Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dr Seagull Lays an Egg

What is Dr Seagull talking about? The only way vaccines work is with herd immunity? Herd immunity is just a byproduct of people acting to protect themselves. So if I get a flu shot it doesn't work because the rest of the neighborhood didn't get one? The vaccine peddlers are becoming more and more detached from reality. Besides, if vaccines can only work with high levels of compliance through force then they can't work. The dream of America is freedom, not freedom from the measles. We cannot and will not sacrifice the former for the latter.

Furthermore, forced compliance just works at the margins. Those wanting protection can get vaccinated. If that's not enough they can stay home, away from germs. If that doesn't protect them to their satisfaction, too bad. No one has a right to force unwanted medical treatments on others regardless of the reasons.

And measles is a killer? I guess Goebbels was right: when lying lie big.

Anyway, herd immunity is public health's fantasy, not ours. And using the state to achieve it is entirely antithetical to the proper and just role of government: to protect rights, not to violate them to satisfy the goals of certain obsessive vested interests.

If there aren't enough willing vaccinees to achieve herd immunity, then you can't have your precious herd immunity. Get over it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Q & A: Dealing with Overzealous Doctors

Yesterday a mom on Great Mothers Questioning Vaccines posed this question: do I tell the doctor I'm not vaccinating? We have decided not to but then when they asked I chickened out and simply said we were delaying them for now. What do you tell the doctor when they ask you why you aren't vaccinating? I hate feeling like a little kid in trouble and I don't know what to say!

That got me to thinking, since doctors are always complaining about having to answer parents' questions about vaccines and only having a few minutes for each patient how about if, instead of settling for the "vaccines have saved millions of lives" canned five- minute speech, we leave the baby at home and let them take about three or four hours to go over each and every vaccine. They can tell us the nutritional factors that affect each illness, the mortality declines occurring before and after vaccination, the risk groups that most of us don't fall into that worsen illnesses etc. Faced with having to spend time defending these vaccines lets see how anxious they are to continue to harass us about them.

"Vaccines, really? Lets set up a time when you can take several hours out of your day to explain all this to me."

A Supreme Injustice

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down a decision denying parents the right to go outside the government's "vaccine court" and sue drug makers for vaccine injuries in state court.

The decision, called "a victory for vaccine makers such as Wyeth and GlaxoSmithKline", is a defeat for the many parents who placed their trust in the nation's vaccine program.

The Washington Post reported that dissenting Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg expressed concern that confining parents to vaccine court would lessen the incentives for vaccine manufacturers to monitor and improve the vaccines they produce.

The Post article then turned it's focus to the prevailing side, stating:
The majority said that Congress found such a system necessary to ensure that vaccines remain readily available...
Using that rational we could excuse exploding gas tanks because of the need to keep American car manufactures in business and American workers employed.

The judges in the majority expressed their feeling that:
...federal regulators are in the best position to decide whether vaccines are safe and properly designed.
Which could have just as easily been worded:
Those whose mission it is to ensure that as many men, women and children are vaccinated with as many, and as much vaccine as can possibly be absorbed, are in the best position to decide whether vaccines are safe and properly designed.
Justice Antonin Scalia, reflecting the judges' blind faith in "science" wrote:
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 "reflects a sensible choice to leave complex epidemiological judgments about vaccine design to the FDA and the National Vaccine Program rather than juries"
Juries? Preposterous! How could they decide? After all they're just made up of people and people get real confused when they encounter "science" and hear mystifying words such as epidemiology.

Justice Scalia failed to mention how juries can be relied on to decide criminal cases involving forensic evidence (a field that incorporates a number of scientific principles) but that's another issue altogether.

The decision left the American Association of Vaccination Pediatrics giddy. A spokesman for the group gushed:
"Today's Supreme Court decision protects children by strengthening our national immunization system and ensuring that vaccines will continue to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in this country,
But what is today a cause for celebration within the halls of medicine may, in time, be seen as a Pyrrhic victory. After all, this decision might wake parents up to the fact that when it comes to recovering vaccine-related damages, the deck is stacked against them: yet one more reason to question the wisdom of vaccination.

