THE BLOG

Imus, McCain, Autism, and 08

03/04/2008 10:26 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The following is an unofficial transcript of my interview this morning by Don Imus. I post it here, without comment, except to thank Don and Deirdre Imus for everything that they do to help children in dire need.

(PS: To see a summary of the presidential candidates' stand on whether or not autism is epidemic, as gathered by A-CHAMP and ABC News, please click here).

IMUS: Good morning Mr. Kirby. How are you?

DAVID: I'm good. It's been exactly 3 years ago when you and Deidre really started
bringing this to the people's attention. Boy, talk about "Ground Hog Day". It just seems
like we're beating the same issues all over again, without getting anywhere.

IMUS. I thought it was kind of amusing to me, after Senator McCain said what he said in
Texas, which I'll ask you about in a second....to see my name in a couple of columns
blaming me for influencing him. When I've never said anything of the kind. I've got my
own suspicions, but, any way, what exactly did Sen. McCain say now?

DAVID: Sen. McCain said, after being asked a question in Texas by a woman referring to the big court case, which was just conceded, in which the government said that a girl's vaccine injury led to and resulted in an ultimate diagnosis of autism. She asked him about it and he, to just about everyone's surprise, said he believed there was strong evidence to implicate the vaccine ingredient called thimerosal, in the rise in the numbers of cases.

He said the rise of cases is indisputable, meaning it's not just better diagnosis, we have more autism in America today than we had 10 or 15 years ago. He's trying to figure out what is going on. He recognizes there is a national emergency. It may not be the mercury in the vaccines, it may not be the vaccines at all, but, until we get to the bottom of this it's refreshing, to say the least, to hear a politician out there talking about what a lot of other people are talking about.

At some point, if you want to get into some of the studies that are coming out, McCain -- who's been blasted in the last 24 hours, taking more "incoming" that I've received in 5 years in just 24 hours -- he is referring to actual studies that have been published by very top flight scientists. And he has a very good medical and science staff. He would not have made this statement flippantly, and, it didn't come out of nowhere.

IMUS: The next question: There is scientific evidence out there suggesting that there is a
definitive link?

DAVID: There's lots of science evidence, when taken together might suggest a link. Or might suggest a mechanism. My position has always been that this has not been proven one way or the other. Yes, there is evidence to refute, there is more evidence everyday to support this theory. People who oppose it, think this is over, and, I think it would serve them well to take a minute or two, go back to Pubmed, look at the studies that did not appear in the NY Times or on ABC news. We get filtered information in this country, and, I frankly don't blame people for thinking that this is bunk, baloney, proven, over and done with, anyone who brings it up is crazy. Because they have not been given access to the studies. The American people have not been given all the information they need.

They need to go out and find it. It's there, look at the brain studies being done by people from Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Their (subjects) are presenting with oxidative stress, heavy metals and mercury in the brain. Look at the study in Child Neurology that went back and looked at a previous study...lo and behold...they found that children with autism do have higher levels of mercury in their blood. A mistake was made in the original calculations.

And some mitochondrial studies have just come out....continue to come out....which are very germane to this court case. It all starts to fall into place, and it is hard science. It is peer reviewed. People are willfully ignoring it, some of them, they know it's out there and they won't look at it. Most of the people online who are saying that John McCain is crazy, Don Imus is crazy, David Kirby is crazy....have not bothered to read these studies. It's frustrating, because you want to have a scientific discussion, but you are talking to people who only have half the picture.

IMUS: Talking with David Kirby here on the Imus program, in an effort to get the audience to kill themselves.

DAVID: C'mon, it's too early for that, Don!

IMUS: The vaccine manufacturers claim they took thimerosal out of the vaccines when? Not the flu vaccines but most vaccines.

DAVID: The media reports that all mercury came out of all shots in 2001. Nothing could
be further from the truth.

IMUS: What is the truth?

DAVID: Well, we don't know and the government won't tell us.

IMUS: Well, why don't the vaccine manufacturers tell us?

DAVID: They don't have to.

DAVID: They stopped making mercury containing vaccines right around the end of 2001 Now, this stuff goes and gets shipped into warehouses. Then it gets into the pipeline, that's when the expiration date is placed on it, the day it leaves the warehouse. They stocked up on mercury containing vaccines as they were transitioning into the mercury free formula. For those years, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and I'm quite certain into 2004, a lot of this stuff was still sitting on shelves.

In the meantime, we started giving the flu shot to pregnant women and infant children, which still contains the full amount of mercury. We never hit zero, and now we're back up. If a woman who gets the flu shot is pregnant, the fetus will be exposed to that. Then the child gets another flu shot at 6 months, 7 months and 18 months. With all the residual mercury in some of the other shots, the child is getting about 85 micrograms of mercury, total exposure. Which is, yes, much less than it used to be. But, we're not at zero. And again, the mitochondrial disease, at least for a subset of these kids, given that they have that disease, they might be sensitive to any amount of mercury, or any toxin that could set them over the edge.

