Educating a Canadian Legislative Body on Vaccines
This is the transcript of my testimony to the Standing Committee on Law Amendments – I was “Neither For Nor Against” legislation in New Brunswick, CA, Aug 27, 2019, but I shared the realities of the sad state of knowledge of vaccine safety available in the US. Health Canada, I’m told, follows the US CDC/ACIP recommendations fairly closely, although Ted Kuntz said they claim to conduct their own vaccine safety studies. If that is true, I’ve not seen them. There is an interesting dialog with Mr. Savoie. I later met w/Mr. Savoie and shared with him that I did not check the nationality of the authors on all of the thousands of studies I’ve read since 2014.
Dr. James Lyons-Weiler
Madam Chairperson: We also have present with us today Dr. James Lyons-Weiler. If you have documents to be circulated, we can make sure of that. Again, I would ask you to provide an introduction for the record, and I remind you that we have 30 minutes. How you choose to use the 30 minutes is entirely up to you. What has been recommended is a 20-minute presentation to allow for 10 minutes of questions, but if you would prefer to avoid questions, then that is up to you.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Thank you very much. I would actually prefer to have more of a dialogue. I would like to state up front that I am very grateful to have the opportunity to step forward and share some things with you. I cannot say whether I am for or against the bill. I run a not-for-profit out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and I am here at my own expense. I am not going to seek, nor have I accepted or been offered, any compensation for my presence here.
I grew up across the river, in Ogdensburg, New York, looking at Canada every day of my childhood, and I come from a northern enough country where your sensibilities were part of my upbringing. I watched your television, and I wear socks when I wear sandals. People do not get that.
I have traveled all around the country educating legislators about why a 100% mandated vaccine does not make any biological or scientific sense. I am a lifelong biomedical researcher. I think you will get to know me a little bit through my comment, which I really want to go through quickly. Please do let me know when it is 15 minutes so that we can talk a little. Thank you.
There are people across the globe who, for no fault of their own, have a genetic predisposition to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. There is clear science and evidence that some people, due to genetics, cannot tolerate some medicines. Nowhere in the practice of medicine nor in public health policies are these individuals singled out and castigated for making decisions to opt out of particular treatments based on their personal experience of past adverse events, adverse reactions to these medicines, witnessed by themselves and witnessed by their doctors, except when it comes to vaccines. There, the science and evidence in support of risk is not listened to.
When a mother witnesses her child develop a fever and then, for the first time, develop seizures or a harrowing encephalitic cry, for the first time start banging their head against the ground repeatedly all night long, and the only change in that child’s life that day was a trip to the pediatrician’s office for a well-child visit to receive a vaccine, a caring and compassionate medicine would have some way to calm down the microglia activation that is occurring due to toxins in the environment. When a child experiences a blow to the head, the severity of the brain injury due to concussion can be reduced by a treatment that depletes glutamate in the blood so that the excess glutamate in the brain can spill into the blood. If the microgliosis instead occurs after vaccination, parents are not met with the compassion of medicine. They are met with the denialist agenda, and they are told that it was not the vaccine. They are told that it is normal and to let the infant or the baby cry it out. They are abandoned by medicine.
In an era in which information was controlled by the media, heavily influenced by governments, the population of nations around the world would accept the denialist party line. Then came social media, and parents around the world who did not accept the denialist party line found each other. People from all walks of life, from stay-at-home moms to teachers, from bakers to scientists, all found that their stories matched event for event, and over 90% of the stories involved either the DTaP vaccine or the MMR vaccine. Correlation does not equal causation, they were told. No credible study has ever found an association between vaccines and autism, they were told.
I am a lifelong biomedical research scientist, and I pride myself on objectivity. I was the founding editor in chief of the journal Cancer Informatics, full faculty at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, a research scientist, and scientific director of the University of Pittsburgh Bioinformatics Analysis Core. I recently founded and launched a new, open access, peer-reviewed journal called Science, Public Health Policy and the Law.
I am an expert in translational research from basic research to bench to bedside and back, expert in multivariate data analysis and prediction modeling in biological pathways, underlying the
causes of disease. I made a name for myself in the area of cancer biomarker research in the early detection of cancer and developing ways to predict when patients will experience adverse events from chemotherapy. I have written three books based on science and evidence. The second book brought me here today.
