Former Media Power Player Sounds Alarm Over Vaccines

Accuracy in Media

Conservatives are frequently accused of being beholden to big corporations. But on the matter of mandatory, and sometimes risky, vaccines, it’s the liberals and the left-wingers who come down on the side of the drug companies, known as Big Pharma. They want government to force parents to have their infants injected with potentially dangerous vaccines that may be linked to the developmental disorder known as autism.

Autism was once a rare disorder but is now so common that most people know someone with an affected child. Many parents with autistic children have concluded that government policy dictating that every child get 69 doses of 16 vaccines, some with controversial chemical ingredients, is a factor in the rise of autism.

One of the important voices in this controversy is Bob Wright, whose new book,The Wright Stuff: From NBC to Autism Speaks, is getting some important press attention. He ran NBC Universal for more than 20 years and started the organization Autism Speaks, after his first grandchild was diagnosed with autism back in 2004. In his book, he says that President Obama’s key adviser, Valerie Jarrett, killed a proposal to improve the safety of vaccines, so that parental fears about the link between vaccines and autism could be addressed.

The Bush administration killed a similar proposal, he says. In that case, the explanation was that “the White House was afraid of press reaction.”

Wright argues convincingly that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) methodology for identifying and addressing vaccine problems is ineffective and that it must be improved.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of our media that liberal reporters and commentators are so quick to take the side of Big Pharma against parents who have seen for themselves how vaccines have led to the dramatic increase in autism. The federal government recognizes the risks and dangers, having established the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to compensate victims of vaccines. This takes the vaccine makers off the hook for injuries and deaths caused by government-mandated vaccines. In short, Big Government is protecting Big Business from liability for their products. Wright notes that $100 million a year is paid in damages to victims of vaccines.

As a result of government mandating vaccines—and the manufacturers being given immunity from prosecution for financial damages—they have become a cash cow for Big Pharma. There is a vested financial interest in increasing the number of vaccines, and making them mandatory at earlier ages.

All of this has come at a terrible cost, according to critics of vaccines.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and the link between vaccines and autism is once again up for debate. Interestingly, Alisyn Camerota interviewedBob Wright on the topic last week on CNN. The discussion was informative, but didn’t go far enough in ascertaining who in the federal government is stopping much-needed research into the safety of vaccines.

One topic was, of course, Donald J. Trump, with whom Wright worked for many years on his television show. But Camerota then turned to Wright’s new book, where he writes about his grandson: “Right after he got the standard one-year vaccinations, he developed a very high fever and screamed for hours. Katie [his daughter] was so frightened she called her husband to come home from work and they put the baby in an ice bath to bring down the fever. When they called the doctor they were told the reaction was completely normal.”

Camerota preceded the discussion by noting that one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. “That number is staggeringly different than a generation ago when it was 1 in 10,000,” she said. “And I couldn’t help but notice your wording in the book when you talked about Christian—the timing of Christian’s autism.”

She added, “Bob, I can’t tell you how many parents, dozens, I have interviewed who had the exact same experience that you did. After the children got their standard vaccinations, that night the child had a high fever, they were clearly in distress, they were screaming in mortal pain, they called the doctor and the doctor said you’re having a vaccine reaction. I know this is very controversial. Are you satisfied that enough research and studies have been done to prove that there is no link?”

This was an interesting way to put it. Wright told Camerota that he didn’t think a “direct link” had yet been established, but he quickly added that that more and better research is needed. He explained, “… it’s very difficult to do research on vaccines when you’re talking about vaccines that go to tens of millions of people, because you need a large sample to make any conclusions about something like this. And that’s part of the difficulty. I would also say that, that you—that we all know without any controversy that a lot of children have very different reactions to vaccines, period.”

The media insist the link between vaccines and autism has been “debunked” or even “disproven.” But not establishing a “direct link” is, of course, far different than no link. What’s more, as Camerota noted, many parents have seen the link for themselves, with their children suffering from autism after vaccines were administered.

