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Big Pharma, Vaccines, and the Liberal Mind


#1

Big Pharma, Vaccines, and the Liberal Mind

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Late last year, Slate published an investigative report detailing how pharmaceutical giant, Merck, used “flawed” and “unreliable” pre-licensing safety studies to push through approval of its multi-billion-dollar bonanza, the HPV vaccine. For veteran safe vaccine advocates, like myself, the most shocking aspect of the expose was that Slate published it at all.


#2

Thanks for this story, Something I have suspected, but couldn’t prove, now I know why. Since the pharmaceutical co’s. don’t give a shit about our health or the health of our kids, my solution is, put them out of business and nationalize them. It would give me great pleasure to see these deviants in the unemployment lines.


#3

Cognitive dissonance is not a copyrighted characteristic of conservatives


#4

An expensive education and being from a prominent political family does not exempt you from being mistaken.

World-wide 1.7 million children die every year from a vaccine-preventable disease, which amounts to one life every 20 seconds. Vaccine-preventable diseases remain prevalent in the developing world. They cause or contribute to 20 to 35 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five while stunting the mental and physical development of countless others. Vaccine deniers forget, or do not care, how many children and adults died from infectious diseases before vaccines became widely available. In 1916, in Ireland for example, 6,471 people died of tuberculosis, only 16 died in 2016; 525 people, mainly children, died of whooping cough in 1916, one died in 2016; and 218 people, mainly children, died of measles in 1916, nobody died in 2016. In fact, in the past 60 years vaccinations have saved more children’s lives than any other medical intervention.

There are five techniques used by vaccine deniers to make their false claims sound plausible.
First, they create impossible expectations, for example, wanting 100 per cent certainty about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. No medical treatment is 100 per cent safe and effective. Secondly, vaccine deniers use false logic arguing that natural things are good and unnatural things are bad. In their world vaccines interfere with the natural order of things. Third, they pretend to have technical expertise. Fourth, they claim that governments promote vaccination because of undue influence from the pharmaceutical industry. Lastly, they are selective about scientific research, ignoring any that says vaccines are safe and effective.

But what does a rich man care about the health and death of the poor?


#5

Keep an open mind on this topic. He has written some very reasonable things - and it takes great courage to do so. Vaccine denier deniers can get things wrong too. Compare the health and nutrition conditions in Ireland between 1916 and 2016, for instance. That may also have something to do with the statistics, correct? The greatest health intervention has been the availability of clean water.


#6

Bravo to Kennedy for a courageous and important article. To Alan Johnston and his ilk: If your definition of “vaccine denier” consists of the five absolutist positions you have listed, then read the article again because Kennedy does not make any of those five arguments. Some vaccines absolutely do prevent deadly disease, starting with cowpox inoculation against smallpox: the benefit exceeds the risk. But any scientist knows the fallacy of extrapolation. When the number of days of safety tracking is scaled back to 5, and the number of required vaccines in childhood exceeds 50, one cannot have confidence in general assertions that the overall societal benefits always outweigh the overall societal costs. Kennedy is right to question why censorship has become the standard “liberal” response to these complex social issues.


#7

I agree 100% that public health reform has contributed greatly to the general improvement in health and should not be under-rated.

But, sorry, in fact, RFK Jnr is not an honest broker trying to present a balanced view. He has been caught out using false data, doctoring quotes and not correcting his information which in my mind challenges his integrity and credentials and explains why a president as inept as Trump appoints RFK Jnr to the vaccine safety commission. He is deliberately misrepresenting in this article the claim that only 5 days of trials are required for vaccines. He is citing only one test out of many ohers for a particular circumstance that Big Pharma are quite happy to declare practically on the label and he generalizes it.

I suggest that those who rightly criticize the climate change denialists as using false science and ignoring 97% of scientists, should apply the same criteria and accept the prevailing scientific consensus that is overwhelming in favor of vaccination and have repeatedly debunked the anti-vaxxers like RFK Jnr.


#8

I think it is you who should re-read the article in the context of my guidelines.
For Example
“50 plus vaccines that children typically receive today.” - In 2005, the CDC recommended that children under 12 years old receive a total of eight vaccines that protected against a dozen different diseases. Only three of those vaccines had ever used thimerosal as a preservative, and all had been thimerosal-free since 2001.

As i said in the other comment, research paper after paper world wide have not supported the anti-vaxxer position. And of course RFK jnr suggests it is a “conspiracy” by Big Pharma that it suppresses the truth.


