HILDA LABRADA GORE: Our focus today is on whether a vaccine against the coronavirus is a good idea. We need to learn more about the history of vaccines developed against viruses, what’s at stake and what we might expect if we choose to get the vaccine—or choose not to. Our guest, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, is the doctor whose discoveries opened up an entirely new perspective on childhood autism, the gut-brain link and vaccine safety. He has been studying the latter for some time. We turn to him because he is willing to speak the truth, no matter the consequences. Basically, he’s something of a whistleblower in the medical industry. He is also an award-winning filmmaker; he directed Vaxxed and has just directed and released 1986: The Act. Andy, I’m curious to explore with you our relationship to microbes and what, if anything, that has to do with our current situation. Can you give us a little history?
ANDREW WAKEFIELD: Yes. It’s a fascinating story and one that I’ve studied now for over thirty years in my professional career. It’s really a question of perspective. When you go back to the time of Louis Pasteur and then Alexander Fleming (who discovered penicillin) and other people like them, you see in what they wrote that microorganisms—even though they were poorly characterized at the time—were perceived as enemies. Pasteur wrote about “these enemies” and the hope that science would conquer the enemy. That was the perception of the time. You can understand it in a historical context, when diseases like syphilis, battlefield gangrene and rheumatic fever were major problems. When antibiotics came along and dealt with those infections very effectively, it reinforced the perception that microbes were indeed enemies.
HG: How are things different now?
AW: Now we know better. Now we live in the era of the microbiome. Now we understand that while some of these microorganisms may be harmful, many of them are essential to our survival. In fact, what’s emerging is that the health, consistency, make-up and well-being of the gut microbiome, in particular, are essential to everything we do, whether in terms of our metabolism, development or immune health. More recently, we’ve gone on to discover this gut-brain interaction to the extent that we now know that the microbiome influences our brain development, our mood and our personality. I find it fascinating. No man is an island. We could not exist on this earth without the health of our microbiome, which in terms of numbers of organisms, exceeds our own number of cells. So, we’ve now learned something very different, and what we need to do is treat that microbiome with a great deal of respect. This applies not only to organisms that we now perceive as being helpful and friendly but to those that we’ve historically seen as pathogens. We need to accord them a great deal of respect. Because if we do not, we will get into a very difficult situation.
What happened as a consequence of our belief that antibiotics were a “miracle?” This was the word used by public health physicians at the time. Historically, of course, that was a justifiable perception, but nature does not stand still. Nature evolves at an extraordinarily high rate with great efficiency because it is geared up to do just that to survive and prevail. We created, through our injudicious use of antibiotics, a plethora of microbes that are highly dangerous—that are antibiotic-resistant and are causing what public health officials describe as “the end of modern medicine” and a “post-antibiotic apocalypse.” Again, those are their words.
HG: What you are saying makes sense. I understand that we have been overusing antibiotics, and even the medical community is recognizing that. But you said that we also need to give bad pathogens “the respect they deserve.” What do you mean by that?
AW: I’ll give you an example. We’ve now entered into the same arena with vaccines against viruses that we had with antibiotics. Indeed, with vaccines across the board, we’re now seeing the emergence of bacterial pertussis strains that are resistant to the pertussis vaccine immunity, and measles strains that are resistant to the immunity induced by the vaccine strain. We never saw this before, but in the face of intensive vaccination, we have pushed these organisms to mutate. That is what we do. We create a genetic selection pressure; they mutate and they develop a resistance to the immunity induced by the vaccine. So we’re seeing strains of measles emerging that are resistant to the immunity created by the vaccine, whatever that is. And that is caused by vaccination. We’re creating a potential nightmare because we are creating strains of these viruses to which man has no immunity. And we are going to behave potentially as what is described as “the virgin soil population.” It’s like we’ve never seen this infection before. That would be the worst-case scenario. Then potentially we’re back to where we started.
HG: Are you referring to what I’ve heard called “superbugs”?
AW: Absolutely. This is the common parlance for bugs that are resistant to whatever medical interventions we might throw at them or indeed to preventions, like vaccines, that we might throw at them. And they have been created as a direct consequence of the injudicious use of these things and the failure of scientists and public health officials to recognize that we create that genetic selection pressure by the way in which we use these interventions.
HG: In other words, what we thought could save us, and which seemed like something of a miracle cure, is now actually harming us and is causing a ripple effect of consequences that we might not have predicted.
AW: That is exactly right. If you offend nature, if you make even small changes to biological systems—ecosystems—nature will exact a huge price. It won’t always do it immediately; it can be delayed. You will potentially see the consequences reaped in generations to come, but it will happen.
