Ginger Taylor misrepresents David Bowman

5 May

the admission of David Bowman at HRSA (who runs VICP) that vaccines can cause encephalopathy that causes autism as reported by David Kirby.

Following the Poling vaccine concession, Kirby wrote to HRSA and asked if this now meant that the VICP was now paying for vaccine induced autism. This the “official statement” that HRSA sent him:

David,

In response to your most recent inquiry, HRSA has the following
statement:

The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to
compensate, any case based on a determination that autism was actually
caused by vaccines. We have compensated cases in which children
exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy
may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms
including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.

Some children who have been compensated for vaccine injuries may have
shown signs of autism before the decision to compensate, or may
ultimately end up with autism or autistic symptoms, but we do not track
cases on this basis.

Regards,

David Bowman
Office of Communications
Health Resources and Services Administration
301-443-3376

Is this not a very significant disclosure by HHS and in conflict with many of their public statements of autism causation? HHS has admitted that vaccines can cause brain damage that becomes “autistic behavior, autism, or seizures”.

Well, no, no its not. Lets look closley at the ‘offending’ paragraph:

We have compensated cases in which children exhibited an encephalopathy, or general brain disease. Encephalopathy may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including autistic behavior, autism, or seizures.

Quite clearly Bowman is saying that Encephalopathy may be accompanied by etc. A fact he goes on to clarify further in his next paragraph. How much clearer does it need to be?

Ginger Taylor and David Kirby really have got to stop misrepresenting people in this way. It does their beliefs no justice.

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37 Responses to “Ginger Taylor misrepresents David Bowman”

  1. Liz Ditz May 5, 2011 at 21:09 #

    Ginger has also just published another attack on Seth Mnookin. I won’t link but just go to Adventures in Autism. The title of the piece is Seth Mnookin: The New Kid in Town.

    • Sullivan May 6, 2011 at 00:09 #

      I commented on Ms. Taylor’s blog once. She was bashing David Tayloe of the AAP. When I pointed out that she had her facts wrong, she “corrected” the piece to say something like “but he’s still evil”. I think she also called people assholes if memory serves. But one of the talking points right now against Seth Mnookin is that he used the term “assholes”. Double standards are, well, the standard in some circles.

      Mr. Mnookin obviously read Ginger Taylor’s blog as he cites it in his book. I wouldn’t be surprised if he just doesn’t read it anymore, even the attacks on him. Strangely enough, it just isn’t interesting to the person who is attacked.

  2. Kev May 5, 2011 at 21:20 #

    Ginger attacking Seth – again? Methinks she has a bit of a crush 😉

  3. Sullivan May 6, 2011 at 00:25 #

    Kev,

    be fair. Ginger Taylor isn’t in David Kirby’s league when it comes to mashing language to achieve a given effect. Say what you will about Mr. Kirby, he is excellent at creating an impression while giving himself plausible deniability.

  4. sharon May 6, 2011 at 05:04 #

    @Kev last week I was insinuating the same thing about Brian Deer after she whipped herself into a frenzy over him again.

  5. Liz Ditz May 6, 2011 at 07:49 #

    Given that Mr. Mnookin has also published a book about baseball, I think it is fair to say that he has stepped up to the plate about the way he has been characterized as using the word “asshole” : Evidence, herd immunity, and ‘total assholes’

  6. century May 6, 2011 at 07:55 #

    “Ginger Taylor and David Kirby really have got to stop misrepresenting people in this way”

    That is rich, coming from you!!

  7. Kev May 6, 2011 at 07:58 #

    Because…?

  8. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 15:15 #

    A point of clarification.

    Many years ago, Kevin told me in the comments section of this blog that I was no longer allowed to post here because I had nothing interesting to say.

    Since that time, many of the things I have written have been written about here, but I have not commented out of respect for Kevin’s wishes. I went to try to find that request yesterday, and I can’t find in on this blog now.

