A big autism bomb went off yesterday, about how US medical personnel had determined that vaccines had aggravated a little girl's mitochondrial disorder, resulting in autism. Now, the American people are left to interpret what it all means.
Here is a handy guide. You can:
A) Blindly trust what government officials are saying (or not saying)
B) Invest 30 minutes in the future of your nation's young people (do it now, over a nice, warm latte!) and go Google for yourself.
Yesterday, Dr Paul E. Jarris, Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) sent an email to his colleague, Anna DeBlois, on how officials should respond to the glaring headlines emanating from Atlanta.
"You may have seen the recent media interest in a vaccine-autism lawsuit which was settled by the federal government," he wrote. Apparently, someone in the federal government had reached Dr. Jarris and told him to pass on the following (internal) explanation:
The case was settled because the vaccine worsened the child's underlying and previously undiagnosed disorder, causing impaired brain function. These symptoms of impaired brain function then led to an autism spectrum disorder. The federal government maintains that vaccines do not cause autism, and that this case does not indicate any change in their position on the issue.
TRANSLATION (An Anti-Syllogism): "Vaccines cause brain impairment, and brain impairments cause autism. Therefore vaccines do not cause autism."
Meanwhile yesterday, back in Washington, Bush administration officials would not comment on the case, saying they needed permission, "from the person who submitted the information" to the court.
TRANSLATION (Auto-Censorship): "We really, really want to explain WHY we folded like a tent without so much as a whisper of a defense, but that would require asking permission from our lawyer (the DOJ), which we are unwilling to do.
And most recently, CDC Director Julie Gerberding told the media that the American people need to "set aside this very isolated, unusual situation," even though "the court apparently made the decision that it is fair to say that vaccinations may have been one of the precipitators."
TRANSLATION: (Middlebrow Bureaucratese) "I am either an exceedingly ignorant, untruthful or misleading Director, because there is no evidence at all that this situation is 'isolated and unusual' (indeed, the evidence points to the opposite), and because the court 'decision' was not made by the court at all, but rather by medical doctors who work for the US Secretary of Health and Human Services," otherwise known as Dr. Gerberding's boss.
Now, enjoy your coffee (and your good citizenship).
PS: The next time someone tells you that this girl does not have autism, but only the "symptoms" of autism, you tell them that the definition of autism is having the symptoms of autism. Period. Hannah Poling has autism as defined by every medical book, on every shelf, in every library -- including at the colleges where all these government officials received their degrees.