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The CDC Responds: Listening to Dr. Wharton

The CDC Responds: Listening to Dr. Wharton

by Anne McElroy Dachel

Late Tuesday night Nov. 27, a news story came out on the Internet from WXIA TV in Atlanta called Autism Controversy: The CDC Responds. Just the title was intriguing since I've heard from a number of reporters that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention don't do on camera interviews about the vaccine-autism controversy. They usually just refer members of the press to the CDC website for answers. There reporters are resoundingly told that exhaustive studies show no link between the vaccines our children receive and autism.

The official being interviewed on TV in Atlanta was Dr. Melinda Wharton, Deputy Director of the CDC's National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases. I had to wonder how they could find anyone at the CDC willing to be taped defending vaccines in the midst of the massive controversy linking them to autism. Dr. Wharton staunchly supported the vaccine program with lots of claims, most of which predictably were some version of the long-time CDC chant of "studies show no link."

Even though most of what Dr. Wharton claimed seemed to be an outrageous distortion of the facts and an insult to the autism community, I will admit it must have taken courage to go public like this. I had to consider that she really believes what she tells people about vaccine safety issues. Maybe it was the military-like uniform she was wearing. She seemed like a CDC soldier giving us the official view and she at least will always be able to say that she was just following her marching orders.

The half hour long interview was done by Jaye Watson, who'd admittedly talked to lots of parents regarding this issue. Jaye referred to parents' concerns about vaccines and the claim that vaccines cause autism throughout the interview. Dr. Wharton dutifully acknowledged the difficulties involved with raising a child with autism. That said, she would not concede that there was any validity to parents' belief that vaccines causes autism.

Dr. Wharton could hardly be expected to say anything else. The CDC has no choice but to defend the vaccine program as safe. It's just amazing that we keep on asking them.

Tired parents in the autism community certainly didn't need to once again hear about the research showing that it's safe to inject mercury into children and that the CDC is doing even more studies about this mysterious disorder. It's hard to imagine how officials at the CDC can even keep track of all the autism studies. And there's always another one coming along.

Dr. Wharton said that because of the high vaccination rate in the U.S., it wouldn't be possible to do a comparison study of vaccinated and unvaccinated children for autism rates. She didn't say anyone at the CDC had even looked for kids who haven't been vaccinated.

Dr. Wharton admitted nothing. She carefully talked about the "big increase in RECOGNIZED autism." It looks like the autism rate could be one in 10 and CDC officials would still be congratulating doctors and themselves for "better diagnosing" and "better studies." Dr. Wharton would only say that genes played a role in autism. Could there be other factors? She answered her own question, "I DON'T KNOW."
It was hard to sit in my chair and listen to Dr. Wharton's controlled responses. I would love to have asked about some of the things I'm always bringing up in my writing.

How can Dr. Wharton defend thimerosal as safe when it was never tested and approved by the FDA BEFORE it was allowed in our children's vaccines? All the studies done 75 years after the fact could hardly make up for this horrendous oversight failure.

How can the CDC expect that their easily manipulated epidemiological studies will disprove a scientific fact: Mercury is the second deadliest element on Earth and a known neurotoxin?
Why does Dr. Wharton pretend that it's only parents who challenge vaccine safety claims and ignore the host of scientists who back them up?

Dr. Wharton knows mercury is still in unconscionable levels in ninety percent of the flu vaccines available, still she tells us it's only in "some" flu vaccines.

The CDC knows that the rate of one in 150 came from studies of eight year olds, not eighty year olds. We simply don't have the adult population with an autism rate of anything like one in 150. Eighty percent of Americans with autism are under the age of 18 and people at the CDC have to be worried about what's going to happen in the next few years as more and more children with autism become adults dependent on the taxpayers for their support and care. When one in every 150 eighteen year olds isn't going on to college, getting a job, or entering the military, but is going on disability for life with autism (including one in every 94 boys) people will demand answers: Why didn't anyone tell us about this? Why weren't people doing something about autism, especially the officials who get billions of dollars to run health care in the U.S.?

I think this will best be described as a tsunami. It will be sudden and overwhelming. People will stunned by this disaster. I can't imagine how this will turn out. There's really no precedent for it. I can't recall another time in history when this has happened. Epidemics and plagues have always been around and they've devastated populations. But people in the past died. There weren't large numbers of survivors to care for. But with autism, for the first time a society will be left with a disabled generation of young adults to support for the rest of their long lives. These children are bankrupting our schools and I doubt that things will be any better when we have to take over total support and care. No one is doing anything to prepare for this. It's amazing.

The one thing I hope is that officials like Dr. Wharton will still be in their positions so we can get them to go back on camera to explain how the epidemic of autism escaped notice by the CDC. I'll be interested in Dr Wharton's opinion about how we should provide for all these disabled adults. I wonder if we'll again hear "I DON'T KNOW" from her.


Anne McElroy Dachel, Member:
National Autism Association (NAA)
Generation Rescue

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