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Steve Novella vs. Julian Whitaker on vaccines at FreedomFest

Steve Novella vs. Julian Whitaker on vaccines at FreedomFest

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Posted in: Neuroscience/Mental Health, Politics and Regulation, Vaccines

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454 thoughts on “Steve Novella vs. Julian Whitaker on vaccines at FreedomFest

  1. Chris says:

    mtr:

    The vague anecdote about your personal experience is more of a distraction from that fact than anything else.

    So are her off-topic comments. I am not at all sure what her accusations have to do with Dr. Whitaker’s warped use of data in regards to vaccines, or his business of selling overpriced food and housewares.

  2. libby says:

    MTR:

    Libby “And thanks for pointing out that my own claims were exaggerations. They’re fun when you write them, but that doesn’t mean they’re right ”

    Where did you get that quote from?????? It’s not mine.

    I’m sure a kindergarten class would love to hear these make-believe fantasies, but really, how dumb can you get?

    You completely distorted the story on Zomax, you assign quotes to me that I never made (twice) and now you’re focused on my personal use of Zomax, not anything I made a big deal about except for the timing of it, that I was prescribed it after claims had been filed and won against it.

    Unbelievable.

  3. mousethatroared says:

    Wow, sorry Libby. That’s final, I gotta get out my reading glasses. (Well, when I can find them) That quote was WLU, but I thought it was you, guess I saw his @Libby at the top of the box.

    Genuine mistake. Once again, my apologies.

  4. mousethatroared says:

    Wow, sorry Libby. That’s final, I gotta get out my reading glasses. (Well, when I can find them) That quote was WLU, but I thought it was you, guess I saw his @Libby at the top of the box.

    Genuine mistake. Once again, my apologies.

  5. mousethatroared says:

    Libby “You completely distorted the story on Zomax, you assign quotes to me that I never made (twice) and now you’re focused on my personal use of Zomax, not anything I made a big deal about except for the timing of it, that I was prescribed it after claims had been filed and won against it.
    Unbelievable.”

    Twice? Hey I make mistakes, but I try to correct them. Was there another time?

  6. mousethatroared says:

    @WLU – I should also apologize to you. You must have been completely appalled to be mistaken for Libby.

    Sorry.

    @Libby Again – I completely distorted the story on Zomax? You mean you DON’T think McNeil Lab’s behavior was shameful and similar incidences should be prevented or punished?

    @Chris – I know, it’s off topic, but I am not the Borg, I can’t stay on topic all the time, especially once the comments past the 400 mark.

    @Anyone – I suppose after two rather spectacular misreadings of people’s posts I should wonder if something is wrong with my brain. When I knock my head, nothing squishy falls out my ear, so I figure I must be okay. Even so, who knows? If I sound odder than usual, please feel free to tell me. If it’s not intentional (on my part), it’d probably be good to know. (Yeah, that’s probably asking for trouble)

  7. @MIM, maybe you used Zomax? (kidding)

  8. libby says:

    MTR:

    “I should also apologize to you. You must have been completely appalled to be mistaken for Libby.”

    Yeah that’s right. Your idiotic mistake is my fault.

    You can’t even assign quotes to the right person, nor can you understand the facts about the Zomax story. Not really that difficult, but oh how your struggle.

    Your parents must be so proud.

  9. mousethatroared says:

    Libby “You can’t even assign quotes to the right person, nor can you understand the facts about the Zomax story. Not really that difficult, but oh how your struggle.

    Your parents must be so proud.”

    Probably not. They’re both dead.

  10. mousethatroared says:

    Libby “You can’t even assign quotes to the right person, nor can you understand the facts about the Zomax story. Not really that difficult, but oh how your struggle.

    Your parents must be so proud.”

    Probably not. They’re both dead.

    My mom may be rolling in her grave, though (well, urn).

  11. libby says:

    @ SH:

    Well well Doctor Phoney returns. Don’t feel too bad. You’re the smartest of the CM web junkies here.

