Great CDC Coverup–suppressing evidence that MMR vaccines cause autism?

syringe-vaccine-autism

This article has been updated and the comments have been closed here. Please comment at the revised article.

Oh no, here we go again. The antivaccination cult, lacking any real evidence, grabs onto the flimsiest of stories, disregarding the foul and corrupt individuals promoting the story–using it all to scream “GOTCHA” to anyone involved with vaccines. Last year, it was laughably jumping on some comments of Dr. Diane Harper, who was promoted by the antivaccination crowd as the “lead researcher” for Gardasil, that appeared to say that Gardasil was useless.

Or promoting an “Italian court” that decided that MMR caused autism, relying upon the discredited and retracted study by one of the greatest scientific criminals of the past 100 yearsMrAndy Wakefield, who fraudulently alleged a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Or furthering the story of a French businessman, who claimed to have intimate knowledge of Merck’s data about Gardasil–all of it negative. Except he never worked in Merck’s R&D department, and was made redundant when his company was acquired by Merck.

The Church of Antivaccines, whose god, Mr. Andy Wakefield, should be held criminally responsible for deaths of children who never got the MMR vaccine, are so bereft of any real evidence to support their beliefs, they will either invent, misrepresent, or manipulate any story that even tenuously supports their dogma that vaccines are dangerous.

So, what is the Antivaccine movement saying? They’re pushing a story that a CDC researcher, Dr. William Thompson, has “admitted” that the CDC itself has covered up or hidden damning evidence that MMR vaccine actually causes autism. It was presented in a heavily promoted video, narrated by the aforementioned conman, Wakefield. If you really want to watch the video, you can find it here, but you’ll have to check your skepticism at the door, or bring an emesis basin to collect the vomit from watching it. In other words, it’s a 0.00000001-star movie. Don’t ignore the Godwins comparing the CDC (and I suppose the researchers) to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and others that I might have missed.

CDC-building-Atlanta

The producers of the video, the Autism Media Channel, have a long history of producing videos that allow Wakefield to shill his particularly vile brand of misinformation. One of the worst videos was about Alex Spourdalakis, an autistic child that was murdered by his mother and another caretaker, because they could not handle his autism. Essentially, Wakefield and his sycophants excused the murder because the poor mother and caretaker couldn’t deal with the “vaccine injuries”, and “they had no choice.” It gets worse. Wakefield, in his full narcissistic glory, takes the opportunity to ask for money from the viewers.

So the video announces that Dr. Thompson, who has published numerous articles with the CDC, all analyzing vaccine safety, is a CDC whistleblower. One of his studies, coauthored with prolific CDC researcher, Frank DeStefano, is the target of the antivaccination cult. Their study concluded that there was no difference in the rate of autism in Atlanta-area African-American children between those who were vaccinated and those who weren’t. It’s one of dozens upon dozens of studies that have shown NO link between vaccines and autism.

The center of this manufactroversy (it’s a word, one of my favorite portmanteaus) is an article by Brian Hooker, published in Translational Neurodegenerationa journal with such a low impact factor, it doesn’t actually have one. In other words, it’s probably one of the bottom feeder journals in the world of medical journals, the place where you send your article when no one else will publish it. Hooker essentially reexamines the data from DeStefano et al., coming to a completely opposite conclusion about the data:

The present study provides new epidemiologic evidence showing that African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis.

So who is this Brian Hooker? Dr. Hooker is an engineer with no background at all in any of the key areas of study regarding vaccines: immunology, virology, microbiology, epidemiology, public health, or anything. He’s on the faculty of Simpson University, an uncompetitive, low-ranked California based Christian university. It teaches creationism in the biology department, so being on the faculty there is a serious indictment of the quality of scientific research performed at the school. There is nothing in Dr. Hooker’s background that indicates he knows anything about vaccines, save for being a shill for the anti-vaccination group, Focus Autism. Liz Ditz does an excellent job reviewing the backstory of this brouhaha.

