Senior vaccine safety research scientist Dr. William Thompson confesses that he and his research team at CDC have been hiding vaccine autism links from the public.
8/8/14 – Dr. Brian Hooker publishes an article in the journal Translational Neurodegeneration entitled Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young African American boys: a reanalysis of CDC data. The paper took a second look at the data used in the 2002 CDC MMR/autism study Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta and concludes that there is a significant association between giving the MMR vaccine to black males under the age of 3 and the development of autism. This association was not reported in the published CDC study.
8/18/14 – A video is released on the Internet with audio purported, and later confirmed to be, discussions between Dr. Brian Hooker and CDC senior research scientist Dr. William Thompson, one of the original MMR paper's authors. The video claims that Thompson told Hooker in phone conversations that the research team found the association between vaccines and autism, and then changed the parameters of the study to get rid of the association, so they would not have to report it to the public. In the audio Thompson expresses great shame and remorse for “lying” and for going along with what the “higher-ups wanted.”
The autism and vaccine injury communities were outraged at the disclosure, and discussions on the matter began to flood the blogosphere and appear on social media under #CDCwhistleblower. More quotes by Thompson are released on the Internet.
A sample of the Thompson quotes:
"Oh my God, I did not believe that we did what we did, but we did. It’s all there… This is the lowest point in my career, that I went along with that paper. I have great shame now when I meet families of kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem."
"We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.”
CDC releases a statement on their web site confirming that the study parameters were changed and that there were two sets of children studied. One was all the children initially recruited for the study; the other was a subset of children who had Georgia birth certificates. The statement also confirmed that a higher association was found between MMR and autism in children given the vaccine before the age of 36 months.
8/27/14 – Dr. William Thompson releases a statement through his whistleblower attorneys confirming the claims made about him and about the paper. He expresses regret that he and his colleagues omitted statistically significant data on the vaccine autism link, he confirms that it was he on the audio speaking to Dr. Hooker on the phone, and he states that he is providing information to Congressman Bill Posey and will continue to cooperate with Congress on the matter.
8/27/14 – The journal Translational Neurodegeneration removes the Hooker article from its website with the following statement: “This article has been removed from the public domain pending further investigation because the journal and publisher believe that its continued availability could cause public harm. Definitive editorial action will be taken once our investigation is complete.” The journal then fell under criticism from members of the public who claimed that Translational Neurodegeneration did not follow its own research review policies in removing the article.
The journal eventually retractes the article, issuing the following statement: "The Editor and Publisher regretfully retract the article as there were undeclared competing interests on the part of the author which compromised the peer review process. Furthermore, post-publication peer review raised concerns about the validity of the methods and statistical analysis, therefore the Editors no longer have confidence in the soundness of the findings. We apologise to all affected parties for the inconvenience caused."
8/29/14 – More audio of Thompson is released in a video in which he discusses the firm belief inside the CDC that mercury in vaccines can cause tics, and he emphatically states that thimerosal should never be given to pregnant women, as is currently done. Since tics are four times more common in children with autism, Thompson proceeds to state, “There is biologic plausibility right now to say that thimerosal causes autism-like features.”
8/28/14 – Reporter Sharyl Attkisson investigates the story and reports, “A spokesman for the journal Pediatrics today said the publication stands by the study despite the news.“ “There’s a standard process that journals follow when an article is questioned,” said the spokesman. “Those discussions took place between the editors of Pediatrics and the authors of this study, and the editors concluded the research was appropriately conducted.” However, Thompson, one of the study authors, confirmed that he was never contacted by the editors of Pediatrics. Pediatricsis published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which accepts vaccine industry funding.
Further, Attkisson reports, “The Director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office, Dr. Frank DeStefano, is a co-author of the now-questioned study which has been widely-cited to dispel an MMR-autism link. DeStefano is frequently quoted as an expert who debunks vaccine-autism ties.
