Shortly after the birth of their baby, Justin Kanew and his wife watched the film Vaxxed. He wrote:
We learned about the CDC whistleblower no national media were covering.
I'd like to suggest to Mr. and Mrs. Kanew that they consider this: Is it possible that the lack of coverage is from lack of real substance to the claim of a coverup? Or that William Thompson, the CDC employee at the center of the story, does not appear to be a reliable source?
Here is a Guide for Media on the MMR, CDC, and Brian Hooker story. At the end of the Media Guide post is an exhaustive list of coverage of the "CDC whistleblower" non-story.
The person who has been following the Hooker-Thompson=Wakefield saga most closely is Matt Carey, who is a scientist in his own right and the father of an autistic child. The articles below are some of his coverage:
- August 26, 2014 Autism, Atlanta, MMR: serious questions and also how Brian Hooker and Andrew Wakefield are causing damage to the autism communities. Thpost is a detailed analysis of the 2004 deStefano Study, Hooker's retracted 2014 study, and Wakefield & Hooker's misleading public relations campaign around the Hooker study.
- August 28, 2014 Andrew Wakefield betrays another “whistleblower” with Brian Hooker helping
As the recent story has unfolded, I’ve been asked and I’ve told many people that in my view, Brian Hooker sees himself as an honest person and, as such, he would not be a party to the sort of deception that would be involved in secretly recording someone while acting as his “priest”, then betraying him.
Apparently I was wrong.
When Wakefield and Hooker first released their story, they claimed that their “informant” wanted to remain anonymous. It says so right in the press release dated August 18. The (disgustingly race-baiting) video they put out was censored as if they wanted to protect the anonymity of the informant. But by the night of August 21st, 3 days later, the video had been changed without announcement. Mr. Wakefield (he owns/runs the Autism Media Channel that is putting out these videos) apparently uploaded the noncensored version. In it, Mr. Thompson is named early and repeatedly. His voice is no longer obscured. Mr. Thompsons’ anonymity (weakly veiled to begin with) was no more.
- October 17 2014 A new Autism Media Channel video. A chance to watch some sleight of hand
Now that we’ve seen that the conclusion from Mr. Wakefield’s video is wrong, let’s consider a second problem with this new video: the way in which Mr. Wakefield manipulates his audience. He creates a timeline for the CDC’s actions that allows Mr. Wakefield to use his new favorite “f” word. Fraud. Let’s go through the timeline.
- October 23 2014 Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker complain. Not honestly, but they complain
What I find interesting is that Wakefield and Hooker are not just misinterpreting the statement as I originally thought. In the complaint they clearly changed what the statement said. Besides being wrong all on it’s own, this change tells me they know that phrase they latched on to ( “The only variable that will be assessed as a potential confounder using the entire sample will be the child’s race”) doesn’t come close to fitting in with his story. I don’t see this as an honest mistake."
The complaint is long, but it all hinges on the three major claims: (1) The CDC was supposed to do an analysis of the total group (not just the birth certificate group) by race, (2) that the CDC hid results on “isolated” autism and (3) that they deviated from their analysis plan, introducing a revised plan, to do this.
All three claims are false. And not false as in “I interpret them differently” but false as in “the very data Wakefield and Hooker depend on show them to be fabricated claims.
- August 24, 2015 The Brian Hooker/William Thompson conversations
From the conversations in the book we see that Thompson is angry. Angry at people. Not as much angry about science or omitted data. You can read more about that at Science Based Medicine.
Was Thompson aware of who he was dealing with in Brian Hooker? Yes. He says, “I see a lot of your stuff online. I saw that you interviewed Congressman Posey, is it?”
There’s a lot of talk of Posey and Congressman Issa. It seems like Hooker’s connections with congress were a big draw for Thompson."
- August 27, 2015 The Hooker/Thompson conversations: were significant analyses omitted from Hooker’s paper?
Which is to say, this is a very ironic conversation Hooker and Thompson are having. Hooker appears to be doing exactly what he claimes the CDC was doing: crafting a story around the results he wants to report and omitting important information to make that point."
- September 3 2015 Here’s a statement by William Thompson that they won’t be quoting
One more claim made by Mr. Hooker’s team is that the CDC abandoned their initial research plan (which, now that we’ve seen the plan, we know isn’t true) and that they did so in order to dilute an effect they saw in the African American Cohort. And this is all somehow backed up by William Thompson’s statements in the phone conversations.
Well, now we have transcripts of some of the calls. And here we can see Brian Hooker trying to get Thompson to say that and Thompson, well, not saying it.
- September 4 2015 Another William Thompson quote they won’t tell you: “I will say the Geiers were not right”
Here’s another statement by Mr. Thompson. This time it is in relation to Mark and David Geier, a father/son team that has written a great deal of junk science trying to promote the idea that thimerosal in vaccines and autism are linked. The Geiers have been criticized in many venues, being called “intellectually dishonest” as one of the more polite ways of characterizing their work. Brian Hooker relies upon the Geiers for his own beliefs about autism and thimerosal and even calls the Geiers his friends.
Dr. Thompson: But it’s a marketing thing. It’s a marketing thing. You have to figure out how to market this. And this has to come from other voices, it can’t just come from you because you…they made you the poster boy of, they want to portray you as crazy and you know um, and honestly I think, you’ve been persistent. You have been right most of the time. I will say the Geiers were not right and the Geiers…you know the Geiers; I do not know them personally. But, I know the things they did. They took exact copies of papers we wrote and published them under their own names. Word for word and I just thought that [UI].