I was disappointed though not surprised by the ruling. It reaffirms my belief that vaccines live in their own special world of protections and perceptions. Medical over treatment is rampant yet to even consider that vaccination can be over done makes one irrational. If you decide a vaccine is a product you don't want, you're anti vaccine (If you don't buy a flat screen are you anti flat screen?) and when clear conflicts of interest are clearly shown to the very foundation of vaccination were told conflicts don't matter.

Not surprisingly, this ruling has create outrage among many parents. As a result a protest is being planned for 
this Thursday, February 24 at 11:30 am at Microsoft's NYC headquarters at 1290 Avenue of the Americas (52nd Street and Sixth Ave, southeast corner).

One final note. This post does not dispute the fact that the tort system is in need of reform. It is. It's just unfortunate that, while everyone else is subject to the current system, vaccines, occupying their own special place in the universe, are given shelter in the warm and cozy bosom of Vaccine Court, and granted protections far beyond what any general reform could ever deliver.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Q & A: Vaccination Disclosure

Today's question is taken from the Agoura Hills Patch and comes from Lauren Rifenbark, who is a mother of a toddler:
Before I had my son almost two years ago, I never gave any thought to the issue of vaccinations and the fact that some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Now that I have a toddler, who has not yet completed his schedule of childhood vaccines and does not have full immunity to many preventable illnesses, it is difficult for me to ignore recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough. When we visit the local indoor playroom or the park, I can't help but wonder if any of the kids my son is trading slobber with is unvaccinated. This brings me to my question for the day: Do you believe that parents who choose not to vaccinate their children have an obligation (moral, ethical, or otherwise) to notify other parents of their decision?
Thanks for the question Lauren

The answer is "No". Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children do not have an obligation  to notify other parents of their decision.

As to your fears, remember, while you haven't completed the entire schedule (and due to teen, preteen and adult vaccines your child never will) you can rest assured you have vaccinal immunity to pertussis and the measles. Measles protection is purported to be very good -- so the next time an American returning from Sweden attends your play group your child will be protected. In regards to pertussis, the vaccine's protective ability is rather limited: it lasts perhaps five years.

Returning to the question of whether or not I should tell you about my child's vaccination status, the question may soon be moot. (Perhaps the government will require unvaccinated children to wear shirts saying "I'm not vaccinated" or have patches sewn on their clothing indicating the same.) But, as to the situation at hand, you have every right to ask parents and they have the right to either answer you or not. (Personally, I'd have no problem sharing that information) But, I'm curious, do you ask every adult with whom your child comes into contact with if they've had their flu shot and their adult series of boosters?

Finally, on a tangential note, what's particularly interesting about the question is that it reveals the Machine's fear mongering having its desired effect of scaring parents and creating and us (vaccinated) against them (unvaccinated) mindset

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vaccine. Please, I Need Vaccine.

I just came across an amusing article appearing in the Green Bay Press Gazette. It's entitled:
Adults need vaccines, too!
And it's main premise is that:
You never outgrow the need for vaccines.
The piece begins with the false premise that we ever needed vaccines in the first place then goes on to tell adults what they "need" We've always heard "children need their vaccines" but as drug companies and public health do-gooders turn their sights to adults, the need theme is being applied to us. Heck, the piece could have been written by the Department of Health and Human Services as part of their plan to "support communications to enhance informed vaccine decision-making".

But let's look at what need means before we go any further. According to wikipedia:
A need is something that is necessary for organisms to live a healthy life. Needs are distinguished from wants because a deficiency would cause a clear negative outcome, such as dysfunction or death. ...So it's clear. We don't "need" vaccines! We can live healthy lives without them. I will not suffer death because I did not succumb to the temptation of a Walgreens' flu shot.
But the author, a nurse practitioner, doesn't understand that. So she plods ahead with the need theme:
Adults need immunizations to protect against flu, tetanus...pertussis...HPV and other diseases
Flu? I'm not worried, besides I can't remember the last time I had the flu. Tetanus? Tetanus was exceedingly rare even before the vaccine and, because C. tetani, the infectious organism that causes tetanus, is found in the soil, those working on farms are most vulnerable -- and I don't work on a farm. (Another group suffering disproportionately from tetanus was comprised of soldiers fighting in the trenches during World War I. War wounds -- allowing c tetani to enter -- along with exposure to soil made our doughboys particularly vulnerable. Pertussis? In adults pertussis is usually mild. I can handle a cough, besides I probably have already had pertussis and may therefore be immune - at least for the next thirty years.

