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Why is antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. meeting with government health and science officials months after meeting with President Trump?

In January, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. bragged about having met with President-Elect Donald Trump about chairing a presidential commission on vaccine safety. In the intervening eight months, no commission has materialized, but, if you can believe his account, Kennedy has been meeting with government officials to promote his antivaccine views at the behest of the Trump administration. As long as that continues, pro-science advocates can’t afford to rest easy.

Poor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He went from admired environmental activist to reviled antivaccine campaigner so quickly. It began when he outed himself in 2005 with his infamous conspiracy mongering screed about thimerosal in Salon.com and Rolling Stone. Basically, RFK Jr. is a member of what we used to call the mercury militia, a branch of the antivaccine movement that believes, more than anything else, that it is the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal that used to be in several childhood vaccines until 2002 drove an “epidemic” of autism. He’s still a member, too, having recently written with Dr. Mark Hyman a book entitled Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: Mercury Toxicity in Vaccines and the Political, Regulatory, and Media Failures That Continue to Threaten Public Health. Not surprisingly, it was chock full of antivaccine misinformation and claims that thimerosal in vaccines caused all sorts of horrible neurological problems in children. It didn’t, nor did it cause autism. The idea that thimerosal-containing vaccines cause autism is a failed hypothesis. Just this year, he even went full crank once again and offered a “challenge” worthy of Jock Doubleday’s bizarre vaccine challenge to prove that thimerosal is safe. It was rigged, naturally. Basically, RFK Jr., his denials notwithstanding, is antivaccine to the core.

Early in 2017, when President-Elect Donald Trump and his team were working on the transition of administrations, RFK, Jr. was invited to Trump Tower to meet with him. RFK Jr., being RFK Jr., he immediately blabbed to the press that Trump had asked him to form and chair a presidential commission on vaccine safety, or autism, or…something. It wasn’t exactly clear what. Of course, those of us who were pro-vaccine were alarmed, as this seemed to signal that as President Trump would act on his oft-expressed idea that vaccines cause autism, particularly in wake of the revelations that he had met with a bunch of antivaccine activists including Andrew Wakefield while campaigning in Florida in August. Fortunately, however, the Trump administration thus far hasn’t acted on any “presidential commission” on vaccine safety or autism. Indeed, Trump has appointed pro-vaccine advocates to run both the FDA and CDC.

So I was amused to see an article in STAT News about the vaccine commission that RFK Jr. so much wants to chair. How’ve things been going on that score? Not so well, it turns out:

Robert Kennedy Jr., the environmental activist and leading vaccine skeptic, says that it has been months since he has talked with White House officials about chairing a vaccine safety commission — and that the idea of such a panel may no longer be under consideration.

“I’ve had no discussions specifically about the vaccine safety commission, probably since February,” Kennedy told STAT. “You’d have to ask the White House. It may be that it’s evolved.”

Before I go on, let me just give Helen Branswell, who wrote this otherwise excellent report, a word of advice: RFK Jr. is not a “vaccine skeptic,” leading or otherwise. He is antivaccine to the core and has been spewing antivaccine pseudoscience since at least 2005. Skepticism does not mean reflex rejection of the scientific consensus in favor of pseudoscience, but that is exactly what RFK Jr. does: Reject the scientific consensus and embrace pseudoscience. If there’s something that reporters do that really grate on me, it’s to use language like this to describe antivaxers. It gives them far more credibility than they deserve.

Of course, this is just RFK Jr. being RFK Jr. He’s publicity whoring. He wants attention. He wants you to know how important he is. Unfortunately, the Kennedy name goes a long way. Kennedy met with Dr. Peter Marks, head of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which regulates vaccines, and other FDA staff on March 30, as he has bragged in his interview with STAT:

Well, I’ve met with high-level officials in the White House. They’ve arranged meetings for me with HHS and White House officials and agency officials. Various agency officials, including [NIH Director] Francis Collins and his deputy, Lawrence Tabak, I think. And I met with Tony Fauci, who’s at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Linda Birnbaum, who’s at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Diana Bianchi, at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at NIH. And over at FDA I’ve met with Peter Marks, the director of [the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research] and some other officials there. I can’t remember everybody at this point, all of the people that we’ve met with.

He even met with NIH Director Francis Collins and other NIH staff, who, appropriately, pushed back:

Kennedy met on May 31 with top leaders of the NIH. Director Francis Collins and Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak attended the meeting, along with the heads of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Kennedy laid out his concerns about vaccines at the meeting, presenting the information he views as supporting evidence, according to an official familiar with the discussion who spoke on condition of anonymity. But the NIH participants countered, the agency suggested in an email.

“In the meeting, NIH noted that there is strong and extensive scientific data that support the safety and efficacy of vaccines,” a spokesman said. “NIH reaffirmed with Mr. Kennedy that vaccines are among the most beneficial health interventions in history in terms of the number of lives that have been saved over decades, have been shown to be very safe, and are vital to the public health goal of preventing diseases.”