Rejiggering the data from the original DeStefano article is transparently nothing more than trying to “prove” that the research is bad. But let’s ignore the bad quality journal in which this article was published. Let’s ignore the nonexistent credentials of Hooker. Let’s ignore his presumed motives. Let’s just critique his reevaluation of the original data.

According to a thorough analysis of Hooker’s article by David Gorski, MD,

Hooker did a cohort study. He analyzed data collected for a case-control study as a cohort study. Basically, he looked at the risk of an autism diagnosis in the groups first exposed to MMR at different age ranges. Remember, case control = comparing risk factor frequency in people with a condition compared to controls; cohort = examining risk of condition in people with different exposures.

So, Hooker took data collected in one manner, and chose to analyze it as if it was collected in a way that would work with his analytical methods,  just to fit his pre-conceived conclusions, that vaccines cause autism (and somehow the CDC criminally withheld this data). Hooker’s methodology reminds me of a quote from Mark Twain (probably the most quotable American author ever): “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.”

Additionally, Hooker’s article cites studies from Mark, and his son David, Geier, infamous “researchers” who push the “vaccines cause autism” myth, and who used to push the horrific Lupron Therapy. Essentially, the Geiers believed that mercury causes autism (no, it doesn’t), that chelation removes mercury (which is incredibly dangerous), but testosterone in children binds to the mercury (no it doesn’t) so injections of Lupron, a potent drug that has specific uses in treating some types of cancer, are used to remove the testosterone. Horrifying. In fact, their Lupron therapy was so dangerous to children that several medical boards stripped them of their licenses. Neither of the Geiers, including David who has no known advanced degrees in anything and may have been practicing medicine without a license, have any experience in pediatrics, immunology, epidemiology, virology, vaccines, or anything related to vaccines. They are, at best, delusional, and at worst, a clear and present danger to the children that were under their care. They are charlatans. They violated all aspects of the physician oath of “do no harm.” It is irresponsible that any journal, even a low ranked, barely credible, barely cited journal like BioMed Research International  would publish any article that had the Geiers as co-authors.

But the critiques of Hooker’s article get worse, much worse. According to the Poxes Blog (subscribe to it, it’s great), the statistics that Hooker used was borderline (hell, it was over the line) ludicrous:

Next come the statistics. Hooker uses Pearson’s chi squared test to see if there is a significant association between MMR and autism in children at different ages. DeStefano et al used conditional logistic regression. For the non-biostatisticians out there, the technique that DeStefano et al used accounts for confounders and effect modifiers, different traits in their population that could skew the results. Hooker’s technique doesn’t really do that, unless you stratify results and use very, very large datasets. Hooker’s approach is more “conservative,” meaning that it will detect small effects and amplify them, and those effects can come from anything.

So why did we not see this in the other ethnic groups or in girls? The answer here is simple, again. Hooker had a limited dataset to work with when he boiled it down to African-American baby boys. In this table, for example, he tells us that he had to modify the analysis to 31 months instead of 36 because he had less than 5 children in that group. It’s the same goddamned mistake that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield wanted to pass off as legitimate science. You cannot, and must not use small numbers to make big assertions…

Some of these “big assertions” are so huge that it’s used in the Wakefield/Autism Media Channel video to declare that the suppression of this data is as horrifying to the African-American community as was the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, a travesty in which the US Public Health Service observed young/poor black men with syphilis to study its effects, without telling them they were infected. The study lasted from 1932-1972, and has been widely condemned by modern researchers.

The “Tuskegee” strawman argument is offensive on so many levels. First, no experiments were done on the black children in the original DeStefano study–the complete opposite of the Tuskegee experiments. The DeStefano article presented an epidemiological case-control study, that just accumulated data from medical records and birth certificates. No one was harmed in this study.

Second, if the strawman is that we are hiding evidence that the MMR vaccine is harming black children, we don’t have that evidence. In fact, the better evidence, published by DeStefano says that MMR vaccines have NOTHING to do with autism.

