Donald Trump, Autism, Vaccination and Robert Kennedy Jr.
I attended a meeting where the keynote speaker David Katz MD spoke on “Feet, Forks and FIngers” (1) In short, we are killing ourselves by smoking, eating the wrong foods, and not enough exercise. Although this message is important, perhaps Dr Katz has been beating this drum too long. A little variation would keep his audience more engaged. It occurred to me that other public health issues also deserve attention, such as the increasing prevalence of autism, now one in 68 children.(2) Upper image Donald Trump and Robert Kennedy Jr courtesy of NBC Connecticut.
Autism, a Public Health Issue
After the talk, we met the speaker at the back of the hall and ask questions. I approached Dr Katz, introduced myself and asked:
“Wouldn’t you consider increasing autism rate a public health issue? As a member of the public health academic community, why didn’t you mention the increasing autism rate in your presentation today? Shouldn’t the public health academics be the ones to answer this?”(3,4)
After an awkward moment of silence, Dr Katz shuffled around and said he really had no answer for my question. I was not surprised by this, as today’s political climate has forced our public health academics into hiding on this issue.
Authoritarian rulers typically enforce discipline by making an example of dissenters, who are accused of being “enemies of the state” and summarily executed. Such an example was made of Dr Andrew Wakefield whose career was destroyed after his research came up with the “wrong findings”. Perhaps this weighs heavily on the minds of academics thinking of studying autism.
Was IRB Approval Really Needed? – Apparently Not
Another quick word about the Wakefield case: The retracted 1998 Lancet paper’s actual research findings were never in question and have actually been replicated by others in the intervening years.(42) Nodular hyperplasia and inflammation in the bowel are common finding in autistic kids. The reason for retraction of the paper and revocation of license was Dr. Wakefield neglected to obtained IRB approval in advance from the hospital ethics committee. However, Wakefield’s partner and co-author of the study John Walker-Smith, fought the Medical Board Ruling claiming IRB approval was not needed since the doctor was “simply investigating symptoms to help treat children“. Dr Smith’s license was re-instated in 2012, indicating that IRB approval was not required.(42-45) Wakefield did not appeal, as he did not have the funds to do so. Since 1998, the original Wakefield Lancet paper has been cited 2,400 times in the medical literature. Many of the these citing articles confirm that gastointestinal co-morbidities are common in children with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders.
Robert Kennedy Jr Announces
This leads us to the announcement last week by Robert Kennedy Jr that the president-elect Mr Trump invited him to chair a committee on vaccine safety. Mr. Kennedy is a known friend of the “anti-vaccination” movement, and a proponent of “vaccine safety” . This announcement was not taken lightly by Big Pharma promptly firing “warning shots across the bow”, sending a message to Team Trump that this is out of bounds and they are not happy. In other words, all hell broke loose in the mainstream media. The sheer volume and energy of the attack by mainstream media was mind boggling. Finally, after about a week or so, it was revealed that the whole thing was a big nothing, there was no invitation, merely a conversation about the idea.
Vaccination, Politics and Safety
If a health professional injects a drug into a human, this procedure is governed by federal state and local regulations . For example, the patient must consent to the procedure, and the injected drug must have FDA approval. If the drug causes adverse effects as a result of negligence, then the patient has a right to sue the drug maker in court for damages. However for vaccinations, these rules don’t apply. Some states are repealing vaccine exemptions making vaccination mandatory, forgetting about the requirement for patient consent.
Vaccine Makers Exempt from Liability
In 1986 the Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act making the drug makers exempt from liability for their vaccine product. Instead of suing the drug maker in state court, the aggrieved victim of a vaccine injury must take his or her case to the federal vaccine court. Any settlements paid out to the victims of vaccine injury are paid by the federal government, not by the vaccine makers.
According to Sharyl Attkisson, from 1998 to 2015 , over 15,916 claims have been filed in federal vaccine court. 4,121 were compensated, 9,904 were dismissed. The total amount paid to victims is approximately $3.1 billion.(4) The fact that over 3 billion dollars has been paid to victims of vaccine injury suggests there is more work to do if we want safe vaccines. In other words, there may be safety issues with certain vaccines that are not being fully addressed.
The Science is NOT Settled
All of these media attack articles say the same thing: “The Science is settled. All vaccines are safe. There is no connection to autism,” This is all true as long as one realizes that the science they are all talking about is industry sponsored science. Researchers are paid to come up with the “correct ” findings for their study. There is a historical precedent called “tobacco science”. The tobacco industry claimed that “science has proven cigarettes are healthy and do not cause cancer.” We know other wise. The reality is the industry sponsored science is tainted, and independent researchers live in fear of reprisals for any breach of silence. This is not a free environment.
