The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow.

4 Jan

For those unfamiliar with the story of William Thompson, here’s a brief introduction. William Thompson is a CDC researcher who has worked on vaccine/autism studies. About 2 years ago he approached Brian Hooker (an autism parent and very vocal advocate for the idea that vaccines cause autism) stating that a statistically significant result was not only left out of an old study but that this represented not a scientific decision, but misconduct on the part of the CDC. It is worth noting that “statistically significant” is not the same as “proof of a connection”. Brian Hooker published his own analysis (incorrectly claimed as being the same as the CDC analysis method) in a now retracted paper. The result he presented was that there was an apparent increased risk of autism for one small subset of the study population: African American males, who were vaccinated not on schedule but before age 3.

There are some questions, of course, that this raises. Is this result very strong? Does the lack of inclusion in the paper represent scientific fraud or a legitimate scientific decision?

A few epidemiologists and other scientists have chimed in (for example here, here and here) and stated that the result was very likely spurious and that Hooker’s approach is somewhat flawed and definitely overplayed.

In fact, Brian Hooker’s paper was more of a publicity event than a scientific inquiry. When the paper was published, Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield released a video. It is difficult to describe just how bad this video was but here are a two examples. Wakefield tried to put forth the inflammatory claim that the CDC’s vaccine program was a new Tuskegee experiment. Which is to say that the CDC are intentionally allowing African Americans to become autistic due to vaccines as part of some sort of study. Second, according to Andrew Wakefield, the CDC team is so evil that they are worse than Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin. =Mr Wakefield’s logic being that those dictators were sincere and the CDC team were not. No, really, Hitler was sincere per Wakefield.

In a series of phone calls between Thompson and Hooker (secretly taped by Hooker and released without Thompson’s permission), we find that Thompson was very interested in testifying before congress. It turns out that William Thompson kept much (if not all) of the paperwork involved in this study and, probably at least in part motivated by the hope for a hearing, passed these along to a member of Congress: Bill Posey. It has been claimed that this cache of documents numbers as many as 100,000 pages. Many have hoped that these documents will expose fraud by the CDC. (They don’t)

Congressman Posey released the documents to a journalist recently and, given that they are now in the public domain, Dorit Reiss and I requested that they be made available to us as well. Mr. Posey’s office graciously granted our request and I have spent some time going through them.

For those hoping for an exciting look into CDC malfeasance, sorry to disappoint you. Not only is it not present here, but these documents are very mundane and repetitive. Many people seem to think there will be evidence that the CDC are covering up. No “Vaccines cause autism! How do we cover this up”. Nothing like it. Wakefield and Hooker have already cherry picked–and misrepresented–whatever they could to “best” make their case.

For more introduction, I point you to these articles as a start:

MMR, the CDC and Brian Hooker: A Guide for Parents and the Media

Did a high ranking whistleblower really reveal that the CDC covered up proof that vaccines cause autism in African-American boys?
The “CDC whistleblower saga”: Updates, backlash, and (I hope) a wrap-up
Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield accuse the CDC of scientific fraud. Irony meters everywhere explode.

Given that long introduction, what is in the documents? Well, there’s about 1000 pages, not the claimed 100,000. Documents provided by Mr. Thompson and, also, documents that submitted as part of the complaint that Wakefield and Hooker filed with HHS were included in the zip file. Which is convenient as I had submitted a FOIA request for those.

There are multiple drafts of the analysis plan. Analysis Plan is the same thing as the “protocol” that Wakefield and Hooker claim was changed after the first race data were analyzed. And the fact that we have the revisions gives us the chance to check two of the fundamental claims behind the Wakefield/Hooker “fraud” charge against CDC. (1) Did the CDC plan to look at race as an exposure variable? Wakefield and Hooker are claiming (although they use different words) this is what the CDC was doing. This is different from using race as a control variable. (2) Did CDC add the birth certificate analysis after the first race analysis was done, in order to dilute the effect?

No. Very clearly no. I’ve covered (2) already based on information Wakefield and Hooker made available. The final analysis plan was dated Sept.5, the first race analysis wasn’t until late October or early November. And we see the same in these documents.

But now we have new information that answers (1). Here is what appears to be the first draft of the analysis plan. And here is a capture of a very important part:

First Draft Analysis plan segment 1

Note that this draft analysis plan is from April 3, 2001. Well before the final version, the “protocol”, which was September 5. More importantly, this is a long time before a race analysis was started. But even more, notice how there’s an annotation “I would include race as a covariate, not as an exposure variable.” That’s critical–they decided against using race as an exposure variable from the start. Before they did a race analysis. Another point: they were already planning on using birth certificate data right from the start.

William Thompson certainly should have known this, it’s very probable that he did know this. Wakefield and Hooker likely knew this. They showed documents from this collection in their video and elsewhere. But they told us the opposite.

Whether they knew or not, they were wrong. Wildly irresponsibly wrong.

Ever wonder why they didn’t make documents public? We can’t tell if Hooker and Wakefield had all the Thompson documents, but we know they had some. While they cry out for transparency, they were carefully guarding information in order to craft the story they wanted told. The full documents tell a different story.

Let me put this more simply: if Wakefield and Hooker worked for me they would be fired for just their handling of the Thompson story (of course, they would have been fired years ago for many other causes, but promoting this sort of misinformation is simply wrong.)

Also in that same directory appears to be the first draft of the paper (A000071.PDF), with William Thompson as first author. I find it interesting that Thompson is first author there as later it would be Frank DeStefano who would be first author of the published study.

There are also meeting notes. Lots of meeting notes. Here’s the first batch, as near as I can tell. Meetings were held every month or two.

Now is a good time to address the “garbage can” quote. Congressman Posey read a statement from William Thompson into the congressional record. Emily Willingham discussed this in A Congressman, A CDC Whisteblower And An Autism Tempest In A Trashcan. On the other side, here’s an article by Jon Rappoport Bombshell: CDC destroyed vaccine documents, Congressman reveals Bombshell: CDC destroyed vaccine documents, Congressman reveals; CDC whistleblower case is back.