Third, and most importantly, there is NO plausible biological reason that black children would be more at risk of autism than white, Asian, or other children. Only if Hooker, Wakefield, and anyone else promoting this nonsense is a complete racist (and I have no clue if they are or not), they should know that white, black, Native American, Asian, Arabic, or any other children are genetically nearly exactly the same. There simply isn’t anything biologically different between these ethnic groups. Well, unless you’re an advocate of the racial laws of Nazi Germany. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Godwin.

Ignoring Hooker, the Geiers, Wakefield, the Autism Media Channel and anyone else promoting this story, ignoring their lame pseudoscience, completely ignoring their junk-filled video, there are some facts that need to be reviewed:

  • Where is William Thompson, Ph.D.? If he’s a whistleblower, where is he? Has he spoken to the FBI or a Federal prosecutor in an investigation of the CDC? Or is Thompson some poor sap who stated things to Hooker (and maybe Wakefield) in some naive belief that they would understand what he was saying? Since all we have is hearsay from Hooker, we actually don’t know what Thompson actually said. Who knows what was taken out of context. Who knows what Thompson really believes.
  • Hooker hasn’t shown anything to anyone that the original DeStefano article somehow got it all wrong. African-American children are at no more of risk from autism caused by vaccines as any other ethnic group-that is no risk.
  • Let’s not forget one important scientific fact–after 15 years of looking, and looking hard in huge studies, no legitimate research has shown any link between vaccines, specifically the MMR vaccine, and autism. None. None. None. There are literally hundreds of articles, published in actually high impact factor journals, that refute, debunk, and discredit Andy Wakefield’s fraudulent claims that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
  • Let me repeat myself. Vaccines do not cause autism.
  • See above.

It’s clear what’s happening here. Thompson, through sheer ignorance or total incompetence may have had a conversation with Hooker. Given the fact that the antivaccination gang lacks any serious scientific evidence supporting their dogma that vaccines cause autism, they jump on anything, however tenuous, that makes it appear that all of the evidence that refutes their dogma should be thrown in the garbage.

The CDC has published a comment about this kerfuffle (thanks to loyal reader, Lawrence McNamara, for posting the CDC’s reply):

The data CDC collected for this study continue to be available for analysis by others. CDC welcomes analysis by others that can be submitted for peer-review and publication.

Additional studies and a more recent rigorous review by the Institute of Medicine have found that MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism.

In other words, the mountain of evidence discrediting the link between the MMR vaccine and autism stands.

To be honest, I was going to ignore this story (hence I’m kind of behind all of the other bloggers in writing about it), because I thought it was incredibly stupid. Naively, I just thought that “no one is going to pay attention to this crap.” A whistleblower who hasn’t said anything. A lame reanalysis of a published study that has to manipulate statistics to fit the preconceived beliefs of the antivaccination cult. Wakefield getting involved. And not one thing that refutes the scientific fact that vaccines don’t cause autism. No one should have listened.

But I forgot that in lieu of science, the usual suspects involved in the antivaccination myths use their massive public relations machinery to manufacture a controversy out of thin air. And all the skeptics and all of the scientists now have to respond.

Updated: On 3 October, 2014, the journal, Translational Neurodegeneration formally retracted the article by Brian Hooker with this statement:

The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused.

Geez, I’m not a statistical genius, but it was clear that the statistics failed to meet even the minimum standard of good science. So what have we learned here? I guess Brian Hooker takes his scientific analysis of vaccines and autism from the same page as Andy Wakefield. And gets the same type of retraction from a paper’s editors. My irony meter has just gone off-scale again.

 

Use the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.

 

Key citations

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor
Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!
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  • Skeptic

    I just wanted to say that you’re a stupid cunt SR. You wouldn’t know scepticism if James Randi suddenly appeared out of your arse.

    • Thank you for your misogynistic rant. But then again, the skeptic world is filled with misogynist bigots. Sorry that you’re so immature and ignorant.

