Fox Provides Platform For Discredited Doctor To Claim CDC Is Hiding Evidence That Vaccines Cause Autism

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the April 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

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STEVE DOOCY (HOST): It is a film that is so controversial it's getting booted from some film festivals. Vaxxed: From Cover Up To Catastrophe claims that the CDC, America's Centers for Disease Control, manipulated and hid data that proves that there is a link between vaccines and autism. 

[...]

DOOCY: Joining us right now this morning is the director and co-writer of Vaxxed, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and the film's producer Polly Tommey. Polly also has a 20-year-old son with autism. Good morning to both of you. 

POLLY TOMMEY: Good morning.

DOOCY: Dr. Wakefield, you are linked to this story ever since back in 1998 you put out a study that linked a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. And so years later, you've come up and you're putting out this particular documentary because you are talking about the corruption behind the scenes at the CDC. 

ANDREW WAKEFIELD: Yes, I've been involved in this debate for 20 years. It's one of the hottest debates in medicine. It hasn't gone away. And then suddenly after 20 years, a CDC senior scientist Dr. William Thompson comes forward and says they have known for 14 years that MMR vaccine is causally associated with autism and they have covered it up. And so the film, it's his words, it's his opinion, it's his documents that really carry the message of this film that there has been a huge cover-up which has put millions of American children in harm's way and it was totally unnecessary. 

DOOCY: Well, millions of Americans have heard about your original report where, is there a connection between the MMR vaccine and autism? I know your son, you were once upon a time pro-vaccine. 

TOMMEY: Yeah. 

DOOCY: But then, tell us a little bit about your son, Billy. 

TOMMEY: OK, well, I was extremely pro-vaccine as all the parents that are in the same situation as I was. We took our children along to get the shots. We trusted our pediatricians. We didn't think to question --

DOOCY: You had to. 

TOMMEY: Quite. So we did this, and for my son, he had the MMR in the morning. By the evening he was in hospital having a huge convulsion. And we never got him back. He's 20 years old now and he is doing the best he can, but he should be at college. He's missed his childhood. He's missed his teenage years. And the future is very bleak for people like Billy. And he's one of millions, millions worldwide. 

DOOCY: Do you feel that it was the MMR vaccine? 

TOMMEY: Oh I know, as his mother, it was the MMR vaccine. 

DOOCY: Because it just happened? Too much of a coincidence if it were not?

TOMMEY: The doctors in the hospital said he's having a reaction to the MMR vaccine, but it will be OK. Well, it wasn't OK. And for every day that the media says vaccines do not cause autism, every day, that injection is going into children and damaging more and more and more babies. It has to stop. 

DOOCY: Sure. Dr. Wakefield, I know at the Tribeca Film Festival this was supposed to be played. But Robert De Niro decided not to. He's actually got a family member with autism. Are politics involved in this? 

WAKEFIELD: Undoubtedly. I mean, you know, we have tried to convey to people that this is not in any way an anti-vaccine movie. It is reporting upon a fraud in the CDC, the nation's foremost health agency.

DOOCY: This is about corruption. 

WAKEFIELD: It is about corruption, absolutely. And Robert De Niro is put in an invidious position, I believe, by the board of Tribeca, where having announced that the film was going to play, he then had to retract it. Repeatedly since that time he has endorsed the film and said everybody must see this film. And that is the case. As you say out there, Fox News, we report, you decide. Please see this film. Make up your own mind. Do not be persuaded by journalists who have written without ever having reviewed the film in advance saying this is an anti-vaccine film. 

TOMMEY: Robert De Niro is just a father, just like I am, you know, he's a parent of a child that's been damaged by a vaccine. He just wants to do the right thing. And he's been by our side right from the beginning on this.

DOOCY: I'm going to watch it. 

TOMMEY: You need to watch it. Everybody needs to watch it. 

Related:

The Disneyland Measles Outbreak And The Disgraced Doctor Who Whipped Up Vaccination Fear

Previously:

ABC News' Laura Ingraham Pushes Vaccine Myth That ABC News Called Discredited

Fox's Lee: Pediatrician Calling For Vaccinations And Mother Pushing Vaccine-Autism Link Present "2 Strong Sides"

On Fox, Donald Trump Pushes Dubious Link Between Vaccines And Autism

Posted In
Children's Health, Health Care, Environment & Science
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Steve Doocy
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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