Superstar CBS Reporter Blows the Lid Off the Swine Flu Media Hype and Hysteria

November 24, 2009 

Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News correspondent and investigative reporter. She’s covered Capitol Hill since February 2006 and has been a Washington-based correspondent there since January 1995. She was also part of the CBS news team that received the Edward Murrow Award in 2005 for overall excellence. Additionally, she received an Outstanding Investigative Journalism Emmy in 2002 for a series on the Red Cross.

In case you didn’t realize it, Sharyl Attkisson is the investigative reporter behind the groundbreaking CBS News study that found H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared.

In fact, they’re barely on the radar screen.

How did this startling information come about, and why is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) painting a different picture entirely? I spoke directly with Sharyl Attkisson to find out.

Two Videos

The first video is an amazing interview I did with Sharyl about ten days ago and what the bulk of this article is based on.

Dr. Mercola and Sharyl Attkisson (video 1)

The second video is brand new and was done at noon yesterday in which I was videoed in the CBS studio in downtown Chicago. Sharyl was gracious enough to invite me to be on with Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former director of the NIH. We both were in agreement about the swine flu and opposed to the stance the CDC is taking, but we had different views on mammograms. 

Please also watch the second interview as it is very entertaining.

Dr. Mercola interview on CBS

Getting Started on the Swine Flu Trail

Ms. Attkisson says:

“The reason I looked into this is a couple of months ago, I got tips from three or four different segments of public healthcare, with folks telling me the CDC has recommended that they go ahead and stop testing for and counting swine flu cases.

Each different entity that contacted me was concerned, thinking that this should not be happening. They really felt that it was necessary for the swine flu to continue to be tracked in some details. So I went about trying to find out why this decision was made and what the ramifications would be.

I started by contacting the CDC and the HHS and asking some basic questions. I felt like I pretty much got stonewalled with some of the information I really needed to get at, especially what I needed from the states data, and information on the rationale behind this decision to stop counting and testing for swine flu.”

Because the CDC did not initially respond to Attkisson’s requests, she contacted all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. She also asked states, one by one, to help explain the rationale behind the CDC’s decision to stop tracking H1N1 cases.

Attkisson continues:

“One of my good sources within the government said to me that they’re either trying to, in his opinion, over-represent the swine flu numbers or under-represent by not counting them anymore. He said, “You need to find out which it is.” And so to find out which it might be, I really wanted to see the data that the CDC had at the time it made the decision to quit counting the cases.”

What Her Investigative Report Reveals

If you listen to most media outlets and even to government agencies, you get the impression that virtually every person who has visited their physician with flu-like symptoms in recent months has H1N1, with no testing necessary because, after all, there’s an epidemic.

We are all being led to believe that every case diagnosed as “swine flu” or even as “flu-like illness” is, in fact, swine flu.

But Attkisson’s investigation revealed a very different picture right from her first contact with individual states. She explains:

“Across the country, state by state, they were testing [for H1N1] until CDC told them not to bother. They were testing, in general, the cases most likely to be believed to have been swine flu based on a doctor’s diagnosis of symptoms and risk factors such as travel to Mexico.

These special cases were going to state labs for absolute confirmation with the best test — not the so-called “rapid testing,” but the real confirmation test.

Of those presumed likely swine flu cases out of approximately every hundred of what was tested, only a small fraction were actually swine flu. In every instance, perhaps the biggest number of cases that were swine flu was something like 30%. The smallest number was something like 2% or 3%.

Maybe there’s one state where it was just 1%.

The point is, of the vast majority of the presumed swine flu cases recognized by trained physicians, the vast majority were not flu at all. They weren’t swine flu or regular flu; they were some other sort of upper respiratory infection.”

And here is the clincher that it seems the CDC just doesn’t want the American public to know …

“The CDC explained that one of the reasons they quit counting was because of all the flu that’s out there, most are swine flu. Well, that’s true. Most of the flu that was out there was indeed swine flu, but they failed to say that most of the suspected flu was nothing at all. And I think that’s the caveat the public just didn’t know,” Attkisson explains.

She gives even more striking examples of the numbers the investigative report revealed. For instance:

•In Florida, 83 percent of specimens that were presumed to be swine flu were negative for all flu when tested!
•In California, 86 percent of suspected H1N1 specimens were not swine flu or any flu; only 2 percent were confirmed swine flu.
•In Alaska, 93 percent of suspected swine flu specimens were negative for all flu types; only 1 percent was H1N1 flu.