      • Skeptic

        I didn’t even know you were a chick. Figures though

      • Skeptic

        You’re still a cunt

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  • taqah

    I wish articles like this were less aggressive and mean spirited. I came here to see the other perspective of information that flies around some of the circles I come in contact with– and I got what I needed because I can ignore the vitriol BUT people who are hardcore anti vax or even just more skeptical about them than I am will see this as another person with an agenda that doesn’t allow them to hear conflicting voices and information.

    I get that not every place has to have a conciliatory tone and this blog does say “hunting pseudoscience” but I am frustrated that there is really no place online that explores vaccines that recognizes that BIG pharma should be suspect, the government doesn’t always look out for its citizens especially the rights of minorities (both racial and minorities in the sense of minority vs. majority) and that information taken as fact — especially nutritional info– turns out to be erroneous (I suspect this is the gateway for much of the anti-vax sentiment) If this were done I think so many more people could be educated about vaccines. Because otherwise these articles are just speaking to the converted.

    • Well, once you invent a conspiracy about “Big Pharma”, most people are going to dismiss you right out of hand. Your assumption that everyone in Big Pharma is a narcissistic sociopath who just want to harm humans is ludicrous. Bring evidence, or STFU. Seriously, that’s not mean or aggressive, that’s a rule. If you think that Big Pharma is trying to kill you, then show it.

      BTW, cherry picking a couple of drugs where there were errors, while ignoring the thousands of medications that make humans live longer and healthier is bullshit. Again, STFU.

      You’re a conspiracy fuck. There’s no way to have a real conversation with your ignorance.

      • smifenuf

        and you are making a complete ass out of yourself. you bark and curse at someone making a post and then say there is no way to have a real conversation with them. so the kettle meets the pot. with reactions that you give- no one is going to take anything you post serious

      • taqah

        I am sorry you feel that way. The truth is I agree with you about cherry picking and most of what you say, but your tone to my comment makes me feel like there is not much of a point in discussing but in case I am tone deaf here goes once more.

        –I certainly don’t believe in the big pharma conspiracy as in all pharmaceuticals have joined in and are hiding evidence, but I also know that corporations don’t have the public interest at heart, and there are instances of big pharma putting drugs on the market that are largely ineffective (if not dangerous) just to make money, aggressively marketing drugs when other kinds interventions have a better success rates etc.
        That we should be skeptical about some claims pharmaceuticals make doesn’t mean that all their research is to be disregarded.

        (Not that it matters in our debate but so that you get where I am coming from I vaccinate my child and I personally have chosen not only to vaccinate for standard illnesses but because of our travels I have vaccinated for some of the non-mandatory diseases and am happy to do so. I have also worked with the UN on vaccination programs.)

        STFU is probably not the best way to open dialogues–especially not with someone who agrees with your so much of what you post. (As I said earlier I may just not be the target of blog and there is room in the world for all sorts of targets)

        My point is this: I have seen lots of people become suspicious of vaccines because they realize how little science (we) know about a lot of things, especially nutritional issues, they then use this skepticism to suspect a whole slew of things like vaccines where we know quite a bit more. BUT if no one sits down and explains (nicely) what research for vaccines has shown, those people are very hard to reach (they are admittedly hard to reach anyway).

  • mcrowell

    https://leviquackenboss.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/dear-mom-who-thinks-i-need-to-vaccinate-my-kids-against-measles/

    pretty please read this and comment? im actually dying to hear what you have to say about this sanctimommy.

  • Lew Stevens
    • Cherry picking research from shitty, low impact factor journals, most of the authors simply flunk basic statistics, and ignorantly think that post hoc fallacies = causality. You’ll have to do better than this bullshit.

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  • Thaddeus Gadfly

    Can you refute what Dr. Tenpenny ( a board certified physician )
    says of CDC data?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1VwVBmx0Ng
    And quit calling reputable dissenters names, it’s not an act becoming of a scientist.

    • It’s not peer-reviewed. It’s just bullshit rambling of a dumbass.