In his interview, Kennedy claims that the Trump administration asked him to meet with these officials. Given that Kennedy is an inveterate self-promoter who’s been known to—shall we say?—stretch the truth on occasion, I wonder if his version of events is reliable. On the other hand, this is the Trump administration. it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the administration did ask him to meet with these people, and, given that, these officials could not refuse. I’m glad, though that NIH leaders and, from what I can gather, everyone else forced to meet with Kennedy pushed back at his= pseudoscience and fear mongering about vaccines. The good news is that the message I’m getting from this report and interview with RFK Jr. is that pursuing antivaccine policies—excuse me, investigating “vaccine safety”— does not appear to be a priority for Trump, which means that his appointees to key positions at the CDC, NIH, and FDA have been unequivocally pro-vaccine. For instance:

And:

Oh, how antivaxers howled with outrage!

It’s also amusing to read Kennedy as he is asked multiple times if the commission will go forward or if it might go forward with someone else leading it, every time provoking a response along the lines of, “You’d have to ask the White House”:

You’d have to ask the White House. It may be that it’s evolved. I’ve been told that the president is still interested in this issue and that he wants me to have further meetings with the regulatory agencies and with the White House. Like I said, I have not talked to anybody in the White House about the commission.

All of this leads me to believe that most of this is just Kennedy promoting himself, as he is very good at doing. Most likely what happened is that when Branswell contacted him to find out if, seven months later, anything had happened regarding the Presidential commission, he saw his chance to blow his own horn.

I do give Branswell props for pushing back against Kennedy’s misinformation, though. For instance, Kennedy claims:

We need to do double-blind placebo testing. Because particularly when it comes to injecting aluminum or mercury into babies, the consequences may be latent. In other words, they may not manifest or diagnosed to age 3 or 4. So the current protocols, which require testing for vaccines of sometimes as little as 48 hours, are not going to disclose the kind of dangers that the public and the regulators ought to know about.

The hepatitis B vaccines that are currently approved had fewer than five days of safety testing. That means that if the child has a seizure on the sixth day, it’s never seen. If the child dies, it’s never seen. If the child gets food allergies or ADD or ADHD, which don’t manifest for four or five years or aren’t diagnosed or autism, which usually isn’t diagnosed until age 4, the regulators will never see that prior to licensing the vaccine.

This bit about the hepatitis B vaccine is basically a distortion. For instance, the thimerosal-free version of EngerixB relied on clinical trials that looked at the “occurrence, intensity and relationship to vaccination of solicited local and general signs and symptoms during the 4-day follow-up period. However, that ignores all the other evidence for the safety of hepatitis B vaccination, of which there is plenty.

Here’s what Kennedy is doing. He’s ignoring all the epidemiological studies that show that vaccines are not associated with autism, a veritable mountain of evidence, and trying to argue that the FDA should assume that it might and require years and years of followup in the double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) used to license vaccines. This is simply impractical and, more importantly, not scientifically or ethically justified given what we know from epidemiological studies. I’m sure that Kennedy also knows that such a requirement would enormously increase the cost of doing the pre-licensure clinical trials needed for the FDA to approve vaccines.

Branswell, to her credit, pushes back:

Vaccines are tested that way all the time.

You’re wrong about that. It is not required for vaccines. So most of the vaccines — and I know this is surprising to you, and it’s shocking to most people, because journalists like yourself assume that vaccines are encountering the same kind of rigorous safety testing as other drugs, including multiyear double-blind placebo testing. But the fact is that vaccines don’t. And the reason for that is they’re classified as biologics.

I’ve read a lot of vaccine studies. And they are double-blind placebo tested.

No, you’re wrong about that. … But in any case, none of them have more than a few months of double-blind placebo testing, which will not allow you to spot illnesses like autism that aren’t diagnosed before five years. Second of all, in most vaccines, for example the Gardasil vaccine, they don’t use true placebos.

Ha! I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using “true placeboes” and what utter BS it is. I also like how, right after saying that double-blind, placebo controlled trials aren’t required for FDA licensure, Kennedy quickly pivots to admitting, basically, “Well, yes they are, but they don’t go on years and years and years and years to detect differences in autism prevalence.” Did I also mention that, given that autism prevalence is one in 50, each such trial, to be adequately powered, would require an incredibly large number of subjects. I’ve written about this issue before in the context of epidemiological studies. Basically, to be adequately powered to detect anything other than large differences in autism prevalence between control and experimental groups would require much larger clinical trials than we have now, likely so large as to be impractical. Also, once again, scientifically it’s not justified, taken in context with the totality of the evidence.

I’m happy that nothing much has come of the “presidential commission.” I’m also happy to see RFK Jr. remains no more believable or competent at spreading antivaccine misinformation than he’s ever been. I am not, however, happy to see that he’s still meeting with federal officials in charge of public health, medical research, and vaccine approval. As long as that’s still happening, we pro-science public health advocates need to stay frosty.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

254 replies on “Why is antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. meeting with government health and science officials months after meeting with President Trump?”

