Hey Everybody! Catching up from a busy and fun summer or maybe just an obsessive one – along with camping and visiting friends and family, I’ve been immersed in the polio epidemic of 1916 – but that’s another (but related) story:
I wonder: Why isn’t there a huge groundswell in the autism advocacy community for Donald Trump? We seemed to like him better when he was not in a position to do anything. Here we have the first leading major party candidate to say the studies are fudged, the shots are too many too soon, and the result is autism.
I’ve lived in Washington and covered politics here for three decades, and believe me, it is a big freakin’ deal that the Republican front-runner embraces our issues when we aren’t respected in virtually any other way.
Speaking of politics and getting no respect, isn’t it amusing how the left paints us as know-nothing reactionaries and the right paints us as granola-crunching liberals?
As a granola-cruncher myself, I hate when my favorite mellow buddhistic publications dump me into the climate-change-denial wastebasket and stomp all over my sensitive little head. Today’s example is the mag Mindful, whose motto is “Taking Time For What Matters.”
Under the heading of Brain Science and the headline “The Stickiness of Misinformation – Even the most ridiculous rumors can cling in our minds – despite what the proof says. Sharon Begley tells us why,” the article begins:
“Isn’t it scandalous that Barack Obama, whose health-care reform law established death panels, is a Muslim who was born in Kenya? And isn’t it scary that all those scientific studies have shown that childhood vaccines can cause autism?”
That paragraph, of course, is dripping with sarcastic condescension toward the scientifically benighted and goes on to cite pop-brainiac concepts like “the fluency effect.” Now, Sharon Begley, who used to be at Newsweek, which used to be a magazine, has occasionally shown a scintilla of sympathy for the idea that vaccines cause autism, but it clearly no longer serves her professional purposes.
Compare that with a book called Science Left Behind that a friend of mine borrowed out of the book exchange at his office (the National Security Agency, as it happens). The “left” refers to liberals, who have apparently left not just science but good sense far behind as they buy into nonsense.
“Among many other examples, progressive activists such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. have championed the unscientific anti-vaccine movement, confusing parents and causing a public health disaster.”
Deer Watch: The Scourge of Wakefield weighed in this week on another blog where the topic was William Thompson: “It’s the same story as Dan Olmsted pulled over the father of one of Wakefield’s Lancet 12 children,” Brian Deer wrote, yanking the topic back to one where he, Brian Deer, winner of so many, many awards and encomiums including the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize if he does say so himself, can put himself, Brian Deer, back on center stage. “The father directly stated – and the documents proved it – that Wakefield’s paper was ‘an outright fabrication’. The father wrote to Olmsted telling him that. ‘Outright fabrication’.
“So Olmsted put on his blog that the father had attacked me and denounced my investigation. Hopefully, the message is beginning to circulate that these people are utter crooks.”
Oh Brian, go on with you now! This was a case in which Brian claimed Andy had switched the sequence of MMR shot and symptom onset in one of those 12 children’s histories, allegedly putting the shot first because, of course, he was an utter crook. The father told me otherwise, when I tracked him down in California much to Brian’s dismay. He, Brian Deer, was reduced to acting like it really didn’t matter, when in fact it was the heart of his accusation that Wakefield was an utter crook.
“Which is true for child 11?” Deer wrote. “Who can say, years later? The father says one thing, the medical records another. Nobody can time-travel back to 1990s California.”
Yes, they can. It’s all documented, and I did travel to California and did see the documents.
I was reminded this week that it can take a bloody long time for the truth to emerge. In 2002 I first wrote about the devastating effects of the anti-malaria drug Lariam on U.S. soldiers, leading to suicides and homicides. Yes, really.
It took years, but U.S. Special Forces were ordered to quit using it, and now British soldiers are finally getting attention for their concerns. From the BBC:
“There are calls for the government to answer questions over a controversial anti-malaria drug given to UK soldiers.
“A group of MPs says it wants to know how many servicemen and women have complained about side-effects after taking mefloquine - or Lariam as it is more commonly known.
“The drug is given to soldiers serving overseas but can cause suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and depression.”
The number of deaths, and the toll of unnecessary human suffering, caused after it became known this drug was too dangerous, and safer substitutes were readily at hand, defies credulity. It certainly defies human decency.
Now that SB277 is law, it will be interesting to see how many families it drives into home schooling or out of California altogether. Is it really worth it for what the vaccine zealots hope to gain?
A Washington Post piece last month reported that a Health Affairs study out of the University of Georgia found “banning philosophical exemptions, whereby parents can claim that their personal but not necessarily religious views bar them from allowing their children to be immunized, raises vaccination rates by 0.1 percent.”
If my weak math is right, that is a tenth of a percent, meaning that when a state bans philosophical exemptions, one more person in every 1,000 gets their child vaccinated. So if just one more family (most with more than one kid) per 1000 left the public school system in California, or otherwise defeated the mandates, the whole effect would be offset.
I was in Illinois last week, and the Western Courier at Western Illinois University (Serving Macomb Since 1905) made its back to school headline “MUMPS – OUTBREAK in Illinois – 104 confirmed cases – third vaccine dosage recommended for outbreak areas – campuses more at-risk.”
“As of Aug. 28, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign had 104 confirmed cases of mumps already in 2015, an illness that most children are vaccinated for before attending kindergarten.”
The health authorities were recommending a third dose for college students. Yes, because – unstated in the article – the vaccine doesn’t work, the manufacture knows it, and two whistleblowers are telling the truth in federal court.
Speaking of infectious disease, polio from the oral polio vaccine itself has afflicted two children this summer in West Ukraine. It’s part of the Rotary-Gates-WHO mission to stamp out polio.
See that spike in 1916 on the left side of the chart? That’s the great northeast polio epidemic. It’s a sign poliomyelitis outbreaks are not simply caused by a virus. Mark Blaxill and I have written about that before in general terms, but we are now bearing down on the most virulent outbreak ever. In our vaccine-centric medical world, we’re missing the key insights we might otherwise get into the nature of modern diseases, and how to contain them without causing many times more mayhem than we are preventing.
Stay tuned, dear readers. Stay tuned. We are all just getting started.
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.