes ultimately concluded was that the parents failed their children for not having their vaccination wounds routinely examined and kept clean by physicians – a claim that is now known to be ridiculous, but seemed plausible 110 years ago. In fact, it actually sounds more plausible than Paul Offit’s claim that a baby’s immune system can take up to 100,000 vaccines and be okay.

Like Dr. Offit, Dr. Barnes was also developing a drug that may have further conflicted his position on the H.K. Mulford vaccine and would eventually make him millions of dollars – a topical antiseptic drug he would trademark the following year under the brand name “Argyrol,” that would dominate the market before being replaced by antibiotics. In his letter to the Times, Dr. Barnes stressed the importance of keeping vaccine wounds “scrupulously clean” – arguing that the vaccine itself was not to blame. Did Dr. Barnes purposely withhold his connection to the pharmaceutical under development because he saw a potential market in future recipients of vaccines?

What Dr. Barnes certainly did not talk about was how Mulford’s smallpox vaccine was harvested from the underbelly of cows inside a filthy stable  - a breeding ground for tetanus spores just as Offit is quiet about the fatal pig wasting virus in his own vaccine. Eventually, the definitive paper that finally proved that HK Mulford’s vaccine caused Camden’s outbreak of post-vaccination tetanus was published in The Lancet – nearly a century before the journal would publish Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s controversial paper – ushering in the first attempts at vaccine regulation in the United States (though unlike MMR maker GlaxoSmithKline, H.K. Mulford never became The Lancet editor’s boss).

What’s so remarkable about this, other than the many parallels to the present, is that the vaccine industry engaged in tobacco science a half-century before the tobacco industry. Even more remarkable was whom I learned about Dr. Albert Barnes from: my former professor Michael Willrich.

My trip back in time began with a trip to Philadelphia to see Professor Willrich give a talk as part of The History of Vaccines Project at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia – a historic-looking building that I originally mistook for a church. I walked into a large entry hall, up a grand staircase and through a massive pair of wooden double-doors into an ornate room full of oil canvasses of physicians from the past. I arrived just in time to catch Professor Willrich’s story about the Camden outbreak and the notorious Dr. Barnes who tried to cover it up. Yet Professor Willrich drew no correlations between the past and the present, noting all the supposed progress that had been made over the last century to ensure vaccine safety.

When he concluded his talk, the floor was opened up to questions.

As I walked up to the mike, Professor Willrich grinned, introducing me to the room, “I see my former student, Jake Crosby.”

“Hi Professor Willrich,” I said. “Congratulations on your faculty award.” (He had won an award for student mentoring the month before.)

I continued, “I heard you speak on NPR, and one thing I found very fascinating was your personal story, because…” And out it came, “…you have a vaccine-injured son.”

I continued that I heard him say on the show that his son developed intususseption – a potentially deadly gastrointestinal condition - from RotaShield, the first rotavirus vaccine that would eventually be pulled as a result of this danger. I filled him in on how Dr. Paul Offit was developing his own rotavirus vaccine at the same time he was sitting on the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices and voted “yes” three times in a row to add RotaShield to the recommended schedule. I added that the introduction of the first commercial vaccine against rotavirus, RotaShield would open up the rotavirus vaccine market, which would benefit every rotavirus vaccine that would come after it, including the one Dr. Offit co-invented, eventually making him a millionaire. I also noted that Dr. Offit was involved in the History of Vaccines Project (he sits on the editorial advisory board), which was sponsoring Professor Willrich’s lecture.

After describing Dr. Offit’s conflicted role in the approval of RotaShield to my former professor, I asked him if he had known about this before and what he made of all this.

He initially tried to skirt my question: “Anti-vaccinationists of today LOVE to make up conspiracy theories about…”

And I brought him back on track: “Oh no, there is no evidence of conspiracy here – simply that Paul Offit participated in a regulatory process he shouldn’t have because of his conflict of interest.”

Professor Willrich replied, “Well, I can’t speak for Paul Offit. I’ll talk to you afterwards so why not take a seat and let someone else ask a question?”

I was dumbfounded, “okay.”

As soon as I sat down, a white-haired man got up to the microphone and gruffly announced:

“Dr. Offit was one of the first to say that vaccine should be banned, in spite of how it has been portrayed here!” He went on, “The current rotavirus vaccine was tested on 70,000 children!”

