A 16-year-old boy with autism and his family are suing a medical clinic for administering vaccines they believe caused the boy’s autism. The Tennessee-based case is unique for a number of reasons, the first being that it’s the first time in 30 years that a vaccine injury case such as this has been heard in a U.S. court.
This is because in the U.S. there is a federally operated vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) that Congress created under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims in the District of Columbia (Washington D.C.) handles contested vaccine injury and death cases in what has become known as “vaccine court.”
The VICP is a “no-fault” alternative to the traditional civil court lawsuit and was established in 1986 after a string of high-profile lawsuits slammed vaccine manufacturers.
The federal VICP compensates vaccine victims not from a fund paid into by vaccine manufacturers, but through a federal trust fund that collects a 75-cent surcharge on every vaccine given.
The 16-year-old Tennessee boy, Yates Hazlehurst, was denied compensation from the VICP, so the current lawsuit is giving him a second chance at justice.
CDC Blocks Key Whistleblower Testimony From Autism-Vaccine Case
A key part of the case hinges on testimony from Dr. William Thompson, a research scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases (NCIR).
He was a co-author of four key studies the CDC has used to refute a link between the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine and autism, as well as thimerosal-containing vaccines (thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative) and autism.
“Dr. Thompson has publically stated to Congressman William Posey and others that he and his colleagues in the CDC Vaccine Safety Branch were ordered to commit scientific fraud, destroy evidence and manipulate data to conceal the link between autism and vaccines.”
According to Thompson, one of the studies in question found that African-American boys who received the MMR vaccine before the age of 36 months had an increased risk for autism.2 He also maintains that CDC studies have found a relationship between thimerosal and tics, which are associated with autism.3
CDC: Thompson’s Testimony Would Not Promote CDC Objectives
Thompson’s testimony could be critical to the lawsuit in order to set the record straight about the flawed data used to deny other autism vaccine-injury claims.
According to Ecowatch, Morgan & Morgan law firm attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argued to Tennessee Senior Circuit Court Judge William Acree that Thompson’s testimony was necessary:4
“Yates, and almost 5,000 other vaccine injured autistic children, lost their cases in vaccine court because CDC and the Justice Department submitted fraudulent science wrongly denying the vaccine-autism link.”
CDC director Thomas Frieden blocked the request to have Thompson testify, stating, “Dr. William Thompson’s deposition testimony would not substantially promote the objectives of CDC or HHS [Health and Human Services].”5
Thompson received federal whistleblower protection in August 2014 and is still employed by the CDC. The attorneys for the case, Kennedy and Bryan Smith, also with Morgan & Morgan, plan to appeal the CDC’s denial. According to Smith:6
“Frieden’s denial was a disappointment but not a surprise, since the inescapable implication of Dr. Thompson’s allegation is that the agency altered the science to undermine autism cases worth potentially $1 trillion in compensation ordered by Congress.”
CDC Called a ‘Cesspool of Corruption’
If you want to know more about the underhanded dealings allegedly going on at the CDC, read the book “Vaccine Whistleblower.” It contains the unedited transcripts of four legally recorded phone conversations between Thompson and Dr. Brian Hooker, a scientist investigating autism and vaccine research.
The transcripts reveal the confession of the alteration of data that showed a significant link between vaccines and autism. Thompson has previously stated that a meeting was scheduled “to destroy documents related to the study.”
He said the remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, “and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.”7 Thompson has said he retained hard copies of all of the data, however.
The transcripts are also featured in the film Vaxxed, which was originally scheduled to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year but was allegedly pulled due to threats from other filmmakers to cancel their participation.
Unethical Practices Are the Norm at the CDC
A group of senior CDC scientists sent a letter to the CDC raising concerns about the conflicts of interest and industry ties that appear to be so common among CDC leaders.
The group goes by the name CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research (CDC SPIDER), leaving their names out for fear of retaliation. The letter begins:8
“It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders.
What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors.
… Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units.