Here’s the thing–there’s zero “bombshell” involved in putting these documents into a confidential bin for shredding/recycling. There’s no reason to keep all these revisions of the analysis plan, all these meeting notes, all this redundant material. I hope people at CDC are not keeping all this paper. Beyond that, the rules are that they have to keep enough information to recreate the study. Aside from the fact that all these meeting notes are not required for that, Brian Hooker proved that requirement was met when he claimed to have done exactly that–recreated the study.

Mr. Thompson also provided a file with ALL Agendas for mmr autism meetings with written interpretation. Which is to say Thompson added his own annotations (purple pen) to the agendas.

Here’s an example of his annotations. And a great example of trying to make data fit a story. Thompson appears to be trying to support the idea that the CDC team changed the protocol to include the birth certificate analysis in response to analyzing the race data:

Race examined before final protocol

The implication that the race analysis and had somehow influenced the final protocol (as Wakefield and Hooker have claimed and this comment appears to support) is just plain wrong. First, as we have already seen, the birth certificate analysis was included from first draft of the analysis plan, in April 2001. That’s four months before this meeting note. Second, the so-called “race effect” isn’t seen in this meeting note. In fact, we see the opposite: “not statistically associated with case/control variable”.

From the phone conversations between Brian Hooker and William Thompson (secretly taped by Hooker), we have found that Thompson was very interested in participating in a congressional hearing. Hooker and his colleagues had been involved in arranging a previous congressional hearing on autism. Frankly it appears to me as though Thompson was involved in a bit of a quid pro quo: Thompson coaching Hooker in ways to spread fear about vaccines in exchange for a chance to be involved in a hearing. Which begs the question: why no hearing based on all that Thompson has laid out?

In case it isn’t already abundantly clear: there’s no hearing because there is no reason for a hearing. There’s no evidence of fraud. Many of the reasons given by Wakefield and Hooker to call this fraud are, well, just flat out wrong. Contradicted by the evidence. For those hoping that Thompson’s personal notes would show some evidence of a cover up, here they are mmr autism study 2001-2002 hand written notes.

Ah, one will say, what about the finding of an association between the MMR and autism for African American boys vaccinated late (between 18 months and 36 months)? Why wasn’t that included in the published paper or public presentations? The reasons given by Thompson/Hooker/Wakefield don’t hold water as I’ve shown. So, what was the scientific reason for not including this result in the paper? Many online writers have discussed how weak this result is; how it is a spurious result. But I’d like to know the reasoning at the time behind the CDC decision to leave this out. As a community member–an autism parent–I’d like to see all the results and understand the reasons why certain results are spurious. Of course it is easy to say now, but leaving this out of the public’s eye was a mistake. It gave Thompson, Hooker and Wakefield the chance to cherry pick, hide information and craft a story that has been very damaging to the autism communities and to public health.

The first thing I did when I heard about this story was email a few epidemiologists I know and point this story out and ask them if they had the data to address the question raised. I no longer feel this way. Why should the autism communities spend precious funds and researcher time every time Andrew Wakefield (Time Magazine’s #1 on their list of great science frauds) comes up with a new story? Especially now that we know the story was built on lies. But consider this: Wakefield and Hooker have not been calling for more research. Instead they are calling for a congressional hearing. If you watched any part of the previous hearings you know they are political theater and have done nothing (NOTHING) to help make a better life for autistics. They have done nothing except provide video and blog fodder for those promoting the failed idea that vaccines cause autism.

Also, consider this: before Thompson Wakefield and Hooker didn’t talk about the issues of racial/ethnic minorities. For the most part, the entire “autism is caused by vaccines” community have ignored minority communities. Why? Because they are a clear example that the vaccine hypothesis is a failure. Prevalence estimates for racial/ethnic minority groups have been typically much lower than for Caucasians (Hispanics are diagnosed at a rate of 1/3 that of Caucasians in California. And this has been consistent for over 10 years.) This presents a huge problem for the likes of Hooker and Wakefield. If vaccines are a major cause of autism, why do minority groups have such low prevalences? If they were honest about their own beliefs, they would be calling for a study into the “protective” effect for minorities. But they don’t. More importantly, if they were real autism advocates they would be calling for better diagnosis, better awareness, better services for these under served communities. Instead they have just ignored these minority communities. That is, until they could use them as part of their campaign against vaccines.

And they still aren’t calling for better services better diagnosis in these underserved groups. Instead they are just trying to recruit as many parents as they into the vaccines-cause-autism camp. Imagine being convinced, wrongly, that you participated in injuring your own child. The charlatans who prey on our community with fake–and sometimes abusive–therapies rely on the vaccine/autism idea for the majority of their business.

The vaccines-cause-autism story is built on lies and it is very damaging. There has been nothing since the Kanner/Bettleheim “refrigerator parent” idea that has caused so much damage to our community. And that is the real story here. A group of people perpetuating a failed idea by carefully crafting a story.

The Zip file provided to me by Representative Posey’s office is at this DropBox link

Again, I am grateful to Representative Posey and his staff for providing these files to me.

By Matt Carey

204 Responses to “The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow.”

  1. reissd January 4, 2016 at 09:09 #

    Thanks for examining this so thoroughly. Hopefully, this will help provide at least some counter if anti vaxers try to use this to undermine trust in vaccines.

    • Jane Jones February 20, 2016 at 20:01 #

      What a spin !!! This article is just BS—and most likely bought and paid for!!! There are thousands of Drs. doing independent research who DO NOT AGREE with you or your shameful article. There are thousands of parents of vaccine damaged children who know exactly what is going on! Shame on you!

      • reissd February 20, 2016 at 21:44 #

        If you think there is credible scientific evidence of a link between vaccines and autism – or whatever it is thousands of doctors are researching, in your view – you are welcome to provide it. Similarly, if you point to any actual inaccuracies in the article, I’m sure Dr. Carey would be happy to correct them. But your comment did not.

        Children are not “damaged”. Cars are damaged. Children may be hurt or harmed. There are no thousands of children harmed by vaccines.

      • Chris February 21, 2016 at 07:37 #

        Thousands of doctors doing this research? What kind of doctors? Do they have doctorates in chemical engineering, economics or computer science? Because that makes a difference.

        And if they are medical doctors, are they still allowed to practice medicine? Because Wakefield, Fudenberg and Geier have all had their legal right to practice medicine revoked (though Wakefield was never allowed in the USA ever). Plus the younger Geier was fined for practicing medicine without a license.