    By the way, don’t bother giving me your hospital name. I think I’ve figured it out. It’s actually a well established institution inside your head.

  12. libby says:

    MTR:

    Hey it’s death. Get used to it. It’s everywhere.

  13. mousethatroared says:

    Hey, that last double post wasn’t my fault. It was the servers that seem on the blink.

    SH – Hehe, took me a scond but that was rather slick.

  14. Chris says:

    libby, would a medical clinic profit more from vaccinating the children for diseases, or skipping the vaccines and then treating them for the diseases?

  15. mousethatroared says:

    libby
    “Hey it’s death. Get used to it. It’s everywhere.”

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but this doesn’t seem like a good approach when campaigning against pharmaceutical industry corruption.

    But I know you smart people come up with all sorts of “fresh” and “innovative” ways to lobby for your causes.

  16. mousethatroared says:

    libby
    “Hey it’s death. Get used to it. It’s everywhere.”

    Maybe I’m old fashioned, but this doesn’t seem like a good approach when campaigning against pharmaceutical industry corruption.

    I would think you would want to work the “death bad” angle.

    But I know you smart people come up with all sorts of “fresh” and “innovative” ways to lobby for your causes.

  17. libby says:

    MTR:

    I said: “Hey it’s death. Get used to it. It’s everywhere.”

    You state: “Maybe I’m old fashioned, but this doesn’t seem like a good approach when campaigning against pharmaceutical industry corruption.”

    Yeah. The last thing we want when discussing facts (medical industry corruption) is realism (the certainty of death).

  18. libby says:

    MTR:

    “I would think you would want to work the “death bad” angle.”

    A little reflection would help you realize that death is necessary for survival. Without it, the human population would be out of control very shortly, and the human race would be in dire straits.

    So although death carries an emotional element, it is absolutely vital.

    So no, death is not bad or good, it just is, and it is necessary. It is, in fact, the generative force behind evolution.

    OK I don’t expect you to really understand all this. You’re not the sharpest knife in the net junkie drawer, but give it a whirl.

  19. mousethatroared says:

    Oh, I see, Libby. So you DON’T think that McNeil Lab’s conduct was shameful in hiding information that contributed to the deaths of the people who took Zomax? You think they provided more of a public service in helping along evolution?

    Well, you are certainly correct that I don’t understand.

    But I never could keep up with you erudite folks.

  20. BillyJoe says:

    WLU: “There’s an enormous difference between a doctor who is influenced to prescribe one of several drugs, all of which are potentially appropriate, and one who will prescribe a blatantly inappropriate drug out of greed. There is an enormous difference between a doctor letting their opinion be swayed without knowing about it (hi SkepticalHealth, that might be you!) and a doctor who knows what they are doing is wrong and does it anyway.”

    Good summary of this point (including the SH aside :D)
    It would have been excellent if you had made a reference to overprescribing :)

  21. BillyJoe says:

    libby,

    “A little reflection would help you realize that death is necessary for survival. Without it, the human population would be out of control very shortly, and the human race would be in dire straits.”
    Ever heard of birth control?
    So, how about ZPG and eternal life with an ‘opt out’ option?

    “So although death carries an emotional element, it is absolutely vital.”
    Vital for who?

    “So no, death is not bad or good, it just is, and it is necessary.”
    Death is not necessary, it is inevitable. It is often good when it comes if it relieves unbearable suffering, but the propect of death is nearly always bad. You are 30 and you have just been given a diagnosis of metastic breast cancer. Good? Bad? Indifferent?

    “[death] is, in fact, the generative force behind evolution”
    So you are happy to allow yourself to be subject to the tyranny of your genes and die once you’ve finished passing them on?
    And birth is also necessary for evolution, yet we have contraceptives!

