By Anne Dachel
There is nothing more encouraging for parents of vaccinate injured children than when members of the medical community have the courage to step forward out and voice their concerns about vaccines.
It's easy to understand why so few are willing to do this. On any given day one can find a news article that specifically blames Dr. Andrew Wakefield for the vaccine-autism controversy.
It was an opinion piece by the editor of Popular Science, Cliff Ransom. Ransom believes that all the science is in and there's no need for him investigate what the "anti-vaxxers" are all about, and of course, Wakefield is to blame for much of the problem.
"On one side, there are those who believe a discredited and de-licensed doctor, Andrew Wakefield, as well as various celebrity anti-vaxxers."
"There is no documented connection between vaccines and the anti-vaxxers' central concern, autism."
This is really "dead end science." Ransom could not care less about why our children are so sick and disabled. He and all those like him in the media have long marched to the tired tune, "Vaccines are safe, vaccines save lives," so it's far too late for any of them to suddenly start honestly and thoroughly covering that subject.
It's so much easier just to accuse Andrew Wakefield in a sentence or two, declare all vaccines to be safe, and urge that every child should be fully vaccinated.
There is a reason the press keeps Wakefield's name constantly in the news and that is to send a clear warning to anyone in the medical/scientific community:
THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU DARE TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST VACCINES. WE WILL DESTROY YOUR REPUTATION AND YOUR LIVIHOOD.
Incredibly, despite the repercussion, I know lots of doctors and scientists who have serious concerns about vaccine side effects and I've written a number of stories about them. These experts aren't treated like Dr. Wakefield. Instead of being attacked, they're simply ignored.
Over the last few weeks one outspoken doctor did generate a very hostile response from the national press that quite surprised me. Phoenix physician Jack Wolfson was in the spotlight because he doesn't believe in vaccination and he isn't afraid to say so.
Still, some people - including doctors - are not convinced.
"We should be getting measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox. These are the rights of our children to get," said Dr. Jack Wolfson of Wolfson Integrative Cardiology in Paradise Valley, Ariz., who does not believe children should receive vaccinations of any kind. "We do not need to inject chemicals into ourselves and into our children in order to boost our immune system."
Jan 29, 2015, CNN Watch doctors have heated debate over vaccination
. . .Every respectable expert totally disagrees with him and his anti-vaccine movement and, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, urges parents to get their kids vaccinated. And Wolfson himself, who has quickly become something of a spokesman for the anti-vaxxers, is in no way an expert on vaccines or infectious diseases. He's cardiologist who now does holistic medicine. . . .
Wolfson, who himself lives in a state now affected by the California measles outbreak that many blame on the anti-vaccination movement, does nonetheless prove the power of assuming a contrarian stance. The controversy has transformed Wolfson - last week, just another doctor - into a hero for those who share his views. "Thank you for breathing truth into all of the B.S. out there," one fan wrote him on Facebook. "Wish all doctors were like you."
Then there are the critics. Of which there are many. "I'll be sending a copy of your highly irresponsible and reckless comments to the Arizona Medical Board for review," one said. "As a pediatrician who has seen unvaccinated children die from vaccine preventable diseases and also seen whooping cough go through my practice area in 2013 thanks to declining vaccination rates, you do not deserve to hold a license to practice medicine in AZ."
Feb 2, 2015, CNN Dr. Wolfson was interviewed by CNN's Elizabeth Cohen.
Cohen: "Could you live with yourself if your [unvaccinated] child got another child sick? I mean really sick, had complications, even death?"
Wolfson: "I could live with myself very easily. It's a very unfortunate thing that people die. . . "
NewsMax TV even showed the CNN clip on Ed Berliner's show on Feb 11, 2015.
That question was a setup. There was no way to avoid sounding indifferent to the suffering of children in answering it. It was also a prime example of the media's spin on this issue: Non-vaccinating parents are selfishly putting everyone's children at risk.
(It should be noted that Elizabeth Cohen has no time to consider that vaccines present any real risks. She went on the record in Sept 2014 on CNN declaring: "Vaccines are safe. Autism is not a side effect of vaccines. Or to say it another way, because some people don't hear this well, Vaccines do not cause autism.")
In a recent Skype interview with Dr. Wolfson, I asked him about the CNN interview and what he wasn't allowed to say on the air.
Wolfson: "It certainly pains me as a parent, as a doctor, to think of any child that is sick. Any child that is suffering is deplorable, and it's everything that I'm against. I'm all about fighting for the rights of our children. I'll tell you one thing I could not live with--I could never live with the fact that I injured my child with a vaccine. I could never live with the fact that knowing that these toxins are in there, knowing the possible adverse reactions, if I injured my child with a vaccine, that is something I could never live with."
I asked Dr. Wolfson about how he came to his conclusions about vaccines.
Wolfson: ". . . I was trained to believe that vaccines were the be-all, end-all. There was no question about it. Vaccines were effective, they were safe. and everybody should get them. You never question them as a medical student. . . In 2004, I met the woman who would become my wife. And Heather is a chiropractor, and she opened up my eyes to the natural world. One of the things she said was about the dangers of vaccines. I was taken aback by what she said, but I started to read, I started to learn, I started reading books and literature, and different studies. I started to change my mind regarding the safety of vaccines and just what are we vaccinating for? . . . These are benign childhood conditions. . . . So my wife and I started doing lectures. We were asked by different people, different parents---Hey you guys are two doctors, get up there, do a power point presentation. So we did our research, went to the CDC, went to journals, went to the package inserts for the manufacturers on the vaccines, looking at adverse reactions,. . . We came up with an amazing power point presentation. Our last one was over two and a half hours long, we had over a hundred people there. . . . ."
Regarding his treatment by the media, Dr. Wolfson had this to say. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=135rezwuaT4
Wolfson: "I think I was vilified because I represent a change to the system. Nobody likes change. I'm basically a thorn in the side of pharmaceutical manufacturers--the ones who make the vaccines. They don't want the truth to be known. They don't want any outside interference. . . . I think the biggest cord that I struck was on my post that went to VaccineImpact.com, called Wild Anger. . . .
I also asked Dr. Wolfson about Dr. Andrew Wakefield and doctors speaking out on this issue.
Wolfson: "Dr. Wakefield is a researcher, he's done published studies looking at measles, the MMR vaccine and gastrointestinal problems, and those people with autism. Myself, I read the studies, I do my own research, formulate my opinions, and sometimes I let those opinions be known to the public. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of medical doctors and D.O.s and chiropractors, and homeopaths, and naturopaths that are out there who believe in at the very least, the freedom of a parent to choose. Of course a lot of them are certainly very concerned about the issues of vaccine safety and vaccine-induced damage."
His last comment really summed up the issue.
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism and author of The Big Autism Cover-Up: How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, which is on sale now from Skyhorse Publishing.
"Parents have the right to known what's in the vaccines, they have the right to know what the possible complications are and adverse reactions."