"I wish I knew more about that particular instance."
The excuses are wearing thin. Here is a transcript of the remarks of Thomas Insel, National Institute of Mental Health director, regarding the whistleblowing activities of Centers for Disease Control employee William Thompson at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting two days ago (view video here.):
“Again this is not for the IACC since that committee is not here in full. This is not a meeting to decide anything we are going to do in regard to policy and I wish I knew more about that particular instance. I don’t. I can tell you that the 2004 PEDIATRICS paper was one of about fourteen papers in the IOM [Institute of Medicine] review and there have been another multiple papers since then that have weighed in on this all of which the IOM have said in 2011 are consistent with not finding a relationship between vaccination and autism. What the IOM doesn’t say and what nobody has said in a way that I find intelligible (?) is that there could still be the rare cases in which that could occur and what we need to think about is how one would investigate that if that were the case.”
What, of course, Insel does is respond as a bureaucrat, not a scientist. He tells you the IOM have rubber stamped 14 epidemiological studies, therefore the matter is decided. Apart from anything else even if the studies were not corrupt (and they all have a very similar line of patronage to the DeStefano study) it would not be enough to say that vaccines only rarely cause autism. It is not only because correlation does not equal causation - as they keep on reminding us - but because you could have tens of thousands of cases and they might not register as statistically significant. However, if you look at the way in which these studies were botched together it is apparent that the effects were so gross that they could only disguise them by fraud. DeStefano 2004 is only exceptional in that it has been admitted by Thompson and not denied by DeStefano (the latter in two interviews with Sharyl Attkisson ), but actually it is just typical of what they were doing in all of them as Lyn Redwood told Insel at the meeting.
It could not be a more perfect example of how policy and the bureaucratic process defy hard reality. In this case Insel is waving around the fourteen year old stitch up (well documented) in which the CDC hires the IOM and IOM hires the CDC back, the package having already been agreed (the ultimate back-scratching operation). To quote from the transcript the IOM closed door meeting of January 2001 in preparation for the review:
Dr. McCormick: ...[CDC] wants us to declare, well, these things are pretty safe on a population basis.
Dr. Stratton: ...The point of no return, the line we will not cross in public policy is pull the vaccine, change the schedule. We could say it is time to revisit this, but we would never recommend that level. Even recommending research is recommendations for policy. We wouldn't say compensate, we wouldn't say pull the vaccine, we wouldn't say stop the program.
Dr. McCormick: ...we are not ever going to come down that [autism] is a true side effect...
It was a cold-blooded (and blatant) fraud from its inception but even today Insel presents it as the prime support for the policy. He is playing the idiot, although I doubt that that is what he is.
We have all sorts of different narratives going on but this is the simplest. In 2000-2001 the agencies all got their heads together, they knew already that they had screwed up big time over vaccines and brain injury – it was only a matter of how they were going to cover up, and they worked assiduously at it. After that they just had to string everyone along on the basis of authority till doomsday, and beyond (like all good frauds).
However, when Insel reverts to the IOM review he demonstrates his weakness.
John Stone is UK Editor for Age of Autism.