Brian Deer on CNN, responds to Andrew Wakefield’s wild charges

6 Jan

Brian Deer is the investigative reporter who broke the story of the research fraud that Andrew Wakefield conducted in his autism/MMR studies. Andrew Wakefield made some serious charges against Mr. Deer yesterday, claiming ” He is a hit man. He’s been brought in to take me down because they are very, very concerned about the adverse reactions to vaccines that are occurring to children. Who brought this man in, who is paying this man, I don’t know.”

Mr. Deer was interviewed on CNN today. Here is that segment:

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=bestoftv/2011/01/06/am.chetry.deer.autism.cnn

here is the transcript

CHETRY: Yes. And so, this is certainly a bombshell of a story this morning. The study that linked the MMR vaccine to autism caused shock waves when he it was published back in 1988 in the medical journal “Lancet.” But by 2004, most of the paper’s co-authors had withdrawn their support. Then last February, “Lancet” retracted that report saying the research was, quote, “unethical.” Last summer, Dr. Wakefield was then barred from practicing medicine in Britain.

And Brian Deer is the investigative journalist who really blew the lid off of this story. And he joins us live from London this morning.

Brian, good morning.

BRIAN DEER, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST, SUNDAY TIMES OF LONDON: Good morning.

CHETRY: One of the things I want to ask is: what is the — what was the most motivation then for Dr. Wakefield to falsely link autism to the MMR vaccine in that initial study?

DEER: Well, I believe that his motivation was essentially to make money. Initially to make money from litigation, he was retained as an expert in a lawsuit for which we know he was paid three quarters of a million U.S. dollars. But he also had all kinds of business interests which he thought would make considerably more money through promoting the scare and promoting public anxiety through over the MMR vaccine.

CHETRY: And then the question seems to be: why would there be all of these other co-authors? And why would it make its way into a prestigious journal like “Lancet” and really shape the discussion and the fears about autism linked to vaccine?

DEER: Well, that’s one of the great weaknesses of medicine and medical publishing, is that people can publish things that are false. People talk about peer review and such like. And they imagine they’re some kind of safety system. But, in fact, the whole system works on trust. His co-authors didn’t know which child was which in the study that he published.

And so, it is actually possible for determined cheat to get away with the kind of behavior that Dr. Wakefield has been involved in.

CHETRY: Well, Dr. Wakefield is still continuing to stand by his study and his findings. Anderson Cooper actually talked to him last night. He went after you. He accused you of being part of a conspiracy to discredit him.

Let’s just listen to a bit of what he said. Also, he claimed that you were getting paid to do this — to do this investigation. Let’s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, CNN’S ANDERSON COOPER 360) DR. ANDREW WAKEFIELD, ACCUSED OF FAKING AUTISM RESEARCH: I have read his multiple allegations on many occasions. He is a hit man. He’s been brought in to take me down because they are very, very concerned about the adverse reactions to vaccines that are occurring to children. Who brought this man in, who is paying this man, I don’t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHETRY: Did you have a financial interest in doing this investigation, Brian?

DEER: I’ve been an investigative journalist working for “The Sunday Times of London” since the early 1980s.

The point you have to remember about this whole issue is, firstly, that it’s not me saying this. It’s the editors of the “BMJ,” a very prestigious medical journal who peer reviewed and checked of the facts which we put forward in our investigation this week. So, it’s not me saying it. It’s the editors of that journal who are behind this.

But secondly, this material has been published in the United Kingdom in extraordinary detail. If it is true that Andrew Wakefield is not guilty as charged, he has the remedy of bringing a liable action against myself, against “The Sunday Times of London,” against the “British Medical Journal,” against television networks here — and he would be the richest man in America.

(CROSSTALK)

CHETRY: But he’s alleging that you were being paid to do this article. I mean, you were paid, right, because you were a journalist?

DEER: I was commissioned by the “British Medical Journal” to write the piece, yes. That’s what the journalists do.

