Seth Mnookin Censors CDC, Tries Schmoozing Rob Schneider
Believe it or not, vaccine industry spokesman Seth Mnookin blocked me on Twitter from responding to his tweets, not for citing anything from Age of Autism, but for citing – of all sources – the CDC. Linking to a recent CDC media release, Seth Mnookin decided to take advantage of the ongoing pertussis epidemic in Washington State to advance his own agenda, by tweeting:
9 deaths so far in largest pertussis outbreak in 50 yrs; unvac'd kids 8x higher risk for infection, says CDC. http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0719_pertussis_epidemic.html
Mnookin was apparently paraphrasing the CDC's Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the agency's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who cited the elevated risk, but in that same quote, exonerated people who weren’t vaccinated:
"However, we don't think those exemptors are driving this current wave."
When I responded to Seth Mnookin's tweet with the exact, above quote by Dr. Schuchat, he blocked me from being able to respond to any more of his tweets. In effect, he censored the information that would not serve his agenda, even though it came from the CDC, not from any of his designated “anti-vaccine activists.”
It all started when I opened my new Twitter account; I had stepped into a heated battle between Rob Schneider and Seth Mnookin. This exchange started with a blog post written by Seth Mnookin responding to a comment Schneider left underneath an article Mnookin wrote for a GE-owned site called “Txchnologist.” On that site, Mnookin lambasted HuffPo for re-posting a news segment of Schneider speaking out against a state law in California aimed at requiring doctor's consent for children to forgo a vaccination.
Mnookin's blog post urged Schneider to read books by millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, linking to a page on Offit's vaccine indoctrination center saying an infant can receive as many as 10,000 vaccines at one time. Mnookin also cited the IOM's latest report attempting to white-wash the vaccine-autism link and asked Schneider if he would like to speak to families of children who died of whooping cough, even though the current outbreak is not driven by vaccine exemptors as even the CDC admits. Seth Mnookin then tweeted the blog post to Rob Schneider on Twitter, provocatively boasting:
A pt-by-pt rebuttal to @robschneider 's comments on my @txchnologist piece about his anti-science lunacy http://ht.ly/ckqPp
Then Rob Schneider called Mnookin out:
@sethmnookin You have to attack and call names. Yet you won't admit that Children get irreparable harm from vaccines.
Mnookin then tried to schmooze Schneider by offering him a free copy of his book “Panic Virus.”
@robschneider I'd love to send you a copy of my book - this is a totally heartfelt offer. you can DM me if you'd like one.
So I decided to leave some tweets of my own to Schneider, which among other things, told him of Seth Mnookin's forced removal of me from his lecture last December when I tried asking him a question, and also described his friend Paul Offit telling me to “Get the fuck out of here! Piece of shit!”
Rob Schneider re-tweeted both of those tweets to his 80,000+ followers, who now know what Paul Offit said to me last April and that Seth Mnookin threw me out of his speaking engagement. Despite later claiming he played no role in my ejection and that he probably would have preferred that I'd stayed, Seth Mnookin blocked me from responding to him on Twitter after I reminded him of CDC's admission that vaccine exemptions were not behind the whooping cough outbreak in Washington State. This fact would not serve the special interests of vaccine manufacturers well, or those of Seth Mnookin either, apparently.
Seth Mnookin’s obnoxious censorship of me on Twitter was far outweighed by a delightful DM exchange I had with Rob Schneider, who taught me a very wise quote by the late M. Scott Peck, who told Schneider:
"If the Devil exists he is saying, 'Don't make waves!'"
I thanked Rob Schneider for making waves. He replied, “You too, pal!”
HuffPo did not at all side with Rob Schneider in his denunciation of the California law, and in fact attempted to mock him. In particular, HuffPo seemed to get a kick out of the fact that Schneider said the California state law was “against the Nuremberg Laws” (formally known as the Nuremberg Code). They are international laws; they are still in effect and apply to every UN member state. The United States is no exception.
