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Gerberding Reported 36,000 Influenza-related Deaths Under Oath in 2004

Julie gerberding Gerberding gave the figure of 36,000 influenza related deaths under oath to the House of Representatives in 2004

By John Stone

Following David Burd’s revelation in AoA the other day that the CDC have quietly reduced the estimate of the number of annual  flu related deaths by an order of magnitude, it is interesting to recall that in the 2004 the then CDC boss (now head of Merck’s vaccine division), Julie Gerberding, testified to the House of Representatives on this matter. As Ed Yazbak noted in Red Flags in 2006:

“Testifying before the committee on government reform of the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 12, 2004, CDC Director Julie L. Gerberding, MD, carefully stated that "CDC scientists estimate that an average of 36,000 people die from influenza-related complications each year in the United States."

But as Yazbak also remarked:

“It is not clear how the specific statistic - 36,000 American deaths a year "on average" - was formulated or from what sources it was derived. It seems to have just suddenly appeared, like a rabbit from a top hat. It certainly could have been any other number of thousands of cases. After all, what are a few thousand deaths up or down?”

Evidently, providing scientists estimate something it does not actually matter how they do it, and possibly Gerberding could truthfully say they had estimated it although the methodology may have remained obscure, and was certainly unexplained.  On the other hand if the figure had just been “made up” because it suited somebody then perhaps the truthfulness of Gerberding’s statement could still be questioned.

In the UK we have had a similar problem with Department of Health apparently bandying around arbitrary and made up figures with such pronouncements over the years as:

"According to Department of Health figures, flu contributes to over 25,000 excess winter deaths every year and thousands of people are hospitalised due to serious complications."


"Ordinary flu occurs every year during the winter months in the UK. It affects 10-15% of the UK population, causing around 12,000 deaths every year."


"Even during a winter where the incidence of flu is low, 3-4000 deaths may be attributed to 'flu; this can rise much higher in epidemic years, for example there were an estimated 13,000 deaths in 1993 which were attributable to 'flu and 29,000 in 1989/90."

However, all this seems to have come unstuck on Christmas Eve 2009 when a challenged out-going Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, posted in BMJ Rapid Responses the information that an:

"… estimate of ‘flu deaths is found in the annual mortality statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics. These statistics record the underlying cause of death. They are based on all registered deaths, based on the information on death certificates. The number of deaths for England & Wales with an underlying cause of influenza (ICD-10 code J10-J11) for the four recent calendar years are: 39 (2008), 31 (2007), 17 (2006) and 44 (2005)."

averaging out at just 33 deaths a year. Moreover, it should be noted that vaccine strain influenzas usually only account for a small fraction of flu-type illnesses.

But Donaldson et al  also had another intriguing method of calculating flu mortality which they favoured:

"The official estimate of influenza mortality is produced by the Health Protection Agency. It is derived from excess all-cause death registrations in the winter. When the number of all-cause death registrations rises above an ‘expected’ level in a given week, this excess is counted. The estimates for the last five years in England & Wales are: 1965 (2004-05 winter season), 0 (2005-06), 0 (2006-07), 426 (2007- 08), and 10351 (2008-09). The highest estimate in recent years was for the 1999-2000 ‘flu season, at 21,497."

It being the case that the annual for excess winter mortality must fluctuate at least slightly above or below the mean it is of course unavoidable that in many years you will get above average deaths. But they count the below average years as zero rather than posit that dead people are popping back to life. There are, of course, other factors that they seem not have considered for above average mortality such as particularly cold weather (presumably the reason why we get excess mortality in winter anyway). 






I've had the same thought. Why? Why is there such urgency to vaccinate when in years past the attitude was more casual. The threat of disease is less in the US.

Also, who, (beside Pharma) is behind the push to vaccinate? The WHO? Members of the WHO are known to have COI's with Pharma. This was exposed by an investigation of the WHO in Europe after H1N1.

I can help but think there's a covert agenda.


Sarah wrote: "... Just outrageous that CDC authorities can just throw out widely exaggerated numbers and noone hold them accountable. How do they get away with it? They chalk it up so called to "underreporting" which they have to compensate for..."


I think the most important question that people should be asking is...why?? Why does the CDC consistently make such egregious errors in their estimates of perceived health threats??? And WHY is the media so laxed when it comes to holding them accountable for those errors?

It's one thing to be conservative about a perceived threat, and make vaccine recommendations based on what you think that threat actually is. But what the CDC appears to be doing, is fabricating the threats on their own... just so they CAN respond with a recommendation to vaccinate.