Freedom of Information and Getting the Truth Out

It is not easy for journalists to access this type of information, and they often have to wait weeks, months or even years for information from the CDC and the FDA — information that is readily available and supposed to be clearly public.

Attkisson expands on the difficulties she faced in trying to get simple data regarding swine flu cases in the United States:

“They [CDC’s public affairs] quit communicating with me when I pressed on why I couldn’t get certain information. They just wouldn’t answer my emails anymore. So I had to file a Freedom of Information request, which is usually my last choice because I know I was going into a deep black hole many times and I’ll never get an answer.

But in this case, I got an interesting response on October 19 from the CDC when I had asked for some simple, public documents that would have been easy for them to obtain too quickly.

Journalists are allowed to ask for expedited processing of their Freedom of Information request because, for obvious reasons, they’re working on a story that may have public impact or be of public interest. The agencies are not supposed to use the Freedom of Information Law to obstruct or delay the release of this information.

This may be the first time I was denied that expedited processing from Freedom of Information that we’re entitled to as members of the press; a letter from HHS or Health and Human Services (the CDC is under HHS) said to me that one of the reasons they’re denying my expedited processing is because this is not a matter of “widespread and exceptional media or public interest.”

In other words, the CDC doesn’t think these questions about swine flu prevalence and these other things that we’ve been asking are, at least in their opinion in this letter, not a matter of widespread and exceptional media or public interest.”

Yet, while the CDC expressed that questions about swine flu prevalence were not a matter of widespread media or public interest, the President had declared the swine flu a national public health emergency!

The inconsistencies at the CDC are nearly incomprehensible.

The Ramifications of the Swine Flu Policy

According to Attkisson’s CBS News study, when you come down with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, malaise and all those other “flu-like” symptoms, the illness is likely caused by influenza at most 17 percent of the time and as little as 3 percent! The other 83 to 97 percent of the time it’s caused by other viruses or bacteria.

So remember that not every illness that appears to be the flu actually is the flu. In fact, most of the time it’s not.

Curiously, the CDC still advises those who were told they had 2009 H1N1 (and therefore should be immune to getting it again) to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation.

But because very few people have actually had a lab-confirmed case of H1N1 (and in most cases those people told they had swine flu probably did not), this means nearly everyone is still being advised to get the swine flu vaccine.

Attkisson has been one of the few to speak out against this flawed system and point out the serious ramifications that come when a public health agency is secretive about their health data.

Attkisson says:

“From a public and journalistic standpoint, I believe the mistake comes when you don’t fully disclose to the public as you go and discover the mistakes. Try to disclose and fix things that come up.

Everybody understands that there isn’t a perfect system, but I think you need to be upfront with them, explain what you’re doing, and explain what you’re discovering. If you’ve made a mistake or you feel like you need to correct something, say that, too, but don’t just try to keep information from the public.”

I couldn’t agree more, and Attkisson’s CBS News report has stood out like a bright light of truth among all the clouds of misinformation.

If you’d like to learn more about the report and its findings, you can read all the details in the past article –

CBS Reveals that Swine Flu Cases Seriously Overestimated

October 24 2009

Videos

Swine Flu Overestimated! Dr. Mercola Interviews Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center

CBS News Washington Unplugged: H1N1 Cases Exaggerated?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states on their main flu Web site http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ that flu activity is increasing in the United States, with most states reporting “widespread influenza activity.”

The CDC goes on to say, and I quote:

“So far, most flu is 2009 H1N1 flu (sometimes called “swine flu”).”

But wait stop the presses.

A three-month-long investigation by CBS News, released earlier this week that  included state-by-state test results, revealed some very different facts. The CBS study found that H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared. A CBS article even states:

“If you’ve been diagnosed “probable” or “presumed” 2009 H1N1 or “swine flu” in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu. In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all.”

Obviously CBS News and the CDC are completely contradicting each other. So who is right?

Well, CBS reports that in late July 2009 the CDC advised states to STOP testing for H1N1 flu, and they also stopped counting individual cases.

Their rationale for this, according to CBS News, was that it was a waste of resources to test for H1N1 flu because it was already confirmed as an epidemic.

So just like that virtually every person who visited their physician with flu-like symptoms since late July was assumed to have H1N1, with no testing necessary because, after all, there’s an epidemic.

It’s interesting to note that at the same time as the CDC decided the H1N1 epidemic warranted no further testing for cases due to its epidemic status, Finnish health authorities actually downgraded the threat of swine flu.

In late July the health ministry and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in Finland actually removed swine flu from a list of diseases considered dangerous to the public because the majority of cases recovered without medication or hospital care!