So there you have it. My needs are being met -- and miraculously, all without an adult round (or rounds) of vaccines.

Monday, February 14, 2011

American Values vs. The Scientific American

The editors of Scientific American, in coordination with the pro-vaccine propaganda emerging from the release of Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin's new books (the two authors encouraging us to both vaccinate and bow down to the will of "science") and the release of a report attacking Dr Andrew Wakefield and his study tying autism to the MMR vaccine, have, in the magazine's February issue, submitted their own bit of vaccination disinformation.

The article entitled Fear and Its Consequences begins with an incident that has nothing to do with either fear or its consequences: the California pertussis outbreak of 2010
California is now in the middle of the worst outbreak of pertussis in half a century... The number of annual cases has been climbing in recent years. Last year, though, the rate of infection rose, once again, to epidemic proportions—7,297 known and suspected cases, a fourfold increase from 2009. 
Of course, no piece of establishment generated propaganda would be complete with out a rehashing of this epidemic - even though "vaccine refusers" had as much to do with it as they did with the financial crisis of 2008.

The editors then employ a nonsensical premise in an attempt to sell us on the idea of herd immunity (they sure do love their herd immunity)
The success of any given vaccine depends on so-called herd immunity, in which a high rate of immunization in a population helps to protect those individuals who are not immune.
No the success of a vaccine depends on how well it protects those receiving it - any herd immunity is a simply a byproduct of large numbers of people choosing that vaccine - or sadly, being forced to accept it.

Continuing on with the herd immunity theme, they assert:
Herd immunity requires high immunization rates—around 95 percent for highly contagious infections like pertussis and measles. 
As to their point, I'm not sure. As I've discussed ad nauseum, 1 million cases of undiagnosed pertussis occur each year; making herd immunity to pertussis pure fiction.

The editors prattle on:
When immunization rates drop below the critical level, disease can strike not only unvaccinated individuals but also vaccinated ones, because all vaccines fail to confer immunity in a certain percentage of people.
Terrifying. Damn those anti-vaxxers! But wait rates have never reached 95% for the measles - or any other illness for that matter - even under the regime of forced immunization. So how could rates be falling below critical levels when they've never reached critical levels?

Either way, whether or not they reach critical levels is unimportant because the attainment of those levels does not justify the unwanted medication of America's children.

Next up is the endangerment card:
Parents who opt out are endangering not only their own kids but everybody else’s, too—including those who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young or immunocompromised, as well as youngsters who have received their shots.
In my opinion (and that's the only one that counts when my child is involved) the endangerment comes when you allow 70 doses of vaccine to be administered to a young child. As to the precious herd, the danger of catching an infectious illness is a product of civilization, not a result of those who choose not to vaccinate. When we're forced to vaccinate we're simply being forced to protect others by using our children as objects. Opting out of that immoral system simply returns us to a baseline at which one person is at a moderate risk of catching an illness from another person

Slogging through their list of talking points, they arrive at the Wakefield matter
In February 2010 the Lancet retracted Wakefield’s infamous paper. That leaves no scientific evidence to support the assertion that vaccines cause autism or other chronic diseases. 
They fail to inform their readers that there may be no scientific evidence because science has never seen fit to examine whether or not vaccines (not just one single vaccine or one single vaccine ingredient) cause autism - especially when these vaccines are given in countless different combinations during different stages of development.

Finally the article sinks to it's most pathetically absurd point
The right to decide what is best for oneself and one’s children ends where science has so clearly documented a threat to public welfare. It’s time for the other 48 states to eliminate these exemptions and adopt strict enforcement policies to ensure that kids get their jabs. 
Wrong! The only time the right to choose what's best for one's self comes under government control is when those choices infringe upon the rights of fellow citizens - and there is no right to be free from illness at the expense of others.

