Rep. Posey finally drags himself to the podium on Dr. William Thompson and the CDC manipulating data

You know, when I opened this this morning, I was elated…but then my happiness soon died down when the weight of his initial words sunk in:

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Youtube here.

THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLELADY YIELDS BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM FLORIDA, MR. POSEY, FOR FIVE MINUTES.

MR. POSEY: THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I RISE TODAY ON MATTERS OF RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY….

AofA’s Adriana Gamondes took the time to prepare this unofficial transcript.

July 29th, 2015 House Morning Hour

Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) at 1:02:29   http://www.c-span.org/video/?327309-1/us-house-morning-hour&live=

Thank you Mr. Speaker. I arrive today on matters of research and scientific integrity. 

To begin with, I am absolutely, resolutely pro-vaccine. Advancements in immunization have saved countless lives and have greatly benefited public health.  That being said, it’s troubling to me that in a recent senate hearing on childhood vaccination, it was never mentioned that our government has paid out over three billion dollars through a vaccine injury compensation program for children who have been injured by vaccinations. Regardless of the subject matter, parents making decisions about their children’s health deserve to have the best information available to them. They should be able to count on federal agencies to tell them the truth.

For these reasons, I bring the following matter to the floor. In August, 2014,  Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention worked with a whistleblower attorney to provide my office with documents related to a 2004 CDC study that examined the possibility of a relationship between the mumps, measles and rubella vaccines and autism.  In a statement released in August, 2014, Dr. Thompson stated “I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the Journal of Pediatrics.” End quote.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request the following excerpts from the statement written by Dr. Thompson be entered into record. Now quoting Dr. Thompson:

“My primary job duties while working in the Immunization Safety Branch from 2000 to ’06 were lead or co-lead three major vaccine safety studies—the MADDSP MMR Autism Cases Control study  was being carried out in response to the Wakefield Lancet study that suggested an association between the MMR vaccine and an autism-like health outcome. There were several major concerns among scientists and consumer advocates outside the CDC in the fall of 2000 regarding the execution of the Verstraeten study.

One of the important goals that was determined up front in the spring of ’01 before any of these studies started, was to have all three protocols vetted outside the CDC prior to the start of the analyses so that consumer advocates could not claim that we were presenting analyses that presented our own goals and biases. We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either 18 or 36 month thresholds, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with MMR could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.  We all met and finalized the study protocol and analysis plan. The goal was to not deviate from the analysis plan to avoid the debacle that occurred with the Verstraeten thimerosal study published in Pediatrics in ’03.  At the September 5th meeting, we discussed in detail how to code race for both the sample and the birth certificate sample.

At the bottom of Table 7 it also shows that for the non-birth certificate sample, the adjusted race effect statistical significance was huge. All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September ’02 not to report any race effects for the paper.  Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects, the co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study.  The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room and reviewed and went through all the hard copy documents that we had thought we should discard and put them in a huge garbage can.  However, because I assumed it was illegal and would violate both FOIA and DOJ requests, I kept hard copies of all documents in my office and I retained all associated computer files. I believe we intentionally withheld controversial findings from the final draft of the Pediatrics paper. “

End of quote of the doctor.

Mr. Speaker, I believe it’s our duty to ensure that the documents that Dr. Thompson provided are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of congress and the house committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So I ask Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I yield back.

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