Vaccine-autism link: A rebuttal to the “There is no debate” narrative

The following is a commentary written by:Alison Fujito

Some people are unable to see any perspective other than their own.

It’s already disturbing when they insist, over and over, that opposing facts don’t exist, as though repetition can make unpleasant truths disappear. But when they resort to misdirection, deliberate pejoratives, and outright lies, there is more going on than just myopia.

This past week, in response to Sharyl Attkisson’s op-ed two days prior, vaccine developer Dr. Peter Hotez wrote an op-ed piece in The Hill, claiming “there is no debate” in a manner eerily reminiscent of “the Party is always right” from George Orwell’s 1984

The entire basis of Attkisson’s piece was the recent affidavit of Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, one of the country’s top pediatric neurologists, who served as the US government’s expert witness defending vaccines in the so-called “Vaccine Court.” In a stunning about-face, he testified that vaccines can cause autism in children with pre-existing mitochondrial dysfunction, and that he had communicated this to DOJ lawyers in 2007.

ther neurologists have observed the same link. Zimmerman himself claims that there was a cover-up.  Yet, Hotez never directly addressed Zimmerman’s affidavit, or mentioned mitochondrial dysfunction or its relationship to autism and vaccines.

Instead, he repeated his version of “the Party is always right,” trotted out links to vaccine industry “astroturf” blogs, and presented irrelevant and flawed studies (this one actually gave the same vaccine/thimerosal dosage to both cases and controls, while this one was shown to be in error, and this one is debunked here ), none of which address the possibility of mitochondrial dysfunction.

As a scientist, Hotez should know that there’s no such thing as a “study showing there’s no link” to anything. A study may fail to show a link, but that doesn’t mean there’s no link. Surely we learned this from the tobacco industry’s “studies.”

Yet that’s exactly what Hotez did, claiming “clinical studies with over one million children enrolled, showing there’s no link between vaccines and autism,” [bolding mine] linking only a single, severely-flawed meta-analysis (with no children enrolled) of older studies that looked at either one ingredient (thimerosal) or one vaccine (MMR) 

The conclusion of that meta-analysis is based in part on studies rejected by the Institute of Medicine  as too flawed to be considered for their 2012 report on the vaccines/autism link.  Regardless, none of those studies considered the possibility of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Despite Hotez’s reference to “at least 99 autism genes,” no specific genes are known to cause autismIn fact, the study he linked does not identify genes that cause autism, but merely notes some frequency of some de novo variants among some individuals with autism.

Dr. Hotez seems to forget that correlation does not equal causation.

He seems also to forget — or ignore — the fact that it has never been assessed whether vaccines, like some medications, may actually play a role in triggering genetic mutation. In fact, the package insert for every vaccine on the market clearly states“____ [this vaccine] has not been assessed for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, or impairment of fertility,” or similar wording.

Hotez presents his book Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism as though the experience of one child can somehow refute reported experiences of thousands of others — children he never examined, whose medical records he never obtained, but whose parents he labels as “anti-vaccine.”

The use of pejoratives is disappointing even when wielded by preteens.  Thank heavens the Toyota and Ford companies didn’t call their critics “anti-accelerator” when their cars had problems, sometimes fatal, with stuck accelerators; after a period of insisting there wasn’t a problem (and blaming the drivers), they  issued recalls. They didn’t resort to name-calling.

But Hotez frequently does, even on Twitter.  It’s shockingly bad behavior for a scientist to label parents for wanting to discuss their own children’s potential susceptibilities, or even for refusing vaccines.

The right to decline an unwanted medical intervention, free from coercion, is, in fact, codified in Article 6 (Consent) of UNESCO’s 2005 Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights:

Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice. (bolding mine)

Please note section 3 of the same Article, which protects us all from the Orwellian principles Hotez seems to be espousing:

In no case should a collective community agreement or the consent of a community leader or other authority substitute for an individual’s informed consent

We should all be troubled by scientists, doctors, or any industry insider so enraged by our reluctance to buy what they’re selling, they try to censor all conversation that disagrees with their sales pitch.

That’s not science, it’s not good medicine, and it’s deceptive.

Alison Fujito is a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a volunteer member of Pennsylvania Coalition for Informed Consent

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15 thoughts on “Vaccine-autism link: A rebuttal to the “There is no debate” narrative”

    1. “Vaccines cause adults……. with mental health problems, diabetes, cancer, ADD, ADHD, parkinsons, Alzheimers, shingles, asthma, peanut allergies, auto immune disease,….; “but not autism”
      (Perhaps because there are some things injected into the blood stream that goes past the blood brain barrier and effects the natural immune system?).
      #1 country in the Western world and we are the sickest….why is that?

  1. Fabulous response to Hotez. Dr. Hotez represents all that is wrong with the vaccine industry. Thank you Ms. Attkisson for shining a light on their deception, distortions, and destruction of our children.