Wright added that children “have different immune systems” and may react to vaccines differently. In his book, Wright thoughtfully addresses this topic, noting that “What made vaccines so controversial was the unknown: the inability to more accurately anticipate a child’s response based on their genetics.”

On CNN, Wright explained that the vaccine program “can be significantly improved for very little money and we tried, and I tried with two administrations, the Bush administration, Obama administration and I failed to get it. It got stopped in the White House in both cases.”

This was an incredible statement that amounts to an indictment. He was saying two different administrations, one Republican and one Democrat, didn’t want to improve vaccine safety. Wright discusses this in his book, saying the Bush White House was fearful of press criticism of such an effort, and that it was Jarrett who turned down the proposal to study vaccines and improve their safety in the Obama White House.

Wright’s book also notes how vaccine safety has become an issue in the presidential campaign.

During the second presidential debate, Trump told the following story: “Just the other day, two years old, two and a half years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.” Trump said that he is “totally in favor of vaccines” but said he wants “smaller doses over a longer period of time.”

For simply telling this story and suggesting caution, Trump was viciously attacked by the media.

But Wright, in his book, says that Trump speaks for many people. “We support vaccines,” Wright said in a memo to the board of Autism Speaks, “but if parents have concerns, spread out the shots.”

This was the recommendation of Dr. Ben Carson at the same debate. While there was no proof linking vaccines to autism, Carson said, “It is true that we are probably giving way too many in too short a period of time. And a lot of pediatricians now recognize that, and, I think, are cutting down on the number and the proximity in which those are done, and I think that’s appropriate.”

But simply pointing out the facts and advising caution is somehow considered unscientific by the liberal media.

One reporter who has looked at the vaccine-autism link is former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, author of Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. She notes that in 2008, the federal government agreed to pay damages to the family of Hannah Poling, “a child who developed autism after multiple vaccinations.” Attkisson commented that that the “landmark case” amounted to $1.5 million for the girl the first year and $500,000 each year after. In total, the compensation could amount to $20 million over the child’s lifetime.

Attkisson, who received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2012, explained that the case was “ordered sealed, protecting the pharmaceutical vaccine industry and keeping the crucial information hidden from other families who have autistic children and also believe vaccines to be the culprit.” But word leaked out.

“The great majority of medical opinion holds that vaccines don’t cause autism,” Attkisson concedes. “However, many of the same experts don’t dispute that vaccines can, in rare instances, cause brain damage.” Hence, she points out, parents of children with autistic symptoms or autism win vaccine injury claims by highlighting brain damage, not autism specifically. “But when autism or autistic symptoms are alleged as the primary brain damage, the cases are lost.”

As National Autism Awareness Month was approaching, actor Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival accepted and then rejected “VAXXED: From Cover-up to Catastrophe,” a documentary about the possible link between vaccines and autism that is based largely on the work of a CDC whistleblower.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says in the trailer for the film that if present trends continue, by 2032 half of the children—and 80 percent of the boys—will be autistic. She says, “This will be a complete catastrophe if we just let it happen.”

Although his adviser Valerie Jarrett killed a proposal to improve vaccine safety, Obama designated April 2, 2016, as World Autism Awareness Day.

Rather than address the allegations of a link between vaccines and autism or improve vaccine safety, the liberals in and out of the Obama administration would rather expand insurance coverage for those with autism and spend more government funds on those with the disorder. They view this as the compassionate response. However, this could easily become what Anne Dachel of the Age of Autism website calls an economic disaster as the costs escalate to support and care for the victims of the epidemic.

Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center is warning that state legislatures across the country are moving quickly to pass bills backed by the pharmaceutical industry to restrict or remove personal/religious belief vaccine exemptions. She says, “Those embracing vaccine orthodoxy have a right to their beliefs, but they should not be given the legal right to persecute and punish fellow citizens refusing to convert. Tyranny by any other name is still tyranny.”

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