This article was originally published in June 2018.
Instead of demanding blue-ribbon safety science and encouraging honest, open and responsible debate on the science, too many online outlets are silencing critics and shutting down discussion on this key public health and civil rights issue.
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. Slate and other liberal online publications including Salon, Huffington Post and The Daily Beast customarily block articles that critique vaccine safety in order, they argue, to encourage vaccination and protect public health.
Motivated by this noble purpose, the liberal media—the supposed antidote to corporate and government power—has helped insulate from scrutiny the burgeoning vaccine industry and its two regulators, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both agencies have pervasive and potentially corrupting financial entanglements with the vaccine manufacturers, according to extensive congressional investigations.
Ironically, liberals routinely lambaste Pharma, and its FDA enablers for putting profits over people. Recent examples include Vioxx (100,000 injured—Merck paid more than $5 billion in fines and settlements), Abilify (Bristol Meyers Squibb paid $515 million for marketing the drug to nursing homes, knowing it can be fatal to seniors), Celebrex and Bextra (Pfizer paid $894 million for bribing public officials and false advertising about safety and effectiveness) and, of course, the opioid crisis, which in 2016 killed more Americans than the 20-year Vietnam War. What then, makes liberals think that these same companies are immune from similar temptations when it comes to vaccines? There is plenty of evidence that they are not. Merck, the world’s largest vaccine maker, is currently fighting multiple lawsuits, brought by its own scientists, claiming that the company forced them to falsify efficacy data for its MMR vaccine.
The Slate article nowhere discloses that FDA licenses virtually all vaccines using the same mawing safety science deficiencies that brought us Gardasil.