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Guest post by Jeremy R. Hammond
On April 8, 2023, in response to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. announcing his candidacy for president, the Daily Beast ran an article titled “RFK Jr. Would Be the Worst Possible President Kennedy”. The article is a disgraceful hit piece whose authors can’t even get basic facts straight.
(In case the Daily Beast decides to correct its misinformation, or, more appropriately, retract the article by the time you’re reading this, view archived versions here or here.)
The authors, Lawrence O. Gostin, Kenneth H. Rabin, and Scott C. Ratzan, mindlessly accuse Mr. Kennedy of having an “anti-science agenda”, but the best they can do to support that ridiculousness is essentially to pronounce their own faith in the very same “public health” establishment that sold the mRNA COVID
The authors seem to think that simply labeling Kennedy “anti-vaccine” and “anti-science” suffices to support their conclusion that he has “turned the Kennedy legacy upside down.” Their attempts to substantiate those labels fall flat on their face, though, as they cannot even get basic facts straight. Naturally, they start out with the obligatory reference to the 1998 Lancet study:
The triggering element, literally, was mercury. In 1998, the British doctor, Andrew Wakefield published an article in The Lancet claiming that thimerosal, a mercury preservative contained in the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine, caused autism. The Lancet later retracted the article, its editor calling its statements “utterly false,” while the British Medical Journal called Wakefield’s article “fraudulent.” British authorities stripped Wakefield of his medical license. However, distraught parents of autistic children still embrace Wakefield, who now makes a fortune on the anti-vaxx propaganda circuit—and so too does RFK Jr.
Where to begin with correcting this disinformation?
First, the Lancet paper was not authored by Andrew Wakefield alone; he had twelve coauthors, including the senior author, famed gastroenterologist Dr. John Walker-Smith.
Second, Wakefield et al. did not claim that thimerosal in the MMR vaccine caused autism. That is a ridiculous claim for the simple reason that the MMR vaccine does not contain thimerosal.
It is remarkable that this article had no less than three authors in addition to presumably being put under editorial review prior to publication, and yet they still got this basic fact wrong.
This just goes to show how the authors’ knowledge of the topic of vaccines is practically non-existent; they know nothing, and they didn’t even bother to do the most basic fact-checking of what they think they know prior to publishing their nonsense.
Third, setting aside that stupid misinformation about the MMR vaccine, Wakefield et al. did not claim that the MMR vaccine causes autism.
On the contrary, they explicitly stated that the findings from their case series of children presenting with both gut dysfunction and regressive developmental disorder did not show a causal link between the vaccine and autism. They rather simply reported that parents had associated their children’s developmental regression with receipt of the MMR vaccine and hypothesized that there might be a link.
Fourth, the study was not retracted on the grounds that it was “fraudulent”. Rather, the sole basis for the retraction was the decision by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) to suspend the licenses of Dr. Wakefield and Dr. Walker-Smith on the grounds of alleged “professional misconduct”.
When Lancet editor Richard Horton referred to statements he thought were “utterly false”, he was referring to the GMC’s accusations that Wakefield et al. made the allegedly false statement in their paper that the children in the case series were “consecutively referred” and that the authors had failed to get approval for their investigation from a local ethics committee.
Fifth, there’s a particularly good reason for the media to pretend as though Wakefield was the sole author of the study, which is that the senior author, Dr. John Walker-Smith, appealed the GMC’s ruling and won.
Dr. Walker-Smith had his medical license reinstated in 2012 on the grounds that the GMC’s accusations were “untenable” and unsupported by the evidence. Specifically, the children had indeed been referred successively, rather than as a single batch, and the study authors did not require ethics approval for the procedures the children underwent under Walker-Smith’s care because those procedures were clinically indicated for diagnostic purposes.
The reason Wakefield did not join his colleague in appealing the GMC’s “untenable” ruling was that the legal costs were not covered by his insurance carrier.
So, the only two truths we can squeeze out of that absurd paragraph of the Daily Beast article is that Wakefield was an author of a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 that was later retracted.