      I don’t give a fuck what you want me to quit doing. She’s a fucking lunatic with no credibility, no peer-reviewed papers, and should be put in prison.

      Now leave troll.

  • WearingEarbudsRightNow

    Wow, read through the whole thing and found not a single argument,
    decent reasoning or verifiable fact, backed up by credible sources. It’s
    just a bunch of unbacked ad hominems. Exactly what you’d expect from
    someone who wants to coerce everyone into systematically injecting kids
    with neurotoxins. At least, if ‘anti-vaxxers’ get their way, you still
    get to vaccinate your kids and damage their brains and go home and watch
    tv. But if you guys get your way, we don’t get to refuse injecting our
    kids with neurotoxic adjuvants. No, if we don’t follow your infantile
    concepts of brain function and vaccination, we get to go to jail instead
    of home to watch tv. And I say infantile, because you’re asking us to
    inject our kids with neurotoxins that could permanently damage their
    brains for minor inconveniences like the measles. Really, guys? Really?
    Newsflash, vaccine cultists: a lot of these ‘horrible diseases’ kids get
    vaccines for disappear naturally after a few days of minor
    inconvenience, or are easily dealt with if and when complications occur,
    because it’s 2014. And medical science exists, in contrast to times
    where vaccination was still a valid means of influencing the health of a
    population. Wouldn’t it make A LOT more sense to maybe just treat the
    one kid out of thousands who actually gets the disease when and if it
    becomes problematic at all, instead of vaccinating an entire population
    and then STILL have them get the disease, carry the dormant pathogen,
    and STILL having vaccinated kids being capable of passing on the
    pathogen to others? Wouldn’t treating ONE kid in thousands for minor
    inconveniences (because it’s 2014, dipshits, none of these diseases are
    untreatable anymore) be WAAAAY more cost/time/resource efficient than
    injecting EVERYONE with things that ON RECORD statistically correlate to
    higher prevalence of ‘mental disorders’? I’m sorry, but you pro-vaxxers
    don’t even have any semblance of a logical case to want to have
    vaccines in the first case. We know they don’t prevent people from
    getting a disease. We know they don’t prevent people from carrying
    pathogens and passing them on to others. We know they’re not the most
    cost-efficient way to deal with goddamn measles. What are you people,
    five? Grow a goddamn brain cell and get with the times, ffs. Being a
    pro-vaxxer ‘concerned with the health of children’ in 2014 is like
    saying we need to return to chariots, because they’re safer than just
    riding horses, and completely ignoring that cars exist. Chariots being
    vaccination, horses being the laissez-faire approach to disease, and
    modern medical treatment being cars in that analogy. Really, get with
    the times. Get up-to-date. Jeez. I expected at least some basic logical reasoning and arguments from someone/something called ‘skeptical’ raptor.

    • notation

      Ever hear of paragraphs? That would at least have broken up this craptastic load of manure you wrote into smaller parts.

    • Wow I just read through your screed, and found not a single argument, decent reasoning or verifiable fact, backed up by credible sources.

      Ironic.

      • notation

        And it left nasty skid marks on the sides of the toilet bowl, too.

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  • Hello Humpty Dumpty!

    What should be focused on is this:

    My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998.

    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 which findings to report after the data
    were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not
    followed.

    I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10
    months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and
    neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I
    share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be
    transparent.

    This is what should be focused on, not Wakefield, Hooker and certainly not Creationists who graduate from the University where Mr. Gorski teaches that boasts an %81 acceptance rate:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Bergman

    What does that have to do with the discussion?

    Should this not be a concern for ‘science-based medicine’?

    Are you not, ‘hunting for pseudoscience in the internet jungle’?

    • Gorski teaches medicine and is NOT a creationist.

      Brian Hooker is an engineer with NO knowledge of any real science, because, wait for it…..engineering is NOT science.

      They admitted to NOTHING except ignoring data from a small sample size that shows NOTHING.