The threat to public welfare about which they speak is really a threat to people (scientists love to talk about herds and hives and communities and the collective but never people) but that threat comes not from other people violating our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happineess (the area in which government involvement and protection is legitimate). Rather these "threats" - if one could call the mumps a threat - come from a combination of infectious agents and the living conditions we, for the most part, choose ourselves.

As free people, we can discover and use vaccines, avoid people and live a life that supports health rather than illness.These, unlike forced vaccination, are legitamate ways we, the people, can protect ourselves - legitamate because we, in the process, do not trample upon the rights of others to obtain that protection.

Scientific American's disdain for freedom is hardly surprising since it and similar publications believe we all live to do as the scientists say. After all in a free country how would they expropriate the money of hard working Americans in order to fund their self indulgent little science projects. And how could they afford to traverse the world, attending their yearly global warming climate change summits - held of course in some of the world's most glamorous locations.

Who would give them the time of day were it not for their never-ending alarmism promising (without their leadership) both a world about to explode into a gigantic fireball and one a the precipice of being devoured by the scourge of infectious illness.

It's revealing that, in the very same issue in which this little editorial appears, two other articles call for the implementation of policys that would, to solve the crises de jour, tell us what to drive, the temperatures at which we'd be allowed to maintain our homes and of course what foods and beverages we'd be permitted to consume. No aspect of our lives is safe from the scientist and his political enablers.

Scientists are, even though they're loath to admit it, people like the rest of us. And as such they desire power, prestige and the ability to foist their political agendas upon others.

They labor under the delusion that "science" confers to them some legitimate authority to rule and control - just as the kings of yesteryear imagined their authority flowed from a divine source.

In light of the dangers science poses to freedom, it is time emulate the founding fathers' separation of church and state and, as the philosopher of science Paul Feyerabend suggested, separate state and science.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Preteen Vaccine Week...Really?


While gathering information to debunk the myth that low vaccination rates had anything to do with the pertussis epidemic of 2010, I stumbled across a chilling phenomena: the inner working of The Vaccine Machine.

While the CDC gets most of the attention when it comes to the relentless promotion of vaccination, it's shadowy organizations such as The California Immunization Coalition that do the real, behind-the-scenes dirty work upon vaccination depends.

The California Immunization Coalition calls itself a public/private partnership. I call it a collection of vested interests drawn from medicine, public health, insurance, the American Association of Pediatrics.

With the goal of further increasing the number of vaccines our children receive, The California Immunization Coalition has concocted something known as Preteen Vaccine Week.

The group calls Preteen Vaccine Week (occurring February 13-19 - mark your calendar) an "observance" to highlight the importance of vaccinations in 11 and 12 year olds - it's striking that they would use "observance" (a word often used in reference to religious affairs) in reference to this vaccine sales campaign

The event's 2011 goal is to encourage healthy children to go see the doctor so they can of course be vaccinated. This year features a special promotion: the implementation of a new law compelling 7th to 12th grade students to accept yet another dose of pertussis vaccine. Thankfully this law is, like all vaccination laws, still subject to the California philosophical exemption.

Of course pertussis is, according to public health groups not involved in preteen vaccine week, usually mild in older children and adults

So what happens (besides the pertussis vaccination) when they get the kids into the doctors office? Well eleven and twelve year olds just happen to be eligible for some really great additional vaccines.

They get a little meningococcal, a little flu, a second dose of the chicken pox, three doses of Gardasil and, as an added bonus when you fulfill your pertussis commitment, a dose of tetanus and diphtheria - both included in a kind of biologiccal happy meal that makes up the Tdap vaccine. Ah to be young again.

And no wonder these vaccine pushers are so excited. Eleven and twelve year olds have the potential to deliver one million more victims of compulsory vaccination to the Machine.

The California Immunization Coalition's web site offers materials  for immunization coordinators and immunization program staff (I'm guessing these are functionaries working in either public health or the schools themselves] The ordering of campaign kits (featuring posters and brochures and reminder cards) is encouraged. These kits also contain "talking points" along with materials to craft press releases and implement media alerts.

Public health authorities, seeing every aspect of our lives as falling under their purview, even use their vaccine propaganda materials to exhort families to have dinners together and encourage children to get involved in community.