The Daily Beast article continues:
The irony here runs deep. RFK Jr. continues to hype a massive conspiracy regarding thimerosal, even though the CDC actually removed it from most childhood vaccines, including MMR, in 2001. He has also stubbornly ignored an Institute of Medicine immunization safety review, along with nine CDC-backed studies, showing no association between thimerosal and autism. It’s sadly not hard these days to sell the idea that CDC and the rest of the public health community is engaged in all manner of deceit.
Where to begin with correcting this nonsense?
First, curiously, the authors do not specify what “massive conspiracy” regarding thimerosal they are claiming that Mr. Kennedy “continues to hype”.
Evidently, we are supposed to believe that Kennedy claims that there is still thimerosal in most childhood vaccines, which is false; Kennedy says no such thing. On the other hand, he does accurately point out that thimerosal continues to be used in multi-dose vials of influenza vaccines, which are recommended for everyone aged six months and up (including pregnant women).
Kennedy also rightly points out how, during the late 1980s and 1990s, as the CDC continued adding more vaccines to its routine childhood schedule, nobody in government ever bothered to consider the potential harms from the increased amounts of mercury that children would be exposed to; and when the FDA finally got around to doing the calculations in 1999, it became publicly known that the cumulative levels of mercury that infants were being exposed to exceeded the government’s own safety guidelines.
So, it is emphatically not a “conspiracy theory” that the CDC and FDA are completely unworthy of our trust, a reality that Mr. Kennedy has courageously and thankfully worked to make the population aware of.
Second, once again, to correct the repeated misinformation, the MMR vaccine does not and never did contain thimerosal.
Third, it isn’t Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. who ignores the findings of the Institute of Medicine (IOM); it’s the CDC who does that.
As an illuminating example, to support its claim that “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”, the CDC cites a 2004 IOM review that in fact acknowledged that “the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines could be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders” is “biologically plausible” and that the evidence was “inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship” (emphasis added).
Additionally, the CDC cites a 2012 IOM review that acknowledged that none of the studies had considered the possibility of vaccines contributing to the development of autism in subpopulations of children with a genetic or environmentally caused susceptibility.
The IOM further acknowledged that this curious oversight could explain studies’ failure to find an association.
The IOM was explicit that the evidence did not rule out the possibility that vaccines could cause autism, and, ironically, by declaring the at “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism”, the CDC is rejecting the standard of evidence adopted by the IOM in that review.
As another illuminating example, a 2013 IOM review acknowledged that no studies have ever been done to compare the differences in health outcomes between children who’ve been vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule and children who remained completely unvaccinated.
The IOM called on the CDC to conduct such a study using its Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a surveillance network run by the CDC in collaboration with several health care organizations, but to date the CDC has refused to do so.
Fourth, legitimate concerns about vaccines are hardly limited to concerns about mercury toxicity. The fact that the authors seem to think that this is the only issue, or even the main issue, just serves to illustrate how completely clueless they are about the topic.
Fifth, the authors’ opinion that it is “sad” that people think that the CDC and the rest of the “public health” community have engaged in all manner of deceit just serves to demonstrate their own inexplicable disconnection from reality. The CDC’s constant deceitfulness is easily demonstrable, and it must take great effort indeed on the part of the Daily Beast authors not to see it.
Not content with their display of willful ignorance thus far, the authors continue:
Four years ago, when two of RFK Jr’s siblings (Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and former Rep. Joseph P, Kennedy II) joined niece and health care worker Maeve Kennedy McKean, to publish a heartfelt plea for him to abandon his unfounded attacks on public health, many naively thought he might dig deep to discover his roots. Instead, RFK Jr. has doubled down, building the war chest of his anti-vax propaganda organization, Children’s Health Defense, to eight figures, publishing a nasty screed against Dr Anthony Fauci, and rubbing elbows with the likes of Roger Stone at “Reawaken America” events.
First, the Daily Beast authors repeat the accusation from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s siblings and niece that his criticisms of the “public health” establishment were “unfounded”, but we have already seen what ridiculous nonsense that is.
Second, thank God that Children’s Health Defense has been successful at raising funds to finance its critically important work exposing dangerous government, media, and pharmaceutical industry propaganda.
Third, the authors content themselves with labeling Kennedy’s book The Real Anthony Fauci as a “nasty screed” without so much as attempting to substantively address even a single point that the book makes about what a nasty criminal Anthony Fauci is.