And, as the CDC continues to use fear to motivate and control Americans with their worst-case swine flu scenarios, they say nothing of the experience of those in the southern hemisphere, which just finished their flu season and found it was not as bad as expected.

CBS News Finds H1N1 Tests “Overwhelmingly Negative”

Before beginning their investigation, CBS News asked the CDC for state-by-state test results prior to their halting of testing and tracking. The CDC did not initially respond so CBS went to all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July.

What did they find? CBS reported:

“The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.”

As you can see from this CBS News graphic, not only are most cases of suspected flu-like illnesses not H1N1, they’re not even the flu but more likely some type of cold or upper respiratory infection!

Image from CBS News

Where is the CDC Getting Their Data? 

Given CBS News’ findings that most cases of flu-like illnesses are neither H1N1 nor the flu, it begs the question: Why is the CDC reporting that most flu in the United States is in fact H1N1?

Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center who I spoke with in the interview above, was a consumer representative on the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee in 2003, and she asked the head of the influenza branch of the CDC how much of the flu-like illness that occurs in America every year is actually due to the flu.

The answer was about 20 percent, which corresponds more closely with the CBS News data from 2009.

According to the CBS News study, when you come down with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, malaise and all those other “flu-like” symptoms, the illness is likely caused by influenza at most 17 percent of the time and as little as 3 percent! The other 83 to 97 percent of the time it’s caused by other viruses or bacteria.

So remember that not every illness that appears to be the flu actually is the flu. In fact, most of the time it’s not.

Curiously, the CDC still advises those who were told they had 2009 H1N1 (and therefore should be immune to getting it again) to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation.

Is the CDC Purposely Misinforming the Public to Sell More Flu and H1N1 Vaccines? 

Conflicts of interest are rampant in the vaccination infrastructure. The same people who are regulating and promoting vaccines are also evaluating vaccine safety.

For instance, Dr. Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia earned at least $29 million as part of a $182-million sale by the hospital of its worldwide royalty interest in the Merck Rotateq vaccine. He also formerly sat on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to help create the market for rotavirus vaccine.

This type of conflict of interest has been going on for some time.

In August 1999, the Committee on Government Reform initiated an investigation into Federal vaccine policy. During the investigation the Committee extensively reviewed financial disclosure forms and related documents and interviewed key officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC.

It was revealed that many individuals on two key advisory committees had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that manufacture vaccines. These individuals were even granted waivers allowing them to fully participate in discussions about vaccine licensing and recommendations for children, despite the fact that federal law states members of advisory committees are required to disclose such ties and recuse themselves from such discussions and decisions.

Further, the investigation revealed that the FDA’s and CDC’s conflict of interest rules were not strongly enforced while the rules themselves were weak. Specific problems noted by the Committee included:

•The CDC routinely granted waivers from conflict of interest rules to many members of its advisory committee.
•Those CDC advisory committee members who were not allowed to vote on certain recommendations due to financial conflicts of interest were still allowed to actively participate in committee deliberations and advocate specific positions.
•The Chairman of the CDC’s advisory committee owned 600 shares of stock in Merck, a pharmaceutical company with an active vaccine division.
•Members of the CDC’s advisory committee often left key details out of their financial disclosure statements, and were not required to provide the missing information by CDC ethics officials.

And, when the FDA and CDC approved the controversial rotavirus vaccine in 1998 and 1999, the Committee’s report said:

•3 out of the 5 FDA advisory committee members who voted to approve the rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to the pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.
•4 out of the 8 CDC advisory committee members who voted to approve guidelines for the rotavirus vaccine in June 1998 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.

The rotavirus vaccine was pulled from the market one year after approval, after it was found to cause severe bowel obstructions.

Given their sordid history, can the CDC really be trusted, even today? Do you think that much has changed in just one decade?

Is the H1N1 Vaccine Really Safe as the CDC Says it Is? 

CDC officials are screaming that H1N1 is so different from the seasonal influenza strains that have circulated in the past few decades that a national alarm must be sounded and everyone needs to be so afraid that we all should get vaccinated to prevent a deadly pandemic.

Yet, they say the new H1N1 vaccine is safe based on vaccines for that very same flu strain from which it is so different. They write on their Web site “the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines are expected to have similar safety profiles as seasonal flu vaccines …”

Another contradiction.

While symptoms of H1N1 flu and seasonal flu are virtually identical, the H1N1 vaccine is showing signs of being quite different from the seasonal flu shot.