Vaccines Should Be Regulated Like Any Other Drug
I agree with Barbara Loe Fisher of the NVIC who says there was a fundamental mistake made by Congress in removing liability from vaccine manufacturers in 1986. (41) One lawmaker, Jeremy Munson has proposed a resolution to restore liability to Vaccine Manufacturers. (47,48) Update May 14, 2019: Minnesota Rep. Jeremy Munson Press Conference on Resolution to Restore Liability to Vaccine Makers: watch video here: Removing Pharmaceutical Company Immunity. (47,48)
Safety Tested and Regulated Same As Any Other Drug
Vaccines should be treated and regulated same as any other drug. New vaccines should rise or fall with the marketplace and not be falsely subsidized by the federal government. Some drugs are FDA approved and then later banned when problems are discovered. Same is true for some vaccines. By removing liability from the vaccine makers, they have no incentive to make vaccines safe. And without liability costs, the vaccines are now more profitable, creating more incentive to make more and more vaccine products, as we have seen over the years.
Some Vaccines Work, Others Are not Worth the Risks
Some drugs are quite effective with few side effects, while others are discarded because they don’t work so well, or they carry horrendous adverse effects . Same for vaccines. Some work. Some don’t and are either not approved or later banned. Examples are the live Sabine polio vaccine discontinued in the US in 2000 because the vaccine itself was causing VAPP, vaccine associated paralytic polio. The Swine flu vaccine was banned in 1976 because of increased Guillan Barre syndrome after vaccination. etc. The whole cell pertussis vaccine was associated with increased mortality in children receiving the vaccine.(46) In Sweden, whole cell pertussis vaccination was suspended in 1979, and was later replaced with a safer acellular Pertussis vaccine.(32-37) In Japan, DTP vaccination was banned in 1993 due to safety concerns.(31)(46) A partial listing of discontinued vaccines can be seen here: Discontinued_Vaccines .(28-29)
The Bill Haast Story Immunity from Snake Venom
An example of vaccination that worked is the Bill Haast story. Suppose you worked in a serpentarium handling venomous snakes. Wouldn’t it be advantageous to have small periodic injections of snake venom so you will eventually be immune to it.? That is exactly what Bill Haast did. Bill Haast built up immunity by injecting himself every day for 60 years with venoms from 32 snake species. (27) This allowed him to survive 173 poisonous snake bites during his career as a snake handler. (27) However, just because it worked for Bill Haast, mandatory snake venom vaccination for all school children is obviously not a good idea.
What Will Trump Do Once In Office ?
Will the president elect Mr. Trump stick by his guns on this issue, or will he back down and fold? Exactly how this plays out is anyone’s guess. We will have to wait until after inauguration January 20, and then see what happens after Mr Trump actually takes office.
Update 2017: 500% increased mortality from DTP vaccine (older cellular pertussis type): “Among 3–5-month-old children, having received DTP (± OPV) was associated with a mortality hazard ratio (HR) of 5.00 (95% CI 1.53–16.3) compared with not-yet-DTP-vaccinated children.” Mogensen, Søren Wengel, et al. “The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment.” EBioMedicine 17 (2017): 192-198.
Articles with Related Interest:
Jeffrey Dach MD
Links and References
1) What REALLY Kills Us 11/11/2013 David Katz, M.D.
Feet, forks, and fingers are the master levers of medical destiny. Dr. Katz says:
“The actual, underlying “cause” of premature death in our country fully eight times in 10 comes down to bad use of our feet (lack of physical activity), our forks (poor dietary choices), and/or our fingers (holding cigarettes).”(1)
2) CDC Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Data & Statistics Prevalence
About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. [Read summary] [Read article]
3) Newschaffer, Craig J., and Laura Kresch Curran. “Autism: an emerging public health problem.” Public health reports 118.5 (2003): 393.
5) Govt Wipes Recent Vaccine Injury Data From Website by sattkisson on December 30, 2015. From 1998 to 2015 : over 15,916 claims have been filed in vaccine court. 4,121 were compensated, 9,904 were dismissed. The total amount paid to victims is approximately $3.1 billion.