I think he’s been trying this for years. It used to be that you could trust the government’s science institutions to ignore this kind of drivel, but we live in insane times.

If Obama appointed a secretary who would succumb to Kennedy’s nonsense, the civil service would effectively stop any anti-factual agenda. Now? Who the hell knows. Environmental policy is set by climate change deniers. Immunisation policy driven by vaccine deniers would not be a surprise.

Notice that the hepatitis b trials did not monitor people for just four days. They lasted months, it’s a three dose series. They appeared to have collected unsolicited adverse events four days after, I assume, each vaccine dose, but their had check up across months.

So apart from your excellent point about further research, the four day claim is even wrong for the trials. Unless I’m misreading somehow, and if so, I’d like to know how.

FYI the advert on the top right of this very page reads:

“Autism Treatment
– New Technology
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Autism, with great
improvement in 2 weeks
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Pretty close to woomedicalcenter chortle.

Given that the White House seems a curious melange of the Keystone Kops, a Borgia court, and Stalin’s politburo during the purges, it may just have had a lapse of attention regarding vaccines. Let’s hope they just forget the issue completely.

Regarding the picture at the top of the post:Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche.

A gentleman always buttons his jacket when standing. Also: one does not fasten the bottom button of one’s waistcoat.

jrkrideau @#4 writes:

“Regarding the picture at the top of the post:Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche.”

Errm, that’s how I was taught, back around 1956/57. The very gauche appearance belongs to the …person…who does NOT button his jacket when standing.

fusilier
James 2:24

I’m happy that nothing much has come of the “presidential commission.”

I, of course, don’t know if there will ever be any such presidential commission, but I’d be willing to bet some amount of US dollars RFKjr won’t be around. He’s served his purpose.

Prior to the election, RFKjr was just a wee bit critical of Trump, but after the election, and after the meeting at Trump tower, he said how great Trump was, just like Mitt Romney did. Where is Mitt now? Not SecState is where.

Trump only values (and rewards) loyalty, and he never forgives or forgets. Trump will tolerate RFKjr as long as RFKjr says nice things about him, but that’s as far as it will go.

There’s a campaign rally for President Trump here in Phoenix today. I doubt vaccines will appear in the rambling discourse soon to be coming from a podium downtown. However, I do fear greatly for vaccines under a 2nd term for this President.

And I fear very much that Trump is likely to be re-elected. My wife gets mad at me when I say that, but, really, the incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign. Short of an economic meltdown in 2020 I don’t see how Trump fails to be reelected. Yes, I’m that pessimistic.

A true anti-vaxer should call for every variation and combination of vaccine to be tested to see if Alzheimer’s or adrenal cancer rates are increased. Ya, know, stuff that will take decades or require about a million people. Also perhaps grizzly bear attacks – I have a theory they can smell it on you.

[email protected]: Patience, grasshopper. They will get around to moving those goalposts in due time.

[email protected]: If you are a man wearing a suit that fits you properly, you are supposed to, and should be able to, button the top button. The alleged gentleman on the left, however, has a reputation for wearing suits that don’t fit properly, even though someone of his claimed net worth should be able to afford properly tailored suits.

RFK Jr. does have some value – as an element in any thinking person’s B.S. meter.

I was shopping in a bookstore yesterday and saw a book by Richard Belzer (the actor portraying Detective Munch on Law and Order: SVU) entitled American Corporate Conspiracies. The lead endorsement on the back cover is by RFK Jr. (another gushing endorsement comes from “Governor Jesse Ventura):

]https://www.amazon.com/American-Corporate-Conspiracies-Business-Democracy/dp/1510711260

Just seeing RFK Jr.’s praise is all I need to know about the book’s garbage quotient.

*yes, Belzer appears to be even more far-out in real life than Munch has been on the show. He traffics in JFK assassination conspiracy theories and is a buddy of Alex Jones, antivaxer and loon extraordinaire.

Chris: However, I do fear greatly for vaccines under a 2nd term for this President.

Considering how much damage he’s done since taking office, I don’t think the US would survive two terms. Maybe it doesn’t deserve to.

Funny how RFK Jr. has abandoned his environmental advocacy because Trump offered him a shiny object. Maybe that was the point.

AoA’s Ann Dachel and the WMP are not happy about the interview because STAT did not include all of it ( see AoA, WMP twitter).

Before I forget-
re unbuttoned jackets

Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned because the contrasting material ( shirt/ tie) breaks up the wide expanse of the dark jacket. Notice that the tie is very long as well -besides the possible symbolism
( heh) it creates a longer slimming effect. Also darker jackets, longer jackets.
TV personalities like Oprah have used this visual trick. Also on What NOT to Wear shows/ UK, US.

@Denice #14 – The editing on the longer version is pretty minimal. Just bits where Kennedy started talking nonsense and wandering off topic. Given that the topic seemed to be the Vaccine Commission, he seemed very keen to gloss over that and get some anti-vax talking points in – which were quite rightly edited out as irrelevent.

jrkrideau: “Where has this ridiculous practice of buttoning suit jackets come from? It looks very gauche.”

