ENTER SETH MNOOKIN
Now along comes a book entitled The Panic Virus The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy. It was given to my sister by her pediatrician as a way of offsetting what I’m sure he feels is a gaggle of dumb, soccer hens clucking madly about a non-issue of vaccine induced brain injury. I like how his version is the TRUE story. What’s mine? The other true story, the false true story?
At the risk of being an Ad Hominem bully, Mr Mnookin doesn’t even have a master’s degree in a science, any science, but he’s a science writer. OK, and he’s from MIT but I won’t hold that against him. Based on that I think we can all agree that he probably couldn’t be considered an expert by any stretch. Actually I don’t really care one way or the other. What I care about is how he’s supposed to be the answer to all those truth seekers “out there” lost on the disinformation highway. He was just looking for the truth and this dear reader is what he found: that you are all a bunch of dumb hens suffering from herd-poisoning due to the internet and misinformation from discredited thieves like Andrew Wakefield; that thimerosal isn’t as big an issue as we thought, that it’s all been removed from vaccines anyway; that fluoride is indeed good for you; that all researchers that come up with damning evidence of an autism-vaccine association like the Geiers are loose cannon, J-V team, charlatans; and vaccines, in particular the MMR, have been thoroughly tested and are exceedingly safe period.
He spends page after page relentlessly bashing Dr Wakefield author of Callous Disregard: Autism and Vaccines: The Truth Behind a Tragedy yet not once does he quote a single sentence from the doctor’s own book. Readers will recall that Dr Wakefield was the notorious British doctor that had his license revoked after the publication of the now famous study referred to as the Lancet 12. The book was written for just such a defense-to set the record straight. He backs every single defense with the proper references and citations. As if anticipating future Mnookins, Dr Wakefield actually addresses and corrects the misleading things Mnookin mentions: such as the type of study that he did- its merits and weaknesses, the purpose behind such a study called a case study, the true conclusions of the study and what the team hoped to accomplish, the importance of taking a proper history from the patient’s parents, the truth behind the referral smear, the fact that they did have a pediatric specialist who examined every single patient in excruciating detail, the study’s true funding sources and those researchers, there are many, that have since vindicated his findings.
In several critiques of Dr Wakefield they refer to his reliance on the patient’s history which in this case was supposed to be bad form. This is where Seth, who knows no medicine, gets it wrong. Wakefield relied on the patient history for ascertaining when the children developed their symptoms in relation to the MMR vaccine. Anyone who ever went to medical school knows immediately that the history of present illness, or HPI as it is called, is the most fundamental, important and unflappable cornerstone in medicine. Every student is taught the importance of patient history because a good history gives you the diagnosis nearly every time. It is said that the patient is waiting to give you the diagnosis all you have to do is tease it out of him through a proper history. For these people to now turn around and criticize Dr Wakefield for doing excellent medical interviews and relying on a patient’s history for the time sequence of vaccine-to-symptoms is ridiculous. Nor did he make any effort to talk to Dr Wakefield in person before going to print.
He seems to hang his proverbial tam o shanter on the 839 word evisceration of Wakefield as he calls it which is really more like being rolled in powdered sugar. From authors Chen and DeStephano published in the Lancet in 1998 as a response to Wakefield’s recent publication entitled: Vaccine adverse events: causal or coincidental?
Largely displaying his inability to understand medicine he relies on the author’s actual 859 words to do his bidding. Especially with this particular section: Although Wakefield has reported the detection of these [measles] viruses in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), other investigators, using more sensitive and specific assays, have not been able to reproduce these findings. Actually they have. Over and over and over it seems since their publication in 1998. Live measles virus is showing up in all the wrong places not just bowel but blood, brain and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) too. Wakefield’s own book lists several which I mention later. How Seth missed these glaring vindications I’ll never know. There are far too many citations to print them all here but I’ll provide the link for you to read them for yourself. There are 15 studies 12 of which I think are good showing a link with autism and a novel form of bowel disease similar to Crohn’s.
Six studies reaffirm a link between inflammatory bowel disease (ileal lymphoid nodular hyperplasia) and measles virus.
There are also six studies linking the MMR vaccine and measles virus detection in various tissue compartments such as CSF, gut tissues, blood, brain tissue; serum anti-myelin basic protein autoantibodies were discovered and reported in two cases suggesting an autoimmune component to myelin triggered by the measles portion of the MMR vaccine; a dose response from measles containing virus (MCV) confirming a re-challenge effect in producing GI symptoms and presence of severe ileal-lymphoid nodular hyperplasia. The last sentence refers to how these kids got much worse after they received their second (re-challenge) measles vaccination.
Mnookin is going to fool a lot of people-that’s what he’s paid to do. He’s got 20 swayed already, 19 on just the first two pages of his book and my sister’s pediatrician. I’ll tell you something. This is infuriating. Here’s a book that I thought might seriously teach me something that perhaps I missed. Maybe even undermine what I had learned researching this chapter. Since I don’t have an axe to grind with the industry I would change my stance in the face of real, authentic, convincing arguments. See I’m an adult, I can admit I’m wrong if I were wrong. Instead all I find is just a thinly veiled, poorly done, hit piece targeted at the anti-vaccine movement’s key players and their research with absolutely nothing new added to the argument. As if the earth stood still in 1998 along with all basic research. Wow, that’s all I can say. You have to be able to do better than this. The other mistake was having someone who’s not an MD write the book. He relies on other MD’s to tell him what’s important and it shows-painfully at times.
BUT YOU CAN’T FOOL EVERYONE….
You can fool some of the people…yada, yada, yada. I know all the players he refers to and the facts as I see them are very different. Even the title is pretty insulting. Basically calling you, the vaccine consumer, hysterical idiots infected by an internet anti-vaccine campaign pathogen. To me it’s transparent and I would bet many readers are going to think the same. It’s just another promotional, pro-industry, book designed to curb the ever mounting anger (and loss of revenue) from a public that feels betrayed. I can punch a thousand holes in this book and someday I might just for sport. Here I promised myself I would not go tit for tat on everything he has said or I’ll add another 50 pages to this chapter which is already too big (in reference to my book).
I can assure you of several facts. He is not unbiased, he very clearly has an agenda and that agenda is the preservation of the status quo. Shame on my sister’s pediatrician for his hubris and being too intellectually lazy to learn the real facts behind the agenda driven The Panic Virus. He hands this book out like cotton candy at the fair to his patients without realizing what this book really is. It’s a shame that a few might be sucker enough to read and fall for it. If the establishment really wants us to think that everything is fine and dandy with the vaccine industry then why do it this way, through more deception? I am beginning to realize why.
Mr Mnookin falls prey to the exact thing he’s supposedly protecting us from-disinformation. All he appears to be doing is accepting the baton from the last set of detractors and passing it to a new audience of readers without taking the time to learn the truth. If he got the above material wrong and I believe it was deliberate, I know better than to trust whatever else he has to say.
Look, the vaccine issue has two sides and they both have important things to contribute. However, this book makes those that ask questions on safety and have contradictory conclusions from their research look to be wearing fright wigs and rubber balls on their noses. Sorry but it’s not that black and white. Do not waste your time with this book. You can get the same mantra on the CDC’s website for free. You have better things to do like read my book when it comes out. Read Dr Wakefield’s book by the way if you would like to know his side of the story. Very well written he has a great style. So much for the truth behind the vaccine…….
 (http://www.vaccinetruth.org/measles_in_the_brain.htm) 09/01/2013
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