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Sharyl Attkisson: Questions Surrounding Pediatrics Review of Challenged Vaccine-Autism Study

Outline Of Significant Developments In The Recent Revelations On Vaccine Safety Research Corruption

Health Choice SquareFrom HealthChoice.org: Here is a summation of the events of the #CDCwhistleblower story as it began in Autism.

8/8/14 – Dr. Brian Hooker publishes an article in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration entitled Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data. The paper concludes that a second look at the data used in the 2002 CDC MMR/autism study Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan atlanta, finds that there is a significant association between giving the MMR vaccine to black males under the age of 3 and the development of autism. This association was not reported in the initial CDC study.

8/18/14 – A video is released on the internet with audio purported to be discussions between Dr. Brian Hooker and CDC senior research scientist and one of the original MMR paper's authors, Dr. William Thompson. The video claims that Thompson told Hooker in phone conversations that the research team found the association between vaccines and autism, and then changed the parameters of the study to get rid of the association, so they would not have to report it to the public. In the audio Thompson expresses great shame and remorse for “lying” and for going along with what the “higher-ups wanted.”

The autism and vaccine injury communities were outraged at the disclosure, and discussions on the matter began to flood the blogesphere and appear on social media under #CDCwhistleblower. More quotes by Thompson are released on the internet.

A sample of the Thompson quotes:

"Oh my God, I did not believe that we did what we did, but we did. It’s all there… This is the lowest point in my career, that I went along with that paper. I have great shame now when I meet families of kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem."

"We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.”

8/25/14 – CDC releases a statement on their web site confirming that the study parameters were changed and that there were two sets of children studied. One was all the children initially recruited for the study, the other was a subset of children who had Georgia birth certificates. The statement also confirmed that a higher association was found between MMR and autism in children given the vaccine before the age of 3.

8/27/14 – Dr. William Thompson releases a statement through his whistleblower attorneys confirming the claims made about him and about the paper. He expresses regret that he and his colleagues omitted statistically significant data on vaccine/autism risk, he confirms that it was he on the audio speaking to Dr. Hooker on the phone, and he states that he is providing information to Congressman Bill Posey and will continue to cooperate with Congress on the matter.

8/27/14 – The Journal Translational Neurodegeneration removes the Hooker article from its web site with the following statement, “This article has been removed from the public domain pending further investigation because the journal and publisher believe that its continued availability could cause public harm. Definitive editorial action will be taken once our investigation is complete.” The Journal then fell under criticism from members of the public who claimed that Translational Neurodegeneration did not follow its own research review policies in removing the article.

8/29/14 – More audio of Thompson is released in a video in which he discusses the firm belief inside the CDC that mercury in vaccines can cause tics, and should never be given to pregnant women. It includes Thompson saying that, “There is biologic plausibility right now to say that, Thimerosal causes autism-like features.”

8/28/14 – Reporter Sharyl Attkisson investigates the story and reports that, “A spokesman for the journal Pediatrics today said the publication stands by the study despite the news. “There’s a standard process that journals follow when an article is questioned,” said the spokesman. “Those discussions took place between the editors of Pediatrics and the authors of this study, and the editors concluded the research was appropriately conducted.” Pediatrics is published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which accepts vaccine industry funding.”

Further, Attkisson reports that, “The Director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office, Dr. Frank DeStefano, is a co-author of the now-questioned study which has been widely-cited to dispel an MMR-autism link. DeStefano is frequently quoted as an expert who debunks vaccine-autism ties.

I stand by the research and the conclusions in our 2004 paper, and I’ll reiterate that the evidence, thus far, the weight of the evidence, is against a causal association between vaccines and autism,” DeStefano told me in a telephone interview this week.

8/29/14 – Sharyl Attkisson issues a second report on the story, this time reporting that, “In a statement, Thompson implies his CDC employer and colleagues have not always been forthright with the public about vaccine safety issues. But DeStefano argues their final analysis produced more valid results.”

Attkisson also includes the complete audio with her interview with DeStefano, which includes his statement that, “at 36 months, an exposure around that time period is just not biologically plausible to have a causal association with autism.”

09/2/14 – Atkisson issues a third report, highlighting a seeming reversal from DeStephano “biologically implausible” stance and an admission that they are not looking for cases where vaccines can or have caused autism:

“A coauthor of the questioned study is Dr. Frank DeStefano, Director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office. In a telephone interview last week, DeStefano defended the study and reiterated the commonly accepted position that there’s no “causal” link between vaccines and autism.

But he acknowledged the prospect that vaccines might rarely trigger autism.

I guess, that, that is a possibility,” said DeStefano. “It’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, individual cases can be studied to look at those possibilities.”

DeStefano is the head of the CDC Immunization Safety Office, so it would have been his job to look for cases of vaccine induced autism. This facts seems lost on DeStefano.

9/8/14 - Ben Swann reports that Congressman Posey's office confirmed that Thompson has turned over a "very large number" of documents.

9/10/14 - Atkisson's fourth installment reports that it appears that Pediatrics issued a statement standng by the DeStephano study, with out following its own ethical guidelines and contacting Thompson, but merely contacting those authors on the paper who are accused of malfeasance  



9/14/2014- The journal's page with Dr Hooker's article does have a disclaimer about the findings /reviewers being valid and the publisher cautions the readers that the findings be used with caution.

Nevertheless, the full article's link is listed & working.

This suggests to me that the paper will not be retracted and if it is - might be for valid reasons or, following some Wakefield - like circus, would indicate that the study has high significance. The fact that Thompson corroborated Hooker's study/findings works to his advantage and it's part of the public record. So legally, I fail to see how it would be retracted.

Finally, Hooker's published frequently and has a solid CV.

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