DW: “Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned because the contrasting material ( shirt/ tie) breaks up the wide expanse of the dark jacket. Notice that the tie is very long as well -besides the possible symbolism
( heh) it creates a longer slimming effect.”

Buttoning all the buttons on a suit jacket may have psychological implications. A pioneering profiler predicted that the Mad Bomber who terrorized New York in the 1940s and 1950s would, when caught, be wearing a double-breasted suit with all the buttons buttoned. And when George Metesky was finally captured, that’s exactly what he was wearing.

Short of an economic meltdown in 2020 I don’t see how Trump fails to be reelected.

Having to fend off a primary challenger seems to bode ill for the incumbent in the general election.

Yes, but it’s not clear that there will be such a challenger yet, the rumblings now notwithstanding. Also, Trump has already started campaigning and raising funds for re-election. Any primary challenger is likely to face a potentially unsurmountable financial disadvantage.

You claim “I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using “true placeboes” and what utter BS it is.” I asked on that poast and I’ll ask again: Could you provide a link to those studies providing statistics on the expected rates of adverse events due to the aluminum adjuvants? I haven’t found them but I would be interested in seeing them.

the incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign

Historically, yes. But Trump has already done so many unprecedented things as President that history is not as good a guide as usual. We are off the looking glass and through the map. I’ll worry about Trump’s chances of being reelected if he is still in office in early 2020. As an out-of-shape 70-something in the world’s most stressful job, Trump has an elevated risk of a stroke or heart attack. Or Putin might decide that Trump has become more of a liability than an asset–remember, Putin is ex-KGB and therefore has ways of dealing with such problems. Or (unlikely for now, but if the Republicans get curb stomped in 2018 it becomes much more likely) Trump might get impeached. Or the Mueller or Schneiderman investigations might turn up a scandal too big to ignore.

I hope you’re right, but after everything I’ve seen, this sounds like wishful thinking. We’re almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

I haven’t found them but I would be interested in seeing them.

You’ve taken a position without reviewing available evidence and complaining because others aren’t doing your homework for you.

Orac: We’re almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

If that happens we probably won’t have any more elections. If he’s still there by 2021, we’ll probably end up with a dynasty like North Korea.

@Orac:

[T]he incumbent always has a huge advantage going into a reelection campaign.

That may be, but I’m hearing a lot of scuttlebutt that Trump will either get fed up with the job and quit, or be impeached because he’s damaging the Republican cause. And it’s beginning to sound more and more plausible.

@ScienceMom – What position do you think I have taken? And what makes you think I haven’t reviewed the evidence? I’m asking because I have looked and haven’t found it. Could be I missed something – I haven’t read everything (no one can) – so I’m prepared to look a little deeper it someone wants to point me at the right place. I have access to most peer-reviewed journals through my University, but the searches I’ve done there on that subject have some up empty on that particular point. What I’m not prepared to do is accept something as true just because someone said it was so on the internet.

Any primary challenger is likely to face a potentially unsurmountable financial disadvantage.

Sure, but I was assuming a putative challenger would lose in the first place.

Orac: We’re almost certainly stuck with Trump at least through January 2021 and possibly through January 2025.

PGP, do you refuse to use quotation marks because they’re too “suburban” or something? It’s even more irritating than Doucheniak’s routine.

If that happens we probably won’t have any more elections. If he’s still there by 2021, we’ll probably end up with a dynasty like North Korea.

It was silly when the loony right said the same thing about Obama, and it sounds just as silly now.

Other than the KGB, I think friend Eric has it right at #24.

Also remember that Watergate was about 26 months from break in to resignation. Mueller has been on the job just a few months – give the man time to work.

David Brin has been suggesting this for months, and some in or near the halls of power are also suggesting, that the remedy lies in creative interpretation of the 25th Amendment.
The major drawback to that is Mike Pence. Instead of the current barrel full of monkeys on the White House staff, we will have, as Brin says, a cadre of disciplined Dominionists who will make things far worse than they are now.

#5 Guy Chapman

# 6 fusilier

that’s how I was taught, back around 1956/57

Interesting. Back about 1967-68 I was being taught that a single-breasted jacket is not buttoned and a double-breasted jacket is always buttoned. Of course, it may be depend on what country. I was/am in Canada.

In many cases, a buttoned single-breasted suit jacket makes it appear that the wearer has been stuffed into an overly tight sausage case [1]. I think I’ll stick with the unbuttoned, or uncouth, look.

Re waistcoat. Indeed Guy, one never buttons the bottom button on a waistcoat. Mind, we don’t seem to see too many waistcoats here. I think the Canadian climate and heating habits discourage them.

1. See almost any picture of our former and unlamented Prime Minister Steven Harper

#12 Eric Lund

you are supposed to, and should be able to, button the top button

Oh, I agree, I just was taught that one did not.

# 17 Denice Walter

Overweight people sometimes deliberately leave a jacket unbuttoned

Here now, are you implying I’m fat? I’ll have you know I still have my boyish figure. It’s in here somewhere.

