I wish I had that kind of money

The only reason I’m not making money hand over fist is because I chose to work in the public sector. I’m a public health worker who has been sticking with a local government that is having a hard time with its budget. I get paid peanuts. Contrary to what all the anti-vaccine people have accused me of, I am not getting a dime from “Big Pharma,” not a dime. Living in the DC metro area is expensive, and my checking account is the perfect example of it. I’ve paid some hefty overdraft fees, and it’s not like I have a cocaine or heroin habit, or some high-demand mistress to please. I just do my work where the bugs are, like my hero used to say when he was told that he could make ten times more money in private practice.

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One day, my name will finally be up there after all I’ve done around here.

Over at Respectful Insolence, there is a long comment thread building up on this post. One of the things that is being discussed is how much money is being given to and used by The Canary Party, an anti-vaccine political action party,  and its members,. They claim to be about freedom to make your own healthcare choices, yet they seem very interested in combating vaccines. They also show a total lack of understanding of basic scientific principles. For example, this:

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I heard my chemistry professor face-palm in his grave

Anyway, the Canary Party has disclosed it’s income and expenditures for 2012. So I read through the list of people who have given money to it. Below is a screen capture of the list. I’ve covered up the donors addresses, though you can still go read the document and see that there:

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Now, I understand giving small donations here and there to worthy causes. I even understand why people would want to give money to an anti-vaccine and science illiterate group. This is America. We can do what we want, within the law. It’s not illegal to give money to political action committees. But $10,000? $30,000? For what? To influence politicians into having congressional hearings? To accuse the members of a federal committee on autism of being corrupt? To tell us that a phone survey has as much validity as an actual case-control study? Hell, give me half that much, and I’ll design and implement a case-control study that will be well-designed and peer-review ready. Of course, it will only prove what we already know about autism and vaccines. To get me to give you a study that shows causation between vaccines and autism, you’ll have to pay me $3 trillion dollars. Being corrupt and a traitor to science ain’t cheap for me.

You can go read the report and see what they used the money for. But here’s the kicker: A PR person got paid $9,000 in 2012:

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And then she claims to only have a few bucks to her name when someone apparently threatened to sue her:

“My husband and I have about $800 to our name.  Could not even afford a retainer for a lawyer.  So you would probably get the like 5 grand in equity we have in our house, and our ten year old Honda Pilot. And we could probably find an apartment for $500 dollars a month here in Maine to raise our disabled child in.”

She also claims to be a volunteer, self-financed in her work against vaccines activism and, in her Blogger.com profile, never mentions her work in PR:

“I am a 42 year old new media writer, author, speaker and activist. I blog on the politics of autism, health, vaccination, informed consent and both corporate and government corruption. I am a former Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in adolescent and family therapy and hold a Masters degree in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University. I currently carry a caseload of one… my son Chandler who regressed into autism following his 18 month vaccinations. In 2009 I served on the steering committee of the first Maine CDC Autism Conference to educate medical professionals on the current state of research and treatment of autism I am the founder of Greater Brunswick Special Families a support organization for families supporting loved ones with developmental disabilities in Mid-Coast Maine. I am a co-author and contributing editor of the recently published book, Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children”

I wonder how her readers would feel if she openly disclosed to them that she does PR work for an anti-vaccine organization and, thus, maybe her blog posts are somewhat self-serving?

But, you know, conflicts of interest, dishonesty, big money… That’s all in the real of Big Pharma. Those of us upholding the science and truth behind life-saving interventions are the true Pharma shills, right? We’re the ones rolling in the dough, if you believe their accusations.

5 thoughts on “I wish I had that kind of money

  1. As a pediatrician, I’m lucky to clear 10% on my vaccine costs. Heck, Walmart does better than that. I don’t even get the once every 6 months or so free lunches the vaccine makers used to bring by–I guess they finally figured out I’m going to vaccinate even without that ginormous swag of a turkey and ham sandwich.

    Last year my purchase price for all my vaccines was about $250,000.00. So clearing 10% nets me $25k. Yep, I’m just rolling in the dough thanks to big pharma–heck that doesn’t even cover one of my nurse’s salaries.

    I vaccinate because vaccines work, are safe and because if we stop vaccinating then so many fatal diseases are going to come roaring back in the US. And I have no sympathy for anti-vaxxers and “thinking moms” and anyone else who is too stupid, ignorant or greedy to care about the critical need for vaccination in our society.

    Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

  2. Great post, and I love the new* format of the blog. And your points are well-taken. Behind every high-profile anti-vaxxer, there is a product being sold.

    *Sorry if it’s not really new, I’ve been out of action for a few months!

  3. Now, now, tell the truth. You can afford your own island.
    Regrettably, it’d be Gilligan’s island. 😉

    Seriously though, don’t you wish that you could get paid $9k to edit a website?
    Though, I suspect such a website would actually make sense and would trumpet evidence based medicine. 🙂

      • Now, that is a book I’ve not read in a long, long time. I’ll have to see if it’s still on my bookshelf. 🙂
        Either it is or the kids stole if from me when they moved out. Then again, I stole a few books from them. 😉

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