I became interested in the social dynamics of science, asking questions about how. After all the pressures of science to produce revenue and profit, could actual knowledge come forward and be translated into best practices of medicine after medicine became a for-profit industry? When I decided to write a chapter on vaccines in this book, I expected to find all the science that we are told exists. I used to lecture my sister with her 10 kids who were all unvaccinated that she was going to destroy the world. That was me. I was that guy, okay? But when I went to the scientific literature, what I found there really stunned me. What I expected were these randomized prospective clinical trials, and I expected every vaccine to be tested. I expected that when a vaccine was added to the schedule, it would be tested against a placebo, that the schedule would be tested against a placebo, because the clinical question is: Should I vaccinate my child? Should I use some vaccines? All these clinical questions.
What I found instead stunned me, because what I found were very weak science correlation studies, studies that were conducted that initially found associations between vaccines and autism, vaccines and seizures, vaccines and autoimmunity. Then what the researchers did would have cost me my job at the University of Pittsburgh. I designed research studies—over 100 research studies—under the direction of Dr. Ronald Herberman at the cancer centre and Dr. XXX XXXXXX [NAME REDACTED AT THE REQUEST OF THE NAMED IN EDIT] in the school of medicine. If I found an association, say, between a chemotherapy agent and an adverse reaction and then I decided to reanalyze the data until I could make that association go away, if there was a corrupt scientist or a medical person who wanted to profit from that chemotherapy agent, they might like me, but I would have and should have lost my job.
This is what I found not just in one study but also in study after study after study. They would find an association, and they would analyze it. In one case, they found an association between the total number of vaccines that a child had received and the incidence of any neurodevelopmental disorder including autism. They then spent four years reanalyzing those data until they found a way, finally, to make an association go away. There is a letter from the data analyst saying it will just not go away, talking about the association. He pleaded in his letter, in the name of objectivity and in the name of science: We really need to be able to publish this, please. It was to the U.S. CDC.
Imagine my dismay.
What did I do with this? I decided to remain objective. I decided to remain a scientist. I put that story in my book, Cures Vs. Profits. I am not trying to sell the book here. The sales are miserable, but that is not the point. The scientists involved in this were Dr. Coleen Boyle, Dr. Frank DeStefano, and others at the USCDC. Dr. Boyle and Dr. DeStefano, I found out later, are the same scientists responsible for finding that Agent Orange posed no risk to U.S. soldiers serving in Vietnam—the same people, the same exact two people. Prior to reporting the results of one of the studies to the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Science—he was scheduled to make that report—Dr. William Thompson attempted to bring these issues to the
attention of Dr. Julie Gerberding who was the director of the vaccine science division at the CDC at the time. Dr. Gerberding now holds a key position at Merck, Dr. Thompson was told he had mental issues and was put on administrative leave, while Dr. DeStefano took the altered results of the study and excluded the results showing the association between on-time MMR vaccination and autism.
My response on these matters, which were brought forward by Dr. Brian Hooker in the form of audio recordings of the confessions by Dr. Thompson, was not to accept that vaccines cause autism. Just because the CDC found a mild association or a possible association does not mean that vaccines cause autism. I want to know this, given my expertise in biomedical research and the pathophysiology of disease: Could there possibly be some way that vaccines cause autism? I read over 2 000 studies, not on vaccines but on autism, to determine whether or not the basic science could support a pathophysiological mechanism by which vaccines could possibly cause autism, the plausibility question, right?
I have since formally evaluated all of the, I think, 48 studies that were sent to the President of the United States by the American Academy of Pediatrics with an objective evaluation scoring system to determine how far away they are from the gold standard that you were told about earlier, the randomized clinical trial, the prospect of a randomized clinical trial. The highest score that these studies can get is a positive 12. The average study used by the CDC and by the AAP now to tell the public that vaccines do not cause autism was a negative 6.
How much time, please?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Okay. So, you will hear information about studies such as fMRI scans that show that vaccines cannot cause autism because kids early on show changes in their brain structures, but that is in a population of moms who are getting two vaccines during pregnancy and all the children are receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine on day one. How can we say that the early changes in the fMRI studies are not due to vaccines when, in fact, those individuals who were born with differences in their brains are vaccinated? To me, that could be a useful biomarker to predict who might not be able to tolerate vaccines as well as others.
I said that a lot longer than it took to write it. You know, I dove into the vaccines too. You saw the list of ingredients. The ones that concern me the most, of course, are mercury, contrary to Dr. Richard Pan who recently stated in public that there is no mercury in vaccines. Yes, there is. The flu vaccine contains thimersol. Thimersol inhibits a protein called ERAP1. The ERAP1 protein actually folds proteins that our immune system needs to create the antigens to things that we are already immune to. The predicted effect of that is to forget what we are immune to and get an upper respirator virus infection other than the flu, and that is exactly what Dr. Ben Cowling out of Hong Kong found. There is problem with the use of thimersol.
