Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
In this interview, Dr. Andrew Wakefield discusses the documentary1 “1986: The Act,” which he produced. He also co-wrote and directed Del Bigtree’s film “Vaxxed,” which discloses the conspiracy within the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to withhold information about vaccine harms.
Wakefield is now doing a tour promoting “1986: The Act,” which is the best documentary I’ve ever seen on this topic. It’s also one of two full-feature films included in the ticket price for the National Vaccine Information Center’s international public conference on vaccination,2 which will be held online October 16 through 18, 2020.
If you haven’t signed up for that event yet, I encourage you to do that now. If you want to watch the film now, it’s available online at 1986theact.com. A trailer is provided at the end of this article.
The Wakefield Controversy
Wakefield, as many of you know, has been a controversial character within the vaccine field. He’s been vilified like few others, to the point of losing his medical license â€” all because he, together with 12 other doctors, published a case paper suggesting there may be a possible association between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and development of autism in some children. In the interview, Wakefield gives his side of the story:
“I graduated in 1981 from Royal Free Hospital in London. I had trained as a surgeon and went into gastroenterology. My principal interests were inflammatory bowel disease, and I ended up running a large research team, about 19 of us at the Royal Free Hospital in London, which is part of the University of London.
I became interested in the possible viral origins of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and that led me to looking at measles virus. After publishing a paper in The Lancet in 1995, I got a call from a mother who said her child was developing normally, then had his MMR vaccine and regressed into autism very, very quickly after [experiencing] what turned out to be encephalitis.
He also had terrible bowel symptoms, gastrointestinal problems, failure to thrive, pain, bloating, diarrhea, and that was the reason she was getting in touch with me. She was convinced there was a link between the bowel and the brain â€¦
So, we took that very seriously. We investigated her child, and she was absolutely right. We investigated a whole lot of children, and they indeed had an inflammatory bowel disease, and that was fascinating. The medical profession had dismissed it and said no, that’s just part of autism. In fact, it wasn’t.
It was a genuine pathology, but more importantly, when we corrected or ameliorated that pathology with diet or anti-inflammatories, then not only did the gastrointestinal problems improve, but the behavior and the autistic symptoms improved as well â€¦
We did it 180 times and it happened virtually every single time. So, the parents were absolutely right.
We had to therefore take the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and the regression very, very seriously, and that of course was anathema to public health, to the Royal College of Pediatricians, to the CDC, to just about the entire world of medicine, and certainly, of course, to the pharmaceutical industry responsible for making these vaccines â€¦
But that was neither here nor there. We had an obligation to the children and fulfilling that obligation led to an attenuation of my career prospect â€¦ We had a job to do and we did the job. After they prevented me from doing the job that I set out to do, I decided to become a filmmaker â€¦ I had these extraordinary stories, and I thought now is the time to start telling those stories in film, and that is where I find myself now.”
The Power of Film
Another film made by Wakefield is “Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis?” It’s the tragic story of a child destroyed by the medical system. After being prescribed 28 psychotropic medications and being chained to his bed, the boy was ultimately killed by his mother when she took his life to spare him further pain. The film turned out to be so powerful, after the state prosecutor in Illinois saw the film, he decided to release her from prison.
“That was the first time in American history that a film had ever commuted what was in effect a life sentence,” Wakefield says. “It was extraordinary, and that made me realize that film is something that can convey to a lot of people an extraordinary set of truths that can change their thinking about a certain topic.”
1986: The Act
“1986: The Act,” is a historical description of how the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 came into being, and how it radically changed the vaccine landscape forever. It’s meticulously documented and, like a detective story, takes the viewer through the many twists and turns that brought us to where we are today. As explained by Wakefield, it’s a complex story of legislation, litigation and medical science.
“You’ve got this extraordinary challenge as a filmmaker to deliver that to the public, many of whom know nothing about this, in a way that they will understand. That was a real challenge â€¦ because it could’ve put even the most ardent fan to sleep in 10 minutes trying to tell that story,” he says.
The film follows a husband and wife as they’re expecting their first baby, late in life, and takes the viewer on the journey they go through as they begin their investigation of vaccines.
