By Anne Dachel
NewsMax covered Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s involvement in the vaccine controversy on June 1, 2015, in the piece, RFK Jr.: CDC Vaccine Program a 'Cesspool of Corruption.'
There was an article and the video of Kennedy's interview on NewsMax TV.
The video begins with a video of CDC representative, Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, testifying before a U.S. Senate committee meeting. She denied vaccines can cause autism. She cited "dozens of studies" showing no link.
Next NewsMax anchor Ed Berliner said:
You have just heard from Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And that is how she responded when Senator Lamar Alexander asked her what her answer would be to a parent who heard childhood vaccinations can lead to autism. Despite a mountain of evidence to bolster that finding, there remain those who stay the fight and believe in essence, the government is lying to parents.
Our guest is a longtime environmental activist, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, and he brings an important name in American politics to the debate. Welcome Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to Midpoint. Robert, thank you so much for joining us.
Berliner: When did this become something, this autism and vaccination issue, that you knew you had to follow and you had to hone in on all the time?
Kennedy: I'm pro-vaccine. I had all six of my kids vaccinated. . . . I think that we need a vaccine program where the vaccines are safe, and that we have a regulatory agency that has integrity and public credibility. And we don't have either of those things right now.
I got dragged into this issue kicking and screaming. . . .
Kennedy talked about his work on mercury emissions from coal fueled power plants. Mothers of vaccine injured children came to his talks and told him he had to also look at the mercury exposure in pediatric vaccines.
I actually started reading the science, and the science did not say what the CDC claims the science says.
You just heard the head of the CDC [National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases] saying there is no connection between thimerosal and autism. I will challenge her to show me a single study that actually says that. In fact, I've put out a challenge that I will give any journalist who can show me a single study that shows that thimerosal is safe $10,000 - and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of studies in the peer reviewed publications, including CDC studies, there's 39 studies that show thimerosal does cause autism and there are hundreds of other studies that link it to pediatric neurological . . .
Berliner: Here I have in my hand from the CDC, from a number of researchers, in July 1999, back then, the Public Health Service Agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccine manufacturers, all agreed-you're talking about thimerosal-they said there is absolutely no evidence that low doses are even in vaccines. They said it's only minor reactions like redness, swelling at the injection site-if there's anything. And there is a ton of evidence here, Robert, which I have to tell you, says that there is no link between vaccines and autism, yet you continue to say that there is. . . .
Kennedy: There is a difference between established science and the scientific establishment. The public health regulators are not telling the truth about this. I am not the only one to say that.
Bernadine Healy who was the head of FDA [sic] said the reason they're lying is because they're scared of finding results, for two reasons. One is because they required people to take these vaccines back in 1989-that's when the vaccine schedule changed and these huge loads of thimerosal were put in the vaccines, and that's when all of these neurological illnesses began, in 1989. EPA says that was the gateway year. . . .
And number two-this is what Bernadine Healy says-they're reluctant to study something. . .that they believe will frighten people away from taking vaccines. There's an argument from saying let's not look at something that may be unpleasant, but I think there's a much stronger argument in a democracy for saying with science, we need to look at the hypotheses even if they're unpleasant.
There are four federal studies that looked at CDC and said the vaccine program at CDC is a cesspool of corruption.
What you just quoted me were statements from CDC. You did not quote me a study. Quote me a scientific study. I can quote you many many-hundreds of them right now that say that thimerosal is causing brain injury to our children. You can't tell me one study that shows that it's safe.
Berliner: There is not one study that shows the connection though. You would agree with that. There are a number of studies that showing there is no connection between autism and thimerosal.
Kennedy: There are many, many studies that show a connection. I'll give you an example, the Kronenberg Study. . . 2013 which was . . . a CDC study published in JAMA Pediatric showed that when thimerosal was removed from vaccines in 1993 in Denmark, that the rate of autism dropped by 33 percent. That's just one study. There's many, many other studies that show a direct connection. Thimerosal causes autism-like symptoms in monkeys, rats, guinea pigs and hamsters. And children who get autism are children who do not produce glutathione , which is the enzyme that excretes mercury-
Berliner: "I understand all this. But is it not fair to say that thimeroal was removed U.S. childhood vaccines 15 years ago. So why are we still talking about all this? Because there those people who say it's completely safe right now without thimerosal-even if there is a connection.
Kennedy: "That's one of the industry's talking points that is. Again, another canard.
It was taken out most of the pediatric vaccines, but not altogether in 2003, but it was added at the same time to the flu vaccine and the flu vaccine was then added to the pediatric schedule.