5) What REALLY Kills Us
11/11/2013 11:59 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
David Katz, M.D. Founder, True Health Initiative
6) Dr. David Katz is a former Director of Medical Studies in Public Health at the Yale School of Medicine,
David L. Katz MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM is an internationally renowned authority on nutrition, weight control, and the prevention of chronic disease. He is also recognized internationally as an authority on evidence-based, integrative medicine.
He is an Associate Professor (adjunct) of Public Health Practice, and formerly the Director of Medical Studies in Public Health, at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Katz directs Yale University’s Prevention Research Center which he co-founded in 1998. As director of this clinical research laboratory dedicated to chronic disease prevention, Katz has served as Principal Investigator for numerous community and clinical trials, and has acquired and managed well over $20 million in research funds.
Dr. Katz earned his BA from Dartmouth College (in 3 years), his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health.
7) Trump team denies skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was asked to head vaccine commission
By Dan Merica, CNN Updated 6:17 PM ET, Tue January 10, 2017
No, Anti-Vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr. Won’t Be Trump’s ‘Vaccine Czar’
The media should have checked this out before reporting it as fact and even going so far as to call Robert F. Kennedy Jr. a ‘vaccine czar’ without any confirmed details.
8) Anti-Vaccine Activist Says Trump Wants Him to Lead Panel on Immunization Safety By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, MAGGIE HABERMAN and PAM BELLUCK JAN. 10, 2017
9) Why Donald Trump’s Choice of RFK Jr. as Vaccine Czar Is a Terrible Idea
Jeffrey Kluger Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 6:40 PM
10) What Could Trump Really Do to Vaccines?
Are the president-elect’s anti-vaccine tweets and meetings with leading anti-vaxxers a signal he’s going to change U.S. immunization policy? And does he really have the power to do so?
Brandy Zadrozny 01.13.17
11) Why Trump’s Meeting With RFK Jr. Has Scientists Worried by Tara Haelle January 12, 2017
13) Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Newly Appointed Vaccine Chair, Has A Dangerously Anti-Science View
You can’t say you’re OK with vaccines but also spread conspiracy theories about their ingredients. 01/10/2017 06:20 pm ET | Updated 12 hours ago
14) Robert Kennedy Jr. warns of vaccine-linked ‘holocaust’ April 7, 2015 8:44 PM
15) January 10, 2017, 1:21 PM
Robert Kennedy Jr. says he will chair “vaccination safety” committee for Trump
16) Trump taps anti-vaccine activist to chair vaccine safety panel
By Brad Dixon 13 January 2017
17) By Will Rahn CBS News January 12, 2017, 6:00 AM
Commentary: The big Trump scandal this week wasn’t about Russia
18) Trump’s Dangerous Support for Conspiracies About Autism and Vaccines. By Michael Specter January 11, 2017
19) Ann Pharmacother. 2011 Oct;45(10):1302-4. The vaccine-autism connection: a public health crisis caused by unethical medical practices and fraudulent science. Flaherty DK1.
In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist, described a new autism phenotype called the regressive autism-enterocolitis syndrome triggered by environmental factors such as measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination. The speculative vaccination-autism connection decreased parental confidence in public health vaccination programs and created a public health crisis in England and questions about vaccine safety in North America. After 10 years of controversy and investigation, Dr. Wakefield was found guilty of ethical, medical, and scientific misconduct in the publication of the autism paper. Additional studies showed that the data presented were fraudulent. The alleged autism-vaccine connection is, perhaps, the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years.
20) Rao, TS Sathyanarayana, and Chittaranjan Andrade. “The MMR vaccine and autism: Sensation, refutation, retraction, and fraud.” Indian journal of psychiatry 53.2 (2011): 95.
21) The Vaccine Autism Cover-up: How One Doctor’s Career was Destroyed for Telling the Truth By Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News
22) New Published Study Verifies Andrew Wakefield’s Research on Autism – Again. Controversial Doctor and Autism Media Channel Director proven right MMR Vaccine Causes Autism & Inflammatory Bowel Disease
23) BuzzFeed on Trump’s Kennedy Appointment Features Age of Autism and JB Handley
24) Trump’s Would-Be Vaccine Commissioner Rallies Anti-Vaccine Groups
In an email to anti-vaccine activists, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. urged them to contact Trump, who was “getting massive blowback and waivering [sic].” Activists are “mobilized, energized, and extremely hopeful,” one individual said. posted on Jan. 11, 2017, Azeen Ghorayshi BuzzFeed News Reporter
25) Trump Moves To Challenge Vaccine Science
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who published a controversial book about the preservatives in vaccines being dangerous for children, will chair a commission on vaccine safety. Scientists reject his views.