They talk incessantly of the new law requiring yet another dose of pertussis vaccine for middle and high school children yet not one word (unless well hidden) about the right of parents to receive an exemption.

The California Immunization Coalition's web site also offers links to The California Department of Public Health where one can obtain additional promotional materials. And, at the department of health, they're not only observing preteen vaccine week, they're "celebrating" it.

Sadly, during a time of massive budget deficits, they have the resources to indulge their public health fantasies

They encourage teachers to engage their students in herd immunity propaganda sessions. Other suggestions involve the playing of Vaccine Jeopardy (like the TV show) and vaccine-related scavenger hunts (perhaps to look for all the dead bodies strewning the neighborhood as a result of the flu). High schoolers are encourged to do vaccine skits for preteens while students of all ages are to do comic strips and posters extolling the miracle of vaccines - awards to the best little propagandist.

Sounds like a program Chairman Mao would be proud of.

*Note trying to work with some of their documents will cause your Word programs to freeze and crash. Also the documents did not allow for cutting and pasting.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Release the Parrots!

Over the past several weeks a torrent of pro-vaccination misinformation has been unleashed upon the nation. Most of it parrots a variety of talking points concocted by vaccine idolaters Paul Offit and Seth Mnookin

Michigan's Kalamazoo Gazette begins the talking point parade with these two:
A growing number of parents are refusing to immunize their children
...diseases thought long gone are making a comeback.
But vaccination rates are at all time highs. The small rise in exemptions (from say perhaps .05% to .2%) is negated by rises among the general population. After all you wouldn't say, after losing a five dollar bill but then finding a ten dollar one, that you had a net loss of five dollars  - would you?

As to the second point, throughout the entire vaccine era there have been small outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses yet the author would have us believe it was 1950 and every child was contracting the measles, mumps and chicken pox

The Gazette then rolls out the obligatory pediatrician and public health official. First we're then treated to the lamentations of Pediatrician Eric Slosberg regarding the reluctance of some parents to do as their told and vaccinate:
“It’s very frustrating; to be frank, it’s like talking to a brick wall,”
We'll Eric there's a flipside to that. I'm very frustrated that you and your public health comrades can't take no for an answer and leave parents alone. It's kind of like talking to a brick wall. Some people don't want vaccines; get over it.

A Dr. Allan Lareau, of Bronson Rambling Road Pediatrics, in Kalamazoo then weighs in:
“Based on all available literature, evidence and current studies, there is no evidence to support that vaccines cause autism or other developmental disabilities,” Lareau said. “It’s way beyond a reasonable doubt at this point — vaccines are not a cause of autism.”
Sadly Dr. Lareau, like so many birds of a feather in the medical community, wants us to believe an absence of evidence due to a lack of investigation is the equivalent of a rigorous investigation of a possible link that turns up no association

Finally, in a point that seems to contradict the entire article - that people fleeing vaccination in droves - we discover:
Statewide, only about 4 percent of all children did not get vaccinated last year.
Its not any better in Baltimore where the Sun call measles and mumps "dreadful diseases"

Then the Pittsburgh Parrots of the Post-Gazette take their shot at the issue in an article that begins:
In the face of increasing evidence that families who oppose vaccination are endangering their own children and public health, some doctors and patients are starting to fight back.
As I've stated before infectious illnesses are a part of living among other people. Therefore people choosing to live around others are at risk of catching something. My decision to forgo vaccines doesn't place others at risk, it just leaves them where they started.

And "fighting back?" How can you "fight back" when nobody's fighting with you. Just take your vaccine and go away - no fight. Their claims of fighting back are analogous to a thief fighting back against those refusing to be robbed.

Not to be denied a whack at the dead horse of the 2010 pertussis epidemic, the article's author continues:
in some pockets on the West Coast, 20 to 30 percent of the residents are unvaccinated...As a result, California is now experiencing its worst whooping cough outbreak in 50 years, with nearly 9,000 people infected and 10 children dead, and Pennsylvania's cases jumped more than 50 percent last year, to 950.
The piece continues, bemoaning the demise of the herd:
...there is an unsettling decrease in "herd immunity" in the American population. When vaccination rates are high, it doesn't matter if some individuals get preventable diseases, because they won't be able to spread very far.
Even though, and I don't know how many ways to say this, VACCINATION RATES ARE AT ALL-TIME HIGHS!!!

