On February 4, CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down and interviewed Bill Gates about his plan to eliminate polio by 2012. In order to accomplish this, the wealthy philanthropist will pledge 10 billion dollars on behalf of the Gates Foundation to provide vaccinations to children around the world over a ten-year time period.
Bill Gates wants to make polio the first disease to be eliminated worldwide. This is quite admirable, and is not the first (or the last) time the Gates Foundation has committed to a worthy cause—especially since they allocate over $1.5 billion per year towards national and global causes aimed at helping the weak and disadvantaged.
Inevitably, during the interview, the autism question came up.
When asked about the public scrutiny surrounding childhood vaccines; most notably, those that may cause autism, Gates, in reference to the infamous Wakefield study, labeled the supposed link between autism and vaccines as “an absolute lie that has killed thousands of kids.”
He went on to say that people who engage in “those anti-vaccine efforts” kill children.
Obviously, Gates’ interests lie with the pro-vaccine camp. He is an advocate for distributing vaccines to children around the world who do not have access to vaccinations. He probably holds the view of the general public that vaccines are safe and that the government does a thorough job in testing vaccinations before they are released into the market.
During a previous interview with Neal Conan of NPR’s Talk of the Nation, a caller expressed concern over the ingredients in vaccines. Gates told her, “Yeah, vaccines have been proven to be safe, and what happens if you don’t take vaccines is children get measles and die. So the anti-vaccine crowd (not sure what “crowd” he is referring to) has, you know, kept measles around in a way that, you know, it’s a tragedy, because so much is done to make sure these things are safe.”
All this talk about the autism-vaccine link proves to be a thorn in the side of the pro-vaccine crowd.
I wonder if Gates knows what is done to make sure “these things are safe.” Do the research yourself. You may be surprised at the lack of research that is done on vaccinations before they hit the market. Yes, I am talking about FDA-approved vaccinations. For instance, does he know that there are no long-term studies (over 30 days) on childhood vaccinations that are currently in use? I’m just saying…
The vaccine debate continues to be waged by a mixed bag of characters. We have people with firsthand experience of the adverse affects of vaccinations and faced with a lifetime of difficulties, teamed up with those who treat individuals who have experienced the adverse affects of vaccinations. We have the pro-vaccine camp made up of doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and those who do business with these companies, who blindly support vaccinations because of their own professional and financial interests. We have those trusting individuals who assume that the government wouldn’t promote the use of vaccines if they weren’t safe. We have moderates who have not had any negative experiences with vaccinations, but are concerned about the vaccine testing process. We have those who support vaccinations because they imagine what might happen if they don’t— a mass vaccine scare where people stop getting their children vaccinated resulting in a global disease epidemic.
Regardless, the autism-vaccine link debate is not going anywhere until we solve the tragic mystery that lurks behind those tens of thousands of normally-developing children who became sick, stopped talking, and lost learned skills within days of receiving their routine vaccinations.
So, thank you Bill Gates, on behalf of those frustrated individuals who are dealing with the after- affects of childhood vaccinations gone bad. Although you may have discounted the autism-vaccine link, it brought the discussion back into the spotlight again and anything’s better than listening to Jenny McCarthy.