by Dr. James Lyons-Weiler, PhD, Popular Rationalism, ©2023
(Sep. 13, 2023) — Today’s front-page New York Times article on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is rife with presumptions, errors and distortions of fact. It also bases its attempt at refutation of the science that Kennedy’s book with Brian Hooker, Vax vs. Unvax, on mere speculative opinion, not data.
Brian Hooker’s latest book, Vax vs. Unvax, cites all of the studies ignored by CDC, FDA, and the rest of HHS in their consideration of policies on vaccines. By setting the record straight and highlighting the studies most ignore, the book provides a much-needed course correction on the woeful bias that exists on questions of vaccine safety.
But that’s not how the New York Times represents the book. They decry that the book does not cite the underpowered, biased and p-hacked studies stood up by the Pharma-backed CDC and others as proof that Kennedy is somehow biased.
Citing Opinion Blog Articles That Label Themselves “Fact-Checkers” and Self-Anointed Vaccine Experts, Ignores Science
It is excellent journalism, as journalism goes, to venture into the complex arena of studies that are observational and not experimental because they can be so easily manipulated. But it’s atrocious journalism to cite and opinion blog article an opinion-based website that I have repeatedly had to correct after they conducted what they represent as “Fact-Checking”. In this instance, NYTimes cited HealthFeedBack, who, on the question of the very important and central study on the question of the effects of vaccines on children’s health, cited another, non-peer-reviewed opinion blog that offered idle speculation about the measure RIOV (relative instance of office visit). The specific speculative criticism was that RIOV was an untested measure, not proven to be “robust”.
In fact, Lyons-Weiler and Thomas published results (Analysis 7) demonstrating the robustness of the measure, which compares the number of times pediatric patients who are vaccinated had to be seen in office visits scheduled specifically for symptoms for the condition being considered (e.g., ADHD, asthma, allergic rhinitis).
New York Times failed to conduct due diligence and read our study. If they had, they would have found that there were zero cases of ADHD in the unvaccinated group. No measure, RIOV or any other has to be robust before that association must be taken seriously. In 2015, IBISWorld found that drugmaker revenue from ADHD medications was $12.9 billion. The ad revenue from Pharma to the New York Times is worth mentioning as well.
Had the New York Times done due diligence, they would have found the study by Lyons-Weiler and Blaylock that addressed the question of whether unvaccinated patients made their well-child visits less frequently than those vaccinated. Dr. Blaylock and I found the opposite: in Dr. Paul Thomas’ practice, the UNvaccinated kids’ parents missed more well-child visits than the vaccinated. We also found that office visits related to chronic illnesses were higher in teens who had not stopped vaccinating compared to teens who had stopped vaccinating.