CHETRY: What about “The Sunday Times of London” and Channel 4 in Britain?

DEER: I work for them. Right. Yes, of course, they pay, I’m a journalist. I was hired to do a job, like you are.

CHETRY: Right.

DEER: You are being paid to your job and I’m being paid to do my job.

CHETRY: Thank goodness.

The bottom line, though, is he’s questioning your motivations for going after him? Clearly, what are your motivations for going after Dr. Wakefield and his study?

DEER: It was simply a journalist assignment given to me late in 2003. A simple journalistic assignment which I expected would last a week or two weeks. And it just completely opened up when Dr. Wakefield began what we know has established a campaign of lies. When you’re a journalist and you see somebody you’re dealing is lying to you, then you pursue it. He then sued me. He was then required to may my costs. So, I received a check on his behalf, the previous false lawsuit that he began.

And now, what he’s trying to do, cloud the picture by — in the same way as he used to cloud the picture by saying some doctors say the vaccine is safe. Some doctors say it isn’t safe.

Now, what he’s trying to do is to say, well, some people say that he’s a liar and he says that I’m a liar.

CHETRY: Right.

DEER: So, what he’s trying to basically do is to split the difference. On that basis, he can work a nice living which he’s got going. You should see him in Jamaica this weekend, which he’s having a marvelous sometime on the expense of parents of autistic children.

CHETRY: Well, I want to ask you about that. What has been the impact of this safety on calling into question the safety worldwide of certain vaccines?

DEER: Oh, it’s been absolutely devastating because he and a little clique of lawyers and activists around, anti-vaccine activists around him, have been able to spread anxiety, to export it from the United Kingdom, bring it across the Atlantic, the United States, with the result, we’re now seeing parents anxious about vaccination. We’ve seen just the worst outbreak of whooping cough in California since the 1950s.

CHETRY: Are we going to understand autism and what causes it, though? Because we have seen this rise, 50 percent from 2002 to 2006 in children identified with autism spectrum disorder? I mean, why is it increasing like this?

DEER: Well, I’m a journalist, I’m not a doctor. And I don’t give medical advice. I can say from what I understand talking to doctors and scientists is that the (INAUDIBLE) conditions which cause autism, autisms, neurological problems in children, are very complex issues. And science just doesn’t have the answer.

So when someone like Dr. Wakefield comes along that gives a simple answer that blames other people, blames drug companies, now blames me, it’s all my fault, a very small number of parents become misled by that and cling to this. Because their choice is basically blame somebody else or suffer the possibility that they’re left with the guilt of thinking it was their fault that they vaccinated their child. So, it’s a very vulnerable group that Dr. Wakefield preys on.

CHETRY: Well, your reporting certainly is getting attention this morning. All of it is going to be out there along with the editorial as well. We look forward to seeing all of this.

Brian Deer, thanks for joining us this morning.

DEER: Thank you.

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24 Responses to “Brian Deer on CNN, responds to Andrew Wakefield’s wild charges”

  1. Mrs P. A. Sutton January 7, 2011 at 00:21 #

    I am neither a doctor nor a journalist. I am a ‘Nan’ with a grandaughter aged 10; incontinent; without speech; in daily distess from colonic pain and other problems – all developing after measles vaccine was given.
    If Brian Deer had to watch helplessly as a loved one writhed about screaming in pain on a daily basis, he would perhaps be supportive of ANYONE making an attempt to find a possible cause. Dr Wakefield has never been ANTI MMR or anything else. He is PRO looking into possible causes of such distress. It is time doctors (and Brian Deer, and ‘the Pharma’) did something towards investigating the REAL problem (the possible causes of autism and associated pain and distress) instead of lashing out at those trying to do this. There are times when I am ashamed of British justice.

