By Dr. David Lewis | TLB Science Advisor
Vaxxed, a highly controversial documentary about the CDC deleting data linking autism to vaccines, is tentatively planned for a showing in Athens, GA. The film gained national attention several months ago when actor Robert De Niro suddenly withdrew it from the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
In an interview on MSNBC Morning Joe, De Niro talked about his 18-year-old son who developed autism associated with a severe reaction to the MMR vaccine. He said he was unduly pressured to withdraw the film, and vowed to discover the sources behind that pressure. He urged everyone to watch it.
The CDC’s ever-expanding pediatric vaccine schedule is blamed by increasing numbers of parents whose children develop normally then suddenly regress following seizures and other severe reactions to vaccines. A national survey taken in 2014 found 82% of parents with children under 18 years of age believe vaccines benefit public health. But only 32% trust information the CDC puts out.
Families with children injured by vaccines across America and others are having the film shown in local theaters. A showing in Athens is being arranged by the grandmother of twins who were diagnosed with autism following severe reactions to vaccines. My wife and I watched Vaxxed at a conference in Chicago, where I spoke about the role environmental pollutants may play in triggering autism. We highly recommend this film to anyone interested in the controversy.
In the movie, the producer replays tape-recorded phone calls in which CDC whistleblower William Thompson explains to another scientist, Brian Hooker, how he and his coauthors deleted unwanted data linking vaccines to autism, then destroyed the evidence. Dr. Hooker and I are trustees of the Focus for Health Foundation in New Jersey.
Fearing it was a federal crime to destroy all of the documents, Thompson kept his own copies of all the documents in case the Justice Department ever investigated. He later turned them over to Congress after confessing to Dr. Hooker, who has a child that regressed into autism while suffering a severe reaction to vaccination.
The film also shows home movies taken by parents whose children developed normally, then regressed while suffering reactions to vaccines that included neurological problems. Soon afterwards, they were diagnosed with autism. In one case a nurse mistakenly vaccinated the same child twice. That twin suffered an immediate, severe reaction; and the mother would not allow the other twin to be vaccinated. The other child, which was not vaccinated, continued to develop normally.
If forty-nine additional tickets are sold by August 18, University 16 Theater will show Vaxxed at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, August 30. Tickets are available online. I plan to give a 5-minute introduction. After the movie, the grandmother of the affected twins from the Athens area and I will answer any questions the public may have.
David Lewis, Ph.D.
Former U.S. EPA Research Microbiologist
David Lewis is an internationally recognized research microbiologist whose work on public health and environmental issues, as a senior-level Research Microbiologist in EPA’s Office of Research & Development and member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Georgia, has been reported in numerous news articles and documentaries from TIME magazine and Reader’s Digest to National Geographic.
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