Thursday, October 27, 2016

Zika Part 4
Vaccine Testing Begins
#CDC Whistleblowers

I know, I know, it’s really time to let this one go and move on, but I just can’t – My Inner Wonk is just too Angry – about $2 billion angry…..

The Zika virus emerged as a globe-circulating virus in 2014, first appearing in French Polynesia. It did, however, make an earlier mini debut on the small islands of Yap in Micronesia in 2007. While it seemed to sweep thru most of the islands', it was a mild disease that, for the most part, cleared in a few days. In fact, as I am wont to point out, it is so mild that only 1 out of 5 people who get it actually notice. However, the CDC did take notice of this 2007 outbreak and since that time has invested $20 million to develop a test to determine if a person has been infected – My Inner Wonk has to wonder - why?

In May of 2015, Brazilian health agencies informed the World Health Organization (WHO) that they were seeing increasing cases of Zika infection in certain parts of Brazil. By October 2015, Brazil notified the WHO that they had noticed an increase in cases of a devastating neurological defect in newborns – microcephaly – babies born with abnormally small heads and other neurological problems. Interestingly, by the time the current “epidemic” began to be hyped in the US press – in early 2016 – over 30 (YES 30!!) companies were already diligently developing better testing for the virus and by March of 2016, 23 projects lead by 14 different companies were underway to develop a vaccine. Also by March of this year, the CDC had reassigned 750 full time employees to the Zika crisis* – poaching people who had been studying tick-borne diseases (aren’t all you Lyme sufferers happy to know that?!). Again, all this for a virus that 80% of  the people who get it don’t usually know they have. And on April 13th, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control - while remaining stubbornly clueless about the causes of autism, POTS, allergies, asthma and all other vaccine injury-induced disease and disability in the US - declared definitively that Zika causes microcephaly and perhaps other serious birth defects. What an interesting unfolding of events…..

In August of this year, Tom Frieden (CDC) and Toni Fauci (NIH) repeatedly and loudly warned the world that the lack of funds from Congress would slow down the development of a Zika vaccine, but lack of funds didn’t stop them from announcing the beginning of human Zika vaccine trials that same month.

Not only does this timeline raise intriguing questions about the tail wagging the dog, the utter lack of logic in the whole process gets my Angry Wonk steaming. This is a mild illness (that 80% thing again!!!) and appears to spread quickly in the right conditions. As with all viruses, once you get it you’ll have lifelong immunity. After the CDC and media fueled panic over West Nile virus, we apparently all got it – mostly without realizing it – and are now all immune. If we really believe that Zika is causing devastating neurological damage to fetuses, wouldn’t it be easier – and more effective – to help women delay pregnancy until after they have had Zika and then go on their merry way with lifelong immunity?

In fact, we can see that very phenomenon playing out in South East Asia. While the media and the CDC are hyping that the next Zika meltdown is going to happen there, the crisis has yet to explode as promised. Turns out that Zika has been circulating silently in Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia since the 1960’s (where are the birth defects you might ask?– haven’t shown up) – most everyone there has already had it. This “epidemic” and “crisis” is barely making a peep there. In fact, one very puzzled virologist from University of Malaya, declared in wonder – “It's almost like the people are vaccinated” and that this “natural immunity could stop potential outbreaks”. Well – you don’t say!!

Vaccines, on the other hand, have been proven repeatedly to NOT offer lifelong immunity. Whooping cough circulates every few years in vaccinated populations. As I have written earlier, even the CDC admits the Hep B vaccine only lasts 7 years or so. This year there have been mumps outbreaks in fully vaccinated populations on the Harvard University Campus and in Arkansas. Even in the highly hyped and publicized Disneyland measles outbreak where 110 people got the measles at least 13 of those that got measles had been vaccinated. Another 47 had “undetermined vaccine status” - what does that mean? Once again the CDC is very fuzzy about that. It seems that if you didn't have your vaccine records with you, your vaccine status is labeled "undetermined" - do you know where your vaccine records are?** Only 49 people were proven to be unvaccinated and 12 of those were babies who were too young to get the vaccine, which leaves only 37 people who could have been vaccinated who were proven not to be......  This flu season experts are counselling people to carefully time the administration of their flu shot – too early and it may not provide coverage through the end of the flu season - they don't even expect it to offer protection for a few months!? How can that be worth the toxic mercury delivered with each shot?? Not to mention that the flu vaccine has had abysmal effectiveness numbers over the last several years – even according to the CDC! The flu mist apparently has had NO IMPACT on keeping the flu at bay.