    • Sullivan January 7, 2011 at 02:03 #

      Mrs P. A. Sutton,

      Brian Deer isn’t “lashing out” at those trying to find the causes of autism. He is pointing out, correctly so, that Mr. Wakefields claimed attempt to find a cause was fraudulent. Mr. Wakefield has accomplished nothing in 15 years of working with the autism community. No real research, no treatments, no advancement of knowledge. Nothing. His one attempt at a contribution was, again, a fraud. He has since been trying to repair his reputation.

  2. Nightstorm January 7, 2011 at 01:25 #

    If Brian Deer had to watch helplessly as a loved one writhed about screaming in pain on a daily basis, he would perhaps be supportive of ANYONE making an attempt to find a possible cause.

    Personally as adult with autism, I would like it if parents stop turning us into puppets of pity, so they can look like some brave selfless heroes. Emotion is not going to going to find causes or help your grandaughter. Emotion did nothing to help me or my mothers moanings about how hard it is to deal with me and her musings about sending me to a group home because she is had “no idea what to do with me.”

    and I am what the public calls a “High Functioning Autist”

    Emotion and pity mongering does jack. I never did, and it honestly does more harm than good. I want to see scientists and professionals stop bitching over ‘Causes” and look at the facts that we have rising number of autistic people and we have NOTHING to support them. No vocational training, no more effective or personalized education, no independent support services. Jack. Shit. It’s more disturbing than the vaccine jargon.

  3. Squillo January 7, 2011 at 02:24 #

    Ms. Sutton:

    If anything, Mr. Wakefield has contributed to a delay finding the cause or causes of autism by misdirecting attention and research monies to pursue, and continuing to promote, a bogus hypothesis; one, it now appears, that was designed from the very beginning simply to enrich himself at the expense of families like yours and mine. He continues to enrich himself at the expense of families with autism. I would hazard a guess that he is able to make a far more comfortable living as a celebrity of sorts, doing what he currently does than when he was actually practicing medicine or pursuing valid research.

  4. Joseph January 7, 2011 at 02:50 #

    It is time doctors (and Brian Deer, and ‘the Pharma’) did something towards investigating the REAL problem (the possible causes of autism and associated pain and distress) instead of lashing out at those trying to do this.

    @Mrs Sutton: In case the facts aren’t clear enough, Wakefield never tried to investigate anything at all. What he did try to do is cash in by means of research fraud. The documentation is quite clear, and so far undisputed. I’m not sure what’s so difficult to get about this.

  5. Broken Link January 7, 2011 at 04:05 #

    Mrs. Sutton, Here’s how Dr. Wakefield did NOT help one
    child with chronic constipation. He scoped him, and then let him
    leave with no treatment. “… child 3. He was 6½ and lived on
    Merseyside: 200 miles from the hospital. He received MMR at 14
    months,100 with the first concerns recorded in the general
    practitioner’s notes 15 months after that.101 His mother—who 4
    years later contacted Wakefield on the advice of JABS102—told me
    that her son had become aggressive towards a brother, and records
    say that his vocabulary had not developed.103 “We both felt that
    the MMR needle had made [child 3] go the way he is today,” the
    parents wrote to a local paediatric neurologist, Lewis Rosenbloom,
    18 months before their son’s referral to London.104 They told him
    they wanted “justice” from the vaccine’s manufacturer, and that
    they had been turned down for legal aid.105 “Although it is said
    that the MMR has never been proven to make children to be autistic,
    we believe that the injection has made [child 3] to be mentally
    delayed, which in turn may have triggered off the autism.” I
    visited this family twice. Their affected son was now a teenager
    and a challenge both to himself and to others. His mother said his
    diagnosis was originally “severe learning difficulties with
    autistic tendencies” but that she had fought to get it changed to
    autism.106 As for a connection with MMR, there was only suspicion.
    I do not think his family was sure, one way or the other.107 When I
    asked why they took him to the Royal Free, his father replied: “We
    were just vulnerable, we were looking for answers.” What was
    unquestionably true was that child 3 had serious bowel trouble:
    intractable, lifelong, constipation.108 This was the most
    consistent feature among the 12 children’s symptoms and signs109
    but, being the opposite of an expected finding in inflammatory
    bowel disease,110 111 it was nowhere mentioned in the paper. This
    young man’s was so severe that he was dosed at his special school,
    his mother said, with up to five packets of laxative a day. “You
    always knew when his stomach was hard,” she told me, in terms
    echoed over the years by many parents involved with Wakefield. “He
    would start headbutting, kicking, breaking anything in the house.
    Then he would go to the toilet and release it.” For the Royal Free
    team, however, when reporting on these patients, such motility
    issues 112 were sidelined in the hunt for Wakefield’s syndrome. In
    almost all the children, they noted commonly swollen glands in the
    terminal ileum, and what was reported as “non-specific colitis.”113
    114 In fact, as I revealed in the BMJ last April,115 the hospital’s
    pathology service found the children’s colons to be largely normal,
    but a medical school “review” changed the results. In this
    evolution of the gut pathology noted in the records to what was
    published in the paper, child 3’s case is a prime example. After
    ileocolonoscopy (which, GMC prosecution and defence experts agreed,
    was not clinically indicated116), the hospital’s pathologists found
    all colonic samples to be “within normal histological limits”.117
    But three months after the boy was discharged, Walker-Smith
    recalled the records and changed the diagnosis to “indeterminate
    ileocolitis”.118 “I think, sadly, this was the first child who was
    referred, and the long term help we were able to give in terms of
    dealing with constipation was not there,” he told the GMC panel.
    “However, we had excluded Crohn’s disease and we had done our best
    to try and help this child, but in the end we did not.””