      You’re an idiot. Man, your IQ is deficient from catching all of the vaccine preventable diseases.

      • Hello Humpty Dumpty!

        No I believe what Thompson said in his statement was that ‘I omitted statistically significant information’

        if your reading comprehension is astute, I believe that you will also notice that I did not say anything about Gorski being a creationist.

        Biomedical engineering does not require science? Chemical engineering does not require science?

        Should I go on?

        I have also had all of my vaccinations except for varicella and
        HPV which are useless vaccinations for me. Oh I forgot to mention, I did not have my Pertussis vaccination, shingles or flu vaccination because of their ridiculously high failure rates.

        If there was a Lyme vaccination I would consider that.

        • Lawrence McNamara

          There was a Lyme Vaccine – but it was withdrawn.

          Hooker doesn’t seem to understand statistics….and again, Thompson’s statement in paragraph 3 seems to disagree with you.

      • kellymbray

        Wasn’t this a small study? Something like 5 children were excluded because they did not have birth certificates? Is this correct?

      • Joshua Jansen

        Engineering is physics, and physics is science. More math, but still science. That being said, Engineering can also be chemistry, or biology, or pharmacology, or business. Engineering is just a term for applied science, most of the time. In my case, it’s the application of bio-medical science.

        • irina_b

          Engineering does not equal science ( it is mathematician part of me talking 🙂 ) Engineering in biomedical science could be the same as civil engineering … Aka bridge flows that might not be known for years and then boom …. Collapse ( pessimist voice)

          • Joshua Jansen

            This could be, in some ways, a false dichotomy: the simplification of the situation into one inaccurate true or false matrix. Is this the gain of knowledge? No. Then it’s not science. This is oversimplifying science, though, because there are many fields which are clearly science, but do not involve the gain of knowledge.

            Take for example Theoretical Physics. If I am hypothesizing an explanation of black wholes, and I am reading through chart after chart of radiation decay monitored in the atmosphere, and cross checking their abnormal trajectory against known forces and discerning sub-particle factors from this wealth of information, then am I actually finding anything new? Am I gaining information, or am I studying information to create an explanation? I’m applying all of our knowledge and recorded data to unexplained information to rationalize it. I’m applying science, but I am not finding more information. So is it science? I would argue so.

            I would argue that the application of information is as scientific as the recording of information. I would also argue that applying information into biomedical engineering is also science. If I were to study the electrical signals of the brain and create just the right pads and diodes to effectively translate subatomic light signals into an electrical signal in the mind of a blind man, then I would be applying as much knowledge as any theoretical physicist. If I were to be calculating the stress points of a brand new bridge, that too would be as much application of knowledge, wouldn’t it?

      • WearingEarbudsRightNow

        “You’re an idiot. Man, your IQ is deficient from catching all of the vaccine preventable diseases.” – Congrats on spelling “you’re” right there. Who cares about prevention? Most of the ‘diseases’ kids get vaccinated for are minor inconveniences that resolve themselves after a few days. Wouldn’t it make WAY more sense to just treat the one kid out of thousands that even gets the disease and happens to experience complications, if and when they occur, than to preventively vaccinate EVERY single person for things that, honestly, aren’t even worth preventing in the first place, because dealing with them when and if they happen is easy as hell with modern medicine? Wouldn’t treating one kid be WAAAAAY more cost/time/effort efficient than vaccinating millions of kids? Especially when vaccinating every single person with exactly the same dosis is highly unreliable and poor medical practice, and we know for a fact that vaccination doesn’t even exclude the possibility of getting a disease, as it only stimulates the immune system into creating anti-bodies? What about the numerous cases where a disease was spread in the first place because pregnant/elderly people who were vaccinated and had poor immune systems didn’t create antibodies for the small sample of the disease in the vaccine and became patient zero of the very pandemic the vaccinations were supposed to prevent? And are we just gonna pretend here that governments throughout history haven’t used large scale vaccinations for human experimentation and rendering ‘unwanted’ parts of society infertile (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States) ? Are we just gonna live in fantasy land here and assume billionaires are pushing vaccination, against all logic and completely ignoring the fact that it’s obsolete at this point in time, because they CARE about us? Are we just gonna pretend that none of the very same people pushing vaccinations, like Bill Gates, never go five minutes without mentioning that we need to get rid of 95% of the world population? Come on, man. Why don’t you just mention who’s paying you to put up your blog here. Because, guess what. I know you don’t give a shit about vaccinating kids ‘because it’s best for them’. Because guess what? Having me arrested for refusing a mandatory vaccination and having my kids grow up without a dad will be WAY more harmful than them maybe having to go visit a doctor in the unlikely event that they should get deathly ill from goddamn measles.