But wait, what about Guillain-Barre syndrome - where the body attacks itself resulting in paralysis that usually reverses itself, but can be permanent or lead to death - that has been linked to the Zika virus, yes? We wouldn’t want to get that would we? Well, of course not, but do you know what also causes Guillain-Barre? Vaccines. Even the CDC acknowledged that the Swine Flu shots given during the 1976 “epidemic” caused at least 500 cases of Guillain-Barre and 25 people died - and the vaccine was only given over a period of a few weeks, before being pulled. In fact, according to this CDC presentation, vaccines are far more likely to cause this autoimmune problem than any known viruses (slide 3). Vaccines can have other, FDA-acknowledged adverse effects (I encourage you to read a vaccine insert). The flu shot given in Europe during the H1N1 “crisis” in 2009 caused more than 1300 cases (!!!!!) of narcolepsy -- a debilitating, incurable, life-long condition. In fact, even the Supreme Court has stated that the The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986  was necessary because it  "eliminates manufacturer liability for a vaccine’s unavoidable, adverse side effects"  (my emphasis) absolving the Pharmaceutical companies from virtually any and all liability for vaccine injury - let that sink in - the Supreme Court has acknowledged vaccine's unavoidable harm.....

Even if you really, truly believe that vaccines can provide immunity – do you really want to risk vaccine injury for a disease that is incredibly unlikely to harm you? How likely is it that a safe Zika vaccine could be developed? In my previous post I talked about how Zika is very similar to several other viruses like Dengue, West Nile, Japanese Encephalitis and Yellow Fever. Have you been offered a vaccine for any of those? No? No, you have not, because despite the fact that untold resources have been spent in an attempt to develop “safe and effective” vaccines for all of those viruses, the only vaccine out there is for Yellow Fever – and its use is limited because it is deemed too unsafe to use on anything but very targeted populations. Vaccines for all the others have been abandoned.

Nevertheless, the CDC and those 14 companies are slaving away and spending $$$$$$ (your dollars by the way) on a Zika vaccine. Human trials are underway. If you get asked to partake, umm, just say "No."

Next post - the deceitful way the CDC "proved" Zika caused microcephaly.(Yes, sorry, another - I just can't unsee what I have seen - the data is my siren call....) Feel free to share and subscribe.

*The idea of 750 full time employees reassigned to Zika is a little bit of an abstract concept to wrap your head around. To try to give you some context: in the early 1990’s my husband and I worked at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory, part of EPA’s headquarters that is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That lab tests all on-road and off-road engines (those categories include: cars, snow mobiles, trains, tractors, trucks, marine engines, lawn mowers, etc. If it's got an engine they test it) sold in America for both emission compliance and fuel economy. They also analyze all fuels, fuel additives and exhaust compounds, including alternative fuels. They set guidelines for states and local governments for vehicle inspection programs. They develop and implement regulations for transportation planning across the entire US – can’t build a road in the US without following their guidelines. They work on policies related to transportation and climate change, among many other topics. How many people did that involve when we were there? About 500 full time EPA employees and a couple hundred contractors. Now, think about 750 people working on one thing – Zika – a nonissue virus that a bunch of the world has already had! Grrrrr – My Angry Wonk is about to blow a gasket!

