Anti-vaccination movement endorsed by De Niro

Robert De Niro and vaccines
Robert De Niro is pursuing a dangerous agenda. (Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)

Nickolas Hughes

Opinion Editor

Let me start by disclosing that I am autistic.

I have Asperger’s Syndrome, which is now considered to be high functioning autism. Also, I would like to disclose that I am a supporter of safe vaccinations.

They are necessary for the preservation of the welfare of this country. I understand that vaccines can be unsafe in certain circumstances. I profess to not knowing the science behind the arguments. These being whether vaccines cause autism or not. I would like to point out that many studies have disproven the link between the two. I would also like to point out that the anti-vaccine movement is gaining ground and we as a nation have to stop it.

Not being an expert in the science does not make my opinion any less valid, but, I have autism. I have lived my life with autism, and I understand that. I understand the fear, the anxiety, the paranoia, the panic, the depression, I understand it all far too well. I do not understand having measles but I am happy about this.

I checked Web MD about what measles is and I am scared of that. “Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus,” according to the CDC definition. “It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.” That terrifies me.

It is a deep fear that has taken residence in me and that fear extends to my future children. I do not want them to be sick, I do not want them to hurt or even die before their time. I do not want some unvaccinated child around my children.

Robert Kennedy Junior (RFK) and Robert De Niro are campaigning to try to convince other people that there could be a link. I the start to think about the future, and I have a problem with what they are doing. On February 16, 2016 they held a panel on vaccines. They brought up discredited research and floated it around like it was true.

The United States Center for Disease Control has stated, many times, “There is no link between autism and vaccines.” It frustrates me that RFK and De Niro are dedicating their time to something that has been disproven. They are following a form of pseudoscience. That is, it is not real.

What concerns me the most though is that a demographic of Americans believe what they are saying. According to the CDC there were 667 cases of the measles in the United States in 2014. A good majority of these were from outbreaks in the country. Such as in Ohio in the Amish community where a large part of the population do not get vaccinated. Those are scary numbers compared to the year before where there were only 187 in 2013 and 55 in 2012.

Another demographic is parents who do not get their children vaccinated for religious exemptions. That one frustrates me, but I understand that a person’s faith can be an impactful thing and I will not condemn that. The one that I cannot understand and condemn is the parents who say their reasons are philosophical and not based on religious practice.

It is selfish, in my eyes, to do that. Not vaccinating leads to the child in question getting sick. A lot sicker than any child should be today. Children around the unvaccinated child also are getting sick with these diseases.

It is irresponsible and poses a danger to every child in this country. Measles, as far as I knew, was gone. It did not exist because of the vaccinations administered to children. Then parents started to panic in the 1990s. Due to Jenny McCarthy’s involvement in promoting Andrew Wakefield’s research.

Andrew Wakefield was a doctor that claimed that he found a link. This study was disproven, but that did not stop various celebrities from forming a bandwagon. As a result of this, a panic set in and the anti-vaccination movement gained a lot of momentum.

The anti-vaccination movement is a dangerous movement. It is breeding thoughts that are not right. Vaccines are not dangerous and science has proven it. Robert De Niro is walking a dangerous path and so is RFK.

  • Mark Wax

    This is a short sighted and misinformed opinion. For openers, neither Mr. De Niro or Mr. Kennedy is “anti-vaccine.” Neither am I. We are all dedicated to a safe vaccine supply, as well as a thorough investigation based upon science into what has caused the myriad vaccine injuries in the past 25 years.

    Autism is but one diagnosis, usually presented with co-morbid conditions of neurological disability, that was summarily dismissed from being a table injury by the Vaccine Court. The history is very suspect.

    In the 1980s, children were having adverse reactions to the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine. Lots of lawsuits were being filed against docs and vaccine manufacturers. This caused the pharmaceutical industry to threaten pulling out of the vaccine market, and the alarm bells rang that the nation’s health and safety were at risk. Why were vaccine manufacturers getting ready to take their ball and go home? Because vaccines fall into a class of products considered “unavoidably unsafe.” I am not kidding you. This “unavoidable” word comes from the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act itself “products which, in the present state of human knowledge, are quite incapable of being made safe.”

    In 1986, Congress decided on a way to compensate folks for these avoidable injuries and death. It is called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. From 2001 until 2011 the program has compensated about 2500 families a total of $2 billion. There has been close to $4 billion paid to date since inception. But, that represents only a small fraction of those who actually brought claims to the Vaccine Court. You see, there is a 36 month window to bring the claim. There is no “tolling” granted for minors, unlike all the Civil Courts in the U.S. Guess what? Neurological injuries may not present in infants for long after 36 months. Furthermore, who knows how many cases were never brought by attorneys on behalf of a vaccine injured child, because the statute of limitations ran out?
    Don’t let anyone tell you that vaccines don’t cause injury. They have, they do and they will do so in the future. For years, Thimerosal was used as a preservative in multi-dose vials. While still proclaiming it “safe”, vaccine makers “voluntarily” removed Thimerosal. It is still present in trace amounts and in flu vaccine. Thimerosal was never approved by the FDA, as the patents predated the establishment of said regulations. Worried?