    “OK I don’t expect you to really understand all this. You’re not the sharpest knife in the net junkie drawer, but give it a whirl.”
    Hmmm…

  22. weing says:

    “So no, death is not bad or good, it just is, and it is necessary. It is, in fact, the generative force behind evolution. ”

    And I always thought it was reproduction.

  23. @BillyJoe,

    Please give me a realistic scenario (ie, an actual encouter I would have) in which I would make a decision for prescribing a drug that would be influenced by my receiving a clicky-top pen and catered lunch from a pharmaceutical company.

  24. libby says:

    @MTR:

    “Well, you are certainly correct that I don’t understand.”

    It was a long shot.

    @ BillyJoe:

    {I stated: “So although death carries an emotional element, it is absolutely vital.”}
    “You state: Vital for who?”

    For the survival of the species.

    Let me acquaint you with Darwin’s Origin of Species. Any of Dawkin’s books as well. Without death you have extinction of the species. This is elementary and accepted by every evolutionist on the planet.

    {I stated: “[death] is, in fact, the generative force behind evolution”}
    You stated: “So you are happy to allow yourself to be subject to the tyranny of your genes and die…”

    Happiness has nothing to do with it. Our survival instinct impels us to want to desperately cling to life at all cost. But within the much larger picture our death is necessary. This is really simple stuff, elementary.

    “the propect of death is nearly always bad.” Yes, personally. Wow I’m really amazed that this concept is so difficult.

    {I stated: “So no, death is not bad or good, it just is, and it is necessary. It is, in fact, the generative force behind evolution. ”
    You state: “And I always thought it was reproduction.”

    Now any doctor should be acquainted with these principles. Evolution is not a thing, or a substance, but a process. Death destroys unwanted negative variation, but it also allows helps to manage a population. Remember that the human race almost went extinct, estimated by scientists to be as low as 1000 at one point. Even these low numbers of reproduction did not destroy it. At the other end, within our epoque, most definitely a lack of death would destroy in short order.

  25. libby says:

    I can see that even simple 7 year old level concepts are a colossal struggle for the members of this board. I therefore cannot find anything of interest here. The intellectual level is so depressingly low.

    Best of Luck to you all.

  26. mousethatroared says:

    ROTFL

  27. weing says:

    Wow. If no one died, we would become extinct. Why didn’t I think of that?

  28. I think someone didn’t take their meds today!

  29. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    @MTR

    No worries, errors acknowledged and corrected help us all move forward. Not offended in the slightest and I still appreciate being called on my hyperbole.

    @Libby

    I was probably making a rhetorical point when I called you a Nazi, no doubt after a long stretch of you posting vitriolic, erroneous and charicature-like points about modern medicine. Everybody gets frustrated. I apologize for calling you a Nazi, even in jest.

    Not that this means your points are justified or correct at all. They’re not. Also:

    Without death you have extinction of the species.

    This is axiomatically incorrect; extinction of a species is the death of all members, which can’t happen without death. Man, I do love a pedantic nit-pick!

    Happiness has nothing to do with it. Our survival instinct impels us to want to desperately cling to life at all cost. But within the much larger picture our death is necessary. This is really simple stuff, elementary.

    That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to increase quality and quantity of life if we can. Humans are in a unique situation that we can choose to control our own evolution. We could, if desired, breed a population that lives longer, lives healthier, suffers from fewer congenital conditions and, over a long-enough stretch of time, could theoretically regerenate missing limbs, organs, skin, etc. Theoretically we could even eliminate human death by breeding for such an outcome! Unlikely, but theoretically possible though if you want to do this on a species-wide scale rather than isolated families like what happened to Lazarus Long, you’d need some awful social policies. Medicine is humanity’s best bet to bypass evolution and all its gory horror. And this is fantastic! Thanks to medicine we are no longer bound to have a dozen children and watch most die in childhood. Thanks to medicine we no longer have adults with faces covered in smallpox scars. Thanks to medicine we no longer have to worry about paralytic polio.

