January 24, 2017
Only nine days away from his swearing-in as president, Donald Trump held his first press conference since the election and announced that the pharmaceutical industry was “getting away with murder” and that during his presidency he would do something about high drug prices with more competitive bidding for federal contracts. His remarks sent drug stocks into a sudden nosedive.1
As noted by Brad Loncar, manager of Loncar Cancer Immunotherapy ETF: “When somebody that high-profile says something that negative, people do not want to invest in it.” According to Reuters:2
“Trump’s campaign platform included allowing the Medicare healthcare program to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which the law currently prohibits.
He has also discussed making it easier to import drugs at cheaper prices. ‘We are going to start bidding. We are going to save billions of dollars over time,’ Trump said.”
Trump’s comments came only one day after Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told reporters that Trump had asked him to “chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.”
Although the Trump transition team quickly denied that any decision had been made on such a commission, shockwaves reverberated throughout the drug industry in speculation as to what impact this commission, if formed, might have on vaccine uptake and sales.3
Robert Kennedy and Media Coverage of a Possible New Vaccine Safety Commission
Although Trump himself has not made a public statement, if you had any doubts whatsoever that conventional media is following an industry-created script, look no further than the incredibly biased coverage of Kennedy’s reported appointment.
A vast majority of the articles written are so blatantly slanted and unbalanced, it is hard to understand why self-respecting professional journalists would ever want their names associated with them. Repeatedly, such articles claim the science on vaccines is settled and vaccines are safe.4 Period.
The New York Times — which recently promised to rededicate itself “to the fundamental mission of Times journalism … to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives”5 — wrote a remarkably biased article about Kennedy’s appointment, saying:6
“Mr. Trump … asked a prominent anti-vaccine crusader to lead a new government commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, ushering debunked conspiracy theories about the dangers of immunization into the White House …
Among his many political pursuits, Mr. Trump picked up the anti-vaccine cause a few years back. In 2012, he tweeted … ‘A study says @autism is out of control — a 78 percent increase in 10 years. Stop giving monstrous combined vaccinations.’ These views, to say the least, are not the scientific consensus …”
So, The New York Times, supposedly newly rededicated to impartial reflection on all sides of the issue, simply decides there’s a consensus among all scientists and makes no attempt to address a single argument made by those who provide substantial evidence that there are big gaps in vaccine safety science.
That’s hardly upholding journalistic integrity. Yet, this is what we’re seeing everywhere in news reporting by conventional media dominated by corporate interests these days.
Is Vaccine Safety as Established a Fact as Gravity?
There are no long-term studies comparing differences in health outcomes between vaccinated and unvaccinated populations.
The pharmaceutical and medical trade industries claim a vaccine’s benefits always outweigh the potential harms, but no solid scientific evidence is provided to back up such claims. It’s really little more than opinion.
The government and pharmaceutical industries say it would be unethical to study vaccinated versus unvaccinated children, as the unvaccinated children would be put at risk. Yet more and more parents are having first-hand experience with adverse reactions, and choosing to opt-out of the government vaccine schedule.
Ask a parent of a child who died or suffered permanent brain damage after vaccination and I’m sure you’ll get a very different response. Curiously, anyone who dares to question the quality and quantity of vaccine studies is immediately branded anti-science and a medical heretic.
In response to Kennedy’s announcement that Trump had asked him to head up a commission on vaccine safety, Dr. David Kimberlin, co-director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), said:7
“We don’t have to keep asking if gravity is real. We don’t have to keep asking if clean water is a good thing. Yes it is. Vaccines are good things. They save lives.”
According to Kimberlin, “The science proving the safety of vaccination is settled and does not need to be investigated again.” But if it’s settled, where are the studies?
Where’s the research showing that 50 doses of 14 vaccines administered to children in combination and repeatedly in the first six years of life equals long-term health and results in few, if any, problems? What are the multi-generational effects to the immune system with so many vaccine doses?
The sad fact is the often repeated mantra that vaccines are absolutely safe and that there is nothing to worry about is a case of thinking that if a falsehood is repeated over and over again, and long enough, people will believe it’s true.
Why are vaccine proponents so terrified of an honest vaccine safety review? This in and of itself raises serious questions.
Another fact that should give everyone pause is the witch hunt unleashed on anyone who dares to question the never-proven-hypothesis that vaccines are so unequivocally safe and beneficial for everyone that everyone should be forced, by law, to get vaccinated with every government-recommended vaccine.
Cleveland Clinic Doctor Faces Disciplinary Action for Stating the Obvious
One of the latest victims of such a witch hunt is Cleveland Clinic physician Daniel Neides, director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Neides writes a monthly column for cleveland.com, a publication that is part of the Sun News organization, which also publishes the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
In his January 6 column,8 Neides expressed his concerns about the ever-growing toxic burden humans face and his disappointing experience with the annual flu shot, which left him bedridden for two days. He also touched on the potential vaccine-autism link, saying:
“Why do I mention autism now twice in this article. Because we have to wake up out of our trance and stop following bad advice. Does the vaccine burden — as has been debated for years — cause autism? I don’t know and will not debate that here.
What I will stand up and scream is that newborns without intact immune systems and detoxification systems are being over-burdened with PRESERVATIVES AND ADJUVANTS IN THE VACCINES.
The adjuvants, like aluminum — used to stimulate the immune system to create antibodies — can be incredibly harmful to the developing nervous system.
Some of the vaccines have helped reduce the incidence of childhood communicable diseases, like meningitis and pneumonia. That is great news. But not at the expense of neurologic diseases like autism and ADHD increasing at alarming rates.”