    With nearly 6,000 cases pending the USCFC held the “Omnibus Autism Hearings.” They decided not to make “autism” a “table injury.” How convenient. Since there would never be enough money to pay for all who claim an “autism” injury. But, there have been many cases compensated for “encephalopathy” as a diagnosis with reference to autism. You can read it:

    For the record, I am not “anti-vaccine.” Both of my children were fully vaccinated. Unfortunately for us, our son was neurologically disabled by vaccines. It is indisputable, yet the government and the vaccine makers still think that there is a “greater good” to be served. They may be right. But, let’s not fool ourselves. Vaccines can be made safer. It is about money.

    These facts deserve investigation and changes to both the production of vaccines and the behavior of the government towards the injured parties.

    We speak for the thousands who cannot speak for themselves. For whom the diagnosis of “autism” means never living independently ( 70%) and the burden and emotion carried by the families that love them.

  • Judith

    Hi Nickolas – I think you need to understand that Robert De Niro is questioning the science behind vaccination which is severely wanting. There is still a whopping dose of mercury in the multidose flu vaccine. As Robert Kennedy has pointed out there is no study to show that mercury is safe but a huge amount of studies that show it is highly toxic. Vaccines are not tested using a placebo except in rare cases and large studies using vaccinated and unvaccinated cohorts have not been done.

    A recent study found an increase neuropsychiatric disorders, including OCD, AN, tic disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder using a case–control population-based pediatric sample in children aged 6 – 15 years

    “we hypothesized that some vaccines could have an impact in a subset of susceptible individuals and aimed to investigate whether there is a temporal association between the antecedent administration of vaccines and the onset of several neuropsychiatric disorders, including OCD, AN, tic disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder using a case–control population-based pediatric sample (children aged 6–15 years). ”

    • Mike Stevens

      This is why one always needs to go to the source… It usually reveals that the antivaxer (in this case YOU, Judith) is lying like a cat in front of the fire.

      The article you refer to does NOT say vaccines were linked to major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder as you imply above.

      Vaccination was linked to a significant reduction in those conditions, as it was to an increase in the condition of “broken bones”, indicating that random association was the likely explanation for all the associations studied.

      When adjustments were made for this finding amongst the broken bone control group, only one condition was found to be associated with vaccination (anorexia nervosa).

      This is what happens when one examines multiple variables, Judith. You find anomalies, quite by chance.

        • Judith

          The measles vaccine has a poor success rate – far less than what is needed to maintain herd immunity. Your little posters are vacuous.

          Measles outbreak in a vaccinated school population: epidemiology, chains of transmission and the role of vaccine failures.

          B M Nkowane, S W Bart, W A Orenstein, and M Baltier


          An outbreak of measles occurred in a high school with a documented vaccination level of 98 per cent. Nineteen (70 per cent) of the cases were students who had histories of measles vaccination at 12 months of age or older and are therefore considered vaccine failures. Persons who were unimmunized or immunized at less than 12 months of age had substantially higher attack rates compared to those immunized on or after 12 months of age. Vaccine failures among apparently adequately vaccinated individuals were sources of infection for at least 48 per cent of the cases in the outbreak. There was no evidence to suggest that waning immunity was a contributing factor among the vaccine failures. Close contact with cases of measles in the high school, source or provider of vaccine, sharing common activities or classes with cases, and verification of the vaccination history were not significant risk factors in the outbreak. The outbreak subsided spontaneously after four generations of illness in the school and demonstrates that when measles is introduced in a highly vaccinated population, vaccine failures may play some role in transmission but that such transmission is not usually sustained.

          • Judy is lying again.

            The measles vaccine is so effective that measles in the USA was declared eliminated. This was by the WHO. It means that the only cases of measles we get in the USA come from imported cases, as we have no indigenous circulating wild measles.

            Readers may once again ask:
            Why do anti-vaccine cultists constantly lie?

          • Judith

            Tightening the rules will only cause educated parents to become resistant to the pressure.

            We know that the vaccinated should not fear the unvaccinated. Herd immunity is a myth and the unvaccinated have just as much to fear from the vaccinated.

            In the Inquisitr, a government whooping cough vaccine study from last year pointed out that vaccinated children might realistically be spreading whooping cough. In that study, baboons vaccinated with the current vaccine didn’t actually get sick after being exposed to whooping cough, but they had high levels of whooping cough bacteria in their respiratory system and were contagious for five weeks after that, according to NBC.