        • Apparently your math skills are typical of all science deniers. Because it’s never one, it’s thousands. In the last pandemic H1N1, thousands of children died, and over 500,000 were hospitalized. Given a vaccine for the flu costs $10 and a hospitalization costs $2000 for an ER visit and 150,000 for an ICU stay, you are completely wrong. I mean just not partially wrong, but as wrong as a dumbass can get.

  • I sent you a tweet with a link to what the gentleman actually said, Raptor.

  • Lawrence McNamara

    Whoa – someone is going to get sued….

    http://www.rescuepost.com/files/william-thompson-statement-27-august-2014-3.pdf

    And it isn’t the CDC……recording conversations without permission can be a Federal Crime (and is definitely a State crime in most places).

    Hooker is screwed & Wakefield isn’t far behind. No wonder Dr. Thompson hired an attorney – he’s going to sue their asses off.

    • Wakefield should be in GITMO being waterboarded or something. I loathe that pathetic excuse of a bag holding DNA.

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  • Lawrence McNamara

    Well, that didn’t take long:

    http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/16/abstract

    The Hooker paper has been removed & an investigation is pending.

  • lilady R.N.

    One other thing; the Autism Media Channel which produced this latest video and those horrendous videos of young Alex Spourdalakis, who was brutally murdered by his mother and “godmother”, is owned by the odious Mr. Wakefield and his partner Polly Tommey.

    Carry on and keep doing what you do best, Skeptical Raptor.

  • bfmomma

    Thank you, Skeptical Raptor. I knew you’d do the best job summarizing it all.

  • Ben Fairbanks

    Let’s straighten something up about Tuskegee. Doctors didn’t deliberately infect test
    subjects with syphilis (not in this experiment at least). They observed the “natural progression” of the disease in those already infected while perpetrating a sham treatment; antibiotics that could have cleared the infection were withheld. One result was that infected individuals needlessly passed the disease on to others, including infants who were subsequently born with congenital syphilis.

    Actually, the Tuskegee experiment parallels homeopathy and other quackery very closely. A sham treatment prevents sufferers from seeking effective medical care leaving them and their children more susceptible to the morbid effects of disease.

    • I clarified that point. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • voxvot

        The Tuskegee study seems to be a Frankfurt School myth.

        The first naturally derived antibiotic,Tyrocidine, used to treat wounds and ulcers was discovered in 1939 but was too toxic for systemic usage.

        “Florey and Chain succeeded in purifying the first penicillin, penicillin G, in 1942, but it did not become widely available outside the Allied military before 1945”

        Wikipedia.

        The Tuskegee study began in 1932, ten years before any effective treatment in the form of antibiotics was available.

        The experiment involved individuals in the tertiary, non-contagious stages of the disease. These patents were essentially untreatable.

        These individuals were offered “sham” treatments in the absence of any real treatment. The “sham” treatment was administered as a device to encourage the patients to maintain contact with the doctors conducting the study.

        What we have is a concerned group of individuals studying a horrible disease with a view to devising treatments and a possible cure, turned into an “evil whitey” narrative; you couldn’t make this shit up.

        • kellymbray

          After 1947 penicillin became the standard treatment for syphilis. They did not offer that treatment to the study participants. They attempted to prevent them from getting treatment. Your whitewash does not stand up to scrutiny.