“‘I stand by the research and the conclusions in our 2004 paper, and I’ll reiterate that the evidence, thus far, the weight of the evidence, is against a causal association between vaccines and autism,‘ DeStefano told me in a telephone interview this week.“
8/29/14 – Sharyl Attkisson issues a second report on the story, this time reporting, “In a statement, Thompson implies his CDC employer and colleagues have not always been forthright with the public about vaccine safety issues. But DeStefano argues their final analysis produced more valid results.”
Attkisson also includes the complete audio with her interview with DeStefano, in which he states “at 36 months, an exposure around that time period is just not biologically plausible to have a causal association with autism.” DeStefano provides no basis for this assertion.
09/2/14 – Attkisson issues a third report, highlighting a seeming reversal from DeStefano's “biologically implausible” stance and an admission that they are not looking for cases where vaccines can or have caused autism:
"A coauthor of the questioned study is Dr. Frank DeStefano, Director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office. In a telephone interview last week, DeStefano defended the study and reiterated the commonly accepted position that there’s no “causal” link between vaccines and autism.
But he acknowledged the prospect that vaccines might rarely trigger autism.
“I guess, that, that is a possibility,” said DeStefano. “It’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, individual cases can be studied to look at those possibilities.”
DeStefano is the head of the CDC Immunization Safety Office. It was his job to look for cases of vaccine-induced autism, most especially in light of both the rising numbers of children with autism and the vast number of parental reports nationwide of regression into autism following vaccination. Either he didn't look for those cases, or he did, and he chose not to report his findings. Neither is acceptable.
9/8/14 - Ben Swann reports that Congressman Posey's office confirmed that Thompson has turned over a "very large number" of documents.
9/9/14 - The Orlando Sentinel confirms that Congressman Posey has begun an investigation into the #CDCwhistleblower claims.
9/10/14 – Attkisson's fourth installment reports that Pediatrics issued a statement standing by the DeStefano study, apparently not following its own ethical guidelines, as it didn't contact Thompson, only the authors accused of malfeasance.
9/17/14 - Autism Media Channel releases more audio from the Thompson phone calls in which Thompson says that the CDC is 10 years behind on autism, because it is paralyzed by what it might find if proper investigation was undertaken. He calls for Congressional hearings and an independent investigation of the CDC's actions. The video closes with Thompson saying, "I have a boss who is asking me to lie... I have basically stopped lying."
10/9/14 – Autism Media Channel releases another video alleging further hiding of MMR/autism data, reporting that Thompson and his team found a link between MMR and what they described as, “Isolated” autism. It defined the phenomenon as children with autism who did not have any co-morbid developmental disorders including Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation (IQ less than 70), Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Epilepsy or Birth Defects. The video states that, “According to Thompson, these were autistic children with no other obvious explanation for their developmental disorder. A subset that may have been injured in their second year of life.” The video reports that CDC found that for this subset of children, it was more likely that that they had received the MMR between 12 to 18 months of life, regardless of race, compared to those who received MMR after 36 months.
Thompson is quoted as telling Dr. Hooker that, “The effect is where you think it would happen. It's with the kids with out other conditions.”
AMC reports that Thompson has provided documentation showing that CDC then abandoned the research protocol, revising the age groups examined so that children over the age of 36 months were no longer included in the study, and limiting the co-morbid conditions to ONLY Mental Retardation.
The video then further proposes that it may be that those changes were not enough to get rid of the association that they were finding between the MMR and autism, “... since in the end they simply omitted the relevant findings from the paper all together. Those findings were concealed from the editors of Pediatrics, its reviewers and the public.”
7/29/15 - Rep. Bill Posey brings to the floor of the House of Representatives former CDC researcher and now Whistleblower, Dr. Bill Thompson's letter regarding significant files they omitted and destroyed to avoid reporting any significant race effects in their study. The statement by Thompson reports that he participated in a meeting where his research team put a garbage can in the middle of the room and threw away data relavant to the links between MMR and Autism. Posey calls for formal hearings into the scandal, and offers the documents that Posey has turned over to his office to all members of Congress. http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4546421/rep-bill-posey-calling-investigation-cdcs-mmr-reasearch-fraud
Activists highlight the new revelation in a campaign under #GarbageCan.