# 20 Dangerous Bacon
But one always wears a double-breasted jacket buttoned. I’m sure even a “Mad Bomber” would not have committed the solecism of an unbuttoned double-breasted jacket back then. It would have been a red flag to any police officer.

Narad (#31) writes,

It’s even more irritating than Doucheniak’s routine.

Dochniak says,

Warren Buffett, who owns Dairy Queen and the Moon, has donated billions of dollars to support the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccines.

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/01/Bill-and-Melinda-Gates-Pledge-$10-Billion-in-Call-for-Decade-of-Vaccines

Q. Why don’t cold-blooded antivaxers protest at Dairy Queen restaurants.

A. Because they’re scared of the Blizzard.

@ScienceMom – What position do you think I have taken?

That aluminium adjuvants cannot be true placebos because something. As per your statement here:

You claim “I just discussed that last one about Gardasil not using “true placeboes” and what utter BS it is.”

And what makes you think I haven’t reviewed the evidence?

Because you keep asking for it here and have clearly taken a position that smells remarkably anti-aluminium.

I’m asking because I have looked and haven’t found it. Could be I missed something – I haven’t read everything (no one can) – so I’m prepared to look a little deeper it someone wants to point me at the right place.

This is at odds with your previous question. You have missed a lot; I have read numerous studies, reviews and government documents which discuss adverse events from aluminium salts.

I’m not prepared to do is accept something as true just because someone said it was so on the internet.

I guess you’d better get crackin’ then before calling BS on others.

If mercury in vaccines is so harmless, why lie about it? Thimerosal is still in a number of vaccines given to children and pregnant women; for example, Tripedia DTaP; the multidose vials of many flu shots–Afluria, FluLaval, Fluvirin, Fluzone; and the multidose Menomune meningococcal vaccine.

Focusing only on the danger of mercury in vaccines is a gatekeeping strategy–just like focusing on autism as the only adverse effect of vaccines. There are many dangerous vaccine ingredients other than mercury, and many serious adverse effects from vaccines other than autism.

I wish RFK were anti-vaccine. It’s tiresome listening to so-called “vaccine safety advocates” reiterate the same old pro-vax propaganda. RFK claims his own children are fully vaccinated–he’d never advocate for that if he were anti-vaccine. Of course, like so many pushing vaccines on the rest of the population, only his pediatrician really knows for sure.

RFK is no threat to the vaccine pogrom, any more than the current administration. The pogrom will continue to press forward, even as it faces more and more opposition from its intended targets. But as the truth about vaccines spreads–that vaccines are not safe; not effective for improving the overall health of the population; and did not save the world from any deadly diseases–the vaccine pogrom will eventually be crushed under the weight of its own lies. 🙂

@Science Mom “That aluminium adjuvants cannot be true placebos because something.”

Hmmm….substitute “they can cause adverse reactions in subjects by themselves” for “something” and “sufficient placebos for parental decision making regarding vaccination” for “true placebos” and that would be accurate. Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

If I were a parent making such a decision (I’m not, my kids are adults now), I would want to know the risks of the placebos that were used in place of a completely benign substance.

I’ve looked for that data. I haven’t found it. No one has posted any links to it either. Now, my google fu is weak and it’s not field, so I don’t know the in-profession keywords; I’m not concluding the data doesn’t exist. But it’s not easy to find either. A link would be appreciated from those professionals in the field, such as ORAC, who might have seen it in the past.

Narad: I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I’d use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

Johnny: Difference between Obama and Trump: Obama’s not nearly as egotistical, and he actually did care what people thought. Also, he was getting pretty ground down by 2016. And he never had as much influence with the armed forces as Trump does now.

Trump doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and wants as much power as he can grab. I don’t think democracy matters to him. He’s honestly worse than Nixon. At least Nixon had brains and some restraint.

NWO Reporter, Once again I’m taking exception, angered exception at that, to your use of the word “pogrom”.
My ancestors came here in part to leave pogroms behind them.
You clearly don’t know what a pogrom is. You have no idea of the proper meaning of it. You have never sat with a pogrom survivor to hear about it first-hand.
The use of substances in tiny amounts in vaccines is no way akin to rioters committing murder, torture, rape, mutilation, and theft against a vulnerable population because of their religion or their perceived race.
Jews have not been the only targets oof pogroms. The night rides and lynchings by the KKK, the spate of destruction and murder of entire black communities bin the USA,between about 1900 and 1925, the zoot suit riots during World War 2, the Notting Hill riots of the ’50s. all can reasonably be counted as pogroms.
So let’s pile insensitivity and cultural expropriation on top of your never-bow-to-facts Trump-like mindset.

Off topic, but…

Jake is really proud of himself – he’s been noticed outside of his 6 disciples.

PGP – there are about a million differences between Trump and Obama, and what you said would still be in the running for the stupidest thing you’ve ever said, but the field is too crowded.

And Trump isn’t any more popular with the military than he is with the general population, but they aren’t allowed to show it.

