Transcript of Press Conference on Vaccines and Autism – Kennedy and De Niro
Press Conference, Robert K. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro National Press Club, Washington, DC
The press conference can also be viewed through Facebook Live
Press Conference Transcript
Good morning everybody, I’m Sharyl Attkisson.
In just a moment Bobby Kennedy will lead the news conference and afterwards I’ll moderate a short segment of question and answer.
But first we have a brief excerpt, about three to four minutes long, with the former head of NIH, The National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bernadine Healy, who was also a member of The Institute of Medicine.
It sounds like you don’t think the hypothesis of a link between vaccines and autism is completely irrational.
When I first heard that there was a link between autism and vaccines I thought well that’s silly. Really, I mean I tended to dismiss it just on the superficial kind of reading, or you know just reading what was in the papers, no offense to the media.
So when I first heard about it I thought, well that doesn’t make sense to me. The more you delve into it if you look at the basic science, if you look at the research that’s been done in animals, if you also look at some of these individual cases, and if you look at the evidence that there is no link, what I come away with is the question has not been answered.
This is the time when we do have the opportunity to understand whether or not there are susceptible children perhaps genetically, perhaps they have a metabolic issue, mitochondrial disorder, immunological issue, that makes them more susceptible to vaccines plural, or to one particular vaccine, or to a component of vaccine, like mercury.
So we now, in these times have to, I think take another look at that hypothesis, not deny it. And I think we have the tools today that we didn’t have 10 years ago, that we didn’t have 20 years ago, to try and tease that out and find out if indeed there is that susceptible group.
Why is this important?
A susceptible group does not mean that vaccines aren’t good. What a susceptible group will tell us is that maybe there is a group of individuals, or a group of children, that shouldn’t have a particular vaccine, or shouldn’t have vaccine on the same schedule. I do not believe that if we identified a susceptibility group, if we identified a particular risk factor for vaccines, or if we found out that maybe they should be spread out a little longer, I do not believe that the public would lose faith in vaccines.
I think people understand a polio epidemic. I think they understand a measles epidemic. I think they understand congenital rubella. I think they understand diphtheria. Nobody’s going to turn their back on vaccines, but it is the job of the public health community, and of physicians to be out there and to say yes, we can make it safer because we are able to say this is a subset we’re going to deliver it in a way that we think is safer. So I think the public would respect that.
But public health officials have been saying they know. They’ve been implying to the public they know, there’s enough evidence, and it’s not causal.
I think you can’t say that. And part of the, I think, you can’t say that.
Do you feel the government was too quick to dismiss out of hand that there was this possibility of a link between vaccines and autism?
I think the government, or certain public health officials in the government are, have been too quick to dismiss the concerns of these families, without studying the population that got sick. I haven’t seen major studies that focus on 300 kids who got autistic symptoms within a period of a few weeks of a vaccine.
I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational, without sufficient studies of causation. I think that they often have been too quick to dismiss studies in the animal laboratory, either in mice, either in primates, that do show some concerns with regard to certain vaccines and also to the mercury preservative in vaccines.
The government has said in a report by The Institute of Medicine, and by the way I’m a member of The Institute of Medicine, I love The Institute of Medicine, but a report in 2004, it basically said, do not pursue susceptibility groups, don’t look for those patients, those children who may be vulnerable.
I really take issue with that conclusion. The reason why they didn’t want to look for those susceptibility groups was because they’re afraid that if they found them, however big or small they were, that that would scare the public away.
First of all, I think the public is smarter than that. The public values vaccines. But more importantly, I don’t think you should ever turn your back on any scientific hypothesis, because you’re afraid of what it might show.
[Attkisson] Dr. Bernadine Healy.
As a reporter this is one of the most remarkable stories I have ever covered, and perhaps the most misreported. It has many of the same ingredients though, as many of the other fascinating stories that I, and other journalists have reported. It involves billions of dollars, allegations of government and corporate and political corruption and alleged coverups.
For today’s news conference I’d like to introduce Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Chairman of the World Mercury Project and avid environmentalist attorney with a Harvard degree and a masters in environmental law, who has successfully advocated for many environmental causes including helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Nico LaHood, Bexar County Texas criminal district attorney who reports seeing his son regress into autism, after a vaccination. Robert De Niro, Academy Award winner and father of a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder who regressed after a round of vaccination. Tony Muhammad, student western regional minister, of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, and The Nation of Islam. And Del Bigtree, Emmy award winning producer, and producer of the documentary Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe.
[Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.]
Thank you Sharyl.
Though I, I want to thank everybody for coming here today. Thank Bob, and you know all the other speakers.
And this is, we’re going to announce a challenge today, and I want to talk about, about the issue a little, and how I got involved.