#9

Right, Kennedy is referencing an investigative report, and Gardasil has been linked to vaccine injuries. There are better resources now that track side effects and injury. The CDC has one and there are others. The most common injury is by administration or at the injection site.


#10

“Instead of the multi-year double-blind inert placebo studies—the gold standard of safety science—that the FDA requires prior to licensing other medications, most vaccines now on the CDC’s recommended childhood vaccine schedule were safety tested for only a few days or weeks.” -RFK Jnr

But a quick google will result in this webpage explaining the full process.


#11

When I was a kid people would actually exposed their children to measles because it is a relatively mild disease in childhood but much worse for adults or pregnant women. Unless you have poor health or other risk factors. I have a life time immunity because I had measles as a child. I can pass that immunity on to any children I would have also.


#12

Who in their right mind would trust a CDC, Big Pharma, government dictate to be injected with who knows what? To place trust in medical authority and a government who kills people worldwide is pure insanity and potentially deadly. That trust is not warranted by any stretch of the imagination or common sense.


#13

Fine, then don’t trust science then. Go live on a cave.


#14

Pretty sad to see Commondreams providing a forum to tin-foil hat, anti-science, anti-vaxxer nonsense.


#15

What Kennedy is saying here is backed by hundreds of studies. The problem is that Pharma controls what gets published. They contribute millions to medical schools, medical associations like the AAP and to medical journals like the NEJM and JAMA. Pharma has twice as many lobbyists in DC as do the fossil fuel companies. Herd immunity is a myth because vaccine immunity only lasts from 2-10 years. And finally, the Swedes are currently finding out that the HPV vaccines like Gardacil and Cerverix are actually causing cervical cancer instead of preventing it. All of the people here who are touting the worth of vaccines need to do more reading-a lot more reading.


#16

There was an event when a government refused to listen to the scientists and heeded the pseudo-scientists and 300,000 South Africans died because they were refused access to medicines.

Do we make the same mistake and ignore scientific wisdom once again

Mayg… Can’t you see the logical flaw in your comment? You say there are hundreds of studies backing Kennedy then you go on to say Big Pharma blocks their publication…so how do you know there are hundreds of research papers unless they were put in the public domain

I would suggest you re-check your claim about Sweden and the increase of cervix cancer by taking into account this retraction and why the author used a false name and a false job.

http://www.vaccineconfidence.org/sweden-fake-researcher-fabricated-finding-that-hpv-vaccine-causes-cervical-cancer/

Joakim Dillner, a professor in the Division for Pathology at the Karolinska Institutet said that there is no evidence behind the allegations that the increase in cervical cancer in Sweden is due to the HPV vaccination.

For those interested in understanding herd immunity

and a visual explanation


#17

Dear Robert,
I applaud your temerity in attacking this carefully guarded subject. However, just as being Demo or Repub often doesn’t indicate clairvoyance, neither do “liberal” and “conservative” labels. I urge you to draw your support by the clarity and honesty of your arguments and accept any and all who agree. You may have underestimated the strength of your opposition. Big pharma has big gunners everywhere.

You will note ad hominem arguments emerge quickly, an indication that your own argument is strong.


#18

At least half of all “science-based” research is fake. /ethicalnag.org/2009/11/09/nejm-editor/
And it’s only gotten worse ince this article. In fact, some of this so-called science based research is done by computers extrapolating data.


#19

As a Vioxx survivor ( sort of ) I can tell you first hand; be very aware and cautious with the wonder drugs and the hype that comes with them. Three heart attacks, even minor, will create a very real come to Jesus moment.
And, remember the swine flu? Well, a dear friend at age 22, had his personal come to Jesus moment, as well.
A week in the hospital, tests and the whole nine yards. Who picks up the pieces and who files for medical bankruptcy? Not Big Pharma or the Feds, that’s a certainty no miracle drug or vaccine will ever claim.


#20

Here’s the beginning of your vaccine education, but only the beginning:

Then check out Vaccine Papers and JB Handley’s Blog and then Robert Kennedy’s The Mercury Project. Don’t look to the CDC or the FDA. Those agencies were captured long ago by Pharma. What makes anyone think that the oligarchs can control politicians and the war economy, tamp down the urgency of climate change, let Bayer/Monsanto run the Food business, give control of the narrative to ATT and Time Warner and yet keep their greedy hands out of the golden goose (business with impunity for any harm done) vaccine business. That’s what it is, a business. It has zero to do with public health or guarding the population. Just recently thousands of women of child bearing age in Nigeria were given the tetanus vaccine which contained an ingredient which has rendered them infertile. Good population control device…