There’s a new “expose” out written by Jennifer Shaw making waves (or so the author would like you to think). In a move that reminded me of Peter Rost, the book’s launch was accompanied by a flurry of spam. The self-penned accolades for the book are overwhelmingly positive and there are no independent book reviews, so I have to wonder. I haven’t read it yet. If she’s following Peter Rost’s playbook, the free version on Kindle should be out within 6 months, so I’ll wait for that.
But I digress. What immediately caught my eye were some of the claims the book’s author has been making on Twitter. Take this recent string on Twitter (all are dated April 9th):
1:43pm – NJ=highest rate of mandatory vaccines and the highest autism rate. Big pharma’s sexy little secret (then self-promoting link to book)
1:45pm – Is it too much to ask to make newer vaccines like Gardisil optional? Big pharma’s sexy little secret (then self-promoting book link)
1:46pm - #autism Why does NJ vaccinate more than other states? Big pharma’s sexy little secret (then self-promoting book link)
1:47pm – How many children need to die before a new vaccines gets pulled? Big pharma’s sexy little secret (then self promoting book link)
So, not only has the causal link between MMR and older vaccines been entirely disproven, but now the anti-vaccination advocates are fabricating claims against newer vaccines. It would seem Ms. Shaw is making the case that newer vaccines (specifically Gardisil) are causing autism and, because of mandatory vaccinations in NJ, Gardisil vaccinations are the reason for the New Jersey’s autism prevalence. In her defense, Jennifer is now claiming that each individual tweet is a specific topic and that none of them relate to the others. You be the judge. Are these 4 tweets in 4 minutes about the same topic or, as Ms. Shaw is now claiming, are each completely separate and totally unrelated thoughts (even though they are all about vaccines)? No doubt, Merck’s lawyers will want to look into Ms. Shaw’s remarkable allegations.
For what it’s worth, I agree with one of Ms. Shaw’s assertions – I don’t think Gardasil needs to be mandatory. However, I don’t need to make unsubstantiated claims of autism to make that point. And all of her postings rely on the now medically disproven basis of vaccines causing autism in the first place. There’s enough wrong with big pharma that we don’t need to concoct lies or fabricate falsehoods to make the point.
Autism is a serious medical issue. And kids suffering from autism need real research into the causes and solutions for their condition. We’ve beat the “vaccines cause autism” drum until it fell apart. Now we need to be looking in new directions – with real research. Making outlandish claims about the causes of autism to sell a few extra copies of a book at the expense of kids with autism is…well…let’s just say it leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.