“That’s the deal . . ., that’s what I keep seeing again and again and again . . . where these senior people [at CDC] just do completely unethical, vile things and no one holds them accountable.”
— Dr. William Thompson to Dr. Brian Hooker in a recorded phone call, June 12, 2014
It’s been almost a year since we first heard the name Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, and “whistleblower” in the same sentence. On August 27, 2014, Dr. Thompson released a shocking statement via his attorneys, Morgan Verkamp, whistleblower specialists, admitting that he and colleagues at the CDC “omitted statistically significant information” from a 2004 Pediatrics study regarding the timing of the MMR vaccine and autism which showed that African-American boys were much more likely to be diagnosed with autism if they received the MMR “on time” (before 36 months) than matched controls. When trying to get this story out, as mainstream media looked the other way, our community faced a tidal wave of astroturfing on Facebook pages, Twitter and media sites. Bloggers and “shills” sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry quickly moved to hijack and reframe this incredible story, branding it with their favorite word: “debunked.” Their aim was to provide enough obfuscation and distraction that the masses wouldn’t listen to us “anti-vaxers” (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says of anti-vaxers, “When you hear the term ‘anti-vaxers’ you should think ‘parents of disabled children.’” Disclosure: I vaccinated all of my children, one is vaccine injured.) And it worked. We have yet to see a mainstream media outlet seriously consider Dr. Thomson’s allegations of fraud at the CDC.
But this story won’t go away, despite the best efforts of an incredibly persistent, well-oiled and well-heeled propaganda machine.
Last August, we heard snippets of calls (between Dr. Brian Hooker, a vaccine researcher and father of an autistic child, and Dr. Thompson, author and co-author of three major CDC studies that “exonerate” vaccines of any role in the epidemic of autism. In his soon-to-be released book, Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC, Kevin Barry Esq., himself the father of a child with autism and former president of Generation Rescue, finally reveals the transcripts of four calls, the only ones recorded, of the more than 30 that took place between Drs. Hooker and Thompson.
November 2013, Dr. Thompson reached out to Dr. Hooker, whom he had known from various interactions in the years 2002-2004. Dr. Thompson had finally decided to “blow his whistle” by telling Dr. Hooker what he knew about CDC corruption, saying, “I basically have stopped lying.” He had hired one of the best whistleblower attorneys in the country, and he was ready to take the heat for exposing the truth about vaccine fraud at the CDC: “So I have to deal with a few months of hell if all this becomes public, um, no big deal. I’m not having to deal with a child who is suffering day in and day out.”
The transcript calls took place from May 8 – July 28, 2014 and are shocking to read, so shocking, in fact, that it’s almost hard to believe what you are seeing: non-stop jaw-dropping testimony, which should, if investigated thoroughly, change the course of history.
In his preface, Dr. Boyd E. Haley, a professor of chemistry who has testified at past Institute of Medicine (IOM) meetings on Thimerosal toxicity, urges every pediatrician in the country to read the transcripts and encourages an immediate investigation by Congress, supporting the assertion that vaccine safety warrants a thorough review based on the claims of Dr. Thompson.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., co-author of Thimerosal, Let the Science Speak, wrote the eloquent foreword to the book. His tone has a sense of urgency and incredulity at the myriad conflict-of-interest and corruption issues in the vaccine safety industry, in which the U.S. government is inextricably entangled, in particular in relation to Thimerosal. He calls out the U.S. media silence and deems the media complicit in this fraud due to its financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry: “Reporters simply parrot the talking points of corrupt public health regulators and vaccine industry spokesmen.” Mr. Kennedy’s foreword is a scathing attack on the CDC and journalism in America and is a huge wake up call for the nation.
Barry’s introduction sets the scene with important background information, explaining Dr. Hooker’s involvement in this scandal and the extraordinary circumstances of how the events of August 2014 played out. He then gives an executive summary of the main points of each call which serves as a launchpad for what is to come. The following four chapters reveal the transcripts in their entirety, without the author’s narrative. The remaining chapters in the book contain Barry’s interpretation of the magnitude of the information which Thompson has revealed and urges the country’s leaders to push for a congressional investigation of the ~100,000 pages of evidence that Thompson has handed over to Rep. Bill Posey’s office. One of Posey’s staffers described the documents as a “wildfire” that “could burn the CDC to its foundations.”
