The Pharmaceutical Reach: CDC Part 2

Chapter 9: Article 7


You recently learned that HHS is the defendant in vaccine court. (Ch9: Part 3) Despite legislation requiring HHS to conduct a safety audit reports every two years since 1987, to continually improve the safety of vaccines, HHS has refused to do this work. HHS has never prepared and submitted a single safety audit report to congress. In contrast to that, HHS has spent billions of dollars promoting vaccines and has published numerous reports detailing how to improve vaccine uptake. Because HHS is the defendant in vaccine court, it only makes sense that they would refuse to conduct safety audits, and file those reports. Any problems they identify and report would be information used against them in vaccine court. Recognizing that the CDC is a subordinate agency under HHS authority, obviously HHS would instruct CDC to not publish any research that shows vaccines cause problems.

When you understand that, you can better understand the concern that Dr. Weldon expressed to Dr. Gerberding.

In the audio recordings of Dr. Thompson, Thompson stated, "Senior people just do completely unethical, vile things and no one holds them accountable.”

It appears this vile, unethical behaviour within the CDC is actually a necessary requirement for CDC operations. Officials have to do vile and unethical things, to ensure that nothing gets in the way of maximum uptake of vaccines, and to ensure that their supervisors, the HHS, do not lose their vaccine court cases. Those two tasks are priority number, over everything else.

Vile, unethical behaviour looks to be an office-wide culture within the CDC. In 2016 the Huffington Post reported on this, explaining that a group of CDC scientists who wish to remain anonymous (they've named themselves CDC Spider: Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research), wrote a letter to the Chief of Staff of the CDC. The introduction of the CDC Spider letter states:

We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests. It seems that our mission and Congressional intent for our agency is being circumvented by some of our leaders. What concerns us most, is that it is becoming the norm and not the rare exception. Some senior management officials at CDC are clearly aware and even condone these behaviors. Others see it and turn the other way. Some staff are intimidated and pressed to do things they know are not right. We have representatives from across the agency that witness this unacceptable behavior. It occurs at all levels and in all of our respective units. These questionable and unethical practices threaten to undermine our credibility and reputation as a trusted leader in public health. We would like to see high ethical standards and thoughtful, responsible management restored at CDC. We are asking that you do your part to help clean up this house!

The concerning information doesn't end there. ICAN is a non-profit organization that has been extensively researching vaccine policy. Last year ICAN wrote a letter addressed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). This letter states (emphasis mine):

..."while the CDC states on its website -- not less than 130 times -- that “CDC does not accept commercial support,” this is simply not true. For example, the British Medical Journal reported in 2015 that: “Despite the agency’s disclaimer, the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.” As another example, pharmaceutical companies and other private entities, through the “CDC Foundation,” can create and fund programs at the CDC (over half a billion dollars’ worth to-date), endow positions at the CDC, and even place individuals to work at the CDC, paid through “private funding.”

So the CDC does receive private funding. If they lie about this, 130 times on their website alone, I wonder what else they lie about?

Pharmaceutical financial influences plays a critical role in vaccine policy making. One of the CDC committees that is engaged in vaccine policy making is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This committee determines which vaccines are added onto the childhood vaccination schedule. The CDC vaccine schedule is the schedule that all American children are vaccinated in accordance with, and several nations also make changes to their schedule following the USA's ACIP committee recommendations. In recent years, government investigations have shown that nearly all of the members on the ACIP have conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry. These conflicts of interest involve owning patents on specific vaccines, working for or receiving financial compensation directly from a pharmaceutical company, and/or by having stocks, shares or investments in the pharmaceutical companies themselves.

Dr Paul Offit is an example of a former ACIP member who had a severe conflict of interest at a time when he was a voting ACIP committee member.

To quote some excerpts from an investigative article written by Age of Autism (Link Here):

From 1998 to 2003, Offit served as a member of ACIP. Before and during his ACIP term, Offit was involved in rotavirus vaccine development activities, the value of which ACIP influenced.

Four months before Offit was appointed to ACIP in October 1998, the committee had voted to give the rotavirus category a “Routine Vaccination” status, in anticipation of an FDA approval of RotaShield.

Shortly after Offit’s term began, there were several additional votes involved in establishing the rotavirus vaccine market and Offit voted yes in every case. In May of 1999, the CDC published its revised childhood vaccination schedule and rotavirus vaccine was included. This series of favorable votes clearly enhanced the monetary value of Offit’s stake in Merck’s rotavirus vaccine, which was five years into clinical trials.

Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) took home a fortune of at least $29 million as part of a $182 million sale by CHOP of its worldwide royalty interest in the Merck Rotateq vaccine to Royalty Pharma in April of last year [2008], according to an investigation by Age of Autism. Based on an analysis of current CHOP administrative policies, the amount of income distributed to Offit could be as high as $46 million.

