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A Reminder: Merck Strategy Chief, Former Vaccine President, Former CDC Chief told CNN Vaccines Cause Autism

Julie gerberding Managing Editor's Note: We ran this post in February, 2011. It seems Jan - Mar is the PR lead up to autism "awareness month" whereby Americans must be reminded (with a hammer to the head) that vaccine injury does not happen, nor is autism association with vaccination.  Dr. Paul Offit's books debut each winter like the Groundhog wriggling out of his grotto - Offit's goal of course is to protect vaccination while smearing autism and vaccine safety community members.  This year even Autism Speaks - The Blue Bomb of autism told Americans to vaccinate their children, amidst the measles hype.  

Dr. Julie Gerberding was the Head of the CDC. She left, and within a year, became President of the Vaccine Division for MERCK (makers of the MMRII and Gardasil vaccines.)  In December she received a promotion to Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health.    Read that title again. "Strategic communications." Think about the intense media hype around the 100+ cases of measles, a disease that was so common and non-threatening that TV sitcoms like The Brady Bunch and Married with Children poked fun at transmission.   Here's some strategic communication from our John Stone - it was Dr. Gerberding who...

It wasn’t Andrew Wakefield who said vaccines cause autism Mr Gates, it was Julie Gerberding…and she told Sanjay Gupta

By John Stone

“Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with the mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism."

Julie Gerberding, present head of Merck’s vaccine division speaking to Sanjay Gupta on the subject of the Hannah Poling case when she was still head of the Centers for Disease Control.

The one thing Sanjay Gupta’s interview with Bill Gates on Friday did not do was add to informed, intelligent discussion about vaccine safety. What we undoubtedly had was a commercial for Bill Gates’s global vaccine programme, and the repetition of a lot of unpleasant allegations about Andrew Wakefield which do not bear examination.  Perhaps the single point that he most has to answer if he wants to say that kind of thing is to explain how Wakefield could have changed data under the noses of 12 senior specialist/consultants, who then failed to say anything about it for 13 years or more, despite the continuing controversy. And by the way Gupta has to answer it too. Just because these things were claimed in a once respectable medical journal does not mean that they are remotely credible. What Gates says contradicts what Gerberding told Gupta, and what Wakefield told Gupta.  It was also not what he heard from John Poling (HERE ). So Gupta should not be sitting there like a block of wood saying nothing: it leads to mistrust.

Let’s just examine briefly the implications of what Gerberding said in that interview three years ago.  According to a CDC study from 2006 (HERE ) 33 out 1800 infants (nearly 2%) suffered a fever of 39.5 or higher, although there was no long term follow up. By now it is also established the mitochondrial dysfunction is a common feature in autistic children and much higher than in the general population (JAMA Mito Dysfunction in Autism ,  and Mitochondrial dysfunction can connect the diverse medical symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorders , Novel plasma phospholipid biomarkers of autism: mitochondrial dysfunction as a putative causative mechanismMitochondrial dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders: a population-based study ). Commonly adverse reactions are not monitored or investigated in any detail – it is left to families to bring legal actions – if they dare, or have the energy left. So actually we have no means of tracing the impact of vaccines on this issue. As Bernardine Healy, a former National Institute of Health director, warned on CBS news you cannot actually rule it out unless you study sub-groups (CBS News HERE ).

However, despite all the obstacles the US vaccine court has paid out more than $2b on MMR and DPT related claims since 1988 (HERE ), although claimants are well advised to stress neurological impairment rather than autism, which is a non-specific  psychiatric diagnosis  (HuffPo HERE ).

The most likely reading is that only a tiny percentage of cases ever get compensated, but even if they were the only cases Gates would be guilty of perpetuating a fairy story: on the best reading vaccines are only relatively safe, meanwhile the fact that they can cause autism has been conceded by the US government both on the legal and scientific front: a more pertinent question in the circumstances is “how often?”.

One thing I regret about Gates’s intervention is the blood libel against advocates of greater vaccine safety and caution: such events have not happened to his children so perhaps he should not really comment. Of course, it is very easy to design studies that do not find anything. Cochrane’s review of MMR sifted 5,000 studies, reviewed in detail 31 epidemiological studies (supposedly the best) and declared them to be “largely inadequate”, against which the failure to detect any connection between the vaccine and autism must be measured .  The bare faced hostility manifested against ordinary citizens reporting damage is suggestive of a bullying and unscientific attitude towards facts.

Gates has for long been reckoned one of the richest men in the world, and the most successful, if not the best, manufacturer of computer software. The success, above all, has been in making sure virtually everyone has to have his products. He now seems poised to try and repeat the success with vaccines, but unless he employs a lighter hand it is unlikely to be without much human damage.

John Stone is Contributing Editor for Age of Autism, in the UK.



Jeannette Bishop

I'm in the middle of reading Plague... right now and I've been thinking, if the disorders that make one susceptible to vaccine injury are in the first place due to a vaccine contaminant, it tacks "Vaccines can cause children (or their progeny) to become susceptible to autism" onto "Vaccines cause autism in susceptible children." Vaccines cause autism full circle?

Further, with the politicking seen in the book and elsewhere to protect iatrogenic practices no matter the cost to some and with the increasing number of vaccinations that are in contemplation, it seems very possible this practice could become a self- and societal-imploding practice.

