In the 1993 film The Fugitive, Dr. Richard Kimble (played by Harrison Ford) valiantly eludes US Marshal Samuel Gerard (played by Tommy Lee Jones) to find his wife’s murderer and clear his own name. As the story progresses, it is revealed that prior to his wife’s murder, Dr. Kimble had discovered that a drug called Provasic caused liver damage that would preclude its approval by the FDA. His colleague and friend Dr. Nichols, who is leading development of the drug, arranged a cover-up in order to facilitate the drug’s approval which included hiring a hit man for Kimble that had accidentally resulted in his wife’s death. All turns out well in the end for Dr. Kimble. He clears his name and the true killer of his wife is revealed along with the criminal deception of Dr. Nichols.
Things don’t always turn out so well in real life.
While The Fugitive‘s screenplay is fictional, a related storyline is being played out before our eyes in the very real excoriation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, the physician and scientist whose research revealed the link between the MMR vaccine and autism.
Was Dr. Wakefield’s research “an elaborate fraud” as trumpeted by CNN this week?
Is there, in fact, a link between MMR and autism?
Dr. Wakefield discovered that autistic children have enlarged and inflamed lymph nodes in their gut wall. The cause of this severe, auto-immune reaction? The measles virus, the very same one used in the MMR vaccine!
Dr. Wakefield isn’t the only physician to discover the link between autism and the measles virus. Dr. John O’Leary, professor of pathology and a well known virologist from Dublin, found the same thing. Autistic children have inflamed ileal lymph nodes chock full of measles virus from the MMR vaccine indicating a severe auto immune reaction.
In addition, a team from the Wake University School of Medicine is currently finding out the same thing as Dr. Wakefield and Dr. O’Leary. Of 275 children being tested with regressive autism and bowel disease, of 82 tested so far, 70 have tested positive for measles virus. It is the measles strain in the vaccine, by the way, not wild measles.
Moreover, 14 months before Dr Wakefield’s paper was published, two other researchers — Professor Walker-Smith and Dr Amar Dhillon — independently documented the same problems in these children, including symptoms of autism.
Yes, read it and weep CNN. You try to squelch the truth by ruining someone’s life like Dr. Wakefield and it just pops out somewhere else.
Modern Day Yellow Journalism
The series of articles launched by conventional media outlets yesterday were instigated by the so called “investigative” journalism of Brian Deer. Not surprisingly, Mr. Deer’s investigation was paid for by the The Sunday Times of London and the UK’s Channel 4 Television network.
Guess the identity of some of the biggest advertisers of these two media giants?
How about the very same vaccine manufacturers that stand to lose big unless Dr. Wakefield’s research is discredited as completely as possible and his credibility and career utterly decimated.
You see, if the pharmaceutical companies themselves paid for this tainted investigative piece, the public would have cried foul. Indirectly paying for Deer’s modern day style of yellow journalism as a big fat advertiser for a conventional media source is much more accepted and rarely if ever questioned.
Indirect control of content with huge advertising dollars? You betcha. That’s the name of the Big Pharma game.
The Public is Waking Up
With 40% of parents now openly refusing or delaying vaccination according to the CDC, this piece of yellow journalism couldn’t be more welcome for vaccine manufacturers. With an expendable researcher like Dr. Wakefield out of the way and his data on the link between MMR and autism thoroughly discredited, perhaps the growing trend of parental refusal to accept the standard childhood vaccination schedule can be halted and reversed.
Don’t bet on it.
The jig is up. Misrepresenting the facts by hiring a mercenary journalist like Mr. Deer only works as a short term ploy by garnering big headlines but has little effect on the long term and growing distrust of vaccines by the public.
Remember Dr. Richard Kimble’s leap from the Hoover Dam in one of The Fugitive‘s most dramatic scenes? Against all odds, Dr. Kimble managed to swim to the shore and survive to fight another day.
It ain’t over ’til its over. And, this fight is definitely not over.