His comments ignited a media fire storm and prompted the Cleveland Clinic to issue a statement saying Neides would face disciplinary action for his comments.9
The column was briefly removed from the cleveland.com site, but mysteriously reappeared and became accessible again after Neides retracted his statements and apologized for what his physician colleagues and the media are characterizing as an anti-vaccine “rant.”
If a prominent, well-respected physician cannot state the obvious without facing potentially career-ending consequences, what hope do we have of ever getting at the truth? WHY is open dialogue about vaccination not permitted?
It’s simply not reasonable to shut every discussion down with the old “the science is settled” claim, while the scientific literature is still littered with outstanding questions.
Coincidence Claims Falter as Vaccine Damage Becomes More Common
On January 11, a group of concerned parents rallied at the State Capitol in Mississippi in the hopes of having their voices heard in the vaccine debate.10 One of those parents was Dr. Scott Guidry, whose son developed autism spectrum symptoms following some of his childhood vaccinations. Guidry told WJTV:
“My son was vaccine-injured, and we reversed the vaccine injury, and now he’s recovered from autism. I’m not against vaccines. I learned the same importance of vaccines like every other physician who went to med school did. I know. But it’s never really been studied, the safety of vaccines. There’s never been a long-term safety study on vaccines.”
According to this news report, Mississippi has one of the highest vaccination rates in the U.S. It also has one of the highest autism rates, as well as the highest infant mortality rate in the country.11 Coincidence? No one knows, but in the absence of firm proof either way, many parents are renewing their call for the legal right to make voluntary decisions about which vaccines their child should receive and if or when they should be given.
The same scenario is playing out in other states across the nation. The numbers of children suffering with chronic illness and disability, including autism spectrum disorders, are increasing. The numbers of children and adults who have experienced serious vaccine reactions are also increasing.
It has become so common that a majority of people now have a family member or know someone who has been adversely affected by one or more vaccines. Eventually, this first-hand experience with vaccine reactions will come to include most physicians and politicians, as well.
At a certain point, the coincidence-theory simply cannot hold water any longer, and that’s what we’re starting to see now. Very often, people don’t care enough to get involved in the discussion until it’s personal and, in recent years, we’ve seen a growing number of influential people speaking up and describing their personal experiences with vaccine reactions in the public forum.
Robert De Niro is the latest example of a well-known celebrity parent, who has gone on the public record questioning vaccine safety and the reported link between vaccines and autism. Not surprisingly, like everyone who raises questions about vaccine safety, he has been attacked by the media as being uninformed and promoting dangerous ideas.
Rick Rollens, former secretary of the California State Senate, and retired Representative Dan Burton (R-Ind.) are two examples of individuals who worked for government and publicly shared their personal experiences with vaccination and autism. They were strongly criticized for speaking out as they attempted to open up discussions about vaccine safety. Absolutely no one is above ridicule should they dare question the safety of vaccines.
Paul ‘For Profit’ Offit’s at It Again
Wherever discussion about vaccine safety is covered by the media, Dr. Paul Offit is there in the middle of it. A vaccine developer for Merck and author of several books attempting to marginalize vaccine safety critics, Offit has become the “go-to” doctor whenever corporatized conventional media wants a spokesperson to deny vaccine risks and defend “vaccine safety.”
Rarely, if ever, does media note his deep ties to the vaccine industry, and the fact that he stands to profit personally from maintaining the illusion that vaccines are absolutely safe for everyone all the time, which also protects the status quo for industry profitmaking.
The Daily Beast recently ran an article12 penned by Offit, in which he says “Trump needs vaccine experts, not conspiracy theorists.” How do you know a propagandist when you see one? For starters, they’re extremely fond of throwing around derogatory and humiliating terms like “conspiracy theorists,” “hacks” and “quacks,” in lieu of making a solid argument.
Offit has earned tens of millions of dollars in royalties from the Rotateq vaccine, and has notoriously stated that infants can tolerate 10,000 vaccine doses at once without ill effect. He’s also been caught making unsubstantiated and false statements about former CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, and lying to the OC Register about providing CBS News with the details of his financial relationship with the vaccine maker Merck.13
Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), sued Offit for defamation in 2009, along with reporter Amy Wallace and publisher Conde Nast. “She lies,” Offit was quoted as stating “flatly” about Fisher in Wired magazine. However, no evidence supporting his accusation was provided and Fisher was never asked by the reporter for a comment on Offit’s baseless allegation.
Fisher sued in the Fourth Circuit federal court in Virginia for a jury trial and $1 million in damages, but Judge Claude Hilton dismissed the defamation lawsuit. Hilton’s primary argument for dismissal was that both Fisher and Offit are public figures and that, in his opinion, Offit’s allegation that “she lies” was made in a moment of emotional exasperation and the heat of spirited public debate, which is the hallmark of free speech protected by the First Amendment.
It is interesting how the free speech argument was used to dismiss a clear-cut case of defamation. The big question today is: Will the First Amendment protect Neides or anyone else in the U.S. who dares to publicly criticize the safety or effectiveness of vaccines?
In Absence of Reliable Injury Reporting, How Can Safety Be Ascertained?
In 2015, media reports noted that a “study” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed that vaccines rarely ever cause serious reactions. The study in question used CDC Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) data, concluding there were only 33 “confirmed vaccine-triggered anaphylaxis cases” among the 25,173,965 vaccine doses administered between January 2009 and December 2011.14
However, there’s a significant problem with using this study to “prove” safety, as…