          • voxvot

            By 1947 every patient in the study would have been in the tertiary stage of infection, a non-contagious, asymptomatic stage. It was not standard practice to treat tertiary syphilis with intravenous penicillin shots at this time.

            There is evidence that patients who became symptomatic actually were given penicillin.

            Even in a worst case scenario, we’re a long way from the “evil white racist” trope that you are trying to push.

            I’m a bit “skeptical” about the progressive liberal interpretation of this study.

            • lilady R.N.

              You are making a lot of assumptions about the stages of syphillis the black young men were in, when they were denied treatment with Neosalvarsan, that was provided to white young men.

              I’m presuming that the black young men were identified as having primary syphillis easily identified in both white and black men, yet only black men were chosen for the Tuskegee “study”.

              It was unethical to not treat syphillis with the available antimicrobial, and there are definite racial “qualifications” (poor and black) to have been put into the Tuskegee “study”.

              Too bad you are “a bit “skeptical” about the progressive liberal interpretation of this study”. Show us any proof for your skepticism.

        • lilady R.N.

          There was Salvarsan first marketed during 1910 and then Neosalvarsan, a more stable antimicrobial used for treatment of syphillis, which was, I believe, withheld from the men in the Tuskegee group.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsphenamine

  • Ben Fairbanks

    Thanks for this. Your explanation is clear and methodical. The cries of “conspiracy” within the scientific community always dumbfound me. Scientists love genuine scientific controversy because it encourages funding-at least until the argument is settled. Explicit questions are easy to address and easy to explain in grant applications. If there were a real scientific debate about vaccines and autism, scientists would be the last to want to cover it up.

  • I love that you used the word kerfuffle. One of my fave words. Not used nearly as much as it should be.

    And great job, etc

    • notation

      I love that word, too–AND “portmanteau.”

  • Bertrande

    Great job, as always, refuting the incredibly high levels of stupid.

  • Essential Liberty

    I think the real question is did the CDC manipulate the data to state there was no autism link? If so then bashing these pseudo statics really proves nothing other then the fact both sides can manipulate the outcome.

    • That’s not even a question. You’re inventing a controversy when there isn’t any. The research done by DeStefano was peer reviewed, and the statistical analysis was appropriate for the type of epidemiological study presented.

      Hooker’s analysis was utterly and completely bogus, attempting to force the data into a type of epidemiological study that was not powered by the original data.

      You attempting to create a false balance of “pseudo-statistics” when there isn’t one. Hooker is lying. Period.

      • Lawrence McNamara

        And there is the “letter” supposedly from Thompson from 2004 – but it seems to be missing one vital thing to that might prove whether it is authentic…..anyone able to guess what’s missing?

        • A real signature? Letterhead? Email headers? I’d take anything that authenticated it.

      • Essential Liberty

        First of all I’m not attempting to create anything. I’m reading a report where the coauthor of the same study is to have stated it was fraudulent. This to me is the very point of my post, if its found to be false hey you and the anti-vacs can continue to joust with each other on different vac statistics. Otherwise get ready for the storm… Good day.

        • Actually the “coauthor”, Thompson, hasn’t said anything. All we’ve heard is hearsay from Mike Adams, Mr. Andy Wakefield, Hooker, and all of the usual suspects. And that crowd isn’t known for its honesty and veracity about anything.

  • Heather Vanderweide

    Manufactroversy. I like that word 🙂

  • Dorit Reiss

    Excellent questions.

  • Lawrence McNamara

    The CDC finally issued a statement:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Autism/cdc2004pediatrics.html

    They stand by the results of the study, but welcome anyone who thinks differently to look at the data and publish their results in peer-reviewed scientific literature (which Hooker has certainly not done).

    • Mike Stevens

      Not working for me…
      Ahh – Got it.

    • Updated the article. Thank you very much, and I gave you a shout out.

    • I don’t think that is going to appease those who created the manufactroversy to begin with. Sigh.