Chapter 9: Article 6
Did you know that it's "normal" for government officials to leave government and move into prominent positions within the private sector.
For the average lay person, this may seem like "Not a big deal," but this situation can pose a serious issue. Some private positions pay handsomely, and if you're in government, your job may be to regulate that industry, and/or conduct research (which may negatively affect that industry). If your position requires you to regulate that industry, sometimes that requires you to say "No" or penalize them. Publishing unfavourable drug research, saying no or penalizing a corporation, could cost that business millions or billions of dollars in profit. If a government official is considering employment in the private sector, are they going to be willing to perform their role properly? Will they be willing to say no or penalize the industry, when doing so could cost them a high paying job that they have their eye?
The government recognizes that there is considerable incentive for officials to be swayed inappropriately by industry, and policies have been established to try to minimize this from happening.
Dr. Julie Gerberding was the head of the CDC from 2002 to 2009. Upon her resignation she was required to wait one year and one day before accepting a position within industry, at Merck. She waited as required. In 2010 she began a new career as president of Merck Vaccines. In accepting that position she likely received a bigger salary, and as part of her employment package she was given 70,000 Merck shares. In 2015 she sold just over half of those shares, for $2.3 million.
In an interview she gave for students at Harvard Public School of Health, something she said alluded to the reality that many government officials move to Merck. She had the following to say (emphasis mine):
There are a lot of people from CDC who work at Merck Vaccines. And there is the same kind of passion for science. And the same kind of passion for public health. So in a sense, it feels kind of like a very academic environment.
And I don't know enough about the whole company or the whole pharmaceutical industry to know if that's common or unique to the vaccine area. But I certainly feel comfortable there. And the scientists that I work with in my new role are as passionate and as smart as the scientists that I worked with in my old role. So it feels pretty comfortable.
If you recall back to Ch4: Part 4, you will remember the story about Dr. William Thompson the CDC whistleblower. Of course Dr. Julie Gerberding was alleged to be a central participating figure in that story.
To recap, Dr. Thompson was part of a research team that looked into an MMR vaccine/autism connection. Their study was published in 2004. Dr. Thompson has since come forward stating that their analysis based on the original study data revealed an increased risk of autism in African American boys who were vaccinated on time, according to the recommended CDC vaccination schedule. In the documentary Vaxxed, which used recorded phone calls with Dr. Thompson, we learn that the CDC research team destroyed data and altered the study design, to make it appear that there wasn't an increased risk of autism. Dr. Thompson explains that he and his CDC co-workers committed scientific fraud, which is obviously a pretty serious crime. Thompson shared documents with Congress, documents which show that during the period of time when they were actively committing fraud, he was so concerned about what was happening that he broke chain of command and went directly to Julie Gerberding. He wrote Dr. Gerberding stating he felt compelled to tell the truth and not go along with the scientific fraud. Dr. Gerberding did nothing about it, and afterwards Dr. Thompson was actually reprimanded for speaking to her. So Dr. Gerberding was aware her employees were committing scientific fraud and she punished the employee who spoke out against it. As the highest ranking representative of CDC, that makes her the most responsible and accountable. Yet she used her position of power to show her employees that they must remain complicit in illegal activities, if they want to keep their job.
Take note, that entire story is focused on the MMR vaccine, which is manufactured by Merck. I'm sure Merck was pretty grateful to Dr. Gerberding and the CDC for refusing to publish the analysis of the original data. It's interesting that when Dr. Gerberding left the CDC, Merck offered her a multi-million dollar position as their President of Merck Vaccines.
The DeStefano et al 2004 paper was published at a time when another important review was, a review conducted by the Institute of Medicine. This review, titled Immunization Safety Review: Vaccines and Autism was published in May 2004. Dr. Dave Weldon, a politician in Florida, was aware that things happening with these reviews were suspicious. In a talk he gave on May 29, 2004, shortly after the publication of this IOM report, he had the following to say (emphasis mine):
On January 15 of this year I wrote Dr. Julie Gerberding, the Director of the CDC, I asked her to post-pone the February 9, IOM meeting and this report because of my concern that this was not an exercise in discovering the truth but was instead a meeting “being driven by a desire to short- circuit important research and draw premature conclusions. If the purpose of this meeting is to seriously consider and address these concerns” I wrote, “then this will not be accomplished.”