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I’d use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

What? Have you ever written a paper? Failing to use quotation marks or italics/indent to mark quotations could get you in serious trouble for plagiarism. At best, it’s confusing.

One might also note that this blog has a set of conventions, and the blockquote tag is there for a reason.

@NWOR-Your claim that RFK Jr. isn’t really anti-vaccine is absolutely ridiculous, considering that he has repeatedly made statements like this: “They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”

If that isn’t “anti-vaccine”, I really don’t know what is.

@Jonas, thank you but no, I wasn’t asking for HPV vaccine to a saline placebo, I was asking about the risks of the placebos that were used in place of a completely benign substance. My take on what ORAC said in his previous post that such studies had been done. Since those are used in a variety of vaccines, I’ve looked for that information but haven’t found it.

Thank you for the link. I appreciate the effort. It says “A higher proportion of vaccine recipients (75.3%) than placebo recipients (50.0%) reported one or more injection-site adverse experiences following any vaccination. Rates of fever were similar between vaccination groups. No serious vaccine-related adverse experiences were reported.” With fewer than 2000 subjects, it’s not really adequate to judge if any differences exist for the rare-but-serious type events.

JP (#43) writes,

What? Have you ever written a paper? Failing to use quotation marks or italics/indent to mark quotations could get you in serious trouble for plagiarism. At best, it’s confusing.

MJD says,

You’re forgiven PGP and I’m sure someone understands you somewhere?

RI is not for the ignorant or timid, but, if your an Orac admirer consider yourself a minion no matter what atypically you poses.

Trump isn’t going to last until 2020, much less win a second term. He’ll be impeached.

Either Mr. Mueller will find something in his investigation (that he has convened a grand jury suggests meat on that bone), or Trump will do something so outrageous that Ryan and McConnell won’t be able to ignore it any more.

Like someone said: Watergate took a long time to shake out. Congress is well aware of Trump’s incompetence. Right now he serves a purpose. They want his base. When it gets too much, they’ll dump him for Pence.

You can see it in Pence’s posturing. He’s getting ready to take over.

Old Rockin’ Dave, if you can think of a better word than “pogrom” to describe an organized, officially sanctioned program to keep the population sick, weak and obedient, while killing and destroying many lives in the process, feel free to propose it.

Granted, mass vaccination targets the general population, not any specific minority group (at least for the most part–there have been exceptions), but the fact that it targets more people rather than fewer only makes it more evil. Remember, all of the pograms you mentioned had plenty of cheerleaders, just like the vaccine pogrom does.

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks. If it was something someone said, I’d use quotation marks, but written speech has different conventions.

*blink*

Where, pray tell, did you discover this “convention”? This is quite possibly the most insane blanket assertion you’ve made yet, and that’s a very high bar, indeed.

Every time you pull this, it looks like direct address if one is checking back in on the comments and starting from the end. I mean, how does your “convention” handle multiple paragraphs?

I was unaware that quoting someone’s writing required quotation marks.

Yeah, it’s a pretty dark “convention” about plagiarism and making it clear what is your original writing and what is not. They hardly ever use it anywhere now. You can just go ahead and write something and we will totally know if it was yours or not. Such is the power of imagination.

Old Rockin’ Dave, if you can think of a better word than “pogrom” to describe an organized, officially sanctioned program to keep the population sick, weak and obedient, while killing and destroying many lives in the process, feel free to propose it.

Ha!
Ha, ha!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Before mass vaccination programs Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Rotavirus, HIB, Tuberculosis and Meningitis killed and disabled millions each year. They still kill thousands in unvaccinated people.
Where is your proof that vaccines have killed and maimed the people you claim they have killed and maimed?

Julian Frost, the thing is, people are researching those diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them–that the vaccine house of cards is built on a foundation of lies. 🙂

NWO Troll: “diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them”

Seriously, you went there? You should know what is coming up next, the US Census 20th Century report that includes measles. I will include a link.

Now what you have to do is look at the data and tell exactly what caused the incidence (morbidity) of measles to drop 90% in the USA between 1960 and 1970. Though there are some rules to prevent you from changing the subject:

Do not mention any other disease. It is about measles. Duh!

Do not mention death, which is mortality. The question is about morbidity, which is incidence. Mentioning something else would “changing the subject.”

Do not mention any other country. The census data is from the United States of America, a very big country. Which actually does not include any states named “England” nor “Wales.”

Do not mention any other decade unless the morbidity dropped at least 90% and never went up again.

Come on! Be the first (with actual evidence) to tell us why measles morbidity dropped 90$ in the USA between 1960 and 1970!

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year…. Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

Julian, we will have a few more laughs as she dances around the reduction of measles cases. It always amusing to see what they do!

@NWO Reporter #55:

…people are researching those diseases and finding out that vaccines did not save us from any of them..

What people? What are their qualifications? What research have they done and where was it published?
Smallpox once killed up to a third of people it infected. It’s now extinct in the wild, thanks to vaccines.