HG: What is the medical community looking to do, and what is your perspective on that? What do you think we should do next?
AW: The response of the medical community is the one it uses when it has no answers. It’s increasingly recognized—certainly in the upper echelons of public health and the pharmaceutical companies—that they’ve created this problem, though they don’t wish to discuss it. And so, as ever with medicine, the recommendation is “take more,” “up the dose.” For example, more booster doses of MMR [measles-mumps-rubella vaccine], and booster-booster doses. It doesn’t work. Any immunity that’s induced by those boosters is short-lived and exacerbates the problem, but there is no answer. I’m sure that within the research and development (R&D) department of pharmaceutical companies involved with developing vaccines, there is a great deal of interest in developing novel forms of viral vaccines, but these vaccines are terrifying. The proposed Covid vaccine, an RNA-based vaccine, has never been used in humans before. It’s a terrifying concept to many of us—but here it is being put into humans without proper safety testing. It’s alarming. People who have created this problem have no answers to solve it.
HG: This gives me pause. People are terrified by the virus and are looking for a vaccine to help. Some see the vaccine as the only hope. I take it you would disagree with that?
AW: I would disagree totally. Firstly, there is the intrinsic issue of the vaccine per se. You’re using a vaccine strategy that has never been used before. People have tried for many years to develop a vaccine to the common cold virus (one type being coronaviruses) and have failed repeatedly. Therefore, it seems to be an exquisitely difficult problem to deal with. In addition, our past experience with untried, untested vaccines that are rushed to market is not good—not good at all. This is illustrated in my new film, 1986: The Act. Consider the swine flu vaccine in the late 1970s. The problem was that the virus was not what the CDC said it was—it was not the “killer swine flu” of 1917. And the vaccine was dangerous. It was rushed to market, just as we’re seeing now, and what we witnessed was paralysis and death as a consequence. The cure was infinitely worse than whatever it was intended to treat. Now history is repeating itself. The hope is that no one will remember or will be reminded of that history as they rush toward the market in these circumstances.
I do not think a vaccine is the answer. I’m much more inclined to believe that natural herd immunity is an answer. I believe that those who are resistant to this infection—including young, healthy people—should be exposed to the infection, get it and develop natural herd immunity. And those who are susceptible—the elderly and those with comorbid conditions—should be protected and isolated for a period of time such that natural herd immunity can develop. What we’re seeing in Sweden, for example, is just this strategy. No lockdown and an attempt, I imagine, to just let this play itself out, as most respiratory pathogens do. And what we see, given how the numbers are emerging, is that this disease is no worse in terms of its mortality than the quoted figures for seasonal influenza in this country. So why are we in this extraordinary situation?
HG: It’s such a great question. And yet, Fauci said recently on a newscast that he didn’t want the population to develop herd immunity. I’m told he said that because he doesn’t want to see the fallout of all the deaths such as what we’ve heard about in Ecuador, where there are so many people dying that they’re running out of coffins and using cardboard boxes. I guess he doesn’t want people to get out because no matter how strong and vibrant they seem, they may end up dying, and nobody wants a lot of deaths on their watch.
AW: Yes. I disagree with Tony Fauci on many, many levels. The data that are emerging from other countries—data are infinitely difficult to interpret because definitions have been changed to suit government policy. If you want to persuade a population to get a vaccine—a flu vaccine, for example—you will inflate the number of flu deaths by calling any respiratory illness leading to death an “influenza death.” Those are the circumstances in which we currently find ourselves and where we are headed with coronavirus as well. The data are implausible and really difficult to interpret, particularly when you are comparing one country with another.
HG: There is a lot of confusion about the numbers. How many deaths are really Covid-related? Are doctors being coerced to label them as related even though it was unrelated? But I hear you saying something else between the lines, and I want to ask you about it. Are you implying that the numbers are being inflated purposely to frighten us and move us toward mandatory vaccination?
AW: There is a clear agenda not only to create a vaccine but to administer it to everyone—and Bill Gates has said it himself many, many times: “We will only return to normality worldwide when all seven billion people have been vaccinated.” That is his dream, and that is his intention. What’s extraordinary to me and must be extraordinary to many of your listeners is that one man, by virtue of his wealth alone but with zero qualifications in this field, is in a position to dictate global health policy and personal health choice. That is an extraordinary situation. People must wake up to what is going on. There is an effort to push the vaccine agenda. And this won’t be just a coronavirus vaccine. Whatever the source, whatever the origins of this—and I’m not going to speculate on that—this situation is being used to leverage worldwide cradle-to-grave mandatory vaccination for all recommended vaccines, not just the coronavirus vaccine.