I got involved, because as the president of Waterkeeper Alliance, and as attorney for Hudson Riverkeeper and several of the other keeper movements, I was suing power plants, coal-burning power plants principally for emitting mercury, which we were concerned about the impacts on fish. FDA had said at that time that every freshwater fish in America had dangerous levels of mercury in its flesh. And it was coming principally from these power plants. And I was going around the country speaking about this, and almost, many of the times after I’d speak I’d be approached by mothers, by women, they were presentable, they were smart, they were calm, they weren’t hysterical, and they would say to me I, that you need to look, my child was injured by a mercury vaccine.
And if you really consider concerned about mercury exposures to children you need to look at that factor, because that is the largest source of exposure for our children. And I began reading the science, and I’m very comfortable reading science, I’ve had over 500 environmental cases, almost all of them involved a scientific controversy, and I couldn’t have won those cases if I weren’t willing to read science, so I read the science, and I read it intensively. And I was immediately struck by the huge gulf between what CDC and journalists were saying that the science said, and what the science actually said. And what I heard from journalists time and again, and what you hear, it’s like it’s repeated like a mantra, that the link between mercury, that mercury is safe, that the science proves it’s safe, that the link between mercury and vaccines, and neurodevelopmental disorders is non-existent.
So I want to show you here the studies that CDC and journalists, have said for years don’t exist. These are 240 studies that show that, and they’re by the best university scientists, by government scientists, by hospital scientists, all over the world, that say that mercury is neurotoxic, that it’s causing damage to our children, that when you give it to mice, when you give it to rats, when you give it to hamsters, pheasant, goats, cows, that they develop autism-like symptoms, or other neurodevelopmental disorders.
These studies show that mercury is linked to the cascade of pediatric neurological, neurodevelopmental disorders, that began hitting Americans in 1989. The birth cohort, the children who are born in 1989, who are the sickest generation of children in the history of our country. CDC says one out of every six of those children has some kind of neurodevelopmental disorder. 43% of them have a chronic disease. A neurodevelopmental disorder, or a food allergy, asthma, eczema, or juvenile diabetes, or an autoimmune disease. This is not normal. 43% of our children have a chronic disease, that is not normal.
It began in 1989. 1989 is the year that EPA says is the gateway year. That’s the year all of these epidemics began in that year. So, we know this, that genes do not cause epidemics. You need an environmental toxin. So the question that journalists ought to be asking, instead of just parroting what CDC’s safety assurance is, if it’s not the thimerosal in vaccines, then what is it? What is the toxin that touched every American demographic in 1989, from Cubans in Biscayne Bay, Miami, to Inuit in Homer, Alaska. And that affects boys disproportionately to girls. ‘Cause the toxic, that fingerprint for that is mercury.
Mercury impacts boys because testosterone amplifies the neurotoxic effect of the mercury molecule. And estrogen wraps the molecule and protects the female brain. So it’s mainly boys who got injured. And all of these diseases, ADD, ADHD, OCD, speech delay, language delay, misery disorder, all the sleep disorders and seizures, all of these things, and ASD and autism, are impacting boys disproportionately to girls. So you have to match the toxin.
A lot of people say well maybe it’s the glyphosate, from the pesticides, maybe it’s PFOA from flame retardants, maybe it’s ultrasound. There’s a number of hypotheses, they all should be investigated. But none of them has the timing, or the sexual dimorphism that we see that we need to explain, when we look at these disorders. So CDC and journalists for many years have been parroting the assurances that no science exists that actually links mercury to these illnesses.
Here I’m giving you 240 studies. 240 studies that are on PubMed, that make that link. We looked up thimerosal and these impacts on PubMed, and we got every study that we could find, we didn’t cherry pick them, we got all of them. So here are all of the studies that we found that link it to non-autism neurodevelopmental disorders. And other disorders like food allergies.
This pile is 81 studies, and I’ll let you see it, that link thimerosal exposure to autism. And this is the pile of studies that show thimerosal is safe zero, not one, none. None that even pretends to. So why is it that journalists have been telling us that there’s lots of science out there?
Because they’re accepting the word of C, of people at CDC, and CDC has to be, CDC had, you know, there’s four separate federal studies that have painted CDC vaccine division as a cesspool of corruption.
CDC is a vaccine company, it owns 56 vaccines. It sells 4.1 billion dollars of vaccines a year. The people who make decisions in that agency have also financial ties, and the inspector general of HHS found that up to 97% of the people who are making decisions about vaccine policy either own stock in vaccine companies, or are otherwise financially entangled, or maybe financially entangled with the vaccine industry. Oh, and this isn’t me saying it. It’s the inspector general of HHS.
So, as CDC has been telling reporters, for 13 years that there’s studies out there, and no reporter I know, whenever a reporter says to me, buddy, buddy it’s all been proven safe, I say tell me a study. ‘Cause what CDC says is not science. What your doctor says is not science. What NIH says is not science. Science is what appears on PubMed, and is written by research scientists. And that this is science.
But calling CDC and saying is Bobby Kennedy wrong about the science does not prove anything. I can tell you what they’re going to say, yeah he’s wrong.
