Update Friday October 3, 2014: Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young African American boys: a reanalysis of CDC data has been retracted by Translational Neurodegeneration. Download Retraction
Previously, I went over the broader issues around Brian Hooker's recent paper, mentioning Hooker and Wakefield's accusations against Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, MD in passing. Now, I want to put those accusations right up front.
Dr. Yeargin-Allsop is a senior researcher at CDC and chief of the CDC's Developmental Disabilities branch. She was one of the five authors on the 2004 Destefano paper and has continued to publish on autism issues, as well as other developmental disabilities.
Hooker's research was funded by the anti-vaccine organization, Focus Autism, Inc. In the press release on Hooker's paper, the organization made the following claims:
According to Hooker, the CDC whistleblower informant -- who wishes to remain anonymous -- guided him to evidence that a statistically significant relationship between the age the MMR vaccine was first given and autism incidence in African-American boys was hidden by CDC researchers.
Dr. Hooker stated "The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up." The whistleblower confirmed this. When asked if there could be any scientific basis for excluding children born outside of Georgia, Hooker responded, "I know of none, and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study." He added, "The exclusion is reminiscent of tactics historically used to deprive African-Americans of the vote by requiring valid birth certificates."
In his two videos (one, two) promoting the Hooker paper, Andrew Wakefield compared the alleged coverup (to which Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp would have had to been a party) to the infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiments, and in a later segment, compared Dr. Yeargin-Allsopp and her CDC colleagues to some of the most heinous figures in history
"You see, vile as the crimes of Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler were, these men were not hypocrites.... These men were not entrusted with the welfare of their victims. Their mottos did not include the words, 'To save lives and protect.' They were not running a mandatory program disguised as caring.
"How many children? How many went to the wall in that decade of silence? How many Presidents, Mr. Obama?"
So. According to Hooker, Wakefield, and Focus Autism, a respected senior African-American physician-researcher is a race traitor and a mass murderer.
edited to add: In the United States and elsewhere, there are complex issues around race, culture, and socio-economic status and the early, accurate identification of autistic individuals, and the provision of adequate supports and education for those individuals and their families.
edited to add: Evidently I was unclear, or readers need more clarity. Brian Hooker claims he was put on to the CDC-MMR "coverup" by a CDC employee, William W. Thompson, PhD/
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