The Public Relations Machine for the Vaccine Complex – The Role of the CDC
By Richard Gale and Dr. Gary Null
One hard lesson we should have learned after Wall Street’s collapse and the government’s handling of the bailout is that there is no reason, whatsoever, for us to sacrifice our good faith and trust in former bankers who now run the Treasury and Federal Reserve. And now as the flu season gets ready to kick off amidst much fanfare and predictions of doom due to a new H1N1 influenza virus, there is emerging sufficient information to raise very serious doubts whether our nation’s health authorities are truly serving the public health instead of commercial interests.
If the flu season goes according to schedule, the vaccine industrial complex will be poised to join Wall Street for record year rip-off profits. We will also likely witness huge Pharma executive bonuses and perhaps gold-plated toilets. Even if the CDC statisticians’ crystal ball used to forecast rampant swine flu infections turns into a complete bust—which would only be one more added to many other failed flu predictions back to 1976—it will nevertheless be a very profitable failure as was the economic collapse for the banking cartel. The vaccine industry has now received orders in the range of 3 billion doses during the course of the coming flu season. The World Health Organization would like to vaccinate two thirds (4 billion) of the global community, and the US alone is spending $2 billion to stockpile the nation with upwards to 250 million doses.
In the US, such profits could never be accomplished without a dynamic, marketing initiative to convince Americans that vaccines will keep them protected and alive. And what better public relations machine for the vaccine complex, and all its supporters in health insurance and professional medical institutions, than our very own Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services. Even better, our tax dollars are there to pay for it all. We pay for the comfort in knowing that the CDC’s disinformation campaign will continue to scare us over the major networks and the New York Times. We can also assure vaccine makers that once and for all they are protected from liability in the event of serious flu vaccine injuries.
Nevertheless, the government has a lot of vaccine vials to distribute, therefore, the CDC needs to sustain the fiction of numerous elderly dying in nursing homes, unvaccinated pregnant moms and children facing life threatening complications, and scores of sick and dead burnt into our national subconscious. It is all part of the CDC’s script to get citizens rushing to their doctors and Wal-Marts to be vaccinated.
Peter Doshi, while at Harvard in the mid-2000s, published a devastating study in the British Medical Journal that systematically unveils the flawed predictive science used to publicize our health agencies’ influenza statistics and mortality rates. His analysis shook up enough health authorities to warrant twelve scientists from the CDC and National Institutes of Health to unsuccessfully take him on. Now at MIT, Doshi continues his analysis of a century’s worth of influenza mortality data and government manipulation of influenza data, such as the annual figure of 36,000 influenza deaths we hear and read repeatedly. Although this magical number was for all practical purposes alchemically conjured up via mathematical modeling back in 2003, it continues to be the most holy number in the CDC’s PR vocabulary every flu season. Doshi draws the conclusion, published in the American Journal of Public Health, that commercial interests are playing the role of science in both industry and government.
Deconstruction of the CDC’s cherry-picked science and a growing anti-vaccination community are just some of the obstacles health authorities face. Therefore, no public relations strategy can have a solid multimedia punch on American citizens without opinion leaders serving as the gnomes for the vaccine complex and our heavily invested government health agencies, which are about to be buried in millions of purchased vaccine vials eager for distribution. This effort requires shock troopers, such as the pro-vaccine prophet Dr. Paul Offit, the creator of the rotavirus vaccine and a staunch critic against any scientist who discovers an association between vaccines and severe neurological disorders. Dr. Offit is on record for an audacious comment that children can tolerate 100,000 vaccinations (yes, you read that number correctly).
However, during this particular flu season, government health officials’ may have a more difficult time convincing Americans to be vaccinated for swine flu if recent polls are reliable indicators. The latest Consumers Union poll released on September 30 shows almost two-thirds of parents will withhold vaccinating their children; fifty percent of respondents’ rationale is that the vaccine has not been tested thoroughly for safety. A poll of pregnant mothers conducted by the internet parent support group Mumsnet.com indicates women are turning more suspicious about the flu vaccine’s true efficacy and safety. The survey of 1500 respondents found only 6 percent of pregnant women “definitely” taking the shot, while 48 percent said they “definitely” wouldn’t. A parallel poll revealed only 5 percent would definitely vaccinate their children. A more recent San Francisco Chronicle survey finds 54 percent saying the H1N1 flu is nothing to be worried about.
