Update: the medical examiner has ruled that Senator José Peralta, of Queens, passed away from natural causes, complications of acute promyelocytic leukemia.
Anti-vaccine folks are heavily pushing the idea that José Peralta, a New York State Senator, died as the result of getting a flu shot.
While Senator Peralta did die several days after getting a flu shot, it appears that he had already been sick for several weeks. And no, that doesn’t mean that the flu shot made him even sicker.
“The senator would be disappointed to find that conspiracy theorists are using his death to forward their agenda by misrepresenting the facts.”
Chris Sosa on No Evidence New York Legislator Died from Flu Shot
New York State Sen. José Peralta had reportedly just gotten his flu shot at a public event, where he was encouraging others in his community to get protected with free flu shots.
And while he did die about four days later, there is absolutely no reason to think that his getting a flu shot was connected to his death.
Of course, this is the method of operation of the modern anti-vaccine movement. They make folks think that anything and everything is a vaccine injury and they actually go out of their way to exploit people who have died.
There is no evidence that New York State Senator Jose Peralta died from getting a flu shot.
In fact, the medical examiner has ruled that he had acute promyelocytic leukemia when he died.
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), and Rolf Hazlehurst, parent of a vaccine-injured child, petitioned the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and the Senate and House Judiciary Committees today to investigate actions taken by federal personnel during the “Vaccine Court” Omnibus Autism Proceedings (OAP).”
Kennedy and Hazlehurst claim to have evidence of “obstruction of justice and appallingly consequential fraud by two DOJ lawyers who represented the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in 2007.”
Kennedy and Hazlehurst claim that “that the leading HHS expert, whose written report was used to deny compensation to over 5,000 petitioners in the OAP, provided clarification to the DOJ lawyers that vaccines could, in fact, cause autism in children with underlying and otherwise benign mitochondrial disorders.”
Who is this expert?
It is Andrew Zimmerman, MD, a pediatric neurologist.
There is also a claim that Dr. Zimmerman, along with Dr. Richard Kelley, who was also an expert witness in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Autism Proceedings, served as expert witnesses in a medical malpractice case against a pediatrician who vaccinated a child, supposedly causing him to become autistic.
Yates Hazlehurst, who was the second test case in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings.
Dr. Zimmerman admits that there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism, but also believes that there are some exceptions, and that vaccines can cause regressive autism in some kids with mitochondrial disorders.
Dr. Zimmerman also clarified that it is not just immunizations, but infections, fever, and other inflammatory responses that can lead to regressive autism.
And Dr. Zimmerman would have testified to it in the Cedillo case (the first test case in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings), if he had been allowed to.
Except that upon review of the Cedillo case, Dr. Zimmerman had concluded that “there is no evidence of an association between autism and the alleged reaction to MMR and Hg, and it is more likely than not, that there is a genetic basis for autism in this child.”
Apparently, he had changed his mind later, even though he continues to say that all evidence points to the fact that vaccines don’t cause autism.
“Dr. Zimmerman subsequently submitted a second expert opinion on behalf of Hannah Poling, which in effect states that she suffers autism as a result of a vaccine injury. The same government officials, who submitted and relied upon Dr. Zimmerman’s first expert opinion as evidence in the O.A.P., secretly conceded the case of Hannah Poling and placed it under seal so that the evidence in the case could not be used in the O.A.P. or known by the public.”
Memorandum Regarding Misconduct By The United States Department Of Justice And The United States Department Of Health And Human Services During The Omnibus Autism Proceeding As To The Expert Opinions Of Dr. Andrew Zimmerman
But what about the “second expert opinion” from Dr. Zimmerman?
According to Poling’s mother, “Dr. Zimmerman was not an expert nor was he asked to be an expert on Poling’s case. The government conceded her case before ANY opinion was rendered or given.”
What about Dr. Richard Kelley?
“As noted above, an important consideration for treatment of AMD is that “normal” inflammation can impair mitochondrial function. Although most infections cannot be avoided, certain measures can limit the risk of injury during infection or other causes of inflammation… We believe it is much better to immunize with DTaP than risk infection with highly inflammatory and potentially damaging community-acquired pertussis.”
Dr. Richard Kelley on Evaluation and Treatment of Patients with Autism and Mitochondrial Disease
While he seems to believe that vaccines can trigger regressive autism in some kids with mitochondrial disease, he admits that other kinds of inflammation can do it too, including vaccine-preventable diseases.
“We believe it is much better to immunize with DTaP than risk infection with highly inflammatory and potentially damaging community-acquired pertussis.”
And again, so does Dr. Zimmerman, to the point that in many cases, he thinks that even kids with mitochondrial disorders should be vaccinated.
“…the MMR vaccine has been temporally associated, if rarely, with regressions — with regression in AMD and other mitochondrial disease when given in the second year. Doubtless some of these regressions are coincidental, since the usual age for giving the MMR falls within the typical window of vulnerability for AMD regression.”
