Orlando Sentinal: Rep. Posey at center of vaccine-autism fight

22 Aug

As many readers here will be familiar, Congressman Bill Posey has taken up the position of chamion for the “vaccines-cause-autism” groups. He’s been heavily lobbied and somehow convinced that vaccines cause autism.

As I’ve noted in the past, Congressman Posey doesn’t take up autism or disability legislation. As of last year he wasn’t a member of the Congressional Autism Caucus (he appears to have recently joined). He wasn’t one of the 86(!) cosponsors of the Autism CARES Act (passed last year, this continues the Government’s commitment to autism research support).

Until now, his alliance with these groups–groups who cause a large amount of harm within the autism communities–has gone unnoticed by the press. Today an article appeared in his home town newspaper, the Orlando Sentinal. The article is Rep. Posey at center of vaccine-autism fight. You need to register (it’s free) to read the article.

Congressman Posey stresses again his opinion that he is pro-vaccine. While at the same time promoting the failed vaccines-cause-autism idea and, now, suggesting that people spread out the MMR vaccine into separate shots. Besides the fact that the MMR-causes-autism idea is one of the most studied subjects in autism causation (MMR does not increase autism risk), Mr. Posey exposes his ignorance–both of the current state of the U.S. vaccine market and of history. Separate measles, mumps and rubella vaccines are not available in the U.S.. There just wasn’t much market for them. And we all saw what happened when Andrew Wakefield promoted the “Let’s scare people about the MMR and suggest separate vaccines” back in the U.K.. People stopped vaccinating for measles altogether. And now measles in endemic in the U.K. and large outbreaks have been seen in recent years.

Matt Carey, a nationally known advocate on autism issues, questioned Posey’s self-description as “pro-vaccine” and his advice to mothers, because, he said, measles vaccines no longer are available outside the MMR shots.

“So what is a parent going to do? If you put fear into people like that, they will do neither, and they won’t vaccinate,” Carey said. “If you’re pro-vaccine, and you’re not really doing anything about it except carrying water for people who aren’t pro-vaccine, it’s a distinction without a difference.”

He says he’s “pro vaccine”. Let’s look at current legislation:

Is he a sponsor on H.R.2232 – Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015? (no)

H.R.933 – Head Start on Vaccinations Act? (no)

H.Res.117 – Recognizing the importance of vaccinations and immunizations in the United States. This bill has 101 cosponsors! And none of them is Bill Posey.

There are more bills in the works, but you get the picture: He’s pro-vaccine in words. Not in actions.

As to helping the autism communities–he does nothing for the autism communities. In fact, he’s part of the problem. He’s promoting the most damaging idea since Kanner and Bettleheim blamed “cold parents” for causing their children’s autism. In the Orlando Sentinal article Mr. Posey falls back on the same defense that is too often used: he’s just listening to the parents

The alleged link has been widely denounced by much of the U.S. medical community, but Posey said he is influenced by the hundreds of parents he has talked with.

“They say, ‘My son was OK until we took him for an MMR [measles, mumps and rubella shot], and since then he didn’t say another word,'” he said. “And [the parents] are crying. I believe the mother knows more about a child than anyone else. So, anyway, my hearing from so many people made me think: It can’t be coincidental.”

Here’s the thing he should be considering–parents are in pain. They are being served up wholesale for charlatans that sell all manner of abusive “treatments”. Did you manage to walk the halls of AutismOne, Mr. Posey? Did you catch the new thing? Forcing disabled children to undergo bleach enemas? Twice daily? Did they tell you that the same people promoting thimerosal as a cause of autism are also promoting chemically castrating autistic kids? Seriously–by attending AutismOne and not speaking out, you are giving tacit approval to these abusive practices–and more.

Mr. Posey may call himself “pro vaccine”. He may think he’s helping the autism community. His actions tell a very different story.

By Matt Carey

20 Responses to “Orlando Sentinal: Rep. Posey at center of vaccine-autism fight”

  1. reissd August 22, 2015 at 20:18 #

    Sad that he joined such a damaging cause.

  2. reader August 22, 2015 at 21:18 #

    NEW BOOK: “Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC” by Esq. Kevin Barry published August 20, 2015.


    Over one hundred thousand pages of documents have been made available to Congress indicating scientific misconduct within the vaccine safety division of the CDC… Signals buried, follow-up studies not undertaken, fraudulent conclusions resulting in harmful policy.

    In what universe is it acceptable to dismiss efforts to urgently investigate?

    • Chris August 23, 2015 at 01:31 #

      Investigate what? That Brian Hooker does not know how to do statistics? Or that children who get the vaccine later, like between 24 to 35 months, may also have been diagnosed with autism and needed the vaccine to enter special ed. preschool? Perhaps this will help:

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 23, 2015 at 08:53 #

      100,000 documents and the best argument Posey can come up with is excerpts from a statement by William Thompson?

      That’s like saying you strip mined a giant hole in the ground, found a flake of fool’s gold and are staking a claim for a gold mine based on the size of the pile of dirt you excavated.

      • reader August 23, 2015 at 22:29 #

        Have you read the book? Or at least the full transcripts?


        You really ought to read the entire book before wasting creative metaphors on dazzlingly unjustified hubris.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 24, 2015 at 04:16 #

        As a matter of fact, I have.

        So, about that claim of hubris?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 24, 2015 at 04:17 #

        So, reader, did you read the book? Or is that an additional hubris on your part?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 24, 2015 at 05:26 #

        There are so many possibilities for you, un-named “reader”

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 25, 2015 at 01:34 #

        So, no word on whether you read the book?

        Did you get an advance copy, reader? If so, care to discuss your connection to the story? If not, how did you come to your conclusions?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 26, 2015 at 22:39 #

        So, reader, what’s your opinion on the transcripts?