After the Q/A session, I politely waited my turn until I was finally the last person to talk to Professor Willrich. I told him that even though the white-haired man in the audience claimed Dr. Offit wanted to pull the Rotavirus Vaccine, not once did he vote to have it removed – only to have it added. He abstained from voting over pulling the vaccine after it was found to have caused intussusception.

Professor Willrich got up from the desk where he was signing his book “Pox: An American History,” and looked all around the enormous room, saying, “I’m not looking away from you, I’m just looking for my briefcase.”

“It’s underneath the desk.”

“Oh…thank you.”

After I repeated my question, “Did you know Paul Offit was involved in RotaShield’s approval?” he eventually answered.

“Nope,” he said while picking up his briefcase.

“Well, what’s your impression of this?” I asked.

 “No impressions – will have to look into it,” he answered.

My own professor of history did not know that Paul Offit – with the largest conflict of anybody voting for the RotaShield vaccine’s inclusion in the vaccine schedule – was one of the people most responsible for Professor Willrich’s son’s vaccine injury. His son’s intestine telescoped onto itself as the result of receiving a vaccine against rotavirus – the primary symptom of rotavirus being a few days of diarrhea, which he could just as easily have gotten from eating too many prunes.

Professor Willrich seemed shocked to see me at the lecture.

“Are you from Philadelphia?” – he asked.


“Did you come all the way from Boston?”

I told him I was from outside New York, which is just two hours away.

He said he couldn’t believe I was the same person on the guest list, thinking I was still taking finals, which I told him I’d just completed. He congratulated me on my upcoming graduation and was off, “Good to see you,” he said before walking away.

I left the room, went back down the grand staircase and out into the open air of 21st century Philadelphia. In the neighboring suburb of Merion, the legacy of Dr. Barnes lives on not for his role as the original vaccine injury denier, or as the co-inventor of Argyrol, but for the massive collection of art he had accumulated with his fortune during the last thirty years of his life. Today, the collection ranks at a net worth of $25 billion and sits in a heavily guarded building known as the Barnes Foundation.

And what ever happened to H.K. Mulford, the vaccine manufacturer Albert Barnes consulted for? It was bought out in 1929 by Sharp and Dohme, which would eventually become Merck, Sharp and Dohme – known domestically as Merck - the company for which Paul Offit consulted and co-invented his vaccine.

Jake Crosby has Asperger Syndrome and is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. He is a 2011 graduate of Brandeis University with a BA in both History and Health: Science, Society and Policy. In August, he will attend The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he will study for an MPH in epidemiology.



The deaths of children in the developing world keep being brought forward as the reason for the rotavirus vaccine. Years have passed, hundreds of thousands have died of diarrhea each year in the developing world...and millions of doses of the vaccines have been delivered to children in the developed world. At a profit of course. It is only in the last two or three years that a bit of work has been done on getting the vaccine to the babies who are dying.

Sorry, I have a darn hard time believing in the love of humanity argument on that one. Please, do explain why the vaccine wasn't rolled out in the places where thousands die, instead of in the places where there are maybe, perhaps, at most, 50 deaths a year. And why a big noise is made in the US over reduced hospitalizations, when the babies who are dying in Africa from this disease mostly haven't a hope of hospitalization.

John Stone


It's a false argument isn't it? No one wants children to die, they want accountable manufacturers, governments and agencies instead of hardnosed denial and disinformation. At the end of the GAVI press conference in London a couple of weeks ago a journalist asked (fairly ironically I should think) whether they were proposing to start vaccine injury compensation programmes as in the US and UK. Well, fig leaves though those are the answer was of course not.

Above all what those children need is access to clean water, sanitation, good nutrition etc. The answer to making children well is giving them decent living conditions.
Some years ago UK health officials complained to me in correspondence that developing world mothers did not bring their children back for follow up vaccinations (and thus did not get the full mercury exposure in the schedule). You might equally ask were the children dead, were the parents so concerned about results that they avoided a second exposure?

If you give a battery of vaccines to an immune compromised infant, you won't necessariy do them any favours.


"the introduction of the first commercial vaccine against rotavirus, RotaShield would open up the rotavirus vaccine market, which would benefit every rotavirus vaccine that would come after it, including the one Dr. Offit co-invented"

"Opened up the market"? Don't be so silly. Rotaviruses were responsible for the deaths of half a million children every year. What "opens up the market" is the success of vaccines which can prevent those hundreds of thousands of deaths.

