Daniel Pinchbeck vs. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
I do not want to appear ungrateful for the careful praise you have given me on two occasions. I am aware that my denigration has become a means of career development in media circles and that any display of consent invites career suicide. I have therefore become familiar with the obligatory journalistic technique of prefacing any concession to my point of view with a generalized denigration of my accuracy and general character.
I assume this is the reason why you have written your two articles about me (23 February 2021 and 10 December 2020) beginning by disavowing me for refusing to “make concessions to orthodoxy” that “vaccines are considered one of the greatest successes of modern medicine” and that vaccines miraculously eliminated mortality from infectious diseases in the twentieth century (from the February 23 article):
“Kennedy suggested instead that other societal improvements such as better sanitation were responsible for the disappearance of childhood diseases at that time, not vaccines. I have seen no convincing evidence to support this.”
Since Instagram removed our interview (do leftists even complain about censorship anymore?), I can’t swear to the accuracy of my recollection, but, as I recall our conversation, I cited “Children’s Health Defense’s” exhaustive 2010 study, “Annual Summary of Vital Statistics: Trends in the Health of Americans during the 20th Century” (Guyer and others, December 2000), published in Pediatrics. After extensive study of a century of recorded data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and researchers from Johns Hopkins concluded: “Vaccines, then, are not responsible for the impressive decline in infectious disease mortality in the first half of the twentieth century.”
Similarly, in 1977, Boston University epidemiologists John and Sonja McKinlay (husband and wife) published their seminal paper in the Millbank Memorial Fund Quarterly on the role that vaccines (and other medical interventions) played in the massive 74 % decline in mortality in the twentieth century: “The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century.”
In this article, which used to be required reading in U.S. medical schools, the McKinlays pointed out that 92.3 % of the decline in mortality occurred between 1900 and 1950, before most vaccines were available, and that all medical interventions, including antibiotics and surgery, “appear to have contributed little to the overall decline in mortality in the United States since about 1900 – since in many cases they were introduced several decades after a significant decline and in most cases had no discernible impact.”
The McKinlays’ study concludes that vaccines (and all other medical interventions, including antibiotics and surgery) were responsible for – at most – somewhere between 1% and 3.5% of that decline. In other words, at least 96.5% of the decline (and probably more than that) was produced for the reasons I set out above.
Finally, the McKinlays presciently warned that profiteers among the medical establishment would try to attribute the decline in mortality to vaccines and other interventions to justify government mandates for their medical interventions. Here.
Seven years before McKinlays publication, Dr. Dean Edward H. Kass of Harvard Medical School gave a groundbreaking speech at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Kass was a founding member and the first president of the organization, as well as the founding editor of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Decline in mortality
On October 19, 1970, Kass told his colleagues that the dramatic decline in mortality from infectious diseases during the 20th century “is the most important event in the history of human health.” He warned that:
“This decline in rates of certain diseases correlated roughly with socioeconomic circumstances … Yet we had only the vaguest and most general ideas about how it happened and by what mechanisms socioeconomic improvement and decreased rates of certain diseases paralleled each other … we had accepted some half-truths and stopped looking for the whole truths. The main half-truths were that medical research had eradicated the great killers of the past – tuberculosis, diphtheria, pneumonia, puerperal sepsis, etc. – and that medical research and our superior system of medical care were major factors in extending life expectancy, giving the American population the highest level of health in the world. That these are half-truths is well known, but perhaps not as well known as it should be.”
“Daniel, despite the popularity of your assumption, I have been unable to find any published peer-reviewed study that suggests it has any basis beyond the pharmaceutical industry propaganda that both Kass and the McKinlays have so eloquently warned against.”
To blame vaccination for the rapid decline in disease mortality is therefore reminiscent of Rene Dubos’ observation:
When the tide is receding on the beach, it’s easy to have the illusion that you can empty the ocean by removing the water with a bucket.
The graphs below show that mortality rates for virtually all major killer diseases, infectious or otherwise, declined along the same timelines, which inversely correlated with advances in nutrition and hygiene.
Science therefore suggests that thanks should not go to the medical cartels, but rather to the engineers who gave us railroads and highways for transporting food, electric refrigerators, chlorinated water and sewage treatment plants, and so on. Note that the declines in both infectious and non-infectious diseases occurred regardless of the availability of vaccines.