By Anne Dachel
Read Anne's commentary and view the links after the jump. The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD, an online supplement retailer for patients with special needs.
Here's what's being said in the media. Some is so outrageous, it's hard to imagine anyone having the nerve to say these things.
Huffington: "Vaccinations aren't open for debate."
The Hill: "Trump is talking nonsense."
NewsMax had Dr. Arthur Caplan saying that Dr. Carson was "derelict." He added that we're diagnosing kids with autism BEFORE they're vaccinated, and that's evidence of no lnk. (NewsMax's Ed Berliner said "accidents happen" when speaking about vaccine reactions and they "don't happen to everybody." Caplan said those things are just coincidences.)
Paul Offit and William Schaffner are cited as medical experts by NewsMax and the NY Times---while nothing is said about vast industry ties they have.
CNN called the actions of Carson and Paul "a disgrace."
CNN moderator Jake Tapper: "Dr. Carson, Donald Trump has publicly and repeatedly linked childhood vaccines to autism, which as you know, the medical community adamantly disputes. You're a pediatric neuro-surgeon, should Mr. Trump stop saying this?"
Dr. Ben Carson: "Well let me put it this way, there have been numerous studies and they have not demonstrated that there is any correlation between vaccinations and autism. Vaccines are very important--certain ones, ones that would prevent death of crippling. There are others--there's a multitude of vaccines that probably don't fit into that category, and there should be some discretion in those cases. You know, a lot of this is pushed by big government."
Donald Trump: "Autism has become an epidemic. 25 years ago, 35 years ago, you look at the statistics, not even close. It has gotten totally out of control. I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time. Because you take a baby in--and I've seen it. . . I had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time--same exact amount.
"You take this little, beautiful baby and you pump--I mean it looks like it's meant for a horse, not for a child, We've had so many instances, people who work for me. Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, the child, the beautiful child went to have the vaccine and came back an a week later, got a tremendous fever, got very very sick, now is autistic. I only say--I'm in favor of vaccines, do them over a longer period of time--same amount, just in little sections.
Carson: "The fact of the matter is, we have extremely well documented proof that there no autism associated with vaccinations. But it is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time.
Dr. Rand Paul: "One of the greatest medical discoveries of all time were the vaccines, particularly for small pox. . . . I’m all for vaccines, but I'm also for freedom. I'm also a little concerned about how they're bunched up. My kids had all their vaccines, and even if the science doesn't say bunching them up is a problem, I ought to have the right to spread my vaccines out at the very least.
I added examples of media coverage that immediately followed the remarks.
The points made by the candidates about vaccines and the link to autism came under an immediate attack from media outlets. Regardless of the fact that two physicians expressed legitimate concerns about the current mandated vaccination schedule and a parent's right to choose, the press couldn’t care less. Here is more desperate coverage, designed to quash any legitimate discussion.
Donald Trump may be a big blowhard, espousing his belief that there's a link between vaccines and autism based on no medical facts. But with the bully pulpit he has, he can influence parents to not vaccinate their children and the price could be deadly.
. . . Vaccinations aren't open for debate, as L.J. Tan tells Hollywoodlife.com. "What's troubling is the politicalization of an important children's health issue...anyone who encourages parents to go away from the vaccination schedule established by the Center for Disease Control is encouraging parents to step away from the best medical advice." Is Donald Trump really ready to deal with the consequences of his undermining the necessity of vaccines? Would he be prepared to deal with the outbreak of a major, deadly epidemic among the nation's children? That possibility should actually weigh heavy on his mind.
Sept 19, 2015, The Hill: Autism and the presidential campaign By John J. Pitney, Jr.
. . .Wherever this mysterious anecdote came from, Trump was talking nonsense. Multiple scientific studies have shown that there is no connection between autism and the vaccine schedule, or any individual vaccine. The idea of such a linkage has been circulating for years because of a 1998 study that turned out to be fraudulent. The British medical journal that ran the piece later retracted it, and its lead author lost his medical license.
Trump is hardly the first politician to spout misinformation – but in this case, it is downright dangerous. If parents take him seriously and delay vaccinations, their children could catch the diseases that the vaccines prevent. And some of these diseases can be deadly.
Trump also erred on the broader issue of autism. “Autism has become an epidemic,” he said.
. . . In this case, much of the apparent increase in autism involves better identification of people who previously would have gotten a different label. Scientists at Penn State University found no overall increase in the number of students in special education. As the number of students with an autism label has gone up, the number with an intellectual disability label has gone down.
Medical groups and experts have stood up against Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson who earlier made statements against vaccines. They said Republican presidential frontrunners have given false statements that could be dangerous
Two medical professionals seeking the Republican presidential nomination "harmed American kids" by not speaking out against front-runner Donald Trump's assertions that vaccines cause autism during the second debate, medical ethicist Arthur Caplan told Newsmax TV on Friday.
