From the March 2000 Idaho Observer:
Gates foundation defends its honor in vaccine controversy
VacLib president asks, where's the science?
REDMOND, Wash. -- The Gates Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the world's wealthiest man Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, has given, according to the Associated Press, $750 million in support of the international effort to fully vaccinate the world's poor people. Amid reports that vaccines are being taken off the market and traditional vaccine components are being banned for safety reasons, the foundation has launched a public relations effort to defend its honor against rising public concern that mass vaccination is not sound public health policy.
A ring of pro-vaccine websites called The Allied Vaccine Group has been created to run damage control to what its hosts believe to be a recent proliferation of websites disseminating rumors and speculation that do not pass scientific review with regard to the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
Members of the group include The Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program at PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), The International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Korea, The National Network for Immunization Information and The Vaccine Page.
According to Gates Foundation Communications Director Scott Wittet, the web ring was born to make it easier to access reliable, independent, science-based information about vaccines and immunization.
Vaccination Liberation -- North Idaho Chapter President Ingri Cassel emailed Wittet asking for information that would help with her research. Wittet responded by telling her that all of the information she needed was on the website:
Cassel visited the web ring and posted to Wittet the following missive:
I searched throughout your website until I ran out of time. I could not find any studies which prove the longterm safety of the recommended vaccines or anywhere on your website where your group has searched for or found other immune system enhancing modalities other than vaccination. Also, the studies referred to in articles on your website are all from medical journals which receive advertising and funding from pharmaceutical companies -- the manufacturers of vaccines.
Are you admitting that there are no truly independent studies done? Our experience in our community (as well as the CDC and Panhandle Health District stats) shows that the pertussis vaccine isn't effective. In 1997 the Panhandle Health District declared a pertussis epidemic in the five counties of north Idaho. Of the 253 reported cases, 81.5 percent had 4 out of 4 of their DPT shots. And in Bonner county alone, 85 percent had 4 out of 4 of their shots and 15 percent had 3 out of 4 shots. One death was in an infant whom we can't seem to get any information on. No lab confirmation that the infant had pertussis and no information on the infant's overall health status. We don't even know if this baby was breastfed or had an allergic reaction to the hospital's drug treatment. My personal experience has proven to me that pertussis is not a deadly disease. In fact, none of these supposedly deadly diseases are deadly. People die from inadequate or inappropriate treatment. When you understand how your body works in disease and health (not such a mystery) you will begin to think in terms of immune system enhancing modalities -- which I looked in vain for on your website. Your website seems to have gotten stuck in some tunnel visioning. Please direct me to the location on your site that will give me the information I am seeking. Thank You.
There has yet to be a response to the above letter from the Gates Foundation.
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