So what was Seth Mnookin's problem? Well, the sheer fact that HuffPo mocked Rob Schneider. The title of Mnookin's Txchnologist piece speaks for itself:
Vaccine Denialism Isn’t Funny, So Why Does HuffPost Give Rob Schneider A Forum?
I guess Seth Mnookin does not agree with millionaire vaccine industrialist Paul Offit, who proudly proclaimed while patting himself on the back for his appearance on Stephen Colbert's show:
“Nothing dismisses an argument better than humor.”
Even stranger is that there is probably no better example of a website that has gone from providing a forum of open debate to becoming just another dumping ground for vaccine industry talking points than The Huffington Post. Ever since Arianna Huffington hired former cbsnews.com executive editor Neil Katz to become HuffPo's executive news editor last summer, HuffPo has censored vaccine safety information. While at CBS, Katz posted a gallery full of talking points co-opted by Seth Mnookin, wrote an article defending the vaccine-autism scandal and worked alongside Dr. Jon LaPook, the vaccine industry-tied HuffPo blogger and CBS Evening News Chief Medical Correspondent.
CBS Evening News is now anchored by Scott Pelley, who co-chairs the International Rescue Committee’s Overseers while the group's board of directors includes a top Pfizer executive. Similarly, Dr. Jon LaPook previously edited the Journal of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons where Dr. Michael Gershon – husband of Merck chicken pox vaccine developer Dr. Anne Gershon – was listed as a contributing writer. Since Pelley took over as anchor and his predecessor Katie Couric joined ABC, not a single report on vaccine safety has been produced by CBS investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.
After joining HuffPo, Neil Katz hired one of his old CBS colleagues, former WebMD writer David Freeman, to be the “Senior Science Editor” of HuffPo's new “Science” section, which includes a column by Seth Mnookin himself. Working under Freeman is an employee named Cara Santa Maria who currently works as HuffPo's “Science Correspondent” and just recently posted a HuffPo videocast interviewing and lauding Mnookin. In the meantime, I contacted HuffPo's head of media relations, Mario Ruiz, asking him how he can claim the website still values varied opinions when it clearly does not, I received no reply.
But all this was not good enough for sore winner Seth Mnookin, who seems to think he is not only entitled to telling media outlets to shill for the vaccine industry, but also how to shill for that industry. Yet there is seemingly no limit to Mnookin's sense of entitlement in telling the media how and what to report about the vaccine-autism controversy, given that he will censor the CDC's position on the whooping cough outbreak in Washington State on top of all the lying and censoring he has done already.
Without question, the fact that vaccine exemptions are not driving the whooping cough epidemic could not well serve the interests of the vaccine industry front group run by Alison Singer, whose mother-in-law is colleagues with Seth Mnookin's uncle, Robert Mnookin. I guess it is no surprise that Seth Mnookin would censor a U.S. federal agency - CDC.
Seth Mnookin has no need for Uncle Sam; he's got Uncle Pharma.
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 and currently attends The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services where he is studying for an MPH in epidemiology.
Ah, yes, that wonderful whooping cough vaccine:
"New studies published in prominent medical journals have called into question the 85 percent efficacy quoted in the vaccine’s package inserts. For example, one study by scientists at Kaiser Permanente found vaccine effectiveness in Marin County in 2010 to be between 24 and 79 percent for children 2 to 18....Of particular concern was the number of cases in California occurring in fully vaccinated children 7 through 10 years of age. For cases in which immunization history was known, more than 80 percent of the children in that age group diagnosed with pertussis had been fully vaccinated, according to an analysis of state data."
Posted by: Carol | August 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Jeff c ..you notice the changes in tact from the ex Junkie cronies of Mookin when they all say well ,have another it will make you better ,even although the first made you ill..
Pushers..nothings changed for Mookin still in the same business..