        I’m especially interested in your views on the discussions of how important maternal education is to the analysis. Page 48, if I recall correctly. And, 66 is it?

        Thompson and Hooker go into great detail about how important it is to control for maternal education (as one example of a socioeconomic factor). Specifically in the target population–African American males vaccinated late. Maternal education can give an insight into healthcare-seeking behavior and would be key in understanding the significance of a raw result claiming to show an increased risk. Especially given the small numbers involved.

        I ask this not just from a scientific perspective–as in this is a huge effect–but from the perspective of: why the hell didn’t Brian Hooker include any control for maternal education in his paper? After discussing twice how important it was, why did he ignore it and claim that a “simple” analysis was the way to go?

        He left out what was a very significant factor of his analysis, apparently in order to not weaken his claim of an association.

        And this all the while claiming that the CDC were guilty for leaving out significant results.

        Ironic? Unethical? Perhaps you could chime in on this one.

      • Chris August 23, 2015 at 22:40 #

        Why? We followed the story, read both papers, we noticed where Hooker mucked up the statistics and illegally recorded a phone conversation. Why do we care how those who are neither qualified nor reputable spin the facts?

        Especially when the lower probability of autism was among children who received the MMR vaccine on time, and not after 24 months. The most probable reason that those small numbers who were vaccinated after their second birthday was that they already had an autism diagnosis and needed to be vaccinated attend special ed. preschool.

      • Chris August 24, 2015 at 07:19 #

        I am amused that this book’s authors include two lawyers and a chemist who has been riding the “mercury will kill ya” coattails for decades, starting with tooth amalgams, and most recently selling an industrial chelator to parents of autistic kids… for no apparent reason other than to gather cash.

        Exactly none of them understand statistics, epidemiology, nor any kind of basic biology.

  3. droidwoman August 23, 2015 at 07:07 #

    My daughter received eleven shots as a baby and toddler back in the ’70s. My two grandchildren have each gotten 32 vaccinations. One of them developed autism. She was meeting all her milestones until the awful reaction she had with the last shot.
    There are people of all ages who have bad reactions to vaccines just as there are those who react badly to prescribed drugs. Warning labels should be required for vaccines just like any other drug.
    Bombarding children with so many vaccines without issuing a warning as to possible side effects is criminal.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 23, 2015 at 08:49 #

      There are a very small number of people who have had serious reactions to vaccines.

      Vaccines do not increase autism risk. Sadly people are led to believe that autism is caused by vaccines and this leads to some huge problems within the autism communities.

      You give away a lot about your viewpoint with the word “bombard”.

    • Chris August 23, 2015 at 14:26 #

      “Warning labels should be required for vaccines just like any other drug.”

      For almost thirty year federal law has required that Vaccine Information Sheets be given when vaccines are given.

  4. Goldy August 23, 2015 at 10:54 #

    Cochrane Foundation – one of the most highly respected research bodies in the world
    had this to say about studies into the MMR
    They state that there is no evidence for an association between MMR and autism, but the only included study which could possibly answer the question, comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children, is Madsen 2002. One of the co-authors of that paper is Poul Thorsen, on the OIG’s most wanted list for fraud. Thorsen is a co-author of 22 papers on autism and 5 papers on vaccine safety that still stand and are widely referenced by other authors. Even if including a paper co-authored by Thorsen doesn’t bother you, their note on the Madsen study concludes: “The follow up of diagnostic records ends one year (31 Dec 1999) after the last day of admission to the cohort. Because of the length of time from birth to diagnosis, it becomes increasingly unlikely that those born later in the cohort could have a diagnosis.” They noted the general absence of studies with unvaccinated controls. The reason given is that it would be unethical to have unvaccinated controls.

    DeStefano 2004 is also included. One of the authors of that paper was reportedly granted official whistleblower status and immunity, alleging that the authors manipulated data to cover an association between the vaccine and autism in African American males vaccinated before the age of 36 months. Those authors are collectively responsible for a lot of the “indisputable” science we are hearing so much about. From a few months ago: The Fox Guarding The Henhouse.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) August 24, 2015 at 18:15 #

      “One of the authors of that paper was reportedly granted official whistleblower status and immunity”, but has it been reported from a credible source? Or has it been reported with any evidence?

      Let’s take a look at the claim of immunity. From Prof. Reiss’ recent discussion:

      The only explanation I can think of is that Dr. Thompson thinks he may be criminally liable for something, and thinks a subpoena would guarantee immunity. It won’t, however. The only situation in which a subpoena would mean immunity is if Dr. Thompson was forced to testify after asserting a Fifth Amendment claim before Congress. Congress can grant immunity, or partial immunity (meaning Dr. Thompson can still be prosecuted, but not using his own testimony), but doesn’t have to, and it’s not an automatic part of a subpoena. These are two separate things.

      The discussion also goes into great detail on the whole “whistleblower” claim.

      “They state that there is no evidence for an association between MMR and autism, but the only included study which could possibly answer the question, comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children, is Madsen 2002.”

      Really? So this review in 2010 ignored all the other MMR/autism studies that would support their conclusion? Could you quote the section of the review that you base your claim upon? Or is it just made uo?

  5. brian August 27, 2015 at 01:26 #

    Congressman Posey’s hometown paper, the Orlando Sentinel, today included a scathing response to Mr. Posey’s anti-vaccine nonsense: “Posey should immunize against MMR autism fears: Editorial.”

    That Tinseltown pseudo-scientists use celebrity to turn away fans from immunization by circulating medical heresies is dangerous. That U.S. Rep. Bill Posey throws in with their ilk is unnervingly reckless. His posture tacitly puts a congressional stamp on risking public safety.


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