Internal CDC Email Correspondence Reveals a Corrupt Culture
By Vera Sharav
Note from the World Mercury Project Team: Following is Part Five in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community.
The internal correspondence between CDC officials and the authors of the Danish epidemiological studies reveal a culture of corruption. CDC officials are intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost — including outsourcing dubious epidemiological studies that have no relevance to the vaccination exposure of U.S. children. These documents confirm that CDC and its commissioned scientists resorted to all manner of subterfuge and deception, in their concerted effort to subvert bona fides safety assessments.
Dr. Edward Yazbak, a pediatrician, referred to CDC’s epidemiological studies “just a distraction. They hope to bury evidence of the dangers of vaccines. At the same time, they have waged a misinformation campaign in making claims that skyrocketing Autism/ASD rates are due to better diagnostics.”
An email exchange (2001) between Dr. Verstraeten, Dr. Chen and Dr. Elizabeth Miller (a consultant epidemiologist to the WHO, previously headed the UK Immunisation Department for 15 years) discussed the national differences in infants’ exposure to thimerosal. They all acknowledged that the U.S. vaccination schedule exposes American infants to much higher doses of thimerosal than babies in Europe, including the U.K. They further acknowledged that Danish babies’ exposure to thimerosal does not come close to the exposure of U.S. babies – Danish babies received 75% less thimerosal than U. S. babies. That difference in exposure to mercury-laced vaccines renders the Danish studies non-comparable to U.S. children, and, therefore of no value toward ascertaining the risk posed by thimerosal-laced vaccines.
CDC officials disregarded the incompatibility of Danish vs. U.S. infants’ exposure to 75% higher doses of thimerosal; despite the incongruity, they chose Denmark as a population study comparator.
CDC officials selected a Danish network of scientists who were either employed by the Danish vaccine manufacturer, Statens Serum Institut (SSI), or worked at institutions closely connected to SSI, such as the Danish Epidemiology Science Center, and Aarhus University. The details of how the studies’ results were premeditated are revealed in internal CDC email correspondence .
The Danish studies were crafted to deliver “proof of innocence” to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s evidence documenting a disturbing Thimerosal-autism risk; and they were crafted to refute Dr. Wakefield’s suggestion of an autism-MMR connection.
CDC disregarded the scientific reservations about comparing “apples to pears”
Dr. Verstraeten expressed concern about scientific dishonesty in an email (dated July 14, 2000) addressed to Harvard professor, Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an expert in heavy metals toxicity, (copies addressed to Chen, DeStefano, and four other CDC scientists) he stated:
“many experts looking at this thimerosal issue, do not seem bothered to compare apples to pears… I do not wish to be the advocate of the anti-vaccine lobby and sound like being convinced that thimerosal is or was harmful, but at least I feel we should use sound scientific argumentation and not let our standards be dictated by our desire to disprove an unpleasant theory.”
CDC officials sought to obtain reports that would provide the appearance of scientific evidence that thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine additive is safe, the MMR is safe, and that vaccines do not cause autism.
Dr. Diane Simpson, the CDC official tasked with obtaining proof to offset Dr. Verstraeten’s demonstrated thimerosal-autism risk, traveled to Denmark in 2001 where she met with a network of Danish scientists. CDC provided tens of millions of dollars in grants to a Danish team at the University of Aarhus in Denmark; the management of the grants was entrusted to psychiatrist Poul Thorsen, who had been a CDC “visiting scientist” in 1990.
At Thorsen’s recommendation, Simpson recruited Kreesten Madsen, a doctoral candidate, who was listed as the lead author on several pivotal Danish studies. However, the principal scientist who co-authored those studies was, in fact Thorsen.
Beyond the continued influence of fraudulent CDC and CDC-sponsored Danish epidemiological studies, Thorsen was a participant in a pivotal Working Group of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), which led to the controversial re-defining of the criteria for an autism diagnosis in the DSM-5, psychiatry’s diagnostic “bible”; the new DSM-5 criteria reduced the autism prevalence rate substantially.
In another email addressed to Dr. Chen (2001), Dr. Verstraeten expressed serious doubts about the reliability of the UK General Practice Research Database (GPRD) which numerous authors have continued to rely on, to support the claim that there is “no evidence of a causal association between thimerosal and autism”.