Why do anti-vaccinationists want all these children to die?



"DR. MINOR:....So even today then you have to bear in mind that a large amount of vaccine that's made is made on really quite crude materials, from an adventitious agent point of view. It's not a trivial usage. In fact, when you go through and consider what vaccines are actually made on these days, they are quite primitive, if you like, in some respects."

At another point an audience member makes this alarming comment:

"AUDIENCE MEMBER: I understand from some of the remarks that have been made that there are others [contaminants] that are known to a small coterie of people here that have not been publicly declared. I urge all of you to think about this seriously because it can and will have a great impact on this industry. Thank you.

DR. MINOR: I agree totally with that. It does seem to me that sooner or later the information will leak out. I think the industry looks very bad."

So perhaps we haven't made very remarkable progress in vaccine safety over the last century. And the second excerpt hints at a little bit of a conspiracy of silence. So maybe some conspiracies actually do exist. You think?


Thank you Mr.Jake Crosby.You are turning into a great
Research Investigator. When we understand the past,we can
better understand the future.You are getting smarter than your professor.All the best with your future studies. Humanity needs people like you who keeps an eye on every detail in the vaccine industry (past,present and future).
I always enjoy your writings and observations.

CT teacher

Jake-You are doing so much to uncover the truth behind the vaccination folklore that blinds people to the dangers of modern mainstream medicine. I am simply amazed at the illogical thinking of your former professor. How can he possibly not see the correlation between what happened in the early 1900's and what happened to his son? The connection between rotavirus vaccine and bowel intusseption is pretty well documented. He is supposed to be an intelligent man, but he is obviously not thinking. What did Dylan say in BLOWING IN THE WIND? "How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see?" That's why he looked away from you. You were trying to make him face the uncomfortable truth.


Thank you soooo much....Great articulaton and wonderful history share. I will add it to my file of "Offitt is the Devil" articles.


Paul Shapiro
Dan Burton did fight the good fight,and did more than was possible for one man to do. or for one Congressman. He at least put on public display just how corrupt it all is. I really do hope his family the very best, his grandson was severe and I am sorry for them all.

Paul Shapiro

Benedetta asked: Dan Burton's grandson has he hit 15 yet?

Paul Shapiro response: I would guess that Dan Burton’s grandson has reached his 15th year, give or take a couple of years


Paul Shapiro
Thank you for your response. Dan was good and mad, but not mad enough, he finally got wore down and wore out. Perhaps Dan will get a second wave of anger when his grandson reaches - about 15 and starts having seizures, and he begins to understand that it just won't go away and leave the family in peace.

Tonight my 29 year old daughter (reinjured from a HEP B shot, and is now a nurse (heavey price to pay for a job and career) came home crying from severe leg aches. I am sure it is a flare of inflammation. I put her in the garden bath tub with epsome salts, gave her the handfull of vitamins that she has not bothered to take unless I hand them to her each day and by God I am tired. I fussed at her for not taking those vitamins on her own. I gave her a massage afterwards, I fussed again about staying on the low carb diet and for buying and bringing home CHinese that has MSG in it. We finally had to give her some strong medicine that her father is taking for his severe muscle pains - for his life long acquired at 34 years old, mitrochondria cytopathy.
What else do I do?

Dan Burton's grandson has he hit 15 yet?

Paul Shapiro

Benedetta asked,
“Those were great words and truthful words by Dan Burton. What happened?’
Paul Shapiro response: Congressman Dan Burton was the grand dad to a vaccine damage grandson. Because of this circumstance, during his term as Chairman of The House Committee on Government Reform, he called for and held many investigory meetings looking into many aspects of Autism including cause. As far as I’m concerned, good ol’ Dan was good at calling for and running these meetings and exposing problems, inadequacies and failures in all areas. However, I do not know of any legislation that he generated that would have improved any aspect of the world of Autism. His term as Committee chairman came to an end, and as far as I know, he is no longer active on the subject of Autism.


Paul Shapiro
Those were great words and truthful words by Dan Burton.
What happened?


Outstanding writing yet again, Jake; thank you. The parallels are many and stunning.

How disppointing to hear your professor recite the pat "blame the anti-vaccinationists" spiel. It's a fear-response meme people use in an attempt to restore their sense of logical scientific order, yet it ultimately is anti-scientific because it denies authentic field evidence.


Jake Crosby:

I L-O-V-E Y-O-U!