Though the recordings were legally done, Dr. Thompson did not know he was being recorded; therefore, he speaks quite freely and is uninhibited. He tells Dr. Hooker what he thinks about his superiors at the CDC and other agency employees quite candidly, saying things like “People that have been my supervisors have broken laws.” It is surely everyone’s worst nightmare to be exposed in this way, but after reading the transcripts, I can understand Dr. Hooker’s intent in recording their conversations. The core subject matter is too important as our children’s lives are truly at stake.
On the calls, Dr. Thompson tries to give Dr. Hooker as much information as he can about the inner workings of the CDC so he can understand how the CDC has managed to maintain this fraud for so long with impunity: “I want to be a resource. I want to be valuable to you. I want you to have someone in the system that can give you feedback.” We begin to see very quickly how the CDC has become a “cesspool of corruption,” as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. repeatedly describes it.
Dr. Thompson tries to guide Dr. Hooker in the best way to “fix this” – meaning getting Thimerosal out of vaccines, primarily the flu vaccine. He suggests that Dr. Hooker start a campaign away from autism as a side effect, due to the radioactivity of the topic, and focus on tics. As the book explains, in a 2001 IOM (closed door) Committee Meeting, it seemed already predetermined that autism would never be associated with vaccines in their findings: “. . . we are not ever going to come down that (autism) is a true side effect.” The IOM’s report released in 2004 essentially declaring that vaccines do not cause autism (supporting the CDC position) and that funds should be directed away from such research, was contemptible at best and criminal at worst. The IOM is a private entity, and their opinion influences government agency policies and sways public perception. The IOM shutting the door on further research and declaring the science settled will prove to future historians to be a watershed moment in this crisis. As Dr. Hooker said in relation to a different circumstance but is no less relevant here, “What could be more anti-science than to exclude a line of scientific enquiry?” Because of this diversion of research, Thompson states, “The CDC has put the research ten years behind. Because the CDC has not been transparent, we’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism.”
Dr. Thompson advises Dr. Hooker to focus on a mantra regarding tics because, as he states,“I can say that pretty confidently, vaccines cause tics. We replicated that.” The replication study was “Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years.” He then suggests the “mantra” should switch to “. . . (and) tics are four times as common among kids with autism,” and “There is biologic plausibility right now, I really do believe there is, to say that Thimerosal causes autism-like features.” (emphasis added). You might want to read that line again.
Amazingly, “tics” is not listed as a table injury with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Thompson expresses his incredulity at that because, as he says, the science is clear; the CDC itself has replicated the finding with other studies. Incidentally, in relation to Thimerosal, Dr. Thompson reveals that some rat studies involving Thimerosal “showed that thimerosal (sic) had a differential effect on males and females” and that “they got to a certain level (of increasing the dose) and all the male rats died,” possibly explaining the “male effect,” the fact that autism occurs about four times more often in males than females.
But we may have a new effect – the “born-with-it” effect. Thompson says of the flu shot, “I don’t know why they still give it to pregnant women, like that’s the last person I would give mercury to . . . I would never give my wife a vaccine that I thought caused tics.” Dr. Thompson seems incredulous at this, and can only suggest the reason is “that the drug companies think that if it is in at least that one vaccine then no one could argue that it should be out of the other vaccines outside of the US.” That’s a rather horrific possibility to be sure, but another equally horrific possibility with more local ramifications is that giving mercury to pregnant women would mask any changes in autism rates that might occur due to mercury removal from other childhood vaccines.
The all-important 2004 MMR study is discussed in great detail throughout the calls. Of this paper, Thompson says, “I was complicit, and I went along with this, we did not report significant findings . . . I have great shame now when I meet families with kids with autism because I have been part of the problem.” This paper was the only study of the three autism studies that Dr. Thompson co-authored that didn’t have an external panel of consultants (Dr. Thompson: “Just so you understand this, we didn’t have an external review panel . . . for the MMR autism one.”), which was how, Dr. Thompson claims, they were able to deviate from the original analysis plan, which he retained copies of without anyone’s knowledge.
The significant findings related to the “race effect,” which they discussed at great length. Dr. Hooker discusses the statistical analyses with regard to the race effect with Dr. Thompson so he can be sure that what he was finding was accurate. Dr. Thompson confirmed that he and his co-authors found a statistically significant increased risk of autism for African-American boys who received the MMR on time. He says that they had meetings to discuss this issue. Dr. Hooker asks Dr. Thompson what was discussed, and he would only say, “There is a specific quote about this very finding that will be etched in my head for life. I’m not going to tell you it. . . . It was by one of the other coauthors.”
