DARTH OFFIT IS AT IT AGAIN
Regular readers might know that I make one exception to my rule of “civility at all times.” That exception exists for Paul Offit, who never met a neurotoxin-containing vaccine he didn’t like. Well, he’s back!!!
Dr. Offitt recently published an op-ed piece in which he weighs in on the tragic death of Abubakar Nadama. Like too many other people, Offit just couldn’t wait for all the facts to come out. Instead, he decided to use this boy’s death -- before we even know what went wrong or what really happened -- to further his agenda of discrediting anyone who dares to question the wisdom of adding neurotoxins to vaccines, or who dares to question the wisdom of adding more and more and more vaccines to an already bloated schedule.
We get unintended irony this time from Dr. Offit, who now complains that the press is being too sensationalistic because they don’t give a balanced look at the issue. Many of us, though, remember the hatchet job by Dan Rather when 60 Minutes ran a story on the thimerosal controversy. On one side was a small group of “mercury moms,” who were made to seem like modern-day Luddites shunning anything smacking of science. On the other side was kindly Doc Offit, who oozed sympathy for the poor, misguided parents who just didn’t seem to understand that there was no science at all behind this crazy theory about an environmental trigger for autism. There was no mention of any of the scientists or physicians who believe there is evidence of a link between thimerosal and/or live-virus vaccines and the triggering of ASD. There never is (except for the relatively recent segment on Meet the Press).
Dr. Offit dismisses scientists and physicians who disagree with his position as a “few marginal scientists and clinicians.” Well, I’ll stick with those marginal scientists and clinicians who freely admit that their clinical and biological studies are still in the early stages, rather than with a doctor, no matter how many titles he may have, who refers to a small handful of extremely flawed epidemiological studies as having “answered the question of whether vaccines cause autism.” First, Dr. Offit misstates the hypothesis; the belief is that vaccines may play a role in triggering ASD in genetically susceptible children, not that vaccines, in and of themselves, “cause autism.” Second, regardless of the hypothesis, the epidemiologicial studies did not answer any questions. Certainly, safety studies for thimerosal prove nothing about long-term effects, primarily because there have been no such studies.
Of course, Dr. Offit will never tell the whole story, because he will not even tell the whole story about himself. The only information ever given about him is that he is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Not once in any of Dr. Offit’s numerous media forays has it ever been mentioned that he holds a patent for a thimerosal-containing vaccine, or that he has numerous ties to the vaccine industry, including a consulting contract to “educate” physicians and the public about vaccines. In other words, when Dr. Offit appears on television or publishes a piece in the newspaper, he is paid to do so under the guise of “educating” us.
I’ve had about all the "education" I can stand from Paul Offit.