A separate study conducted by Harvard’s School of Public Health showed that among the 41 percent who would not get the shot, 44 percent of parents are uncertain they would allow their children to receive it. Aside from many who expressed a fear of the vaccine’s side effects, the poll found 31 percent expressing a distrust in our public health officials providing accurate information on vaccine safety. Therefore, expect an aggressive government public relations campaign during the coming weeks and even months, while our tax dollars are spent on 250 million shots that independent epidemiological evidence is showing may be ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst.
European polls indicate that our neighbors on the other side of the great pond are less nervous about the H1N1 strain’s severity and far more suspicious towards health officials’ rationale for hyping dire warnings of swine flu’s dangers. In France, Le Figaro conducted a poll of 12,050 people showing 69 percent will refuse the vaccination. In a separate French survey, one third of 4,752 doctors, nurses and healthcare workers surveyed would not be inoculated. Twenty-nine percent of Germans surveyed said they would refuse it “under any circumstance” and an additional 33 percent would likely refuse it. In the region of Bavaria and Baden Wurttemburg, only 10 percent of those polled said they would submit their arms to injection. In the UK, a couple polls reported in the Daily Mail last August, showed half of family physicians and a third of UK nurses do not want the swine flu vaccination. Seventy-one percent do not believe the vaccine has been tested enough for safety and the swine flu is much milder than health authorities are saying.
During the course of the CDC’s media war to push forward the vaccine industry’s greed for profit, science and reflective caution are being sacrificed. An important peer-reviewed study appearing in the June 2009 issue of Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry shows a causal relationship between the amounts of ethylmercury (thimerosal) found in inoculations for infants, when administered to monkeys, and cellular toxicity resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired oxidative reduction activity and degeneration and death in neuronal and fetal cells. These are all indicative signs found in some ASD. But health officials prefer to ignore such results. For the future health of American children, the study’s findings arrive at a bad time when a recent Harvard study now reports autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) has risen to 1 in 91 people compared to the earlier 1 in 150 estimate. But since the study was sponsored by the CDC, the press release makes no indication that just maybe the over-vaccination of children with dozens of injections by the age of 5 years might be a causal factor behind this national epidemic of ASD and other neurological disorders.
During the course of interviewing many parents of autistic children for our documentaries Vaccine Nation and Autism: Made in the USA, the personal stories we filmed repeatedly were that of a once perfectly healthy and joyful child who, shortly after a vaccination or a series of injections, simply vanished from normality. However, national health policy today seems to have almost legislated by divine decree that there is no relationship between vaccine ingredients and autism. Besides, further independent research and first-hand personal stories would only interfere with the propaganda machine and the CDC’s “Seven Step Recipe for Generating Interest In, and Demand for, Flu Vaccination.”
Peter Doshi first brought public attention to the CDC’s PR influenza strategy known as the Seven Step Recipe. Glen Nowak, now the Director of the CDC’s Media Relations, outlined a concise public relations template while serving as the communications spokesperson for the National Immunization Program. Speaking at the 2004 National Influenza Vaccine Summit, he presented the CDC’s seven steps. After a careful review of Nowak’s Powerpoint presentation we discover a very detailed and concerted PR and multimedia campaign that includes the following (quotes are from CDC’s materials):
• To encourage the belief that influenza infection can “occur among people for whom influenza is not generally perceived to cause serious complications (e.g., children, healthy adults, healthy seniors).” In other words, promote flu vaccination to those who don’t really need it.
• In order to “foster the demand for flu vaccinations” the CDC should target “medical experts and public health authorities publicly (e.g., via media) [to] state concern and alarm (and predict dire outcomes)—and urge influenza vaccination.”
• By focusing on the message of dire health threats and human casualties upon those who don’t really need to be vaccinated, the CDC will reach its milestone of “framing of the flu season in terms that motivate behavior (e.g., as “very severe,” “more severe than last or past years,” “deadly”).”
• Throughout the flu season, the campaign would continue issuing reports “from health officials and media” to emphasize that “influenza is causing severe illness and/or affecting lots of people—helping foster the perception that many people are susceptible to a bad case of influenza.”