        By the way: Shame on you for that argument through blatant assertion. Not a drop of supporting evidence in sight.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) February 21, 2016 at 16:47 #

        Perhaps you could quote some of the arguments made by these “thousands” of doctors.

        Or read the documents yourself and tell me your own conclusion?

        There are thousands of parents who have been lied to and told they have to live a life of guilt. They have to live a life of hate and suspicion.

        And they have to then do everything to “heal vaccine injury”. Including fake ” therapies” that are harmful. And gutless people like Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker refuse to counter those charlatans selling these “cures”.

        Read the documents for yourself. I put them in the public domain. Wakefield didn’t. Hooker didn’t. They only cherry picked and built a clearly false story.

        I don’t care how many people believe a lie. It doesn’t change the fact that the story we are being told is a lie.

        As the parent of an autistic child I have taken the idea that autism is vaccine injury seriously. I still do. But the evidence just isn’t there. If people need to lie to convince me that autism is vaccine injury what does that tell you?

    • Ivan Pihama April 25, 2016 at 03:20 #

      So what is the real figure for autism in the U.S?

      • Chris April 25, 2016 at 03:48 #

        Here is one:

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 25, 2016 at 14:19 #

        Real figure for what?

        For an estimate of the autism prevalence? For a count of identified autism ? The CDC recently published that for 8 year olds. But it’s very clear that those numbers are just what they say, an estimate. A count of who can be identified.

        The only whole population study of autism prevalence was performed in Korea. The prevalence there was about 2.6%. With rather large uncertainties. And at least one follow up commentary claiming that their methodology results in an under estimate.

        Ever notice that people claiming an epidemic
        A) site the CDC estimates
        B) ignore the key word estimate
        C) ironically claim that the CDC can’t be trusted?

  2. Todd W. January 4, 2016 at 13:11 #

    Very nice write-up, Matt. How do you think Wakefield/Hooker/Thompson (and Ben Swann) are going to try to spin this, now that the documents are fully available to the public? As to hearings, at one time, I did sort of wish that there would be one so we can put this all to rest. Now, after reading through some of these documents, I would much rather have an administrative hearing looking into Thompson’s conduct. He has caused such a waste of taxpayer dollars and done such harm to public health by working with Hooker and Wakefield.

    • wzrd1 January 4, 2016 at 13:59 #

      Even money, they’ll take one of two courses, either they’ll deny all documents were made available and stick with their 10000 pages claim or pretend the papers were not released.

      One problem that is relatively new is, “fair and balanced coverage”, where every peddler of bovine defecation (think of the less polite term for context) is provided and equal platform by the press.
      Where politicians give these peddlers a public venue to spew their nonsense about alongside scientists, elevating the peddler to the same status as a scientist.
      Add to it the perfect storm of governing via populism, rather than what is good for a city, county, state and nation, we’re at the debacle of government that we have today, complete with armed men holding federal property, as those who committed treason in the past have now moved to do so in another state, Oregon.
      Today, BS talks and truth walks.

  3. Science Mom January 4, 2016 at 17:32 #

    Thanks for this write-up. It is another egregious example of how anti-vaxxers dishonestly represent documents and narratives. It is so obvious after reading many pages of the so-called CDC Whistleblower documents, why the Wakefield-Hooker axis have kept them out of the hands of their devoted followers. The documents also uncover what a grudge-seeking, obnoxious person William Thompson really is.

  4. Brian Deer January 4, 2016 at 17:53 #

    So, I can’t find the garbage can quote. The reason why that interests me is that, the way Posey read it, it sounded to me as though he was joining two different documents, or at least two different portions of a text, and reading them consecutively.

    • reissd January 4, 2016 at 17:59 #

      My understanding is that the statement Posey read was not one of the existing documents but a statement prepared by Dr. Thompson especially for reading – though there’s no guaranteeing Mr. Posey read the whole thing.

      • Brian Deer January 4, 2016 at 20:15 #

        Well, if that’s right, it looks like Thompson is simply piling on anything he can think of. Surely, he would have identified the documents destroyed if he was there when it happened. The nonspecific throwing away of paper gets nobody anywhere.

        This sounds like a classic office spat, where Thompson didn’t feel loved enough, and is now an embittered employee hoping he can hide behind whistleblower legislation.

        It’s the same story as with that malignant, lying crank David Lewis, who made all manner of allegations against his colleagues before being dumped from some remote EPA unit in the ass end of nowhere.

        They can stall the inevitable for a few years, but in the end the employer and the courts nail them. I suppose Thompson will have to go work for Barry Segal.

      • brian January 5, 2016 at 03:04 #

        This sounds like a classic office spat, where Thompson didn’t feel loved enough

        Perhaps learning that the head of his division wanted to fire him might have contributed to Thompson’s perception that he was unloved.'Fire%20me'%20Exhibit%2019.pdf?dl=0

      • Chris Preston January 5, 2016 at 03:21 #

        brian, it seems to have started before that. Thompson got all het up about the official reprimand to his boss and shot out letters and e-mails to several people over that. That activity resulted in the suggestion that a) his boss wanted to fire him and b) him being put on administrative leave.

  5. Heather Vee January 4, 2016 at 18:39 #

    Thanks for reviewing these documents and making them available. Looking back at Exhibit 7 of the Wakefield/Hooker submission to the CDC (preliminary analysis results from 11/01), I can understand how there could be some concern about how the apparent increased risk for late-vaccinated African American boys in the whole group was not included in the study, but when this exhibit is put into context with the other documents, it is pretty clear that there was no cover-up.

    • Brian Deer January 4, 2016 at 20:23 #

      I talked to Frank Destefano a year or so back. He acknowledged that there was an argument to be made as to whether a line of data could have been included in the total cohort table – as well as the birth certs table – I can’t remember which one it was off the top of my head.

      Probably I ought to print the interview.

      The give-away is that the supposed at-risk group of black boys is a segment, I think older than 18 months but less than 36 months, or something like that, with no excess seen in the groups either side. As DeStefano says: it’s biologically implausible. Classic situation, where someone has poked around in the data for some subgroup of left-handed, nonsmoking, Japanese who get painful erections after MMR.