These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health.”
Conflict of Interest, ‘Climate of Disregard’ at the CDC Highlighted
The letter specifically addresses several areas of “particular concern,” including:
• A cover-up of accurate screening data for the CDC’s Wise Woman Program. Despite a multi-million-dollar investment, the number of women screened during the program fell short of expectations.
Officials misrepresented actual screening numbers, “cooked” the data to make results “look better than they were” and manipulated data in “irregular ways.”
• Resources allocated to domestic programs for Americans being directed toward global health and research issues.
• A questionable relationship between Barbara Bowman, Ph.D., former director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention (DHDSP), and Coca-Cola; she left the agency unexpectedly, two days after her close ties with Coca-Cola were revealed.
• Dr. Michael Pratt, senior adviser for Global Health in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, has also allegedly promoted and led research for the soda giant.9
“Neither of these relationships were necessary (or appropriate) to uphold our mission … In fact, these ties have now called into question and undermined CDC’s work,” CDC Spider wrote of Bowman and Pratt.10
Their letter continued, ” … this ‘climate of disregard’ puts many of us in difficult positions. We are often directed to do things we know are not right.”
Can You Trust Health Information From a Corrupt Agency?
Knowing that the CDC has allegedly intentionally withheld data showing a link between vaccines and autism, it calls into question where their loyalties lie. Are their continued and urgent calls for vaccination truly in the name of public health, or are they the result of corporate influence?
The CDC, by the way, claims that it does not accept commercial support, but it receives millions of dollars in gifts and funding from industry.11 The CDC, a supposed independent public watchdog, is therefore neither independent nor a watchdog. Jeanne Lenzer, associate editor of the British Medical Journal, even stated, ” … Several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.”12
When it comes to making health decisions for your family, it’s crucial to do your research from legitimate independent sources to get the truth. Many are not aware, for instance, that in 2008 the U.S. government conceded that childhood vaccines contributed to symptoms of autism in 9-year-old Hannah Poling.
If you or your child is injured by a vaccine, meanwhile, and find yourself in vaccine court, the government will fight your claim — even if it’s more than legitimate — or they may try to quietly settle it with a lowball offer (which preys on families in urgent need of money).
If the government settles outside of court, they don’t have to admit that the vaccine caused harm, which keeps them in good light with the public.
Help Support Vaccine Awareness Week
From November 13 to 20, we launch Vaccine Awareness Week 2016 in partnership with the non-profit National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). With aggressive efforts by pharmaceutical companies, medical trade groups and government to restrict or eliminate all vaccine exemptions, it’s critical for you to act now to protect your legal right to make informed, voluntary vaccine choices.
Thankfully we have experienced organizations such as NVIC providing accurate information about vaccine issues and working to secure informed consent protections in public health laws. NVIC’s mission is to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to defend the human right to exercise informed consent to medical risk taking, which includes access to flexible medical, religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions.
Resources Where You Can Learn More
- NVIC Advocacy Portal: Become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your state and defend your legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices for yourself and your children.
- Ask 8 Vaccine Information Kiosk: Download brochures on vaccines and infectious diseases and how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms (in English and Spanish), as well as special reports, posters and web badges, to help you educate your family and friends when you advocate for vaccine freedom of choice.
- Vaccine Ingredients Calculator: If you have made the choice to vaccinate, create a customized plan after evaluating vaccine ingredients.
- State Law & Vaccine Requirements: You can easily access your state’s vaccine policies and laws here.
- Protect Life: Witness A Vaccine Reaction. Post a video or photo and description of a vaccine reaction, injury or death on the International Memorial for Vaccine Victims and search the database or view the video collection.
Let’s Help NVIC Get the Funding They Deserve
This charitable educational organization has been working since 1982 to prevent vaccine injuries and deaths through public education and to provide information and counseling to those reporting adverse responses to vaccination. Please consider donating to NVIC to help support their life-saving mission and join the vaccine awareness and choice movement today.