by Louise Kuo Habakus
Scroll down for all 4 recordings
What’s going on?
In the days and weeks to come, you may be hearing about data re-analysis, a revised paper, retracted statements, discredited individuals, and above all, about the irrelevance of the recorded conversations between autism parent and scientist, Brian Hooker, PhD, and senior CDC scientist, William T. Thompson, PhD. If you accept the comforting sound bite media assertions to carry on because there’s nothing to see here, then you would be wrong.
This series is for all parents who deserve to listen to and read these conversations first hand, to provide you the opportunity to draw your own conclusions about vaccine safety. It is also for citizens and taxpayers because a democracy doesn’t work without a vigilant populace willing to hold our government accountable.
You are not getting the full story; you are not even getting a reasonable half story. The earth shattering scoop here is not about MMR, thimerosal, autism, tics, or language delays. It is about the very real possibility that there is outright malfeasance taking place at the federal agency responsible for vaccine safety, recommendation, promotion, and distribution. The CDC.
I have been working closely with an attorney engaged in vaccine injury litigation who is very familiar with the issues and players connected with the recordings. We have obtained authorization from Dr. Hooker, who owns these recordings, to publish them for the first time in their substantive entirety. This first post addresses the 4th conversation that took place on July 28, 2014. The recording and transcript, along with the relevant scientific studies, follow my colleague’s statement. The remaining three recordings will be posted shortly.
The chronology of events
Parents who have seen their children regress after vaccines, often with lifelong neurological injuries manifesting with loss of speech and tics, have been galvanized by the recent disclosures by a CDC scientist in a series of private telephone conversations. The scientist revealed that CDC researchers engaged in questionable conduct, or worse, in pursuing vaccine research over a period of more than 15 years. Notably, the media’s interest in these important disclosures has been conspicuously absent.
William T. Thompson, PhD., the CDC scientist, has been described as a “whistleblower,” but other than privately disclosing CDC research improprieties to scientist and parent Brian Hooker, Dr. Thompson has not blown any whistles. In August 2014, Dr. Thompson was precipitously “outed” — the term used by one of the makers of VAXXED, a recent documentary that features a small part of Dr. Thompson’s revelations. After he was exposed, Dr. Thompson issued a public statement through his attorney that verified some of his key allegations, and documents relating to his disclosures were given to a Congressman, Rep. Posey. In a remarkable, but ignored, floor statement in the House of Representatives, Rep. Posey related Dr. Thompson’s narrative about CDC researchers dumping key research documents into a “big garbage can.”
Dr. Thompson remains in the employ of the CDC.
VAXXED has created a storm of controversy, attracting the attention of autism parent Robert DeNiro, and many others. VAXXED focuses primarily on Dr. Thompson’s disclosures about alleged CDC misconduct relating to a 2003 paper by DeStefano et al. that purported to absolve MMR’s role in causing autism. In his conversations with Dr. Hooker, Dr. Thompson appeared to show that data was hidden, which proved that the MMR had, in fact, caused autism among certain population groups. Then, in a twist in the story’s convolutions, Dr. Hooker recently announced that Dr. Thompson will soon publish a paper reanalyzing the MMR data, drawing conclusions that will contradict his own CDC-damning statements. For a preview of what the Thompson “reanalysis” may show, we recommend an analysis by a blogger, here.
After partial leaks of Dr. Thompson’s information over the past 18 months, including almost complete verbatim transcripts published in a book, here for the first time are the substantive portions of the actual Thompson recordings, edited to remove discussion regarding personal issues unrelated to the scientific issues discussed.
CDC suppression about Thimerosal
The recording presented here is of a call that took place on July 28, 2014. This is the last in a series of four lengthy recorded telephone conversations between Dr. Thompson and Dr. Hooker.
The information provided by Dr. Thompson is important, not necessarily because of any proof of wrongdoing, although his information does suggest that the CDC’s conduct is suspect. Perhaps the most interesting disclosure is Dr. Thompson’s confirmation that the CDC worked very hard to suppress their own findings that Thimerosal causes harm. In Dr. Thompson’s own words from this audio:
We went back and forth on what should go on the NVPO with things to follow up on. And if you notice or know what that list is, it was tics and language delays. Those were the two things that went on… So NVPO put it into what the CDC was supposed to follow up on and the CDC never followed up on it. So it went into a national, strategic plan for vaccine safety. That’s what frustrated the hell out of me is they never did an additional study after that.
Specifically, the CDC has never denied that thimerosal causes tics and language delay. And if thimerosal can do that, then there are many more questions about mechanisms and plausibility that follow.
Six key CDC studies thrown into question
Dr. Thompson’s disclosures to Dr. Hooker call into question the validity of many of the key studies purporting to absolve the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal’s role in causing harm to children.