Want to bet this quote doesn’t end up in the “documentary” Andrew Wakefield is making on Thompson?
- January 4 2016 The William Thompson Documents. There’s no whistle to blow.
For those hoping for an exciting look into CDC malfeasance, sorry to disappoint you. Not only is it not present here, but these documents are very mundane and repetitive. Many people seem to think there will be evidence that the CDC are covering up. No “Vaccines cause autism! How do we cover this up”. Nothing like it. Wakefield and Hooker have already cherry picked–and misrepresented–whatever they could to “best” make their case."
- March 22 2016 Andrew Wakefield releases the trailer for his William Thompson video. Slick production and dishonesty
Let’s start with a small detail. I suspect many have already wondered why I referred to the clips from Thompson in the plural. It’s because that 10 seconds or so of audio is actually two different comments from Thompson spliced together. And taken out of context. We know this because a book was released with the transcripts of the calls that Brian Hooker secretly recorded.
- April 2 2016 Movie review: VAXXED
Let’s take that second one first, isolated autism. Here’s the thing–when the CDC team published their study in 2004, they did report on this. Instead of autism isolated from all other conditions, they showed autism without intellectual disability. The CDC reported that the calculated risk for this group was “statistically significant”.
In other words–what did they hide? Nothing. It’s the same result that Wakefield says was hidden. The only question I have– if this result is so important, why didn’t Wakefield or Hooker notice for the 10 years after it was published?
The core of the movie Vaxxed are the recorded conversations between Brian Hooker and William Thompson. Transcripts of these conversations were published in book form in the summer of 2015, as ,Vaccine Whistleblower, was reviewed in 2015 by a number of knowlegable people: ScienceMom; David Gorski MD PhD; epidemiologist René Najera MPH; and law professor Dorit Reiss.
Here are their reviews.
- Monday August 24, 2015: Catherina at Just the Vax: "Vaccine Whistleblower": A Review of the Preface and Foreword
This book is so bad that it's good, so good in the sense that it contains such demonstrably false information and a re-hash of previously debunked claims that I have chosen to review it in parts, the first being the Preface (Boyd Haley) and Foreword (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (RFK Jr.)),
- Monday August 24, 2015 David Gorski MD at Science-Based Medicine Vaccine Whistleblower: An antivaccine “exposé” full of sound and fury, signifying nothing
The funny thing is, nothing in Vaccine Whistleblower actually demonstrates [wrongdoing at the CDC]. All we have are the words of a very angry man, William Thompson, who clearly has been nursing a grudge against his former colleagues since at least 2003 and is willing to make accusations without significant evidence at them. All we have from this very angry man are a highly select number of transcripts, only four out of over 30, in which this bitter man makes his accusations. It’s all very one-sided, and unfortunately the CDC, probably because Thompson has lawyered up with one of the best whistleblower attorneys in the country, is being painfully vague and discreet in its response:
CDC is aware that employee Dr. William Thompson has raised concerns regarding an article he co-authored that was published in 2004 in Pediatrics. Consistent with CDC’s existing policies and procedures, the agency, through its Office of the Associate Director for Science (ADS), and in coordination with the HHS Office of Research Integrity, is reviewing these concerns. The agency will provide further information once the review is completed.
The bottom line is that this book is nothing more than propaganda, and deceptive propaganda at that. The sad thing is that a formerly reputable scientist, William Thompson, provided the grist for the propaganda because he apparently has an ax to grind against his former co-investigators.
- Monday August 24, 2015 René Najera at Science-Based Medicine Vaccine Whistleblower: BS Hooker and William Thompson try to talk about epidemiology
Let’s start by reviewing BS Hooker’s credentials. He is a bioengineer and chemical engineer, not an epidemiologist, despite what the author of the book wants you to believe:
With the publication of Kevin Barry’s Vaccine Whistleblower: Exposing Autism Research Fraud at the CDC, any claims of credibility for the CDC’s science has collapsed. Barry built his book upon four legally taped conversations between CDC senior vaccine safety scientist Dr. William Thompson and Simpson College professor and epidemiologist, Dr. Brian Hooker.
Later in the book, in the transcript of one of the conversations between BS Hooker and Thompson, BS gets a list of things he needs to do to earn an “honorary” degree in epidemiology. Among those things was to look at some of the earlier studies that Thompson had coauthored. And BS did. He would go on to write a flawed paper that I critiqued here and ended up being retracted, as I told you about here. That paper alone should tell you everything you need to know about BS Hooker’s epidemiological understanding, but the transcripts given to us by his camp in the form of the book really reveal his ignorance.
- Monday August 24, 2015 Dorit Reiss at Science-Based Medicine Review of Vaccine Whistleblower: A Legal Perspective
This post addresses some legal issues raised in the Vaccine Whistleblower book. The first part explains whistleblower protections and how Dr. Thompson’s allegations fit into them. The second part addresses Dr. Thompson’s suggestion of an independent research agency. The third part explains why the book’s claim that school mandates violate international human rights is incorrect.
So if the core of the movie Vaxxed is propaganda, and there's no substance to the allegations of a coverup, or a scandal, or anything of that nature, does that change your mind, Justin Kanew?
Next up: why the film Vaxxed is wrong about Julie Gerberding