• Of course, no marketing strategy is thorough without images. Ergo another ingredient in the recipe is to use “visible/tangible examples of the seriousness of the illness (e.g., pictures of children, families of those affected coming forward) and people getting vaccinated (the first to motivate, the latter to reinforce).”
The CDC’s “key points” indicate we are now in that critical timeframe for the CDC to distribute materials to “a variety of partners.” This includes aggressively disseminating all medical reports, studies and PR spins to the soporific media and corporate-funded medical associations to support the government’s mass vaccination efforts. Come November, we will begin to see reports on “pediatric deaths” due to influenza—although Dr. Martin Meltzer, a CDC expert in health economics, has stated “almost nobody dies of the flu” and “deaths [are] associated with flu, but not necessarily caused by flu.” Apparently, the folks over in the various CDC departments and our different federal health agencies don’t communicate with each other very well.
So why should our tax dollars go towards fabricating and/or ignoring science in order to vaccinate Americans? Nowak publicly stated the CDC’s reasons on National Public Radio, “… the manufacturers were telling us that they weren’t receiving a lot of orders for vaccine for use in November or even December … It really did look like we [CDC] needed to do something to encourage people to get a flu shot.
At this moment, we are witnessing a steady flow press releases and articles in the media to convert Americans to the wisdom of national health vaccination policy. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has issued preliminary positive results from an uncompleted clinical trial testing the H1N1 vaccine on children and young people between 6 months and 17 years of age. The fact that the entire study only enrolled 70 individuals covering this age range should alone raise red flags about any reliable conclusions after the study is completed. Moreover, the study is specifically designed for measuring the necessary immune response to protect youth from the swine flu. It is not a safety study. We usually expect that sound scientific ethics demand clinical trials to be reported after a final analysis of research data, however, the CDC’s Seven Step Recipe is not concerned with scientific facts, or rigorous research protocol. It is simply part of the PR game plan to get people vaccinated and to do it fast.
Donald McNeil, a shill for the vaccine complex writing for the New York Times has printed two recent articles aligned with CDC propaganda. He quotes Dr. Jay Butler, chief of the swine flu vaccine task force at the CDC in order to relieve fears about flu vaccine adverse effects, especially to pregnant women. Dr. Butler said, “There are about 2,400 miscarriages a day in the US. You’ll see things that would have happened anyway. But the vaccine doesn’t cause miscarriages. It also doesn’t cause auto accidents, but they happen.” I hope that is reassuring to all those expectant mothers across the country, especially since none of the approved H1N1 vaccines have undergone rigorous clinical safety trials on pregnant women or the potential adverse effects of mercury-laced vaccines and other ingredients, such as spermacide, detergent and cosmetics, on the developing fetus. Germany on the other hand announced it is now taking preventative measures. Agreeing that the verdict on ethylmercury and squalene safety for children is unsettled, Germany is requiring the vaccine industry to return to their plants and provide adjuvant- and mercury preservative-free vaccine lots.
McNeil’s more recent article in October 7th’s New York Times should be read alongside the Seven Step Recipe for a clear visual unfolding of the CDC’s PR strategy in action. McNeil downplays the growing medical realization that the swine flu is in all likelihood much milder than seasonal flu in order to convince us to roll up our sleeves. Following the CDC script, we see the picture of little 3 year old Clayton being vaccinated, while McNeill compares the swine flu death of an 18 year old Tibetan woman in China with a story of joyful young Brandon and his 9 year old sister gleefully surrendering their nostrils for a blast of live-attenuated H1N1 virus.
While finalizing this article, Peter Doshi replied to an email and drew attention to an event in his Harper’s article that should force us to pause before rolling up our sleeves. Briefly, the 2004 flu season was a debacle for the vaccine complex and federal health officials after 50 million doses of flu vaccine promised by Chiron Corporation were made unavailable, therefore, putting the health industry into a panic. In order to lessen the frenzy previously stirred by its public fear tactics, the CDC downgraded the flu’s urgency to “an annoying illness”, and “stressed the protective benefits of regular hand washing.”
Now that is a national policy I can support. I would much prefer the CDC funding Americans’ soap bills to ward off an uncertain swine flu pandemic rather than using taxes for unsubstantiated threats from the CDC’s national vaccine marketing campaign.
Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the genomic industry. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Vaccine Nation and Autism: Made in the USA.
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