  2. I am a nurse and worked in a physicians office for over 20 years, and one of my responsibilities was to order vaccines and introduce new vaccines to the office nursing staff. It did not take me long to see the connection between the government and the pharmaceutical industry. Years ago infants might receive 3 to 4 vaccines from birth to preschool, but what I noticed during my time there was, that the “mandated” vaccines (those the government says they must have and hence the insurance company must pay for) increased exponentially both for children and adults. Really a sad state of affairs, and as we see in our world today, nothing good ever comes from a partnership between government and corporations.

  3. The inalienable rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution have been under assault for decades with the vaccine program. The right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” extends to the first day of every child born in this country. That sacred day has been unlawfully and fraudulently impacted by a birth dose of a vaccine that is only medically indicated when a mother delivering said child is actively infected with a particular sexually transmitted disease. The profession of medicine in America has forsaken its oath of Hippocrates. We no longer teach our medical students how to treat every child with the dignity and respect for individuality of their families’ genetic legacy bestow in the womb. The most damaging fraud of my profession against our citizens is the use of an unnecessary vaccine on 4 million birth days every year. It is medical assault by definition which is occurring to our most vulnerable citizens in their first hours of life. The only medical need for a vaccine in the first day of life is when the mother of that child is know to be infected with the disease for which the vaccine was developed. The faculty and Deans of Medicine across this nation recite the Hippocratic Oath with their graduating students every May as an increasingly hollow promise. Your child’s life is never treated with respect for individuality when you are coerced to consent to vaccines that are clearly inappropriate on medical ethical grounds. It is unethical to perform unnecessary procedures without a proper consent. If a physician never speaks to parents of newborns directly about the risks and benefits of Hepatitis B vaccine on day one of life, then the procedure was performed illegally. There are legal precedents from surgery, cardiology, radiology and other branches of medicine that use needles and catheters to deliver medical products into human beings which show this process as a grave crime against humanity. As a faculty member of an American medical school, I am compelled to inform my fellow citizens of this institutionalize fraud and corruption in some form or fashion such as this. Many thanks to Sharyl Attkisson for being one of the brightest beacons of the fourth estate in these troubling times for our nation. To my friend among many in Western Pennsylvania, I am so grateful to have become friends with you Alison Fujito, you have penned words here that are as inspirational as Thomas Paine’s so long ago.
    God Bless,
    Edward F. Fogarty, III

  4. “Vaccines cause adults……. with mental health problems, diabetes, cancer, ADD, ADHD, parkinsons, Alzheimers, shingles, asthma, peanut allergies, auto immune disease,….; “but not autism”
    (Perhaps because there are some things injected into the blood stream that goes past the blood brain barrier and effects the natural immune system?).
    #1 country in the Western world and we are the sickest….why is that?

  5. There is are a multitude of reasons why many parents do not want their children vaccinated. But it seems that Dr. Hotez not only can’t see the why, but outright refuses to even try to look at why many parents do not want vaccines.

  6. Hotez’s op-ed is a condensed version of his deeply flawed book. Along with inaccuracies and omissions, his frenetic writing shows disregard for vaccine injury reports, leaps of illogic and silo thinking. An ambitious generalist with irons in too many fires, Hotez is bedazzled by status, blind to cronies’ data fraud, and avoidant of scientific evidence inconvenient to his career.

    In his book Hotez over-focuses on his daughter’s behaviors, rather than her biology. While many in the autism world runs scans and lab tests to detect co-morbid or causal disorders, he never mentions ordering medical tests to detect encephalopathies, GI inflammation, MTHFR, allergies, OATS, etc. While many autism parents avoid gluten, he still feeds his daughter bagels.

    According to Hotez, his daughter has received 48 vaccines – not including annual flu shots. Various classic autistic affects she’s displayed include loud piercing crying, late speech, scripting, low IQ, eczema, “colic,” selective eating of gluten/casein (p. 45), texture sensitivity, spitting and swearing, hyperfocus on specific topics, and more symptoms familiar to readers of listservs and social media. All words that provide medical clues to parents more focused on the health of kids instead of their own career. Yet his second-largest index entry is about anti-vaxers.

    Hotez’s book confirms the public’s fear about vaccine policymakers who perpetuate the autism epidemic: that they are selectively inconsiderate of others’ experiences, entrenched in cronyism, comfortable with vaccine mediocrity, and/or paralyzed by fear. Sadly if Hotez remains unwilling to investigate how other parents have healed their children, he will never heal his.

  7. Bravo Ms. Alison Fujito, your composition is exquisite. 2019 has to be the year in which the gate keeping of scientific data is brought to an end, and the PR machine used by VIP’s in Public Health who have colluded with the Pharma Lobby, is brought to justice. The anti-vaccine safety advocates in high places who have been permitted to undermine public health and safety can either go down with the ship, or come forward now, and blow the whistle on historic, systemic corruption. If they won’t do it to save lives, maybe they’ll do it to save their own skin. Racketeering disguised as altruism is a very bad look! P.S. I encourage everyone to follow Italy’s @Corvelva, to learn about their investigation into contaminated vaccines. They’re testing them all, and what they’ve found so far is staggering; vaccines contaminated with inorganic nano and micro particles, trace amounts of herbicides & Viagra! No comment from the Italian Ministry of Health, WHO, GAVI, CDC, et al. Posers all!

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