Originally posted on Jan. 10, 2017, at 1:37 p.m. Updated on Jan. 10, 2017, at 6:05 p.m. Azeen Ghorayshi
26) September 19, 2015 Dear Doctors that are “horrified” that Donald Trump and others claim that vaccines are linked to autism
You don’t know the research. It shows that they are.
27) Bill Haast, a Man Charmed by Snakes, Dies at 100
By DOUGLAS MARTINJUNE 17, 2011
Mr. Haast was bitten at least 173 times by poisonous snakes, about 20 times almost fatally. It was all in a day’s work for probably the best-known snake handler in the country, a scientist-cum-showman who made enough money from milking toxic goo from slithery serpents to buy a cherry-red Rolls-Royce convertible.
A secret of his success was the immunity he had built up by injecting himself every day for more than 60 years with a mix of venoms from 32 snake species. He suspected the inoculations might have explained his extraordinarily good health, but he was reluctant to make that claim, he said, until he reached 100.
28) Discontinued Vacccines discontinued_vaccines-1
Cervarix – an HPV vaccine that was discontinued in the US in 2016
Comvax – a Hib/Hepatitis B combination – discontinued in 2014
Tetanus toxoid – discontinued 2013
Tripedia – a DTaP vaccine – discontinued 2011
TriHIBit – a DTaP/Hib combination
JE-VAX – discontinued 2005
Attenuvax – measles vaccine
Mumpsvax – mumps vaccine
Meruvax II – rubella vaccine
M-R-Vax – measles and rubella combo
M-M-Vax – measles and mumps combo
Biavax II – rubella and mumps combo
Heptavax-B – the original hepatitis B vaccine
HIB-Vax – the original Hib vaccine
Dryvax – smallpox vaccine
Measles-Smallpox combination vaccine
Diptussis – a diphtheria/pertussis combination (1949-55)
Quadrigen – a DTP/Polio combination (1959-68)
Streptococcus vaccine (1952-88)
Serobacterin – a pertussis vaccine (1945-54)
Rocky mountain spotted fever vaccine (1942-78)
Typhus vaccine (1941-79)
smallpox vaccine (1917-1976)
30) President Trump ‘Vaccine Hero’ Published on January 13, 2017
31) Why Japan banned MMR vaccine by JENNY HOPE, Daily Mail
The triple jab was banned in Japan in 1993 after 1.8 million children had been given two types of MMR and a record number developed non-viral meningitis and other adverse reactions.
pertussis whooping cough
32) Klein, Nicola P. “Licensed pertussis vaccines in the United States: History and current state.” Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics 10.9 (2014): 2684-2690. In the 1970s and 1980s, Japan suspended their pertussis vaccination program because of safety concerns.28 Sato Y, Kimura M, Fukumi H. Development of a pertussis component vaccine in Japan. Lancet 1984; 1:122-6; PMID:6140441;
In Sweden, effectiveness concerns led to a suspension of Sweden’s pertussis vaccination program.Other countries such as the
United Kingdom, Italy, Ireland, Australia, West Germany and Russia saw substantially reduced pertussis vaccine acceptance within their populations. In the US by the mid-1980s, lawsuits related to vaccine safety led several manufacturers to withdraw their DTP vaccines and paved the way to the US National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986. This act provides funds to compensate for adverse events following immunization. Faced with such widespread apprehension surrounding DTP safety, great efforts were made to develop acellular pertussis vaccines.
33) ROMANUS, VICTORIA, RAGNAR JONSELL, and SETH-OLOF BERGQUIST. “Pertussis in Sweden after the cessation of general immunization in 1979.” The Pediatric infectious disease journal 6.4 (1987): 364-371.
34) Vaccine. 2003 May 16;21(17-18):2015-21.
Declining pertussis incidence in Sweden following the introduction of acellular pertussis vaccine.
Olin P1, Gustafsson L, Barreto L, Hessel L, Mast TC, Rie AV, Bogaerts H, Storsaeter J.
