An Aug. 4 Newsmax Health article by Sylvia Booth Hubbard touts Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s conspiratorial claim that "money is the reason Congress is delaying hearings on accusations that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hid a link between the mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism," because the pharmceutial industry's lobbying dollars "buys a lot of influence." Hubbard continues:
Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey has called on his colleagues to investigate charges that the CDC covered up data that showing a strong link between autism and the MMR vaccine.
Rep. Posey referred to last summer's admission by Dr. William Thompson, a senior epidemiologist at the CDC, that he helped the CDC hide data that showed giving a child the vaccine before the age of 36 months increased the risk of autism by 69 percent, and giving it to an African-American child increased the risk of autism by 240 percent. So far, Congress has refused to hold hearings.
"The CDC scheduled meetings to try to destroy the documents that demonstrated children were getting autism from the vaccine by literally dumping them in a trashcan," Kennedy charged."Congress only seems to act when a congress person has been affected directly by vaccine injury."
In fact, there is no such conspiracy (which Newsmax doesn't even get correct -- the claim was that there was a 340 percent increased risk of autism among African-American boys). As ScienceBlogs details about the purportedly suppressed data promoted by Thompson and fellow anti-vaxxer Brian Hooker:
[T]here’s no biologically plausible reason why there would be an effect observed in African-Americans but no other race and, more specifically than that, in African-American males. In the discussion, Hooker does a bunch of handwaving about lower vitamin D levels and the like in African American boys, but there really isn’t a biologically plausible mechanism to account for his observation, suggesting that it’s probably spurious. Finally, even if Destefano et al is thrown out, it’s just one study. There are multiple other studies, many much larger than this one, that failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism.
Even if Hooker is “right,” he has just undermined the MMR-autism hypothesis and proven Wakefield wrong, with the possible (and unlikely) exception of a single group, African American males. Given the dubiousness of his analysis and background, he hasn’t even demonstrated it for them, either, particularly given the copious other studies that have failed to find a correlation between MMR and autism. What he has done, apparently, is found grist for a perfect conspiracy theory to demonize the CDC, play the race card in a truly despicable fashion, and cast fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the CDC vaccination program, knowing that most of the white antivaccine activists who support hate the CDC so much that they won’t notice that even Hooker’s reanalysis doesn’t support their belief that vaccines caused the autism in their children.
Hubbard makes sure to note that "Kennedy says he isn't anti-vaccine," but the fact that he's promoting a discredited anti-vaccine conspiracy theory suggests otherwise.