Posted by: Angus Files | August 10, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Keep up the great work Jake ..had a look at a few of the othersides (dark side web sites) and they look very desperate as what to do with AOA and yourself and others that write on here...you will probably hate me for saying this but your winning..and will win along with AOA
Thanks from the UK
Posted by: Angus Files | August 10, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Regarding the nine infant pertussis deaths this year, of course it is a terrible tragedy for those families. However, none of these articles point out there were 3 million births in the US during this same period. This hysteria is being driven by a pertussis mortality rate of 1 death for every 330,000 births.
Yet 1 death per 1000 births from SIDS is dismissed as normal, just one of those unexplained mysteries of life. These people have no shame.
Posted by: Jeff C | August 10, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Despite the efforts of Mnookin and his cronies, the general public understands the vaccinated are still getting pertussis. Fortunately, there are some doctors and public health officials out there honest enough to point out this inconvenient and obvious fact.
Have you noticed the latest meme? They acknowledge the vaccinated can still get pertussis, but are now claiming it is likely to be much less severe if you have been vaccinated. I've seen this repeated countless times in articles over the last month, almost certainly the result of a coordinated change in tack by the vaccine lobby. Supporting documentation? None. Studies cited? None. Anecdotal evidence? None.
Just another in a long string of recent pertussis pronouncements from on high without any basis whatsoever. It suddenly became safe to routinely vaccinate pregnant women despite zero safety studies and statements in the package insert to the contrary. Vaccine "cocooning" of family members became a necessity despite no proof of effectiveness and suspension of the practice in Australia. We are also seeing suggestions that kids get boosters every three years. No explanation of why this fully tested and licensed vaccine doesn't seem to work. No explanation of how repeating something ineffective makes it effective. This from the "evidenced based" community, funny how all their solutions involve moving more product.
Posted by: Jeff C | August 10, 2012 at 03:20 PM
"he censored the information that would not serve his agenda, even though it came from the CDC"
What could more positively confirm Mnookin's allegiance to pharma (via his familial ties to pharma front group Autism Science Foundation)?
Posted by: ASF's Ex-Junkie Rehabilitation Program | August 10, 2012 at 09:46 AM
There have ALWAYS been outbreaks of Whooping cough, it is no different now than it ever was. It is a bacteria. One can be a carrier and display symptoms more than once...Simplistically, think of it like strep throat...which, BTW there is an outbreak of strep across the country as well.
The point is, the only reason that Whooping cough is being acknowledged as Whooping Cough, is that it is being tested and confirmed in the lab. In the past, pediatricians never tested for whooping cough because they just assumed it could not be..(.there was a vaccine for it and of course ALL vaccines work). Why is it being tested? Well, what an easy way to make more money without having to do anything at all but make more product? First it was 4 DTaP shots, then 5, now they are going to 6. The newest marketing strategy is to give it to teenagers and adults. Just think. All that money coming in to big Pharma (doubled their money using nothing but marketing). Instead of admitting the vaccine does not work against pertussis, they make more money by selling another round!
Posted by: obamacare10,000vaccinesforeveryonepaidforbyYOU | August 10, 2012 at 08:34 AM
My daughter was vaccinated with the old, more powerful DPT shot and yet when the whooping cough came around to her nusery school she got a bad case of it. My son who was not vaccinated because we were spooked by the possibility of vaccine caused death did not get whooping cough. I didn't get it either nor my husband and neither one of us were vaccinated. It's true that some kids who weren't vaccinated got it but a lot of kids who were did as well. Parents can vaccinate their kids but there is no guarantee that if the bug comes around their kids won't get it. The proof as they say is in the pudding.
Posted by: Kapoore | August 09, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Nice work Jake, as usual.
I personally have to wonder about this supposed new outbreak of whooping cough. The media has been doing its usual full court press on the issue, which for me is ALWAYS good reason to be skeptical.
Fear mongering articles are now everywhere, and this exerpt from one of them pretty much reflects the prevailing journalistic standard:
" Reported cases of pertussis are at their highest level in 50 years, a top official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, adding that outbreaks in several states should encourage all children and adults to get vaccinated..."