You ever hear of a disease called poliomyelitis? Know of any American born after the 1960s who’s had it? It once crippled a sitting president and severely sickened a secretary of defense. There used to be rows upon rows of iron lungs in the hospital wards of the 1940s and 1950s to treat children with bulbar polio. Now, not so much. What happened in the 1950s and 1960s? Jonas Salk, Albert Sabin, and Mikhail Chumakov developed effective polio vaccines. Thanks to their efforts, polio is virtually unknown today except in places like Pakistan and Nigeria where folks much like this NWO Reporter fellow have managed to successfully convince large enough numbers of people that vaccines are a Bad Thing.

@Beth Clarkson: Are you seriously looking for evidence of the perfect placebo, that causes *NO* symptoms when injected? Let me tell you, honey, ain’t no such creature. I’ve injected people with saline, they reacted. Sterile water, same thing. Clinical placebo of all ingredients EXCEPT the one being tested, same thing.

So if you’re looking for a study that says “this is the PERFECT placebo. No one EVER reacts when it’s injected”, you’ll never find it. Now, if you are being serious, and looking for the reactions people have to being injected with a placebo containing aluminium, I suggest you get your little heinie over to pubmed, type in key words like “aluminium as placebo” and start doing some reading.

Chris Shill, I don’t think anyone disputes that the measles vaccine prevents the outward expression of symptoms of measles. But at what cost? Measles had become a very MILD disease by the time the vaccine was introduced. It posed no real threat to typical healthy children–mortality from measles had declined more than 98% from 1900-1950 in the industrialized world, WELL BEFORE the vaccine. Apparently you fail to appreciate the significance of that, amidst your excited crowing about the incidence rate.

What was the cost of preventing a mild childhood illness for typical healthy children? Certainly chronic diseases and disabilities have skyrocketed, along with the number of vaccines. People are starting to notice, and ask why. 🙂

Chris Shill, if a vaccine were introduced that was proven to prevent most cases of the common cold, but resulted in an increased risk for diabetes, asthma, serious allergies, epilepsy, cancer and cognitive disabilities, would you crow about the wonders of that vaccine, too? It’s a a rhetorical question–I already know the answer. 😀

Chris @ #57: I guess she fooled you!!
.
She’s not dancing, she’s moving goalposts, and those suckers are heavy. No dancing to be seen.

@MI Dawn – No, I am not looking for the ‘perfect placebo’. I am looking for the reactions people have to being injected with a placebo containing aluminium. When I do as you suggested and type in key words like “aluminium as placebo” the first paper that comes up is the Martínez-Lavín and Amezcua-Guerra paper ORAC was complaining about in his post a few days ago. All the results I found were for vaccine trials, with nothing about a study of the affects of using that type of placebo versus a more benign one. If you are aware of one, I would appreciate a link.

@NWOR-That’s false-measles had not “become a very mild disease” prior to the introduction of the vaccine. Prior to the introduction of the vaccine, 400-500 people died of measles , 4,000 people developed measles encephalitis (which leaves many survivors with permanent brain damage) and at least 48,000 people required hospitalization for complications of measles.

And that’s not even mentioning the fact that measles induces a sort of “immune amnesia” that leaves even those who have a completely uncomplicated case of measles more vulnerable to other infectious diseases for 2-3 years after recovery from measles.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4823017/

NWOR: “…the vaccine house of cards is built on a foundation of lies.”
NWOR: “Measles had become a very MILD disease by the time the vaccine was introduced.”

“In a brief history of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control writes that between 1953 and 1963, when the measles vaccine became available, “nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age.” Yearly, “400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2015/02/03/history_of_measles_mortality_maps_from_a_time_before_vaccines.html

That does not describe “a very MILD disease”.

Instead of accusing others of lying, NWOR needs to take a long look in the mirror.

@NWOR-Between 1989 and 1991, there was an increase in measles cases in the U.S., with 55,000 cases of measles occurring during that time. Out of those 55,000 cases, 11,000 were severe enough to require hospitalization, and 123 were fatal.

In Philadelphia alone, 9 children died of measles-5 of them in one 10-day period.

Does that really sound like a “very mild disease” to you?

MI Dawn, if you’re trying to suggest that an aluminum containing placebo, or one containing any other vaccine ingredients, is no more reactive than a saline placebo, I’d suggest you get your little heinie over to a grade school science class, honey.

NWOR: that is NOT what I said. What I said, in case you couldn’t read properly, is that some people respond to ANYTHING used as a placebo injection. I’ve seen people get hives and need benadryl from an injection of normal saline (only saline. Single use vial). If they had the same reaction to a vaccine, you’d be screaming all over that the vaccine caused the allergic reaction.

As for measles. Yeah. It became a lot “milder” because we had better ways to treat patients in the hospitals so fewer people actually died from the acute measles infection. Infection rates didn’t fall until we got the vaccine. I’d rather my child have a sore arm, low fever, and maybe mild rash for a day over being very sick for 1-2 weeks, need hospitalization, and worry about long-term sequelae for years.