            “It could explain the increase in pertussis that we’re seeing in the U.S.,” Tod Merkel, an FDA researcher, said after hearing of the disappointing results. Granted, that’s only baboons. You can’t deliberately expose a human to whooping cough for a research study.



            Professor Poland has this to say about the measles vaccine – he admits that the high failure rate makes herd immunity impossible and he calls for a new generation vaccine.

            Gregory A. Poland, MD, MACP, FIDSA, DHL (Hon)Director, Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, the Director of the Immunization Clinic and theDirector of the Program in Translational Immunovirology and Biodefense Mayo Clinic – Editor in Chief Vaccine. In an October 2011 outbreak in Canada, over 50% of the 98 individuals had received two doses of measles vaccine. The Table shows that this phenomenon continues to play a role in measles outbreaks. Thus, measles outbreaks also occur even among highly vaccinated populations because of primary and secondary vaccine failure, which results in gradually larger pools of susceptible persons and outbreaks once measles is introduced [8]. This leads to a paradoxical situation whereby measles in highly immunized societies occurs primarily among those previously immunized [8].

          • Brian

            Wow Judith! Can you go even two comments without contradicting yourself?

          • Proponent

            Judith: “Professor Poland has this to say about the measles vaccine – he admits that the high failure rate makes herd immunity impossible and he calls for a new generation vaccine.”

            Citation, please.. thanks.

            Produce a reference, wherein, the readers can see/read.. for themselves.. these exact same sentiments that you are attributing to Dr. Poland … and in situ.

            … …

            Oh, and no cliff hanger here, peeps.. it won’t be produced. Judith has mishmashed a bunch of nonsense in her post above. Making it indecipherable as to what is what, who said what exactly .. and .. near illegible as well.

            Very dishonest of her to do so.

          • Mike Stevens

            Judith, Greg Poland says this:

            “Just a decade ago, in 2000, measles killed an estimated 777,000 people a year worldwide. In 2010, measles killed only 160,000 worldwide – a testament to widespread use of vaccine.”

            “Measles immunization rates, particularly in certain areas of the US and western Europe, have plateaued or decreased and experts suspect this is a result of the now-debunked notion that measles vaccine caused autism – a false claim that adversely influenced MMR vaccination choices among a generation of parents.”

            He states that a new, more immunogenic vaccine may be needed to eradicate measles, as herd immunity requires 95% population protection is achieved, and this may be unachievable if vaccination rates are lowered (as a result of antivaccine imbeciles dissing them constantly). Current vaccine failure rates are between 2% and 10%, meaning that if vaccine efficacy is at the lower end of its range, and there are many people who fail to vaccinate, then herd immunity will not be adequately maintained.

            Sto lying, and stop twisting his words.

          • Renè


          • FallsAngel

            Judith, I’ve asked you this before but. . . are you smarter than a baboon? You are totally misinterpreting the results of that study, and it’s not even known if it applies to humans.

          • Sam Gilman

            Why do they cover-up child abuse? That was a shocking discovery for me a couple of years back.

          • They are mentally ill fanatics?

            If you are referring to the despicable anti-vax delusion that Shaken Baby Syndrome is really a vaccine injury I think it is just the maniacs Hoovering up anything that they can to try and tarnish the reputation of vaccines – no matter how bizarre and idiotic it is.

            It seemed to have started back when the “MMR causes autism” delusion was being eviscerated by actual science and the anti-vaxxers were desperate for something to blame on vaccines. Apparently they just decided to blame everything on vaccines as long as it involved a baby/toddler.
            colic? – vaccines
            crying? – vaccines
            cradle cap? – vaccines
            allergies? – vaccines
            We even have one regular Disqus anti-vaccine poster who claims her daughter’s crooked teeth were caused by vaccines.

            Attacking vaccines is more important to these cultists than the life of a shaken baby. They are seriously mentally ill fanatical ghouls.

          • Sam Gilman

            Just that. I discovered this in conversation with the delightful Judith a couple of years ago.

            I hadn’t heard the crooked teeth one.

          • Judith! That was 1984, before we recommended two MMRs. It was at a large high school and there were 27 cases of measles, 19 vaccinated, 8 not. So, the vast majority of the students were protected, thanks to vaccines. Did you even bother to read the full study?


            Now that we recommend two MMRs, native measles was eradicated from North American in 2000.

            Since 2000, all measles outbreaks are mostly in unvaxed populations. 70-80% unvaxed.

          • Jonathan Graham

            The measles vaccine has a poor success rate

            You really don’t get how your study argues the opposite. Do you?

        • Judith

          Mumps vaccine is a failure. Whistleblowers have accused MERCK of manipulating the vaccine to make

          Dr. Susan Even, executive director for the University of Missouri’s Student Health Center, said she hasn’t seen anything like the current outbreak in her 31 years at the school. She said all of the students her team treated for mumps had two MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine doses – a school requirement – but they got sick anyway.”