WHY is the CDC so desperate to vaccinate the public, with vaccines that have been hastily prepared, when the threats has so obviously been fabricated ???

Cherry Sperlin Misra

This is so unfair- I just cant stand it. When I was a teenager, you got an E on a term paper if you wrote inaccurate information - and these guys get a pat on the back and a hot shot job at Merck or GSK as a reward. Thats the kind of lousy education we got in the Seattle School District in the 50's and 60's . I hope they are doing a better job of teaching statistics now. The world is one big global village now and there is a great deal to be learned from those in the international arena- like the employee of WHO who got a huge article published in the Times of India announcing that every one in 20 Indians is infected with Hepatitis B disease. Now , that, my friends is REAL statistics- You take the data for the adult male population of Taiwan and extrapolate it on to the entire population of India and bingo ! You've got some REAL statistics and a pat on the back and now the Minister of Health can put Hep B on the vaccine schedule.

John Stone

Thanks Sarah, good information - I have often written about this, recently here:

This is an old one and I can't promise you the links will work:

The real truth about the vaccine bonanza is always to be found in the financial columns.



More modest on numbers because the CDC's been called out publically for overestimating.

Beyond the numbers, the whole H1N1 pandemic was a fiasco. It appears that market forecasters are clairovoyant whne it comes to the flu. Two years before the outbreak, market forecasters (see UPI report below) were advising investors to invest in flu vaccine in the event of a flu pandemic. That was in 2007 two years before the H1N1 outbreak.

Feb 08, 2007

Global Vaccine Market To Top 23 Billion Dollars

$23.8 billion by 2012 - something else to say "Ouch" about.
by Steve Mitchell
UPI Senior Medical Correspondent
Washington (UPI) Feb 08, 2007

The global vaccine market is expected to top $10 billion this year and $23.8 billion by 2012, according to an analyst report released Friday. Pediatric vaccines have historically dominated this field, but adult vaccines will see a big spike due to increased uptake of influenza and hepatitis vaccines, predicts a report from Kalorama Information. Cancer vaccines will also become a major player in the vaccine market, rising from its current level of $135 million to more than $8 billion by 2012.

"We anticipate phenomenal growth in cancer vaccines," Bruce Carlson, the Kalorama Information editor who worked on the report, told United Press International.

Merck's cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil is paving the way for this sector. In addition to Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline's Cervarix, the report projects several other vaccines targeted at different cancers will become significant players.

"One of the bigger ones is Intracel's OncoVAX," Carlson said. "This will be alone in the colon cancer vaccine market," he added, noting that it will generate approximately $1.2 billion by 2012.

Prostate cancer will also be a significant opportunity. Cell Genesys' Gvax and Dendreon's Provenge will lead this area, which is anticipated to be worth $3.2 billion by 2012.

Another top runner is Merck KGaA's lung-cancer vaccine Stimuvax, which is expected to generate $699 million in sales by 2012, Carlson said.

Adult vaccines will rise from $3.7 billion (their total worth in 2005) to $7.5 billion in 2012. The report projects the combined global adult and pediatric vaccine markets will total $15 billion by 2012.

"The fastest growing segment in the adult vaccines area is influenza vaccines," Carlson said. "Hepatitis vaccines, with a projected growth rate of 8-9 percent, are the second fastest growing," he added.

Flu vaccines, which are forecasted to grow by 13.2 percent, will top $4 billion by 2012. The leading flu-vaccine manufacturers include Sanofi and Novartis.

Hepatitis vaccines are projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2012. The top-selling hepatitis B vaccine currently is GSK's Engerix-B.

Decision Resources analysts told UPI their analysis indicates influenza, HIV and cancer will be the biggest growth areas in the vaccine market.

"When you're talking about the overall vaccine market, I think the big interest is in influenza vaccines, HIV vaccines and cancer vaccines," said Aaron Woolsey, an analyst with Decision Resources.

The biggest growth in the flu-vaccine market will come in the area of vaccines for pandemics that could be caused by the H5N1 strain of bird flu.

"With avian flu, the interest in flu vaccine has picked up," Woolsey said.

A number of companies are developing vaccines against the H5N1 strain, including GSK, Sanofi, Novartis and Baxter.