  6. Chris January 7, 2011 at 04:40 #

    Mrs. Sutton:

    If Brian Deer had to watch helplessly as a loved one writhed about screaming in pain on a daily basis, he would perhaps be supportive of ANYONE making an attempt to find a possible cause.

    I recently watched videos of my son before his first birthday, and the Christmas when he was 15 months old. He was developing normally and had the beginnings of actual babbling. Then around New Year’s he got rotavirus, and it was very bad. Bad enough that he had seizures (which can happen with dehydration) and ended up in the ER.

    While his gross motor skills were okay, he stopped developing speech. He required at least ten years of speech therapy, years of special and as an adult he is still disabled.

    As a parent of a child affected by a real disease I find your words very offensive, just as I find those who deny the dangers of the measles, mumps and rubella very offensive. Because of Wakefield’s lies there have been children permanently disabled and killed by measles (dozens in Japan, two in the UK, several in Germany), mumps (the recent outbreaks have caused deafness), and then there are the ten infants who have died from pertussis in California.

  7. Angus January 7, 2011 at 14:08 #

    Can we get a vaccine for cognitive dissonance please?

  8. Dawn January 7, 2011 at 19:46 #

    Andrew Wakefield is the Typhoid Mary of our time. As a mother of an autistic child I applaud Brian Deer’s excellent investigative reporting of Wakefield’s fraudulent “research”. It’s a shame that it’s taken the US News Machine so long to report on Wakefield’s lies. Most of us who’ve followed this story have known how dishonest Wakefield is. Please stop giving Wakefield and his anti-vaccine zealots so much air-time just because they yell the loudest. Andrew Wakefield continues to spread fabrications while collecting money from the desperate parents he preys upon. He deserves to be ridden out on a rail. It’s time to hear from respected scientists and the Voice of Reason for a change.

  9. M January 20, 2011 at 22:53 #

    I like how Mr. Deer links the California Whooping Cough “epidemic” to Dr. Wakefield. Maybe Mr. Deer should investigate the fact this “epidemic” can be traced directly to illegal immigrants from Mexico living in the Central Valley. Don’t take my word for it, look at the California Department of Health Services own statistics. You will see the rise in whooping cough cases directly coincides with the increase of illegal immigration from Mexico (along with MDR tuberculosis)and the overwhelming majority of cases are among this Hispanic population, not “people who don’t vaccinate their kids because of Dr. Wakefield’s research”. Do your homework, Mr. Deer.