Acellular pertussis vaccines were introduced nation-wide in Sweden in 1996, 17 years after the withdrawal of whole-cell pertussis vaccine from the childhood immunisation schedule. We report national data on age specific incidence of culture-confirmed Bordetella pertussis for 1986-2000, and clinical follow-up for 3 years (October 1997-September 2000) in children born in 1996-2000 and from children born in 1993-1994 who had participated in a trial of pertussis vaccines. The annual incidence of culture-confirmed B. pertussis was 89-150 per 100,000 before introduction of acellular pertussis vaccines and has dropped to 17-26 per 100,000. The data suggest that unimmunised infants and children who have received only one dose of pertussis vaccine were provided some protection. The decline is most obvious from the second dose onwards and remained stable for 4-5 years after the third dose in the absence of any booster dose. The first signs of waning immunity were observed at 6-7 years of age in the trial cohort. The short-term benefits reflect high vaccination coverage and high initial efficacy. The full impact of the acellular pertussis vaccination programme in infants remains to be established.
35) Klein, Nicola P., et al. “Comparative effectiveness of acellular versus whole-cell pertussis vaccines in teenagers.” Pediatrics 131.6 (2013): e1716-e1722.
BACKGROUND: During the 1990s, the United States switched from combined diphtheria, tetanus toxoids, whole-cell pertussis (DTwP) vaccines to combined acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccines because of safety concerns. After a 2010–2011 pertussis outbreak, we sought to evaluate whether disease risk in 10 to 17 year olds differed between those who previously received DTwP from those who received DTaP.
36) Plotkin, Stanley A. “The pertussis problem.” Clinical infectious diseases (2013): cit934.
37) Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016;934:77-82. doi: 10.1007/5584_2016_21.
Pertussis: History of the Disease and Current Prevention Failure.
Kuchar E1, Karlikowska-Skwarnik M2, Han S3, Nitsch-Osuch A4.
Pertussis or whooping cough has been given many names over the centuries. It was first recognized in the Middle Ages and since then various epidemics have been described. Jules Bordet and Octave Gengou isolated Bordetella pertussis, a causative agent for whooping cough, in Paris more than 100 years ago, which created an excellent opportunity to invent a vaccine. In 1914 the whole-cell pertussis vaccine was invented, then in the 1940s it was combined with tetanus and diphtheria toxoids to become DTP and it became widely available. A successive decrease in the incidence of the disease has since been observed. The vaccine has been about 80 % effective in preventing serious disease and death from pertussis. The disadvantage is that the vaccine offers protection for 5-10 years after the last dose of the full vaccination course. The second issue is the question of how to prevent side effects of the whole-cell vaccine. In the 1990s, the acellular vaccine was introduced in the US and gradually replaced the whole-cell vaccine. About 10 years later, a possible failure with the new vaccine has been observed, that is a lack of long-term protection. Nowadays, both vaccines are used, with the acellular vaccine being vastly predominant in most developed countries. Pertussis incidence has increased since the 1980s, but new prevention strategies include booster doses for specific age groups.
38) RFK Jr – Is He The Best Man For the Vaccine Commission Job? Maybe – Maybe Not… Opinion by Consumer Advocate Tim Bolen
39) Big Pharma Worries As Trump Elects Vaccine Sceptic To Lead Vaccine Committee By Jess Murray Truth Theory Posted on 2017/01/12 Tags: America, Trump, Vaccines
40) Hey Robert Kennedy Jr: Congrats and here’s a suggested first topic for the vaccine commission: Are aluminum adjuvants in childhood vaccines harming kids? January 10, 2017 Richard Jaffe Comments 0 Comment
41) End Pharma Liability Shield Endangering Public Health and Human Rights By Barbara Loe Fisher 11/8/2016
42) Wakefield, Andrew J., et al. “RETRACTED: Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children.” (1998): 637-641.
43) MMR doctor wins High Court appeal BBC News 2012
44) MMR row: high court rules doctor should not have been struck off
Striking off by General Medical Council of Professor John Walker-Smith for serious professional misconduct ‘cannot stand’ -The Guardian News
46) Mogensen, Søren Wengel, et al. “The Introduction of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis and Oral Polio Vaccine Among Young Infants in an Urban African Community: A Natural Experiment.” EBioMedicine 17 (2017): 192-198.
47) Minnesota Resolutions Ask Congress To Restore Manufacturers’ Liability for Defective Vaccines May 17, 2019 By Nancy Hokkanen
48) Minnesota Republican Lawmakers Aim to Ask Congress to Put Liability Back on Vaccine Manufacturers
Representative Jeremy Munson (R- Lake Crystal) said during the conference that “if everyone believes that vaccines are safe, that they cause no injury, that they can’t cause injury, then there should be no problem with this” By Megan Olson – May 16, 2019
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