IMUS: Then, in these vaccines, whether the mercury is used as a preservative or not, a trace amount of mercury is used in all vaccines.

DAVID: That's correct. (NOTE: Some childhood vaccines do not and never did contain mercury, DK) About 1/2 micrograms in most of the shots these kids are getting. That's very, very little, in and of itself. The point is, if you do have some type of allergic problem with this, or you do have an inability to secrete it, it will accumulate in your body. I think the evidence is pointing now, beyond just mercury, beyond just thimerosal. I believe there are several things in our environment that can trigger several different types of conditions and predisposition's that ultimately manifest in symptoms we diagnose as autism. Whether it truly is classic autism or not, if it's your kid, you don't really care.

IMS: What are they?

DAVID: It may be genetics, (or) because of mitochondrial health, in other words, cellular energy, (or) because of a pre-existing autoimmune condition, or an allergic condition. Given any set of those conditions, and then getting any set of triggers -- mercury in vaccines, the number and type of vaccines we're giving now, pollution in the air, pesticides, flame retardants or even just viruses, perhaps. But if a kid is set up for regression... whatever gets there first, I'm talking hypothetically, but, whatever gets there first may set off the regression. In most cases in this country, that insult came in the form of a vaccine.

IMUS: You know what I never understood? They warn people, particularly pregnant women, not to eat fish because of the extraordinary high levels of mercury they found in fish. In fact, the New York Times did a study, went around to sushi joints and they found an insane level of mercury in these various fish. It's my understanding the form of mercury in fish is not as lethal as the form of mercury in vaccines. So, what has never made sense to me, if they don't want you to eat a less lethal form of mercury in fish, they think it's okay or fine to inject any amount of mercury into the bloodstream of an infant. Just on a common sense level, sounds to me INSANE!

DAVID: Some people think it is. It's certainly contradictory, that the same day the NewYork Times reported the ultra high levels of mercury in Tuna -- which means environmental levels in general are going up - they also reported New Jersey is trying to implement mandatory flu vaccines for kids going to school.

Everyone should go online right now and look up the flu vaccine. Look up the product insert. It will say, and don't quote me exactly, something like "this product has not been studied in pregnant women. The reproductive effects are unknown. The impact on the fetus is unknown. This product is not indicated for pregnant women unless medically necessary".

IMUS: Now you are not saying, I know I'm not saying, that there is a definitive, drop-dead link between autism and thimerosal in vaccines. What you're saying and what I'm saying is, at some point, we need to all reach a definitive scientific determination if, in fact that is the case. Is that what you're saying?

DAVID. Absolutely.

IMUS: Okay, so why do people characterize you and others, and me, though I'm less to the story than anyone else, my wife is a big part of the story and so are you....why are you all characterized as being crazy, when you are not saying what they say you are saying?

DAVID: If you sat down and read only the studies that people seem to be reading, and you ignore the studies that people like me and Deidre read, you would come to the same conclusion....David Kirby is crazy, what is he talking about? People need to do their own homework. Listen, I think the biggest problem here is we're all operating in a vacuum. This court case that was just conceded is a confidential document. The government does not think we should be able to see it.

IMUS: Now, you're talking about the vaccine court?

DAVID: I'm talking about the vaccine court. Now, the family that just won this settlement has to go back into court and ask permission of the government to talk about what happened to their child.

IMUS; What did the vaccine court determine?

DAVID: They determined this child had an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which produces low cellular energy, and was aggravated by her vaccines. (NOTE: This was not determined by the court, but by medical personnel at HHS, live radio is a bit tricky - DK)

She got 9 vaccines in 1 day. 5 shots....9 vaccines. Within months she regressed into autism. In fact, she was diagnosed with full-blown autism.

IMUS: Why haven't we read about that in the NY Times or seen it on NBC nightly news?

DAVID: Well, the NY Times is not particularly interested in this story. There are reporters out there this week trying to cover it, but, until the family gets permission from the government to speak, I'm not sure how much coverage it actually is going to get. You know, I love being on your show, but, I wish instead of me being here this morning, you had somebody from HHS. Because what we basically have over there is a wall of silence.

Why is it not okay to talk about this? Why is this confidential? Exactly whose interests are being protected, if the family says it's perfectly okay to talk about this....and. the family wants to talk about it? Why is the government saying we can't talk about it? Those rules are in place to protect the privacy of the family, which has already been waived.

IMUS: We're out of time .....thank you Mr. Kirby.

(Transcript courtesy of the EOHARM listserv at Yahoogroups.com)