Did Payton Pierson Die of Influenza?

Did Payton Pierson Die of Influenza?

Ten-year old Payton Elizabeth Pierson was reported to have died of influenza on Feb. 9, 2017, according to media sources. The girl, a third grade student at Trinity South Elementary School in Washington, PA, was diagnosed with influenza on the evening of Feb. 4 by doctors at Washington Hospital. Following the diagnosis, which was made through the use of a “rapid nasal test,” Payton…

Media Bias When Reporting Influenza-Related Deaths

Media Bias When Reporting Influenza-Related Deaths

When “flu season” arrives each year, it is accompanied by a surge of media reports about children who have died from influenza. Many of these stories focus on the dangers of contracting influenza, which usually leads to the journalist or media outlet to emphasize the need for everyone to get an annual flu shot regardless of whether it is effective or not. In many cases, the death…

Safety of Mercury in Vaccines: Sorry Dr. Summers, No Cigar

Safety of Mercury in Vaccines: Sorry Dr. Summers, No Cigar

On February 17, 2017, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Robert De Niro held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Among those joining them was Del Bigtree, producer of the movie Vaxxed. The conference was moderated by investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, host of the Sunday TV news program Full Measure.

Trump Sets Off Media Firestorm With Proposed Vaccine Safety Review Panel

Trump Sets Off Media Firestorm With Proposed Vaccine Safety Review Panel

Only nine days away from his swearing-in as president, Donald Trump held his first press conference since the election and announced that the pharmaceutical industry was “getting away with murder” and that during his presidency he would do something about high drug prices with more competitive bidding for federal contracts.

Merck’s Ebola Vaccine, A Christmas Gift for the World: Really?

Merck’s Ebola Vaccine, A Christmas Gift for the World: Really?

The media is in a tizzy over the recent trial results of Merck’s experimental Ebola vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV (recombinant Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-Zaire Ebola Virus). “New Ebola Vaccine Gives 100 Percent Protection,” reads a headline in The New York Times. The headline in Science Alert sounds even more conclusive… “It’s Official: We Finally Have…

Scapegoating Anti-Vaxxers for the Mumps Outbreaks: How Predictable

Scapegoating Anti-Vaxxers for the Mumps Outbreaks: How Predictable

Wanna see an example of superbly unscientific, unreferenced, and ridiculously biased opinion writing? Take a look at Steven Salzburg’s piece in Forbes magazine titled “Anti-Vax Movement To Blame For Quadrupling Of Mumps Cases This Year”. It’s a doozy, particularly given that Salzburg himself (in the comment section)…

Piper Lowery Died From the Flu?

Piper Lowery Died From the Flu?

Tragically, sixth grader Piper Lowery from Port Orchard, Washington died on Sat. Jan. 1, 2016 after a week of illness. Reportedly, she died from H1N1 influenza. She had not gotten a seasonal flu shot. A week earlier, Piper began feeling sick with a high fever and a sore throat. Her mother, Peggy Lowery, also had symptoms of influenza during that time. It was not reported whether Mrs. Lowery had…

How the FDA Controls the Media

How the FDA Controls the Media

Embargoes have been used in journalism since the 1920s. It’s a deal between journalists and their sources, which gives the journalist access to a story on the condition that it’s not published before a certain date and time. Some institutions, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), further control media coverage by offering briefings to…

Brazil Study Raises Major Doubts About Zika-Microcephaly Link

Brazil Study Raises Major Doubts About Zika-Microcephaly Link

On Sept. 16, 2016, NBC News published an article by Maggie Fox titled “This Study Removes Any Doubt Zika Virus Causes Birth Defect”. The words “removes any doubt” are so strong, so conclusive sounding that one cannot help but be drawn to the article and the study on which it is based. During the past nine months, however, I have written so much…

Native Advertising for Vaccines in The Washington Post?

Native Advertising for Vaccines in The Washington Post?

On March 5, 2013, The Washington Post entered the native advertising business by launching an initiative called “BrandConnect.” According to the Post, “The new native advertising feature invites organizations to publish commentary and opinion pieces that are featured in The Post’s Opinions online section.” I’ve previously written about the concept of native advertising, and I cited…