Jake, after reading the first paragraph I thought you were referring to Paul Offit. How history repeats itself!

Keep up the good work.


Theodore Van Oosbree

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Paul Shapiro

Congressman Dan Burton had his finger on the corruption and conflict of interest in the FDA’s selection of personnel to assigned to reviewing and approving vaccines. I include dan Burton’s opening statement as his committee was starting to probe “Conflicts of Interest. Read it and weep. Pay special attention to the description of offit.

inbox for [email protected]
From: [email protected] (E-M this address and get on the E-M distribution list)
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 20:25:51 EDT
Subject: Congressman Burton's Opening Statement
Some of the hearing testimony is already up on Congressman Burton's web site..
Below is Congressman Burton's Opening Statement Opening Statement
Chairman Dan Burton, Committee on Government Reform
“FACA: Conflicts of Interest and Vaccine Development: Preserving the Integrity of the Process”
Thursday, June 15, 2000, 1:00 pm , 2154 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Today, we are going to continue our series of hearings on vaccine policy. For the last few months, we’ve been focusing on two important advisory committee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rely on these advisory committees to help them make vaccine policies that affect every child in this country. We’ve looked very carefully at conflicts of interest. We’ve taken a good hard look at whether the pharmaceutical industry has too much influence over these committees. From the evidence we found, I think they do.

The first committee is the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC). This Committee makes recommendations on whether new vaccines should be licensed. The second committee is the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP). This committee recommends which vaccines should be included on the Childhood Immunization Schedule.

To make these issues easier to understand, we’re going to focus on one issue handled by these two committees – the Rotavirus vaccine. It was approved for use by the FDA in August 1998. It was recommended for universal use by the CDC in March 1999. Serious problems cropped up shortly after it was introduced. Children started developing serious bowel obstructions. The vaccine was pulled from the U.S. market in October
1999. So the question is, was there evidence to indicate that the vaccine was not safe and if so, why was it licensed in the first place? How good a job did the advisory committees do? We’ve reviewed the minutes of the meetings. At the FDA’s committee, there were discussions about adverse events. They were aware of potential problems. Five children out of 10,000 developed bowel obstructions. There were also concerns about children failing to thrive and developing high fevers, which as we know from other vaccine hearings, can lead to brain injury. Even with all of these concerns, the committee voted unanimously to approve it.

At the CDC’s committee, there was a lot of discussion about whether the benefits of the vaccine really justified the costs. Even though the cost-benefit ratio was questioned, the Committee voted unanimously to approve it. Were they vigilant enough? Were they influenced by the pharmaceutical industry? Was there appropriate balance of expertise and perspectives on vaccine issues? We’ve been reviewing their financial disclosure statements. We’ve interviewed staff from the FDA and the CDC. The staff has prepared a staff report summarizing what we’ve found. At the end of my statement, I’ll ask unanimous consent to enter this report into the record. We’ve identified a number of problems that need to be brought to light and discussed.

Families need to have confidence that the vaccines that their children take are safe, effective, and truly necessary. Doctors need to feel confident that when the FDA licenses a drug, that it is really safe, and that the pharmaceutical industry has not influenced the decision-making process. Doctors place trust in the FDA and assume that if the FDA has licensed a drug, it’s safe to use. Has that trust been violated? How confident in the safety and need for specific vaccines would doctors and parents be if they learned the following:
1 That members, including the Chair, of the FDA and CDC advisory committees who make these decisions own stock in drug companies that make vaccines.
2. That individuals on both advisory committees own patents for vaccines under consideration or affected by the decisions of the committee.
3 That three out of five of the members of the FDA’s advisory committee who voted for the rotavirus vaccine had conflicts of interest that were waived.
4. That seven individuals of the 15 member FDA advisory committee were not present at the meeting, two others were excluded from the vote, and the remaining five were joined by five temporary voting members who all voted to license the product.
5. That the CDC grants conflict-of-interest waivers to every member of their advisory committee a year at a time, and allows full
participation in the discussions leading up to a vote by every member, whether they have a financial stake in the decision or not.
6. That the CDC’s advisory committee has no public members – no parents have a vote in whether or not a vaccine belongs on the childhood immunization schedule. The FDA’s committee only has one public member.

