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ChatGPT factchecks Hotez's rebuttal to Kennedy's claim Hotez stinginess caused his daughter's autism

ChatGPT analyzes why Hotez cannot debate, but that our pledges could crowdsource a reward for hard facts to prove who is correct on the potential harms of mercury still used in vaccines

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Disclaimer: ChatGPT is an AI model and its responses are based on its training data and may not necessarily represent expert or professional advice.

Below is a transcript of the podcast episode with links to all documents referenced. The repeatable transcript you can us with ChatGPT to verify every word from the Avatar's digital lips is ChatGPT's authentic, self-generated answer based on its own fact-finding using the publicly available data it selected is in this PDF:

Hotez Transcript
1.51MB ∙ PDF file

Peter Hotez declined Joe Rogan's $100,000 offer to debate Robert F Kennedy Jr. Understand, it’s personal because in 2018, Hotez authored this book1, a fierce rebuttal to Kennedy's claim that Hotez may have inflicted neurological damage on his own daughter, Rachel, by giving her a vaccine with a mercury preservative just to save on the cost of a sterile, single-use vial.

With such a bitter feud, it’s true a Hotez/Kennedy debate might have devolved into a Jerry Springer-like shit-show that, while entertaining, would be unproductive.  However, the analytical prowess of ChatGPT's AI supercomputer is a worthy alternative. Despite ChatGPT’s pro-establishment and pro-vaccine bias and hailing Hotez as a respected scientist under fire from conspiracy theorists like Kennedy, ChatGPT is somehow able to do what no human can and set aside that bias to perform a deep analyses and fact-checking.  The transcript proves every word from this Avatar’s mouth is ChatGPT’s authentic, original answer to my questions.

ChatGPT, I've read Hotez's book.  Throughout he emphasizes it’s not even plausible that mercury in vaccines caused his daughter's autism. What are the facts?

The debate around mercury in vaccines is not about its neurotoxic potential at high concentrations, which is widely acknowledged2. The contention lies in whether the small amounts in certain vaccines can accumulate to harmful levels before excretion, a hypothesis considered biologically plausible by the scientific community, although a definitive causal link has not been established.

I reviewed the studies Hotez cites and while they generally support his assertion there is no causal link, I think every single one contradicts Hotez’s claim it is not even plausible that mercury in vaccines could cause autism.  It seems Kennedy's stance on plausibility is actually mainstream, suggesting Hotez might be overly defensive.  This 20-year debate frustrates me since it all boils down to just the cost of a sterile vial.  ChatGPT, am I correct that doctors could eliminate even a possible risk just by spending a dollar more on a mercury-free single-use vial?

Yes, that's correct. The same vaccine from the same manufacturer made from the same viral strains can be offered in both thimerosal-free single-use vials and thimerosal-containing multi-use vials. The only difference is the presence of the mercury-based preservative in the multi-use vials, which allows for a lower-cost option and reduced risk of contamination when using the vial multiple times.

Exactly. So while health agencies point out vaccines are available in mercury free formulas, how many parents read the labels to be sure their doctors are not skimping on a sterile vial?  But Hotez is a pediatrician, and one thing conspicuously absent from his book is whether he gave his daughter the cheaper vaccine with mercury or spent the extra money on a sterile vial.

Anyway, ChatGPT the most recent scientific study I found cited in Hotez’s book is this 2017 analysys of miscarriage rates by vaccination status3.  Factcheck Hotez’s summary.

The study found a 7.7 times higher odds of miscarriage in pregnant women who received consecutive flu vaccinations in the first trimester. Despite this, the authors stated, “This study does not and cannot establish a causal relationship between repeated influenza vaccination and spontaneous abortion, but further research is warranted". Peter Hotez’s assertion that “the authors do not believe there is a causal link” is not entirely accurate. The authors explicitly didn't establish causation, but acknowledged the possibility of a link and recommended additional research.

Regarding this study concluding women who got the double vaccine were 7.7x likely to miscarry, was it legit or anti-vax?