“The undersigned has reviewed and considered the filed reports from these experts and finds that the opinions of the experts lend support to the conclusions reached in this decision. In reaching the conclusions set forth in this decision, however, the undersigned relies more heavily on the testimony and reports of the experts who were observed and heard during the hearings.”
Hazlehurst v. Secretary of HHS
So where is the fraud in the Vaccine Court Omnibus Proceedings?
Is it that the Poling case files have been kept under seal and hidden from public view?
“Finally, and perhaps for purposes of Rolf’s request that Poling’s records be released to the public, Jon and I have not allowed the release of Hxxxx’s records nor will we ever willingly allow third parties to tear apart her medical history which includes other close family members as well as things that should have never been in the record to begin with.”
While we should all care about fraud in our court system, we should all also care about folks who push misinformation about vaccines and try to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids, especially when they use autistic kids to do it.
“I do think that — that there was much information — misinformation brought about by Dr. Wakefield and it’s — this has set the field back. I think that — that we — we have worked very hard to try to reassure the public and I agree with doing that because I am very supportive of vaccinations, immunizations in general.”
While Dr. Zimmerman truly believes that future research might find a way to identify a very small subset of kids with mitochondrial disorders that worsen after they get their vaccines (or infections or other types of inflammation), this doesn’t apply to the great majority of autistic kids or even the great majority of kids with regressive autism.
Even Dr. Zimmerman only seems to speak of an “uncommon relationship” that “is not evident in studies that have been done to date.”
And none of the researchers he mentions, including Richard Frye, Shannon Rose, Joe (Jill?) James, or Dmitriy Niyazov seem to have actually studied vaccines, only possible relationships between autism and mitochondrial conditions.
“The claims by RFK Jr. and Handley draw on something that was not, in fact, a fraud, that is misrepresented as having a dramatic impact on the Omnibus Autism Proceedings when it had little to no effect.”
Plus ça change – anti-vaccine activists revive the Hannah Poling case
Anti-vaccine folks are always interested in having debates about vaccines.
It helps create the impression that all views about vaccines are equally valid – the facts and science of those who support vaccines and the misinformation and pseudoscience of the anti-vaccine movement.
But Shelly Wynter, the prominent FM Radio Talk Show Host who is moderating the One Conversation Event will make sure that things don’t end up leaning to any one side, right?
“Next up were Bro. Tony Muhammad and his friends who are helping to get the word out about vaccines. The point being made by the anti-vaccine advocates is the message that the vaccines are poison. Not one of them was making the argument that vaccines are not necessary; but that the CDC and its government masters are poisoning the vaccines. History tells us that this should not be thrown out so easily as a conspiracy theory. It must be investigated more and we should not be so quick to believe the “Government” over credible doctors who have blown the whistle.”
I wouldn’t bet on it…
What about the organizers?
Can’t be any bias against vaccines for Shannon Kroner or Britney Valas, right?
Integrity? Neutrality? Sure…
Even the idea that funding from individual donations couldn’t bias the event is suspect.
“To maintain the integrity and neutrality of One Conversation, the One Conversation organizers purposely chose to not publicly fund raise nor tie the event to a specific organization or special interest group. Funding for One Conversation is provided by ticket sales and individual donations of which are heavily contributed personally by Dr. Kroner and Ms. Valas.”
Individual donations from whom?
Big donations from just a few individuals, like Claire Dwoskin of the CMSRI and Barry Segal of Focus for Health, would likely help fund a big event like this, but certainly wouldn’t do much to help maintain its integrity or neutrality.
So what can you expect from the One Conversation Vaccine Event?
Pay just $115, and you can find out.
In addition to “learning” about Public Health and Immunity from folks who have said that vaccines are full of toxins, you will get dinner and 2 drinks.
Or skip dinner and pay just $15 for the event.
“One Conversation” provides the platform for questions to be addressed among an esteemed panel of participants who specialize in a spectrum of specific focuses and expertise.
Reagan didn’t do much for vaccines, but it isn’t fair to pin this one on him.
It seems that some folks think that the Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t been complying with federal vaccine safety mandates for 30 years.
Did the US Government Lose a Landmark Vaccine Lawsuit?
While anti-vaccine folks are pushing this lawsuit victory (?) to make folks think that HHS has done absolutely nothing to promote vaccine safety in the last 30 years, that is obviously nonsense.
The lawsuit was actually just about the reporting requirements of paragraph (c) of section 2127 of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
It should be clear that the HHS has done plenty to promote vaccine safety though.
Even if no formal reports were filed, the HHS secretary did report to and appear before Congress. Come to think of it, they even sent some reports to Congress.
And the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) division (previously known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published a number of vaccine safety reviews and reports under commission of HRSA, an agency of HHS.
