When I learned early last week that Dan Olmsted was no longer here, like everyone who knew him, I was shocked and then felt very sad that the world had lost a brave and tenacious investigative journalist who created a powerful platform for a public discussion about autism and vaccines.
I first heard his name in 2003 when I was providing information to UPI reporter Mark Benjamin, who had been given the green light by his editor, Dan Olmsted, to investigate the safety of anthrax vaccine being forced on U.S. military without their informed consent. Dan supported Mark’s pursuit of the vaccine risk topic, even though it was not one that mainstream media wanted to touch during the post-911 era after Congress handed more money and power to federal agencies, including the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop a public-private partnership with the pharmaceutical industry and fast track “bioterrorism” and other types of vaccines and drugs to market.
Two years later, Dan and I first met when he was still an editor at UPI and writing the groundbreaking series of articles he called “The Age of Autism” between April and June 2005, which revealed differences in the incidence of autism in largely unvaccinated Amish children compared to highly vaccinated children. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was in the company of a tough, old school journalist: intelligent, curious and unafraid to take risks in pursuit of the real facts about why so many children in America have developed a pattern of brain and immune system dysfunction that doctors label as “autism.”
Changed by what he learned during his research for “The Age of Autism” series, Dan Olmsted put his career on the line to tell the truth about the causes of autism. After he left UPI and created the Age of Autism blog, he used his pen to aim a klieg light on one of the biggest scandals in medical history and he never let up. It was a tour de force and there is no question that the decade he devoted to increasing public awareness about the link between vaccination and autism contributed immeasurably to putting that fact on the map in America.
Over the years, Dan and I wrote about vaccine risks, traveling in parallel on the same road that, thankfully, is being traveled in greater numbers by people who have opened their eyes and their hearts to what is being done to our children. I was deeply touched that in the last column he wrote for AOA published on Jan. 21, he gave me a salute before moving on. His parting words were prophetic: Rebel Alliance, unite!
A journalist for all seasons, Dan Olmsted chose to use his gifts and experience to help others see the truth about vaccination and autism. Thank you, Dan.