Among the significant topics discussed in this conversation are the following:
Dr. Thompson discussed the statement contained in a prepublication manuscripts of the Barile Thimerosal paper, omitted in the published version, as follows:
In light of these findings, the researchers conclude that the greater exposure to Thimerosal from vaccines is potentially associated with an increased risk for the presence of tics in boys between the ages 7 to 10.
Dr. Thompson shares that the paper was in “clearance” for a year. In other words, CDC reviewers took a very long time to review and approve publication of the paper. Dr. Thompson explained that the paper originally had “pretty strong wording” as quoted above, but while in “clearance” people at the CDC “hammered away” at the paper until it was “watered down” to the “whitewashed” final version.
“Three independent” reviewers criticized the whitewashed version because information showing the “significant results” possible causal relationship of Thimerosal and tics as excluded.
The published version, however, excluded the significant finding reporting the association between Thimerosal and tics.
ASSOCIATION FOUND, NO FURTHER STUDY RECOMMENDED
Dr. Hooker quoted from an email from CDC’s Nancy Levine to Dr. Thompson discussing Dr. Thompson’s own 2007 Thimerosal paper:
Bill, I think this document still needs language clarifying that the tic finding, even though it’s statistically significant and repeats the finding from previous studies is something you would normally find in this population.
Dr. Thompson interrupted Dr. Hooker to point out that Nancy Levine is not a scientist but is a CDC “policy” level staff person, which makes it even “crazier” to question this paper’s finding of a statistically significant association between Thimerosal and tics.
The same email message contained a statement questioning this paper’s original recommendation that the significant association between Thimerosal and tics warranted further study. Dr. Thompson comments that “of course” the association should be studied further. CDC officials, however, recommended against further research in this area. The published paper, contained the following recommendation against further study:
The weight of the evidence in this study does not support a causal association between early exposure to mercury from thimerosal-containing vaccines and immune globulins administered prenatally or during infancy and neuropsychological functioning at the age of 7 to 10 years. The overall pattern of results suggests that the significant associations may have been chance findings stemming from the large number of statistical tests that we performed.
BIASED POLITICAL AGENDA YIELDS “BULLSHIT” FINDING
The CDC has relied heavily on the Tozzi paper, which it funded, to counter the theory that Thimerosal in vaccines caused neuropsychological harm. Dr. Hooker asked Dr. Thompson, who worked to design the study, about the statistically significant association in the Tozzi data between Thimerosal and tonic and phonic tics. Dr. Thompson agreed that the data showed an association. The association is not reported, however, in the Tozzi paper, which states, “we did not find any significant association in the logistic regression analyses for phonic and motor tics, in the entire population or according to gender.” The paper concluded that the data revealed no associations.
Dr. Thompson described how the Tozzi study was the best of all the CDC’s thimerosal studies (the data was the “world’s greatest dream”), and that it found a statistically significant “tic and language” effect from Thimerosal. Dr. Thompson pointed out that the “tic effect” was “replicated.”
Dr. Thompson further confirmed that CDC communications dispelling the finding of an association between Thimerosal and tics was not valid. In fact, he said it was “bullshit.” Dr. Thompson further confirmed that notwithstanding multiple findings associating Thimerosal and tics, the CDC adopted a policy recommending against further research of the association. Dr. Thompson pointed out that a “biased political agenda” caused the responsible agencies (NVAC and ISO) to make government research of the Thimerosal-tic association a “low priority.” Dr. Thompson felt that additional Thimerosal/tic studies should be done.
DECEPTIVE DATA ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE USED?
The Verstraeten study was heralded as the definitive evidence refuting a thimerosal link to neurodevelopmental disorders, despite the lead author’s opinion that it was a neutral study, suggesting the need for more research, and not a negative one. There has been a great deal of debate regarding the discovery of early analyses of the Verstraten dataset showing an association between Thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism. The internal effort of CDC researchers, academics and vaccine industry representatives to explain away the initial findings in the Verstraeten data at a secret meeting at the Simpsonwood conference center was exposed by the disclosure of the infamous Simpsonwood transcripts.
Dr. Thompson explained the stunning possibility that the Verstraeten analysis used a deceptive data analysis technique to forcibly make the finding that there was no Thimerosal effect associated with neurodevelopmental disorder. Dr. Thompson explained that children were excluded from the Verstraeten dataset because they were referred for outside evaluation and diagnosis. Thus, children with neurodevelopmental “outcomes” (those diagnosed with “autism” and other disorders) were excluded from the data, thereby skewing the statistical analysis so that no statistical relationship could be shown between Thimerosal and autism. Children with “autism” or other neurodevelopmental disorder outcomes were deliberately excluded from the Verstraeten study, achieving the finding that there was no association shown between Thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Dr. Thompson thus explained that he was suspicious that the CDC investigators worked to “adjust out any possibility for finding showing an association between the Thimerosal and the effect.” Dr. Thompson states, “My guess is that they put that adjustment in there because they didn’t like what they were finding.”