Although both are produced using antiquated 50-year-old technology that involves injecting the virus into eggs and allowing it to grow, the virus being used to produce the swine flu vaccine has been found to reproduce much more slowly in eggs than the ordinary flu virus.

And according to a separate CBS News report, the U.S. government is now funding newer unprecedented technologies to speed up vaccine production, including one that involves growing the virus inside animal cells and another that involves flu proteins grown inside insect cells.

The risks of these, and the current fast-tracked swine flu vaccine, are truly unknown at this time.

There is NO Incentive for the CDC or Vaccine Manufacturers to Care About Safety

You may think that the CDC and the vaccine manufacturers must be concerned about safety, as if they released a dangerous vaccine and promoted it to the American public, imagine the lawsuits they would face.

This is actually no longer reality as the U.S. government has granted vaccine makers total legal immunity from any lawsuits that result from the new swine flu vaccine.

In fact, drug manufacturers got a major boost in protection and were granted unprecedented powers to experiment on the population with the passing of the 2006 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (the PREP Act).

This law allows the DHHS Secretary to invoke almost complete immunity from liability for manufacturers of vaccines and drugs used to combat a declared public health emergency, which the “swine flu pandemic” qualifies as.

The PREP Act removes your right to a trial jury unless you can provide clear evidence of willful misconduct that resulted in death or serious physical injury. But that’s not all. First you must apply for and be granted permission to sue by the DHHS Secretary.

The most problematic aspect of the PREP Act is that it removes all financial incentive to make a safe product.

In fact, vaccine makers now have a negative incentive to test it for safety, because if they are aware of problems, then they could potentially be held liable for willful misconduct!

As long as they can prove they “didn’t know” of any problem, they will not be liable for damages. Hence it’s in their best interest to know as little as possible about the adverse reactions it might cause.

It seems unimaginable, but you and your children are now being enlisted as an unpaid human trial subjects for experimental, fast-tracked vaccines like the swine flu vaccine.

Even if They Were Effective or Safe, Most Vaccines Will Come Too Late 

Recent national polls have revealed that 30 percent to 50 percent in many communities are not planning to get a swine flu shot … but there are many who are still ready to stand in line.

If you have not yet made up your mind and have questions, we have created some fact-filled posters that you can print and post ALL over your community, your local stores, office and schools.

You can also visit the special section of my site that is devoted to giving you all the latest H1N1 Swine Flu Alerts. This is an excellent go-to source to stay updated on all the new swine flu developments.

But I wanted to share one final detail, and that is a new study just released by Purdue University researchers and published in the journal Eurosurveillance.

“The model predicts that there will be a significant wave in autumn, with 63% of the population being infected, and that this wave will peak so early that the planned CDC vaccination campaign will likely not have a large effect on the total number of people ultimately infected by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus.”

In other words, infections are predicted to peak in late October (now) and by the end of the year it’s estimated that 63 percent of the U.S. population will have been infected with H1N1 swine flu.

What does this mean? By the end of the year the majority of the U.S. population will have likely acquired natural immunity.

Natural immunity is what you gain when you recover from influenza and natural immunity is what is protecting older Americans, who have recovered from exposure to H1N1 strains of influenza in the past and are therefore less susceptible today.

This new revelation, coupled with CBS News’ finding that swine flu cases are already being greatly overestimated … and the fact that vaccines do not offer long-term immunity anyway … and the questionable motives behind CDC’s massive vaccination campaign … puts an entirely different slant on the swine flu “epidemic,” don’t you think?

If you are still concerned about the swine flu, you should know that it is relatively easy to improve your immune response to fight this infection. If 99.9% of the people are not having any serious complications from H1N1, it would seem perfectly rational to believe that minor lifestyle changes could have dramatic effects on fighting this infection, and none of these involve taking potentially dangerous and unproven vaccine interventions.

Superstar CBS Reporter Blows the Lid Off the Swine Flu Media Hype and Hysteria

CBS Reveals that Swine Flu Cases Seriously Overestimated

Why CDC Responded With ‘Lack of Urgency’ to Formaldehyde Warnings (FEMA Trailors) – top government officials worried about lawsuits from the beginning

A letter to the NAA regarding an email they deleted without reading – please retract your amicus in the Abad case in Arizona – it is fraud by a political action committee, the National Apartment Association, that is furthering another fraud by another political action committee, the US Chamber of Commerce

Political Action Committee – NAA – files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry

“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer

Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments managed by Riverstone Residential

Riverstone Residential Litigation

Mold Inspection Reports

Photos of Mold in Apartment

Attorney Malpractice

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