"Remember, it isn't just a battle about the presidency," Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University's Langone Medical Center, told "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "When Donald Trump comes out and says, 'I've seen kids become autistic a week after they've gotten their vaccinations,' which is what he said, it's irresponsible – he's harming children.
Dr. Arthur Caplan: "[Dr. Ben Carson] was derelict in his obligation to kids." Caplan was adamant the dramatic increase in the number of childhood vaccines was safe for children.
NewsMax's Ed Berliner talked about a child who has an immediate reaction to a vaccine and called it an accident. "I fire back . . ., we don't mean to say this, but accidents happen. There's genetic accidents. There's make-ups of human beings that interact with certain medications. And those are the anomalies that make us say, 'These are accidents.' Not necessarily things that happen to everybody."
Caplan: "There are also just correlations. . . ." He gave the example of a child having a seizure before receiving a vaccination. More proof that things that look like reactions may just be coincidence. Caplan also stated that they're able to diagnosis autism very early--"before vaccination." And "that's pretty good evidence that there's not a link."
A pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Carson has operated on the brain abscesses caused by several diseases that are now preventable with vaccines. To my astonishment, I heard him say that we are giving too many vaccines and we should only give those that treat diseases that kill people. Dr. Paul then stated that parents should be able to choose when vaccines are given.
. . . Carson stated that we should immunize only against infections that kill us. Unfortunately what he didn't say is that every single vaccine we give is against a disease that can and does kill you. Even influenza kills many people each year.
We should respect the people who want to lead our country for their dedication and patriotism, but they (and we) should be certain that the facts are facts and not unsupported opinion. Vaccines save lives — period.
Sept 17, 2015, The Atlantic: How Donald Trump and Ben Carson Stoked Vaccine Fears By Julie Beck
Now the question of whether you should trust vaccines is framed around whether or not you trust the government. This is a very Republican take on vaccine skepticism.
Sept 18, 2015, Sacramento Bee: GOP hopefuls should stop peddling vaccine falsehoods But after wanly noting that the research shows no connection, Carson parroted the anti-vax canard hat pediatricians think kids are getting too many vaccines too close together, and that the vaccine schedule should be stretched out. Paul echoed that, proffering his usual line about being both for vaccines and “for freedom” before Trump doubled down, claiming that vaccines had turned autism into “an epidemic.”
As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics has being doing damage control all week: No, vaccines don’t cause autism. And no, pediatricians don’t have a problem with the recommended timing.
Sept 17, 2015, CBS News: GOP debate fact check: Claims about vaccines and autism By Ashley Welch
"There is no 'alternative' immunization schedule. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease for a longer period of time; it does not make vaccinating safer," Dr. Karen Remley, Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement.
In a press conference held today by the CDC about the flu, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician and executive director of digital health at Seattle Children's Hospital, agreed there is no evidence that delaying vaccines is safer or more effective than the standard schedule set by the CDC. She echoed Remley's statement that skipping or delaying vaccines leaves children vulnerable to life-threatening diseases. Sept 18, 2015, New York Daily News: Medical experts condemn Donald Trump for debate comments suggesting vaccines can cause autism By Nancy Dillon Donald Trump should check his medical facts before mouthing off about vaccines and autism during GOP debates, experts said Thursday. "What happened last night put many children at risk," Alison Singer, president of the Manhattan-based Autism Science Foundation, told the Daily News a day after the Republican frontrunner's TV tirade.<
Singer called Trump "reckless" for suggesting a link between vaccinations and autism while speaking to the millions who tuned in for the CNN spectacle. "Once you put a scary idea in someone's head, it's very hard to get rid of it," she said. Sept 19, 2015, New York Daily News: Stasi: Republican lie-fest turned second presidential debate into a farce By Linda Stasi http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/stasi-gop-lie-fest-turns-2nd-presidential-debate-farce-article-1.2366891
Donald Trump lied that vaccines have caused an autism epidemic. No evidence of a link exists, let alone an epidemic. The Global Burden of Disease Study determined, in fact, that no clear evidence of any change in autism numbers exists between 1990 and 2010. Ooops. Sept 17, 2015, New York Times:Vaccine Issue Arises at Republican Debate, to Doctors' Dismay By Sabrina Tavernise and Catherine Saint Louis
When Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist in Tennessee, flicked on the television last night to catch the end of the Republican debate, he watched a scene that felt unsettlingly familiar: A candidate was talking about vaccines and autism . “I think it’s sad,” said Dr. Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, who said he cringed through the autism exchange at the end of the debate. “I would have hoped, since two of the discussants were physicians, that there would have been a ringing discussion about safety and value of vaccines, and an affirmation of the schedule set out by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”< Sept 18, 2015, CBS St Louis: Local Pediatricians Disagree with Trump on Vaccine-Autism By Fred Bodimer http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2015/09/18/local-pediatricians-disagree-with-trump-on-vaccine-autism/
Local pediatricians try to put out the vaccine-autism fire that was recently re-lit by Donald Trump. . . . SLU Care pediatrician Dr. Ken Haller at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center calls those comments wrong and unfortunate. “The science is extremely clear that vaccines are safe, they’re effective and they have absolutely no connection to autism,” says Haller. Sept 18, 2015, CNN: Medical community criticizes Carson and Paul's view on vaccines By Eugene Scott Ford Vox, a brain injury specialist at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, wrote in a CNN op-ed that the schedule was developed for a reason. "Each of the 12 vaccines administered to children target common causes of crippling and deadly childhood diseases and represent the fruition of many years of hard-won medical research and careful analysis by scientists and clinicians," he said. And he criticized Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, for suggesting that it is okay to spread out the vaccine schedule.
