Recently he kicked off a series of interviews with the following statement:
Let me say right up front that my wife and I have a 2-month old daughter, and that my #1 goal here is to learn as much as possible about how to care for her health, because if anything happened to her I honestly don't know what I would do.
Until recently - like most people - I assumed vaccines were 100% safe, and I thought anyone who thought otherwise was dangerous and selfish, putting everyone else at risk. I thought this because I was told this, by many people, many times.
"The science is in."
"Vaccines are 100% safe."
Lather, rinse, repeat.
You see the problem right away, I think. No one should have been telling Kanew that vaccines are 100% safe. Nothing in life is 100% safe. Vaccination is a medical procedure; all medical procedures have inherent risk. Here's what we know about the vaccines given to children: they are very safe, and orders of magnitude safer than the diseases they prevent. I get it that young parents are fearful -- I remember my daughter being that young, and how I'd hover over her: Is she still breathing? Is everything OK?
Unfortunately, Kanew found some skilled propagandists to fan his fears to the blazing point, namely the producers of the film Vaxxed. Kanew wrote,
Right after my wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, we heard about the documentary "Vaxxed", and how it had been yanked from the Tribeca Film Festival. We didn't pay it much attention until we saw the Today Show interview with the usually quiet Robert Deniro who said he regretted pulling it, and seemed sure there was more to the story than people wanted to believe.
What Kanew didn't read was responses to De Niro's interview, for example:
- April 13, 2016 Manny Alvarez MD at Fox News Dr. Manny: I'm talkin' to you, De Niro -- autism is not caused by vaccines
When it comes to health, false promises and misinformed theories lead to inefficient therapies and dead end research. At the end of the day, it leads to anger and the misperception that somebody “caused” whatever medical hardship you’re facing to happen to you, and that is not a good starting point when it comes to autism. After 25 years of watching the rates of autism increase, we are faced with two challenges in this field. One: we must do more for these young adults entering the real world. We need more education, more job opportunities, better government support and full integration into society. Two: we must support genuine autism research. We must find out where autism originates, which could possibly begin in the womb.
Creating an environment of suspicion only delays what we must accomplish today. De Niro, I need you and your celebrity pals to concentrate on today. I know that you chose a different career path than I, and that it takes many years of scientific training to understand cellular biology, but that is not an excuse to give any form of validity to Wakefield’s quack claims. Rather than acting as a mouthpiece for conspiracy theorists and the like, it’s time for you to use your celebrity power for good and help me, a father like you, get the answers we want.
- April 13, 2016, Russell Saunders MD at The Daily Beast Robert De Niro Sticks Up for Anti-Vaxx Documentary
I would happily sit down with De Niro, pause Vaxxed at any moment of his choosing, and rebut every single point he cares to mention.... And there is a perfectly good, accurate movie about vaccines for people who want to watch one.
But it is lamentable that once again a celebrity has cast in his lot with people willing to ignore, deny, or even misrepresent medical science. De Niro’s comments not only shake his credibility as an arbiter of quality documentary films, they have the potential to make our country less safe from disease.
- April 13, 2016 Rupal Pinto, MD, FAAP at Doc2mom The story they don’t want you to hear
There’s nothing like a new celebrity wagging his finger at the medical establishment to make a doctor-mom want to vomit. A lot. The most recent iteration: Dr. (okay, not a doctor) Robert DeNiro stating that physicians and researchers have not been paying sufficient attention to the conversation about whether vaccines are related to autism (Antique Spoiler alert: they’re not.) Doctors deal with this issue every day – thanks to the work of charlatans like Andrew Wakefield – and millions of dollars have been spent trying to see if there is a relationship. No relationship has been found. Mr. DeNiro says that “nobody wants to talk about it.” Not true. We talk about it often with patients and we all do our reading and our homework and I have personally read that horrific Wakefield study enough times to know that it’s plainly a bad study, and warrants no documentary, no expose, and certainly no recognition at an internationally renowned film festival.
There are more responses at Is De Niro's Demand for "The Truth" about Safe Vaccines and Autism Justified?
So you see, Justin Kanew, thoughtful people have been thinking about these issues for quite some time. Maybe you should interview them. I imagine Russell Saunders (which is a nom de blogue) would make quite a good interview.
Next:The film Vaxxed convinced Mr. Kanew that there was a cover-up at the CDC. There's no coverup. It's a manufactroversy ginned up by Hooker and Wakefield. I explain why.