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Sebelius Asks Media to Censor Autism Debate

Posted Mar 16 2010 12:00am

Zip lips By Katie Wright

“There are groups out there that insist that vaccines are responsible for a variety of problems, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary. We (the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services) have reached out to media outlets to try to get them not to give the views of these people equal weight in their reporting.”
See Reader's Digest HERE.

That’s right. Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of HHS, has asked newspapers, magazines, television journalists, who knows who else- specifically NOT to listen to parents and scientists in the autism community, not to respect their concerns, not to take seriously the condition of chronically ill children with autism and to disregard a growing body of evidence questioning the safety of our infant and toddlers' immunization schedule. If I have got anything wrong I would love to hear a tape or see a transcripts of these media “outreaches.”

Pretty frightening stuff. Thank you to Jake Crosby who uncovered this frank and disturbing exchange between Arthur (autism is not so bad and there is no increase anyway) Allen and Ms. Sebelius.

I am taking Ms. Sebelius at her word. Ms. Sebelius has unilaterally said that she knows that every single American parent who saw their child regress post vaccination or experience a severe adverse reaction is wrong and she knows better. Ms. Sebelius has ordered, suggested, beseeched, implored (?) American journalists NOT to “give these people (anyone concerned with vaccine safety) equal weight in their reporting” because she has decided by informal governmental decree that the debate is closed?

Sounds like something that would happen in a communist dictatorship, right? Was there a similar decree when “citizen dissidents” questioned the safety of hormone replacement therapy for women? Was the media instructed to ignore those nuisances who were suspicious of a long denied link between hormone therapy and breast cancer? Did the HHS order a first amendment crackdown of those trouble-making women who had long complained that Fibromalgia was a real disease and not a psychosomatic condition. Menaces everywhere who dared to question medical authorities! They must be silenced! You have got to be kidding.



Sebelius boasts that she holds an H1N1 meeting every single day but cannot find the time to attend one IACC meeting or meet with any autism organizations. Well, not exactly, apparently Ms. Sebelius is personal friends with Ms. Alison Singer, leader a vaccine marketing/ autism org financed in part by Dr. Paul Offit. Newsflash Ms. Seblius: 1 in 100 American children, and rising, have autism and this is a much bigger deal than H1N1. One in four American parents do not think vaccines are safe for their children.  At least half of all families affected by autism believe too many vaccines too soon triggered their child’s autism.  Hundreds of thousands of parents saw their child regress post multiple vaccinations. Sebelius’ answer to this massive crisis of confidence is media censorship?
Hmmmm…..Censorship has a long and illustrious history- of not working. Thankfully, we live in a democracy with a free press. So I don’t know what is worse, the fact Sebelius asked that journalists censor the autism debate or the fact that they did.

While I have not read more than a few reasoned, balanced or well written pieces of journalism on the subject of autism and vaccines I have read a host of spoon fed press releases masquerading as “news” stories about supposedly important autism research. Journalists from “Time”, “Newsweek”, “The New York Times”, online health resources etc. have reported in depth on such “breakthroughs” as a recent study concluding that “maternal sensitivity” is a good thing for autistic children, or Kennedy Krieger’s incredible finding that autistic kids have bad handwriting (amazing, I know!) or the Children’s Hospital of Boston study which found that cousins from the Middle East who marry are more likely to produce autistic kids. I know, stop the presses, a cure is within sight!

In this embarrassing interview with Arthur Allen Ms. Sebelius asserts all the science  is a closed book. At the top of the list of the science of vaccine safety studies are the definitive 2001 and 2003 “Pediatrics” articles. While the media has kept us front row center in the breaking developments regarding ASD kids with bad handwriting, journalists have neglected to report on perhaps one of the most striking recent events concerning the subject of autism research.

An author of one of the most frequently cited “vaccines do not trigger autism” articles is Dr. Poul Thorsen. Well, well, well… this week we learned that Thorsen has allegedly absconded with approximately $2 million of CDC research money and is the target of an international police manhunt. We also learned that the Univ. of Aarhus, Denmark, where Thorsen was employed when conducting the studies (naturally in close cooperation w/ the CDC) has released a letter detailing Thorsen’s recently uncovered crimes. These crimes include but are not limited to: theft, forgery and assorted serious breaches of ethical norms.

Apparently Thorsen was a very, very busy scientist. He was simultaneously and secretly employed at the Univ of Aarhus, Emory University, Drexel University and as a “visiting scientist at the CDC.” Emory and Drexel have, some might say, inappropriately close relationships with the CDC. There appears to be very little room for independent or unbiased science at these research centers. All three are heavily invested in denying any relationships between vaccines and autism. The CDC owns numerous vaccine patents and Emory and Drexel receive tremendous financial support from vaccine companies.

Hmmmm…I know some of you might be thinking “Emory University is in the news a lot lately!” Yes, Emory has been in the news a great deal thanks to the amazing anti- corruption work of Senator Charles Grassley. Ms. Sebelius should dump Arthur Allen and have a conversation with someone who is actually doing something to restore public confidence in our health systems by fighting the fraud and greed inherent at places like Emory. Grassley is conducting an investigation a pervasive pattern of corruption among Emory researchers who fail to disclose significant financial conflicts of interest in the outcomes of the research they conduct. Isn’t it interesting that Thorsen found a second home there?

Thorsen was working hard for everyone’s benefit: his own, his employers, pharmaceutical companies- everyone’s benefit, that is, except the public’s. The health and safety of American kids being administered the world’s most aggressive infant vaccine schedule was last on his list. Thorsen was also employed as a consultant on the official revisions of the all-important DMS V. Thorsen was advising how to count and classify autism cases. It is absolutely frightening that a wanted felon has such an enormous and pervasive influence on the lives of our children.

So I am trying to get this straight Ms. Sebelius. Help me out here. We should take lying thieves with no interest in operating in the public’s interest at their word but the media should ignore parents and legitimate scientists who question the validity of vaccine science research performed by alleged criminals? I’m really confused!

Wouldn’t it be great if Sebelius lifted her fatwa on vaccine research reporting and someone discovered what this creep Thorsen was actually up to at Drexel and Emory?  Why was Thorsen a “visiting scientist at the CDC” at the same time? Apparently the CDC has known about this theft  (of our money) for some time but has chosen to remain silent. I wonder why? How likely is it that Thorsen was the only scientist involved in what appears to be a massive and long term scheme to manipulate and forge scientific documents? Most importantly, why should the public believe that a thief and a liar with no ethical standards would be honest and scrupulous in his research? I shudder at the thought of Thorsen recounting “the facts” of his studies to students while asserting, as he frequently did, that “absolutely no more vaccine/autism research is warranted.” Now there’s a guarantee you can take to the bank. Oops, maybe a bank Thorsen hasn’t robbed.

Katie Wright is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.

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