“Initially it’s the same debate that so many families around the kitchen table every night are having in every country of the world right now, and that is: What do we do about vaccination? There’s so much controversy, there’s this for, and that against, and my friend says this, and my sister says that.
Now, we, the audience, are suddenly engaged because this couple are us. They are where we have been. They are asking the questions that we have asked, and suddenly we care. We care because their journey is our journey, their outcome is our outcome. So, we’re sitting forward in our seats, wanting to know more, and it becomes so much more engaging.
There are two elements to the story. One, it’s a story of what happens when you take an industry and products out and away from the constraints of the free market. The free market operates to promote the success of good products and where a product is bad or unsafe, it will sink to the bottom and either the companies improve or they perish.
When you take a product out of that free market, away from those constraints such that there is no incentive for safety, where there is a mandated market and no liability, then you have a catastrophe.
For the industry, you have a perfect business model. All they can do is make a massive profit. They don’t have to do the safety studies properly, they don’t have any liability, and doing safety studies properly is disincentivized.
Why? Because you don’t want to put money into identifying a serious adverse event that might affect your bottom line. So, you’re not going to do those safety studies, and this is a situation we face now in this country.
But it’s worse than that. What the movie shows is how when this Act was passed, the regulatory agencies, the CDC, FDA, NIH did not want it. They didn’t want it because every time a child was compensated it meant vaccines can harm, they can kill, and we don’t want the public to know that. How are we going to prevent that?
So, they conspired with the industry to demolish, to sabotage everything that Congress had put in place to ensure proper regulation, proper safety studies be done, proper ascertainment of severe adverse events, of adverse events in general, and making vaccines safer. There was none of that.
So right now, we find ourselves in this extraordinary situation where in the face of a new pandemic, COVID-19, we have the threat of global vaccine mandates for everybody, without exception, and no safety studies of any merit whatsoever.
In fact, the few safety studies that are being done are already turning up serious neurological adverse events, and absolutely no chance for compensation for anyone damaged by those vaccines in what is now the PREP Act, which is superseded or carried on from the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act and is even worse â€” no liability for anyone in that chain of supply of these new untested dangerous Frankenstein vaccines, which are already proving troublesome.”
1976 Swine Flu Pandemic Paved Way for Liability Protection
In the interview, Wakefield reviews how the 1976 swine flu pandemic helped pave the way for the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and the implementation of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP).3 In many respects, the 1976 swine flu pandemic is the pandemic most closely resembling that of COVID-19, in that it stirred up tremendous fear, which led to the rushed creation of a vaccine.
Americans were strongly encouraged (but not forced) to get the vaccine. Many died or were seriously injured by that vaccine, resulting in injury awards totaling about $3 billion. The 1976 flu vaccine fiasco was crucial in that it permanently altered the perception of vaccine risks for politicians and drug companies alike. As explained by Wakefield:
“Insurance companies refused to underwrite those vaccines because they’d been rushed to market, and the pharmaceutical industry said to the Ford administration, ‘If you want people to have this vaccine then you have to underwrite liability’ â€¦
The Ford administration was persuaded that the [pandemic] was going to kill millions of Americans if they didn’t rush forward with this vaccine that hadn’t been tested, and the industry demanded liability protection, and this was the first blood in the water …
The vaccine was a catastrophe. Many children were paralyzed. Many died as a consequence of that vaccine, and the industry escaped liability altogether. It cost the taxpayer.
That created several things. In the minds of the industry they realized how powerful a motivator, a marketing tool, fear was. If they could engender fear in politicians, they could get their way in anything they wanted, and we’ve seen that time and again since.
It also was, as I say, the first blood in the water for liability protection. If we can do this for flu vaccine and the government wants children to have all these other vaccines, we can do it for those other vaccines as well, and we can avoid liability.
So, when it came to the whole-cell pertussis vaccine, which was the big problem at the time, causing death and brain damage in children, they said, ‘OK, if you want children to have this vaccine, it’s not a big profit incentive for us. We’re going to pull out of the market unless you give us liability protection, because we’ve made it as safe as we can.’
