A former Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researcher, best known for his frequently-cited studies dispelling a link between vaccines and autism, is still considered on the lam after allegedly using CDC grants of tax dollars to buy a house and cars for himself.
Poul Thorsen, listed as a most-wanted fugitive by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, was discredited in April 2011 when he was indicted on 13 counts of wire fraud and nine counts of money laundering. Some have argued that his alleged fraudulent behavior calls into question the validity of his studies. There is no indication the studies have been retracted to date.
According to the HHS Inspector General,
“From approximately February 2004 until February 2010, Poul Thorsen executed a scheme to steal grant money awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
CDC employed Thorsen as a visiting scientist from Denmark prior to awarding grants to Denmark to fund “research involving the relationship between autism and the exposure to vaccines” and other disabilities. Thorsen is accused of diverting over $1 million of CDC grant money, public funds, for his personal use.
“Thorsen submitted fraudulent invoices on CDC letterhead to medical facilities assisting in the research for reimbursement of work allegedly covered by the grants. “–HHS IG
Thorsen co-authored studies in the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics concluding there is no link between autism and thimerosal used in vaccines nor between autism and the MMR vaccine.
The findings were consistent with the public messaging of his CDC grantor and of CDC director Julie Gerberding who went on to become president of Merck vaccines, heading up its $5 billion global vaccine market. Other peer-reviewed, published studies have found links between vaccines and autism, and the government secretly conceded a case of autism after its leading medical expert concluded the child’s multiple vaccinations caused brain injuries that resulted in her autism.
Pharmaceutical-vaccine propagandists promulgate the incorrect notion that all associations between vaccines and autism are a “myth” or “disproven.” They routinely falsely claim that researchers and journalists who investigate vaccine adverse events are “anti-vaccine.” Autism is currently listed as a post marketing reported adverse event on the FDA-approved label for DTaP Tripedia vaccine, which is on the CDC’s recommended vaccine schedule for children. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, which receives significant funding from vaccine makers, rely on Thorsen’s studies and others by the Institute of Medicine and CDC-affiliated scientists that find no association between vaccines and autism.
CDC supports the Institute of Medicine’s August 2011 report on eight vaccines given to children and adults, which found the vaccines to be generally safe and serious adverse events following these vaccinations to be rare.
According to the CDC, about 1 in 68 children born in 2002 have autism spectrum disorders.
CDC recognizes that autism is an urgent health concern and supports comprehensive research as our best hope for understanding the causes of autism and other developmental disorders.
The IG says that bank account records show Thorsen purchased a home in Atlanta, a Harley Davidson motorcycle, an Audi automobile, and a Honda SUV with CDC grant money. The IG’s most wanted fugitive website states that “Thorsen is currently in Denmark and is awaiting extradition to the United States.”