Although this all sounds quite ominous, a closer look raises interesting questions:
" Reported cases of pertussis......" - shouldn't this be confirmed cases ???
" at their highest level in 50 years...." - how come EVERY time the CDC reports on something, it's the worst they've seen in several decades ???
" a top official with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday..." - really, a top CDC official who chose to remain nameless ???
" adding that outbreaks in several states should encourage all children and adults to get vaccinated..." - And here it all ends, try to form, with what this and every other main-stream media article is REALLY all about.
I personally don't believe that we're in the midst of a pertussis outbreak. Just like I no longer believe that there are flu seasons every fall.
For the past few years, I've watched the public grow ever more skeptical of the value of flu shots. The swine flu fiasco dealt a tremendous blow to the CDC's credibility, and I've often wondered what strategy they'd come up with, to keep poisoning us with vaccines in spite of the public's growing distrust of their flu shots.
I think I just got my answer.
Posted by: Barry | August 09, 2012 at 07:27 PM
There is only ONE thing that prevents those who insist they have "science on their side" .. such as .. Seth Mnookin or Paul Offit .. from seeking every opportunity to engage in public debate with those who strongly disagree with their "science" .. and .. that ONE thing .. is outright FEAR.
As an example of someone who is unafraid of "science" .. I would urge everyone to read Dr. Paul King's excellent response .. to a July article in Forbes magazine titled: "Vaccine Safety: Why Parents' Alternative Immunization Schedules May Cause Harm" written by Dr. Steven Salsberg.
This excellent response could just as easily have been written to refute Seth's moronic "tweet" that ... "9 deaths so far in largest pertussis outbreak in 50 yrs; unvac'd kids 8x higher risk for infection, says CDC."
In any event .. at the conclusion of Dr. King's response to the Forbes article .. unlike Seth Mnookin or Paul Offit .. Dr King welcomes and respectfully requests Dr. Salsberg to respond .. should he find ANY reason to challenge the science as presented by Dr King.
As far as I know .. Dr. King's "challenge" to Dr. Salsberg remains .. "unanswered".
I am not surprised.
Posted by: Bob Moffitt | August 09, 2012 at 05:14 PM
There is such a reporter.
But I know what you mean -- Front page news on the Washington Post or headline news on the news hour of a major syndicated something.
Nothern Kentucky and Lexington Kentucky had a pertusis outbreak four or so years back. OF course it blamed the vaccination rates were down.
If only that were true.
My friend had her grandson in one of the preschool classrooms that some of the kids actually came down with whooping cough.
Even though her grandson was fully vaccinated - he and the entire classroom was given antibiotics as a precaution.
I think it is because it is a new strain that the vaccine does not cover.
And they know it!
After all the heads of the NIH and all are trying to crack down on antibiotics being given for anything.
Posted by: Benedetta | August 09, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Ineffective vaccines, frozen vaccines, lying teams virologists and marketers, an ex-junkie PR hire running amok on the Internet... Would you buy food from these people?
Posted by: nhokkanen | August 09, 2012 at 01:58 PM
I actually had a doctor (recently) suggest that my son's cough (with nothing else to go on!) might be pertussis! No lab work, less than five minutes with the child, no reason to single out "might be pertussis" except to maybe, oh, I don't know: PUSH THE VAX?
My DH seemed all up in arms, OMG!, what have we done, WE FAILED to get the "booster shot," until I pointed out that: we had no reason to believe our son had pertussis, the cough was going away, and he had been vaccinated for it before, which apparently did no good.
As far as a booster, it would be a moot point in any case, wouldn't it, since IF he had pertussis, then he was now creating his own immunity to the actual disease.
Hubby made one last try: "Well, we could protect others. . ."
No, wrong again, hubby dear, because IF it was pertussis and IF anyone had been exposed to our child already and IF they were close enough to catch it and IF they weren't healthy enough and IF they came down with symptoms and IF they saw a doctor and IF they needed antibiotics--OMG, antibiotics!--THEN, BIG DEAL--they were no worse off than our son had been for a week or so. No more!