These are just a few of the problems we found. Specific examples of this include: Dr. John Modlin— He served for four years on the CDC advisory committee and became the Chair in February 1998. He participated in the FDA’s committee as well owned stock in Merck, one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines, valued at $26,000. He also serves on Merck’s Immunization Advisory Board. Dr. Modlin was the Chairman of the Rotavirus working group. He voted yes on eight different matters pertaining to the ACIP’s rotavirus statement, including recommending for routine use and for inclusion in the Vaccines for Children program. It was not until this past year, that Dr. Modlin decided to divest himself of his vaccine manufacturer stock.

At our April 6 autism hearing, Dr. Paul Offit disclosed that he holds a patent on a rotavirus vaccine and receives grant money from Merck to develop this vaccine. He also disclosed that he is paid by the pharmaceutical industry to travel around the country and teach doctors that vaccines are safe. Dr. Offit is a member of the CDC’s advisory committee and voted on three rotavirus issues – including making the recommendation of adding the rotavirus vaccine to the Vaccines for Children’s program.

Dr. Patricia Ferrieri, during her tenure as Chair of the FDA’s advisory committee, owned stock in Merck valued at $20,000 and was granted a full waiver.

Dr. Neal Halsey, who serves as a liaison member to the CDC committee on behalf of the American Association of Pediatrics, and as a consultant to the FDA’s committee, has extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including having solicited and received start up funds from industry for his Vaccine Center. As a liaison member to the CDC committee, Dr. Halsey is there to represent the opinions of the organization he represents, but was found in the transcripts to be offering his personal opinion as well.

Dr. Harry Greenberg, who serves as Chair of the FDA committee, owns $120,000 of stock in Aviron, a vaccine manufacturer. He also is a paid member of the board of advisors of Chiron, another vaccine manufacturer and owns $40,000 of stock. This stock ownership was deemed not to be a conflict and a waiver was granted. To the FDA’s credit, he was excluded from the rotavirus discussion because he holds the patent on the rotashield vaccine.

How confident can we be in the process when we learned that most of the work of the CDC advisory committee is done in “working groups” that meet behind closed doors, out of the public eye? Members who can’t vote in the full committee because of conflicts of interest are allowed to work on the same issues in working groups, and there is no public scrutiny. I was appalled to learn that at least six of the ten individuals who
participated in the working group for the rotavirus vaccine had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies developing rotavirus vaccines. How confident can we be in the recommendations with the Food and Drug Administration when the chairman and other individuals on their advisory committee own stock in major manufacturers of vaccines?

How confident can we be in a system when the agency seems to feel that the number of experts is so few that everyone has a conflict and thus waivers must be granted. It almost appears that there is a “old boys network” of vaccine advisors that rotate between the CDC and FDA – at times serving simultaneously. Some of these individuals serve for more than four years. We found one instance where an individual served for sixteen years continually on the CDC committee. With over 700,000 physicians in this country, how can one person be so indispensable that they stay on a committee for 11 years?

It is important to determine if the Department of Health and Human Services has become complacent in their implementation of the legal requirements on conflicts of interest and committee management. If the law is too loose, we need to change it. If the agencies aren’t doing their job, they need to be held accountable. That’s the purpose of this hearing, to try to determine what needs to be done.

Why is this review necessary? Vaccines are the only substances that a government agency mandates a United States citizen receive. State governments have the authority to mandate vaccines be given to children prior to admission to day care centers and schools. State governments rely on the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA to determine the type and schedule of vaccines.

I am not alone in my concern about the increasing influence of industry on medicine. Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine learned that 18 individuals who wrote drug therapy review articles had financial ties to the manufacturer of the drugs discussed. The Journal, which has the most stringent conflict of interest disclosures of medical journals, had a recent editorial discussing the increasing level of academic research funded by the industry. The editor stated, “What is at issue is not whether researchers can be 'bought' in the sense of a quid pro quo, it is that close and remunerative collaboration with a company naturally creates goodwill on the part of researchers and the hope that the largesse will continue. This attitude can subtly influence scientific judgment.”

Can the FDA and the CDC really believe that scientists are more immune to self-interest than other people? Maintaining the highest level of integrity over the entire spectrum of vaccine development and implementation is essential.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a responsibility to the American public to ensure the integrity of this process by working diligently to appoint individuals that are totally without financial ties to the vaccine industry to serve on these and all vaccine-related panels.
No individual who stands to gain financially from the decisions regarding vaccines that may be mandated for use should be participating in the discussion or policy making for vaccines. We have repeatedly heard in our hearings that vaccines are safe and needed to protect the public. If the panels that have made the decisions on all vaccines on the Childhood Immunization Schedule had as many conflicts as we found with rotavirus, then the entire process has been polluted and the public trust has been violated. I intend to find out if the individuals who have made these recommendations that effect every child in this country and around the world, stood to gain financially and professionally from the decisions of the committees they served on. The hearing record will remain open until June 28 for those who would like to submit a statement into the hearing record.


