For years, parents of autistic children have claimed a link between their children’s condition and vaccines. One vaccine in particular has been mentioned: the MMR (Mumps, Measles, and Rubella), which has a record of side effects, some severe.
The Center for Disease Control of the United States has consistently denied any MMR/autism connection. In congressional testimony and elsewhere, it has consistently cited a 2004 study of its own published in Pediatrics.
Now one of the authors of that study, William W. Thompson, a senior scientist employed by the CDC, has admitted that critical data from the study was suppressed. That data suggested a link between the MMR and autism when the vaccination is done at the recommended age, especially among infant African-American males. This is what Dr Thompson himself says in his statement: “The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.”
One scientist, Dr. Brian Hooker, sought the complete study data for a decade and finally got it with the help of Congress. He reported that the raw data suggested a 340% increase in autism among African-American males vaccinated at the recommended age. Others have already challenged this number, and it is still unclear exactly what the newly revealed data will show.
What is clear and indisputable, however, is that a respected CDC researcher has alleged that the agency intentionally withheld important data from a critical study and then cited that study in testimony to Congress. Based on Dr. Thompson’s story, it could be that African-American newborns were subsequently exposed to unnecessary risk.
Dr. Thompson told Dr. Hooker over the phone: “It’s the lowest part of my career, that I went along with that paper.” Thompson revealed that he did not know Dr. Hooker was recording the conversation but did not deny making the statement.
Dr. Thompson also acknowledged, in a statement released by his lawyer, “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism.”
This statement, released on August 27, confirms that important data was withheld for ten years. What remains to be seen is what honest science would tell us, in the unlikely event we ever get honest science out of the government.
The CDC has claimed that the case against vaccines is closed. Quite apart from Dr. Thompson’s startling new testimony, there have been reasons to doubt this. For example, a review of the literature in Immunotoxicoloy by the respected researcher Helen Ratajczak has raised many questions. Dr. Thompson agrees that there are questions that need answering. In the statement released by his lawyer:
I will do everything I can to assist any unbiased and objective scientists inside or outside the CDC to analyze data collected by the CDC or other public organizations for the purpose of understanding whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism. There are still more questions than answers, and I appreciate that so many families are looking for answers from the scientific community.
Hunter Lewis is board president of The Alliance for Natural Health-USA, co-founder and former CEO of global investment firm Cambridge Associates, and author of nine books.