      I saw something like it over AidsVax, when the supposed world’s first Aids vaccine flopped (as you’d expect), but a bunch of people claimed that it worked among black men, due to a subgroup analysis.

      • reissd January 4, 2016 at 20:29 #

        I love your example.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 5, 2016 at 05:00 #

        I’m not as fond of it as it can be twisted into a claim that Mr. Deer is mocking autistic kids. It wouldn’t be an honest claim.

      • Heather Vee January 5, 2016 at 03:01 #

        That is an excellent example 🙂

        If I recall correctly, Hooker did try to cobble together a hypothesis involving Vitamin D and skin color to explain the biological plausibility, but it was mostly mumbo-jumbo . . . and it didn’t explain the risk variability in the age at vaccination at all.

        I reviewed Exhibit 7 again, and it appears that the “Black Model” in Table 5 was an unmatched analysis, unlike the analysis for the “Total Sample” that was matched for age and gender. In my mind, that makes the validity of the results even more questionable.

      • Charles White June 11, 2016 at 18:09 #

        Brian Deer,

        Can you show me the studies done on unvaccinated children and how they have developed Autism? Is there cases of unvaccinated children with Autism? And let’s be clear unvaccinated means no vaccines at all, none what so ever, because I don’t understand why it’s not published. If what you claim is to be the truth, it would be undeniable proof.

      • Lawrence June 11, 2016 at 18:38 #

        You should speak to Anne Daschel at Age of Autism….her youngest, unvaccinated daughter has autism.

      • Chris June 11, 2016 at 19:23 #

        I thought that was Kim Stagliano, Lawrence.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) June 13, 2016 at 04:19 #

        I believe Chris is correct on that

  6. Kathy Sayers Hennessy January 4, 2016 at 19:21 #

    Epic. That’s all. Just Epic.

  7. Narad January 4, 2016 at 19:21 #

    A few epidemiologists and other scientists have chimed in (for example here, here and here)

    The second link is broken.

  8. herr doktor bimler January 4, 2016 at 20:40 #

    Well, there’s about 1000 pages, not the claimed 100,000.

    I eagerly await the retraction from Ben Swann.

  9. Brian Deer January 4, 2016 at 22:29 #

    Poor old Andy Wakefield. This is what Thompson says in his 2014 statement:

    “The fact that we found a strong statistically significant finding among black males does not mean that there was a true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in this subpopulation.”

    In other words, Thompson knows such subgroup analyses need to be treated with caution. Pity Wakefield doesn’t. I wonder how much money he has swindled out of parents of disabled children to pay for his “film”?

    This is in file “Documents for Mem and Comm” -> Statement of Dr William Thompson [etc] pdf file near bottom.

    • Lili April 1, 2016 at 23:07 #

      But why, oh, why, were these documents to be destroyed, if they were not so important????

      • Chris April 1, 2016 at 23:38 #

        Do you keep every single record dealing with your home, kids, medical, financial etc? So if you kid does a couple drafts of term paper, do you dutifully keep and file all of those, or do you throw them out? If not, I would suggest that be very careful with open flames.

      • wzrd1 April 2, 2016 at 00:15 #

        More importantly, does anyone here keep their scratchpad from doing the bills, shopping lists and task lists around after the original task is done?
        That’d be a mountain of useless paper, begging for the smallest spark to clean that home out.
        In labs, as in business, scrap paper, notes that went to a final report and similar one time documents cost a lot of money to store, so they’re shredded and tossed.
        Otherwise, the growth of storage media would have to grow far faster than it is now, mostly to store crap that’s useless, as it was one time use only, for a report or study.

  10. JD January 5, 2016 at 02:43 #

    Let’s just be clear as to who you are Matt. You work for the The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) funded by the HHS, which has a revolving door to the CDC and pharmaceutical companies and is 100% pro-vaccines. Dorit Reiss has her Every Child by Two organization whose funders include Wyeth vaccines, Sanofi Vaccines and Public Health Solutions, all of which also have an interest in getting children vaccinated for financial gain.
    You should make that clear in your writing so that people understand that in reading the CDC Whistleblower papers you have no gain in sharing the truth if vaccines were a contributing cause of autism. Shame on you for not being open about your affiliations.

    • Chris Preston January 5, 2016 at 03:06 #

      I think you only have to tread the documents at the link to find how insignificant the whole CDC Whistleblower affair is.

      Two of the participants in this sorry saga Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker both had far more serious conflicts of interest than you claim for others, but somehow you never mention those. In fact the link between Dirrit Reiss and Every Child by Two is far more tenuous than you claim.

      • Brian Deer January 5, 2016 at 11:34 #

        I love it: how “has a revolving door” is now the standard for a CoI. As opposed to Wakefield, who was secretly paid hundreds of thousands of pounds by a law firm to make what turned out to be fraudulent claims over MMR, and who set up a network of companies to personally profit from the health crisis he created.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 5, 2016 at 17:59 #

        And let’s see about that revolving door.

        Wakefield left the Royal Free and found his way to the U.S. where he was able to land a $270k/year job in the world of alt-med and vaccine-antagonism. I’m guessing that’s substantially more than he would have made back in the U.K..

        From there he was able to set up his own “charity” whose primary purpose (based on expenses) appears to have been supporting Andrew Wakefield (still at a rate equivalent to $270k/year if full time).

        But “revolving door” is only a term applied to those who, like me, volunteer their time and don’t move on to a job profiting from anything related to autism or healthcare.

        Got it.

    • Kelly M. Bray January 5, 2016 at 03:22 #

      Who are you and what are your connections?

    • Todd W. January 5, 2016 at 03:57 #


      Matt is not a current member of the IACC ( He used to be on the committee, along with anti-vaccine activist and SafeMinds co-founder Lyn Redwood (

      But then, Matt is also the parent of an autistic child. So are you suggesting that he is putting personal profit above his own child? Bear in mind that Matt has also championed efforts that increase supports for autistic children and adults. Simply search this site for numerous examples of his efforts on behalf of autistic individuals. Perhaps you can pony up evidence of him deriving actual financial benefit as a direct result of his support of vaccinations?

