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Remembering the Forgotten Fallen:The Casualties in the War Against Infectious Disease

DenialNote: John Gilmore published this post yesterday in The Autism Action Network email list. Please click through to subscribe.

Memorial Day is a remembrance of those servicemen and women who gave their lives to protect the United States of America. But there are many wars raging at all times. And the war on infectious disease has taken a steep toll on individuals, while making billions for captured industry. Some of us have earned the dreaded Gold star, like the Tembenis family. Others of us, silver, bronze. 

This week, we will continue to share Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill's book, Denial: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our FutureDenial: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future



By John Gilmore

We set aside Memorial Day to remember and honor those who lost their lives in service to the United States, especially those who fell or were wounded in the many wars and battles in our relatively short history. There have been many battles: Lexington, New Orleans, Chickimauga, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Midway, The Bulge, the Korean DMZ, Khe Sahn, Afghanistan, and so many more. 

We exist as a nation and a people because of the sacrifices hundreds of thousands of mostly young men made at those places and countless others. Not much good seems to be said about the United States these days. We are a mightily flawed nation without question, but a quote from Winston Churchill describing “democracy” applies equally well, in my opinion, to the “United States.” “The United States is the worst possible country, except for the other ones.“

It is right and fitting that we remember and honor those who fell for our good. On Memorial Day we should also remember the many casualties, both dead and wounded, resulting from our ongoing “war” against infectious disease. My son Luke and millions like him are the unacknowledged walking wounded, the never-to-be-mentioned collateral damage, in the never-ending “war” against infections, some serious, many trivial, that comprises the majority of what we call “public health” and “pediatrics” in the United States today.  

Luke was drafted into fighting that war shortly after birth. He was injured by one, some, or all, of the four injections he received at 60 days old. Unlike most newborns, Luke never received the birth hepatitis b dose because he was born in the window around 2000 when the hepatitis b shot was quietly withdrawn after an internal secret study by the CDC found more than 7 times as much autism in children who received the birth hepatis b containing mercury as those who did not. (Search “Simpsonwood”). Birth hep b shots were quietly returned when some vaccines, but not all, that did not contain mercury became available.

Luke marched today in a local Memorial Day parade with a group of friends, many of them walking wounded like Luke. The parade ended at a city park with memorials to the locals who served and died. The World War II memorial had the names of the 57 Baldwin, New York, residents who died fighting and the thousands who served. How many names would there be on a monument for those who died or were injured in the war to prevent hepatitis b, COVID, chicken pox, etc.?

I am a baby boomer and, like the vast majority of baby boomers, I did not serve in the military, but, again, like most baby boomers, my parents’ generation, including all my many uncles, and even a few aunts, all served during World War II or Korea.  

My father, who passed away when I was a baby, spent World War II flying for the Royal Canadian Air Force. My stepfather, who raised me, served in the Air Wing of the United States Marine Corps in Korea. He was ferociously proud of his service in the Marines. One of the stories he told me, and my brothers, was that the Marines would never, under any circumstances, leave a fallen comrade or his body behind. The Marines are honor bound to risk their own lives rather than leave the body of a comrade on the battlefield.

He told us about the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, where the First Marine Division was completely surrounded by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, and they had to fight for more than 100 miles to get to the ocean where they could be picked up by the Navy. It was the middle of the winter in below zero temperatures, yet despite being heavily outnumbered, they managed to bring back every single Marine, either dead or alive. 

The Navy, the Army, and the Airforce, share that sacred value to their fallen comrades, but the Marines seem to be the most passionate of the uniformed services about never abandoning their dead and wounded. But not all US uniformed services share that solemn dedication. 

Rachel Levine
Admiral Rachel Levine, CCUSPHS

Most people are unaware that there is another uniformed service, the Commissioned Corps of United States Public Health Service (USPHS). The Commissioned Corps is a military-style organization with military ranks, chains of command, uniforms, and medals. There is a significant overlap between the Commissioned Corp of the USPHS and federal health policy officials. That is why we frequently see CDC and other federal health bureaucrats at Congressional hearings wearing what appear to be Navy uniforms and being addressed with naval titles like “Admiral” or “Commander.”

The Commissioned Corps describes their mission using the vocabulary of war. “The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service … works on the front lines of public health. Our medical, health and engineering professionals fightdisease, conduct research, and care for patients in underserved communities across the nation and throughout the world.”

It is understood that in war there are casualties. A military leader knows that many troops will end up dead or wounded as a consequence of the decisions the leader makes. Innocent bystanders will be at the wrong place at the wrong time and end up dead. That is the nature of war.

Similarly, public health is a utilitarian game of numbers where the group comes before the individual. If there are two competing choices, and if “Choice A” would lead to less death and disease, based on the known information, than “Choice B,” then “Choice A” is selected.

Militarized public health combines two systems of thought that both accept choices that result in harm and death for some for the benefit of others. The enormous difference between the Marines and the Commissioned Corps of the USPHS is that, rather than risk death to honor the fallen like the Marines, the USPHS does not even admit the dead and wounded exist.  

People like my son Luke and so many millions of other injured human beings are, in the view of the USPHS, the inevitable and acceptable collateral damage in the war on infectious disease. Rather than acknowledging the causalities and trying to come up with something better, it is far easier for the leaders of the USPHS, and better for their precious careers, to pretend that Luke and his fellow walking wounded do not exist. They assure themselves that even if Luke and the others did exist, it is better to ignore them in the interest of protecting “public health.”

Perhaps some day we will deal honestly and humanely with the catastrophic evidence before us. Perhaps someday we will return medicine to the Hippocratic principle of Primum non nocere, “First, do no harm.” Until then, we should take it upon ourselves to honor our own dead and wounded, and encourage all to emulate the Marines. 



Wow! Perfect post for Memorial day. I fear for our country in these times. I personally served 31 years in the Army (3 times overseas on deployments), but have a hard time recommending the military today.

Thanks to you, A of A, for holding this spotlight up.

BTW: "Denial" is the book that red-pilled me. Mark Blaxill is a fav. author of mine.

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