The publicity around the uptick in measles cases has fueled open hostility toward “anti-vaccine” parents. There have been articles written in the main stream press calling for the removal of vaccine exemptions, a federal vaccine mandate, special taxes and litigation against parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Even calls for arrests and outing the evil anti-vaccine ones by posting their names and addresses on a government website as though they were sex offenders. One can assume that internment camps will be suggested next.
Not surprisingly, the issue has drawn in presidential candidates from both parties.
Senator Rand Paul (Republican) earlier in February stated:
"I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines… I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea. I think they’re a good thing. But I think parents should have some input. The state doesn’t own your children, parents own the children and it is an issue of freedom and public health."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Republican) made these comments in 2009:
"I have met with families affected by autism from across the state and have been struck by their incredible grace and courage. Many of these families have expressed their concern over New Jersey’s highest-in-the nation vaccine mandates. I stand with them now, and will stand with them as their governor in their fight for greater parental involvement in vaccination decisions that affect their children."
Although Christie has kept vaccine mandates in his state, he followed up last week with:
"Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health…I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.
Hillary Rodham Clinton responded with this tweet:
"The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and (hashtag) vaccines work. Let's protect all our kids."
The potential Democratic presidential candidate ends her Twitter commentary with the hashtag Grandmothers Know Best.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) used a quickly assembled Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing last week to demean Senator Paul’s comments about parental claims that vaccines cause “profound mental disorders.” In a questioning that seemed scripted, Senator Warren asked Anne Schuchat, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases about vaccine safety:
“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism?”
“No,” Schuchat answered.
“Is there any scientific evidence that vaccines cause ‘profound mental disorders’?”
“No,” Schuchat responded, “but some of the diseases we vaccinate against can.”
The public was given a clear message vaccines are completely safe and effective. Vaccines don’t cause profound mental disorders and they certainly don’t cause autism. “Anti-Vax” parents are wrong and people must make sure that children are given the MMR vaccine. Adults should get the vaccine too and exemptions should be removed.
The 2016 race for Vaccinator-in-Chief has begun. Right now, some Republicans seem willing to support parental rights while also saying that vaccination is the right thing to do. Democrats, in the majority, are coming in down behind the public health establishment and people who question vaccine safety are “anti-vaxxers.”
There is a problem with this narrative, however.
No one really knows how common vaccine injuries are and no one in authority has considered checking the government program that addresses vaccine injury.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) – which most Americans and most doctors have never heard of - records as little as 2% and as much of 10% of vaccine injuries. In other words, 90% of vaccine injuries are NOT reported. VAERS is a “passive” system and reporting suspected vaccine injuries is not emphasized to doctors.
Manufacturers have data on the safety trials of vaccines but do not release those results to the public. Results from one vaccine trial were revealed in a recent Italian vaccine injury case. The data showed that the children died and regressed into autism (among other injuries) as noted in this article by Mary Holland, Legal Research Scholar. Judge Nicolai Di Leo of the Court of Milan ruled that the Infantrix Vaccine resulted in a child’s autism and ordered compensation.
Americans are mandated to take vaccines but have access to virtually no safety information on them. If the safety assurances of vaccines are so rock solid, why is the information so poorly collected? Why are manufacturers allowed to keep drug trial information under lock and key when Americans are mandated to take these drugs?
In the US, pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued in court. If a person feels that they or a loved one have suffered a vaccine injury, they must file suit against the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).
What information does the NVICP provide about vaccine injuries? Interestingly, the program uses a Vaccine Injury Table. The table states that the MMR vaccine can cause encephalopathy:
III. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or any of its components (e.g., MMR, MR, M, R)
A. Anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock
B. Encephalopathy (or encephalitis)
5-15 days (not less than 5 days and not more than 15 days).
C. Any acute complication or sequela (including death) of an illness, disability, injury, or condition referred to above which illness, disability, injury, or condition arose within the time period prescribed
How does the US Government define encephalopathy?
(2) Encephalopathy. For purposes of paragraph (a) of this section, a vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered an encephalopathy only if such recipient manifests, within the applicable period, an injury meeting the description below of an acute encephalopathy, and then a chronic encephalopathy persists in such person for more than 6 months beyond the date of vaccination.
(i) An acute encephalopathy is one that is sufficiently severe so as to require hospitalization (whether or not hospitalization occurred).