Bob Moffitt

@ Roger

"Bottom line,this is very complicated stuff,more cpmplicated than the makers of videos like this realize.More complicated than just vaccines.It is also all relatively new stuff on the fringes of autism science and medicine."

I wholeheartedly agree .. which is why I have such a hard time accepting the liklihood of "science" creating a "one size fits all vaccine" .. especially when "science" knows each individual (toddler) inherits an immune system that is as unique to the individual (toddler) as is that individuals's DNA or fingerprints.

How "complex" is that?

Tim Lundeen

Roger, if you haven't already seen it, you would be interested in Sarah MyHill's book, Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: it's mitochondria, not hypochondria!. She describes exactly your experience, she recommends some tests that can be done when you regress to check for mitochondrial dysfunction, and she recommends a treatment protocol that has helped a lot of people.

Also, see the Heckenlively/Mikovits book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases, which talks about a possible retrovirus explanation for the mitochondrial dysfunction.

Jeannette Bishop

Thank you for keeping Gerberding's statement in the present.

Thompson's reprimand for trying to notify Gerberding of MMR problems he would present in his soon-to-be-cancelled 2004 presentation seems to me to be evidence of a bureaucratic system protecting "those in charge" from knowing enough to be liable when they do what the powers that shouldn't be intend them to do.

Here the government's sealed settlement came out, and we a sounds--like-others-more-expert-than-the-CDC-head-are-looking-into-this-issue legally necessary admission.

I'm not sure that the "heads" of the CDC and HHS, and so on are likely to be qualified to tell us what the science says about vaccination and autism most of the time, and then when they do the corporate press quickly returns to it's version of "reality."

I might have posted the following link to a discussion on Bill Gates already:

It's not short, but makes some interesting points, and has me wondering how much of the Gates's official narrative is reality.

Roger Kulp

The autism-mitochondrial disease link is a lot more complicated than videos like this let on.

The Hannah Poling story was a real turning point in my life.I was very low functioning at the time,but my mother followed this story closely on the news,and I was aware enough to see parallels to my own history,as far as fevers and regression were concerned.

I was certain I had mitochondrial disease,and come hell or high water,I was going to get a diagnosis.I had no idea what was ahead of me as far as doing this.Here it is almost eight years later,and I have been found to have just about every metabolic disorder described in this article,but still have not gotten a clear mitochondrial disease diagnosis yet.

I am still at the "borderline" or "almost" mito stage in my diagnostic process.This is very complicated stuff,and with autism you are in almost uncharted territory.It takes years to unravel in any patient,child or adult.

Along the way,I have learned six things,in roughly this order.

1.Any fever can cause regression,where there is mitochondrial disease or dysfunction.You do not need a vaccine.My mother told me I had my first regression as a baby of six months,after an acute bout of meningitis.

2.Depending on the severity of the underlying mitochondrial disease or dysfunction,regression is not a one time thing.In more serious disease,it can be a lifelong endless cycle of febrile illness,regression,some improvement,another sickness,then another regression,This seems to be the hardest thing for parents who have had their kids regress only once to get.Parents of children with both autism and mito get this,doctors who treat these diseases take this for granted as a feature.I had severe regressions into my late 40s,before all this metabolic garbage was found in me.

3.Mitochondrial and metabolic disorders cause secondary immune deficiencies,like I had.These are not corrected,unless the underlying metabolic disorders are,and even then these children and adults have to rely on herd immunity.I was vaccinated as a child for a lot of diseases,long after I developed autism,but there was no vaccine for chicken pox when I was a child.I got chicken pox at age six.I ended up in the hospital,with heart complications and pneumonia.These are not benign illnesses to very sick autistic kids.

4.The only difference between Mitochondrial Autism and Autism-like mito is which gets diagnosed first.

5.There are at least three very different types of regressive autism,triggered by fever.Purely metabolic and mitochondrial,purely autoimmune,and those with mixed elements.The first two types of autism are fairly easy to treat,once identified.The third is a bit trickier.Family history plays a big part in figuring out if your child has one of the first two.

6.Most mitochondrial disease in autism,is very different from traditional mitochondrial disease.There are new and unique mutations.There is over function of the mitochondria,rather than traditional deficiency.It looks like this is what I may have.This is where the mitochondria keep working and goes into overdrive,until it finally shuts down.This is considered acquired mitochondrial disease.That someone as old as I am has been found to have all this stuff is very important to autism research.

Bottom line,this is very complicated stuff,more cpmplicated than the makers of videos like this realize.More complicated than just vaccines.It is also all relatively new stuff on the fringes of autism science and medicine.Those of us who have this stuff,and the doctors we see,are pioneers providing the answers for the next generation,because the medical picture of mitochondrial autism is still being mapped out,and will be for quite a while to come.

Who is William Thompson ?

Has anyone here actually ever met "our Julie" ?
Does she really look like that image in the photo ?

That picture is the stuff of nightmares .


Can you use a strikethrough font to show how it really is? "This year even Pfizer...uh Autism Speaks..."

Who is William Thompson ?

Brilliant John - Lurve it !

"It wasn’t Andrew Wakefield who said vaccines cause autism Mr Gates, it was Julie Gerberding…and she told Sanjay Gupta"

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