Thompson Told CDC Superiors About His Concerns
A letter Thompson sent to then-CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding in February 2004 discusses “problematic results” related to the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism, and details the paranoid atmosphere at CDC at the time.
“We’ve not yet met to discuss these matters…I will be presenting the summary of our results from the Metropolitan Atlanta Autism Case-Control Study and I will have to present several problematic results relating to statistical associations between the receipt of MMR vaccine and autism,” Thompson wrote.
“It’s my understanding that you are aware of several news articles published over the past two weeks suggesting that Representative David Weldon is still waiting for a response from you regarding two letters he sent you regarding issues surrounding the integrity of your scientists in the National Immunization Program. I’ve repeatedly asked individuals in the NIP Office of the Directors Office why you haven’t responded directly to the issues raised in those letters and I’m very disappointed with the answers I’ve received to date. In addition, I’ve repeatedly told individuals in the NIP OD over the last several years that they’re doing a very poor job representing the immunization safety issues and that we’re losing in the public relations war.”
“On Friday afternoon, January 30th, I presented the draft slides for IOM presentation to Dr. Steve Cochi and Dr. Melinda Wharton. The first thing I stated to both of them was my sincere concern regarding presenting this work to the Institute of Medicine if you had not replied to Representative Weldon’s letters. I have attached the draft slides for your review.”
Gerberding is now an executive vice president at Merck after serving for a few years as president of Merck Vaccines. CDC and Merck did not return requests for comment for this report.
Dr. Thompson recently brought his case to Republican Florida Rep. Bill Posey.
“A whistleblower came to our office, Dr. William Thompson. He came forward with documents, saying that at CDC he had manipulated one of the studies he was an author on to get a desired outcome,” Posey spokesman George Cecala told TheDC. “The study has relation to vaccines and their relationship to autism.”
Posey staffer Anna Schartner said they reviewed Thompson’s statements and documents carefully.
“We’re working with the Science Committee to get a hearing,” Anna said. “What we’re talking about is integrity within an agency. It’s rightfully under the purview of the Science Committee.”
Republican House Science Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith did not respond to an inquiry about when the hearing might happen, or if it will still go forward amid the current national controversy.
“The congressman supports vaccinating your children,” Cecala said, noting that Thompson went to Posey with the information and not the other way around. “But parents should have all the information they need…You talk to a lot of parents on the phone and they’re very knowledgeable and passionate. A lot of parents out there say, ‘If I’d had more information, I would have done things differently.'”
Thompson gained official whistleblower immunity months ago. The Department of Justice fruitlessly referred TheDC to the whistleblower ombudsman within the Department of Health and Human Services, which adjudicates CDC employees’ whistleblower protection claims.