(A) For children less than 18 months of age who present without an associated seizure event, an acute encephalopathy is indicated by a significantly decreased level of consciousness lasting for at least 24 hours. Those children less than 18 months of age who present following a seizure shall be viewed as having an acute encephalopathy if their significantly decreased level of consciousness persists beyond 24 hours and cannot be attributed to a postictal state (seizure) or medication.
(B) For adults and children 18 months of age or older, an acute encephalopathy is one that persists for at least 24 hours and characterized by at least two of the following:
(1) A significant change in mental status that is not medication related; specifically a confusional state, or a delirium, or a psychosis;
(2) A significantly decreased level of consciousness, which is independent of a seizure and cannot be attributed to the effects of medication; and
(3) A seizure associated with loss of consciousness.
(C) Increased intracranial pressure may be a clinical feature of acute encephalopathy in any age group.
(D) A “significantly decreased level of consciousness” is indicated by the presence of at least one of the following clinical signs for at least 24 hours or greater (see paragraphs (b)(2)(i)(A) and (b)(2)(i)(B) of this section for applicable timeframes):
(1) Decreased or absent response to environment (responds, if at all, only to loud voice or painful stimuli);
(2) Decreased or absent eye contact (does not fix gaze upon family members or other individuals); or
(3) Inconsistent or absent responses to external stimuli (does not recognize familiar people or things).
(E) The following clinical features alone, or in combination, do not demonstrate an acute encephalopathy or a significant change in either mental status or level of consciousness as described above: Sleepiness, irritability (fussiness), high-pitched and unusual screaming, persistent inconsolable crying, and bulging fontanelle. Seizures in themselves are not sufficient to constitute a diagnosis of encephalopathy. In the absence of other evidence of an acute encephalopathy, seizures shall not be viewed as the first symptom or manifestation of the onset of an acute encephalopathy.
It is remarkable that no one in the press considered checking whether the statements made by Rand Paul had any basis in fact.
Because, like it or not, they do.
The US government has long understood – despite what Anne Schuchat said under oath – that vaccine injury can indeed cause “profound mental disorders.” It is inconceivable that Anne Schuchat, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, could not have known about the Vaccine Injury Table and what it says about the MMR vaccine.
MMR encephalopathy is on the vaccine injury table for good reason. This paper, Acute encephalopathy followed by permanent brain injury or death associated with further attenuated measles vaccines: a review of claims submitted to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, was authored in 1998 by doctors who worked in the Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation. Weibel, Caserta, Benor and Evans concluded “This clustering suggests that a causal relationship between measles vaccine and encephalopathy may exist as a rare complication of measles immunization.”
How rare? VAERS doesn’t tell us and the drug companies don’t either. And Americans are still required to shut up and roll up their sleeves.
Profound mental disorders are known vaccine injury. One of those profound mental disorders – autism – is also known to occur in vaccine injury cases: Banks v. Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, No. 02-0738V:
“Bailey's ADEM was caused-in-fact and proximately caused by his vaccination MMR vaccine). It is well-understood that the vaccination at issue can cause ADEM, and the Court finds, on the record filed herein, that it did actually cause the ADEM…Bailey's ADEM was severe enough to cause lasting, residual damage, and retarded his develop-
mental progress, which fits under the generalized heading of Pervasive Developmental Delay, or PDD. Additionally, this chain of causation was not too remote, but was rather a proximate sequence of cause and effect leading inexorably from vaccination to Pervasive Developmental Delay (an Autism Spectrum Disorder).”
For years, those working in the NVICP understood that vaccine injury of encephalopathy often included autism. Note this passage from Section E of the Autism General Order 1 of Special Master Gary Golkiewicz, which established the Omnibus Autism Proceedings in 2002:
“One important caveat, however, is drawn to the attention of all petitioners and their counsel! There may be cases involving autistic-like disorders which manifested following an injury defined in the Vaccine Injury Table. That is, a vaccinee may have suffered an episode involving a severe acute encephalopathy within 72 hours after a pertussis vaccination (DTP or DTaP), or 5 to 15 days after an MMR vaccination. If so, such an acute encephalopathy and any residual effects thereof would be presumed to be vaccine-caused pursuant to the Vaccine Injury Table. See 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(a) (10-1-97 version of CFR).5 However, this would apply only to cases falling within the current Vaccine Injury Table’s definition of “acute encephalopathy,” in which the vaccine suffered a sudden, dramatic, and severe change in level of consciousness lasting at least 24 hours. 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(b)(2)(i)(A) and (D). The incident must have been “sufficiently severe so as to require hospitalization,” though actual hospitalization at the time need not have occurred. 42 C.F.R. § 100.3(b) (2) (i). Autism cases involving Table Injuries have been compensated under the Program. If in a particular case there exist medical records demonstrating that such a qualifying “acute encephalopathy” occurred within the appropriate time frame, petitioner or counsel should bring that to the assigned special master’s attention so that, if appropriate, the case can be processed without delay as a Table Injury.”