And there was no reason to call it pertussis, but I wonder if our doc reported it to the CDC as pertussis! Another case of pertussis. . .diagnosed on absolutely nothing.
Infants? We haven't been around any for years. And if I had a baby, I'd have the common sense to keep my baby away from anyone coughing--for any reason!--DUH! Oh, yeah, I did do that.
Keep rubbing those two brain cells together, people, or else listen to those of us who still can!
p.s. Added bonus? Anyone reasonably healthy, and casually exposed to my son's cough, who didn't get sick is probably busy building antibodies against whatever he had--brilliant, right?--so they themselves will be somewhat immune to future exposures without actually getting sick and without getting the shot.
Posted by: Terri Lewis | August 09, 2012 at 12:39 PM
What is this..UK bans mention of autism/mmr connection
Posted by: barbara j | August 09, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Thanks, Jake and also Rob Schneider! It's not easy being an honest soul in a sea of sharks. This is not new with Pertussis ---
Acellular pertussis vaccination enhances B. parapertussis colonization
....vaccination led to a 40-fold enhancement of B. parapertussis colonization in the lungs of mice.....these data suggest that the vaccine may be contributing to the observed rise in whooping cough incidence over the last decade by promoting B. parapertussis infection.
An acellular whooping cough vaccine actually enhances the colonization of Bordetella parapertussis in mice; pointing towards a rise in B. parapertussis incidence resulting from acellular vaccination, which may have contributed to the observed increase in whooping cough over the last decade.
Despite widespread vaccination, whooping cough incidence is on the rise worldwide, making it the only vaccine-preventable disease associated with increasing deaths in the United States. Although this disease is most often attributed to Bordetella pertussis infection, it is also caused by the closely related pathogen, B. parapertussis. However, B. pertussis has remained the center of attention, whereas B. parapertussis has been greatly overlooked in the development of whooping cough vaccines.
Number of whooping cough cases on the rise in La Crosse Co.
LA CROSSE, Wis.- There's a big jump in the number of whooping cough cases in the La Crosse area and health officials are expecting more as it spreads.
There are 12 confirmed cases so far this year. To put that in perspective, in 2009 there were only 2 cases throughout the entire year.
Health officials say the cases of whooping cough this time around are somewhat unusual.
"Unfortunately the cases that we've had have been immunized and so we're not really sure how it's being spread so well and so fast, but we are investigating that right now," says La Crosse Co. Public Health Nurse Traci Lien.
Whooping cough outbreak puzzles Lincoln officials
"Whooping cough has reached outbreak status in Lincoln County..There have been 25 cases...23 of them coming from the school...Since all students are required to be vaccinated against the disease before they can attend school and even a single case is considered uncommon, health and school officials are baffled by the outbreak at the school."
More kids' hospital doctors get whooping cough
The hospital says the doctors have contracted the infection despite keeping their vaccinations up to date.
Dr Brian Wheatley, from the hospital, concedes vaccination is not always effective.
accinated People Getting Whooping Cough In San Diego:
SAN DIEGO — A KPBS investigation has raised questions about how effective the whooping cough vaccine is in preventing people from getting sick. Nearly two out of three people diagnosed with whooping cough in San Diego County this year, were fully immunized.
California is in the midst of the worst whooping cough epidemic in 50 years. Thirty six hundred people in the state have been diagnosed with the disease. Eight babies have died since January.
KPBS examined data from San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency. Of the 332 confirmed cases of whooping cough in the county so far this year, 197 of the people who got sick were up to date with their immunizations. That's nearly 2 out of 3 cases.
Mainstream study out of the Netherlands:
Reemergence of Pertussis in the
Highly Vaccinated Population of
the Netherlands: Observations on
"The increase in pertussis incidence was higher among vaccinated than among unvaccinated persons of all ages."
Even those fully vaccinated can still get whooping cough, health official says
TERRE HAUTE — Those fully vaccinated for whooping cough can still get the disease, says an epidemiologist with the Indiana State Department of Health.