Our old friend Gregory Poland then appears claiming:
...about three of every 1,000 people who get measles die from it.
The doctor employs a common tactic of the vaccinator: make the illness seem more dangerous than it actually is.

Poland's probably constructing his numbers from data accumulated during the early 90s where mild measles cases were underreported and infants were more vulnerable than in the pre-vaccine era because mothers passed on less effective maternal antibodies (due to gaining immunity from vaccination and not natural infection)

Additionally the epidemic was concentrated amoung the poor: a group that is more severly effected by almost any infectious illness.

A more accurate measure of measles severity is derived from the CDC's estimate that ~3 to 4 million children contracted the illness each year resulting in 450-500 deaths - leaving us with a mortality ratio of ~1-8,000. And even that ratio overestimates the likelihood of death in a healthy child since those with risk factors such as malnutrition are far more likely to experience severe cases - just as a smoker is far more likely to suffer from lung cancer

Next, Julius Youngner, who helped develop the Salk polio vaccine is quoted:
"When you have a disease like smallpox where 30 percent who get the disease die, and you have this terrible scarring with the survivors, vaccine eradication becomes very popular," he said.
Apparently Younger hasn't read the aforementioned Baltimore Sun piece which states:
Brandeis University historian Michael Willrich is writing a book on the history of smallpox, and in an essay in The New York Times, he describes government troops and city policemen wielding clubs for the forcible administration of smallpox vaccine to suspicious factory workers and immigrants.
Finally it's back to Dr. Poland who ends on an "encouraging" note :
I've found...vaccine-hesitant parents can be reached with targeted education."
Of course those familiar with this blog know "targeted education" is simply a euphemism for propaganda

In conclusion, we examine the Manhattan Institute's City Journal where the the authors - one of whom is the director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress - open with a combination of parrotry and typical Machine deception, squawking:
Vaccines, which save millions of lives every year,
Somehow they fail to mention that, even if these numbers were correct, they apply, not to America where we live, but to Africa, India and other remote corners of the globe where abysmal living condition play a far more powerful role that do mean old bugs and germs.

Then, turning their attention to the poor dead horse of pertussis (now battered beyond all recognition and only identifiable through dental records), they query:
Why, then, is that sickness [pertussis] making a scary comeback in California, which is currently weathering its largest whooping-cough epidemic since 1947, with over 7,800 cases and 10 deaths in 2010? Mainly because more and more parents, worried about the vaccine’s supposed side effects, are choosing to delay vaccinating their children—or not to do it at all.
I've debunked this assertion here and here.

Their next talking point claims that it's those damn "affluent and well-educated" who are spoiling everything for the rest of us by failing to comply with the wishes of our omniscient public health mandarins. This talking point seems to be an attempt to stir up a little class warfare and turn American against American - after all since when is wise to follow not the educated but the poor and ignorant.

The piece ends talking about "today’s anti-vaccine hysteria" which corresponds to their notion that anyone who declines a vaccine must be out of their minds (either naturally or as a result of panic, fear or hysteria) But I, and most others I know, when deciding against vaccination, were of sound mind and not in someway impaired.

Apparently unable to think for themselves, these "journalists" just parrot the spoon-fed talking points of public health functionaries. So when reading one of these stories extolling the miracles of vaccination, look past the feathers and see the facts. And remember, just because a parrot repeats something doesn't mean it's true.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bill Gates: Seduced by the Siren Song of Vaccination

