Dear Friends of NVIC (National Vaccine Information Center):
> I have attached a copy of the letter we sent to Sixty Minutes following
> segment on October 20, 2004.Â While this has been a very difficult time
> for NVIC, we have been lifted up by your steadfast support and words of
> This is truly a battle of David and Goliath proportions. Even though the
> other side is so well funded and has the support of a solid
> we will not stop telling the truth about what we know.
> Please continue to support our efforts on behalf of parents and children.
> Best regards,
> Kathi Williams
> National Vaccine Information Center
> 421 Church St., Suite E
> Vienna, Va 22180
> October 26, 2004
> Michael Rosenbaum, Producer
> Elliot Kirschner, Producer
> 60 Minutes (Wed)
> 524 West 57th St.
> New York, NY 10019
> Dear Michael and Elliot:
> The sadness I felt after watching the segment you asked me to participate
> in (Oct. 20- Saying No To Vaccination) was not just about how you made me
> and the three mothers I referred to you look, it was shame for having
> believed that you were being honest with me. It was humiliation for having
> allowed myself to be deceived into dragging three mothers, who trusted me,
> into the most inaccurate and biased broadcast presentation that I have
> participated in during the past 22 years of work to prevent vaccine
> injuries and deaths through public education. It was a shock when I
> realized that, by my participation, I had been used to give you a vehicle
> to launch a gratuitous and inaccurate personal attack on Andrew Wakefield,
> M.D., while you failed to inform your viewers that the main spokesperson
> your piece, Paul Offit, M.D., is a childhood vaccine patent holder and
> consultant for Merck, one of the largest childhood vaccine manufacturers.
> From the first discussion we had on the phone to the last discussion the
> three of us had while standing in the lobby of the CBS office the second
> time I had flown to New York to be interviewed, you promised me that you
> would accurately and fairly portray both sides of the vaccine safety
> debate. Elliot, we spoke at length in phone conversations leading up to my
> persuading the Moms in New York to invite you and Dan Rather into one of
> their homes, about how 60 Minutes was going to take a "different" approach
> to the vaccine safety debate. We talked about examining it in the social
> context of health care consumers questioning vaccines, just as they are
> questioning the current medical model in search of alternative and
> complimentary ways of preventing disease and maintaining health. That is
> why I referred you to mothers who whose health care providers were
> in an holistic approach to maintaining wellness.
> However, even if you had not misled me into thinking this was going to be
> your approach, it was unfair to tell me you "did not want a piece that
> talked about the scientific studies" and ask me several times not to talk
> about "the scientific studies" on camera when your piece was all about how
> parents should "trust the experts" and "the scientific studies." This was
> particularly unfair when the main thrust of my argument (which you both
> chose not to use) was that the crisis of trust currently existing between
> parents and doctors centers on the fact that what government health
> officials and doctors are telling parents is true about vaccine safety in
> their "studies" is in direct conflict with what parents are experiencing
> their own homes after their children are vaccinated and they watch them
> regress physically, mentally and emotionally into chronic illness and
> I made that point several times in our filmed interview, including
> explaining why we want federal officials to open up their closed vaccine
> risk databases to independent scientific analysis. But you did not include
> any of this and instead chose to imply I was either ignorant or lying when
> I said the appropriate studies had not been done by government health
> agencies and industry to answer the outstanding questions about vaccine
> I also made the point, several times in our filmed interview, that the
> National Vaccine Information Center takes an informed consent position. We
> defend the right of parents and all citizens to be fully informed about
> risks and complications of diseases and the risks and complications of
> vaccines and be allowed to make an informed, voluntary decision. This is
> the tradition of the right to informed consent to medical treatment, which
> is the centerpiece of the ethical practice of modern medicine. We fully
> support a parent's decision to use all government recommended vaccines for
> his or her child. We worked for 14 years to persuade the FDA and CDC to
> license and make available a purified, less reactive DTaP vaccine for
> parents who want their children to be vaccinated for those three diseases.
> At the same time, we fully support a parent's decision to selectively
> vaccinate using an individualized schedule or the decision not to
> vaccinate. That puts us in the pro-informed consent or anti-forced
> vaccination position not in an anti-vaccine stance but you failed to make
> that distinction.