    So my question is, am I still barred from commenting here? Because apparently there is something interesting about what I have to say now, ’cause you keep writing about me, and since I think that Kevin’s request has been removed…

    Am I allowed to comment on LRBR?

    If not, and if Kevin’s position still stands, then let me know and I apologize for leaving this comment.

  9. Kev May 6, 2011 at 16:01 #

    Go ahead Ginger

  10. Chris May 6, 2011 at 16:16 #

    I am still of the contention that Ginger has nothing interesting to say, and am baffled why anyone would bother mentioning her in their blogs.

    Ginger, all you have are insults, which are boring. Do something new and interesting, actually post some real evidence.

  11. Chris May 6, 2011 at 16:34 #

    Ginger, since I have a child who had seizures and resulting encephalopathy I am very interested in the evidence you have that show there is a higher risk from vaccines than diseases. This is because no cause was found for the neonatal seizures (before any vaccine), and a now vaccine preventable disease was responsible for the last set of seizures.

    I would really appreciate that you could kindly provide the evidence that the MMR and DTP cause more seizures than measles, mumps, tetanus and pertussis. Something along the lines of this:

    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

    Pediatrics. 2010 Jun;125(6):1134-41. Epub 2010 May 24.
    On-time vaccine receipt in the first year does not adversely affect neuropsychological outcomes.
    Smith MJ, Woods CR.

  12. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 16:59 #

    “How much clearer does it need to be?”

    OMG! It needs to be SO much clearer!

    This statement was not even one that remotely answers the question that parents are seeking answers on, “Hey… can vaccines cause autism?”

    This is clearly a statement written by a team of lawyers threading the needle very carefully, saying as little as possible with out making a falsehood for which they will likely have to testify under oath to some day.

    I wrote about how bad it was here: http://adventuresinautism.blogspot.com/2010/09/vaccines-dont-cause-autism-and-guns.html

    Allow me to post this part of the piece to illustrate that this non denial, denial is an admission to anyone with a brain living in the real world where lawyers issue medical statements in order to CYA:

    “I have decided to play “If someone else said it”, to show the sheer fraud at play in this statement, and of course, to ask the media if such poor quality lying and frank admissions of dereliction of duty would pass muster were it not coming from the government, and about such a sacred cow as childrens’ vaccines.

    From: Heston, Charlton(HRSA) [mailto:CHeston@hrsa.gov]
    Sent: Friday, February 20, 2009 5:22 PM
    To: ‘citizen@usa.com’
    Subject: HRSA Statement

    Citizen,

    In response to your most recent inquiry, HRSA has the following
    statement:

    The government has never compensated, nor has it ever been ordered to compensate, any case based on a determination that death was actually caused by gunshot. We have compensated cases in which people exhibited a perforation, or general hole in the body. Perforation may be accompanied by a medical progression of an array of symptoms including bleeding, organ damage, or death.

    Some people who have been compensated for gunshot injuries may have shown signs of dying before the decision to compensate, or may ultimately end up dead or with fatal symptoms, but we do not track cases on this basis.

    Regards,
    Charlton Heston
    Office of Communications
    Gunshot Injury Compensation Program
    Health Resources and Services Administration
    301-443-3376″

    So yes… I believe this is an admission that vaccines can cause brain damage (per VICP table) that is “autism” (as defined by DSM).

    And even if for no other reason that if HHS thought it didn’t, they would have followed their “accompanied by” statement with a “no causal association” statement. Is that not very obviously missing in the Bowmen release?

    But here is what I want to ask you, because I am looking for your understanding of what this statement means.

    I believe Bowman has drawn a line from vaccine administration to encephalopathy to autism. You seem to believe that he has drawn a line from vaccine administration to brain damage but that line then breaks and autism that “accompanies” this brain damage begins on a separate line.

    Do you believe that in these cases, that the brain damage caused by the reaction to the vaccine is completely coincidental to the behaviors of autism? If so, why does the VICP table of injuries list “loss of speech” and other direct descriptors of children with “regressive autism” as the symptoms by which the encephalopathy should be diagnosed?

