What does it mean when a top scientist at the Center for Disease Control (William Thompson, PhD) admits that he and the coauthors of a study published in 2004 purposefully hid data that revealed a strong association between the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine and autism in a specific population of children? I’ll tell you what it means…it means there was a cover up! It means that if the data had been revealed which showed a 340% increase in autism in African American boys receiving the MMR before 36 months of age, we might have altered the vaccine schedule for all children or at the very least, pediatricians may have decided to postpone this particular vaccine for African American boys until they were at least 3 years of age.
Instead, during the last 10 years more and more children have been diagnosed with autism. In 2004 when the study was published, the statistic of 1 in 150 kids being diagnosed with this disorder was bad enough. But now, 1 in 68 children (and 1 in 42 boys) receive the diagnosis.
In 2014, ten years after the flawed study was published Dr. Thompson was no longer able to live with his personal guilt. To unload his heavy burden, he began communicating with Brian Hooker, PhD a biochemist who also happened to be a dad of a child with autism. Realizing the explosive ramifications of Dr. Thompson’s admissions, Dr. Hooker made the information public.
Subsequently, and to his credit, Dr. Thompson released the following statement on August 27th, 2014:
“ 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 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”
What, you may ask, were Dr. Thompson and his colleagues thinking when they intentionally hid this data? Apparently, there was concern early on because in a letter to his superior Julie Gerberding, (the director of the CDC at that time), Dr. Thompson expressed his apprehensions regarding the troubling findings he was about to present at a meeting of the IOM (Institute of Medicine). In this letter dated February 2004, Dr. Thompson wrote: “I will have to present several problematic results relating to statistical association between the receipt of the MMR vaccine and autism”.
Dr. Gerberding, as the head of our government- funded, public protection Center of Disease Control, surely instructed Dr. Thompson to report his findings and let the results obtained speak for themselves. Unfortunately, for all of the many children who have since been diagnosed with autism, that was not her reaction to the inconvenient news. Instead, she did not respond to the letter, but chose to have Dr. Thompson removed from the upcoming IOM speaker schedule days before he was to reveal the findings. Interestingly, the seminal report that came out of that historic meeting (which we now know omitted Dr. Thompson’s findings) resulted in a decision to deny 5000 families compensation for vaccine injury claims. Also, that report (the Omnibus Autism decision) continues to be frequently cited as evidence that vaccines do not play a role in causing autism. What a convenient omission of data!
And what, you might ask ever happened to Dr. Gerberding? In 2008, she left the CDC and in 2009, she accepted a position as the head of the Vaccine Division at Merck (yes, the one and only makers of the MMR vaccine) to the tune of a 2 million dollar per year salary!
Now, before you tar and feather me and start referring to me as an anti-vaccine lunatic and a danger to society, let me explain a few facts in my defense. I have been a pediatric registered nurse for 37 years and nothing means more to me than the health and safety of our children. For over 20 years, I organized conferences with renowned physicians, researchers and authors to help improve parents and practitioner’s awareness regarding natural ways to minimize illnesses in our children and maximize their health. I also have 8 grandchildren who I want to protect from health hazards with every fiber of my being. However, considering the questionable safety of vaccines and the fact that important data from studies has been hidden by the CDC, I’m not convinced that their current recommendations which encourages (and in some states mandates) giving 36-45 vaccines before the age of 5 (and 26 in the first year) are the safest and most effective measures for protecting our children.
I have a quote that I’ve been reciting to parents since the early days in my nursing career: “Never abdicate total responsibility for the health of your children to the medical profession.” Of course, most physicians are well-intentioned and well-trained to take care of our kids in acute or emergency situations. But we, as their primary care givers must do our own research regarding the many ways including: optimal nutrition, exercise, appropriate supplementation, herbs, etc. to ensure their health and not rely solely on the pharmaceutically-dominated medical profession for all of the answers. We also must remain vigilant in guarding our freedom to make health choices regarding our children.
The CDC with its many wonderful services also has a history of less than stellar tactics including the manipulation of data to obtain a pre-determined desired outcome. Take for instance Paul Thorsen, a former CDC vaccine researcher who coauthored over 20 studies often cited as proof there is no link between vaccines and autism. Unbeknownst to the general public, Dr. Thorsen has been indicted and charged with 13 counts of fraud and nine counts of laundering money (money, by the way that he stole from the CDC which had been earmarked for autism related research.). Dr. Thorson cannot be found and currently is on the Inspector General’s most wanted list. And let me reiterate, this fugitive is the author of the studies that people cite to show there is no connection between vaccine and autism. How absurd is that?
Also in 2009, the Office of the Inspector General found that the CDC was allowing medical experts and scientists with significant conflicts of interest to participate in numerous research studies. With the revolving door between industry and government, there’s actually no surprise there!
I could go on citing various situations in which the CDC has betrayed our trust. But suffice it to say that an agency that is charged with maintaining high levels of vaccinations (they purchase over 4 billion dollars worth of vaccines each year), may not be the best agency to also be in charge of maintaining vaccine safety.
I’m not saying never to vaccinate your child. I am saying do your homework. But I will warn you, once you begin to dig a little deeper, the uncertainty surrounding the safety and effectiveness of vaccines will reveal itself which in turn makes it more difficult to blindly accept the recommendations laid out by the CDC. .
Joseph Mercola, MD on his extremely popular health related website Mercola.com recommends the following strategies:
- “Protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.
- If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination.”
In addition to Dr. Mercola’s recommendations, if you do decide to vaccinate your child, consider postponing them and or utilize a schedule that takes into consideration your particular child’s genetic predispositions (autoimmune disease, allergies, GI disorders, etc. run in the family), as well as their current health history (frequent infection with subsequent antibiotic use etc).
Bio: Maureen McDonnell has been a holistic, nutritionally-oriented RN for 37 years. She is the health editor of WNC Woman Magazine and the co-founder of Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet (SOKHOP.com). Maureen lectures widely on the role the environment and nutrition play in women and children’s health and is currently an Executive Area Manager with Arbonne International. She can be reached here.