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How the CDC Uses Fear to Increase Demand for Flu Vaccines

This article from Children’s Health illustrates the manner that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) uses statistics and estimates of death rates to instill fear so that people will get yearly flu shots. The CDC made the claim that there were 80,000 deaths attributed to the flu during the 2017-2018 season when there were actually only a little over 1,000. The CDC in a publication titled Recipe for Fostering Public Interest and High Vaccine Demand, encouraged physicians and public health officials to “state concern and alarm” and “predict dire outcomes” for the upcoming flu season. However, as the authors of this article go on the say, the CDC in its own study published in JAMA in 2003, found that it had difficulty in estimating deaths attributed to influenza because of inadequate laboratory data confirming that the patient died from the influenza virus itself. The authors also went on the say that while the CDC recognizes the difference between flu death and flu-associated death they continue to use them interchangeably in order to increase their numbers. The authors conclude that the CDC misestimates seasonal flu deaths and misrepresents these statistics to the public in order to promote the flu vaccine.

Comment: The article also took the CDC to task for skewing their statistics by including patients with other, more advanced pathologies who died from them and not the flu. The CDC is a taxpayer funded government organization whose mission as stated at their web site is:

“CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.”

“CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.”

It also lists a number of pledges to the American people, one of which is that they will “Base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data that is derived openly and objectively” and “Place the benefits to society above the benefits to our institution”.

This article certainly suggests, as well, and by their own admission, that the CDC does not fully base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data, and a case could certainly be made that the benefits to society have not been placed above the benefits to the CDC. I say this for the following reasons.

  1. The CDC has admitted that between 1955–1963 over 98 million Americans received one or more doses of a polio vaccine which was contaminated with a cancer-causing virus called Simian vacuolating virus 40 (SV40).

According to this article, the CDC knew about the contamination but did not report it until a group of concerned scientists brought it to their attention. The actual number of cancer cases attributed to this “error” will never be known, as there has never been a follow up by the CDC.

  1. CDC Advises Delayed Breastfeeding To Boost Vaccine Efficacy – Ten researchers from the CDC’s National Centers for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD) released a paper arguing that because the immune-boosting effects of breast milk inhibit the effects of the live oral rotavirus vaccine, nursing mothers should delay breastfeeding their infants.

What is difficult here is that childhood immunity to protect us from viral illnesses stems primarily from breast-feeding, not immunization and delaying breast feeding to allow a vaccine time to work is totally illogical and in my opinion, unethical. The CDC took the position of the vaccine manufacturers with the recommendation that was not based upon any scientific studies. Additionally, the CDC often consults with the vaccine manufacturers when setting vaccination schedules, clearly a conflict of interest.

  1. CDC Data Reanalysis Shows Strong, Statistically Significant Relationship Between MMR Vaccine & Autism – A statistically significant relationships was observed when African-American males were considered separately while looking at those individuals who were vaccinated prior to and after a 36-month age cut-off. CDC officials observed very similar relationships as early as November 2001, but failed to report them in their final publication.

This is from a re-analysis of a study done by the CDC that looked at the relationship of the incidence of autism and the age when children first got the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine. The earlier children received the MMR vaccine, the greater the likelihood they would develop autism. This was particularly high in black males.

  1. CDC Doctor: ‘Disastrous’ Flu Shot Is Causing Deadly Flu Outbreak – The CDC doctor’s who reported this experience of patients dying of the flu after receiving the flu shot is sadly not uncommon. In one case eight Santa Barbara County residents died from the flu in the last fortnight (2 weeks). Seven of them had the flu shot.

This pattern was seen during the 2017-2018 flu season with their being a high number of deaths following immunization with the flu vaccine. Despite this, public health officials, continued to recommend flu shots even though the CDC itself admitted that the vaccine was only 10% effective. Additionally, in pregnant women given the flu vaccination, fetal death rates showed a significant increase.

  1. CDC Scientist: ‘We scheduled meetings to destroy vaccine-autism study documents’- A current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) senior scientist made an unprecedented admission: he and his colleagues–he says– committed scientific misconduct to cover up a meaningful link between vaccines and autism in black boys.

A number of scientists at the CDC expressed concerns about the level of scientific misconduct as well as the CDC’s ties to pharmaceutical companies. It is well known that many scientists depend upon pharmaceutical companies to sponsor their research but it is not well known that when some scientists leave the CDC, they go to work for the same pharmaceutical companies that they were monitoring while at the CDC. This is a common practice as well with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This certainly leads to a conflict of interest. A group that calls itself CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research (CDC-SPIDER) sent a list of complaints to the CDC Chief of Staff as well as U. S. Right to Know, a public watch dog group, with their concerns. They sent it anonymously for fear of retaliation.

The question then becomes, has the CDC accomplished its mission and pledges to the American people? Based upon what is public record so far, I would have to say that they have not accomplished their mission or pledges to the American people, nor do they seem inclined to. Rather, they appear to have become a conduit for special interest groups and business interests that support them financially due to their own vested interests.

The CDC is over seen and accountable to Congress, but one of the questions that need to be answered is; has Congress done its job or are they influenced by the same interests (pharmaceutical), as is the CDC? What needs to happen here is that Congress must assure that the CDC as well as the FDA only be funded through tax dollars and remove any outside revenue sources so that both organizations are responsive to the needs of the public and not special interest groups [6]. The only way this can happen is to let your members of congress know that it is their responsibility to over see the CDC and FDA so that these organizations are responsive to the health and well being of the American public.

Thomas A Kruzel, ND



  2. Inhibitory Effect of Breast Milk on Infectivity of Live Oral Rotavirus Vaccines  Sung-Sil Moon, PhD,* et al     Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2010 Oct; 29(10): 919–923.
  6. Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals and the Myth of Safe and Effective Drugs Donald W. Light, Joel Lexchin, and Jonathan J. Darrow      institutional corruption and the pharmaceutical industry fall 2013