    And is this not an absurd argument for parents to accept? That vaccine induced brain damage that includes the loss of eye contact happens completely coincidently at the same time that the autism symptoms of flapping and spinning loss of verbal skills happens?

    When I hear that argument, I immediately think of a lawyer arguing that the piano of his client that fell on the head of the plaintiff was responsible for the man’s concussion, but that it was not responsible for his slurred speech, limp or loss of memory.

    (Which a jury would laugh out loud at, and which is why Pharma, HHS et. al. need despirately to keep out of a real court room.)

    So, can you give me your thoughts on whether or not “accompanied by” is just a legal dodge and why, if they did not believe there was a causal association, they would not have said so in the statement?

  13. Kev May 6, 2011 at 17:05 #

    Ginger, I scan-read that comment and even then I could tell you were building it on a false premise. You might believe it was

    clearly a statement written by a team of lawyers threading the needle very carefully, saying as little as possible with out making a falsehood for which they will likely have to testify under oath to some day

    but I read it as someone being very precise about what they were saying, knowing full well their answer might be misrepresented – as it has been.

    What evidence do you have that it was written by a team of lawyers? Or is that just your opinion?

  14. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 17:09 #

    Chris,

    We can certainly get into that, but that is a long discussion and I don’t have time for that today. I can blog on it if you like. (Talk about that a lot on the blog and was touched on in our book) But I want to stay on topic here.

    What is significant in this argument is not what I can prove, or what I think (plus you think I am boring and should not be listened to anyway, so who cares what I think, right?)

    What this is about is what the US Government thinks. Do THEY believe that vaccines cause autism and are they acting on the belief that they do? They have access to a WHOLE lot more info on this than any of us do. Information they they don’t have to release to the public. So watching their actions is the key here. If THEY truly believed that there was no association they would have said so.

    This is as much about what is NOT said as it is about what is said.

  15. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 17:13 #

    Kev,

    My opinion. And a pretty reasonable one. Would HHS ever issue a statement with out their lawyers?

    But you are not answering my questions, which have no bearing on whether or not I can prove a lawyer was involved:

    1. Can you give me your thoughts on whether or not “accompanied by” is just a legal dodge and

    2. Why, if they did not believe there was a causal association, they would not have said so in the statement?

  16. Kev May 6, 2011 at 18:19 #

    My opinion. And a pretty reasonable one. Would HHS ever issue a statement with out their lawyers?

    It looks like a simple email to me. I don’t agree with your opinion.

    1. Can you give me your thoughts on whether or not “accompanied by” is just a legal dodge and

    No, its clearly not. Encephalopathy is one thing, autism another. I’d be amazed if they didn’t accompany each other on occassion.

    2. Why, if they did not believe there was a causal association, they would not have said so in the statement?

    Um, he _did_ . He just didn’t put it in a manner to your liking.

  17. Passing Thru May 6, 2011 at 18:19 #

    Who is this Ginger Taylor? Does he/she know anything about this subject?

    The US government not only does not believe that vaccines cause autism, it has filed that proposition again and again in federal court, where the Department of Justice (Ginger – that it a department of the US government, in case you don’t know) utterly smashed the fraudulent claims of the Geiers, Wakefield and the Cedillos (who founght bitterly to stop their famly vidoes being played in the courtroom, with time-dated autistic behaviors by their daughter).

    Maybe you need to do your homework before you run your ill-informed little blog.

    So yes, the US government does not believe that vaccines cause autism, and the special masters, the court of federal claims and the US court of appeals upheld that belief.

  18. Chris May 6, 2011 at 19:14 #

    Ms. Ginger:

    We can certainly get into that, but that is a long discussion and I don’t have time for that today. I can blog on it if you like.

