Cathy Newman's two part series on vaccines was really a witch hunt. This was not investigative reporting; Wakefield was demonized, autism as a devastating condition is never addressed—in fact, Newman made Dr. Krigsman, who works with victims of vaccine-related bowel disease, look like a child abuser.
Newman even made an attempt to publicly embarrass Wakefield in Berlin at a showing of ‘Vaxxed.’ It’s all in this report.
May 8, 2017, Dispatches: Trump, the Doctor & the Vaccine Scandal [Part 2]
“…And another Trump scientific myth endangers the health of America’s children. He believes combined or multiple vaccines cause autism. Last year he met disgraced British scientist, Andrew Wakefield, who left Britain after his work linking the MMR jab with autism was debunked. But with Trump’s support, he’s riding high again and seducing audiences with scare stories.”
Clip of Wakefield: “Safe, effective vaccines against serious infectious disease, laudable. Do any vaccines on the market today meet those criteria? No, they don’t.”
“Texas, now Wakefield’s home state. Home too to one of the strongest anti-vaccine movements in America. It has some of the most relaxed vaccination laws in the country. Forty-five thousand children are unvaccinated here, but some mums and dads fear Wakefield’s rhetoric is putting other children at risk.
A toddler is shown. This child had a heart transplant as an infant, and Newman explained that any infection could be fatal.
Newman: “At any one time in America, there are thought to be half a million people like Julianna who can’t be vaccinated because they’re too young or not well enough. Their main protection from serious disease is that the rest of us are vaccinated so they can’t catch anything from us.”
Newman directed a question at the girl’s mother.
“To what extent do you think Andrew Wakefield is responsible for a large number of parents not getting their children vaccinated?”
“I think that’s a huge reason because of the misinformation, because they are scared, and I think fear drives a lot of this.”
Newman: “But there’s an even more serious allegation against Wakefield. He’s been accused of exploiting the very children he says he wants to help. He’s long believed that not only is the MMR jab linked to autism, but that the condition can be treated.
“Four years ago he came up with the controversial idea of making the treatment of autistic children into a reality TV series. He pitched to some of America’s biggest Cable networks.
“We found the pitch tape which contains disturbing images. Autistic children are filmed self-harming, and a fourteen year old boy has intrusive treatment, with cameras and tubes going into his rectum and throat.
“We’ve chosen to conceal the identity of the children, Wakefield didn’t.
“Julia Bascom campaigns for equal rights for autistic people; she is herself autistic.”
Bascom is shown criticizing the treatment for autistic enterocolitis as “autistic people being dehumanized and being used as objects to advance other people’s agendas.”
Newman: “What about the ethics of filming of a teenager having a colonoscopy there?”
Bascom: “So the litmus test we tend to use is: ‘Would you do this to a non-autistic child?’ and I think pretty clearly we wouldn’t show on film a non-autistic teenager getting a colonoscopy?”
Newman: “No one commissioned the series, but it still runs on Wakefield’s Youtube channel.
“Inspired by his success in America, Wakefield is now back in Europe, and even Britain. Eleven weeks ago, he attended a secret viewing of his film ‘Vaxxed’ in London. I finally caught up with him at a screening in Berlin.”
Clip of Newman questioning Wakefield from the audience at a Q and A in Berlin.
Newman: “Mr. Wakefield, you are behind a massive public health scare in the UK. You were struck off, and you’re now exporting your discredited theories to America and around the world.”
Wakefield: “It’s a reasonable question from a British journalist. You will be aware, I hope, that the film is not about me. The film is about a whistleblower from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who actually validates the work that we did in 2000.
“So in fact, it is the British press who are discredited when they attack this hypothesis, because it turns out all these years later to be correct.”
Newman: “He has concerns about one case. What about the seventeen studies that debunked your original 1998 study?”
“Isn’t what you’re doing grossly irresponsible because in your home state of Texas alone, 45,000 thousand children are unvaccinated? And measles is a killer.
“Mr. Wakefield, you’ve been talking about a fraud perpetrated by the CDC, about a fraud by the media. What about the fact that the General Medical Council accused you of being dishonest, accused you of being callous, unethical? The BMJ said that your own data was fraudulent. When are you going to talk responsibility for that?”
Wakefield: “Can you quote me in full on this?”
Newman: “Of course.”
Wakefield: “I don’t talk to fake news.”
Newman trailing after Wakefield: “You talk about fake news though, and you’re the one who’s accused of dishonesty, you’re the one who’s accused of falsifying your data. When do you take responsibility for that?”
Newman: “Wakefield was invited to respond to other issues raised in this program, but declined to do so.”
Clip of March for Science in Washington, D.C.
Newman: “Two weeks ago scientists took to the streets in Washington to protest against Trump. They aren’t just battling a President, they’re battling a movement which dismisses science as ‘fake news.’
“But there’s nothing fake about the mumps outbreak which has just been announced in Wakefield’s home state of Texas.”
Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.