Jonas, so you suggesting that measles has become more virulent since the vaccine was introduced. Interesting. Just prior to the introduction of the vaccine, measles was so mild, 9 out of 10 cases were never even reported, even according to the CDC. And even the cases that doctors saw, they weren’t reporting a dreaded and feared disease.

“In the majority of children the whole episode has been well and truly over in a week, from the prodromal phase to the disappearance of the rash, and many mothers have remarked ‘how much good the attack has done their children’, as they seem so much better after the measles.”

This from another doctor: “In this practice measles is considered as a relatively mild and inevitable childhood ailment that is best encountered any time from 3 to 7 years of age. Over the past 10 years there have been few serious complications at any age, and all children have made complete recoveries.” Both from Measles: Reports from General Practitioners, British Medical Journal, February 7, 1959.

Ah, yes. I still see the “one true study” narrative with respect to aluminum adjuvants. It’s a favorite crank technique, because for many findings in medicine, there is no single (or even several) “true studies” proving something definitively. The same is true of many scientific findings. For instance, there is no “one true study” (or even a handful of studies” that “prove” the theory of evolution.

It is a long series of various studies and observations over many decades using many different methodologies involving many children showing that, in this case, aluminum adjuvants are incredibly safe, their primary adverse reactions being increased local reactions to injection. This long experience through studies and clinical observations tells us that aluminum is safe as an adjuvant. Here’s a taste. https://www.facebook.com/RtAVM/posts/10152027017233831

So, ah, Ginny, exactly how did measles “become” a mild disease? What’s the mutation rate? Do you know what a conserved region is? What evolutionary pressure would even drive this fantasy in the first place?

@NWO Reporter #62, #63, #71:

Certainly chronic diseases and disabilities have skyrocketed, along with the number of vaccines.

1) Show us proof that the percentage of individuals inflicted with “chronic diseases and disabilities” has skyrocketed.
2) Show us proof that vaccines are responsible for said increase.

[I]f a vaccine were introduced that was proven to prevent most cases of the common cold, but resulted in an increased risk for diabetes, asthma, serious allergies, epilepsy, cancer and cognitive disabilities

If Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin had confirmed the Moon was made of cheese, would you have wanted to try it? Without proof of causation, your hypothetical is as ridiculous as the one I’ve just mentioned.

Jonas, so you suggesting that measles has become more virulent since the vaccine was introduced.

Reading comprehension fail, and a massive strawman to boot. You claimed that Measles had ‘become a very mild disease by the time the vaccine was introduced”. Jonas was refuting that claim.
Your insinuation that the Measles vaccine caused an increase in Measles’ virulence is laughable.

Dangerous Bacon, yes, the CDC estimates that prior to the vaccine, almost all children got measles–about 3.5 million cases every year. You say that 400-500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 got encephalitis each year from 1953-1963. Even if true, that’s a death rate of about .014%, and a total complication rate of about 1.5%–with measles being a mild non-event for 98-99% of the children who got it.

How many children out of 3.5 million vaccinated for measles will get measles anyway and experience complications? How many will die from the vaccine or from measles, including from health problems like cancer that may not manifest until years down the road? How many will be hospitalized for adverse events, or from subsequent chronic health problems attributable to the vaccine, or develop encephalitis, or incur other physical or cognitive damage that may last a lifetime? It’s too bad no one is keeping track of the damage–even to the extent it would be possible to do so.

Your insinuation that the Measles vaccine caused an increase in Measles’ virulence is laughable.

Particularly given that it would work the other way around.

Orac writes,

This long experience through studies and clinical observations tells us that aluminum is safe as an adjuvant.

MJD says,

The formation of an aluminum hydroxide/antigen complex or aluminum phosphate/antigen complex is not covalently driven, therefore, random associations/interactions with contaminants and/or beneficial proteins before injection is not predictable.

The presence of protein contaminants and beneficial proteins in vaccines can decrease the safety and efficacy of an adjuvant.

Thus, “cleaner vaccines” assure aluminum-based adjuvants choose the right partner before injection.

That’s what I’m talking about when Orac rejects some of my comments during auto-moderation.

Julian Frost, Jonas claims that between 1989 and 1991, there were 55,000 cases of measles, of which 11,000 were severe enough to require hospitalization, and 123 were fatal. That’s a complication rate of 20%–much, much higher than the complication rate for measles that Dangerous Bacon says existed in 1963 before the vaccine, which was only about 1.5%. So either most cases of measles are so mild they are not being reported, which wouldn’t be surprising; and/or doctors are hospitalizing people with measles unnecessarily, which also wouldn’t be surprising; and/or measles has gotten more virulent since the vaccine was introduced.

Or, there’s the most likely possibility of all: the numbers are being manipulated or fabricated to create a false impression that measles is a dangerous disease, in order to sell people on vaccination. Take your pick. 🙂

Beth Clark you are sounding a lot like Travis the Troll.

NWO, find Dorothy and following the yellow brick road and get a brain.

Both of you are doing what you used be called flogging a dead horse.

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