“I think two issues are important in assessing the potential strength of the GPRD study:.1. Maximum exposure and 2. Unbiased controls.
I’m not sure if the GPRD is that reliable that you can be sure that low exposure is really low exposure and not underascertainment in the database. I hate to say this, but given these concerns, it may not be worth doing this after all. On the other hand, maybe the [WHO] grant can be given to Herald in Sweden to do a follow-up of the DTaP trial.” (June 26, 2001)
Dr. Verstraeten’s criticism of the GPRD alarmed Dr. Miller who expressed her concern (in an email to Chen): “Do I have to give my GPRD grant money from WHO back”?
The CDC VSD study (1999) led by Dr. Verstraeten, underwent a series protocol manipulations and statistical tricks aimed at eliminating the 7.6 relative increased risk of autism from exposure to thimerosal.
During a four year “evolution”, the study’s original conclusion – an increased risk factor of 7.6 – a risk that Dr. Verstraetn had indicated in 1999 – “it just won’t go away” – was systematically reduced at each phase in a series of 5 protocol modifications – even after his departure from CDC for GSK in June 2001. In phase 2, infants’ exposure to Thimerosal was compared at 3 months rather than 1 month – when infants are their most vulnerable; the original 400,000 records from the 4 HMOs, were reduced to 124,170 records from 2 HMOs, with the addition of records from the Harvard Pilgrim HMO – which used different diagnostic codes than the other two – (and whose records’ accuracy was in doubt).
These changes reduced the relative risk to 2.48. In phase 3, the age criteria of the children included, was changed from (0 to 6 years) to (0 to 3). A cut off at age 3 eliminated a significant number of children who were subsequently diagnosed, but not counted in the study. This was acknowledged by Dr. Coleen Boyle in an internal email to Dr. Frank DeStefano (April, 2000):
“For me the big issue is the missed cases — and how this relates to exposure. Clearly there is gross underreporting… Considering that the average age of diagnosis of autism in the VSD database was 44 to 49 months it is easy to see that almost half of the children in the database were too young to be diagnosed.”
This dubious cut-off resulted in reducing the relative risk 1.69. A manuscript was submitted for publication but was rejected by the journal Epidemiology. Two more “modifications” wiped the risk out of existence. The study was then submitted for publication to Pediatrics (2003). The study’s illegitimate, manipulated findings exonerating Thimerosal were widely publicized.
In October, 2003, Congressman Dave Weldon, MD raised serious concerns in a letter to CDC Director, Julie Gerberding, citing specific issues undermining the scientific integrity of the CDC Pediatric study, and CDC’s undue influence on the IOM report:
I found a disturbing pattern which merits a thorough, open, timely, and independent review by researchers outside of the CDC, HHS, the vaccine industry, and others with a conflict of interest in vaccine related issues (including many in University settings who may have conflicts)… A review of these documents leaves me very concerned that rather than seeking to understand whether or not some children were exposed to harmful levels of mercury in childhood vaccines in the 1990s there may have been a selective use of the data to make the associations in the earliest study disappear.
Furthermore, the lead author of the article, Dr. Thomas Verstraeten worked for the CDC until he left over two years ago to work in Belgium for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a vaccine manufacturer facing liability over TCVs [thimerosal containing vaccines]. In violation of their own standards of conduct, Pediatrics failed to disclose that [serious conflict of interest].
“In reviewing the study there are data points where children with higher exposures to the neuortoxin mercury had fewer developmental disorders. This demonstrates to me how excessive manipulation of data can lead to absurd results.” [Highlight added]
Internal email correspondence reveal a culture at CDC that is intent on shielding vaccines and the childhood vaccination schedule at any cost. That culture was the subject of a follow up letter by Congressman Weldonto CDC Director, Dr. Julie Gerberding (January 2004):
“For too long, those who run our national vaccination program have viewed those who have adverse reactions, including those with severe adverse reactions, as the cost of doing business… It appears to me not only as a Member of Congress but also as a physician that some officials within the CDC’s NIP may be more interested in a public relations campaign than getting to the truth about thimerosal.”
Public distrust in government vaccine safety pronouncements is validated in documented evidence showing that CDC-sponsored published reports are the product of scientific fraud, in violation of legally mandated, ethical requirements, and malfeasance by high level CDC officials. …