Claim: CDC covers up research linking MMR vaccine to autism

Quantumbeliever

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For years, some parents of autistic children and others have made claims that vaccines and autism in their children were somehow linked. The CDC, among others countered that there was no evidence to support such an assertion. The article below references a scientist from the CDC who was recorded by a colleague during a discussion in which they talked about a 2004 study that showed a higher than expected autism rate among certain racial groups who had had the MMR vaccine. His admission (claim) seems to support the parents position. Curious as to how this community sees this. I'm quite disappointed there has been so little media coverage of this admission.
http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/the-big-one-cdc-whistleblower-goes-public-now/
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I'll see your manufactured bunk, and raise you one Snopes, one science-based-medicine, and two respectful insolences.

Here is the whsitleblower's statement.

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 that my coauthors 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 age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were 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 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 and 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 e-mails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering further 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 or 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 inside or outside 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 from the building, as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan,Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio, www.morganverkamp.com.
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Pete Tar

Senior Member.
For another thing, it hasn’t been actually proven that there was any sort of malfeasance or scientific fraud at all, and even Thompson’s statement, although it insinuates less-than-rigorous scientific behavior, does not support an accusation of fraud.
Even if it did, accusations are not convictions. Here’s the problem. Antivaccinationists, as is usual, are being very selective in what they believe out of this press release.
They trumpet Thompson’s statement about the Destefano et al as “proof” that the “CDC lied.”
Yet, they’re completely ignoring the biggest part of the statement: How massively enormous (or enormously massive) a slimeball Thompson just revealed Hooker to be—Wakefield, too. Thompson has just accused Hooker of having recorded him without informing him, a massive violation of the trust Hooker had nurtured between them.
...
Hooker states that Thompson called him up out of the blue about ten months ago, and both agree that their communications began around ten months ago. So that’s probably true.
Both agree that they had many phone conversations over that period of time.
My guess is that Thompson, for whatever reason, called Hooker first, and Hooker reeled him in by offering a sympathetic ear and enthusiasm to reanalyze the data, as well as by playing to his ego and view of himself as a wronged warrior for the truth.
It didn’t matter much that Hooker, if his “reanalysis” is to be believed, has the statistical and epidemiological skills of a paper cup.
The two men obviously hit it off, and Thompson confided more and more with him, while Hooker taped it all without Thompson’s knowledge. Meanwhile, anyone paying attention to the rumblings of the antivaccine underground knew that Hooker had been claiming he had a “whistleblower” on the inside for quite some time now. Perhaps the CDC found out.
Or perhaps the CDC didn’t find out, and nothing more happened other than that Hooker told Wakefield that he had hooked a live one, leading Wakefield to propose making that video, promising not to reveal Thompson’s identity, a promise he never intended to keep.
Betrayals within betrayals. This can’t all be laid on Wakefield. Hooker played Thompson by recording him, and apparently Wakefield played Hooker by tricking him into doing that video with a promise not to reveal Hooker’s identity. Either way, Thompson was played, big time.

Ironically, Thompson’s statement was released several hours after we learned that Hooker’s incompetent reanalysis had been taken down pending further investigation, with the following notice:

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.


http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2...and-the-cdc-whistleblower-issues-a-statement/
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Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
I'll see your manufactured bunk, and raise you one Snopes, one science-based-medicine, and two respectful insolences.

Here is the whsitleblower's statement.

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 that my coauthors 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 age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were 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 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 and 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 e-mails that I have received over the last several days. I will not be answering further 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 or 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 inside or outside 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 from the building, as some have stated.

