On Vaccines: The Media Is Protecting Us From Ourselves and We Should Be Thankful
On the topic of vaccines, reporters are in a tough place, on the horns of a terrible dilemma, and between the devil and the deep blue sea. They can either:
A. Do investigative journalism on the vaccine paradigm and vaccine policy according to their usual professional standards and practices, or…
B. Preserve faith in The Vaccine Narrative: All vaccines on the CDC schedules for children and adults are safe, effective, and necessary for everyone.
Journalists have responded to the cruel reality of this either/or choice with selfless generosity. They have made the laudable decision to forego investigating whatever corruption, risks, unknowns, and lack of liability for vaccine products exist, to instead bend their energies towards protecting us from ourselves. They currently are acting as the bulwark standing between the public and certain infectious disease armageddon. We should be grateful, and a little in awe of their courage.
For instance, a Danish study came out in March 2017 that concluded: “DTP [vaccine] was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated. No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP. Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP3 is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.” http://www.ebiomedicine.com/article/S2352-3964(17)30046-4/fulltext:
Thankfully, reporters carefully ignored it, understanding that the public simply cannot afford for reporters to bring a discussion of all of the science, and all the perspectives on the advisability of using various vaccines in assorted situations into view.
Imagine, for instance, the panicked response many parents would have if reporters did a story about another recent study which found a temporal association of vaccination with the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00003/full
Imagine the drop in vaccine safety confidence that might occur if the public read news stories that discussed the possible implications of some of these other forty-nine studies published in peer-reviewed journals between 1993 and 2017, that each in own way chips at the rock solid truth that all vaccines currently on the pediatric and adult schedules are absolutely safe, effective, and necessary for all individuals. http://vaccinesafetycommission.org/studies.html
Can you imagine the demands for more independent studies that might occur if the public really grasped that in terms of autism, only one vaccine ingredient, thimerosal, and one vaccine, the MMR, had been studied in any extensive way, and that the author of several of those key studies (Paul Thorsen) is wanted for embezzlement by the FBI https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/profiles.asp (17th report down)? Or that an allegation of corruption had been made against the CDC employees who produced one of the cornerstone studies assuring the public that the MMR vaccine is not associated with the development of autism?
And what veil might be lifted if the public stopped to think about the fact that in 2011, the Institute of Medicine, now the National Academy of Medicine, reported that for the majority (135 out of 158 vaccine-adverse event pairs they were asked to study, “…the evidence was inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship.” http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/Reports/2011/Adverse-Effects-of-Vaccines-Evidence-and-Causality.aspx
Thankfully, editorial decision makers at the L.A. Times and the Washington Post understand that bringing such studies and information to the attention of the public might dangerously prejudice parents against willingly accepting all current and future vaccines offered or mandated.
The decision by our nation’s news editors to create a protective cordon around The Vaccine Narrative rather than to investigate it for soft rotten spots, has not been easy on them. Despite the challenges, publications like The Atlantic and Buzzfeed have gone all in, going so far as to willingly suppress the urge towards inquiry even when contradictions and inconsistencies within The Vaccine Narrative have been directly pointed out to them. https://worldmercuryproject.org/stream/
We can all sympathize with the Washington Post editors who, for the greater assumed good, had to publish this piece by a physician arguing against the need for more vaccine safety scrutiny. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/02/17/the-evidence-for-vaccine-safety-is-abundant-that-will-be-100000-please/?utm_term=.0ad51c4bdc5a, and then could not publish any follow-up articles addressing the piece’s numerous omissions, mis-statements http://www.ageofautism.com/2017/02/an-open-letter-to-daniel-summers-md.html, and failures of logic. https://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2017/02/12/vaccines-daniel-summers-in-wapo-says-theres-nothing-to-debate-hes-wrong/.
Reporters working under these news editors have had to exercise a steely discipline in order to avoid asking risky questions about why it’s the most educated people who tend to decide against some or all vaccines. Some have privately even reported that their efforts on behalf of protecting The Vaccine Narrative have caused them pain and embarrassment. http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/More-Educated-Mothers-Are-Less-Likely-To-Vaccinate
It’s been especially moving to see writers at Vox, Slate, and Forbes work so hard to present the decisions parents make to forego a vaccine for a child as based in irrational fear, ignorance, or “feelings” of one sort or another, rather than the result of an examination of available data. They understand, along with The New York Times, that its extremely important that reporters never, never acknowledge that parental decisions are ever based on a careful review of what the science currently says and doesn’t yet say about the risk/benefit picture of each of the various and distinct disease/vaccine pairings. http://www.learntherisk.org/seizures/
If media outlets aren’t ruthless about this, people may get the idea that routinely administering a vaccine like the Hep B at birth for instance, is not actually logically defensible in terms of the risk/benefit trade-off. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21058170 That could begin a cascade of questioning about the risk/benefit trade-off of other vaccination practices and policies which of course would lead directly to pure death-strewn health anarchy. It happened to this veteran doctor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LB-3xkeDAE
Even the Intercept, an outlet one wouldn’t expect to cooperate in this venture has accepted the obvious truth: Through the careful, cooperative and beneficent work of pharmaceutical companies and the CDC, we have clearly and obviously already achieved the best of all possible worlds in terms of strategies for the prevention/management of infectious disease & safety standards for all currently used unimprove-able vaccines. Therefore it’s acceptable to use pejorative loaded terms such as “anti-vaxxer” to describe Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. even if he did in fact vaccinate his children, and does, in fact, support the use of safe vaccines. https://theintercept.com/2017/01/10/trump-names-anti-vaccine-activist-robert-kennedy-jr-lead-panel-vaccine-safety/
Luckily, at this point, just about every reporter knows better than to talk to the physicians (Dr. Lawrence Pavlevsky, Dr. Suzanne Humphries, Dr. Paul Thomas), whistleblowers (CDC’s William Thompson), and scientists (Dr. Christopher Exley, Dr. Chris Shaw, Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld) who make trouble by making observations and testing hypotheses that force them to dissent from The Vaccine Narrative. They also know not to read this textbook for immunologists called Vaccines and Autoimmunity. http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118663438.html
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention before closing this essay that the public also owes the Huffington Post a long slow handclap. Three times, in the past year, they have gone above and beyond support for The Vaccine Narrative by purging their site of articles about vaccines by veteran contributors, Lance Simmens https://www.laprogressive.com/children-should-hate-us/ and Martha Rosenberg http://www.alternet.org/drugs/big-pharma-anti-vaccines, and most recently (2/21/17) Sally Beck http://archive.is/XAKla#selection-2633.0-2633.80. These articles were sorely deficient in the pure cheerleading that is understandably expected of any writer exploring the topic. Huffington Post’s decision exemplifies the kind of worshipfulness towards The Vaccine Narrative that theoretically saves the lives of those not damaged or killed by the vaccines. Such acts of censorship provide the public with a bracing reminder that on the topic of vaccine safety, inquiry and questioning can only harm us all, and that no one knows that better than a news editor whose job it is to try to get at the truth.