From the CDC Pink Book "The first recorded cases of “serum hepatitis,”
or hepatitis B, are thought to be those that followed the
administration of smallpox vaccine containing human
lymph to shipyard workers in Germany in l883. In the early
and middle parts of the 20th century, serum hepatitis was
repeatedly observed following the use of contaminated
needles and syringes."

First page of the pdf


Jake, Once again, very well done.

History repeats itself by a factor of millions of children, with the intellect of Dr. Offit.

Paul Offit MD, Master of Disability.

Jill Fenech

Go Jake Go! Don't ever quit. Polite yet relentless. Priceless!


simply brilliant, thank you!


Excellent work, as usual, Jake! You are amazing at what you do, and I have learned so much from your work!

John Stone

You can fool people over science much of the time but how likely is it that he really did not know this piece of history? You would have to go to some lengths not to find out. But everything is now really about pretending. People are afraid: they can lose their career, or they can be faced with their own tragic responsibility. Modern scientific papers are laced with slippery formulations but certain kinds of basic historical fact are much easier to interpret. This is why this is such a telling story. In the end most people will still sacrifice their children to the politically correct version (and historicaly false one).

LJ Goes

JAKE JAKE JAAAKKKKE! I just love when fact are written so superbly so as to leave the naysayer dumbfounded. You are my hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gah! This was EXTRAORDINARY!!!! BRAVO!!!!!!!

Maurine Meleck

I love it when students can know more than their professors.
What a cop out on his part. I'd be ashamed if I were your professor.

Angus Files

Superb Jake, absolutely superb uptake of all the massive amount of information and putting it into so many paragraphs. Reads as if you caused Professor Willrich to have an involuntarily changing of his underwear but then I don’t think he let you close enough to sniff him.

Angus Files


Jake, well done. You have the executive function of 10 NT's your age. Keep up the good work!


In so many ways history is a better defense against the vaccine debacle than science.

Science can be skewed and people can be confused by it on both sides. But the facts of what happened...are the facts of what happened.

And if you look at the history books you'll find that vaccines have been injuring, infecting, maiming and killing people since day 1.

A couple of must reads: The Virus and the Vaccine, true story of SV-40 (cancer-causing virus) contaminated Polio vaccines. And The River, Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDs is another that is rich with indisputable historical (and oftentimes gruesome) facts surrounding polio vaccine production methods in Africa in the 1950s.

Jake brilliant report on Dr. Barnes (the original vaccine salesman/spokesperson) and the Barnes Foundation. It's stunning to learn that this individual from the past has a Foundation in his name with an art collection valued at $25 Billion today. His link to the vaccine maker/company that we know as Merck today is equally eye-opening.

History is repeating itself. Maybe this time people will learn.


Jake, you are awesome. Finally, somebody honest to study epidemiology. Liars beware!

John Stone


Yes, Reid announced his retirement from Cabinet politics the day after Judge Davis was ambushed by journalists over his competing interests in the MMR case (ie his brother was boss of the Lancet and a director of GSK). I couldn't help wondering whether there was any connection. It was a funny weekend. 50 yards of telephone cable was stolen from up the road severing my landline connections for 48 hours.

As to the rehabilitation of Gorbals Mick -Speaker Michael Martin who was forced to resign in 2009 over stalling investigations into MP's expenses - it really is an indicator for the shameless heart of the British establishment. I hadn't noticed. 'Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!'


Donna L.

Absolutely brilliant, Jake.

I think we should create a special "Just Looking For My Briefcase" Award to give to every doctor, journalist and public health official who chooses to ignore the elephant in the room.

Heather Fraser

Perhaps the professor will indeed look into it. Is it possible that something good might come from his new found knowledge?