In the end, they just decided to omit data by eliminating those who did not have a Georgia birth certificate (presumably the poorest children in the sample), even though it was a deviation from the study plan. He alludes to the now infamous “garbage can meeting,” where the co-authors colluded to destroy federal documents relating to the study: “Literally everyone else got rid of all their documents so the only documents that exist right now from that study are mine . . . it was the five of us behind closed doors for 2 years.”
Dr. Thompson also gives insight into media hype of outbreaks of measles in the U.S. and polio in third-world countries : “These drug companies and their promoters, they’re making such a big deal of these measles outbreaks. It’s like a never ending thing where the press loves to hype it and it scares people.” Coincidentally, a few months later, that same media-hype scenario played out after a measles outbreak that began at the California Disneyland theme park. What ensued was an unrelenting media blitz about the importance of vaccines, specifically the MMR. That campaign can be directly tied to the hundreds of vaccine bills entered in state legislatures all over the country, recently resulting in California children losing their right to personal belief exemptions to vaccinations in a new law which violates both international human rights law as well as the First Amendment to the Constitution. More recently, in New York State a bill was introduced, unusually out of session, which proposes eliminating all religious exemptions across the state, a state that is already among the most vaccinated with a 99% vaccination rate per the CDC. And all this because 117 people got a fever and a rash, most of whom were adults, and many of whom were vaccinated! To this day, no source for the outbreak has ever been established by the CDC. And, interestingly, the measles rate so far for 2015 is significantly lower than 2014, and running about even with 2013. In a sane world, the Thompson transcripts would serve to put a stop to all pending legislation until further investigations can be conducted, due to the severity of the risk to our children.
Dr. Thompson then brings Dr. Hooker’s attention to the SEED project, which he refers to as “Disneyland” (of data), and how this data set contains the health records of some 1200 children, 800 of which are confirmed autistic, with complete vaccination records, including prenatal vaccines and RhoGAM shots. This data has yet to be released to the public for study. In fact, according to Dr. Thompson, “it is under lock and key.” However, as Dr. Thompson says, “So far there is about sixty proposals in, um, for people ready to do studies. Not a single one of them looks at vaccines, not one!” He is clearly outraged by this when he recounts how he asked his colleagues “What are you going to say when you have twelve hundred autism cases and a bunch of controls and you never looked at vaccines and you have all their vaccine records?” Dr. Thompson describes the SEED data as a “. . . gold mine. That’s the mother-load of mother-loads (sic). Because it doesn’t matter what Insel does.” He is referring to the promise Thomas Insel, chairman of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, made to Rep. Bill Posey in a congressional hearing that took place on May 20, 2014, that a study comparing health outcomes of vaccinated children with those of unvaccinated children would be done. It has not been done. Interestingly, according to Thompson, “The CDC was invited to testify [at that hearing] and they declined” and “. . . Coleen (Boyle) said that she would never go and testify again.”
The discussion about SEED develops further into who should NOT get access to the data, specifically Autism Speaks, according to Barry, due to conflict of interests and their stated conviction that “vaccines do not cause autism.” There is an entire chapter in the book dedicated to these conflicts, which lays bare the incredible history of the organization and why we should never again trust Autism Speaks with research grants for autism-related studies. In fact, on the back cover of the book, an email from Autism Speaks’ founder Bob Wright to an undisclosed person is quoted as saying, “We all know that the child vaccine program has significantly increased and that there are some children who will be affected. Predicting who is the ongoing challenge for the CDC and the FDA.”
The transcripts reveal so much malfeasance, corruption and misuse of government resources, it’s hard to comprehend how it has remained hidden for so long. Dr. Thompson talks about watering down discussions on studies with “whitewashed comments.” He describes many instances of breaking study protocols in a number of studies he worked on. He talks scathingly about wanted fugitive and co-author of numerous autism studies, Poul Thorsen, and his former CDC-employed girlfriend, indicating massive conflicts of interest. He tells Dr. Hooker about possible Verstraeten study anomalies regarding specialty clinics in the study, which led Thompson to say, “My guess is they put that adjustment in there because they didn’t like what they were finding.” He also describes the atmosphere in the agency at that time as related to the overall influence of corporations in the federal government, “The federal government is hostile to anyone who says anything negative about any industry.”
On July 29, 2015, Congressman Bill Posey made a statement in the House of Representatives, asking, begging, and imploring the house leaders to call a congressional hearing to investigate the CDC for alleged fraud. Dr. Thompson stated in the transcripts that he had sent Rep. Posey 100,000 pages of documents. In his statement, Posey read a statement from Dr. Thompson that says, “The co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study. The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can. However, because I assumed that it was illegal and would violate both FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] and DOJ [Department of Justice] requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office, and I retain all associated computer files.”
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