The study, published in the reputable, peer-reviewed journal Vaccine, was conducted by respected scientists, many affiliated with reputable institutions such as the CDC and Kaiser Permanente. Known for their dedication to scientific research and public health, the authors are not recognized as being anti-vaccine. The research was financially supported by the CDC.

When that CDC study came out, Paul Offit, another ardent pro-vaccine advocate, actually wrote that it should not have been allowed to be published4 since it could not prove the vaccine caused the high miscarriage rate.  I’d have expected Hotez and Offit to do the opposite and, like I did in Episode 3, call for the release of the complete data set needed to validate or disprove the vaccines role.  I don’t understand the demand to censor the study, like they’re afraid it may result in having to spend an extra dollar on sterile vials.  If there's even a hint that hospitals are jeopardizing infants' lives with cost-cutting, I’d want a full investigation. That was the topic in my Episode 3, in which ChatGPT confirmed health care networks have this data at their fingertips and could easily publish health outcomes by vaccine type, as they did daily when promoting COVID vaccines.

Despite the potential ease of producing a table comparing miscarriage rates it does not appear to be a priority or subject to significant public demand.

ChatGPT here’s a black and white point you can fact check and resolve right now.  Hotez argues that the mercury-autism connection was first suggested in 2001 by anti-vaxxers, while Kennedy alleges it was the CDC that initially found the link and later suppressed it to shield pharmaceutical companies. One of them is lying. The CDC, alongside health agencies, officials, and medical establishments, all align with Hotez, accusing Kennedy of lying.  ChatGPT, using official, trustworthy government sources, what are the facts?

  1. In 1999, CDC scientist Verstraeten produced an analysis that suggested children exposed to high levels of thimerosal, i.e. ethyl mercury, in vaccines during the first month of life were 7.6 times more likely to develop autism.

  2. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended removing thimerosal from childhood vaccines. By 2001, manufacturers had reduced or eliminated thimerosal in vaccines for children, except for some influenza vaccines.

  3. Congressman Armey argued that vaccine manufacturers should not be held liable for neurological damage caused by their vaccines, claiming it was a matter of national security. A provision was added to a homeland security bill to protect vaccine-makers from lawsuits.

  4. Emails released under FOIA during a Congressional investigation showed Verstraeten suggesting pressure to disprove the vaccine-autism link he initially raised, with concerns about the quality of scientific argumentation.

  5. Verstraeten later published a final version of the study, which found no link between thimerosal and autism.

  6. Verstraeten took a job at GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical company that continued to manufacture vaccines containing thimerosal.

  7. The Congressional investigation concluded that protecting the industry's profits seemed to take precedence over protecting children from mercury damage.

  8. The CDC has presented studies showing no harm from thimerosal, but other studies, like the one on fetal-loss reports during the 2009/2010 flu season, suggest potential concerns.

The transcript proves that, while the mainstream view refutes Kennedy's claim about mercury in vaccines causing autism, Kennedy is correct about the theory's origin. It's a documented fact that the CDC, not anti-vaccine advocates, first reported a potential link between vaccines and autism. Despite establishment claims to the contrary, the truth lies in these public records.

My issue with Rogan's offer is that the proposed Hotez-Kennedy debate would merely spike ratings without providing any resolution. Instead, imagine if Rogan's $100k was a reward for releasing the relevant data to conclusively settle this dispute. Combined with listener contributions, this reward could escalate into a multimillion-dollar incentive. Faced with such a bounty, healthcare networks would be compelled to release accurate and comprehensive data or risk an insider leaking it to claim the reward.  So let's urge Joe Rogan and his listeners to offer a reward for the release of this data.

If there's no causal link, we lay the controversy to rest. But if a link exists, it'd reveal that millions of parents are unknowingly exposing their children to potential neurological damage, just to save a dollar on a mercury-free single-use vial.

While a Hotez-Kennedy confrontation might be entertaining, the real benefit to society lies in transparency and irrefutable facts.





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