    How long does it you to post cites? Surely you have a set of cites you can post, why is that difficult? You said “What is significant in this argument is not what I can prove, or what I think”, actually I don’t care about your opinions — I want you to post your evidence.

    Sorry, I have no interest in reading your blog. If you had any documentation you could have posted them, but you did not. So I assume you have none.

  19. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 19:19 #

    Well darn… I guess I missed my chance with Chris… should I have guessed their was a shot clicking down? Alice in Wonderland rules apply here apparently.

    Thanks for the good faith conversation Chris.

  20. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 19:31 #

    I think I see were you are on this Kevin.

    One more question.

    If you were on my hypothetical jury, and heard the lawyer claim that the piano fall caused the concussion but not the slurred speech and memory loss, would you rule for the plaintiff or the defendant?

  21. Dedj May 6, 2011 at 19:50 #

    My, that’s not in any way a loaded question. It’s also a totally comparable situtation that does not in anyway misrepresent the discussion.

  22. Ginger Taylor May 6, 2011 at 20:00 #

    Oh… it is a very loaded question, but it is appropriate here.

    If we cannot exactly map a behavior to a specific brain injury (can that ever be completely proven?) then we have to use reasonable assumptions here to determind how we are going to classify causation in the real world, right?

    So this is a real world example. HHS admits to brain damage, and to some of the behaviors caused by the brain damage, but if Kev’s interpretation of the Bowman statement is used, then yeah… the piano scenario is analogous.

    Because if it is not absolutely proven, but just really likely, then we have to act. Autism is at 1 percent of the population and not doing anything to prevent life long brain injury and hanging our reasoning for not acting to address this on the three words, “may be accompanied” is societal suicide and malpractice and injustice and just plain horrible.

    So does the guy who can’t walk right, can’t talk right and can’t remember that he has a dog get help? Or was it a coincidence and so, he is on his own?

  23. Chris May 6, 2011 at 22:54 #

    Ms. Taylor:

    Alice in Wonderland rules apply here apparently.</blockquote.

    Asking for actual evidence for your claims has nothing to do with Alice in Wonderland. Though I suspect it may seem so if you live in a fantasy world. Lack of any kind of documentation for your claims is duly noted.

  24. Dedj May 7, 2011 at 00:05 #

    “If we cannot exactly map a behavior to a specific brain injury (can that ever be completely proven?)”

    Hard to say – post-stroke behaviour and impairments , for example, is very highly correlated with location of the stroke. The same goes for traumatic brain injury.

    “but if Kev’s interpretation of the Bowman statement is used, then yeah… the piano scenario is analogous.”

    No, if Kev’s interpretation is used, then the piano scenario is as far removed from analogous as it’s possible to be.

    Under the piano scenario, you have a previously typical man with no other possible and proximal events that could concievably cause the cluster of symptoms experienced, and where that cluster of symptoms is heavily correlated in the medical literature with known and observed causes, where those causes have been repeatedly observed to have a predictable cluster of symptoms.

    To use your redundant and contrived piano analogy, to apply it to Kev’s interpretation would entail assuming that the man was totally healthy beforehand, and then assuming that the mans backpain, urination and kidney problems could only have been caused by the piano, even though it’s not impossible for them to have been pre-existing, that they are not heavily associated with traumatic brain injuries, and that they are usually only associated as a cluster with other causes.

    With autism, there is a strong suggestion that at least some of the population experiences a high comorbidity with seizures and other neurological effects. As such, it would be positively bizarre for there to not be some people who have both autism and a vaccine injury.

    Stop using the piano analogy. It’s preventing you from understanding the situation.

  25. Dedj May 7, 2011 at 00:25 #

    “This statement was not even one that remotely answers the question that parents are seeking answers on, “Hey… can vaccines cause autism?””

    This wasn’t the question that was asked, so you cannot and should not blame anyone for this.

    If you want them to answer a specific question, you can ask them directly yourself.