**In the late 1970's there was a measles outbreak in our part of Missouri - in a highly vaccinated population. Despite the fact that I had had measles as a child (something I remember as a nonissue), I had no "proof" and thus had to be vaccinated along with EVERYONE else in my high school - including my sister. A few years later, when we were in college at Indiana University another measles outbreak occurred - again in a highly vaccinated population. Since we were not given any paperwork at our mass high school vaccination event, we again, did not have "proof" of either having measles or a vaccine. Thus, my sister, husband and myself were all vaccinated AGAIN. Did we get paperwork that time? No. Was it put in our "permanent record"? Nope. If my sister - who did not have measles as a child - had gotten measles in a situation like the outbreak at Disney she would be counted as someone with "undetermined" vaccination status. Her - and my - clear recollection of her vaccinations would be dismissed. The CDC finds things work better for them that way.....

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Zika Part 3
Another CDC Whistleblower: Zika Testing

Ok, so maybe there aren’t as many microcephaly cases in Brazil as we first thought. Maybe aerial spraying is more of a publicity stunt and not particularly effective at controlling mosquitoes. Maybe there aren’t that many locally transmitted cases of Zika infections in the Continental US. Maybe, based on past outbreaks of dengue in the US, we’re not really on the verge of an epidemic here. But surely, surely, the CDC wouldn’t be causing such panic, threatening vital tourism dollars in developing countries, causing untold numbers of pregnant women unimaginable worry and heartache – having them contemplate late-term ABORTING of much wanted babies - unless they had irrefutable rock-solid data showing that the Zika virus – and nothing else – is spreading around the globe.


It has taken me a while to write parts 2 and 3 of this series, in large part because the deeper I dig into the details, the gnarlier (and depressing) this story gets. That such life-impacting decisions are being made on the basis of so little data, or such bad data is just beyond mind-boggling to me. So, the question becomes why? What’s always the answer – the $$$s. The CDC relentlessly hounded Congress for $1.9 billion to “fight” this “epidemic”, even though they have $2.7 billion leftover from their last panic room freak show, Ebola (which barely touched America). Aided by an always-willing-to-hype-a-disease-story main stream press, who knows how much the CDC has stashed away from previous “epidemics” – West Nile Virus, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, MERs……? This model seems to have served them very well in the past, so it’s no surprise they're using it again.

However, this time Congress was a little slower to bite on this bait, forcing the CDC to threaten to move money around. That unprogrammed $2.7 million for Ebola? Can’t touch that – that wouldn’t stir the panic pot. No, the CDC threatened to take money from public health programs where there is real illness and disease – HIV/AIDs, heart disease, cancer research and then one of their favorites – the childhood vaccination programs (ok, the vaccine program is only real in that it creates illness and disease – but I digress). This reprogramming of funds within the top public health organization in the US would imply they have a lot of solid information - that the tests being used to confirm that these are really cases of Zika infections are reliable and widely available; the freak-out about this birth defect/Zika connection is warranted because we have irrefutable evidence of the connection; these birth defects are so devastating, and happen with such frequency that it warrants taking dollars from HIV/AIDs, heart disease and cancer programs and research; that researchers have successfully developed safe and effective vaccines for similar diseases. Well, ummm, no, not really - on any of the above counts.

In researching for my last blog post, I was struck by a recurring, puzzling bit of info (Ok, a lot was really puzzling…). Tom Frieden, head of the CDC and Tony Fauci of NIH – the Fear Monger Czars - kept talking about “confirmed cases of Zika infection”. In the next breath, or paragraph, when they turn the talk yet again to the need for more funding, they cite the need for “better testing.” Better testing???? You mean the CDC demanded $2 billion for a disease we don’t really have a reliable test for? I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

How unreliable are those tests? Well, that’s another reason this blog post took so long to write – I couldn't find the data – and you know me - I have to have the data! Why is the data so hard to find? A few weeks ago the Washington Post reported that a CDC Whistleblower (Hmmmm, why does that phrase sound so familiar???) has come forward to say the CDC has been using the “wrong” Zika test. Robert Lanciotti, the head of the CDC Diagnostics and Reference Laboratory – who was in charge of developing both tests - claims that the test being used by the CDC and recommended for use by State and Local Health departments, misses 39% of Zika cases. The CDC vehemently denies those numbers and promptly demoted Lanciotti (who has since been reinstated after filing a whistleblower complaint). But if you wade thru these articles, that is just the beginning of the problem. According to its own Interim Guidance for Interpretation of Zika Virus Antibody TestResults, all available Zika tests are unreliable and subject to producing both false positive and false negative test results.