That was the lie that was told the government, and of course, once again, the fear of the resurgence of whooping cough and the possible death of children led the government to be coerced, to be blackmailed by the industry, into signing the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.”
Children’s Lives Sacrificed for Penny Profits
“1986: The Act” discloses â€” through discovery documents from Mike Hugo, a plaintiff’s lawyer in vaccine court â€” that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, and the liability shield it provides to vaccine manufacturers, is based on a grand lie.
The pertussis vaccine had not been made as safe as it could. In fact, the vaccine manufacturer had a patent for a safer vaccine all the way back in 1937, but it was going to cost them a fraction of a dime more to manufacture that vaccine. So, they kept distributing the more dangerous whole-cell pertussis vaccine. Quite literally, children’s lives were sacrificed for what amounts to pennies.
“It’s an extraordinary story, and people need to see it to understand the character of the industries that we are dealing with,” Wakefield says, “because we are now facing the same kind of situation where everybody sensing blood in the water â€” all of these industries, from AstraZeneca, to GlaxoSmithKline, to Merck, to Pfizer â€” they’re all launching into this to bid for the COVID vaccine to clean out globally when we don’t need a vaccine at all.
Indeed, it’s turning out to be a disaster. But if we are to understand where we’re going with this, we need to understand where we’ve come from.
We need to understand that this has happened time and again, and it will continue to happen as long as we remain terrified of the notion of a plague delivered to us by the CDC and the industry in a smart, very simplistic marketing move. We’ve got to understand the issues, and the film helps understand the issues.”
The Act Provides Little Protection or Benefit
As explained by Wakefield, in the years since its enactment in 1986, the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has been so perverted and corrupted that, today, it provides little to no protection or benefit for those injured by liability-free vaccines.
First of all, the very existence of the compensation program has been suppressed. Few people even know it exists, so when they or a family member is injured, they don’t realize they have the right to seek compensation.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is supposed to inform the public about the program, yet they refuse to fulfill the mandate of Congress and notify people of the existence of this program. “They keep it quiet because they know if they tell people that vaccines can actually do harm, then people would resist vaccination,” Wakefield says.
Adverse Event Reporting System Misses 99% of Adverse Events
Secondly, vaccine safety informing, recording, reporting and research provisions were secured in the Act by parents of vaccine injured children but, after the Act was passed, most of those provisions were either substantially weakened by Congress through amendments to the law or HHS used rule making authority to get the safety provisions.
A centralized Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) was created in Act that mandated doctors and other vaccine provides report vaccine-related hospitalizations, injuries and deaths to the federal government. Sadly, because Congress did not put any sanctions for doctors and other vaccine providers if they failed to report vaccine reactions to VAERS, a shocking less than 1% of all vaccine reactions that happen are ever reported to the government. As noted by Wakefield:
“[The CDC] did a study with Harvard Pilgrim to automate it, to computerize [the VAERS system]. When they did that, they picked up a vast number of adverse reactions, such that more than 1 in 50 were suffering adverse reactions to vaccines â€¦ and these were never being recorded.”
When the CDC learned of those results, rather than take action to do the necessary research to find out how many children were being harmed so vaccine reactions could be prevented, they basically ignored the Harvard Pilgrim report and didn’t openly disclose the initial results.
HHS Removed Common Vaccine Injuries From Injury Table
Thirdly, the HHS has also gutted the vaccine injury table, which lists the types of injuries recognized as being “common” vaccine injuries. If an injury is listed on the table, the individual will automatically receive compensation without having to go through the full legal process.
“Well, the CDC hated that,” Wakefield says. “That was automatically acknowledging that vaccines could cause serious injury and death and children would be compensated.
So, when Donna Shalala took over as head of HHS, she gutted that table … and took out the injuries that were common so that they were not automatically compensable; so that the parents would have to prove â€” to a very high degree of legal certainty â€” that their children had suffered this injury as a consequence of the vaccine.
How could they do that? How could parents pit their knowledge such as it is, against the might of the drug companies and the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice? They couldn’t do it, and it was almost a predetermination that there was never going to be any compensation.”
