Dr. Brian Hooker’s official statement regarding William Thompson

April 26, 2016

Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D., P.E. | Science Adviser, Focus For Health

Dr. William Thompson, senior scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contacted me during 2013 and 2014 and shared many issues regarding fraud and malfeasance in the CDC, specifically regarding the link between neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood vaccines. Dr. Thompson and I spoke on the phone more than 40 times over a 10 month period and he shared thousands of pages of CDC documents with me. Eventually, Dr. Thompson turned this information over to Congress via Rep. Bill Posey of Florida. Among the issues discussed in the phone conversations were lies told to the public by the CDC regarding the link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism) as well as the links between the MMR vaccine and autism in African American males and the MMR vaccine and “isolated” autism. Isolated autism is the term coined by CDC researchers referring to all children who received an autism diagnosis without additional diagnoses of mental retardation, cerebral palsy, visual impairment or hearing impairment.

Very recently, Mr. Richard Morgan, Esq., Dr. Thompson’s whistle blower attorney, stated that Dr. Thompson will be publishing a paper in May, 2016, where he will assert that the MMR vaccine is not linked to autism in African American males. Instead Dr. Thompson will state that socioeconomic factors alone in the African American community account for the original MMR-African American male “effect” (the effect that he is on record as stating the CDC purposefully hid). I have not been given access to Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis and therefore cannot comment regarding the forthcoming paper at this time. However, I am suspect of any analysis coming from the CDC due to the historic nature of the agency’s scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest specifically around any link between vaccines and autism.

Regardless of the content of Dr. Thompson’s reanalysis paper, these facts remain:

  • 1. CDC scientists colluded to cover up a relationship between the timing of the MMR vaccine and autism in African Americans that was first discovered in November of 2001. Rather than reporting the results to the public, all data regarding this relationship were destroyed at a secret meeting held some time in August/September of 2002. This fact has been affirmed via an affidavit given by Dr. Thompson to Rep. Bill Posey in September, 2014.
  • 2. Dr. Thompson attempted to warn the CDC Director at the time, Dr. Julie Gerberding, regarding this relationship, prior to the February 2004 Institute of Medicine meeting on vaccines and autism. Rather than allowing Dr. Thompson to present the information at this meeting, Dr. Gerberding replaced him as a speaker with Dr. Frank Destefano, current director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, where he presented fraudulent results regarding the MMR vaccine and autism. Dr. Thompson was put on administrative leave and was threatened that he would be fired due to “insubordination.”
  • 3. When Dr. Thompson attempted to leave the CDC later that same year, he was given a $24,000 retention bonus. Dr. Thompson’s impression of the timing of this bonus, in light of disciplinary actions taken against him earlier that year, is that CDC officials were “buying his silence” through controlling his actions as a CDC employee.
  • 4. Dr. Thompson has published two papers linking thimerosal exposure in infant vaccines to tics in boys (Thompson et al. 2007 and Barile et al. 2012). CDC fraudulently maintains on their website that “There is no evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site.” (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/concerns/thimerosal/). The tic result was also affirmed in the earlier CDC publication by Verstraeten et al. (2003) and the Andrews et al. (2004) publication.
  • 5. CDC pressured Dr. Thompson to downplay the tic result of his analysis in his 2007 paper. He was instructed to deemphasize the tic result by the CDC’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Tanja Popovic, by emphasizing that the “major finding of the study” was “there is NO associations (sic) of thimerosal exposure with the great majority of the outcomes.” Dr. Popovic also instructed Dr. Thompson to interpret any negative outcomes as “chance findings.”
  • 6. CDC also pressured Dr. Thompson to withhold publication of his 2012 paper which reported a relationship between thimerosal and tics. Dr. Ed Travathan, head of the CDC’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, stated in an April 27, 2009 memo to him that the analysis was sound except for the tic results and that they should be omitted from the publication. Since the tic result was the only result that had a consistent negative relationship with thimerosal exposure, it seemed that Dr. Thompson’s superiors were specifically concerned that thimerosal’s safety and use not be questioned. As an epidemiologist, Dr. Thompson was justifiably concerned and critical of the CDC’s action to approve the paper for publication only after the CDC took the extraordinary step of adding an expert in tics to water down the paper to state, “This finding should be interpreted with caution due to limitations in the measurement of tics and the limited biological plausibility regarding a causal relationship.”

Thompson himself instructed me regarding the link between thimerosal and “autism like features” and stated that “tics were like five times more common in children with autism.” Yet the CDC will not recommend thimerosal-free vaccines and thimerosal is still used in many flu shots given to infants and pregnant women in the U.S.

Beyond this, the CDC, through the fraud and scientific malfeasance revealed by Dr. Thompson and others, has been shown repeatedly to be a conflicted, dysfunctional agency having no business stewarding vaccine safety for the United States. I join the call from Dr. William Thompson and many others to remove vaccine safety surveillance activities from the CDC to an entity completely independent of the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services as a whole. Again, the revelations of Dr. Thompson go far beyond issues with the MMR vaccine and affirm my own inquiry of the CDC starting in 2001. Please join me in calling for an immediate Congressional investigation of this agency.