The dangerous game played by Hooker and Wakefield

When Brian S. Hooker and Andrew Jeremy Wakefield decided that they were going to play the “CDC Whistleblower” game, they and their minions decided to lie and misinform African Americans with the idea that the MMR vaccine was causing more autism in African American children than in other groups. They have gone so far so as to line themselves up with the Nation of Islam, and so we have these statements from NoI leaders saying that CDC “poisoned” Black and Hispanic children.

This is a very dangerous game that the anti-vaccine high priests are playing. The United States is very charged with racial tensions right now. From the “Black Lives Matter” movement to police unions circling the wagons around cops involved in unjustified homicides, there is a lot of mistrust from minority groups toward the authorities and back. To add more oxygen to that fire by using the outright lie that MMR causes autism is Machiavellian in the most extreme. I have no doubt that Hooker and Wakefield will play the “vaccines cause autism” violin while Rome burns, so to speak.

Those two jerks can’t possibly admit that they’re wrong. If they were to do so, you see, they would miss out on the adoration of all those people who have been fooled into believing that vaccines are the Devil’s piss. Brian would not be able to move his claim in the Vaccine Court any further. Andrew Jeremy would have no place left to go since he’s already pretty much hated in Great Britain. But continuing to play this game is going to have consequences, and I’m worried about what those consequences will be.

The whackos that are against abortion have done some pretty bad things. There have been plenty of death threats against legislators in California who helped make SB277 a reality. What can they possibly expect will happen in riling up people who have been victims of institutionalized racism with vile lies about vaccines?

Ten dollars says that Hooker and Wakefield, and possibly the Weirdo John Stone, all have prepared statements washing their hands of anything that happens because of their lies. They won’t be happy until they have their way. Since their way requires a complete rejection of the laws of known reality, they’re not going to be happy… Well, they might dance a jig if a pro-vaccine person gets hurt. That I can see them doing. I can see them toasting to the death of one of their enemies, laughing all the way to the bank to deposit the money given to them by their devout followers.

Advertisements

Working in the quote mine

If you’ve ever watched a politician speak, you might have noticed that they tend to be very, very careful with what they say. Most of them, anyway. They’re very careful with what they say because their opponents are quick to jump on the first little thing that doesn’t quite make sense. Remember John Kerry, our current Secretary of State and former Democratic candidate for President? He said that he voted for something before he voted against it. In the abstract, that sounds like a ludicrous statement. He sounded like a “flip-flopper” and the Republicans let him have it. When you look at what he did, you see that it was a procedural move to kill a bill. He voted for the bill in committee to then vote against it in the full Senate and kill it.

It makes sense to me, but it didn’t make sense to the masses of Republicans who brought flip-flops with them to Kerry’s rallies. They didn’t want to listen to reason, either. When people tried to explain to them why he did that, they basically covered their ears and ran away while screaming.

Anti-vaccine advocates are the same way. They’ll take something out of context and run with it, feeding it to the unsuspecting minds. The unsuspecting minds will then parrot what they’ve been fed without going to the source to make sure they’re not being fooled.

Take as a prime example the public statement by Dr. William Thompson from yesterday. Here is the full text:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—AUGUST 27, 2014

STATEMENT OF WILLIAM W. THOMPSON, Ph. D., REGARDING THE 2004 ARTICLE EXAMINING THE POSSIBILITY OF A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM

My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where I have worked since 1998.

I regret my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data was collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.

I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.

My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub-group for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe it is the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with the receipt of those vaccines.

I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making analyses should be transparent. I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.

I am grateful for the many supportive emails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering questions at this time. I am providing information to Congressman William Posey, and of course will continue to cooperate with Congress. I have also offered to assist with reanalysis of the study data of development of further studies. For the time being, however, I am focused on my job and my family.

Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists outside of the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.

My colleagues and supervisors at the CDC have been entirely professional since this matter became public. In fact, I received a performance-based award after this story came out. I have experienced no pressure or retaliation and certainly was not escorted out of the building as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan, Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio.”

And here’s what the anti-vaccine people are saying about it:

tmr_poster1

tmr_poster2

tmr_poster3

tmr_poster4

Note how none of them mention this from Dr. Thompson:

“I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.”