The Zika virus is a type of Flavivirus – a category of viruses that includes Yellow Fever, West Nile. Dengue, and Japanese Encephalitis among others. According to this article in the NY Times, the best way to identify whether you have had a Flavivirus infection is a test on blood drawn within the first 7 or so days after the onset of symptoms. This proves a little tricky in a disease that 80% of people never notice they have. Testing negative with this test, according to the CDC, tells you very little about whether or when you were infected with the Zika virus. There is some evidence that the virus may stick around longer in a person’s urine, but the CDC is a little fuzzy about the reliability and availability of such tests – again, this data-driven Angry Wonk is quite frustrated by the lack of details and numbers provided about these tests. (Hello, investigative journalists – where is your curiosity?)

If a person tests negative for Zika in the initial blood test, but is still worried about Zika exposure – say a pregnant woman perhaps - there is an antibody test available that is not dependent on testing so close to the time of virus exposure. However, this test comes with its own set of weaknesses. People who have had one of the other Flaviviruses (e.g., Yellow Fever, West Nile (which many, many people in the US have had – again, probably without knowing it), or Dengue), or had the Yellow Fever vaccine, can have a positive antibody test without actually being infected with Zika. So a positive antibody test doesn’t tell you much for a person who may have been exposed to other viruses in the same family sometime in the past. In fact, according to the NY Times article, previous exposure can lead to BOTH false positive and false negative results in an antibody test.

Here in the US, to try to amp up numbers and provide info for pregnant women, all three tests are being done – blood test, urine test and the antibody test - with less than reliable, trustworthy outcomes according to the CDC, Washington Post, NY Times and NPR. As might be expected, that’s a lot of testing ($$$$) and has also resulted in a significant testing backlog, leaving thousands of worried pregnant women in desperate limbo. Which for me begs the question – what about in Brazil? Columbia? Were all those cases of Zika in pregnant women so meticulously documented? Again, the information out there is fuzzy. I found some articles from early 2016 saying a new rapid test was on the verge of going mainstream in Brazil, but whether it ever did has been hard to determine.

All of this left me thinking – this is a disease that just recently emerged as a global issue. The current outbreak started slowly in 2014 on Yap – a tiny group of islands in the Pacific, where it was highly unlikely to explode. A disease that 80%!!! (Yes, I know I keep saying this - but REALLY!) of the people who have it DON”T EVEN KNOW! Why, oh, why did the CDC even have a test ready? Turns out, if you read the Washington Post CDC whistleblower article very closely, you will see that the CDC began developing a Zika test in 2007, after a Zika outbreak in the Micronesian Islands out in the vast Pacific Ocean. According to the article, before this current outbreak, the CDC had already spent $20 million developing said, apparently not very reliable test. Hmmmm..... what prompted THAT investment decision? (More on that later -- stay tuned -- yes, there will be a Zika Part 4! Groan.)

So, let’s recap – the CDC has whipped up fear about the Zika virus all year, with eager help from the press, telling us that it is running rampant thru the Caribbean and Central America, nipping at the heels of the mainland US while spreading dangerously thru Puerto Rico. US media outlets have prominently hyped this story, doing their best to scare the bucks out of America. The same sad, tragic pictures of deformed babies have been shamelessly published over and over again on the websites of the NY Times, Washington Post, NPR, National Geographic. Neighborhoods in the US, where few or NO cases of locally transmitted Zika infections have been drenched in useless, neurotoxic pesticides that cause the same type of neurological fetal deformities they are supposed to prevent, in the process not killing mosquitoes but instead killing pollinators that are crucial to agriculture.  The CDC has demanded – and received – almost $2 billion to fight this “epidemic” and “crisis” of a disease that 4 in 5 people don’t know they have because it is so mild, all based on a diagnosis that cannot actually be confirmed by multiple lab tests. Yes, yes, THAT sounds like a great way to protect public health.

Next up - of course - time to get your vaccine!