    Pretending a perfectly fine response statement to a specific question is indication of somehow deliberatly missing key information (that was not asked for in the specific question and is not required to make a full response) is not only unsupportable, but the continued instistance of impropriety could be regarded as a potentially libellious and definetly unethical statement.

    A question was asked.

    It was answered.

    Deal with it and stop trying to chase shadows that only exist inside your head.

  26. RAJ May 7, 2011 at 01:31 #

    Badawi et al (2006) found high risk from autism in newborns diagnosed with newborn encephalopathy. That was a very well designed population based study. Eric Fombonne also commented on the strength of the study.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16417661

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16417661

    Does that mean that vaccines can cause autism. Not at all since the origins of newborn encephalpothy are quite murky and likely involve multiple casues and/or interactions.

    But anyone who states that neworn encephalopathy is not associated with high autism risk is simply wrong.

  27. Ginger Taylor May 7, 2011 at 02:44 #

    Well I guess this discussion just became moot.

    http://tinyurl.com/3r224wk

    Investigation on what the government really knows about vaccine induced autism coming out Tuesday.

    We will see if that “accompanied by” language thread you are clinging to survives these new revelations, or if we finally get a straight line admission.

  28. Chris May 7, 2011 at 03:15 #

    Ms. Taylor, I would be more confident of the veracity of “investigation” if you had linked to an actual .gov website.

  29. Dedj May 7, 2011 at 03:19 #

    I’ll guess we’ll have to wait and see if that’s what the government is actually going to say, or whether this will be yet another case of the government saying one thing, and vaccine skeptics hearing what they wanted the government to say.

    Based on reading the post, it appears as if they government is not saying anything supporting the ‘vaccine cause autism’ posistion.

    If children with autism are more prone to vaccine injuries, autism will feature more highly in the figures.
    If children with autism are more likely to achieve compensation for vaccine injuries, they will figure more highly in the figures.

    “or if we finally get a straight line admission.”

    Which is what ‘accompanied by’ could actually be. The idea of co-occurring health impairments should not be alien to anyone in the autism community, especially as people with autism are believed to be more prone to multiple health impairments by some sectors of the autism community, notably those interested in vaccine skepticism.

    I find it interesting that you view the idea of people with autism receiving vaccine injuries to be totally invalid, and that you instead hold to the view that autism and comorbidities must never pre-exist vaccine injuries in those with vaccine injuries. I’d be interested to hear your explanation of why people with autism cannot recieve vaccine injuries.

    I think that some elements of the vaccine skeptic movement will be very interested to hear you dismiss thier idea that children with autism can be prone to vaccine injury.

  30. Chris May 7, 2011 at 04:56 #

    Dedj:

    If children with autism are more prone to vaccine injuries, autism will feature more highly in the figures.

    If there are children more prone to vaccine, wouldn’t they also be in greater danger from the actual full blown diseases?

  31. Kev May 7, 2011 at 07:33 #

    We will see if that “accompanied by” language thread you are clinging to survives these new revelations, or if we finally get a straight line admission.

    LOL…you have to be kidding right…nameless investigators, revealed by that place of dogma, AoA? I’m not filled with much confidence. In fact I’m reminded of the Geier’s ‘Mrs Toast’ bullshit or Generation Rescue’s Fantastic Phone Survey.

  32. Dedj May 7, 2011 at 12:23 #

    “If there are children more prone to vaccine, wouldn’t they also be in greater danger from the actual full blown diseases?”

    From what I can gather, for people with the only current suggestions (mitochondrial disorder), it is significantly more dangerous to be exposed to even mild versions of the disease.

  33. Rebecca Fisher May 7, 2011 at 13:02 #

    Given that this report has been produced by the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy – an organisation which heavily promotes Mary Holland and Robert Krakow’s wobbly table prop “Vaccine Epidemic” (http://www.ebcala.org/vaccine-epidemic) – I’m expecting this report “Based on Government’s Own Data” to be a load of cherry picked and willfully misinterpreted figures which purport there to be a link between vaccines and autism.

