By Deirdre Imus, November 8, 2016
That mercury is a known neurotoxin – meaning it is poisonous to nerve tissue – is not a topic of debate. The United States government acknowledges this, and consistently warns of its dangers to human health on the websites for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (link: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/TF.asp?id=113&tid=24#bookmark05), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (link: https://www.epa.gov/mercury/health-effects-exposures-mercury), and elsewhere. Depending on mercury type, method of exposure, and a person’s age, the effects of mercury can vary. They include, but are not limited to, vision loss, lack of coordinated movements, cognitive difficulties, memory problems, tremors, skin rashes, and mood swings.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the mercury-based preservative thimerosal from childhood vaccines starting in 1999 (though “trace amounts” do remain in some vaccines) while continuing to insist that studies had found no evidence of harm to children from mercury exposure. So when a former vaccine safety scientist at the CDC claimed that the agency committed scientific fraud in a series of studies on thimerosal in vaccines and a possible link to autism, you’d think the FDA, CDC, and other agencies meant to protect human health would be interested in hearing from him.
Not so much.
Dr. William Thompson, a 19-year veteran scientist at the CDC, has been blocked from testifying that he and others destroyed critical evidence of a relationship between childhood vaccines and autism. He wants to speak out, admit misconduct, right this wrong – but CDC director Thomas Frieden won’t allow it.
Part of the CDC’s stated mission is to “protect America from health, safety, and security threats,” and to increase the “health and security” of our nation. Yet Dr. Frieden’s actions seem more protective of the drug companies that produce vaccines, and of his own reputation, which isn’t so hot right now. During his tenure, the CDC has been accused of reckless procedures handling dangerous pathogens at labs; of mismanaging the Zika virus; and of excessive industry influence over science.
The case seeking Dr. Thompson’s testimony is a lawsuit alleging Yates Hazlehurst, now 16 years old, is autistic as a result of vaccine injuries suffered in 2001. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is one of the attorneys representing the Hazlehursts, and he argued that the issue of whether vaccines can cause autism is central to this case. In his view, it is an argument Dr. Thompson is uniquely, profoundly, and accurately able to make.
Dr. Thompson is a co-author of the four studies that are routinely cited by anyone hoping to defend vaccines as proof of their safety. He has since claimed that his bosses at the CDC ordered him and three other scientists to get rid of data linking vaccines to autism, and that he “omitted statistically significant information” suggesting African-American males who receive the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine before 36 months of age were “at increased risk for autism.” He further states his desire to “stop lying.”
But Dr. Thompson needs permission from the director of the CDC to testify, and so until or unless the CDC director is legally compelled to reverse his decision, Dr. Thompson is – like many of the children adversely impacted by vaccines – silenced.