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"I regret that......"

Ten years ago, Dr. William Thompson became a CDC whistleblower as he admitted that CDC had altered data regarding the rate of autism as it related to the timing of the MMR vaccine for African American males. Imagine how many boys he might have saved from autism, had he not been a slave to his job. Harsh words the day after Juneteenth, a Federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in Texas. The graphic is from Google yesterday. Children of color playing. But what of those playing with their lives? Including Google, which has actively suppressed information about vaccine injury. Vaccine Whistleblower Skyhorse Publishing

We ran several posts about Dr. Thompson, and Skyhorse Publishing published "Vaccine Whistleblower"authored by Kevin Barry, with foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Here's what our Founding Editor Dan Olmsted had to say about Thompson's statement and the statement itself is below.

Take Me To Your Protocol, by Dan Olmsted AofA Red Logo Ayumi Yamada
August, 2014 Age of Autism.

I am not a chi square guy. I'm an English major. I am in no position to evaluate the techniques used to calibrate the autism rate in black males, or anybody else, before or after the MMR shot. 

But I can read. And when I read William Thompson's statement about the CDC's study on this topic, I was struck by the way it was constructed: “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding what findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

It takes a while to parse this paragraph, which sounds kind of bland and bureaucratic. The passive voice – decisions were made, reminiscent of the classic "mistakes were made" – doesn't help. And the data weren't merely collected before the decisions were made; the data were analyzed. One result really stood out, Thompson is telling us, and not in a way that suited their institutional purposes. They changed the protocol and the "statistically significant information" was no more. They wiped it out.

I bet there are reporters who read right over that. He's talking about scientific fraud on the most important health issue affecting America's children, at the agency charged with protecting them, not a gentleman's disagreement over decisions on how to apply chi square. The media coverage, such as it is, has wandered aimlessly along side issues, but the point here seems pretty basic: There was a protocol directing them how to do the study. William Thompson says he and his CDC colleagues didn’t follow it. And he thinks that's a big problem. Big.

So what was the protocol and how was it not followed? Brian Hooker, who re-analyzed the data, talked about it in a video interview with Gary Franchi:

"I have the CDC's original protocol. The CDC's final agreed-upon protocol came out for this particular study on September 5, 2001, and in that particular protocol they said they would consider race among the entire population. They called race a co-variant, and that’s just a term that’s used in statistics for a secondary variable, but they said that race would be used within the entire population.

"So what they’ve done is they’ve deviated from their own protocol, and, according to the whistleblower, the reason why they deviated from that agreed-upon protocol [by adding in a requirement for Georgia birth certificates]  was they saw this astronomical risk in African-Americans, and when they saw that astronomical risk, they looked for any way they could bury that risk, and they reduced the sample size down to what’s called the birth certificate cohort, and that caused the association to no longer be statistically significant."

None of this, you’ll notice, has anything to do with Brian Hooker or Andy Wakefield or "anti-vaxxers" and their relentless and cunning war against humanity. Time Magazine’s question – “Did the CDC cover up the data, as Hooker claims?” – is ridiculous and shows just the kind of misreading of the story, and Thompson's own admissions, that I'm talking about. It should be, did the CDC cover up the data, as CDC Senior Scientist William Thompson, who co-authored the study, claims in a stunning break with his colleagues? In his taped comments, Thompson was much more passionate and personal, something the few news outlets who have covered it, like CNN, should have noted. Believe me, in other circumstances they wouldn't care less whether a public official who said something like this knew he was being taped.

But for now let's just take Thompson at his carefully calibrated word -- his own statement. That's quite enough.

Frank DeStefano, the study’s lead author, has defended the published paper’s approach in an interview with Sharyl Attkisson. Sharyl writes: “The CDC’s DeStefano acknowledges that he and his study co-authors changed their study analysis plan midstream, which resulted in reducing the statistical vaccine-autism link among black boys. But he says they did so for good scientific reason.

‘[Vaccine] exposure around [three years of age] is just not biologically plausible to have a causal association with autism,” DeStefano says. “I mean autism would’ve already started by then…it probably starts in the womb. So I think from a biological argument, it’s implausible this was a causal association.’” It was probably just caught earlier as those kids took part in government programs. He even said, "autism, as you probably are aware, is a condition that really probably has its start while the child is still in the womb." 