But you journalists have a duty to do more than that. You have a duty to actually look and see what the science says yourselves. And nobody’s been willing to do this. No matter all of our pleading and begging from this whole community. I’m going to show you over here. Three weeks ago, we put a request on our website for mothers to send us stories that are much like Bob’s story, and much like the story that you’re going to hear from Nico LaHood, that they brought their perfectly healthy child in for a wellness visit, that the child got a series of shots, and some of them probably containing thimerosal, the child spiked a fever that night, 105 degrees, had seizures and within three months was brain dead.
Now, we said we put out just on our website, tell us if you have that story. Within 13 hours we had 6,100 women send us details of their particular story, and that’s what in these books.
This, this is, this is not science. What we’ve been told is not science. It’s more akin to religion, it’s an orthodoxy. That it can’t be challenged, it’s a taboo to talk about it. That anybody who talks about it is a heretic, and has to be harmed or marginalized, or called a anti-vax, and yet you know one of these stories is not science, two of them are not science, it’s anecdote. But 6,100 of them, you know ultimately science is, are case studies, that’s science. And this is 6,100 case studies here.
And you have to ignore, like all orthodoxies, this orthodoxy is anti-science, it’s cruel, it’s sometimes lethal, and it’s misogynistic. It requires anybody who adopts this orthodoxy to say that all of these women who say the know what happened to their child, that these stories have to be dismissed. That these stories are the stories of hysterics. That they’re wrong, that they don’t know what they saw. That we know better than they do, what they saw, and what they saw with their child. And that is misogynistic. And is, you know, and that’s what it takes.
So, what we’re doing, what Bob and I are announcing today, is, and we know that journalists don’t want to look into the science, so we are going to offer a 100,000 dollar reward, it’s called the 100K challenge, to any journalist or anybody else, who can come up with a single, who can point to a single existing study that says that it’s safe to inject mercury into little babies, or pregnant women at the levels that we are currently injecting them in the flu vaccine. And this isn’t a gimmick.
We have gotten some of the greatest scientists in America, independent scientists who are not part of this issue to, and they’re government scientists with extraordinary credentials and prestige, and internationally respected, who have agreed to act as judges in this contest. So that when you send us, and the rules are here, that we’re going to distribute you. When you send us this study that you say proves safety, we then submit it to those scientists, and if you’re right, we’re going to write you a check for a hundred thousand dollars.
You’re not going to be able to do it, the study doesn’t exist. You could not design a study that proved that mercury as safe to inject into kids, any more than you could do with lead. Mercury, and I’m going to tell you this, for many years CDC has been selling this canard to the American public and it’s been swallowed by American journalists, that the reason, you know because CDC is in a jam, ’cause CDC and FDA are telling pregnant women don’t inject, don’t eat tuna fish, or don’t eat other large fish while you’re pregnant, because the mercury content is dangerous, will harm your child. There’s no safe level of mercury.
So people have asked them for years, then why are you allowing or encouraging doctors to inject women, when they’re pregnant, with levels of mercury that are far higher than you can find in a can of tuna.
And CDC has made up an excuse for that, a rationale. What they’ve said is that the methylmercury in fish is less persistent in the body, and more toxic, or more persistent in the body and more toxic, than the ethylmercury in vaccines. So ethylmercury in vaccines will leave your body right away and it is not as poisonous. But CDC’s own scientists last month, published a massive data review and literature review, which proved that to be, that claim to be a hoax. Where CDC is now acknowledging through its own scientists that the, that the ethylmercury in vaccines maybe 50 times as toxic to the brain as the methylmercury in fish, and twice as persistent in the body. And yet that, you know that study that was published, by CDC scientists in a respected publication got zero coverage in the mainstream press.
So, you know, what we’re, we need to break this impasse, and I’m going to, I’m going to finish by talking about this. Democracy requires checks and balances, and government you know, one of the first thing that journalists learn when they go to journalism school is that people in power lie, people in authority lie. And it’s the job of journalists to check them. You can’t just take their word on stuff. Oh, and what we have today in our society, we have an industry you look at the pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical industry has paid eight billion dollars out in recent years for pharmaceutical drugs, for lying, for doing off-label marketing, for doing adulteration, for doing all kinds of bad things with their pharmaceuticals. What makes you think that they wouldn’t do the same thing with vaccines? Now, listen to this.
Congress receives more money from the pharmaceutical lobbies there’s more money spent on lobbying by the pharmaceutical industry than any other industry. There are more lobbyists on Capitol Hill from pharma, than there are Congressmen and senators combined. They pay, I’ve always fought the oil and gas industry on Capitol Hill and thought they were omnipotent, but pharma puts in double to lobbying what oil and gas does. They put in four times what defense and aerospace does. And it’s not just the republicans who take the money, which with those other ones it’s mainly republicans, democrats think it’s okay to take pharma money too. So they bought up Congress, they own the regulatory agency,
which has an arm of the industry.
