There’s a post making the rounds courtesy of something called “Whiteout Press” with the headline “Courts confirm vaccines cause autism.” It’s spreading across sites, through chains of elementary school parent communities, and onto radars of other communities that overlap. In other words, it’s viral. If only there were a vaccine for it.
The post itself is a cobbled together retelling of stories everyone’s already known for years. Whiteout Press might have been surprised to learn about this “ongoing story,” but each element of it has been widely reported in the mainstream media over the last decade and a half, in exceptional detail.
The centerpiece of the “courts confirm” article is the 2012 finding of a local Italian court that a child was diagnosed with autism a year after receiving an MMR. The court, in linking the two things, relied very heavily on the retracted and fraudulent 1998 Wakefield MMR Lancet paper and the testimony of a single physician, hired by the plaintiff’s attorney (widely known for advising parents on how to avoid compulsory vaccinations). The physician, Massimo Montinari, it seems, has written a book on how vaccines cause autism and peddles an autism “cure” that he’s devised.
Italian courts, provincial or otherwise, are not known for basing their rulings in science. They are, after all, part of the system that led to a manslaughter conviction of six scientists for not predicting the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake, disregarding completely the obvious fact that such predictions are not, in fact, scientifically possible. In a similar way, the Italian court that made the MMR-autism ruling–the centerpiece of this latest “courts confirm” tripe–ignored completely the science made available to it and focused almost solely on the retracted Wakefield paper and a physician with a COI in making its decision. A decision that is, by the way, under appeal.