    Anti-vaxers are forever demanding “independent” trials, or screaming “conflict of interest” whenever research that doesn’t support their predefined worldview is published. They are, however, perfectly happy to accept “Any Old Pointless Toss”* with no questions asked if it does support their viewpoint.

    Ginger Taylor’s suggestion that this report will make this conversation “moot” is ludicrous.

    Kind regards,

    Becky

    * – A Technical term Ginger, you wouldn’t understand it.

  34. Science Mom May 7, 2011 at 17:54 #

    Because if it is not absolutely proven, but just really likely, then we have to act. Autism is at 1 percent of the population and not doing anything to prevent life long brain injury and hanging our reasoning for not acting to address this on the three words, “may be accompanied” is societal suicide and malpractice and injustice and just plain horrible.

    That is your mistaken belief right there Ginger; autism isn’t brain injury. The OAP had more than 5,000 petitioners, put up their 6 best test cases and couldn’t demonstrate, even at the most basic level, what you are contending. Yes rarely vaccines cause a physiological injury that results in permanent neurological injury. Kathleen Seidel blogged about this years ago, three if I remember correctly. But to say that vaccines cause autism, particularly to the extent of explaining the increase in ASD diagnoses is just plain wrong and completely unsupported by numerous studies in multiple countries.

  35. Chris May 7, 2011 at 20:16 #

    Dedj:

    From what I can gather, for people with the only current suggestions (mitochondrial disorder), it is significantly more dangerous to be exposed to even mild versions of the disease.

    Actually, another section of people who have issues with the diseases more than the vaccines are those who seizures issues like my son. Because of the scaremongering about the DTP vaccine in the 1980s, he was denied protection from pertussis and only received the DT. As it turned out he did have a seizure while suffering from a now vaccine preventable disease.

    With 20/20 hindsight I believe it would have been better for him to receive the DTP, since further studies (like the one I listed above) do not increase the risk of seizures or encephalopathy. Also, it is crucial that he be protected from infectious diseases now that he has also been diagnosed with a severe genetic heart condition.

    Hence, my wondering why the vaccines are deemed more dangerous than the diseases. And why I don’t want to know what Ms. Taylor thinks, but what actual evidence she has backing up her opinions. Just like I want to know what evidence Dr. Wakefield was using to support the claims he made in that infamous press conference, because they were not supported by the paper he was discussing.

  36. Passing Thru May 8, 2011 at 08:00 #

    Seeking to be brief, I suspect, Science Mom says:

    “Yes rarely vaccines cause a physiological injury that results in permanent neurological injury.”

    I don’t think this has been established. It used to be believed that this was so, based on flawed British research in the 1970s. But that was debunked in the 1980s, and has since been the subject of a great many contrary findings.

    Although “injury” could mean anything, I suppose, including the skin puncture, but what I think has been established is that vaccines may cause a physiological injury that may cause permanent neurological injury, and it is deemed to be in the broader public interest to assume that in some instances they have and therefore to award a compensatory payment to some who assert this.

    It has been established that vaccines of many kinds can cause fever in children, and it has been established that fevers may trigger, reveal or unmask underlying neurological issues which may, or may not, have been there already.

    As we all know, almost anything can kill somebody. A surgeon’s latex gloves and a dentist’s mouthwash can both have fatal or disabling consequences. However, I don’t think Science Mom’s abbreviated assertion has been established in quite the way people might assume. Although apparently an arcane distinction, it assumes new interest at present since some people have started to focus on the meaning of “encephalopathy”

    Vaccine compensation schemes are in large measure politically-driven. A decision by the federal vaccine court to compensate a family for encephalopathy is not necessarily rooted in the fact that the vaccine caused it, since the plaintiffs do not need to prove this. On the other hand, a decision by the court not to compensate a family is very strong evidence indeed to suggest that the vaccine did not cause brain injury.

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