    Not sure what my point is beyond medicine is great, even though it obviously is imperfect and there’s a lot of greed in companies. Theoretically the issue is more an economic than a medical one, rather than railing at this blog Libby might be more fruitful lobbying her Congressperson for better control over medication research and approval. But that would probably take time away from the emotionally satisfying time spent bitching here about how she was done wrong back in 1980. Emotion-focussed coping – feels good, does nothing!

  30. Chris says:

    libby:

    I can see that even simple 7 year old level concepts are a colossal struggle for the members of this board. I therefore cannot find anything of interest here. The intellectual level is so depressingly low.

    So how come you never answered my last on topic questions about the relative costs of vaccines versus treatment? And really, how come you did not know why children are not give the MMR vaccine before age one in developed countries? Or even bothered to read up on the 2008 San Diego measles outbreak?

    And why do you keep trying to derail comment threads?

  31. gziomek says:

    @Libby

    It looks like others have stepped in to explain why we wouldn’t give the MMR vaccine at an earlier age. Just because the vaccine may have been deemed safe to administer, the immune response of a child before 12 months is inadequate.

    Also, just about all American medical schools have teamed up with the American Medical Student Association to take measures against the presence of pharm companies/reps in these institutions. This is not a new concept by any means. See more about it here: http://www.amsascorecard.org/

  32. BillyJoe says:

    SH,

    “Please give me a realistic scenario (ie, an actual encouter I would have) in which I would make a decision for prescribing a drug that would be influenced by my receiving a clicky-top pen and catered lunch from a pharmaceutical company.”

    I can’t think of a single scenario where you would be influenced by a friendly chatty person who takes you out to lunch and leaves you with a labelled pen to remember her by. Nope, I give up.

  33. BillyJoe says:

    libby,

    Seems it took a challenge to your view on evolution to move you off this thread.
    Oh well….

    But just in case you’re still reading, consider:
    Humans are not bound by the rules of evolution. As I hinted, contraceptives are a very human way of overcoming the tyranny of our genes. We are not here to serve evolution, to reproduce and die. Evolution by natural selection is indifferent, pitiless and cruel. We really want to move beyond that. And, of course, we can and we have.

  34. @BJ, I appreciate the sarcasm, but it’s rather funny you’re so quick to point out that doctor’s are wildly influenced by cheap food and pens, but yet you can’t give a single realistic scenario where this would come into play. Perhaps you should only speak of things that you are remotely familiar with.

  35. mousethatroared says:

    Oh Gee, BillyJoe – I thought it was the fact that she has completely undermined her ability to use the example of patient deaths as a reason for wanting to reform our medical system.

    I mean, why go to the trouble to reform medicine if you don’t mind people dying?

    I’m definitely bookmarking this page to quote later. If needed.

  36. BillyJoe says:

    SH,

    You mean that doesn’t happen!
    Are they all gruff disagreeable males shovelling food down your throat just so that they can lay on the heavies. Well, okay, that probably wouldn’t work. But I thought the pharmaceutical companies would know how to get more bang for the buck than that as it were. Seems I’m wrong.

  37. BillyJoe says:

    Michelle,

    I admit I’m a bit one tracked and missed that connection.
    Seems there’s more than one blunt knife in the internet junkie drawer.

  38. @BJ, two sarcastic responses and yet you can’t conceive of a single realistic scenario to backup your claims. :) It’s not a big deal – the notion that you understand the practice of medicine is simply beyond consideration – but it’d be great if you kinda stuck to commenting on things you know about. I have honestly enjoyed a lot of your recent posts. Ultimately you and I are on the same side, we just disagree about a lot of the little details! :)

  39. (The same side being that of “pursuit of truth” and shitting on all the CAM goobers!)

  40. (The same side being that of “pursuit of truth” and shittting on all the CAM goobers!)

