As the confession of CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson appeared to be getting corked into a bottle of sorts last week, the story took a rogue and unexpected turn, by way of an accidental citizen reporting campaign.
It began on the evening of Aug. 27, when CNN aired a segment in which three anchors sought to dismiss all concern that vaccines could be unsafe or cause autism—citing “67 studies,” that showed otherwise. The question of whether vaccines could cause autism was alive becauseThompson had issued a press release on Aug. 27 confirming that he had been part of a team that had altered data for a scientific study in order to reach the conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism.
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, who has a masters degree in public health, addressed the population that media often deride as “anti-vaxxers” (though they are all parents who did vaccinate their children) in tones that sounded quite condescending: “Vaccines are safe,” she said, leaning forward. “Autism is not a side effect of vaccines or to say it another way because some people don’t hear this well, vaccines do not cause autism.”
Little did she know what she would soon spark—a social media campaign among afflicted families that has come to be called the “Hear This Well” revolution.
It all started with Polly Tommey.
Tommey, veteran vaccine safety advocate, and director of the Autism Media Channel, which broke the whistleblower story last week, was at home in Austin, Texas when somebody sent the CNN clip to her.
Tommey has two vaccinated grown children. Her daughter is fine, but her son suffered what she describes as a classic regression immediately after getting his MMR and DPT shots in the UK 17 years ago. He is now 18, and though improved through diet and gut restoration, still severely autistic.
“Exactly the same story as every parent tells,” Tommey told Epoch Times when asked about her son. “He was totally normal at 13 months before he got his shots. As soon as he got them, he got the raging fevers, seizures, high pitched screaming, all of it. Then we lost him. He lost eye contact, didn’t know who his parents were, he had horrendous bowel disease, diarrhea, bashing his head into the walls. The classic, unfolding stream of disasters.”
Tommey says she felt something shift inside when she watched the Cohen clip. “It was awful … The fact that she made such a public, categorical declaration. I realized that thousands of mothers with newborn babies around the country would hear that, believe her, go vaccinate and possibly land in the same hell we all live in, daily. I couldn’t let it go.”
Tommey quickly created an amended clip, in which Cohen’s voice, saying “Vaccines do not cause autism,” was slowed down, until it sounded male, then sounded monstrous. Then the clip cuts to Tommey herself, saying her name, and explaining that her son was damaged by vaccines. “Some people don’t hear that well,” she stressed, raising her voice.
She posted it to her group of fellow parents.
“People started to say, ‘Can we also make videos?’ And I said yeah, that’s a great idea.” It quickly snowballed into a catalyzing event for this extremely pained community.
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