These are the things, these are the institutions that are supposed to be standing between a rapacious industry, and a little child, our little children. So what’s left?
Well, the lawyers are there, right? No, because one of the favors that Congress did for this industry was to pass that VICA, the vaccine compensation act, which says that it’s illegal in this country to sue a vaccine company. So no matter how toxic the agreement, the ingredient, no matter how reckless the line protocols or procedures, no matter how grievous your child is injured you cannot sue them.
So there is no discovery, there’s no document searches, there’s no depositions, there’s no class action suits, there’s no multi-district litigation. They get a free ride.
So what is the last institution left that is still standing between our kids and that industry? It’s the press. And of course the press is going to tell the truth.
But no, for some reason the press has been co-opted. And I don’t think it’s simple as this. That pharma is now the single biggest contributor to network news divisions. Up to 5.4 billion dollars a year. So you look at a network news broadcast these days, and it’s just a vehicle for selling pharmaceutical products. And I was told by the president of one the biggest networks in this country that he was sympathetic with what I was asking which is to go on TV and talk about this issue. He believed I was right, but he could not allow me on his network, because he said, that he would have to fire any host who will have me on.
And it’s not just the mainstream media that’s accepting all this money, but the, you know, the so-called alternate press, which is supposed to be the antidote to corporate control of our media, Salon, Slate, Huff Post, Daily Beast, they won’t run any kind of debate or criticism of this issue there’s something wrong with that in a democracy. That the press, which is the final redoubt for public scrutiny of institutions and industry, has been completely removed from this debate. You cannot go on TV and talk about this. You cannot go into the press. You will be maligned, you will be marginalized as anti-vax, and this week the British Medical Journal, the editors finally had enough, and they put down their foot and they said that word anti-vax is a dirty word. And it’s used to shut people up on a debate that we should be having. And the journalists need to stop doing that, and they need people to start talking about this.
The reason people stop vaccinating is because their child was injured or they’ve lost faith in the program. And without journalistic scrutiny, journalistic scrutiny is required to make sure that this industry and these regulatory agencies serve the public interest.
And if you remove your scrutiny, and your editors tell you you cannot play this story, it’s not making our vaccine program stronger, it’s making it weaker. It’s making it, it’s gutting it out, because we know what happens. We know that this industry, if you suddenly remove scrutiny is not going to come to Jesus and find, you know, that it’s time to start telling the truth. You can’t imagine that that would happen.
So you know, I want to restate, which I say every time I speak that I’m pro-vaccine, but I want safe vaccines. I’m called anti-vaccine in every article written about me. But I’ve never ever made a single statement that could justify that label. Well, I want to get mercury out of the vaccines.
For 33 years I’ve been working to get mercury out of fish. Nobody has ever called me anti-fish. And because I want mercury out of vaccines, I should not be called anti-vaccine. But the reason I’m called that, is because journalists want to make this a binary argument. They want to say either you’re pro-vaccine, or you’re anti-vaccine, there’s nothing in between. There’s nobody like me who is pro-vaccine, but wants safe vaccines, wants to get mercury out, so that our children’s health can be protected. And that’s a rational, and it’s not, it shouldn’t be a radical idea. It should be something that should be getting support from journalists and journalists should be talking about it. But they don’t, so now today we’re offering you a hundred thousand dollars to start talking about this issue honestly.
Now, all of these people came to this issue from, and I wanted to bring up, Bob and I wanted to bring up a cross-section of people here. And but all of these people came to this issue from different perspectives. I came from my work on mercury, in as a litigator, an environmental litigator.
Nico came because he had a child. Two children who were vaccine injured. And he had, like us, we’re all pro-vaccine, but he had children who were vaccine injured. Del Bigtree came as a journalist, who was a producer of The Doctors, who tried to come to this issue and was told no, this is taboo, you cannot talk about it. And he left that, that show in disgust. Tony Muhammad came because he saw autism exploding in his communities, it is the black neighborhoods that are getting the thimerosal vaccines. And it appears to be that African-Americans are much more susceptible to vaccine injury than other Americans. So, but it’s the poor clinics in the urban neighborhoods who are getting these shots. If you’re living in a suburban neighborhood, you have people who are questioning your doctors, and saying I don’t want that. But if you live in a poor, if you’re in a poor clinic, they’re going to take the cheapest vaccines, which are thimerosal vaccines, and your ability to stand up to your doctor, the power to stand up doesn’t exist. So you end up taking them, and those kids are being grievously injured. And Bob De Niro, who came here because of censorship. Again, like Del, because he tried to play a movie that he saw, and there was an uproar, that ultimately he made the decision that it’s too much, it’s going to disrupt the festival and shut it down, but said this censorship is not good for America.
It’s not good for democracy. It’s not good for the public health. So, each one of these gentlemen is going to talk for about three to five minutes, and then we’re going to take Q and A, and I’m going to start with Nico.