HG: Some people might say, “I want the vaccine. I want my children vaccinated. I’m not afraid of this push because I think it’s probably our best bet for protecting our health right now.” So, that’s fine if they want to do that, right? But do you think our own right to make this choice is at risk right now?
AW: Our freedom has never been more at risk in the history of the world. You’re absolutely right. If those vaccines are available, then it is entirely your choice. Go ahead, and I wish you the best of luck. Having studied vaccines intensively for thirty years, I would not make that choice myself. But again, choice is essential, particularly in determining health care choices and what goes into your body and the bodies of your children. We should be extremely alarmed about the dramatic, draconian attempt to take away health freedoms in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical industry and the vaccine manufacturers own the media. They own the politicians. They have immense influence. They are extraordinarily powerful, and they are writing public health policy state by state in this country. And they are trying to take away the only people standing between the vulnerable child and the pharmaceutical industry—the parents. They’re trying to remove the parents from that equation by removing parental choice and removing exemptions—minimizing medical exemptions and taking away philosophical and religious exemptions making it very difficult to do anything but bend to their will. And then they own the population. That is their agenda.
HG: Those are very piercing words. Aren’t there people in the pharmaceutical industry who say, “We believe in vaccines, we actually believe this is the best thing for people”? I can’t believe that everyone in the industry is wanting to control and manipulate us to do their will.
AW: There are people who may believe that, and that is fine. They’re entitled to that belief. But do not force your belief on me. Do not tell me what I’ve got to do. I’m perfectly capable of researching this and establishing to my own satisfaction whether this is something I want to do for myself and for my children. But do not take away my health choice. Throughout history, we’ve experienced what happens when health choice is taken away. When we have pushed forced medical procedures onto people, whether it’s forced sterilization or experimentation in prison camps, we have realized that this does not work. It has never worked. It has a terrible history. And it will fail again. You cannot force people to make medical decisions against their will.
HG: Isn’t there an old law or principle that’s supposed to guide all of our medical decisions? Do you know what I’m talking about?
AW: It’s called the Hippocratic Oath. I don’t think it was Hippocrates who coined the term, but it was “First, do no harm.” Primum non nocere. It is something by which doctors should live and conduct themselves professionally. And vaccines do harm. Therefore people need to be fully informed. It is all based in the end upon fully informed consent. People need all the information and need to be free to make up their own minds, whether they wish to do something like vaccinate or not.
HG: We know that you’ve studied vaccines extensively. Let’s go back for a minute to the discussion of the microbiome. What does the latest research say about the relationship between vaccines and the gut?
AW: Well firstly, there has been a dearth of science done in this field because when we linked MMR vaccine through the parents’ stories to gut injury and brain injury and, therefore established a sort of gut-brain axis of disease and the potential role of the vaccine in that, then people were punished for doing this kind of research. What happened to me was used as an example to other doctors and scientists to say, “If you get involved in this, this is what will happen to you.” Nevertheless, very interesting research has been done more recently that shows, for example, that the immune response to vaccines is dependent to some extent on the health of our microbiome. So, gut bacteria are influencing the way in which we respond to vaccines. This in itself is an interesting observation. But it’s fair to say that in the field of developmental disorders and autism, there is now extensive evidence—the most consistent finding in autism research, in fact—that there is a gut-brain link. And that is very interesting. We would have been much further along in that research had the pressure not been put on people not to do it. But in terms of vaccines and the gut microbiome, we are still in the early days of our understanding.
HG: And what about the microbiome and this coronavirus?
AW: I saw a paper the other day that I think was from France, looking at the possibility that what we are seeing here is that the virus is working indirectly as a respiratory pathogen—a respiratory-causing agent—by influencing or affecting gut bacteria. And it’s the immune response that is generated as a consequence of that interaction with the gut bacteria that is leading to an autoimmune-type reaction in the lungs. People are saying—from emergency room doctors to researchers—that this is not a classic respiratory pathogen. It’s not producing pneumonia or pneumonitis in the way that we expect infectious agents to do. As a consequence, using ventilation in the way that we use it for pneumonia is not helping and may be harming patients. In fact, the virus is working indirectly by causing an immune reaction and fibrosis or scarring in the lungs in those patients rather than through a direct effect. That is very interesting, and I plan to spend some more time researching it.
HG: Now about your film: What drove you to produce it, and what’s it about exactly?
