The Misconception: How Many African-American Boys Have Autism as a Result of the CDC’s Lies?

If you haven’t heard by now about the biggest news to hit the autism community in a long time, here’s what’s been happening:

• Dr. Brian Hooker reanalyzed the CDC’s data and found a statistically significant increase in the risk of autism for children who received the MMR vaccine before 36 months of age. [1]
• The increased risk was strongest for African-American males, who were 3.4 TIMES more likely to develop autism when vaccinated with MMR prior to 36 months, compared to matched controls. [1]
• There was an increased risk of autism seen across the board for children who received the MMR vaccine prior to 36 months of age. [1]
• Dr. Hooker was alerted to this problem by one of the CDC scientists involved in a 2004 study which declared there was no risk of autism based on MMR vaccination prior to 36 months of age. The CDC scientist in question (Dr. William Thompson) is listed as one of the authors on the 2004 paper. Dr. Thompson is now referred to as “the CDC whistleblower.” Dr. Thompson revealed to Dr. Hooker that the CDC researchers knew as early as 2001 about the greatly increased risk to African-American male children, and they intentionally covered it up. [2]
• The CDC has released a statement in which they do not deny the increased risk of autism for African-American males vaccinated with the first MMR prior to 36 months of age. [3]
• In the CDC’s statement, they basically rationalize the increased incidence by attributing it to a rush on the part of parents of children with autism to vaccinate their children in order to enroll them in special education preschools. In other words, it’s just a coincidence. A claim, by the way, that isn’t the least bit credible. African-American children to this day are diagnosed later than the current average age of diagnosis, which is four, and receive fewer services such as special education preschools. How is it credible then that, back in 2004, there was a mad rush to vaccinate African-American boys by three for special education preschools?

Dr. Hooker’s analysis of the data revealed a Relative Risk (RR) of 3.36 for African-American Males. The level of Relative Risk was statistically significant at p=0.0019, which means the probability of Dr. Hooker’s findings being by chance was approximately 1 in 1,000.

In research, “p” means probability. When something is “statistically significant” it means a certain level of probability has been demonstrated when the data is analyzed. A p-value of .05 is necessary to consider whether the results are meaningful, or “statistically significant.” A probability of .05 means that you have achieved a 95% assurance that what you are seeing is real and not by chance. A 1 in 1,000 level translates to 999% assurance that what you’re seeing is real and not by chance.

The reanalysis of the data is important because in 2004, a group of researchers from the CDC published a study using the same data, and in their paper, they claimed there was no statistical significance between children with autism and controls (children without autism) based on the timing of the administration of the MMR vaccine. This was a lie. (I know. You’re shocked.)

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