. . .The American Academy of Pediatrics also disagrees with both Carson and Paul. The vaccine schedule is one size fits all for a reason and it should not be spread out over a two to three year period, according to the group's website. Sept 19, 2015, CNN:Debate coach: Trump's disgraceful autism claim By Todd Graham http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/17/opinions/graham-cnn-debate/index.html
It is a disgrace for doctors NOT to stand up to misinformation about medical science. And it was a disgrace to do it in front of an audience of millions in a presidential debate. The debate on this issue, unfortunately, missed a chance to refute bogus notions promoted by Donald Trump -- and in this he was aided by his ten enablers. Candidates, sometimes you have to make a stand. This was that time.
Paul Offit came to the defense of vaccines and berated the candidates for talking about the issue. Sept 18, 2015, NewsMax: Spacing Out Childhood Vaccines Has No Benefits: Experts By Sylvia Booth Hubbard http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/childhood-vaccines-Republican-candidates/2015/09/18/id/692240/ Dr. Paul Offit, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told Live Science that evidence supports the current recommendations.
"To suggest that you make your own schedule is dangerous," he said. "That's why we saw the measles outbreak in Disneyland this year," he said, suggesting the outbreak was due to parents choosing to delay vaccinations."
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told Live Science that extending the current schedule leaves children susceptible to diseases, and that fear by some that the current schedule overwhelms an infant's immune system isn't accurate. NewsMax cites two of the biggest pharmaceutical industry insiders as independent experts. Offit and Schaffer have money ties to just about every vaccine maker out there. We all know Offit has personally made millions from the development of the Merck rota virus vaccine. Schaffner serves as a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Merck & Co., Novartis, Sanofi Pasteur Inc. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; and is a member of a data safety evaluation committee for experimental vaccines for Merck & Co. All those pharma connections were NewsMax's little secret. Look over what was said by the candidates for a moment. They raise a number of serious questions that no one is asking. I've been reading stories about the Republicans' vaccine comments all day. I haven't seen coverage by any reporter asking them to clarify their statements. WHY NOT? This is now a campaign issue. Everyone covering this should be asking the following: To Dr. Carson: You say that numerous studies show no link between vaccines and autism. Why don't these studies ever seen to settle the issue? Are these studies independent? Why isn't there any science comparing fully vaccinated and never vaccinated children?" You also say "a multitude of vaccines" aren't for life-threatening conditions and there should be "discretion." You also blame 'big government" for the big push for more and more vaccines. How does the power and influence of the pharmaceutical industry figure into this? There are more pharma lobbyists on Capitol Hill than members of Congress. Should we be worried about this situatio >You allege that there are too many vaccines, too soon. Why do you think this is true? What are possible problems with our dramatically increased vaccination schedule? To Trump: You say we're in the midst of an epidemic of autism. Doctors deny this. Shouldn't we get serious about the rate? Why are the numbers always based on studies of children? When are officials going to find what the autism rate is among middle aged and elderly Americans?
Just how many stories of regression are officials going to dismiss? Why haven't officials ever looked at a few thousand of these children who got sick after being vaccinated and ended up with autism? If it isn't the vaccines, what is it? To Dr. Paul: As President, what would you do about the efforts in numerous states to remove a parent's right to exempt their child from vaccines?
The Dachel Media Update is sponsored by Lee Silsby Compounding Pharmacy and OurKidsASD. Lee Silsby is one of the most respected compounding pharmacies in the country and is committed to serving the needs of the Autism community. OurkidsASD is an online retailer for nutritional supplements for patients with special needs. OurkidsASD carries thousands of products from more than 60 brands and offers free ground shipping on all orders.
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.