          “mumps is back, and is having its worst year in a decade, fueled in part by its spread on college campuses. Since classes began at the University of Missouri in August, school officials have identified 193 mumps cases on campus, with more unreported cases likely. And nationwide, more than 4,000 cases have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – nearly triple the cases in 2015 and the largest spike in 10 years.

          The spike has some public health officials asking questions about the existing vaccine protocol.

          According to the whistleblowers’ court documents, Merck’s misconduct was far-ranging: It “failed to disclose that its mumps vaccine was not as effective as Merck represented, (ii) used improper testing techniques, (iii) manipulated testing methodology, (iv) abandoned undesirable test results, (v) falsified test data, (vi) failed to adequately investigate and report the diminished efficacy of its mumps vaccine, (vii) falsely verified that each manufacturing lot of mumps vaccine would be as effective as identified in the labeling, (viii) falsely certified the accuracy of applications filed with the FDA, (ix) falsely certified compliance with the terms of the CDC purchase contract, (x) engaged in the fraud and concealment describe herein for the purpose of illegally monopolizing the U.S. market for mumps vaccine, (xi) mislabeled, misbranded, and falsely certified its mumps vaccine, and (xii) engaged in the other acts described herein to conceal the diminished efficacy of the vaccine the government was purchasing.”

          • Judy commenced lying again when she drooled, “Mumps vaccine is a failure.”

            In contrast experience informs us:
            “Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, mumps was a universal disease of childhood. Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States.”

            Pre vaccine there were about 200,000 cases reported to the government each year (the rest just weathered it at home and did not report to any healthcare system).
            ***** Looks around *****
            I don’t see anything like 200,000 cases of mumps in recent history.
            Yep. A 99% reduction in cases… that mumps vaccine is a complete failure, isn’t it, Judy?

            Readers may now ask:
            Why do the anti-vaccine cultists constantly lie?

          • Judith

            Mumps used to be a benign disease caught when children were young and gave a lifetime of immunity. Now the vaccine only lasts a few years and the immunity wears off leaving older males vulnerable when the disease can cause more problems. The mother’s own natural immunity gave protection through breast feeding until the child was old enough – women now rely on pharmaceutical immunity not natural. Merck is now in a Court Case accused of spiking the vaccine with animal antibodies to make it appear more effective…it is a criminal organisation.

            “Last month, the public health department in Cambridge, where Harvard is located, said all students affected had been immunized against mumps before they contracted it.

            That is Harvard University’s message to its students after a mumps outbreak left 40 people sick over the past two months.”


          • Readers will note Judy changed the subject and promptly started lying again.

            For those interested you can familiarize yourselves with mumps here:

            Judy dishonestly babbled, “The mother’s own natural immunity gave protection through breast feeding until the child was old enough…”

            This is a lie. Breast milk does not transfer mommy’s IgG mumps antibodies to nursing baby. Think about it. If this occurred then no baby would become infected yet virtually all babies are vulnerable after mommy’s IgG mumps antibodies, transferred via the blood through the placenta, wear off in a couple months.

            I think it is clear that readers may disregard anything Judy writes as an anti-vaccine lie, and once again ask:

            Why do the anti-vaccine cultists constantly lie?

    • No, Judith. Compounds are not elements.

    • Jonathan Graham

      I think you need to understand that Robert De Niro is questioning the science

      I think that you need to understand the difference between informed questioning and questioning. Simply standing up and saying: “When is purple?” is “questioning” but it’s not very useful questioning. Robert’s questions are closer to that than anything else. If you think about it…which you never really like doing.

      behind vaccination which is severely wanting.

      Not really.

      There is still a whopping dose of mercury in the multidose flu vaccine

      You’re not exaggerating? Sounds like you are. Because if 25 mcg of thiomersal (not mercury) in something that is rarely given is “whopping” then what was it before? Did your body just manufacture a super-hyper-catastrophic-gargantuan dose of formaldehyde yesterday? Because it made far more than 25 mcg. What about last time you walked in a dentist’s office. What about the dose of mercury you got – just by walking in? Was that whopping?

      A recent study found an increase neuropsychiatric disorders, including OCD, AN, tic disorder, anxiety disorder, ADHD, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder using a case–control population-based pediatric sample in children aged 6 – 15 years

      The paper you cite entertainingly begins:

      Although the association of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven

      The problem with your study is that it examines too many conditions. It doesn’t take much to look at the data and see it’s ridiculousness…but why would YOU do THAT. Right?

    • Brian

      Judith links to an article that begins “the association of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine with autism spectrum disorder has been convincingly disproven”

      I’m going to save this.

  • Mike Stevens

    Thanks for your thoughts and opinion, Nickolas.
    They are shared by the vast majority of rational and honest individuals.