We are really probably not aware that autism has its start while the child is still in the womb. Here's a scientist doing a study on whether the timing of the MMR shot can be connected to autism; who works for an agency that says vaccines don't cause autism; who believes autism starts in the womb, and who finds a way to change the one result that suggests otherwise, because he simply doesn't believe it, contrary to his study's own protocol. 

Andy Wakefield told me: 

"It is unacceptable and entirely fraudulent to: 1. develop an agreed upon analysis plan, [a protocol] 2. analyze the data according to that plan and find an effect that strongly supports the age of exposure phenomenon, and then 3. alter the analysis plan after the fact at all and particularly when the  specific intention is to remove the vaccine effect. DeStefano's contention that they were justified in doing so (and leaving black boys at potentially high risk) because they believed that an age of exposure effect is 'not biologically plausible' and that autism starts in the womb, is laughable. The refusal of Pediatrics, thus far, to retract the paper makes the editorial board accessories to the fraud."

Yes, fraud. Lyn Redwood provided me with this: 

"The Office of Research Integrity defines Scientific misconduct as the violation of the standard codes of scholarly conduct and ethical behavior in professional scientific research and Falsification as the manipulation of research materials, equipment or processes, or changing or omitting data or results such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record. 

"A related issue concerns the deliberate suppression, failure to publish, or selective release of the findings of scientific studies. Such cases may not be strictly definable as scientific misconduct as the deliberate falsification of results is not present. However, in such cases the intent may nevertheless be to deliberately deceive. Studies may be suppressed or remain unpublished because the findings are perceived to undermine the commercial, political or other interests of the sponsoring agent or because they fail to support the ideological goals of the researcher."

All of this sounds familiar if you know the CDC's Verstraeten study, which  is the thimerosal version of this MMR study. As Lyn told me:

"This is not the first time they changed their study protocol after seeing associations between vaccines and autism.  They did the exact same thing with the thimerosal VSD study in 1999 when they added additional exclusion criteria that all children in the study must have received two polio vaccines, which took away their control group of unvax children. Only difference is that still didn't take away all the adverse neurological associations so they had to do even more data manipulations! Too bad Thompson wasn't working with Verstraeten and DeStefano back then."

I can’t help thinking of Protocol 007, the pet name Merck vaccine scientists gave to their massive effort to hide the failure of the mumps portion of -- wait for it -- the MMR, a fraud since exposed in an ongoing whistleblower lawsuit. These guys were a bunch of rubes compared to the CDC operation. They were stupid enough to pass around an internal one-page memo – basically, their protocol -- saying the goal was to show the vaccine was 95 percent effective, no matter what. By the time they were done they were using rabbit blood and weakened virus and manual cross-outs of data sheets and dumping big plastic leaf bags of evidence the day before the FDA arrived. And they were juvenile enough to name what they were doing after a secret agent with a license to kill. 

One line from Thompson’s statement being quoted by vaccine injury deniers is this: “Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information.” The English major in me notices that the “reasonable scientists” sentence is five paragraphs away from the "protocol was not followed" sentence. I don’t think he’s talking about that at all. It's just boilerplate along with the sanctity of vaccines as holy oil and cooperating with Congress and being given a nice award by the nice people from whom he still draws a nice paycheck just a few years off from a nice federal pension (but don’t mess with me, I’ve got a famous whistleblower law firm from Ohio and a Congressman from Florida who really doesn't like you, Coleen Boyle).

I'd love to see this protocol (it might be a good thing to release now), and I'd love to see reporters pick up on the powerful evidence already presented -- by Bill Thompson -- about what really happened here.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.


AofA August 2014: Below is a snapshot of the statement issued by CDC Whistleblower William Thompson.   Download and read the statement HERE.

If you share on social media, please use hashtag #CDCWhistleblower. Thank you.

Thompson Statement


Andrew Foss

I am not in the medical profession or have any medical background, other than as a parent. My education is in Economics and statistical analysis. Reading this article (and every time I read about Dr Thompson or Andy Wakefield) I am blown away by the level of statistical fraud that has taken place in this debate. And how this fraud has been allowed to be "accepted" by the "official" science establishment.

Let me put it to you another way. I was working with a company on a customer survey. After months of phone interviews and paper surveys, they presented their raw findings to the management group. When asked about what it all meant, the survey company asked, "Well what do you want it to mean?"

And this is the essence of their fraud. In statistical analysis, the acceptance of the null hypothesis is supposed to be as sacrosanct as the Hippocratic Oath is to the medical establishment and Attorney Client privilege is to the legal establishment. When you screw with the data to prove your point, then you are committing fraud.

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