By Dr. Mercola
In the wake of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. telling reporters that President Trump asked him to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, the media is angling to shame and ridicule vaccine safety and informed consent proponents, be they physicians, scientists or parents with the ability to read and think for themselves.
Although Kennedy’s appointment has not been confirmed yet by the Trump administration, The Atlantic has gone so far as to suggest that a “shadow network of anti-vax doctors” is being emboldened by questions and concerns the new president has voiced about vaccine safety.1
Like Kennedy and many other critics of vaccine science and policy, President Trump has been outspoken about his suspicions that vaccines and vaccine policies may not be nearly as safe as they’re portrayed, and that the science is far from settled.
Meanwhile, Kennedy recently co-wrote an article in which he released documents revealing that officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “knew that infant vaccines were exposing American children to mercury far in excess of all federal safety guidelines since 1999.”2
Recent reports also reveal that medical treatment guidelines are frequently influenced by drug industry ties,3 and scientific “citation cartels” are gaming the system by repeatedly citing each other’s work,4 thereby making their studies appear more noteworthy and establishing what amounts to a false base of research that becomes difficult to overturn by independent researchers.
In all, there can be little doubt that the drug industry is getting anxious and this is why the heat is being turned up against anyone daring to question the status quo on vaccines.
Clearly, having an open discussion about vaccine safety means opening the door to doubt, and this is something the drug industry simply cannot afford. Meanwhile, avoiding the discussion is something parents, and the health care system as a whole, can no longer afford.
Emboldening ‘Anti-Vaccine Shadow Network?’
Not surprisingly, The Atlantic and other media outlets have published diatribes attacking President Trump and his staff for meeting with not only Kennedy, but also Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist.
In 1998 Wakefield and 12 colleagues published a case series paper in The Lancet, reporting that parents of 9 of 12 children they’d seen for chronic gastrointestinal symptoms told them that their children’s symptoms had begun soon after getting the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
A case series paper is different from a control study in that it simply describes experiences of a single patient or group of patients with a similar diagnosis. As Wakefield points out in his book, “Callous Disregard,” the purpose of a case series paper is to “generate new hypotheses.”
It is not supposed to suggest or investigate possible causality — and Wakefield’s paper did not make any causal claims. Rather, he and his colleagues concluded:5
“We have identified a chronic enterocolitis in children that may be related to neuropsychiatric dysfunction. In most cases, onset of symptoms was after measles, mumps, and rubella immun[iz]ation. Further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to this vaccine.