AW: It’s my third film. Film has been an extraordinarily effective way of communicating with a wide number of people. The first thing you do is entertain people, and the second thing is you educate them. If you can get them entertained and sitting forward in their seats, you can appeal to people who historically wouldn’t have considered the subject or had only a peripheral interest in it. If you can create an entertaining film that informs, then you can get to a lot of people. Vaxxed, my last film, did exactly that. It reached millions and millions worldwide and changed the entire debate about the safety of vaccines.
So I was very keen to make the latest film. It’s a story about what really is at the heart of everything we’re going through now: mandatory vaccination, increased numbers of vaccinations in children worldwide, cradle-to-grave vaccination, pregnancy-to-grave vaccination, approaches to Covid and the sheer wealth accumulation and power of those who benefit from vaccination policy—the pharmaceutical industry being first among them. The film tells the story of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that Ronald Reagan signed into law in 1986, which gave liability protection to the pharmaceutical industry for damage done by their vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies [and doctors] cannot be sued in any court in the land if you have a child damaged by a vaccine. And many people don’t know this. Many politicians don’t know it. Joe Biden said in the presidential candidacy debate the other day, “Imagine if I got up here and said we’d give indemnity to the pharmaceutical industry.” Here’s a note to you, Joe: We do! That is exactly what we do.
The 1986 Act was one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever passed, not because it was not well-intended (certainly by those parents who supported it), and not because it was not set up in a way that—had they followed the letter of the law—would have been fair, efficient and generous, but because the industry didn’t want it to work. The agencies—CDC and FDA—didn’t want it to work. It was systematically corrupted from the very beginning. Here is the story of how the act came into being. If people think they know what happened, they don’t. It’s an extraordinary story of the most terrible fraud and corruption that have been exposed through discovering documents that had never previously seen the light of day. It’s about how, once passed, the act was systematically corrupted by the very government agencies that are instructed by statute to follow the letter of the law—and the dreadful damage done to children as a consequence. It is an astonishing tale. I thought I knew the origins of it, but I really had no idea. And of course, there were both intended and unintended consequences, and the power of the industry to influence every aspect of our lives is first and foremost among those. Therefore what we are experiencing, what is playing out now, is our third act, if you like. The final part of this film really looks at what is happening contemporaneously in the context of the history of vaccination policy in this country.
HG: Bringing it to today makes me think of Bill Gates and how he wants to experiment with developing this coronavirus vaccine. And I understand he wants indemnity from other nations. In other words, he wants to be able to promote it without any liability and not have to pay if anyone gets injured or killed from it.
AW: That’s exactly right. He’s said as much. He’s said, “We need this vaccine, everybody should get it, nobody should have a choice—but we’ll need indemnity,” thank you very much. He’s made it quite clear that he wants seven billion people vaccinated and that nobody should be exempt. But indeed, there is going to need to be liability. The big danger and the big worry about this vaccine—and one of the reasons that even those who are ardently pro-vaccine have been concerned about it—is that you may get a vaccine and may develop initial immunity to the infection, but that is not the end of the story. You may seem fine and not have an adverse reaction, but when you’re re-exposed to that same virus a year or two later, your immune system may overreact and produce a very severe form of the disease, which could be fatal. This was seen with the earlier attempts to produce a SARS vaccine. It was also seen with an experimental respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine that was given to children in the 1960s. This phenomenon is called “immune priming” or “pathogenic priming.” The vaccine sets up the immune system to produce an exaggerated and dangerous immune response down the line. We must be very careful of that, because that is highly likely with any coronavirus vaccine. If you’re running safety studies for only two or three weeks, you will never see it. You will not see it until people are re-exposed to that infection a year or so later.
Again this is not without historical precedent. Most recently, this was seen with the mass dengue fever vaccination campaign in the Philippines. Millions of children were given this dengue vaccination. It appears that the pharmaceutical company knew it was problematic in this respect. After the children got the dengue fever vaccine, when they were re-exposed to dengue fever, many of them died and many of them remained susceptible to very severe dengue fever, seemingly for the rest of their lives. The vaccine was withdrawn, but it should never have been allowed on the market in the first place. This is not conspiracy theory; this is a fact. This is why even people like Dr. Paul Offit, co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine, are saying that we must be careful about a coronavirus vaccine. But not Bill Gates.
HG: This is all really heavy, and I want to get practical for our listeners right now. I know a lot of us have friends and family who are going to be first in line to get that vaccine because they believe everything they’ve heard from the media. They believe that this vaccine is our only hope and that we can’t have mass gatherings and can’t return to normal until we’re all vaccinated. Do you have any tools for presenting this information to our friends and family?