Aluminum is a neurotoxin. There are studies that . . . I have a published peer-reviewed publication on aluminum and its pediatric dosing. It turns out that the science that the FDA used to say that aluminum is safe in children is actually not injected forms of aluminum into infant mice, as would be expected from the standards of basic research, but orally ingested forms of aluminum, which is a completely different type of aluminum. The mice and humans only absorb 0.03% of that dose and those adults were mice. They did not have to go through any development. How can we say? We have no science whatsoever. No credible science shows that vaccination, using aluminum-containing vaccines, is safe for a developing human, mouse, monkey, or any kind of mammalian brain.
I am sure that it has been pointed out to you that the CDC is incapable of tracking vaccine injury. The doctors do not tell the patients that the vaccines caused the problem. They are supposed to report every single adverse health event that happens shortly after the vaccine through a system called VAERS. There was a system called auto VAERS that was developed by Harvard Pilgrim Health. They found 100-fold possible vaccine-related adverse events. They reported to the CDC. They reported two or three times, and the CDC hung up and said stop calling after spending $1 million to have them develop software to automate this system.
It is my professional opinion, that regulatory capture in the United States is complete. It is 100%. The numbers, so far, of risks from vaccines, I can tell you . . . This is CDC data prior to the introduction of the MMR. The death rate from measles in the United States was 450 to 500 per year in a population of 180 million people. That is a tiny, tiny mortality risk. You saw the data earlier. I think that it is very important that, in 1985, with around a 45% or 50% vaccine uptake, we did not have people dying in the streets of measles. Measles is not Ebola. One of my books is Ebola: An Evolving Story.
The problem is systematic denial of counter indications due to what I call the hot potato of liability. There is a great Boston University Law Review . . . I do not have the reference here, but I will send it to somebody who can get it to you. It is by Efthimios Parasidis. He is a faculty member in the school of law at Ohio State University. The history was: bring on widespread vaccination in 1976. We have seen an increase in chronic illness in the United States since then. There has been a linear increase in that and it is out of hand. However, most importantly in terms of liability, why is it important to get 100% right now? To me, I think it is that states do not want to have to pay. They know that the parents will pull the kids from school if you hold school. So, the states do not have to pay for the problem. They now hold the hot potato.
I very, very much feel for your position. It is a very difficult decision that you have ahead of you. I would be happy to answer any questions. Thank you.
Ms. Rogers: Thank you for your presentation here. I will try to be quick, but I do have a few questions. I want to understand, first, what your professional qualifications are. I know that you are a doctor. Is it a PhD or a medical doctor?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: I am a PhD in evolution, conservation biology, and ecology, but I helped to create the field of bioinformatics. When new technology came about where we could measure 40 000 genes in a tumour at one time, I was on an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation fellowship, and I shifted my focus over to helping clinicians sort out those data and relate them to clinical features. I have over 17 years of biomedical research experience under my belt.
Ms. Rogers: Okay. You mentioned a couple of journals, one for which you were the founding editor. Were those peer-reviewed journals?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Absolutely. In fact, I led the editorial board on a near-revolt after somebody tried to corrupt the peer review process by having the authors submit the paper and the review at the same time. I threatened to the publisher that we were going to resign, and it folded, so it adopted the gold standard of peer review. That is very important to me.
Ms. Rogers: I am going to ask a question that I did not plan to, but because of a few presentations, you are going to be the lucky one who gets the question. A few people are saying—and I have read this as well—that there is insufficient research or inconclusive research on either the link to harm or the link to safety. We will talk about causation or link—whatever. There is insufficient research. I am curious. Why is somebody not doing that research?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: It is a great question for me because I just received the data from (Dr.) Paul Thomas’s study in Oregon. We are doing the vaccinated-unvaccinated study at the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge.
Ms. Rogers: Is it long-term research?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: It is. He has it over 1 500 patients. He has tens of thousands of patients, but we have 1 500 patients that were born into his practice over the last 10 years. It is a retrospective study. It is not a randomized prospective study. Do you know what I am doing? Instead of just measuring mere associations, I am doing what you were told about earlier. I am trying to find out if we can find the variables that will allow us to predict who would have developed autoimmunity and who would have developed autism or neurodevelopmental disorders.
I heard somebody ask this question earlier. I think it was you, actually, and I am sorry that I do not know your name. Is there something more that we can do about it? The prediction modeling that I am expert in can answer this question, which is: If the mom has a family history or if the child had eczema, doctors never used to vaccinate. There used to be a standard medical practice. If you vaccinate a child and he develops eczema, do not do it again because something terrible is going to happen. They do not do that anymore. They say: Oh, there is no association. But guess what? There has never been a single study that asks the question of whether there is an association of autism in kids who developed eczema. They cannot do every possible study.