For the regular annual flu vaccine, some companies are working on developing a multivalent vaccine that might protect individuals against five or six variants of flu strains rather than the three offered by current vaccines, Woolsey said. But the main thrust right now is in developing vaccines to protect against a flu pandemic

John Stone


This is very confusing territory and official figures/estimates seem to vary by the day, but it does seem as if they are getting more modest. That in itself is excellent news if it lasts, but they should not be able just to draw a line under earlier fabricated claims.



During the H1N1 plan-demic, the CDC estimated the H1N1 flu deaths to be in the 90,000+ range. Do you know what the true number is? 2837.

Shocking as this may sound (sarcasm), the CDC padded the number of 2009 H1N1 deaths nationwide by 8000 bringing the grand total to 10,837 even though the actual number of US deaths officially reported is 2837.

Check this link out (see pink box on right, scroll down to "additional CDC estimate"):

Furthermore, many of those who died of H1N1 were elderly and had underlying health conditions

Just outrageous that CDC authorities can just throw out widely exaggerated numbers and noone hold them accountable. How do they get away with it? They chalk it up so called to "underreporting" which they have to compensate for.


"If medical statistics were compiled by statisticians who had no interest in the outcome, the drug industry would topple in the dust".

(Robert Catalano,"The Great White Hoax").

John Stone


Yes, as far as we know, they just made up the figures: certainly in the UK.



Dr. Gerberding in now President of Merck Vaccines, the corporation she once was expected to regulate.


Although Dr. Gerberding has a new job title, the company she works for now is the same company she worked for she held her position at the CDC.


So, Let me get this straight???
They just make up numbers????

I have noticed that I can state a number or a percentage on the internet and no one seems to ask me where I got it.

It must be some psych thing and since I think the government does extensive work on how the minds of the population think --- they have zero in on this weakness.

So let me just suddenly say out of the blue that I have found that 92 percent of the population will believe anyone that quotes a number or a percentage as true.
And no one will ask me where I got that number.

Jeannette Bishop

Thanks, John Stone.

The public doesn't really seem to get science from the CDC, or math for that matter.

re the comment by Jenny, here's the link to Sharyl's investigation on H1N1 and flu reporting:;lst;7

80+ suspected cases were not flu at all, but the CDC stopped counting and said to assume all cases were swine flu, but of course still get the vaccine, both vaccines ideally, in case not.

And earlier from Evidence of Harm, Gerberding was the asked by Congressman Weldon why the CDC stopped tracking autism rates at the time thimerosal was supposedly removed from the schedule, and she said she would have to get back to him on that. Never heard that she did.

Would we be any worse off without the health agencies?


Former CDC Director, Dr. Julie Gerberding, discusses the Hanna Poling vaccine injury Case... 9 vaccines on the same day at 19 months of age...

The records for this "20 million dollar Vaccine Court case" were sealed of course...

Dr. Gerberding in now President of Merck Vaccines, the corporation she once was expected to regulate.


wondering why

Someone go to Occupy Wallstreet and show them the evidence of how the corperations are lying about such things in order to sell their product,, push their products and profit. It all ties in.


Compare such erroneous reporting from a high level government official to that of reporters like Sharyl Attkinson, who went out and tracked down information on whether those "flu-like" illness statistics were accurate. She's now been lambasted by the government for reporting on the "Fast and Furious" scandal. Maybe her employer would love to hear from the public about whether they appreciate her reporting style.


This is a trickle down lie...part of the culture.

The other day, my friend told me that when the flu vaccine came up her granddaughter's checkup, her pediatrician told the mother that she six kids in her pracice die of flu. Six!! They live in New York City.

I told my friend it sounds like this ped is trying to scare the mother. If six kids died of the flu in one practice that would be highly unusual. Meanwhile, my friend believes this BS b/c afterall this woman is a doctor.

These doctors have no shame.

John Stone

Yes Bob,

Not to mention the UK Department of Health and Health Protection Agency.


Bob Moffitt

Greg Dobbs .. formerly of HDnetTV .. recent post on AOA:

"I tried to interview any of “special masters” from the vaccine courts, some of whom had mocked the parents as “victims of bad science” with “reconstructed memories” and the doctors who supported them as guilty of “gross medical misjudgment.” One even wrote in a ruling rejecting a claim that she would have to emulate Lewis Carroll and “believe six impossible things before breakfast” before ruling in favor of the child."

If anyone deserves to be "mocked" by the special masters for "reconstructing memories, gross medical misjudgment or bad science" .. it is the CDC .. who .. over decades .. has grossly exaggerated claims of annual deaths caused by flu.

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