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The Next Vaccine-Autism Newsmaker: Not Isolated, Not Unusual
Posted with gratitude from Health Lover, Ilena Rosenthal:
May the Snake-oil Vigilantes (Vaccination Propaganda Team) feel shame
and horror at their years of profitting by distributing industry
(NOTE: The following item was originally posted at Spectrum
In February, I leaked news of the Federal government's admission that
vaccines had triggered autism in a little girl named Hannah Poling.
The stunning revelation, though still reverberating around the world,
was roundly downplayed by US officials, who insisted that Hannah had
an extremely rare, genetic case of "aggravated" mitochondrial
disorder, with zero bearing on other autism cases.
Dr. Julie Gerberding, Director of the US Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC), rushed to the airwaves, exhorting parents to
adhere to the nation's intensive and virtually mandatory immunization
schedule, and brushing off their legitimate anxieties by saying:
"We've got to set aside this very isolated, unusual situation."
Well, the days of setting aside are over: Hannah Poling is neither
isolated nor unusual.
In fact, the boy who was selected to replace Hannah Poling as the
first-ever thimerosal "test case" in so-called Vaccine Court, has just
been found with many of the same unusual metabolic markers as... you
guessed it, Hannah Poling.
Hannah's case was scheduled to be heard in Federal Claims Court on May
12 -- as one of three "test cases" of the theory that thimerosal (a
mercury-based vaccine preservative) can cause autism.
Test cases will help address general causation issues in all 4,900
autism claims now pending in Vaccine Court. But following the
government concession, Hannah was withdrawn as the first test case of
the thimerosal theory, and attorneys scrambled to find a replacement:
a young boy from New York.
Last week, however, the court announced that the replacement
thimerosal test case was also being withdrawn, in order to "proceed to
an individual hearing on a different theory of causation."
That theory, which applies to Hannah as well, maintains that children
with dysfunctional mitochondria (the little batteries within each cell
that convert food into energy) are susceptible to autistic regression,
triggered by a vaccine-induced overtaxing of the immune system.
"We want to pursue an additional theory, not a different theory," the
boy's father told me. "We are by no means abandoning the thimerosal
theory of causation but, in the context of the test case, the
thimerosal theory would have eclipsed our other evidence, including
evidence of metabolic dysfunction," such as impaired mitchondria and
low cellular energy.
Following the Poling concession, he said, "I saw right away that we
needed to pursue the mitochondrial theory,"but the lead attorneys did
not see it that way. "Perhaps they did not properly understand the
concession, and believed the finding was of a rare, genetically caused
mitochondrial disorder," as the government contends. "I think they
rightly want to keep clear focus on thimerosal in the test case, and
not muddy the presentation with other theories."
The court's test case process is unusual and unwieldy. "They limit the
cases to one theory at a time, when the theories are not mutually
exclusive," the father said. "For example, thimerosal could cause,
contribute to, or aggravate mitochondrial dysfunction. These cases
can't be wrapped into neat
The unexpected withdrawal of two test cases in a row - both because of
their apparent mitochondrial underpinnings - is sure to have larger
ramifications in the Court of Federal Claims, as well as the much
larger court of public opinion.
A new, additional theory of causation is about to be introduced in
Vaccine Court: Vaccines can trigger a chain of events in children with
mitochondrial dysfunction that causes autism.
But the US Government now has a major quandary to deal with. Federal
officials already conceded that, far from being "theoretical," this
chain of events already happened to Hannah Poling. This will make it
difficult, if not impossible, to argue against compensating the boy
from New York, when compensating a nearly identical case - Hannah
Poling - was already deemed appropriate.
Some estimates of mitochondrial dysfunction in children with autism
range as high as 20%-30%. But among the regressive subset of cases
(virtually all of the claims in Vaccine Court) up to half of the
children might show signs of it.
No one knows how many of those families will pursue a similar strategy
of individual hearings on causation, based on the mitochondrial
concession in the Poling case. But my guess is that there could be
hundreds of them, following in the precedent of this case's footsteps.
The legal ramifications, inside Vaccine Court and throughout the
judicial system, remain incalculable at this point.
Still, when the American public finds out that the exceedingly "rare"
Poling case was replaced by what is shaping up to be yet another
exceedingly rare case - they will follow the lead of all three
presidential candidates and finally reject the tired mantra that,
"there is no link" between vaccines and autism.
Then perhaps will end, "One of the most vitriolic debates in medical
history," as it is called by Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the
NIH and the Red Cross. "At some level," she said, the Poling case "was
a vindication for families," adding that, "vaccines as a trigger carry
a ring of both historical and biological plausibility."
The government is currently examining the national vaccine schedule to
see if we are, perhaps, immunizing children too early and too often
(and with too much thimerosal from the flu shot).
I personally thought that one Hannah Poling emerging out of Vaccine
Court would be enough to
change the way we vaccinate in this country. But now we have two. And
there are many more Hannah's out there, waiting to be counted.
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