To quote Robert F Kennedy Jr in an interview he gave for episode three of a documentary titled Vaccines Revealed (Link Here):

They [ACIP & CDC] added that vaccine to the schedule that created a market opening for [Offit's] vaccine which then became enormously profitable as a direct result of that vote. ...That transaction caused kind of a scandal at HHS and CDC and the inspector general of HHS investigated that practice. And what they came back and said you know that transaction was bad but it was not illegal under CDC rules. 

In fact up to 97% of the people who sit on that committee, they have the same kind of conflicts. They found that 64% actually had the conflicts, but that 97% either had the conflicts or hadn't filled out the paper work to make the legal disclosures whether or not they had those conflicts. It's hard for Americans who've watched their vaccine schedule increase exponentially to completely have faith that all of these vaccines are being added to the schedule, and then given to their children at a very young age, in most cases, simply because of a narrow focus on public health. When people are actually making money from these transactions. The people who are not just making decisions over that vaccine policy are making personal profit on it. And I think those are conflicts that I think if the American people knew about them would leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

Shockingly, the ACIP committee relies heavily on working groups to draft vaccine policy recommendations. ACIP working groups are filled with people heavily financed and influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. These working group meetings are held in private and meeting minutes are not taken. Such action ensures the public cannot scrutinize their work. Secretive meetings held outside the specter of public scrutiny are a clear violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).  To quote from one governmental investigation, by the Committee on Government Reform, titled Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making, the investigation states (bolding and/or underline emphasis within the paragraphs is mine):

§ The CDC routinely grants waivers from conflict of interest rules to every member of its advisory committee.

§ CDC Advisory Committee members who are not allowed to vote on certain recommendations due to financial conflicts of interest are allowed to participate in committee deliberations and advocate specific positions.

§ The Chairman of the CDC's advisory committee until very recently owned 600 shares of stock in Merck, a pharmaceutical company with an active vaccine division.

§ Members of the CDC's advisory Committee often fill out incomplete financial disclosure statements, and are not required to provide the missing information by CDC ethics officials.

§ Four out of eight CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.

...Decision-Making Process of the ACIP

a. Working Groups of the ACIP

When deemed appropriate by the Executive Secretary and the Chair of the ACIP, working groups may be formed to prepare draft policy recommendations to be submitted to the full ACIP for its consideration. The working groups must: 1) include one or more regular voting members, 2) include CDC staff members, 3) may include ex officio members and liaison representatives and other consultants. Vaccine manufacturer's official representatives may not serve on working groups but, at the discretion of the chair, may be consultants to a working group.[lvi]

Generally, working groups range from six to fifteen members.[lvii] The working group is charged with reviewing all pertinent information relative to the recommendationfor use of a vaccine. No notice is given to the public of working group meetings and discussions of the group are held in private. No minutes are taken at the meetings.

Upon drafting a proposed recommendation, the chair will submit the draft proposal to the ACIP for consideration. The ACIP members review the proposal and suggest revisions to the working group. This process is generally repeated numerous times. The process for making a final recommendation to the full ACIP generally takes eighteen to twenty-four months. The work that the working group does contributes in large part to the recommendations for use of a vaccine submitted to the Director for approval.

...The Use of Working Groups is Contrary to the FACA [Federal Advisory Committee Act] (Exhibit 71)

a. Members of the Rotavirus Working Group of the ACIP

The ACIP rotavirus work group was responsible for creating the statement recommending universal use of the rotavirus vaccine. The working group has ten members, seven of whom have identifiable conflicts of interest with vaccine manufacturers or vaccine interest groups. The group's meetings were held in private with no minutes or records of the proceedings taken. It appears that members who were not allowed to votebecause of conflicts of interest with Wyeth-Lederle, such as Dr. Le, were allowed to work extensively on the recommendation for a long period of time in the working group.

The broad ability to grant waivers from the federal conflict of interest statutes was specifically enacted because of the statutory requirements and safeguards of the FACA. FACA requires that advisory committees hold public meetings, except in unusual circumstances. As such, deliberations of advisory committees are open to the most exacting public scrutiny. These requirements are to ensure public scrutiny of advisory committees operations and ensure that it is not a secretive or hidden vehicle for special interest influence.[lxxviii] The ACIPs prolific use of working groups to draft vaccine policy recommendations outside the specter of public scrutiny opens the door to undo special interest access.

CONTINUE to the next article Ch9: Part 8

Article Links

  • 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

  • Letter addressed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services Here

  • The CDC website states at least 130 times that it does not receive commercial funding Here

  • Editor of BMJ writes article explaining that CDC actually does receive funding from industry, both directly and indirectly Here

  • Committee on Government Reform - investigation titled Conflicts of Interest in Vaccine Policy Making 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

  • Paul Offit - Investigative article about Paul Offit as a voting member on the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) Here

  • Interview of Robert F Kennedy in the documentary series Vaccines Revealed Here

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