Ms. Rogers: This seems like a big missing link, though. Anyway. I will ask one more question, because I know there are a lot of others who have questions too. I am curious about the different
treatment with respect to vaccines versus drugs when it comes to proving the safety before use. What is your perspective on why that might be? Why is a vaccine not treated similarly to a drug?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: The difference between biologics in vaccines and the way that drugs are treated in translational research is due to the history of adverse events from vaccines. There were so many adverse events that the population was, in fact, suing the vaccine developers. They went to the US government and said: We are going under. You have to help us. Then, the government said: Go to your insurance companies. The insurance companies said: We do not want this. This is too much. It will break us.
Then, they went back to the government and they created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, in which I am a compensated expert witness on behalf of patients who are vaccine-injured, so I can bring in the mechanisms of pathophysiology. It is a system that definitely needs reform. They had an omnibus proceeding. The history is complex, but they said: Let’s look at 5 000 cases of autism to see whether there is any way that there could be autism. In the very first case that they found, they ruled in favor of autism and vaccines, and then they kicked that case out of the omnibus proceeding. There were five cases. And then they replaced it with another one. This is the denialist agenda. Their fear is that people will stop vaccinating their children. But, instead, without liability protection, the vaccine manufacturers have zero incentive to make their product better.
If there were a car seat that caused encephalopathy, it would take one or two cases. Two years ago, Sears, Roebuck and Co. made a table saw that was on a wheelbarrow. Three people cut their fingers on it, and the company pulled the product. We need to close the loop. It is the quality control feedback that is broken in this system. We absolutely desperately need that.
Ms. Rogers: Thank you.
Mr. Savoie: Thank you, Madam Chair. Please forgive me. This question may have been already asked. I may be asking it of you twice, but I just want to be clear. So, you have written three books based on science and evidence. Were these books available in a bookstore, or were these scientific papers?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Well, I have over 50 peer-reviewed publications myself, but the books that I wrote are compilations of peer-reviewed scientific publications.
Mr. Savoie: Okay.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: One is on Ebola. One is called Cures vs. Profits. It goes into 18 different topics in biomedical research, with interviews of primary researchers. The other one is The Environmental and Genetic Causes of Autism, in which I cite over 1 000 peer-reviewed publications.
Mr. Savoie: Okay, so these publications have been peer-reviewed by organizations like The Lancet and so on and so forth, those kinds of . . .
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Books are not typically peer-reviewed.
Mr. Savoie: Okay. All right, good. So, again, you are an American citizen. Everything that you have referenced so far has been about the CDC, American actions, the actions of doctors, and the actions of the American system. We are a sovereign nation. We have our own Health Canada.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Yes, you do.
Mr. Savoie: When a drug comes out, our own doctors make their assertions on the efficacy and safety of that drug, that vaccine, or whatever we want to talk about. Everything that you have talked about here does not help me in the province of New Brunswick. Are you aware of any Canadian studies that would deal similarly with what you have dealt with here? Are you aware of any Canadian studies that deal similarly with the things that you allege with the CDC, doctors, and everything in America?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Yes, I would refer you to Dr. Christopher Shaw and his peer-reviewed publication research on encephalopathy and other problems caused by vaccination ingredients in mice.
Mr. Savoie: Is he a Canadian doctor who practices in Canada?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: He is a Canadian researcher, a PhD researcher.
Mr. Savoie: A researcher, okay. Why are you not referencing that material instead of something out of the CDC in America?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: I mean no offense whatsoever. However, most of the science that is published on the question that I am concerned with, what I am experienced with and familiar with, comes out of the CDC, which contracted to . . . Most of that science went over to Denmark. So most of what I am . . . It is not coming from the United States. It is coming from work contracted from the CDC to scientists in Denmark. Thanks for the opportunity for clarification.
Mr. Savoie: Again, I am looking for more information that is going to help us make a decision on a law here in New Brunswick, so I would be looking for relevant Canadian content. That is what I would like to hear more of, rather than the American experience.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: I know exactly where you are coming from, and I appreciate that. If you would like me to get back to you in a day or so, I would be happy to do so.
Madam Chairperson: Thank you.
Standing Committee on Law Amendments
Ms. Mitton: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you for being here today. I have two quick questions. Forgive me if you have already addressed this. I was wondering who invited you to come or how you heard about this committee.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: The name of the person who invited me was Cheryl Yakem, along with a couple of others. I believe she is involved with Canadians for vaccine choice or an organization like that.