  10. Chris January 20, 2011 at 23:48 #

    Look closer at those stats, M. I see you failed to link to the latest report, well here it is:
    http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/immunize/Documents/PertussisReport2011-01-07.pdf

    Now knowing that even children who are fully vaccinated with the DTaP are not protected until the 4th in the series, and are more vulnerable when they are under a year old, look at Chart #4.

    Go, have a look. Look at the blue bars. What population do the blue bars represent? Now which population has more cases of pertussis starting at age six months? Come on, be honest! Is it really Hispanic children?

  11. M January 21, 2011 at 02:30 #

    Chris –thanks for the link , you clarified my point– please reread the current stats at the top of page three—the blue bars on that graph indicate Hispanic individuals– the green bars on graph on the bottom of the same page 3 also indicate Hispanic individuals–(it’s unfortunate the CDPH didn’t keep their color code consistent) please see link below for possible explanation why the numbers appear drop for older Hispanic individuals(besides the fact many are unwilling to interact with Public Health (or any other) “officials”.
    http://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/article_f9e09742-80e9-11df-bd85-001cc4c03286.html

  12. M January 21, 2011 at 02:46 #

    Chris, sorry I forgot to answer your question
    Go, have a look,
    Yes!!! It really is Hispanic children!

    Honest,I didn’t compile my own statistics!
    And the true statistics, as you have so kindly submitted, have little, if anything, to do with Dr. Wakefield’s research which is why I took exception to Mr. Deer’s implication that it does.

    If California health officials were addressing the real causative issues instead of those made up by irresponsible journalists like Mr. Deer, we would likely not even have an “epidemic”.

  13. Chris January 21, 2011 at 02:51 #

    And those are children under age one! They are not fully protected until they are older. So why does Marin County have such a high rate? Is it all the domestic help?

    Give documentation that the Hispanics are all illegals. I really want to see that in a state that was once part of Spain, and where some of the Hispanic families date back to that time. Make sure it is real census data showing that every single person in California with a Spanish last name came from Mexico within the last two decades.

    • Sullivan January 21, 2011 at 03:02 #

      Chris,

      an added irony to this–in the past, David Kirby made the claim that the autism rates in California continued to rise after the removal of thimerosal because of illegal immigrants. His argument was that they were vaccinated in their home countries with thimerosal containing vaccines.

      So, when it suits the argument, undocumented workers in California have unvaccinated children. When it suits the argument, they are vaccinated.

  14. Chris January 21, 2011 at 03:05 #

    Wait, M, you are saying that the kids over age one getting pertussis more in Chart #4 are Hispanic? How? Did the blue bars shrink?

    Again how do you know those children are illegal? What is the criteria? Their last name?

    One more probable reason for the discrepancy is poverty. This was noted in this paper about the kids who died during the 1990 measles outbreak:
    Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic.
    Chavez GF, Ellis AA.
    West J Med. 1996 Jul-Aug;165(1-2):20-5.

    Oh, wait. Maybe you will disregard that paper because Dr. Chavez might be an illegal.

    (Sully, I remember someone from Mexico commenting on the Bad Astronomy blog that vaccines there are both free and mandatory, so the “illegals” could very well be more vaccinated than children of some middle class Oprah watching white parents)

  15. M January 21, 2011 at 03:21 #

    All pertussis cases diagnosed by MDs in California are reported to CDPH.
    Marin county is affluent, and a large(relative to other counties in CA) percentage of the residents there are covered by health insurance of some sort, so are more likely to actually go to a Dr. when they have any health problems,even what for an adult may be a “minor cough”. Therefore since they are seeing an actual MD, they are more likely to be actually diagnosed with pertussis.

    The statistics stand as they are.

  16. Chris January 21, 2011 at 04:20 #

    You have not answered my question: how do you know all of the Hispanics depicted in the statistics are illegals?

