There's nothing like a good conspiracy theory to get the creative juices flowing. For actor Rob Schneider, that means getting your dander up over your incorrect belief that the CDC altered data to bury the "fact" that MMR causes autism.
Which it doesn't. This is an example of why peer-reviewed studies are so important, and why Rob Schneider is full of it.
Whenever the vaccine wars start up again, I turn to my friend Liz Ditz at I Speak of Dreams to get the latest on what they've cooked up now. So let's start with the allegations against the CDC.
This brings us to the present. There is a biochemist named Brian Hooker, PhD, who has an autistic son. Dr. Hooker is convinced (in face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary) that thimerosal in the vaccines caused his son's autism. Hooker has filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suits to compel the CDC to release allegedly damning evidence. There was a long and confusing brouhaha (one, two, three, four, five, six) over the anti-vaccine movement's strategizing, and Hooker's involvement, in the run-up to the November 29 2012 Congressional Autism Hearing, chaired by Rep. Issa (another report on the hearing).
The short version: Hooker is not an unbiased scientist; he's a man with an agenda: to prove that somehow, someway that vaccines cause autism; the CDC knew this as early as 2000; and that people at CDC have concealed data with malicious intent.
On August 8, 2014, Hooker published his latest paper, "Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young African American boys: A reanalysis of CDC data". This paper re-analyzed the dataset (designed as for a case-control study) used in deStefano paper, using a cohort methodology and a different and less subtle statistical test. This is technical stuff, but it's critical to the validity of Hooker's findings. What Hooker claims to have found: " a 3.36-fold increased risk for autism in African-American males who received MMR vaccination before the age of 36 months"
You should read the rest if you want all the details. Bottom line: agendas and some apparent racism appear to be afoot.
Notice the mention of the omnipresent Rep. Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee? If you want to defund the CDC, what better way than to co-opt a determined scientist who is willing to ignore all scientific data so he can be right?
Now we get to Rob Schneider. Schneider is a willing believer, so he wrote a letter to Governor Brown's Deputy Legislative Secretary Lark Park demanding that the rather mild-mannered law passed by the legislature and signed by the governor be torn up and tossed out in light of this new pseudo-evidence.
I'll spare you Schneider's groans about the evil government and its plot to force vaccines on an unwilling populace and skip right to the part that made me want to rip his throat out:
My question to you and Governor Brown is, how many children in California in the last thirteen years since this report have been hurt? How many children in the US have been permanently damaged?
Lastly, how many MORE children will be needlessly injured because of the bill Governor Brown signed?
Thank you, Junior Alex Jones.
Let's talk about needless injury and death to children rationally, if that's possible. Let's look at what happens when people decide vaccines are evil and cause autism. And let's never forget all the shouting and whining at the border about "disease" either.
Here are some consequences of not vaccinating. And yes, I'm going to use CDC information because I am not loony enough to follow this convoluted conspiracy theory they're planting everywhere.
The United States -- the country with the "best healthcare system in the world" -- had 18 outbreaks of measles since January 1st affecting 593 people. That is the highest rate of measles infection since 2000, and it is directly attributable to parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Expect that number to continue to rise.
Mumps vaccines began in 1967. Before that, an average of 186,000 cases were reported each year. It dropped to nearly zero, but it too is now on the rise especially in universities. Since January 1st, 965 have been infected with mumps. Men who contract mumps risk permanent sterility as a result.
Pertussis or Whooping Cough
Whooping cough was, for all intents and purposes, eradicated in this country. Emphasis on the word was. Pictures speak loudest:
So we're clear here, it isn't Governor Brown or the CDC harming children. It's anti-vaccine conspiracy nutjobs like Rob Schneider.