      And, as others have pointed out, the documents are right there for all to see, so you don’t even need to take Matt’s word for it. Read it all yourself, and you will find that there is nothing but smoke and mirrors to the whole CDC Whistleblower conspiracy theory.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 5, 2016 at 04:57 #

      JD, let me take this in parts.

      1) I do not work for the IACC. Never have. I was a volunteer who was appointed to the Committee. As such I was paid something like $200 for meeting days. I would usually leave my house at about 9pm to get to the airport, fly overnight, attend the meeting and fly home. Arriving at about midnight. So, not accounting for overtime, I was paid less than $8/hour. Not even minimum wage. And certainly less than I would make had I not taken the day off work. I also put in many hours that were not regular meeting days, for which I received no compensation whatsoever.

      2) The pay was actually from the Department of Defense (if I recall correctly) for some reason I have never understood.

      3) My appointment to the IACC ended over a year ago.

      4) I noted on this blog numerous times that I was a member of the IACC. I would do this when the article was in relation to the IACC. Usually something to the effect of “While I serve as a public member to the IACC, I do not speak for the IACC”.

      5) your comment is entirely an attempt at an ad-hominem attack. Rather than address the issues above, you attempt to attack me personally. And, I might add, fail in the attempt.

      You’ve been lied to by those crafting the “CDC Whistleblower” story. Want to address that substantively?

      • Chris January 8, 2016 at 23:34 #

        “2) The pay was actually from the Department of Defense (if I recall correctly) for some reason I have never understood.”

        I was just thinking about that as I responded to an offensive comment about public schools in RI. The DoD essentially operates the largest American school district, often in foreign countries. The schools I attended in the former Panama Canal Zone were operated by the “Panama Canal Company”, which was run by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

        There are lots of stresses on military families, and that can be amplified if there are children with medical/developmental issues. The families do make requests to the medical and education resources that are available, and that is noticed. It did not take much looking around to find a family with experience in autism, and some changes that have been made:

        From Sabula’s perspective, the process for EFMP enrollment has gotten better. He noted that the Air Force EFMP has hired thirty-five new coordinators. “Knowing that the people in a supportive capacity are doing everything they can to help means a lot to families.”


        By collaborating with other support groups, Sabula says, AMFAS works to help expand the realm of information for families. It’s a support system to supplement the teams that are already in place through the EFMP, he says. “I’m always looking for ways to support officials who provide programs to benefit military families with special needs.” Sabula has participated in the Department of Defense (DoD) panel to discuss the issues that impact military families with special needs.

      • Strawman January 9, 2016 at 00:21 #

        Unbelievable that such rancour exists about children and adults with disabilities. Even a person working at the CDC would sink to such a level. Disgruntled employee, greedy homeopathic quacks, gullible parents. Has there ever been a more exploited group than the children of autism?

      • wzrd1 January 9, 2016 at 06:15 #

        “Has there ever been a more exploited group than the children of autism?”

        Alas, yes. The parents of children with autism. Those who will try anything, despite there being no evidence that whatever they try is harmless or would even help.

  11. Evie January 6, 2016 at 18:27 #

    Brilliant! Mind showing where it shows they didn’t start analyzing data until October? TIA.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 6, 2016 at 20:49 #

      For one thing, Thompson mentions this in his statement here:

      Click to access memo-statement-of-dr-william-thompson-re-mmr-study-09092014.pdf

      3. On September 5, 2001, we all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal
      was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that accord with the Verstraeten
      Thimerosal Study published in Pediatrics in 2003. At the September 5th meeting we discussed in
      detail how to code RACE for both the TOTAL SAMPLE and the BIRTH CERTIFICATE SAMPLE. (See
      Page 7 of Agendas Attachment).
      4. On October 15, 2001, I ran matched and unmatched analyses for whites and blacks. I would only
      do this if I had found statistically significant effects by RACE. (See 2001-2002 notes dated
      October 15, 2001).
      5. On October 24th, I wrote in my notes that we have selected the New England Journal of
      Medicine as the target journal for the manuscript. (See 2001-2002 notes dated October 24th,

      If you look at his file of meeting notes, you will see it doesn’t come up until October/November.

      It looks like he may have found this in October and at the end of the month informed the rest of his team. The final protocol was dated Sept. 5.

      • lovelyevangeline January 8, 2016 at 01:10 #

        Thank you so much!

      • Brian Deer January 9, 2016 at 18:00 #

        It’s possibly because the public health service is a branch of the navy. Hence, all the top docs have navy blues at home. The surgeon general wear his/hers a lot, but the rest of them have them.

      • shay simmons January 9, 2016 at 20:14 #

        Brian, the USPHS is not a branch of the Navy. It used to be, but has been part of the Department of Health and Human Services for a long time now.

        (Much as the National Weather Service was once part of the US Army).

        They do, however, wear uniforms and follow a rank structure similar to the Navy’s (although they have no enlisted personnel).

      • wzrd1 January 10, 2016 at 14:20 #

        Actually, the Public Health Service is derived from the 5th Congress’ Marine Hospitals, who cared for sick, injured and disabled sailors. Those sailors weren’t exclusively naval sailors, but also civilian sailors as well.
        I’ve trained with PHS personnel when I was in the military, with one group actually training for “The Big One” in California (as one out of dozens of emergency response scenarios). A more bright and dedicated group of medical professionals that I doubt I’ll find their non-governmental like again.
        The US has quite a few non-military organizations that use military ranks, this just so happens to be one, as they originally dealt with sailors, who were accustomed to naval ranks.

      • strawman April 9, 2016 at 19:54 #

        “The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that occurred with The Verstraeten Thimerosal Study, published in Pediatrics in ’03. At the September 5th meeting we discussed in detail how to code race for both a sample and the birth certificate sample. At the bottom of Table 7 it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race-effect, statistical significance was HUGE.” (So what was the Verstraeten debacle?)

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) April 10, 2016 at 03:18 #

        There wasn’t a debacle

        However to people like Brian Hooker, the fact that Verstraeten did extra analyses is considered a “debacle”. They checked to see if their preliminary result was valid. It wasn’t.

        Interestingly, there is another statement by Thompson on Verstraeten that got edited and pulled out of context by Wakefield. I know this because I have, how was it put recently examined the film carefully. Let me get my notes.