Autism Acknowledged, Then Revoked
As noted by Wakefield, the vaccine court made a serious “mistake” when they compensated Hannah Poling for a novel injury. By doing so, they created a precedent, and they had no idea just how common her condition was. When it dawned on them, something had to be done to downplay the real ramifications of the case.
“[Poling] had a mitochondrial disorder or a mitochondrial predisposition to developing a severe serious adverse reaction to the vaccine. They had no idea how many children with autism had the same mitochondrial dysfunction disorder,” Wakefield says.
“The Department of Justice then â€¦ in collusion with the special masters who are in charge of vaccine court, deliberately manipulated the legal documents where it states that this is an off-table injury, a precedent, one that might open Pandora’s box for HHS by identifying thousands of children who were automatically entitled to compensation.
They changed the small print so that it then became just ordinary old vaccine brain damage, nothing special, nothing new, not a precedent. That was deliberate. That was the most extraordinary risk on the part of senior lawyers and others in the Department of Justice â€” to take that risk on behalf of the vaccine program and deny children compensation.
There needs to be accountability. There needs to be prosecution. These people need to be held up as a disgrace to America, to their profession, to their government role in protecting the citizens of this country. It’s absolutely appalling, and it goes on and on.
The film is full of the most heinous acts of fraud, deception, lies at the highest level, and really, the key to this film is that it leads to accountability. This cannot simply be allowed to be brushed under the carpet, and therefore it has to be made as public as possible, and it has to have an influence upon the upcoming election.
It has to influence politicians in the way that they now have to act on behalf of the interest of the children that they represent and not the drug companies who are paying their campaign fees.
That is absolutely essential, and this is my direct message on the road to all Americans: You must vote for â€¦ the leaders who will stand up for your children in the face of pressures, financial pressures, political pressures, from pharmaceutical industry lobbyists.”
What Awaits Us With the COVID-19 Vaccine?
In closing, we discuss the potential ramifications of a mass vaccination program for COVID-19. There are already disconcerting signs that these novel, fast-tracked mRNA vaccines are a tragedy in the making, a ‘la the 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign.
AstraZeneca recently halted their global vaccine trials after one of its British participants developed transverse myelitis.
Importantly, transverse myelitis is a recognized compensable table injury for a vaccine, so there’s really no way to deny a potential vaccine link â€” but they did, by dismissing it with a report that the reaction was “either considered unlikely to be associated with the vaccine or there was insufficient evidence to say for certain that the illnesses were or were not related to the vaccine.”4
Note that the commentary mentions “illnesses” in the plural â€” as it turns out there was a similar neurological event with one of the company’s clinical trial participants in July. That event was attributed to a pre-existing, but “previously undiagnosed” case of multiple sclerosis. This â€” in a clinical trial participant that supposedly was carefully screened and judged healthy before being accepted into the trials. As to the case of transverse myelitis, Wakefield noted:
“That should in effect be the death of that vaccine right there, because you can extrapolate from that one case to a global population receiving that vaccine, and see millions of people paralyzed and killed â€¦
I have grave misgivings about these vaccines. We’re looking at short-term complications [in vaccine trials]. You and I know that autoimmune diseases do not start perhaps for months, years after the exposure, but you are primed to develop that autoimmune disease by virtue of vaccine exposure.
We’re going to see an accumulation of adverse events in healthy young people as we move forward. Some people will still rush to get that vaccine because such is the level of their fear engendered by the media and the government. All I can do is wish them luck, but in the harshest of sort of neo-Darwinian terms. I’m afraid that is the way of the world.
Anyway, I’m a great believer in natural immunity. Our immune systems are, at least were, until they were assaulted by vaccines, robust enough to deal with these kind of insults, and there are many other ways of protecting a population that do not involve going anywhere near a vaccine.”
Where to Watch ‘1986: The Act’
Again, “1986: The Act” is complementary if you sign up for the NVIC’s international public conference on vaccination.5 For just $80, you get access to two films and nearly 40 expert speakers. Due to COVID-19 concerns and travel bans, the event will be held entirely online, October 16 through 18, 2020. If you don’t want to wait, you can also access the film on 1986theact.com.