[ Nico La Hood]
Well, I think it’s safe to say that you cannot manufacture Bobby’s passion. And like Bobby said we all got to the stage, everybody on this stage got here a different avenue, because we all had different journeys, we have different experiences and we have different opinions a little bit, but let me tell you what we stand for.
We stand here together for our agenda, which is threefold. We’re not here to advocate what we’re against. We’re here truly to advocate what we’re for. And here’s what we advocate for, every one of us on this stage, we are for our children. So since we’re for our children, we’re for your children. That’s a good thing to be for, can I get agreement from everybody?
Number two, we’re for truth. There should not be one person in America, or in this world that not should be pursuant to truth, and should be pursuing truth passionately. So we’re here for truth.
And number three, we’re here for safety.
Children, truth and safety, that is our agenda, and that’s what we stand unified here for.
For my family, I tell people we became an unintended experiment.
As Bobby told you I am the proud daddy of four children. For some reason God trusts me with four of his beautiful children. And our first two children were vaccinated per the schedule. We didn’t know any better, we didn’t question, we just listened, of course you vaccinate. Our first child at six months old, after the six month vaccination she broke out in hives. Tremendous hives, it’s an autoimmune disease, what’s that? She’s allergic to your wife’s breast milk. How ridiculous does that sound? But that was told to us. Everything but it could possibly have been something in the vaccine. We didn’t know to question, so we went forward with the schedule.
Our second child Michael was born. Vaccinated from the first day all children are vaccinated, all the way through the schedule. We saw some signs, but around the sixteenth month vaccines, which is the MMR between the 14 and 18 months, we lost our son.
That’s a fact, I don’t need anyone to tell me about that. You don’t know my kid the way my wife and I do. Our son, and we have the pictures, and we have the video to prove it, don’t take my word for it, was responding to his name, was looking, wonderful eye contact, was smiling, we kept his attention. He went to stimming, he went to losing eye contact, he went to quit responding to his name, and he went blank, immediately after.
Therefore, as a lawyer, I have to think about what happened. What intervening cause happened to our son, that caused this reaction? We didn’t drop him; we didn’t get in a car accident. What was it? When we looked back and no one said the vaccines, we traced it back objectively, not subjectively, objectively to the vaccines. That is our opinion, and we are entitled to that opinion.
As a lawyer, I am trained to follow evidence, and to examine evidence like Bobby is. And furthermore, I am trained and schooled to follow evidence wherever it leads me. You see the representative of the justice system, in all of America, not just in Texas, is Lady Justice. And one of the distinguishing characteristics of Lady Justice is she wears a blindfold.
Because forget politics, this is not republican or democrat, this is not politics, it’s about people. Forget genders, forget affiliations, forget your faith, forget it all. We are to wear the blindfold like Lady Justice, and follow the evidence wherever it leads us, not where we lead ourselves. So what we’re asking basically, what I’m asking you, as a daddy, that happens to be a lawyer, ’cause I’m a daddy first, is to wear the blindfold with us. Let’s just shelf all of our agendas, let’s ditch all of our opinions and our perceptions, and let’s put on a blindfold for our children, and let us passionately and unbiasedly, pursue truth, and hopefully God willing reach safety. Because our children deserve it. And Del will talk about that, we have to do better for our kids. So, I have a lot more to say, but I’m going to adhere to the three to five minutes, I think I’m already over. Thank you for being here, I really mean that sincerely. I really appreciate your attendance, and God bless you.
I’m glad I’m here.
I, I don’t really, I’m here for, because my son is within the autistic spectrum, and went through a, it’s been explained, I think everybody knows the story, so I won’t bore you with it again. I thought what Bobby said was great. It was eloquently said, I couldn’t have said it any better myself I agree with him a hundred percent, thank you.
Reverend Tony Muhammad.
In the name of God, I bear witness there is no God but God. And it’s an honor for me to certainly be here, with this distinguished panel of powerful men, who advocate for truth. I would like to say on behalf of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the grateful Nation of Islam, and on behalf of poor people, those poor people being black, brown, red and white. I have been blessed as of May of last year, after finding out about this study, of a scientist who works for the CDC as we speak. His name is Dr. William Thompson. Who admitted that he lied about a study he did. And it was brought to our attention by Mr. Kennedy, of whom I’m deeply, deeply grateful for him, and not just him, his family and their legacy. Because we’re taught that history is most attractive, and best rewarding in any research. And this has happened to us before. That the Tuskegee Experiment could be back and live and well and it took a Kennedy to shut down that experiment.
Now we have to ask ourselves as a community, could it be that it’s happening to us again? That 240% of black boys are more disproportionately affected by vaccines, when it comes to autism. Our community, the poor community don’t even know what that word means.