  12. Lili April 1, 2016 at 23:05 #

    Blah-blah-blah…. they met to burn the papers, helloooo!! Those papers can’t have been so irrelevant 🙂

    • reissd April 1, 2016 at 23:08 #

      Please read Dr. Carey’s multiple posts on the “garbage can” quote. Shredding some of the written material is expected; who wants ten copies of a draft agenda? Discussing which documents to throw out and which not is not nefarious or problematic.

  13. Lawrence May 15, 2016 at 15:25 #

    My main curiosity – apart from how you sleep at night – is how much you were paid to write this tendentious piece of crap?

    • Lawrence May 15, 2016 at 18:51 #

      Not me above….only anti-vaxers resort to the shill gambit.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) May 15, 2016 at 19:56 #

      My main curiosity is why you can’t and won’t respond to the substance of the above. If you (alternate Lawrence) feel it’s crap, you should be able to refute it easily.

      And to answer your question, I get paid nothing.

      • wzrd1 May 16, 2016 at 01:16 #

        That’s utter nonsense! The satisfaction of reporting honestly, dispelling nonsense and lies has a payment all of its own – satisfaction. 🙂

  14. autistasangeles June 6, 2016 at 08:44 #

    Reblogged this on autistasangeles.

  15. Htaylorrd July 25, 2016 at 15:51 #

    Dr Greg Poland is actually doing amazing research on vaccinomics and individual response to vaccination. This also includes dose and timing of vaccination. He’s proposing a type of mapping system to screen for those who will experience abnormal antibody response and vaccine failure. Autism is actually an inflammation based disorder. Symptoms of regression happen with vaccines as well as fevers and stress. I hope they actually redo this study and continue efforts to discover why regression happens in certain children after vaccination. There may be a way to prevent the abnormal immune response to vaccination. Check out Dr Greg Poland’s studies on vaccinomics and adversomics. Sometimes it’s not about “cause” but about influence.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 25, 2016 at 15:53 #

      People who cite Poland’s work as supporting the idea that vaccines cause autism should actually listen to what Poland says.

      Because you are doing it wrong.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) July 25, 2016 at 15:56 #

      You may want to read this

      • Chris July 25, 2016 at 18:41 #

        You know they will read with with lenses made on Htrae, it will always be the opposite of what Poland meant.

        Just like they can’t figure out that even when Hooker tortured the data until is screamed, he only proved it was better to get the the MMR vaccine on time.

    • Alain July 26, 2016 at 04:57 #

      Autism is actually an inflammation based disorder.

      I’d like to see the evidence behind that. Can you cite some?


      • Andders Gustafsson August 29, 2016 at 07:48 #

        Hi. not a comment per se, but a question: In Vaxxed, Hooker claims he contacted Thompson (when) and was sent a letter by a CDC lawyer, forbidding him to contact Thompson/CDC. Has anyone actually seen this letter? What does it say? I would not put it past Wakefield/Hooker to make things up and/or distort facts.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 2, 2016 at 06:57 #

        Brian Hooker brings this event up in his FOIA court papers. They don’t present it accurately in the film.

        Brian Hooker was allowed to talk to people at CDC, including William Thompson. But as a person suing the government, and specifically with the secretary of HHS as the respondent, it was completely approrpriate that the government cut off access.

        Hooker lost his case. He lost it because he had no case. But had he been given information from the government over the years preceding, he could have argued that they were either (a) gathering information on him or (b) trying to scuttle his case.

        But, hey, the simple facts don’t make Wakefield movie plots.

      • Anders Gustafsson September 2, 2016 at 07:32 #

        Thanks Matt! That makes sense. I have been reading trough the desicion from the Vaccine court and the difference from what Hooker is saying is striking. At the same time do I feel sorry for him, but that in no way justifies what he has done.

  16. La October 12, 2016 at 16:34 #

    Can anyone answer why children have
    Reactions after a vaccines?

    • Anders Gustafsson October 13, 2016 at 06:15 #

      The vaccine will trigger an immune response. That is the whole idea behind vaccines. In laymans terms, you get a very mild variant of the disease that helps your immune system learn how to fight the disease. The absolute majority of reactions are mild: elevated temp, swelling, slight rash. In addition to that we have the pain from the needle, unknown/uncomfortable surroundings/smells that makes the baby react.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 28, 2016 at 20:10 #

      Prove that you have read and understood the studies first. Discuss them. Or do you just go around the internet posting links to articles that you have been told support your ideas?

      • AndersG November 29, 2016 at 11:37 #

        I doubt that he has. Number two on the list discusses mercury and the elimination of thiomersal in childhood vaccines did not affect autism rates..

    • wzrd1 December 1, 2016 at 02:29 #

      Perhaps you should read them yourself, Emily. Out of all of the studies, two have clear conflicts of interest, with one group using defective data sets and happen to be professional witnesses in vaccine litigation and one being an integrative medicine (adding woo treatments, such as the ineffective hyperbaric chamber treatments for autistic children (something odd, as adding hyperbaric oxygen to a child who is already suffering from oxidative stress doesn’t sound like the optimal solution)).
      The rest discuss the absence of mercury in vaccines, save for a very low dosage in the influenza vaccine and how mothers eating fish had elevated mercury in their blood stream, which then crosses the placenta.

  17. David Dyson December 3, 2016 at 05:35 #

    Judging by the arguments re vaccine damage there Has to be a link…..all of you who believe that there is no link…there is no limit to your stupidity!! The facts are too obvious to ignore …I respect those of you who are fighting the the nasty ,corrupt big Pharma,s out there…

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) December 12, 2016 at 17:13 #

      Judging by the lack of substance in your comments, I see that you put almost no real thought into your decision.

      Any comments about the documents released above or the way they have been portrayed by Wakefield’s team? I guess not. You just found a few random places on the internet to post a drive-by comment and you moved on.

  18. Joel January 15, 2017 at 13:24 #

    What was Dr. Thompson’s motivation for destroying his career?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 19, 2017 at 21:48 #

      It is difficult to say what Thompson was thinking. It’s hard enough to understand what he was doing.

      Also, no evidence this destroyed his career. He mentioned getting a bonus after these events were made public. He has been basically the same level for over a decade, so either he is where he wants to be or his career had stalled already.

