I tell our fellow editors that the best response to a nasty note, at least in my experience, is “we always enjoy hearing from our readers.” It’s disarming, impersonal, and, as warranted, manifestly insincere without being blatantly sarcastic.
We’re no good bums and baby killers who are in it for the money? Well, we always enjoy hearing from our readers.
Sometimes, though, one is tempted beyond all reason to respond in kind – thus the headline above. Recently we got a comment from a reader that says, in its entirety. “This [never mind which post, it hardly matters] is complete and utter bull. First of all while vaccine side effects can be awful, they are manageable and even so, your child is more likely to be struck by lightning than have an allergic reaction to a vaccine.
“Secondly, your list of ‘actual vaccine side effects’ looks incredibly shady to me. If this list was put together by an actual certified doctor they would never say autism. They would say Autism Spectrum Disorder. If these were common side effects wouldn’t kids be dropping like flies?
“To sum it all up, you should be more scared of lightning than vaccines.”
Well, I would be more concerned about lightning than vaccines if lightning killed or disabled more than 1 in 68 children. Oh, and children are dropping like flies, which aptly characterizes the moral regard in which those children are held by, say, the vaccine “court” and the AAP. And CDC. And NIH. And our reader, from whom we enjoy hearing.
And don’t you love the idea that “an actual certified doctor” must be summoned (presumably from his or her duties injecting 14 vaccines in a total of 49 shots before kindergarten) to help us get the nomenclature right about autism? I suppose we lost credibility when we didn’t title this site The Age of Autism Spectrum Disorder As Defined By The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.
This reader’s e-mail is titled Done With You Idiots. And the first part of the e-mail address is i.am.definately.god@ …
Someday I’ll be able to program my TV with the following instruction: “Mute any and all random comments about how safe and wonderful vaccines are by people who don’t know what they’re talking about, or maybe they do but are lying for money.”
The proximate cause of this little reverie is the Dr. Drew show the other night. Dr. Drew is, overall, a pretty sane shrink type. He has had his drug problems, though, in particular getting caught hawking Wellbutrin any chance he got while, oh yes, “hauling in $275,000 in March and April 1999 to push Wellbutrin as an antidepressant that was different from the others in not killing sex drive,” according to AlterNet, which called his behavior “throwing medical ethics to the wind.”
As far as I can tell Dr. Drew never really apologized for this. The other night I had him on in the background, counting down the minutes to the next Forensic Files (addict here), when somehow he found it necessary to mention, in the context of healthy choices like not smoking or doing drugs, the HPV vaccine.
It was, he averred, “one of the safest vaccines in the history of vaccines – do not let the b.s. scare you.”
I agree. Do no let the b.s. scare you. Let the truth scare you. The whole history of this vaccine is a nightmare, one that those who get it, mostly adolescent girls, are old enough to describe in chilling detail – if they are not dead.
Dr. Drew really ought to shut up about medicines. Given his Wellbutrin gig, he qualifies for my falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus list. I learned this concept (“false in one, false in all”) from Mayer Eisenstein – doctor, lawyer, MPH. The idea here is that as a legal matter, you are entitled to doubt all of someone’s testimony if you know or reasonably suspect they are lying in one part of it. So, for instance, it is OK to infer someone who is paid to say nice things about one drug may be paid to say nice things about another – especially since he never recanted the practice. Even if he wasn’t, a man who threw medical ethics to the wind one time is not worthy of a polite hearing the next time.
What a falsus!
At least, thank God, the HPV vaccine works. That’s what I’m supposed to conclude from the new study that shows, according to the New York Times, that “a vaccine introduced a decade ago to combat the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer has already reduced the virus’s prevalence in teenage girls by almost two-thirds, federal researchers said Monday.” (Ah yes, the sainted federal researchers who, Mark Blaxill and I have shown, profited from developing the vaccine and supported shady studies to show it was safe.)
That leaves just one question – what difference does it make if the virus’s prevalence is being reduced, a question left begging in news coverage. As Mark and I wrote last year in our book Vaccines 2.0:
Manufacturers and public health officials hope the vaccine will ward off the large majority of cervical cancer cases. The key word is “hope.” Because cervical cancer is slow to develop— an average time of fifteen years—there is not yet enough evidence to say that the vaccine will actually work.
Meanwhile, pap smears remain an effective and necessary final line of defense.
But while its efficacy is yet to be determined, the vaccine’s safety profile has been setting off alarm bells. The shot is recommended as a three-dose series at age eleven or twelve, and thousands of teen girls all over the world appear to have been injured by the vaccine—from acute pain and fainting after vaccination to long-term effects including seizures, heart problems, arthritis, and death.
So if you listen to Dr. Drew and read the mainstream press, you’d be convinced that the HPV vaccine is completely safe and prevents cancer. Well, as regards the former, it isn’t; and as regards the latter, who the hell knows. But it’s not too soon to say that contrary to Dr. Drew and meaningless new studies, the risks outweigh the benefits and no one should get it. Our reward-risk ratio placed it at the rock bottom of the 16 vaccinations currently on the CDC’s childhood vaccination schedule, and that’s saying something. As we noted:
The case against this vaccine is one of the strongest we have seen. According to a leading scientific critic of HPV vaccines, Dr. Sin Hang Lee, “HPV vaccination is unnecessary and potentially dangerous to some recipients. This is the first vaccine invented by the government, patented by the government, approved by the government, regulated by the government and promoted by the government to prevent an already preventable disease (cervical cancer) 30 years down the road based on using a poorly demarcated, self-reversible surrogate end-point (CIN2/CIN3 lesions) for evaluation of vaccine efficacy, a big scientific fraud. There are no cervical cancer epidemics in any developed countries.”
Against that backdrop of media groupthink I read with interest, as we like to say (it’s up there with “we always enjoy hearing from our readers” as a benignity), an interview Monday in the WSJ with Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier. According to the headline, he talks about “pricing challenges, R&D – and why big pharmaceutical companies aren’t admired like they once were.”
Oh, brother, I’m being tempted beyond reason again. As you may imagine, there is no discussion of any of the following reasons why Merck in particular isn't, or shouldn't be, admired like it was: The whistleblower lawsuit for faking data (known internally as Protocol 007, yuck yuck) to make it appear the mumps vaccine actually worked, a potential fraud of hundreds of millions of dollars upon the government (meaning taxpayers, meaning you and me); the lack of safety and efficacy of Gardasil, the HPV shot; William Thompson and the concocted MMR data that hid the autism effect on African-American kids and those with isolated autism (Frazier is black); and according to CBS, the "’hit list’ of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list contained doctors' names with the labels ‘neutralise,’ ‘neutralised’ or ‘discredit’ next to them.”
To quote our book again:
“Global pharmaceutical giants do not have a record of being your best friend. In the case of Vioxx, Merck allegedly softened study results to obscure the fact it was causing thousands of heart attacks and strokes, then fought every court case until settling for $6 billion (and promoting the lawyer [Kenneth Frazier!] who devised the strategy to president of the company, while hiring Julie Gerberding, former director of the CDC, to run its vaccine division). It also created a fake medical journal in Australia and filled it with friendly ‘research.’”
So, friends, you can put your faith in actual certified doctors and Dr. Drew and pharmaceutical companies -- those who make, hawk, apologize for and inject vaccines -- or you can put your faith in the parents of children they’ve harmed with their insane vaccine protocol and unwillingness to face the truth.
I know my choice. Regardless, we always enjoy hearing from our readers!
Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.