Where do folks think that all of those IOM vaccine safety reports and reviews come from? Were they sent to Congress?
a Task Force on Safer Childhood Vaccines was established and completed a report, “identifying key issues and enhancing collaboration on behalf of vaccine safety” in 1996. Did someone forget to send it to Congress?
the Salk inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) replaced the oral polio vaccine (OPV) in 1996 because of a small risk of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP), beginning with a sequential IPV-OPV vaccine schedule and then going to an all IPV schedule in 2000
the DTaP vaccine, which is supposed to have fewer side effects than DTP is licensed, and replaces DTP for all required doses by 1997, although DTP is never actually shown to have caused seizures or brain damage
RotaShield, the first rotavirus vaccine is licensed in 1998 but is soon withdrawn from the market in 1999 after it is associated with an increased risk of intussusception, a form of bowel obstruction
a new National Vaccine Plan was established in 2010, with the goal to develop new and improved vaccines, enhance the vaccine safety system, support communications to enhance informed vaccine decision-making, ensure a stable supply of, access to, & better use of recommended vaccines in the U.S., and increase global prevention of death & disease through safe & effective vaccination. Was the plan sent to Congress?
They did settle a lawsuit though, a lawsuit which was then dismissed.
So like the CDC whistleblower movie that didn’t include a whistleblower, anti-vaccine folks think that they have a smoking gun about vaccine safety reports, except that it is very obvious that all kinds of reports about vaccine safety have been done over the years.
Although it does seem like HHS didn’t file the required formal reports and keep to the strict letter of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, there is abundant evidence that they have actually done all of the work required to make sure that our vaccines are safe.
The reason why Kat Von D won’t vaccinate her baby!
Actually, despite the hype, a new video from Del Bigtree, who works with Andrew Wakefield, never does reveal the reason why Kat Von D won’t vaccinate. That shouldn’t be a surprise from a guy who produced a movie about a whistleblower, but left the whisteblower out of the movie.
“We are not against vaccines. Just because we have hesitancies and valid concerns about injecting our baby with specific chemicals and toxins does not mean we are anti anything.”
Kat Von D
We don’t know… Most people assumed it was because she was vegan, but many vegan parents do vaccinate their kids.
“As a soon-to-be-parent [and especially as a first-time-mom] I do feel it my responsibility to have questions, and to listen to my motherly instinct to question things, and do my research.
What we have found is that sometimes it isn’t always so black and white.
While we believe medications, including vaccines, are not all bad – we also can’t dismiss the fact that some may not be good for everyone.
There are plenty of studies that show some vaccinations can work wonders. And there are also studies that show some people [including mothers, and babies] may be more susceptible to vaccine injuries more than others.
It’s unfair for anyone to expect me [or any parent] to take the word of the pharmaceutical companies who have much to gain from and industry worth billions without question – and then have to dismiss any concerns of my own.”
Are they trying to scare parents away from getting vaccinating and protecting their kids, hoping to drag us back to the pre-vaccine era?
What Are the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement?
Of course, some of the folks who are anti-vaccine don’t actually like to be called anti-vaccine. Instead, they prefer to say that they are pro-safe vaccines. So for them, it is rather obvious – they want safer vaccines without toxins.
Now, since vaccines are already safe and don’t contain any toxic ingredients, it would seem like their work is done already, right?
Another goal is having fewer vaccines on the immunization schedule. Jenny McCarthy often pushes the Turn Back the Clock immunization plan, wanting kids to only get vaccines that were on the 1983 immunization schedule, back when kids still died of meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, severe dehydration, epiglottitis, and cancer from Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chicken pox, HPV, and meningococcal disease, which are now vaccine preventable.
Other members of the anti-vaccine movement talk about vaccine choice. They want to be able to choose whether or not they should have to vaccinate their kids.
“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”
Dr. Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book
What are other goals of the anti-vaccine movement?
Have you heard about the anti-vaccine folks who want to quarantine all kids who have recently been vaccinated for at least six weeks? Why quarantine kids who have been vaccinated? They are worried about shedding…
Would anyone go so far as wanting to ban vaccinations? Yup. So much for vaccine choice.
Some others want to rescind the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which they think will help make it easier to sue vaccine manufacturers. That’s one of Andrew Wakefield‘s demands in his movie VAXXED. He and others never mention that if you are suing in civil court, then you must meet a higher burden of proof for vaccine injury than you do in Vaccine Court.
Remember when Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. thought he would be appointed to some special Trump commission on vaccines?
“We want safe vaccines, robust transparent science and an honest and independent regulatory agency focused narrowly on public health rather than industry profit.”
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on Mercury, Vaccines and the CDC’s Worst Nightmare
Kennedy’s vaccine commission never happened, but that hasn’t stopped him from pushing for an independent regulatory agency.
I’m not sure who would run or be a part of Kennedy’s independent regulatory agency though, as he believes that “Congress, the regulatory agencies, FDA and CDC, the IOM, the NIH, the AAP, the science journals, the university science departments and the press” have all been compromised by Pharma.
Kennedy also wants thimerosal out of vaccines, which, as most people know, is already out of all vaccines on the immunization schedule, including about 100 million doses of flu shots this past year. But like others, he seems to be moving on to aluminum as his new target.
What to Know About the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement
Whatever their demands and goals of the anti-vaccine movement, the effect is that they are scaring parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids from life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases for no good reason.
More on the Demands and Goals of the Anti-Vaccine Movement