    Where is the supporting documentation for that? You claimed the pertussis epidemic was from illegal immigrants. You either think that everyone with a Spanish surname is illegally in this California (which is very silly), or there is actual evidence to support that claim. Support your claim with real evidence. Not hand waving saying “Look they are Hispanic!”.

  17. Chris January 21, 2011 at 04:37 #

    I should add that the word “legal” is not found anywhere in the Pertussis report I linked to. So please support your claim with real documentation and not blatant assertion.

    So, would you consider our former neighbors in Pacific Grove the Gonzalez family as illegals? Even though they were born in California, and their grandfather came over from Portugal early in the 20th century and fished for sardines in Monterey? Or because they were second generation Californians are no longer Hispanic?

  18. Chris January 21, 2011 at 05:21 #

    Okay, here is something I found in the LA Times. It quotes a spokesman for the California Department of Health:

    “We absolutely do not think either legal or illegal immigration has anything to do with the California pertussis epidemic,” August said.

    And he continues with more clarification:

    # Pertussis did not need to be imported into California. It’s always been here.
    # Mexico does a great job vaccinating for pertussis. Until just a few years ago, Mexico was using the whole-cell vaccine, which is probably more effective than the acellular vaccine that has been used in the U.S. since the 1990s.
    # There is no pertussis outbreak/epidemic in Mexico.
    # Immunization rates in Hispanic children are high.

    And (this sounds familiar):

    # Hispanic infants are overrepresented among pertussis cases, but this discrepancy disappears after six months of age when most infants have received three doses of Dtap — the vaccine for infants — and are much less vulnerable to pertussis.
    # Overall rates of pertussis disease are highest in whites. We think Hispanic infants are overrepresented among young infants because they are more likely to live in larger households, per census data, and have more contacts. More contacts means more opportunities to be exposed to someone with pertussis.

    Further looking, I see one news page blaming immigrants. Unfortunately it at “wnd”, also known as “Wing Nut Daily.” So really, if you have actual evidence that the Hispanics are illegal immigrants present it. Just make sure it is from a reliable source.

  19. M January 21, 2011 at 12:59 #

    Chris:
    I made no claim that “all the Hispanics depicted in the statistics are illegals”. Therefore, it is not necessary for me to defend it.

    Also, I made no claim as to any ethnic population’s vaccination status.

    I haven’t “blamed” anyone. The statistics speak for themselves.

    Why do you feel it necessary to pull straw men out of your hat?

    Did you even read the Chavez/Ellis report you linked to above? Why do YOU think the California Hispanic population (again the group hardest hit by the 1990 measles outbreak you cited )of the “Salinas Valley” or “Southern California” would be a more poverty-stricken or disease-exposed than any other group? Is it because they all have to commute to schools and doctors in Marin county?

    If “poverty” alone was the explanation for increased percentages of pertussis (which is what we are discussing) among the Hispanic population (have it your own way, ignore any scrutiny of WHY the poverty some California Hispanics experience may be different from that of other ethnic groups, so you can freely chase red herrings) then it should hit ALL groups at the lower end of the US socioeconomic strata (including African-Americans, an historically disadvantaged group by anyone’s accounting), in fairly equal proportions. However, the statistics don’t bear this out.

    But wait, how can it be ‘poverty-stricken Hispanics in the Central Valley’ and and ‘affluent ‘white people’ in Marin county who refuse to vaccinate their children because of Dr. Wakefield(even though the reported incidences are actually higher for OLDER ‘white people’ who likely WERE vaccinated)’ at the same time?

    As YOU pointed out Chris, “the Mexican government mandates 100% of its citizens be vaccinated”. They also use a different vaccine than that used in the US. Please cite the WHO statistics that demonstrate there is “no pertussis in Mexico” (or even Mexican statistics).