  19. Ac January 20, 2017 at 07:31 #

    I am trying to believe what your article says, but it’s difficult to reconcile your rationale in a way that makes good sense. Overall what I hear you saying is that in response to public outcry over vaccine safety the CDC conducted a study, they hired Dr.Thompson despite being a vaccine critic to lead the study. (Why choose Thompson?) Dr.Thompson did not manipulate the study data despite his opposition to the final results. Dr.Thompson then falsly discredited his own accurate study, falsly admitted to committing a crime, falsly implicated his colleagues and superiors, then attempted to jeapordized his future career, his credentials, and freedom for what?, “A shot at participating in a Congressional hearing.” I still don’t see what’s in it for Dr. Thompson in the end of this scenario. I can see someone with Thompson’s opportunity conducting a fraudulent study to support his view, but to do an accurate study then rebuk it for the reason you give is rediculous. It’s additionally bizarre that you frame your article in such a way that paints Thompson with the same brush stroke as Hooker and Wakefield in regard to the omitted findings as if Thompson was equally an outsider to his own study.

    The scenario makes more sense if Dr.Thompson is telling the truth. He’s not necessarily doing so for the sole benefit of kids, or for anti-vaccine groups, but perhaps for more selfish reasons. Thompson apparently has enough prestige to be asked to run a study by none other than the CDC, concerning literally the most controversial subject matter today, everything is riding on the results of this highly publicized study. Therefore Thompson is clearly intelligent enough to realize as future studies come forth his study could come under scrutiny and the fraud discovered. In an effort to protect his future, he disclosed the truth and received Immunity from future prosecution to protect himself. If he wanted to expose the CDC he could have used a media outlet, he didn’t. He wanted immunity for his crimes, not necessarily exposure. In fact, it’s incredibly genius what he did, which is exactly what we can expect from someone with his experience and education. In the end he’s not legally accountable for the published version, he receives an honorable recommendation from the CDC and a large bonus payment, and probably planned to go on with his credentials intact – I think Hooker has damaged that plan for Thompson.

    Either way you slice it the CDC is either deceptive or has incredibly poor judgement in hiring practices. You would think the CDC would want a reliable individual in charge of such a study when so much of their integrity is riding on it.

    I don’t know how one would go about confirming whether or not you have a complete record of the study, how did you confirm that?

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 23, 2017 at 19:37 #

      You may be trying to believe, but you must first try to understand. Your comment demonstrates that clearly you do not.

      they hired Dr.Thompson despite being a vaccine critic to lead the study.

      Who hired Thompson? You must be talking about the CDC. Was Thompson a vaccine critic when he was hired (no evidence of that). When he was assigned to this study (no evidence of that).

      This makes the rest of your comment nonsense.

      You are looking for what to believe. It will help a great deal if you understand what you are talking about.

    • doritmi January 23, 2017 at 19:41 #

      Dr. Thompson was not hired for the Atlanta study. According to his LInkedin he moved to the CDC in 1998, after working as an analyst for Merck and elsewhere.

      As our host pointed out, there is no indication he was anti-vaccine at the time (and to remind you, his initial statement expressed his strong support for vaccines).

      The analysis above is based on the documents he provided. Do you see anything in the documents that suggests wrongdoing?

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) January 23, 2017 at 20:28 #

        ” Do you see anything in the documents that suggests wrongdoing?”

        I haven’t seen anything that shows that those who believe in the “CDC Whistleblower” story have read the documents thoroughly.

        And that includes Andrew Wakefield, Robert Kennedy, Brian Hooker, Bill Posey, Del Bigtree or any of the other “big” names in that community.


  1. The CDC whistleblower documents: A whole lot of nothing and no conspiracy to hide an MMR-autism link – Respectful Insolence - January 5, 2016

    […] been a major new development in this story that I just couldn’t wait to tell you about: Matt Carrey now has the CDC whistleblower documents, and, as a result, so do I and so can you. Let me explain. But first, let me note that […]

  2. "Whistleblower" documents released - Mothering Forums - January 6, 2016

    […] non-vaccine blogs or websites discussing this release or I would like those here as well. "The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow." "The CDC whistleblower documents: A whole lot of nothing and no conspiracy to hide an […]

  3. "Whistleblower" documents released - Mothering Forums - January 6, 2016

    […] post here so I thought I would bring the topic on over in case anyone wanted to discuss it "The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow." "The CDC whistleblower documents: A whole lot of nothing and no conspiracy to hide an […]

  4. The CDC whistleblower data dump redux: Even William Thompson appears not to believe the antivaccine spin – Respectful Insolence - January 6, 2016

    […] pretty damning, right? Well, we now have the complete statement by William Thompson, thanks to Matt Carey‘s having made the document dump available to all, and in context it’s not quite the […]

  5. If you want to read the William Thompson documents, here’s the link | Left Brain Right Brain - January 6, 2016

    […] online comments of people who are asking where the William Thompson documents are. I had included a link at the end of my recent article, but just to make it even more clear, here’s the dropbox […]

  6. Stick to baseball, 1/9/16. - January 9, 2016

    […] deniers liked to throw around? Well, a review of the actual documents from that scientist showed there’s no whistle to blow because there’s nothing scandalous or untoward […]

  7. No, MLK Jr Wasn’t Talking About Vaccines – The Vaccine Blog - January 19, 2016

    […] Faux-journalist Ben Swann, who works for the CBS affiliate in Atlanta, is coming out with a bombshell documentary (on his own website) about the CDC Whistleblower documents–the ones that claim that there is an increased risk of autism for black males who receive the MMR–and he says nothing about race at all. (Note: these assertions are bunk.) […]

  8. Ben Swann’s long-awaited report on the CDC whistleblower goes over like a lead balloon of antivaccine misinformation about the “CDC whistleblower” – Respectful Insolence - January 27, 2016

    […] Unfortunately for Swann, Matt Carey beat him to the punch, obtaining all the documents himself and doing an excellent analysis that shows that there was no coverup. For your edification, he even provided a link to download all […]

  9. An Interview with Andrew Wakefield – Violent metaphors - February 15, 2016

    […] parent of an autistic child, and extremely familiar with the Thompson documents. He has written an in-depth analysis of the Thompson documents and was able to provide an important counterpoint to Wakefield’s claims. Please read […]