Allow me to quote further from my letter to Dr Gerberding:
“It appears to me not only as a Member of Congress but also as a physician that some officials within the CDC’s NIP [National Immunization Program] may be more interested in a public relations campaign than getting to the truth about thimerosal.”
“Pressing forward with this meeting at this time, I believe, will further undermine the credibility of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on matters of vaccine safety and do damage to the reputation of the IOM. I believe the proposed date of this meeting, which you have the ability to change, is in the best interests of no one who is seeking the truth about a possible association between vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
In a follow-up telephone conversation to me on February 3, 2004, Dr. Gerberding assured me that the IOM’s February meeting was “not an attempt [to] draw conclusions” but merely to “update on the science” of where we are at this point in time. However, [the IOM report] clearly draws conclusions and in what is perhaps the greatest outrage it goes further to call for a halt to all further research."
A public relations campaign, rather than sound science, seems to be the M.O. of the officials at the CDC’s National Immunization Program (NIP) office. Why do I say this? Let’s look, not only at the timing of the IOM meeting in February, the content of the IOM report, but also at studies the IOM used as a basis for their decisions. The IOM bases their decision almost entirely on five epidemiology studies, all of which were conducted by researchers with an interest in not finding an association, all of which have short-comings, and all of which the IOM declares would miss an association if it were in a genetically susceptible subset of children.
Keep in mind that the IOM is not a government agency. The IOM a private, non-profit institute. They are tasked with conducting research and providing advice to government agencies. The CDC paid for this IOM review, and the CDC therefore had the position to give direction to the IOM.
Dr. Weldon goes on to say (emphasis mine):
It is critical to note the instructions that the IOM was given, primarily by the CDC, which has been funding the IOM. Pages 5 and 6 of the IOM report make it clear that epidemiology was to reign supreme. In the absence of epidemiological evidence to support causality, IOM was instructed to give biological evidence little consideration, and was prohibited from allowing biological evidence to lend evidence toward causality.
Is it any wonder that the CDC has spent the past two years dedicating significant funding to epidemiology while starving funding for clinical and biological research? The IOM notes in their report that the epidemiology studies they examined were not designed to pick up a genetically susceptible population. Yet, they attempt to use these five flawed and conflicted statistical studies to quash further research into the possible association between vaccines and autism. This report is extreme in its findings and recommendations. The IOM process became little more than an attempt to validate the CDC’s claims that vaccines have caused no harm, while quashing research to better understand whether or not and how the MMR or thimerosal might contribute to the epidemic of neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism.
If you remember from Ch3: Part 1, I explained that epidemiological studies are population studies and population studies cannot prove causation. So Dr. Weldon is explaining here that the CDC prohibited the IOM from considering causation from biological evidence, the stronger evidence, and they forced the IOM to complete their review using only population studies (and poor ones as he explains) which cannot establish causation.
Remember, the CDC is a subordinate agency under the direction of HHS. In 1984, HHS gave the instruction about vaccines, that "any possible doubts, whether or not well founded, about the safety of the vaccine cannot be allowed to exist in view of the need to assure that the vaccine will continue to be used to the maximum extent consistent with the nation’s public health objectives."
The CDC is the federal agency responsible for ensuring that everyone is getting the vaccines they need. The CDC creates the vaccine schedule for the nation to follow, and all the CDC vaccine measurements are centred around maximizing vaccine uptake. In addition to that, the CDC is also tasked with conducting research to ensure vaccines are safe. But those two tasks compete with each other (explained in more detail in the previous article about HHS). You can't ensure maximum uptake of vaccines if you publicly point out the problems with them. In consequence, one of those CDC priorities had to be unofficially dropped, and HHS' actions since 1984 have demonstrated that "monitoring vaccine safety" was the task to forget about.
CONTINUE to the next article Ch9: Part 7
D.r Gerberding sold just over half her Merck shares for $2.3 million Here
Dr. Gerberding speaks to students at Harvard Public School of Health Here
Documentary Vaxxed from Cover-Up to Catastrophe Here
Talk given by Dr. Dave Weldon, politician in Florida Here
Robert F Kennedy Jr - excerpt from lecture explaining the CDC corruption Here
Article that Robert F Kennedy Jr wrote, explaining the federal investigations into the corruption within the CDC Here
Interview of Robert F Kennedy in the documentary series Vaccines Revealed Here