    Perhaps this can explain:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10463173?dopt=Abstract

    the last sentence of this research abstract regarding Bordetella Pertussis DNA reads:

    “The results are discussed in light of vaccine-driven evolution”

    That this research is found to be credible by the US Centers for Disease Control is evidenced by its inclusion in the CDCs own report on the incidence of reportable communicable diseases between 1950 and 2008.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus2009tables/Table047.pdf

    If you read that report, you will notice that it directly refutes Mr. Deer’s irresponsible and sensationalistic implication that the current pertussis “epidemic” is due to ‘Dr. Wakefield inducing anxiety in parents leading them to not vaccinate their kids”.

    Among other things, the CDC report verifies that in the US the population percentage incidence (number of cases per 100,000 US residents)of childhood diseases Diphtheria, Tetanus, Mumps, Rubeola (measles), Rubella, and Polio steadily continue to decline every year up to and including 2008. (I could not find a more current report). So while the ‘reported number’ of cases may be increasing, so is the total population but at an even greater rate.

    Therefore, if ‘non-vaccination’ by yuppie parents concerned about autism was in fact the ’cause’ of the current California pertussis “epidemic”, we could expect to see a corresponding rise in percentage incidence of ALL communicable childhood diseases. But we don’t! In fact we see just the opposite! Curious anomaly, eh?

    We see a decrease in everything EXCEPT Bordetella Pertussis, WHICH IN 1998 WAS ALREADY KNOWN TO HAVE GENETICALLY MUTATED AS A DIRECT RESULT OF VACCINATION, per the above cited.

    Why hasn’t anyone done some “investigative reporting” on the DNA strain of the pertussis involved in the current epidemic?

    How about you Mr. Deer? Now here’s something that’s worth reporting about! While you are at it, you might want to investigate what other potentially deadly communicable disease pathogens have also mutated as a direct result of questionable vaccination protocols.

    I have an idea, why don’t we just investigate the facts without trying to be so politically correct it kills us? Instead of looking for someone to “blame” as Mr. Deer has done, why don’t we try to be intellectually honest and look at the evidence in order to solve the problem?

    As a former (?) Californian Chris, you of all people should know that agencies such as CDPH receiving federal funding (ICE excepted)are prohibited by federal law from questioning a person’s immigration status. Therefore, the spokesperson from CDPH quoted in the LA Times article has no legitimate way of knowing whether or not pertussis patients are in the country legally (or even if he does, he can’t admit it publicly without losing his job).

    So, a statement like “We absolutely do not think either legal or illegal immigration has anything to do with the California pertussis epidemic” has to be taken at face value, because it’s absolutely true they are not, by law, ALLOWED TO THINK about it in their professional capacity. And it’s just as ‘true’ that they can “believe” it’s not a factor, in the same exact sense as they can (if they chose to) “believe” it is caused by an ‘imbalance of the four humours’ or ‘bad air’.

    Notice, no one in the article unambiguously declared “Illegal immigration is not a factor!”

    All of this makes me think of the good old days when the medical professional establishment ‘soundly refuted’ Ignaz Semmelwies’ profound medical discovery that we all take for granted today
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_reaction_to_Ignaz_Semmelweis

  20. Chris January 22, 2011 at 00:13 #

    What evidence do you have that the Hispanics with pertussis are all illegals? Post real data, not wiki’s on Semmelweis, a twelve year old paper on Bordetella pertussis strains, a three year old CDC table and random racist hand waving. This has nothing to do with Deer. It has to do with you supporting your claim with real evidence.

  21. EM January 28, 2011 at 04:17 #

    Low immunization rates are not the problem

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/sep/07/whooping-cough-vaccine-working/

    Are these lab confirmed cases?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html?pagewanted=all

    There is evidence that the pertussis has mutated sufficently to be unaffectd by the current vaccine strain, not reduced immunization rates.

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/dec/14/immunized-people-getting-whooping-cough-experts-sp/

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/sep/07/how-well-do-current-vaccines-protect-against-whoop/

    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/dec/14/kpbs-and-watchdog-institute-investigation-question/

    If Hispanics are over represented there has been some correlation to exposure to pesticides and herbicides and reduced immune function, I don’t have a citation for that handy.

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