8/6/15 - CDC spokesperson Tom Skinner, in response to the information presented by Congressman Posey, offers the following statement to Forbes Magazine, announcing that the agency will investigate themselves for the fraud charges that have been levied against them:
"CDC is aware that employee Dr. William Thompson has raised concerns regarding an article he co-authored that was published in 2004 in Pediatrics. Consistent with CDC’s existing policies and procedures, the agency, through its Office of the Associate Director for Science (ADS), and in coordination with the HHS Office of Research Integrity, is reviewing these concerns. The agency will provide further information once the review is completed."
8/20/15 - Kevin Barry, Esq. releases the full transcripts of the Thompson/Hooker phone calls in his book, Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC:
"A Firsthand Account from a CDC Insider on the Link between Vaccines and Autism, Vaccine Whistleblower is a gripping account of four legally recorded phone conversations between Dr. Brian Hooker, a scientist investigating autism and vaccine research, and Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist in the vaccine safety division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thompson, who is still employed at the CDC under protection of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act, discloses a pattern of data manipulation, fraud, and corruption at the highest levels of the CDC, the federal agency in charge of protecting the health of Americans. Thompson states, “Senior people just do completely unethical, vile things and no one holds them accountable.”
This book nullifies the government’s claims that “vaccines are safe and effective,” and reveals that the government rigged research to cover up the link between vaccines and autism. Scientific truth and the health of American children have been compromised to protect the vaccine program and the pharmaceutical industry.
The financial cost of the CDC’s corruption is staggering. The human cost is incalculable. Vaccine Whistleblower provides context to the implications of Thompson’s revelations and directs the reader to political action."
11/3/15 - Congressman Bill Posey posts to facebook: "ARROGANT, PETULANT & DEFIANT - I was informed by an insider they did an investigation, prepared a response and produced a video as a result of the July 29th video I posted below. I simply asked to see..."
The comment is accompanied by a letter from CDC refusing his request to view the materials.
11/30/15 - Ben Swann announces that Rep. Posey has given him the Thompson documents, and that Swann will releast them to the public following a complete review of the material.
1/26/16 - Ben Swann releases the Thompson documents to the public (document set 1, document set 2), along with a documentary on what they reveal about Thompson's claims that his team withheld vaccine autism links from the public:
Truth in Media: CDC, Vaccines & Autism
"What I am about to share with you is not theory. This is a documented case of massive corruption within the CDC and an attempt to change research, protocols and ultimately hide their own findings."- Ben Swann investigates the Truth behind the CDC, Vaccines and AutismPosted by Ben Swann on Thursday, January 28, 2016
3/21/16 - The announcement is made that a full length documentary on the Thompson scandal, “Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Conspiracy,” produced by Del Bigtree of "The Doctors," and directed by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has been accepted into the Tribeca Film Festival, a decision which is met with a media attack by defenders of the medical establishment.
3/24/16 - The media coverage of the story intensifies, and the story begins to trend #1 on Facebook, a phenomenon that lasts for five full days.
“Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.”
3/26/16 -De Niro reverses his decision, and issues a statement that they are pulling the film from the festival.
"My intent in screening this film was to provide an opportunity for conversation around an issue that is deeply personal to me and my family. But after reviewing it over the past few days with the Tribeca Film Festival team and others from the scientific community, we do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for. The Festival doesn't seek to avoid or shy away from controversy. However, we have concerns with certain things in this film that we feel prevent us from presenting it in the Festival program. We have decided to remove it from our schedule.”
Media coverage of the story focuses on the controversial director of the film, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and rarely mentions the subject of the film, Dr. William Thompson and his admission that CDC found links between vaccines an autism, and covered them up.