Not only are we giving these kids massive doses continually of thimerosal, but we're giving it to pregnant women at the most vulnerable point of a child's development. . . .
Berliner, ignoring what Kennedy just said, told him that all the doctors that they talked to disagreed that there was no evidence that thimerosal was dangerous.
Kennedy:". . . I think we should have vaccines without mercury in them. . . . Just because I don't want mercury in my fish doesn't mean I'm anti-fish. . . . I'm just against mercury.
The doctors are reading what CDC tells them to read. They're not going back, they're not toxicologists, they're not pharmacologists. They're not reading the original data. They're not reading the science. I've talked to hundreds of doctors. . .
Next NewsMax had a medical doctor to challenge what Kennedy had said.
Dr. Sanjay Jain asked why the CDC didn't look at the science Kennedy said shows thimerosal is dangerous.
Why isn't the CDC looking at that study? . . . I don't see any reason or intent for them to take those studies out. I want clarification. It doesn't make any sense to me.
Kennedy pointed out that there are six studies on the CDC website.
Kennedy: All of those studies are epidemiological studies; they're population studies that were created by CDC and the vaccine industry. They're either overtly fraudulent or they have been disavowed by their own authors, yet they're still on those websites.
Kennedy held up his book, Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak.
Kennedy: We spent three years with a dozen of the best scientific researchers in the country and we went through PubMed, we went through the entire public medical literature. We found every study ever done about thimerosal, and we put it in here. . . .
Jain: Are you saying that the CDC is intentionally ignoring the studies that you've researched?
Kennedy: Yes, the CDC is intentionally ignoring those studies, and I'm not the only one saying this. The chief scientist at CDC, Dr. William Thompson, who is still at CDC, and who was the primary author of two of the three American epidemiological studies cited by CDC to exculpate thimerosal-Dr. William Thompson, in August, invoked federal whistleblower status and turned thousands of pages of documents over to Congressman [Bill] Posey and has asked to be subpoenaed before Congress because he believes that he and his division are at least partially responsible for the autism epidemic. . . . He has been ordered to lie.
Ed Berliner asked Dr. Jain if he thought he was being lied to by the CDC. Jain said he didn't feel he was.
Jain: If there's a legitimate research study out there that's proving what Mr. Kennedy is actually saying, it's their responsibility to look at that. I find it very unusual-It doesn't make sense for any organization that's in the interest of public health would intentionally ignore something like that.
Jain then said he wanted to know if Kennedy's studies were legitimate.
Kennedy reiterated that mercury was a known neurotoxin and it had no place in vaccines, to which Berliner responded as if he hadn't heard anything Kennedy had said.
Berliner: But it hasn't been injected into anybody in 15 years.
Kennedy: I just explained to you, it's still being injected into people every day in the flu vaccines in this country, into children in every year of their lives from six months on and pregnant women.
Ed Berliner promised to follow up on this controversy.
This coverage was both good and bad in terms of legitimacy. Robert Kennedy, Jr. was at least given an opportunity to explain his position (which doesn't often happen), but once again, the news source was on the defensive with regard to the safety of vaccines. Ed Berliner challenged Kennedy's claims, but he didn't question what Dr. Jain said.
The article included a link to Kennedy's book, "Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak," but Berliner did not ask him about anything in his book. (If I were a news person interviewing someone about the subject of a book, I'd have read the book.)
Kennedy's book is only 172 pages. I'm still waiting for a reporter who writes about Kennedy's efforts to stop these bills to end state vaccine exemptions to actually say they've read his book and understand his position.
In my book, The Big Autism Cover-Up, How and Why the Media Is Lying to the American Public, I have a chapter on Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his treatment by the press. I specifically cite the way he was attacked on TV in 2011 at the time Brian Deer wrote about him. Wakefield pleaded with Anderson Cooper on CNN to read his book, Callous Disregard.
Cooper refused to allow him to even talk about it. And on ABC's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos told Wakefield that he had read his book, yet Stephanopoulos couldn't cite anything that Wakefield had written. I asked Dr. Wakefield if he thought Stephanopoulos had really read it and he said most definitely he hadn't.
NewsMax ran the headline, RFK Jr.: CDC Vaccine Program a 'Cesspool of Corruption.' That is a very serious charge. This isn't just a case of conflicting scientific study findings. Kennedy is accusing our nation's top health agency of criminal acts. He's talking about fraud and cover-up. This calls every claim they've ever made about vaccine safety into question.
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.