Dr. Thompson is represented by Frederick M. Morgan,Jr., Morgan Verkamp, LLC, Cincinnati, Ohio, www.morganverkamp.com.
Content from External Source
Very very interesting. Thx. What's kind if weird is that the first third of the Snopes article is seemingly making the case that the whole thing was an internet hoax, then they confirm Thompsons statement made though his lawyer. From there they basically say that there is no clear cut evidence of any correlation between vaccines and children; only in a very small subgroup (Black kids). One important point is this, Pete: the Snopes article confirms, not denies Thompsons statement. AND in his statement he says, "I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004..." So whether the correlation is insignificant or not, the Snopes article CONFIRMS that data was manipulated! Of course Snopes leaves that obvious assessment to the reader. In my mind, it is THE salient point! The CDC covered up data. Period. It really doesn't matter if the data was good or bad, it should have been included. When a scientist says, "I regret..." you can be darn sure he feels the same way!
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Very very interesting. Thx. What's kind if weird is that the first third of the Snopes article is seemingly making the case that the whole thing was an internet hoax, then they confirm Thompsons statement made though his lawyer. From there they basically say that there is no clear cut evidence of any correlation between vaccines and children; only in a very small subgroup (Black kids). One important point is this, Pete: the Snopes article confirms, not denies Thompsons statement. AND in his statement he says, "I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004..." So whether the correlation is insignificant or not, the Snopes article CONFIRMS that data was manipulated! Of course Snopes leaves that obvious assessment to the reader. In my mind, it is THE salient point! The CDC covered up data. Period. It really doesn't matter if the data was good or bad, it should have been included. When a scientist says, "I regret..." you can be darn sure he feels the same way!
Thomas says
Reasonable scientists can and do differ in their interpretation of information. I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists inside or outside 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
Content from External Source
and
My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine.
Content from External Source
THe CDC concurs that continued analysis is always welcome

Access to the information on the birth certificates allowed researchers to assess more complete information on race as well as other important characteristics, including possible risk factors for autism such as the child’s birth weight, mother’s age, and education. This information was not available for the children without birth certificates; hence CDC study did not present data by race on black, white, or other race children from the whole study sample. It presented the results on black and white/other race children from the group with birth certificates.

The data CDC collected for this study continue to be available for analysis by others. CDC welcomes analysis by others that can be submitted for peer-review and publication. For more information on how to access this public-use dataset please go to the this webpage.

Additional studies and a more recent rigorous review by the Institute of Medicine have found that MMR vaccine does not increase the risk of autism.
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/Autism/cdc2004pediatrics.html
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I won't get into Hooker's huge amount of bunk in his "reanalysis" article since it is off topic, but please feel free to start a thread on it!
 

Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
I think we should (obviously) be very careful when trying to find the truth. Really all we know is that a scientist has stated, on the record, that he regretted not including certain data in a study.
That doesn't mean the data was relevant, however, if the data was entirely irrelevant, it begs the question: What is the source of his "regret"?
I really don't know what to think. You can bet your boots there will be legal action. Maybe at some point we shall discover the veracity of the report and the importance of the data in question.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
What do you know about the existence of legal action that you are willing to lose your footwear over it?
What are the details?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Really all we know is that a scientist has stated, on the record, that he regretted not including certain data in a study

whats a bit odd is he specifically says "My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular sub group for a particular vaccine" when surely this study cant isolate the MMR vaccine from other vaccines received. 70.5% of the 'autism like' cases in the study were between 12-17 months. and even Hookers 'analysis' doesn't show that big a discrepancy between races in that age range. it's weird.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Of course, the key finding in Brian Hooker’s paper is that Wakefield was wrong. Indeed, in this video, Wakefield even admits that he was mostly wrong about MMR and autism. Let that sink in again. He admits that he was mostly wrong about MMR and autism. OK, he says we were “partially right,” but the flip side of that is that he must have been mostly wrong. What do I mean? I’ll explain.
...
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2...ew-wakefield-wrong-about-vaccines-and-autism/
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(wordy complex stuff follows)
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Of course, the key finding in Brian Hooker’s paper is that Wakefield was wrong. Indeed, in this video, Wakefield even admits that he was mostly wrong about MMR and autism. Let that sink in again. He admits that he was mostly wrong about MMR and autism. OK, he says we were “partially right,” but the flip side of that is that he must have been mostly wrong. What do I mean? I’ll explain.
...
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2...ew-wakefield-wrong-about-vaccines-and-autism/
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(wordy complex stuff follows)
except... Hooker's 'retracted' paper (available here) is so full of bunk itself... but I don't think his bunky retracted paper is on topic. ??
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
I disregard anything written by snopes. They've been wrong before not to mention it's a couple of leftist loons.
Who has a better track record than Snopes?

The "leftist" claim is a relatively recent meme, started by people who got angry that Barbara Mikkelson
repeatedly exposed their nonsense. The site is not political, and actually inadvertently pursues far more
"Obama is a secret Muslim" type claims from the right than the left.

Thus, you're obviously free to "disregard" whatever you like...but the reasons you give don't hold water.
 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
I disregard anything written by snopes. They've been wrong before not to mention it's a couple of leftist loons.
if a source given is wrong, it is your job to provide evidence of that. disregarding a specific claim of evidence, based on nothing, is not productive.
 
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