What Golkiewicz never mentioned was how frequently autism resulted in cases of vaccine-induced encephalopathy. A glimpse of how common didn’t occur until Holland, Conte (co-author here), Krakow and Colin produced Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury, 28 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 480 (2011).
In looking at 196 cases, 83 cases featuring autism were found. There have been approximately 1,400 cases of vaccine-induced brain damage compensated by the NVICP. There is little reason to believe that frequency of autism in the other 1,200 cases isn’t similar. Industry representatives like Paul Offit claim that these compensated cases were mistakes and anecdotes. However, hundreds of compensated cases of vaccine induced autism are not anecdotes. They are a pattern.
The government blocked access to most of the cases despite a Freedom of Information Law request by the authors. Unanswered Questions concluded with a recommendation for an independent study of the health outcomes of people compensated by the US government. The study has never been done.
Is it not remarkable that those running the NVICP understood that autism resulted from vaccine induced encephalopathy and then commenced the Omnibus Autism Proceedings to determine if vaccines caused autism?
On Tuesday, February 10, 2015, the CDC’s Anne Schuchat put on her best blue US Public Health uniform, raised her right hand and then lied her epaulets off.
Democrats and Republicans, in a rare moment of bi-partisanship, smiled as she did so.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been assertive in calling for the prosecution of corporate leaders responsible for the 2008 economic melt-down pulled a rock and never dug deeper, never considering that those responsible for VIOX scandal are the same folks who make vaccines. To be fair, no Republican on the HELP Committee thought to check what goes on in the government’s own Vaccine Injury Compensation Program either.
They all went with the narrative about the presumed nature of vaccine injury.
We understand that Anne Schuchat will not be questioned about what she said under oath in the US Senate. No politician – Democrat or Republican – has the courage right now to stand up to the Pharma media blitz that has turned 120 or so cases of measles – in a nation of over 300 million people - into a national anxiety attack.
It’s been a long time since Washington held anyone accountable, as Senator Warren knows all too well. Americans now expect to be lied to. Lying to Congress is no big deal, particularly when the lie fits their beliefs. And besides, Schuchat and the rest of the CDC vaccine crew support the vaccine program and the industry behind it. Like former CDC Director Julie Gerbeding who now runs MERCK’s vaccine program, Schuchat knows where the real money is after you leave government service.
Both political parties will sit on the sidelines, happy to let parental rights to their children’s health decisions get violated. Happy to mandate more vaccines without looking into what the outcome could be for vulnerable people.
It must be scary to confront Pharma, with all of their money, power and influence. And, if you want to be President, you will need Pharma money.
And why risk being tarred “anti-vaccine”? In the age of Vaccine McCarthyism, “anti-vaccine” is now the 2015 equivalent to being called a communist in 1954. Six decades later, Democrats and Republicans are too afraid to dig any deeper into the Pharma sponsored narrative and ask if the oft-repeated presumptions of vaccine injury are accurate. They won’t even look at their own compensation program.
Depressing as this is, we need to remember that the fear mongering of McCarthyism ultimately collapsed. People began to see McCarthy and his witch hunt for what it was. They began to fight back in Congressional Hearings. Attorney Joseph Welch stood up to McCarthy. “You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
Finally, one journalist had the courage to say what everyone else was too afraid to say:
“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear of one another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men.” - Edward R. Murrow, See It Now in March, 1954
To all those who want to be President of the United States, please know that the US Government has compensated children for vaccine injuries that resulted in a profound mental disorder called autism.
Vaccines have caused autism.
Someday, a President will either do something about it, or be held accountable for it.
It’s time to dig deep.
Wayne Rohde, author of The Vaccine Court – Dark Truth of America’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
All books published by Skyhorse Publishing – New York City