> At the end of the segment, your correspondent, Dan Rather, inaccurately
> implies that today states require few vaccines and only recently began
> giving exemptions. He says "You may remember the days when all children
> had to be vaccinated before they entered school. While all states still
> require some vaccinations for school age children, many now give
> to parents who don't want their children immunized." If you had done your
> research, you would have understood that all states have always required
> children to be vaccinated since the turn of the 20th century when one or
> two doses of smallpox vaccine was required. For many years, the
> overwhelming majority of states have had exemptions to vaccination for
> medical, religious and, in about one-third of the states, for
> or conscientious belief reasons. The truth is that, today, all states
> require many vaccines - most require at least 31 doses of 10 vaccines for
> school entry. The CDC recommends 37 doses of 12 vaccines for "universal
> use" by all children and the remainder of these are in the process of
> Following questioning me on film, your correspondent, Dan Rather, stated
> to me that he admired my "passion" and my ability to "articulate" my
> position but that he had a "bias" toward "the doctors and the science."
> When I reminded him that we maintain that the "the science" is inadequate
> quantitatively and qualitatively, he admitted that several of my points
> made sense, including the fact that "we might be using too many vaccines"
> and that the "government database on vaccine risks should be open for
> everyone to see." I am left to wonder if his "bias" toward unquestioning
> belief in the infallibility of doctors like Paul Offit either got in his
> way or your way in the editing room.
> I have debated physicians three times live on the "Today Show" as well as
> on other television shows and discussed both the science and the ethics of
> mandatory vaccination. I would have gone head to head with any doctor and
> talked about the scientific studies, including those concerning pertussis
> and pertussis vaccine, which was the subject of the first major book to
> critique the mass vaccination system, DPT: A Shot in the Dark (1985,
> Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), which I co-authored. That book was used as a
> reference by the Institute of Medicine in 1991 in its report on the
> effects of pertussis and rubella vaccines. I will talk about the
> studies anywhere with anyone but you requested that I not talk about them
> because you obviously wanted to deceive me about what you really intended
> to do.
> You opened with a mother talking about the dangers of whooping cough,
> which was entirely appropriate because it is important to discuss risks of
> diseases if you are also going to discuss risks of vaccines. But you did
> not discuss vaccine risks except to categorically dismiss their
> significance. You did not include a mother talking about what happened
> her child suffered a vaccine reaction. On camera I talked about what
> happened to my child after vaccination. I talked about what happened to
> other children after vaccination. I gave you a computer CD with several
> hundred pages of descriptions of vaccine reactions reported by ordinary
> citizens across this country in an on-line petition calling on the CDC to
> open up their vaccine risk databases. But none of that was included.
> You totally ignored the entire point of why there is a crisis of trust
> among educated parents when it comes to "trusting the experts" and their
> "scientific studies" because you were afraid to address the real issue:
> many educated parents' children are regressing after vaccination and being
> left with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and other brain and immune
> system disorders that are preventing them from leading healthy, normal
> lives. And these educated parents are too educated to buy the line that it
> was "just a coincidence" that it all happened after their children were
> given multiple vaccines on the same day. Then these educated parents use
> their education to analyze the methodologically flawed vaccine safety
> studies, many of which are conducted by doctors paid by drug companies
> making and selling vaccines. And then they realize they have been
> Just like parents were deceived by doctors and pubic health officials
> about the safety of anti-depressants for children.
> Just like you deceived me.
> Then they don't trust the experts anymore. Then they demand the right to
> say no to vaccination. Because they would rather take their chances with a
> disease than allow one more doctor to put a loaded syringe into their
> and pull the trigger.
> It is really quite simple.
> Michael, you know exactly what you are doing from choosing the color of
> the backdrops, camera angles and lighting for each interview to the
> background research you conduct on each person you consider for
> interviewing and the edits you make. Elliot, you are young. The next time
> you think about setting up someone who trusts you in order to advance your
> career, you should remember this: in the end you will reap what you sow in
> this life. Always.
> Very truly,
> Barbara Loe Fisher
> cc: Dan Rather, Correspondent
> Andrew Heyward, News Division Chief
> Les Moonves, President
Anyway, I'm glad she wrote to them. I will pass this along!
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