Vaccines and measles are big news. But what is not being reported? As usual, it is the telling conflicts of interest behind the figures being pushed in the media.
In an incredible and ongoing draconian response to the media hyped ‘measles outbreak’ at Disneyland, lawmakers are attempting to take away parents’ rights to decide, or even influence, what is put into their children’s bodies.
Bills in dozens of states and at the federal level are now being introduced to deny exemptions on philosophical and/or religious grounds and make vaccinations mandatory.
California, where the Disneyland ‘outbreak’ occurred, is leading the charge with a bill that would require all children to be immunized before entering schools, and would now disallow both personal belief and religious exemption reasons.
Some 13,000 kindergarteners claimed religious or personal belief exemptions according to California state records – now media-driven propaganda is demanding that they not be allowed to enter school until they are vaccinated.
But what is not being reported?
As usual, it is the telling conflicts of interest behind the figures who are most prominent in the media.
Rhett Krawitt, Grandchild of a GlaxoSmithKline Consultant
Enter Rhett Krawitt. His face has been everywhere lately that the measles vaccination controversy has been.
That’s because the 7 year old, who is recovering from child leukemia, is being exploited by his father as a key reason why the unvaccinated should not be allowed in schools.
— SFGate (@SFGate) February 11, 2015
Though Rhett Krawitt is too young to understand it, his image as a vulnerable child is being used to manipulate support for this draconian restriction of medical freedom – even in spite of the facts!
It is vaccinated children – not unvaccinated children – that immunocompromised people like Rhett, who is recovering from chemotherapy treatments for his leukemia, are advised to stay away from. Check out what is written on page 113 of this Johns Hopkins patient guide for recovering cancer patients:
Can I have visitors?
• Tell friends and family who are sick, or have recently had a live vaccine (such as chicken pox, measles, rubella, intranasal influenza, polio or smallpox) not to visit.
• Avoid contact with children who were recently vaccinated.
Here the “adorable” Rhett is referred to as the “what can only be described as the cutest, if not most convincing, call for parents to vaccinate their children.”
Prompted by his father, Carl Krawitt, he is asking the government to restrict parents’ rights to choose whether or not their children are vaccinated.
But what the dozens of prominent stories on the heartwarming – or alternately heartbreaking – case on Rhett Krawitt DON’T discuss, however, is that Rhett’s grandfather is a medical doctor and a consultant to GlaxoSmithKline.
That’s a conflict of interest, no matter how unimportant it may seem.
Vermont gastroenterologist Dr. Edward Krawitt, MD, who specializes in hepatitis cases, has been a paid consultant to GSK for years. It shows up in Glaxo disclosures, and in the fine-print conflict of interest reports in Dr. Krawitt’s scientific papers – but it doesn’t factor into the media debate on twisting arms and forcing parents to vaccinate in California and, perhaps, the rest of the country.
That part is the dirty little secret. Or, alternately, the boring detail not worth mentioning.
But it makes a difference – not just in the public example being made of Rhett Krawitt, but in the Big Pharma-funded politicians who are pushing the bill through in California.
State Senator and Pediatrician Dr. Richard Pan
Predictably, but unfortunately, California’s bill to force vaccinations despite religious and philosophical beliefs – ostensibly guaranteed by the 1st Amendment – has been introduced by a pediatrician and state senator with ties to the vaccine industry.
Dr. Pan was among more than two dozen California lawmakers who received campaign donations on record from Merck in the 2010 election cycle, ahead of supporting a 2011 law allowing girls as young as 12 years old to receive Gardasil vaccinations for HPV (manufactured by Merck) without parental consent.
Now, Dr. Pan is insisting that parents should have no say in whether kindergartners and other school aged children should receive vaccinations either:
Dr. Richard Pan, a pediatrician and Senator representing Sacramento and Senator Ben Allen, the former Board President of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District will introduce legislation that will repeal the personal belief exemption that currently allows parents to effectively opt their child out of vaccines in our schools.
“As a pediatrician, I’ve been worried about the anti-vaccination trend for a long time,” said Dr. Richard Pan, a State Senator representing Sacramento. “I’ve personally witnessed the suffering caused by these preventable diseases and I am very grateful to the many parents that are now speaking up and letting us know that our current laws don’t protect their kids.”
“The high number of unvaccinated students is jeopardizing public health not only in schools but in the broader community. We need to take steps to keep our schools safe and our students healthy,” said Senator Ben Allen.
Senator Dr. Richard Pan already authored legislation in 2012 that forces parents to consult with doctor (and receive scary sounding information about vaccines) before using an exemption for vaccinations:
Under a measure authored by Dr. Pan in 2012, parents who exempt a child from school vaccinations must first talk with a licensed health care practitioner about the impacts to their child and community. In the first year the state law was implemented, 20 percent fewer parents used the personal belief exemption
Dr. Richard Pan’s most recent 2014 Senate campaign was backed by Merck, GlaxoSmithKline and literally dozens of pharmaceutical companies and health care entities.
Big Pharma, and their Controlling Shares in Politics
And he is hardly alone in a political climate across the country that is absolutely beholden to the wishes of Big Pharma. In recent weeks, prospective presidential candidates Rand Paul and Chris Christie have waffled and backtracked to make statements supportive of vaccines after previous comments made them appear sympathetic to the dreaded “anti-vaxxers.”
In 2007, then Texas Governor Rick Perry issued a state mandate requiring the Gardasil shot, while his financial donations from Merck were later revealed, as were the ties to his former Chief of Staff Mike Toomey who was at the time of the HPV vaccine’s launch a paid PR representative for Merck in Texas.
Former president George H.W. Bush was a board member of Eli Lilly, while his VP Dan Quayle has massive family shares in Indiana’s largest vaccine and pharmaceutical company, and at one time held controlling shares of Eli Lilly.
(And there are many more examples where those come from… just btw)