I have just finished the first half of a tour that I have been commissioned to go on, by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. And I have visited 30 urban cities. And the room are packed with poor people. And when the movie, or the documentary Vaxxed was shown, the screams, the cries from black mothers, who were poor. In St. Louis, Missouri, a black mother fainted after looking at the movie Vaxxed, and it took us minutes to revive her. And she said I knew it was the vaccines, but the doctors bullied me and told me that it was me genetically who gave that to my child. She said I’m crying because I’ve had a hysterectomy, because I refused to have any more children.
Something is wrong. And I just want to say to the press, as a spiritual man, I have to go there. Isaiah in the Bible, chapter 59, he says these words, he says truth has fallen to the streets, and justice stands afar off, and equity cannot enter. And it’s impossible for us to judge while the truth is being hidden. And it is your responsibility as Mr. Kennedy said, you are the last line of defense for truth.
But if you have been compromised then in the minds of the American people we are hemorrhaging because you have to muster up the courage to go behind these lines and vet out the truth for our children, and our children’s safety.
And I’m saying to you, that the black community is waking up in leaps and bounds and as you, the press now, is under attack, show us, show us, that we can trust you. Prove to us that you will leave no stone unturned, because the CDC has admitted that in the 1960s Elijah Muhammad told the members of the nation, do not take the polio vaccine. We are for vaccines, but we are very careful with what vaccines we take. And 30 years later the CDC admitted that the polio vaccine had in it SV40, that caused over 95 million American people to come down with cancer when in the early 60’s cancer was not a black disease. But we’re 12% of the population, and now we lead all category in cancer. So I’m standing here, not as a man who’s just for his people, and I am, don’t get it twisted. We have to speak for poor black, poor brown, poor red and poor white.
But I’m here with this distinguished body of men, that we will give our life for the truth. And so we hope that you the press will do your job, while the American public somewhat trusts you. For when this come out, in truth, the community is going to be upset.
I close to find in the 30 cities I’ve been in, when our community found out that our Congress voted to give the vaccine makers a pass on the very bill that Mr. Kennedy spoke of they was irate. I don’t care what the color is; the American public don’t even realize that Congress passed a bill that the vaccine makers cannot be sued. And if the vaccines are so safe, why have our government using the taxpayers’ money, covering up for a pharmaceutical industry that makes billions in profits, why won’t they stand up? And why won’t they stand behind their own vaccines? Why do we the American people have to pay for the mistake of the vaccine makers? That’s a crime in my opinion, and we must do something about it.
Therefore, I thank you and hope that this will lead you to going behind enemy lines in getting for the American people, truth.
(Audience cheering and clapping)
We may have to seek them out, and destroy them where they live. That was what came out in a court case against Merck when their product Vioxx was proved to cause heart attacks in over 50,000 people. That lawsuit, that case went behind the scenes into the emails and showed Merck knew that that drug caused heart attacks, and covered it up from the FDA, the American people and the world. And in an internal email they sent out, doctors that questioned the safety of Vioxx, we may have to seek them out, and destroy them where they live. Think about that.
How does a company like that continue to even work in the United States of America? Murdering over 50,000 innocent people. Some say that number could go up into the hundreds of thousands. Put it in perspective, we lost roughly 65,000 people in Vietnam and we marched in the streets. And we have a company that knowingly killed people, and still they work in this country. Better yet, they make most of our childhood vaccines.
We are the press. I worked on the daytime talk show, The Doctors, celebrating the best that medicine had to offer, the best doctors, the best science, the best surgeries, cutting edge techniques. And then I ran into the story of Dr. William Thompson, a whistleblower from the Centers for Disease Control, that laid out how they committed scientific fraud when it came to vaccine safety research. Didn’t just make that claim but backs it up with 10,000 documents including internal emails, spoke to Congressman Bill Posey, handed over those 10,000 documents, was also interviewed by Bill Posey. And Bill Posey stood before the US government, in front of the Congress, said we have a problem. We have one of our top scientists is providing information to me that we are lying to the American public, and that children are in harm’s way. The American people trust us, and he said in closing, please, please I beg you, we must subpoena Mr. William Thompson.
And yet, no newspaper covers that story. No news station covers that story. Nobody cares about a top scientist from the most important health agency in the world coming forward and saying we’ve committed scientific fraud?
What has happened to us? Why am I the only one that leaves a job because I refuse to have television tell me we can’t cover stories about innocent children being ruined and damaged? Stories you’ve heard here today. Respectable, beautiful people, telling their truth. And yet we let the pharmaceutical industry buy our advertising and control what we say.
At the heart, the foundation of media, of press, the same heart, and foundation of science, is one single idea; we must never stop asking questions. If we do, science is dead. If science believes it has the only truth, there will never be another Einstein; there will never be another breakthrough event. And if journalists stop asking the important questions, then there will never be the dream of the United States of America, because Thomas Jefferson said to us if we lose a free press, a press that can challenge the government, can challenge the tyranny of industry, hold their feet to the fire, then we will lose our freedom, and we will lose the United States of America.