Jenny Allan

John- Gilbert had an excellent insight into the ridiculous aspects of politics!! Our latest 'ermine clad' UK pirate is that erstwhile communist John Reid, who this year took his place in the House of Lords alongside his pal Gorbals Mick!! This article dates back to 2004, and was published shortly after the Brian Deer Wakefield/ MMR articles first appeared in the Sunday Times.
"On Saturday, Health Secretary John Reid urged the GMC to investigate "as a matter of urgency".
A spokeswoman for the GMC said: "We are concerned by the allegations and will be looking to see what action, if any, may be necessary."
Dr Wakefield's paper prompted many parents to reject the three-in-one jab, even though most experts say it is safe."

Jake-Please take care. We need you!! God Bless!!


Very well-written and well-connected, and also very unsettling to watch us believing we have corrected the mistakes of the past while we are actually repeating history on a scale larger than we seem capable of acknowledging. I'm hoping you helped, along with your professors historical presentation, many in that room look at the present with a better informed mindset.


Fascinating coincidences that you write about Jake. You are shedding light on some things that the powers that be may not want the public to know. Keep up the good work..and I guess that it is true..that history does repeat itself..or is it that mankind simply did not learn the lesson first time around?

Anne S

Fascinating, and kept me on the edge of my seat reading!

Fascinating account of history, Jake.

Considering the facts of recent vaccine history missed or overlooked by Professor Willrich, perhaps a full review of the history of vaccines by someone who isn't wearing rose-colored glasses, or out to deliberately deceive, is in order.

I'm not sure this would be the best use of your time, but I would certainly like to read a full history that you had researched and written.

Teresa Conrick

So much irony and so well written, Jake. I would wonder if Professor Willrich knew all of this but has needed to disregard it as Offit is associated with this History of Vaccines project. His putting you off and questioning your appearance may speak to his fear of you representing the truth that he is avoiding. Your graceful and pure ability at speaking of this as being factual dominates his lame attempt at calling it "anti-vaccine conspiracy."

You did an outstanding job of not allowing Prof Willrich to perpetuate the vaccine-conflict-harm-denial cycle. I hope he can redeem himself as I sense that he would be a good advocate of truth as he and his family were also victims of this dishonest practice and harmful vaccines. I wonder if it is money or fear that clouds his choice?

John Stone


Yes, Gilbert leaves it open question whether they are really members of the House of Lords - if anything the joke is that they may as well be, and the pathetic social deference of everyone once the "truth" is discovered.

I have just been reading that Barnes wasn't taken in. He fell out with Bertrand Russell (a British Earl) because his wife insisted on being addressed as Lady Russell, which wasn't the Gilbert and Sullivan spirit at all. Still, a brutal character.


You are a hell of a writer, Jake. And you have courage. It is hard to ask challenging questions in front of a (presumably) hostile audience, to a teacher that you know personally.

Your former professor's words and actions makes it clear that he is an ideologue, without regard for the facts.

As for the children with tetanus, with the uncovered (vs. dirtily covered) injection sites, it is not clear if there was any local reaction, but Thimerosal can cause a severe local reaction in sensitive individuals. In any case, what an absurd reach, to blame the parents for that.

Wow, direct injection of tetanus spores- we probably haven't even done that to laboratory animals. An interesting chapter in history that I never knew about.

Jenny Allan

Oh John!!
"the police decide to let the pirates go when they claim to be all members of the House of Lords."

These days the UK Government 'House of Lords' IS full of pirates!!

Vax unpopulis

It's guilt - we GIVE our kids these vaccines. Some of us shake it off and get positive - others can't fathom they were part of injuring their child - however innocently - which at this point - full vaccination per the AAP/CDC schedule without caution is steaming full speed ahead into potential catastrophe. It's reckless.


It's rather stunning to know that Professor Willrich had no knowledge that Offit was so involved in the approval of the vaccine that damaged his own son. And, when you brought it to his attention he seemed rather disinterested. I don't get his attitude.

Great article. Well written. I was riveted throughout.

Looking forward to the next article Jake.

John Stone

Ah! The fabulous Barnes collection!

It will be recalled in that in the Pirates of Penzance the police decide to let the pirates go when they claim to be all members of the House of Lords.

Well done Jake.

Not an MD

Wow, Jake! That was a breathtaking and very interesting article. Thank you for writing it. How positively eerie that Barnes died the year Offit was born. They sure are two birds of a feather. Anyone believe in reincarnation? Regardless, it is wild how H.K. Mulford became Merck. Fascinating.

Wade Rankin

The Albert Barnes and Paul Offitts of the world always have counted on the fact that most people would rather turn their gaze away--perhaps saying that they're trying to find their briefcase--than face the truth looking them in the eye.

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