Of course they don’t disseminate that because it goes against everything they believe. They also don’t mention this:

“I was not, however, aware that he was recording any of our conversations, nor was I given any choice regarding whether my name would be made public or my voice would be put on the Internet.”

That is, no mention of the betrayal of trust (and possible criminal action in recording someone without their knowledge) of Wakefield and BS Hooker.

The Drinking Thinking Moms also don’t mention that the findings were only statistically significant for African American boys. Most, if not all, of the children they claim were “lost” or “dead” or “stolen” by autism are white boys and white girls.

Of course, the moms are not the only ones lying by omission about this whole thing. Plenty of anti-vaccine people online have been flooding comments sections of blogs with falsehoods. They say that data were omitted when they weren’t. Others said that Dr. Thompson was escorted off the CDC campus when was not. And, of course, the loonier of the loons are blaming everything from the Illuminati to the Reptilians for this.

The worst of the worst, however, keep using racially-charged language over this, and they keep stoking something that I’m sure not even they want to see catch on fire.

 

Even the bottom-feeding journals seem to have some sense

Thanks to a reader by the moniker of “Lawrence,” I’ve come to find out that “Translational Neurodegeneration” has taken down the article by BS Hooker on MMR and autism. Now, we have this:

http://www.translationalneurodegeneration.com/content/3/1/16/abstract

The page where the article used to be now links to a PDF version of it with this message:

“This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest. Definitive editorial action will be pending further investigation.”

I call this journal a “bottom feeder” because, in my humble opinion, it has a lot of questionable articles in it and the impact factor of the journal is lacking. But the editorial board has done the right thing in wanting to take another look at the article.

I’m still left wondering how this paper got through peer review, or who did the peer review. They seem to not have bothered with checking the biostatistics or with looking back at the DeStefano paper.

How to end a scientist’s career with some fancy editing

I’ve been taking extra strength exedrin today, all day. I have this nagging headache. See, I get these headaches when I hear people lying. It’s like a superpower, except that it hurts worse as I hear more stupidity. The “Thinking Moms” decided that they were going to have a “Twitter Party.” Well, they don’t know how twitter works. They thought that creating an echo chamber of anti-vaccine people repeating the same hashtag (#CDCwhistleblower) would make said hashtag trend and attract regular Twitter users to their message of anti-vaccine madness. That’s not how it works. For something to trend and be featured on Twitter, you need to have a lot of individual people using that hashtag in their conversation. A dozen people writing it a thousand times has an impact factor of 12, whereas twelve-thousand people tweeting it just once has an impact factor of 12,000.

My headache only got stronger when I was directed to this video from who else but the “Autism Media Channel”:

(I wonder how many autistics work at the Autism Media Channel?)

Anyway, the video is more fancy editing from Andrew Jeremy Wakefield and his team. This time, we get to hear more snips and soundbites attributed to one Dr. William Thompson. As much as the anti-vaccine activists have been demanding that Dr. Thompson come out into the open and make some sort of a statement, no one seems to demand that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield and his team publish the entire recorded conversation between Brian Hooker and Dr. Thompson. All we get are lies and innuendo. We have operatives like Ginger Taylor writing on Twitter that CDC deliberately didn’t look at birth certificates for African-American babies in the DeStefano study. Others keep repeating that the DeStefano study is like the Tuskegee study, where African-American men were deliberately denied penicillin when they had syphilis. It’s not.

Still others are saying that this is yet another form of abuse of African-Americans by the government, then they compare it to the unrest happening in Missouri. The even use imagery from the riots and of the teenager killed in Ferguson by a police officer. Again, autism to the anti-vaccine crowd is just like murder, just like death.

Yet none of them demand that Andrew Jeremy Wakefield release all the tapes. If I were running his public relations machine, I would probably do the same. Release little bits, edited ones, ones taken out of context, all to feed the masses who clamor for evidence where there is none, all to keep them worshipping their god. And it wouldn’t matter to me if I destroyed a scientist’s career, as long as the donations kept coming in and the sheeple kept up their deification and sanctification of Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, the godhead, and Brian S. Hooker, the priest.