Refuting Letter to Editor About Vaccine Claims

The following is a response to a Letter to the Editor of SC Now in South Carolina written by a physician. The letter contained misinformation, incomplete information and false information.

Dear Editor:

The letter “Vaccines given to children are beneficial” from C.D. Bardi, MD, published Sunday in the Morning News, contains a disturbing combination of false information and disinformation.

In referring to me as “a journalist known for her anti-vaccine bias,” Bardi borrows a play from the smear playbook of pharmaceutical industry propagandists who attempt to controversialize and discredit journalists and scientists reporting on vaccine safety issues.

As an investigative reporter (formerly of CBS News and now “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson”), I’ve repeatedly reported on the benefits of vaccination – as well as challenges and safety issues. This is no more “anti-vaccine” than my reporting on drug industry corruption is “anti-medicine” or reporting on Firestone tire dangers is “anti-tire.”

Through the years and with help from contacts inside the pharmaceutical industry and government, I discovered a great deal of information is widely misrepresented by reporters, physicians, the vaccine industry and government. My reporting has received recognition from the national Emmy awards and has been cited positively in a peer-reviewed, published medical journal.

To be clear, as I reported: the federal government’s pro-vaccine expert in court cases, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman of John’s Hopkins, a world renowned pediatric neurologist, recently signed a sworn affidavit stating that he long ago told federal officials that vaccines can cause autism, after all, in “exceptional” cases. He goes on to say the government covered up and misrepresented his opinion in court.

There is a current complaint about this before the Department of Justice. Zimmerman’s findings are in line with what has been expressed by the head of CDC immunization safety, former head of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Bernadine Healy and many other noted scientists and studies: Vaccines may trigger autism in a susceptible subgroup of children. Some conditions the government has acknowledged that make children susceptible include mitochrondrial disorder and Tuberous Sclerosis.

As for a some of the additional false statements in Dr. Bardi’s letter:

>> 1. “The problem is that Zimmerman presented no actual evidence to support his opinion.”

False, as described above.

>> 2. “Yet his opinion was misrepresented as new evidence by Attkisson.”


>> 3. “All of these published studies … showed no link between autism and the MMR vaccine. …”

False. Many peer-reviewed, published studies and scientists have found links, including some conducted by the CDC (although the links are explained in different ways).

>> 4. “Routine administration of … vaccines given to children are [sic] absolutely beneficial.”

This lacks important context. According to the CDC, no vaccine is beneficial or recommended for all children. For example, the CDC recently stated that the MMR vaccine should not be given to children with “a parent, brother, or sister with a history of immune system problems.”

Lastly, I would say that Bardi’s letter title would be more accurate if it read “Vaccines given to children are largely beneficial.” Four billion dollars in payments for vaccine injuries have been paid to families in the little-known federal vaccine court.

One trick, say scientists, is identifying which children might suffer reactions to which vaccines so that they can be saved while maintaining a robust vaccine program for the rest.

The other trick is cutting through a pervasive disinformation propaganda campaign.

Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Correspondent

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12 thoughts on “Refuting Letter to Editor About Vaccine Claims”

  1. Thank you for tackling these big, controversial topics in an unbiased manner. We need more people willing to do this and willing to uncover the truth.

  2. Thank you for standing up and reporting the truth even when I don’t want to see it. (Trump and collusion) I knew there.was a connection between Tuberous Sclerosis and vaccines just never saw anyone mention it. My husband has been clinically diagnosed with this disease but his is mild. My grandson developed severe autism lost sight in left eye and has a chronic blood condition among many things. So many things can come into play when you fool with immune system.

  3. Thank you for the work you do to bring factual, true scientific information back into the debate. I believe in vaccines and antibiotics (my kids had their shots, grands have had theirs, I had a Tdap booster last year), but I think the current situation is out of control. Too many vaccines are being given in large combinations at younger and younger ages for illnesses that are not deadly, and testing is not being properly done before these combinations or ages are being included.

    I was reading about the Dengue vaccine in Philippines, which actually caused deaths (10 known deaths so far, and as many as 600 deaths may have been related to receipt of the vaccine) – and will cause more over the next 25 years as more people who had the vaccine come down with the actual dengue disease and suffer the complications from it. The vaccine is in the news again since it has now been licensed in the US – but only for people who have already had Dengue Fever – and only for children between 9 and 16 years old.

    What is most curious about the whole story (reported by NPR for anyone who questions ) is that every media story about it brings up measles, and claims that Ph parents are to blame for the measles outbreak because of the “bad press” associated with the Dengue vaccine… as though they are saying that real problems with vaccines shouldn’t even be reported because it might cause people to demand better vaccines! Yet, those claims make no sense, as (1) we are in middle of a worldwide measles outbreak which is also occurring in China (which has mandatory vaccines and greater than 95% coverage), and (2) WHO’s survey of vaccine coverage in Philippines shows a similar or higher rate of vaccination coverage in 2017 (most recent data available) than they had in 2015 before the dengue vaccine scandal.

    God continue to bless and protect you in your work!

  4. For years, decades even, I’ve said that while vaccines are likely safe for most, for some it is not. Given that no one can tell which is which, it is risky for anyone to take a vaccine. It’s like being asked if you are allergic to penicillin but you don’t know if you are or not. If you are allergic to it in a very serious way, taking it could make you very ill or even cause death. Just like with vaccines, you don’t know until it is to late to turn back.

    While I think vaccines overall can be a good thing, it is risky, just like any other drug. If one doesn’t want to risk it, then they should never be forced to take it.

  5. Mary Ann Hartzler

    I would be interested in knowing a little more about this sanctimonious doctor. Is he in private practice? A researcher? Does he work in, or have ties to, the vaccine industry? In my humble, uneducated opinion (I’m not a doctor) you have laid out the pros and cons very well, always allowing the reader to make up his/her own mind. I really appreciate your hard work.

  6. I too am curious about the doctor’s possible connections and/or motivations.
    But as for the “many studies” showing connections between measles vaccine and autism, we need to know more about these studies. Some studies don’t involve enough people or enough time span to be conclusive. Some studies aren’t even scientific – showing association but not proving causation.
    I learned that when researching the historical dietary studies that concluded, for example, that saturated fat and cholesterol “caused” heart disease, which turned out to be false. Association is worth investigating, but definitely not sufficient proof.

  7. The comment I made earlier about saturated fat not being a “cause” of heart disease is extremely well documented by another excellent investigative reporter – Nina Tiecholz in “The Big Fat Surprise”.

  8. It took a bit of looking, but the doctor would appear to be “C.T” Bardi, not “C.D”, as in Christopher Thomas Bardi, MD out of Florence SC. He is a pediatrician. You can probably find him, as I did, via Google, though I didn’t find much about credentials, etc.

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