Above image: Bill Posey, R-Florida, a pro-vaccine advocate who says vaccine safety issues must be addressed scientifically
The following is a news analysis
It was an earth-shattering revelation from the government's world renowned pro-vaccine medical expert: in a sworn statement, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman said science proves vaccines can cause autism, after all, in "exceptional" cases. What's worse, he claims, government officials misrepresented and covered up his findings after he informed them a decade ago.
Dr. Zimmerman's testimony adds to a growing body of scientific evidence focusing attention on vaccine safety issues.
Pharmaceutical interests portray such evidence, and efforts to study or report on vaccine safety issues, as "anti-vaccine." Scientists and advocates on the other side argue it's actually "pro-vaccine" to investigate ways to make vaccines as safe as possible.
Clearly, the newly-public information from Dr. Zimmerman stood to sway public opinion more than other evidence and claims. After all, he is pro-vaccine and took part in defending the government against vaccine injury claims in court. The government's own chosen expert was now conceding a vaccine-autism link; something the government had previously told the public was impossible.
The powerful nature of Dr. Zimmerman's findings is likely what triggered an organized media campaign driven by vaccine interests to controversialize and censor vaccine safety questions. This campaign included hyping recent measles outbreaks in the U.S. and blaming "anti-vaxxers." As part of this campaign, a great deal of disinformation was distributed including the false claim: "There is no evidence to suggest that vaccines cause life-threatening or disabling diseases."
In fact, on that point, there is no scientific dispute: it is untrue. Experts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and vaccine makers alike agree that vaccines-- like other medicines-- are associated with serious injuries and death. The risks are disclosed on vaccine labels that the public rarely reads. The only dispute is how often such injuries and deaths occur, and exactly which injuries can be blamed on vaccines. CDC and vaccine makers say the risk of vaccine injuries and deaths is lower than the risks of the relevant diseases.
Nonetheless, members of Congress got involved in the campaign to discredit those raising vaccine safety questions. The Senate quickly convened a one-sided hearing called "Vaccines Save Lives," in which vaccines were defended and promoted without mention of the multiple safety issues. A large group of advocates concerned about vaccine risks were locked in the hallway and not invited to appear.
The pharmaceutical industry influences Congress by spreading around enormous amounts of campaign contributions to both Democrats and Republicans, effectively scuttling attempts to improve vaccine safety or hold hearings examining vaccine-autism links and other health issues. Drug companies earn billions from vaccines. Government-mandated vaccines are guaranteed billions in the bank. Vaccine safety questions mean the possibility of enormous sums of money lost to the industry.
One point the industry and its government partners effectively argue is the notion that if people stop vaccinating, it will mean the return of deadly infectious diseases. However, vaccine safety advocates and scientists counter that vaccines are not an all-or-nothing proposition and should not be argued on that basis. They say science can identify which children have conditions that make them most likely to be injured by vaccines. Those children can be separated out while the rest of the population is vaccinated safely.
After several weeks of the relentless media campaign and under pressure from members of Congress, Facebook recently announced it intends to censor "anti-vaccine" material. Vaccine safety advocates say this move is designed to protect the vaccine industry and prevent members of the public from reading scientific studies and other information about vaccine risks.
Congressman Bill Posey (R-Florida), a pro-vaccine legislator who is one of a minority on Capitol Hill defying the pharmaceutical industry and his own leadership by pursuing vaccine safety issues, has written a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In his letter, Rep. Posey asks whether Facebook has a relationship with vaccine makers as paid advertisers. He also asks for Zuckerberg's views on free speech. He points out that the government has paid $4 billion to vaccine injured patients and their families in recent years. Under a special arrangement approved by Congress, damages are not paid by the vaccine industry. They are paid from a government trust fund financed by a fee that patients are charged for each dose of vaccine given.
Read Rep. Posey's letter to Facebook below:
raul L calzadilla says
Thank you again for a believable, balanced reporting.
Thank you for revealing, again, how information can and is censored.
Thank for showing how money and profits can, to some beneficiaries, taint and totally distort information in a Soviet style process.
It's getting harder and harder to find the truth. It's a dark period in our society, in this sense.
Its sad that they call us anti-Vaxxers, we were all Pro-Vaxxers, till our children or grandchildren were seriously injured or died due to a vaccine. My Grandson died from the HPV Vaccine August of 2018. And YES, the Specialists treating him in a bigger city hospital, told his mom- my daughter n my grandsons dad, their son died from an autoimmune disease brought on by the vaccine Gardasil. 3 weeks after his vaccine, he started having symptoms of an adverse reaction. Omg n now we are getting our freedom of speech taken by facebook, they are censoring us from trying to help others of being aware of this issue and his death from said vaccine. He was diagnosed with A.D.E.M. a severe case. With no hope for his survival. How sad n heartbreaking that this family lost our precious son, brother, nephew, cousin, grandson, friend n boy friend. He was a very bright, Athletic ,talented, Amazing child. But we arent allowed to spread awareness!!! But Facebook n the world are too late his story took facebook by storm, all over the world. His name is Christopher Bunch, age 14, died from his HPV Vaccine. August 14th, 2018. All we want is for Vaccines to be safer, tested correctly, longer trials, proper channels, not fast tracked, n for big pharmas to be held accountable n responsible for damages to these families more fair. Not able to run the country, not make billions lining politicians pockets n others as well. Not to make Vaccines mandatory to everyone. Give us medical freedoms to chose our own paths. Mandatory is not good, its murder! Im not trying to be mean. Its just sad to not have 2 sides known to Vaccines, its their way or the highway. My daughter n family go to the open to the public Cdc meetings, why? Because nothing is looked into, they dont care what regular people have to say, they just act like they do. These families go to tell their childrens stories n pour their hearts n souls out, n no one listens or uses this info to make any decisions. Journalists, former merck employees, etc. Cdc doesnt care one bit. Why? I can see right thru that panel, At the cdc. What a joke of waisted government agencies, that were put in place to protect the very people it is damaging n killing no no one cares one darn bit!!! OUR CHILDREN are being used as guinea pigs. VERY SAD!!!
There is at least one honest journalist left in this world who is not bought and paid for. You give us hope and we thank you for your honesty and courage in standing up and reporting facts instead of propaganda.
John Pelletier says
The only thing I saw missing in Congressman Posey's letter to Mr. Zuckerberg was a CC: Adam Schiff.
Marsha McClelland says
As always, a voice of reason.