They call us the fourth estate, the fourth branch of government, and we report concerned about the branches of government being bought out by industry. Senators and Congressmen that bow down to oil and gas industries or pharmaceutical industries as Bobby Kennedy has pointed out, now the most powerful lobby in Washington. But what about us? What about the fourth branch of government? If we have been bought out, if we cannot go back to our networks and say we must run this story. I don’t care that Merck’s going to follow this story with an ad for a drug and a ridiculous list of ticker-taped side effects and we giggle in our living rooms, who would buy that? We must stop giggling, because we are lying to the public. They believe we have a free press. They believe we are telling the truth. They believe we will cover a story when a top scientist says we have lied to the American people.
Journalists are the first ones to step up when a murderer is on death row and new evidence or a new witness steps forward. We say we must reopen this case; we cannot let an innocent man die, or an innocent woman die.
Well I’ll tell you right now, we have a new witness in Dr. William Thompson. We have new evidence in 10,000 documents that he’s provided, and you have great scientists and lawyers pointing out that it is impossible to say that vaccines are safe, it is impossible because we’ve paid out over 3.3 billion dollars in damages, paid for with taxpayer money, because the pharmaceutical industry has no liability. If we’ve paid out 3.3 billion dollars, how can we say that vaccines are safe? How can we say that vaccines are safe when we have a top scientist still working at the CDC? How can we say that they’re safe when you cannot provide a study that shows that the second most toxic substance on earth, the most toxic non-radioactive substance, has no studies saying that it can be injected into children, and pregnant women, into fetuses?
And we have a rise in childhood illness like we’ve never seen. Autism now at one in 45, up from one in 10,000. Asthma in every classroom. Anaphylactic food allergies, diabetes, eczema, the list goes on and on. That is not the classroom I grew up in. We have got to stop saying our children are so safe because of vaccines, our children are sick. We said it on The Doctors television show. This is the first generation of children that we believe will not live to be as old as their parents.
Isn’t that enough questions for the media? Isn’t that enough questions for science to do what is right? Not a single person up here today is trying to do away with the vaccine program. None of us have ever made anti-vaccine statements. We’ve made statements that we want science to do better. It has injured children of people sitting on this stage, that have stood before you to tell the truth. It has injured hundreds of thousands of parents’ children, telling the same story. Those are the facts.
Now it’s time to begin asking the appropriate questions. When brakes fail on cars, we don’t worry that we’re going to end all driving altogether. We say fix the failing brakes. We are saying fix the failing vaccines. Because no child should be allowed to be injured by anything not by disease or vaccines. And if we’re paying out 3.3 billion dollars in damages, we can do better!
We have cars that are driving down the streets by themselves. Any moment we may put a man on Mars.
And we are going to accept that vaccines have to injure some children? We can do better. And the only way we do is if every person with a pen in this room and everyone standing behind a camera in this room does the job that we studied, that we passionately believe in. That Thomas Jefferson remanded us to. To challenge the systems of government. To challenge the systems of industry. And do our job for the American people. For the children of this world. Please begin doing your job and pressure this industry to have better science. Because safe vaccines for everyone must be a priority. Thank you all for being here today.
(Audience cheering and clapping)
I want to, before Sharyl comes up, I just want to clarify something. I told you there’s no safety studies. But there are studies that CDC has created, CDC and industry, there are 19 studies that purport to say that thimerosal does not cause autism. That’s it, and they’re population studies, they’re not clinical, they’re not animal studies, they’re simply population studies, and they’re all very badly flawed. These are those studies. These are the studies that say that CDC studies, including three of these studies written by Dr. Thompson, the three lead studies, who now says that he was ordered by his boss at CDC to destroy evidence, to manipulate the data, to bury the evidence that showed that it was in fact causing illness to black boys, specifically black boys who received the vaccine on time, had a 250% greater chance of getting autism, than black boys who waited. So, and that, and he was told to come in, he and four other scientists were ordered by Frank DeStefano, the vaccine branch chief, to come into a conference room at CDC and dump that data into a garbage can and then they published that study, the DeStefano study, and found no effect. And that study has been cited 110 times on PubMed as the definitive evidence that vaccines don’t cause autism. These are all of those studies; this is the entire universe of their autism study. There’s no safety study that says, you know, it doesn’t poison you, it doesn’t kill you, it doesn’t cause all these other illnesses. These are exclusively autism studies, and it’s all they’ve got.
So and those 19 studies are described here, on these charts, and it goes through why each one of them has, is fraudulent. But even these studies, even these studies, which are CDC’s own studies admit that it causes tics, it causes tics, language delay, it causes mental retardation, it causes lower IQ in girls. So even the studies they use to defend it from autism are admitting it’s causing all these other illnesses. Nobody’s looking at this stuff.
Reporters need to look at this and they need to look at it in detail. Because you know this is what if this got, why did not a single mainstream reporter cover this story? You have a senior scientist at CDC who’s saying that everything’s fraudulent, we caused the autism epidemic.