AW: Yes, I do. How do you educate people about this? There’s no excuse for people not to be educated. When I first got involved in this, there was very little information. Now there’s an abundance of information. How do you sort out what is real and what isn’t? Well this is what the film is about. I’m not pushing the film, but it was written and designed to answer your very question. It is about the journey of discovery about this issue by a couple, a husband and wife. She’s pregnant late in life with her first baby. It is about how they go down the rabbit hole and look at these issues. They start asking questions. What about polio? What about smallpox? They do the research. When they do the research, how do they answer these questions for themselves? They come to their own conclusions.
Where they end up is not their starting point. The reason for doing this film is because they are us. We can do this as well. There is no excuse not to do it. In fact, it is mandatory that everybody get educated because these decisions are so far-reaching, not just for families but for the survival of mankind as a whole. With that in mind, the approach I’ve taken is to make a film that does exactly what you’re asking right now. Sit down and watch this, and then get more information. If at the end of that process, you decide you want to get vaccinated, that’s absolutely fine, but take that decision not from a position of ignorance but from a position of knowledge. Then, at least you know you can reconcile your decision on the basis of due diligence. That would be my recommendation. The reason the film was made is to carry that message.
HG: It is difficult to change our paradigm and our worldview, isn’t it? It is so much easier to go with the flow and believe everything we have heard—phrases like “safe and effective” and other mantras like that.
AW: It is, but we are at a defining moment in human evolution. What’s happening now, and vaccination policy globally, will determine who lives and who dies, who reproduces and who doesn’t, and which element of the population does or doesn’t survive. That’s where we are. That’s how big this decision is. It’s not one to be undertaken lightly. If you are frightened, if you are prepared to be a supplicant, if you’re prepared to just roll over in the face of what you watch on CNN (which is owned by the pharmaceutical industry), if that’s what your position is, then you will make your decisions accordingly, and I wish you the very best of luck.
I’m not trying to persuade you about which decision to make other than to get informed. It is such a big issue. If you decide to be scared and if you decide to buy into the narrative fed to you by Big Brother, then you will live or die accordingly.
HG: Absolutely. Now let’s speak to those who think, “No, that’s not me. I’ve done my research. I know what my rights are. I want to defend my medical freedom.” What advice would you have for them?
AW: I think people need to run for office. I think people who are concerned about health freedoms need to go forward. Talent needs to be identified and pushed at a state level because these decisions about vaccine mandates, for example, currently are taken at the state level. People who cherish their health freedoms need to be encouraged to run for office.
HG: Thank you for that answer. What about people in other countries? AW: We’re seeing a global uprising against mandatory vaccinations. I’ve toured and filmed in Europe—Poland, Italy, France and Germany. The feeling is very much the same there. You’re seeing the influence of the pharmaceutical industry throughout Europe. The industry is doing the same thing—pushing mandatory vaccination and using governments to do it—persuading the governments through whatever means they can to push mandatory vaccination. America is no different in many ways from the rest of the world. I believe that if we can change things here, it will have a knock-on effect elsewhere. This is why America is key to resolving this issue favorably.
HG: What is the release schedule for your movie?
AW: The movie became available for online streaming on May 21 (go to 7thchakrafilms.com). Despite everything that’s been going on—and having to finish a film remotely, which has never been done before in this way—we were able to meet that deadline. Our intention is to launch it on a new platform, which cannot be censored, called Sphir.io. It is blockchain-encrypted, and it is intended to serve as a platform for this kind of community. It’s going to be a hybrid of Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. And I believe that it will be an important part of the future of social media.
HG: I think so, too. There’s been a lot of censorship already of interviews on YouTube and Vimeo. I want to ask you one final question. If listeners could do one thing to protect or improve their health at this time, what would you recommend that they do?
AW: Speaking to mothers—and I’ve said this, many times—the most important thing you have is your maternal instinct. We are here on this earth because of maternal instinct, not because of doctors or drugs or vaccines. We are here because mothers know their children. They know when they’re well, and they know when they’re ill. They have an instinct that’s been cultivated for many millions of years. It has served you well, so please trust your instinct. Trust that little voice inside you because it is a key to the survival of your children and yourself. It is an extraordinarily powerful thing. People have allowed that instinct to be usurped by the man in the white coat: “I’m the doctor and I know best.” No you don’t. You absolutely do not. Mothers know their children better than anyone. So I would particularly urge mothers to trust that instinct.
Note: This Wise Traditions podcast (episode #239) first aired on April 27, 2020, shortly before the release of 1986: The Act. The film is now available for on-demand streaming, instant download and DVD pre-order at https://7thchakrafilms.com/.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2020