“We do see cases of kids appropriately vaccinated who still get the disease,” said Angie Cierzniewski, a state vaccine preventable disease epidemiologist.
A Clay County woman knows first-hand that a pertussis vaccination doesn’t eliminate the possibility of someone getting pertussis, also known as whooping cough.
The woman, who did not want her name used, said four children in her family became infected with the disease, and the child that first developed it — her 4-year-old — did have the required doses for her age.
She said two of her children had the required number of doses, a 2-year-old was not vaccinated because of low immunity and other reasons and the oldest, an 8-year-old, was lacking one of the required doses of the vaccination.
The Clay County woman said health authorities had incorrect information that her children contracted the disease because they were not immunized. She wants people to realize they can contract the disease even if they are immunized. “I feel the public may have a false sense of security,” she said.
Charlotte Observer article ADMITS all 16 whooping cough cases WERE vaccinated
Rare cough on rise in area
Gaston County public health officials fight outbreak of whooping cough; 16 cases reported since August
Excerpt from article:
So far, all the reported pertussis cases in Gaston have been people who have had the vaccination for the disease, Hawkins said.
Posted by: Love Jake and Rob! | August 09, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Rob Schneider is just a decent human being as many celebrities are. However, he had the balls to take a vocal stand and for that I am personally grateful. I am also grateful to you for diving into the debate and making the powers that be uncomfortable. They thing if they are dismissive enough that they can discredit the validity of the TRUTH.
Now, if we could find just one popular journalist to take and honest, unbiased look into the vaccine debate. Actually read Brian Deer point by point response to Wakefield's lawsuit. To LOOK at the "safety" studies of vaccines and who funds them. To read the studies that have backed the MMR findings. To read the studies about autism in monkeys given the standard US schedule. To read the surveys of vaccinated vs unvaccinated health from Germany (because they will NEVER do one here). Then compare them to the studies the vaccine proponents hold up as science like "safety" studies where MOST vaccine's safety was determined by a placebo that was identical to the vaccine, mercury, aluminum and all....just minus the virus. Of course the reactions between the vaccine and the placebo are the same! There was no actual placebo! Why can't a reporter take the time to REALLY dive into it with passion and open mindedness???? They might just have the story of a lifetime. Because any person who does just that comes out on our side. EVERY TIME.
Posted by: Tricia | August 09, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Seth Mnookin calls for censorship, yet he would be screaming if he were ever to be censored. Offit OPINES through faulty, illogical conjecture that an infant can safely receive 10,000 vaccines at once, later revises that figure upward to 100,000 vaccines on a whim, and that is SCIENCE to Mnookin, and to all the other indoctrinated, well paid, Pharma talking head doctors and lobbyists. Well, sorry, but that is not SCIENCE to anyone with at least two neurons in their head that function. Sorry for the use of capital letters, aka screaming, but this whole censorship thing is a disgrace to anyone who believes in the value of the scientific method, which involves observation. We parents observe a lot more about our children than any doctor at any rushed 15 minute "well baby" examination, and we always will. Those observations should never be discounted or marginalized by an industry, their paid whores, or by any media outlets.
Here is my favorite quote from Buddha, "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if i have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
Posted by: Not an MD | August 09, 2012 at 09:34 AM
Its not what you know, its your connection to Big Pharma that places you in a position to protect their interests, like Seth Mnookin.
Posted by: Victor Pavlovic | August 09, 2012 at 09:16 AM
So glad you're on our side, Jake! Please never stop.
Posted by: Zed | August 09, 2012 at 08:40 AM
Thanks for delving into the CBS situation. Guess we shouldn't anticipate any further reporting on vaccines from Sharly Attkisson. That's disappointing.
It's amazing the relationships that exist among these people. And if people think those relationships don't matter they are kidding themselves.
Keep up the good work.
Posted by: Andrea | August 09, 2012 at 06:36 AM