On February 4th Bill Gates (pictured above) appeared on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The interview revealed a man obsessed with vaccines and vaccination. It appears years spent suffering delusional fantasies about saving the world from poverty and disease have taken an extraordinary toll on Gates. In this segment he imagines thousands of imaginary deaths being a result of a 1998 study out of England suggesting a possible link between vaccines and autism. Sadly Sanjay Gupta, revealing his own ignorance, does't challenge Gates' descent into fantasy. Here's Gates:
Well, Dr. Wakefield has been shown to have used absolutely fraudulent data. He had a financial interest in some lawsuits, he created a fake paper, the journal allowed it to run. All the other studies were done, showed no connection whatsoever again and again and again. So it's an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids. Because the mothers who heard that lie, many of them didn't have their kids take either pertussis or measles vaccine, and their children are dead today. And so the people who go and engage in those anti-vaccine efforts -- you know, they, they kill children. It's a very sad thing, because these vaccines are important.
But I'm not the only one who's noticed Gates obsessive behavior. The New York Times just last week reported: 
...Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, the influential British medical journal, said via Twitter that “Bill Gates’s obsession with polio is distorting priorities in other critical BMGF areas. Global health does not depend on polio eradication.” (The initials are for theBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.)
And Arthur L. Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s bioethics center, who himself spent nine months in a hospital with polio as a child, said in an interview, “We ought to admit that the best we can achieve is control.”
Of course those profiting from his compulsive spending aren't going to discourage his crusade to save the Third World . After all there's a lot of money to be made from such endeavors. It was just last month in fact that the AP reported:
A $21.7 billion development fund backed by celebrities and hailed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, The Associated Press has learned.
Other prominent backers include former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives $150 million a year.
So Mr. Gates, go to Pakistan and Nigeria and Afghanistan and spend your money as you will, just give me a break with the pro-vaccine lies and propaganda when it affects me and my country.

Thanks to Ginger Taylor and Adventures in Autism for making me aware of Gates' statements and inspiring this piece.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Offit on Colbert


The Machine media blitz that began with the recent attacks against Andrew Wakefield continued last night as Paul Offit appeared in a well-rehearsed performance on The Colbert Report.

As the show progressed, I was having difficulty determining who knew less about vaccines, Offit or Colbert, until I realized Offit’s ignorance was only apparent – a result of placing pro-vaccine misinformation ahead of honesty.

The doctor recited his deceptive talking points beginning with a fanciful story (thoroughly debunked here) about how a pertussis outbreak was in some way related to people choosing not to vaccinate.

Colbert then jokingly informed us that his doctor encouraged his sick child/children to go to school while sick in order to expose other children to whatever illness necessitated the doctor visit. Amazingly Offit, imagining a past that never occurred, responded, “that’s what we used to do”

Colbert then asks about a possible connection between autism and vaccinations. That question has been asked and answered retorts Dr. Offit. Studies have shown vaccines don’t cause autism! Wow what a relief. But wait I know the mercury compound thimerisol has been studied but that’s not a “vaccine.” And the MMR vaccine was studied by those producing and promoting vaccination but that’s only one of dozens of vaccines given. So it’s at best disingenuous to imply that vaccination itself has, as a cause of autism, ever been, in any way investigated.

I really can’t believe he continues to disseminate this repugnant piece of misinformation.  Especially when he, in his new book, exhorts us to trust the Machine saying:
When parents choose to vaccinate their children, one element is critical to the decision: trust. A choice not to vaccinate is a choice not to trust those who research, manufacture, license, recommend, promote and administer vaccines – specifically, the government, pharmaceutical companies, and doctors. If we are again to believe that vaccines are safer than the diseases they prevent, we’re going to have to trust those responsible for them. This isn’t going to be easy.
You're right doctor, it’s not going to be easy. That's because trust isn’t built on a foundation of misinformation and deception. Trust is earned by trustworthy behavior. If you truly wanted to build trust you would have said something to the effect that mercury, the one and only vaccine ingredient ever studied as a possible cause of autism, was suspected because it has a reputation for toxicity and because it’s administered during a time in which autism either develops or is diagnosed.

And you wouldn’t forget to mention that no one really knew how much mercury was contained within the entire vaccine schedule and that no one knew what that meant for children’s safety.

You would have continued by informing viewers that only one of dozens of vaccines and vaccine combinations has ever been studied and those studies were conducted by the institutions selling and promoting the very vaccines under investigation.

That is if you were concerned about building trust. Unfortunately you’re not; you’re concerned about selling vaccine.

Rather than inspiring trust, Dr. Offit’s never-ending media appearances inspire me to question more deeply studies extolling the safety of vaccines. His blatant attempts to alter reality in order to shelter vaccines makes it exceedingly difficult to believe studies done by Offit and those who inhabit his world.