DISCARDED DOCUMENTS, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Dr. Thompson then commented about the DeStefano MMR paper he had discussed in earlier conversations with Dr. Hooker. Earlier conversations regarding this paper provided the information reported in the documentary film, VAXXED. Dr. Thompson pointed out that he led the research in the DeStefano study and retained all the documents, while the other researchers all discarded their documents. “It was five of us behind closed doors for two years.”
In the recording, you can hear Dr. Thompson expressing anger about this.
CRIMINAL, WASTEFUL, WORST STUDY EVER
Dr. Thompson had some very specific comments about a study of the claim that measles persisted in the GI tracts of autistic children, causing autistic enterocolitis. Despite finding methodological validity of the PCR technique of detecting measles using in the O’Leary laboratory — a method found to be defective in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Cedillo case, incidentally — the study concluded that there was no association between the existence of measles virus in the gut of children with neurodevelopmental disorder as compared with controls.
Dr. Thompson found this CDC-funded MMR study, often cited to discredit the theory advanced by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, to be an example of the “worst mismanagement of federal funds that I have ever seen, in terms of how that study was carried out.” Dr. Thompson called the study design “insane” and said it was “criminal” because the investigators “published that study with 25 autism cases and the power was like zero.” Dr. Thompson stated, “It was the worst study ever.”
#1 of 4 — May 8, 2014
#2 of 4 — May 24, 2014
#3 of 4 — June 12, 2014
#4 of 4 — July 28, 2014
Scientific papers discussed
Thimerosal exposure in early life and neuropsychological outcomes 7-10 years later.
Barile JP1, Kuperminc GP, Weintraub ES, Mink JW, Thompson WW.
J Pediatr Psychol. 2012 Jan-Feb;37(1):106-18. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsr048. Epub 2011 Jul 23.
Early Thimerosal Exposure and Neuropsychological Outcomes at 7 to 10 Years
William W. Thompson, Ph.D., Cristofer Price, Sc.M., Barbara Goodson, Ph.D., David K. Shay, M.D., M.P.H., Patti Benson, M.P.H., Virginia L. Hinrichsen, M.S., M.P.H., Edwin Lewis, M.P.H., Eileen Eriksen, M.P.H., Paula Ray, M.P.H., S. Michael Marcy, M.D., John Dunn, M.D., M.P.H., Lisa A. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., Tracy A. Lieu, M.D., M.P.H., Steve Black, M.D., Gerrie Stewart, M.A., Eric S. Weintraub, M.P.H., Robert L. Davis, M.D., M.P.H., and Frank DeStefano, M.D., M.P.H., for the Vaccine Safety Datalink Team
N Engl J Med 2007; 357:1281-1292. September 27, 2007, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa071434
Neuropsychological Performance 10 Years After Immunization in Infancy With Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines
Alberto Eugenio Tozzi, Patrizia Bisiacchi, Vincenza Tarantino, Barbara De Mei, Lidia D’Elia, Flavia Chiarotti, Stefania Salmaso
Pediatrics. 2009 Feb;123(2):475-82. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-0795.
Safety of Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines: A Two-Phased Study of Computerized Health Maintenance Organization Databases
Thomas Verstraeten, Robert L. Davis, Frank DeStefano, Tracy A. Lieu, Philip H. Rhodes, Steven B. Black, Henry Shinefield, Robert T. Chen
Pediatrics. 2003 Nov;112(5):1039-48.
Age at first measles-mumps-rubella vaccination in children with autism and school-matched control subjects: a population-based study in metropolitan Atlanta.
DeStefano F1, Bhasin TK, Thompson WW, Yeargin-Allsopp M, Boyle C.
Pediatrics. 2004 Feb;113(2):259-66.
Lack of Association between Measles Virus Vaccine and Autism with Enteropathy: A Case-Control Study
Mady Hornig , Thomas Briese, Timothy Buie, Margaret L. Bauman, Gregory Lauwers, Ulrike Siemetzki, Kimberly Hummel, Paul A. Rota, William J. Bellini, John J. O’Leary, Orla Sheils, Errol Alden, Larry Pickering, W. Ian Lipkin
PLoS One. 2008 Sep 4;3(9):e3140. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003140.
Louise Kuo Habakus is the founding director of Fearless Parent™, lead host and producer of Fearless Parent Radio™, and mom of two. She is a published author and runs the non-profits Center for Personal Rights and Health Freedom Action. Louise was a Bain consultant and a C-level executive in the financial services industry. She holds two degrees from Stanford University. She is an advisory board member of GreenMedInfo and The Documenting Hope Project.