Fourth, as a simple thought experiment, if the name of the game is guilt by association, it is easy to imagine the authors of this Daily Beast garbage being eager, if given the opportunity, to “rub elbows” with the likes of Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
Next, the authors of the Daily Beast article state:
Facebook and Instagram removed the Children’s Health Defense account, naming the organization one of the “Disinformation Dozen,” which refers to the top 12 COVID-19 misinformation super-spreaders.
Once again, notice that their accusation that Children’s Health Defense (CHD) is a spreader of “misinformation” not only remains totally unsubstantiated, but that they don’t even attempt to substantiate it.
This reminds me of how, in November 2019, the media exploded with headlines about CHD being the top spreader of “misinformation” via advertisements on Facebook, which headlines were based on a study published in the journal Vaccine leveling that same accusation at CHD.
Demonstrating the less-than-uselessness of the mainstream media, in fact, the authors of that study similarly didn’t even attempt to substantiate their accusation; they did not provide even a single example of a CHD post on Facebook that contained any inaccurate information.
Instead, they lazily and dishonestly labeled any posts that did not align with the CDC’s policy goal of achieving high vaccination rates as “anti-vaccine” information, and then they stupidly equated anything they dubbed “anti-vaccine” with “misinformation”.
In truth, that study simply illustrates the dogma by which any criticism of public vaccine policy is deemed an act of heresy against the vaccine religion.
Instructively, according to the Vaccine study authors’ criteria, the simple act of advocating the right to informed consent was deemed to constitute the spread of “misinformation”.
I don’t know about you, but I, for one, am sick and tired of the media stupidly using the word “misinformation” as a euphemism to mean “any information, no matter how factual, that does not align with the political agenda”.
Are you with me?
Not content with the stupidity of their blabbering thus far, the authors of the Daily Beast article persist:
Earlier this year, RFK Jr. and other anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists joined forces in a bizarre lawsuit accusing the Washington Post, BBC, Associated Press, and Reuters of violating 19th-century antitrust laws by refusing to credit bogus COVID-19 conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine misinformation.
Thus, the Daily Beast propagandists attempt to gaslight you into believing that it is “bizarre” to think that the mainstream media colluded to censor truthful information that did not align with what so-called “public health” officials had to say about COVID19, lockdowns, masks, vaccines, etc.
What is truly bizarre is describing as “bizarre” the recognition of fact that this cabal of media institutions colluded to prevent Americans from learning the truth and instead continually lied to the public.
Remember how, for example, we were prohibited from discussing the possible Fauci-funded lab origin of SARS
Dogmatically, the Daily Beast authors go on to describe CHD’s lawsuit against this media cabal for conspiring with the government to censor truth as an effort “to undermine vaccines”.
The beastly article concludes:
RFK Jr.’s obsession with casting doubt on the simply overwhelming scientific evidence that vaccines save lives is the antithesis of the common good. And it is the antithesis of the public spirit that Jack and Bobby Kennedy aspired to for America.
Thus, the authors once again make clear that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s sin is “casting doubt” on the dogma that “vaccines save lives” by exposing how the claim that this conclusion is supported by “overwhelming scientific evidence” is nothing more than propaganda.
In fact, as I document in my book The War on Informed Consent, the scientific evidence indicates that parents who choose to defy the CDC’s recommendations by refusing all vaccinations are achieving superior health outcomes for their children than those who strictly comply with the CDC schedule.
But mainstream propaganda rags like The Daily Beast naturally wouldn’t want you to understand the difference between what “public health” officials say science says about vaccines and what the science actually tells us.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., if asked, would no doubt confess himself guilty of the crime of heresy against the vaccine religion. And good for him. It’s about time that someone who takes our children’s health seriously runs for president.
This article was originally published at JeremyRHammond.com and has been republished here with permission.
Jeremy R. Hammond is an independent journalist whose writings focus on exposing dangerous state propaganda serving to manufacture consent for criminal government policies. To stay updated with his work, sign up for his free newsletter.
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Has the daily beast ever got anything correct? I would say no since they are nothing more than leftist propaganda.