By Sarah Ferris - 10/21/15 11:04 AM EDT
Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) is again urging Congress to investigate claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concealed a possible link between a common childhood vaccine and autism.
In a floor speech Tuesday, Posey called attention to a former CDC scientist who in August offered what Posey said was proof that the agency “intentionally withheld controversial findings” about the connection between the measles vaccine and autism.
The long-time CDC scientist, Dr. William Thompson, began his crusade questioning the study this summer, arguing that scientists found an increased risk for autism among African-American boys who received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. But he claimed he and his colleagues decided not to publish the data.
Thompson provided much of the information to Posey’s office last August, prompting the Florida Republican to make several impassioned floor speeches that have generated little congressional reaction.
“I believe it is my duty that the documents Dr. Thompson provided are not ignored,” Posey said from the floor Tuesday, delivering nearly the same remarks as his speech several weeks earlier.
Thompson said while he is “absolutely, resolutely pro-vaccine,” he blasted members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) who did not raise the issue in a recent hearing on vaccinations.
"Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents, as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted. So I ask Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the Appropriations committees to please, please take such action," Posey said from the floor.
The CDC, which has recommended vaccinations for nearly all children, has said it is aware of Thompson’s claims and is investigating them.
“Consistent with CDC’s existing policies and procedures, the agency, through its Office of the Associate Director for Science (ADS), and in coordination with the [Health and Human Services] Office of Research Integrity, is reviewing these concerns. The agency will provide further information once the review is completed,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said in a statement to Forbes this fall.