That’s what he says. He says every time I see a family with an autistic kid I have great shame because we were at fault, that’s a quote. And nobody covered the story. There was just crickets in the American media.
Okay, I’m sorry, Sharyl.
No, thank you.
Question, Mike, please wait for a microphone, and then say your affiliation and name please.
Yeah hi, I’m Sara Reardon from Nature magazine.
I was wondering Mr. Kennedy if you’d had any more discussions with the Trump administration
about starting a vaccine commission?
No, I. I got called by the transition team on December 4th, and they asked me, the Trump had they said that the administration wanted to reach out to me, the president wanted to reach out to me, to see if I was willing to chair and populate a commission. And they didn’t, they wanted to make sure that before they made me an official offer that I was willing to accept it. I ended up talking with members of the transition team many times over the next month, and trading documents about what the commission would look like. I was told the president elect would call me over Christmas, he ended up calling me on January 4th.
We talked for 20 minutes on the phone. He asked me to come in on January 10th to talk to him, and I spent an hour talking to him that day. He said he knew many people who admit he thought, and who believed their children had been injured by vaccines and he wanted to make sure we had the safest vaccines, and that we had, you know, we had a, a regulatory process with integrity.
After, and they instructed me at that time, members of the staff to talk to the press about what we had said, which I did. Since then, and then, you know by the time I had, an hour later it had been walked back. I’ve been contacted three times by the administration since then and they tell me that they’re still going forward with a commission. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I think what happens in the administration now is very obscure to anybody. But you know, all I can say is to tell you what the president told me. He specifically told me that he knew that the pharmaceutical industry was going to cause uproar about this and was going to try to make him back down, and he said I’m not going to back down. They tried during the campaign, and I didn’t back down then, and I’m not going to back down. But I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. All I can tell you is I will be here fighting for this issue whatever happens.
I’m Josh Major from Annapolis. Thank you for having this forum.
My question really is for Mr. De Niro. Sir, could you please discuss with us what happened when you announced the showing of Vaxxed at Tribeca? Could you discuss the role of the Immunization Action Committee? There was an article in The Guardian, quoting Alison Singer, who had said the Immunization Action Committee sprang into action to suppress the movie. What is the Immunization Action Committee, and what do they do?
[Robert De Niro]
I don’t know what it is. And it, that’s something I never heard. I haven’t heard, I’ll look, I’m curious about that, too. I heard it was filmmakers, some filmmakers, feeling that the film wasn’t worthy in a way. But it must have had more, I, you know.
I’ll look into that.
One more quick question.
Hi, Rob Dew from infowars.com I have a two part question, I guess for each of you. Three hundred fifty organizations led by the American Academy of Pediatrics came out and wrote a letter to Mr. Trump saying they have unequivocal support for the current vaccine industry the way it’s run now. They have total support. What kind of pushback, you know, they haven’t even created a commission yet, what kind of pushback do you expect in trying to lead something like this? And Mr. De Niro is this something you could get behind, a vaccine safety commission, led by President Trump?
First of all, I would say this again but, the 350 I think, the AAP was the group that led that effort and got 350 health agencies to sign on. Many, the studies that they cited in there were these studies. And if, and you know I doubt if anybody actually read the studies, or very few of those people. But, the idea, why would anybody not want a vaccine safety commission?
That I think should be the question that everybody should ask. You know, the commission would be, as President Trump envisioned and me, it would be made up of Americans with the highest integrity, people who were household words. People who had not taken any position on this issue. Just to look at the science.
We, you know, we need a debate on this. And for anybody to say that they’re satisfied with the way that the vaccine program works today, where the vaccine program has paid out 3.3 billion dollars to people who admittedly were injured? To say that that can’t be improved on, that that record, that those children are just sacrifices for the greater good? That we can ask Americans to sacrifice their child so that some other child can remain free of measles? Maybe sacrifice them to death? You know, there’s not been a single child in this country that’s died of measles in a decade. But there’s been 69 children who have died from the measles vaccine and been compensated by the government. Is that acceptable? Is that what those 350 organizations think is acceptable? I don’t think so.
You know, if we had a commission we’d look at the science. Science is not subjective, it’s not my opinion. It’s objective. And the people that would staff, that would populate that commission would be people that all of you would know. None of them, particularly not even scientists. But people who just say wait a minute, this is either working or not, or we ought to be doing better.
So, you know, I don’t see why anybody’s scared of safer vaccines. I’m not out to hurt the vaccine program. I want to help it, I just want good science. I’ve been working for good science, for 33 years on every issue. I just, I don’t see how anybody has a legitimate objection having an, another set of eyes on the vaccine program?
I am only concerned about this. Trump I don’t care about. If he does the right thing, he does the right thing. I don’t have to be connected with him. It’s about this, period.
Thank you all, thanks to the audience. Unfortunately we have to be out of the room at, a minute, two minutes ago, so thanks for attending. Thanks for The National Press Club and to the organizers.