  41. mousethatroared says:

    @ BillyJoe – I used to work with a chef that said a dull knife is the most dangerous thing in the kitchen. ;)

  42. lilady says:

    @ Chris: I’ve been offline for a few days and now have returned to SBM.

    Why hasn’t libby answered your questions about vaccines?

    Why have some of the posters here fallen into libby’s thread-derailing trap?

    @ libby: Time to own up to your colossal ignorance about immunology. vaccine preventable diseases and medical epidemiology. Why isn’t the MMR vaccine administered to children under one year of age?…

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/meas.pdf

    “Measles antibodies develop in
    approximately 95% of children vaccinated at 12 months
    of age and 98% of children vaccinated at 15 months of
    age. Seroconversion rates are similar for single-antigen
    measles vaccine, MMR, and MMRV. Approximately 2%–5%
    of children who receive only one dose of MMR vaccine fail
    to respond to it (i.e., primary vaccine failure). MMR vaccine
    failure may occur because of passive antibody in the
    vaccine recipient, damaged vaccine, incorrect records, or
    possibly other reasons. Most persons who fail to respond
    to the first dose will respond to a second dose. Studies
    indicate that more than 99% of persons who receive two
    doses of measles vaccine (with the first dose administered
    no earlier than the first birthday) develop serologic
    evidence of measles immunity.”

    libby, why is measles vaccine recommended for children ages 6 months to one year of age who will be traveling to measles-endemic countries?

    http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/outbreak-notice/measles.htm

    Please try to stay on topic, libby. Otherwise, we will just assume you are just a thread-derailing troll.

  43. BillyJoe says:

    lilady,

    Libby left the building a few days ago with this observation:

    “I can see that even simple 7 year old level concepts are a colossal struggle for the members of this board. I therefore cannot find anything of interest here. The intellectual level is so depressingly low. Best of Luck to you all.”

    This was right after falling flat on her face confusing the is/ought distinction regarding evolution. :D

  44. Chris says:

    She also fell on her face with the financial considerations between preventing and treating certain diseases. But, then again, she did not know what the minimum age is for the MMR, and completely clueless about the San Diego measles outbreak. Apparently Miss Libby has never heard of Google.

  45. lilady says:

    @ Billy Joe: I know libby left the arena a few days ago, after her attempts to derail the thread failed. Too bad I was offline to join in the “fun”. :-)

    @ Chris: libby only knows how to use Google to find articles about supposed health care providers COIs to advance her fixations about doctors being bought and paid for, by the evil *Big Pharma*.

  46. Chris says:

    Speaking of Conflicts of Interests; there is an interesting correction to a paper the anti-vax crowd like use:
    http://het.sagepub.com/content/30/9/1429

    Here are the corrections:

    Affiliations

    The Authors’ affiliations were published as:

    Neil Z Miller, Independent researcher, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA Gary S Goldman, Independent computer scientist, Pearblossom, California, USA

    However, for the purposes of this publication the correct affiliations are as follows:

    Neil Z Miller, Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute, USA Gary S Goldman, Computer scientist, Pearblossom, California, USA

    Declaration of Conflict of Interest

    No declaration of Conflict of Interest was made at the time of submission. The Authors would like to make the following declaration at this time:

    Neil Z Miller is associated with the ‘Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute’. Gary S Goldman has not been associated with the ‘World Association for Vaccine Education’ (WAVE) for more than four years but was, at the time of publication of the article, still listed as a Director for it on the WAVE website.

    Funding

    The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) donated $2,500 and Michael Belkin made a personal donation of $500 in memory of his daughter Lyla towards the SAGE Choice Open Access fee for this article.

  47. lilady says:

    @ Chris: Just how did the authors of that study *forget to list* their multiple and major conflicts of interest…and the funding sources to pay for the SAGE Choice Open Access Fee?

    Michael Belkin is well-known in the science community because of his persistent belief that his daughter did not die from SIDS, but rather as a result of her recent immunization with the Hepatitis B vaccine:

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Concerns/sids.html

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