Ms. Mitton: Okay, thank you for clarifying. The other question I had is related to something on the last page of your presentation, which talks about how no randomized prospective clinical trials have been done with the vaccines versus placebos. I was wondering whether you could speak to why these are not done. Is it to do with the ethical considerations of not vaccinating? Do you know?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: The explanation that is given as to why it is so-called unethical, why it is considered unethical to do a randomized trial, is that you are denying vaccines to the arms of children who would not get vaccines. However, the randomized prospective clinical trials that Merck did on the HPV vaccine did include unvaccinated people. They were given the aluminum adjuvant instead of a saline placebo, but they were denied the vaccine. They were vaccinated at the end of the study. So, the answer to the ethical question about why randomized clinical trials cannot be done is that you can vaccinate them at the end of the study. That is the answer, if it is that important.
Ms. Mitton: Okay. Thank you. That is all.
Mr. DeSaulniers: The only question that I had was asked by Mr. Savoie, so I yield.
Madam Chairperson: We do have a few more minutes. If there are more questions, we will circle around.
Ms. Rogers: I will ask just one question. You mentioned that in your experience, in your study, you would find a linear increase in chronic illness after the widespread adoption of immunization in 1976. How was it that you would link those two and not other causal factors?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Oh, it is kind of impossible to do that. There are so many moving factors, and that is the problem with observational studies. However, one of the tenets of causal analysis is temporal association, and the specific analysis that I did involved looking at the number of studies that mentioned diseases of unknown origin, mysterious diseases that nobody knows the cause of and then correcting for the total number of publications per year. What happens is that from 1900 until 1976 when they brought on the swine flu vaccination, it is exactly flat. From that point in time on, it increases. The United States—and I am sorry to appear parochial in my comments, but I am speaking from where I know—has the highest first-day death rate of mothers, and we do not know why. It is has increasing, massive . . . Some 54% of kids have achronic illness, and we do not know why. Yet, we say that we have the best biomedical system, but we do not know what is causing all this chronic illness. Where is all the autoimmune diabetes coming from?
Some of the analysis that I have done myself—and I can speak to myself—is that we cause autoimmunity and chronic illness in animals to study drugs to treat those illnesses using aluminium hydroxide. It is the same compound that we are injecting in our children. Detractors will say that it takes 10 000 to 20 000 times the dose to get lupus or other autoimmunity conditions, but if you actually look at the math as I did and correct for body weight and look at the doses, if the mice have a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity, you need only 5 times the amount that kids would get in a single vaccine while they are aged 2. And that is a makeup day. Kids get five, six, seven, eight, nine vaccines on a makeup day. In Neil Miller’s book that was referenced, he also has a study that the use of combined vaccines in a single day is not safe. That is because most of the morbidity and mortality that is reported in VAERS is associated with a vaccination event that involved more than one vaccine.
We are dealing with a lot of observations, I understand that, but the lack of the science is not the fault of the people who firsthand experienced vaccine injury and death. I just came from Columbus where we are fighting censorship in the United States on this very issue. I ran a conference on censorship. It is the second conference on censorship in Columbus, Ohio. We are soon not going to be allowed to talk about vaccine risk if Dr. Richard Pan from California, for instance, has his way. It would be illegal to hold proceedings like this, which I congratulate you on holding. It is possible to induce autoimmunity and chronic illness with vaccine adjuvants if there is a genetic risk. We know that all human beings are not cookie cutters of each other, and the way that they find out vaccine risk is by perverse hand. It is just through social media that, now, they found each other and say: Hey, that happened to you too? There is corroboration that way, but the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, right?
Madam Chairperson: Are there any other questions from the other parties?
Ms. Rogers: I have one final question that brings it back to the bill. Based on your last comment, actually, would you be anti-vaccine or anti-mandatory or anti-scheduling?
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Okay. That is a great question, and thanks for bringing it up. I do not want to say what I am for or against, because . . . I do not want to say what I am against. I am going to say what I am for. It is a philosophy of mine, if that is okay?
Vaccine exemptions are a safety valve on the vaccine program. They are absolutely necessary, because the population will rise up when the 2% or 3% that you vaccinate experience a 90% or 100% vaccine injury rate. It will become absolutely undeniable. Is the benefit of the incremental 1%, 2%, 3%, by taking away the religious and philosophical exemptions, worth the human pain and suffering that is going to happen, in scientific terms, in the population that is enriched for risk? They vaccinate, and then they get hurt. They say: I do not want to vaccinate. Then they are penalized.
It is a safety valve, so it is good to have these exemptions around so that people can make up their own minds, based on experience.
Ms. Rogers: Thank you.
Dr. Lyons-Weiler: Thank you.
Madam Chairperson: Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. Your presentation is certainly appreciated.