  10. An Interview with Andrew Wakefield | Left Brain Right Brain - February 16, 2016

    […] parent of an autistic child, and extremely familiar with the Thompson documents. He has written an in-depth analysis of the Thompson documents and was able to provide an important counterpoint to Wakefield’s claims. Please read […]

  11. Sh*t naturopaths say, part 3: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! – Respectful Insolence - February 25, 2016

    […] the CDC scientist who became the “CDC whistleblower,” Yarnell cited two posts, “The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow” on Left Brain, Right Brain, and this post by me about William Thompson having apparently […]

  12. Andrew Wakefield releases the trailer for his William Thompson video. Slick production and dishonesty | Left Brain Right Brain - March 22, 2016

    […] to Member of Congress Bill Posey. That was made public along with a great deal more documents when I released them here. What does Mr. Thompson have to say about the study in question showing that vaccines […]

  13. Wakefield, Tribeca Film Festival – old claims new package - March 26, 2016

    […] pointed out that even the trailer included misrepresentation of facts, as have previous pronouncements on the issue by its two top anti-vaccine actors, Andrew Wakefield and Brian […]

  14. Wakefield responds to his film being pulled by the Tribeca Film Festival. And it’s very classic Wakefield | Left Brain Right Brain - March 28, 2016

    […] the way, the documents don’t show fraud. Everyone can read the documents now. Andrew Wakefield was given many, if not all, of the Thompson […]

  15. Mike Adams noticed that the Tribeca Film Festival has yanked Andrew Wakefield’s antivaccine film. Hilarity ensues. – Respectful Insolence - March 28, 2016

    […] Indeed, when the documents given to Posey by Thompson didn’t show any evidence of fraud at the CDC, and even Thompson himself didn’t seem to buy the accusations that they did. Certainly, […]

  16. » Vaxxed and the Tribeca Film Festival: How Robert De Niro learned the hard way about Andrew Wakefield and the antivaccine movement - March 28, 2016

    […] in its analysis of the data for their study. Of course, we all know now that nothing of the sort happened and that Thompson never accused his coauthors of fraud, although he sure did make it sound as […]

  17. Tribeca Film Festival wrap-up: Andrew Wakefield’s “brilliance” and spies and Nazis, oh my! – Respectful Insolence - March 29, 2016

    […] how to interpret scientific data. Big surprise there, given that he believes Wakefield and Hooker. Matt Carey and I have both examined the primary documents, and we’ve found no evidence of fraud, […]

  18. Why Robert De Niro Promoted, then Pulled, Vaxxed, Anti-Vaccine Film - Fortune - March 29, 2016

    […] autism in a small subset of African Americans. (Scientists have described the accusations as a tempest in a teapot , i.e., “there’s no whistle to […]

  19. Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe to Cancellation to Insignificance – Violent metaphors - March 31, 2016

    […] is untrustworthy and that the movie is built to create the appearance of a scandal when in fact, an analysis of the documents in question shows there’s no substance to it. I think it’s particularly noteworthy that the filmmakers […]

  20. Vanliga missförstånd om vacciner | dagens kvacksalveri - April 5, 2016

    […] pojkar ytterligare. Han hävdar vidare att man inte följde protokollet, vilket dock motsägs av dokumenten från CDC. Han är dock tydlig med att han inte själv tror på någon […]

  21. Why do people have to see Vaxxed to criticize it? Wakefield’s own description of us tells us Vaxxed is bogus. | Left Brain Right Brain - April 21, 2016

    […] documents don’t show a causal connection either. I’ve made them public so people can check what is in them. Wakefield hasn’t. But Wakefield asks people to “make up their own mind”. The […]

  22. The hilarity continues: Jake Crosby echoes Brian Hooker’s claims that “The Man” has gotten to the “CDC whistleblower” – Respectful Insolence - April 29, 2016

    […] that Thompson had given to Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) that supposedly revealed the coverup were released by Matt Carey, it turned out there was no there there; the documents showed no evidence of a conspiracy to cover […]

  23. My (extended) response to commenters that our public health medical director should have watched Vaxxed before publishing his opinion piece | Thinking it out - May 22, 2016

    […] as of yet, there is no evidence of any kind of a cover-up by the CDC researchers, and it’s highly suspicious whether Thompson even actually told […]

  24. Read how someone becomes anti-vaccine | The Poxes Blog - May 24, 2016

    […] had it in hand to try and reproduce the study? (And an awful job he did at that.) Why is it that people like Matt Carey have all of the whistleblower documents? And, if the mainstream media isn’t covering this at all, then why are there articles all […]

  25. #Vaxxed, Reviewed: What happened inside the movie – Violent metaphors - June 13, 2016

    […] the world has looked at them and decided “there’s no whistle to blow.” Vaxxed makes a big deal about the documents Thompson released to a congressman. It doesn’t […]

  26. Vaxxed emotional appeal – putting kids at risk - June 15, 2016

    […] The documents that allegedly support this conspiracy are now publicly available, and do not. The documents, complete with an analysis, can be found here:… […]

  27. A provaxer watched Vaxxed | vaccinesworkblog - July 10, 2016

    […] has been swirling since August 2014 and nothing new has changed. The data has been available for download since January 2014. The data was never thrown away as it was always online as part of a large data […]

  28. The Cult of People who believe Vaccines cause Autism | CULT101 - September 23, 2016

    […] Two of their best “arguments” fall apart when you take a closer look. For example, supposed crown witness William Thompson insists that vaccines are safe and there never was a “true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in […]

  29. Die Sekte der Menschen, die glauben, dass Impfungen Autismus verursachen - October 1, 2016

    […] Thompson wird immer wieder als Beweis dafür angeführt, dass Impfungen Autismus verursachen. Nur hat er das nie gesagt. Er stellt in seinen Aussage sogar ausdrücklich fest, dass Impfungen sicher sind und er keine […]

  30. Matt Carey discusses Vaxxed, the film. | vaccinesworkblog - December 10, 2016

    […] away (it was not). Matt has written quite extensively about all of this, on LBRB. For example, herein he writes about how there was not really any whistle to […]

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