An outbreak of measles amongst a small unvaccinated population in Minnesota could spell trouble for the anti-vax community as it may prompt yet another push for forced vaccinations by vaccine advocates. The media is using the latest outbreak to criticize anti-vax groups and tout the “benefits” of vaccinations, despite the science that links vaccines to a number of long-term health issues.
In the United States, every child by the age of 18 is expected to receive a total of 69 doses of 16 different vaccines, most of which use controversial ingredients. Many parents of autistic children have concluded that these vaccines and the vaccination schedule utilized in the United States play a role in the rise of autism and have sounded the alarm for other parents to think twice before administering vaccines to their children. Unfortunately, those skeptics then become prime targets whenever there is an outbreak of a disease for which a vaccine exists.
On May 8, for example, CNN reported that of the 48 confirmed cases of measles in Minnesota, 41 are Somali-Americans who “bought into the fears that vaccines cause autism, and thus eschewed getting vaccines for their children.” CNN cites Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division at the Minnesota Department of Health, who claims that the Somali-Americans fell prey to the anti-vaccine groups that targeted them after it was discovered in 2008 that a disproportionate number of Somali children were receiving special education for autism. According to the Washington Post, a University of Minnesota study found that Somali children were about as likely as white children to be identified with autism, although they were more likely to have intellectual disabilities.
Ehresmann added, "I want to be very clear that this outbreak has nothing to do with being Somali. It's just the sheer fact of being unvaccinated."
In its overzealous effort to defend vaccines, CNN cited a pro-vaccine expert whose claims seem to undermine assertions that vaccines and autism have no relationship. Michael Osterholm, regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a former state epidemiologist for Minnesota, said, "Between 2000 and roughly 2008, the Somali community in Minnesota actually had some of the highest vaccination rates for 2-year-olds of any population in the state.”
As observed by Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC),
The truth is, nobody knows how many vaccine victims there are in America, how many of the 1 in 6 learning disabled children; or the 1 in 9 with asthma; or the 1 in 100 who develop autism; or the 1 in 450 who become diabetic, can trace their chronic inflammation, disease and disability back to vaccine reactions that have been dismissed by public health officials and doctors for the past century as just "a coincidence."
And even when scientists are forced to confront the data, they simply dismiss it on the grounds that there is not enough evidence to establish a “causal” relationship.
But sadly, it seems the scientific community is not interested in conducting any studies that might establish a causal relationship. According to public testimony of Dr. Heather Rice at the Vermont Department of Health, “No true prospective, randomized and controlled study of health outcomes of vaccinated people versus unvaccinated has ever been conducted by the U.S. by CDC or any other agency in the 50 years or more of an accelerating schedule of vaccinations.”
Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says measles "is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected." But if the pro-vaccine community is confident in the effectiveness of vaccinations, then they should have no fears of contraction.
And whether the CDC can even be considered a trustworthy entity is another issue. According to a controversial 2016 film directed by autism advocate Dr. Andrew Wakefield entitled Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe, the CDC was behind a major cover-up of the MMR vaccine’s connection to autism. The documentary is based on revelations by CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, a former senior scientist at the CDC who admits that the organization destroyed evidence linking the MMR vaccination to autism.
But while Thompson’s revelations were groundbreaking, the mainstream media virtually staged an all-out blackout. Instead, it waits for stories of “measles outbreaks” to launch a media firestorm.
“Anti-vaccine groups blamed in Minnesota measles outbreak,” CNN reports. “Measles outbreak in Minnesota caused by vaccine skeptics,” an NBC News headline reads. “Unfounded autism fears are fueling Minnesota’s measles outbreak,” NPR opines. And a Fox News headline reads, “Minnesota measles outbreak: Officials say Somali families 'targeted with misinformation.'” When it comes to vaccinations, all mainstream media outlets seem to be on the same side.
Perhaps that "bipartisan" approach to this subject is because the mainstream media is virtually owned by the pharmaceutical industry. According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the chairman of the World Mercury Project, which seeks a global ban on mercury, the press has been “coopted” by the pharmaceutical industry. Big Pharma, he says, is the single largest contributor to advertising revenue to network news divisions, at approximately $5.4 billion per year.
“A network news broadcast these days … is just a vehicle for selling pharmaceutical products,” Kennedy asserts.
In fact, it was the media’s silence on the CDC whistleblower that inspired Del Bigtree, an Emmy award-winning medical journalist, to produce Vaxxed:
I want the media to be held accountable for the weeks and weeks of covering a measles outbreak at Disneyland, terrifying people when only 644 people were affected. That’s .000002% of the people in this country, which effectively translates to zero, when one in 45 kids is now diagnosed with autism. I’d like the media to explain why it won’t cover the story of a top CDC scientist who admits they committed fraud on the MMR study when they discovered a causal link between the vaccine and autism, a disease that is accelerating so fast it could spell the end of our society. If that’s not a story, what is?
Thompson’s revelations did garner the attention of Florida Republican Congressman Bill Posey, who called on Congress to conduct a formal investigation into the allegations against the CDC in July 2015:
I believe it’s our duty to ensure that the documents that Dr. Thompson provided are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of Congress and the house committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So, I ask Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.
Unfortunately, Posey’s request fell on deaf ears, while media portrayal of the Minnesota measles outbreak does not.