Peter Hotez, M.D., Ph.D. is Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine where he is also the Director of the Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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He is a very famous man in the world of medicine. He was on. My television show that I Sci FI many many years ago- and I talked him about infectious diseases and all sorts of stuff, and when I asked to come on the show, that's what I initially one to talk to him about, but then we found out through the fact that he was talking all coming on the show that a lot of people were very interested in his take on vaccines, people that are pro vaccine and people that are anti vaccine, who accused him of being a shill anyway I enjoy. I'm I enjoy talking to him, and I think we went into vaccines quite a bit and an is explained why he believes that vaccines do not cause autism. What the actual cause of vaccines are, how it can be identified. We also talked a lot about infectious diseases, including a lot of infectious diseases that are extremely
many parents had to stream the common in the United States. I don't, I know even know about his name- is hotel. Peter hotez he's the sir in Dean of the National school of tropical medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and he's a great guy and really enjoy talking to him, so please give it up for Dr Peter hotels. Experience trying my day, Joe Rogan podcast by night all day an were alive. How are you, sir, how or you could see again- I'm thrilled to be here thanks for doing this man thanks for having right now I should before we get started. I did no when I asked you to come back on that. You were heavily involved in this whole vaccine debate. What I wanted Have you want to talk about as tropical diseases, because I remember when we did that Sci FI show you plain to me that some ungodly percentage of people that live in tropical climates are infected by parasites. That's right well, my day, job is developing
vaccines for tropical diseases? We develop the vaccines, no one else will make because of for the world's poorest people. So we call them try pickle diseases, but there really are diseases of poverty. The vaccine issue the have the advocacy issue around vaccines and autism is kind of a new thing that we have drawn into just because I'm a parent of an adult dog with autism and I make vaccine. So it was a natural that I'd get drawn into it yeah, so Can I said that you're going to come on, then? I got inundated by people that are you know the vaccine thing is such a pole. Verizon issue, that's awful, and so many people seem to think they absolutely no. What causes? What is especially when it comes to something like autism, which is huge, issue in this country. It's a huge issue around the world and it did used to seem to be. The question is: was that big?
it was undiagnosed. Was that because it just is more prevalent today. What do you What's your take on? Well, I don't think we really know one thing's for sure we're diagnosing people with autism who we diagnose with as something else in the past. You know whether it was you know really horrible diagnosis. We do use pejorative terms like mental retardation. What's management, I'm about to start, the clock is off Ok, sorry, sorry, sorry, start again! No! No! It's ok! He was just saying he was just telling me that there are clock is screwed up because of daylight savings right totally unrelated the whole country. Is clock is screwed up in the daylight? Saving so so we don't know we don't well. You know what one thing is clear, though: the number of diagnosis is going up, but part of that is because what we used to call pejorative things like mental retardation now get thrown into the autism category.
The other thing that it absolutely analysis so well. We call it as part of the autism spectrum, We also because autism often has a lot of associated intellectual disabilities, not always, but sometimes the other is that I'm not positive yeah for sure is that, based on appetite aptitude test like how do you, how do they decide hello? This is not. What's ought to yes, they they have a live mister diagnostic category. That is not great. It's not like you could test someone if they test positive for a disease. That's right! That's right! Well is, although it you know. One of the interesting side pieces to this is you know the there's, a group of people out there who self identify themselves as the autistics and they get very resentful or hurt when they're called a disease or disorder that in because they say well we're not an epidemic where a person and that it's part of this whole neurodiversity movement, which is quite
Tristan, Neuro Diversity, movement right, they say, they're near a diverse that they, you know, maybe think differently from others, and they respond differently than others. But they're not quote abnormal and- and I think they have a good argument I heard a crazy argument once with someone that was so. The point is that it's, you know the impair and like Rachel, my daughter, it's not so much for autism that thwarts her ability to have partners or to have a meaningful career. It's the fact that she has profound and, in her case, profound intellectual disability that goes along with it. I forgot what I was going to say so when they say that people have there's a spectrum right and some people who are autistic have incredible abilities. That's right, they we have mathematical, abilities, musical abilities, language abilities
and some people do not, and some people have legitimate issues. You have with Rachel's case and my daughter it's. She is a pretty good verbal iq, eight thousand and ninety, which is very low performance, iq and forty. She can't do simple math. She can count money. Fortunately, goodwill industries came to our rescue in our rescue, and now she works there. Two hours a day, sorting clothes and that's been really meaningful for her to get a paycheck ugh going. Even it was minimum wage yeah right has to do something. You know right, get that part and feel part of the mix. Yeah, that's huge, that's huge for everyone right, absolutely yeah! Absolutely, but this there's! No, it's not like you could test positive for syphilis or you can test positive for the flu right, although now you know, as I say so, that's why I don't like using those those terms because it puts people on the autism spectrum as though they have a disease or just which I don't like to do, but if it is what it is, I know it well. You know now we know there ninety nine genes that are linked to autism. Why
Is it a bad thing to say they have a disorder if it's just a disorder and what people have disorders right? packed well. You know a lot of the individuals in that that self identify themselves as the autistics don't like to think of themselves as a disorder they like to think of those cells is different, different, but not necessarily disorder right, but that doesn't help us when we're trying to discuss it. Does it yeah it gets very it's it's hard. It's hard gets hard to talk about hello, Sir they're they're, trying to stop you from talking about it in a certain fashion, which is actually accurate right when they have an issue. There is a issue to say: there's no issue is kind of ridiculous. I mean there's a reason why so many people are so concerned about autism and vaccines and just autism in general. Rather it's an environmental pollution, rack Brazzell, what they like to do. Is they like to make the distinction between autism that noura diversity thing and actually having intellectual disabilities that go along with it? Okay, maybe it's a bit of semantics also, but they feel strongly about right. Now,
if we don't know what causes autism, we do, we do well we're getting very closely so we've. Now there is a very important paper produced by written by group at the Broad Institute, Harvard MIT, which is one of the Premier Genetics genomics organizations. The country and they've now identified ninety nine jeans, it's a huge team of scientist, not only at the Brode, including piece I Disip Baylor College of medicine. Ninety nine jeans involved in autism all involved in early fetal development, early brain development in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. So now we're starting to really get our arms around.
Autism is, and that's one of the things I talk about in the book I mean we have learned so much in the last couple of years, but autism, how it begins. Early fetal development well before kids have receive vaccines, and that's one of the reasons I say vaccines did not cause Rachel's. Autism vaccines, don't cause autism, because autism is already underway in early early brain development. Is it possible that some people have this tendency towards autism and it's exacerbated by vaccines. I don't think so. I think what what happens is the sequence of events happens during pregnancy, but the full clinical expression of autism often doesn't happen to eighteen or nineteen months of H, like Rachel, for instance, wasn't actually diagnose. Till nineteen months of age, Anderson felt fabulous studies now showing that that clinical expression of autism actually coincides with the big increase in the expert and the volume of the
and you can actually show on cereal magnet magnetic residents Imaging cereal MRI. How the brain starts to the brain volume starts to increase and that's very important, because parents will often remember on my kid got vaccinated around eighteen months of age or fifteen months of age and want to link the two. But now you can go back to six months of age, and this is studies done at the University North Carolina Chapel Hill, showing so that you could do an mri at six months of age and they can predict now with they say with ninety percent accuracy, which are the kids will go on to develop autism. And you could take and what are they saying? What what are they saying you they can see star? I have you have to go. We can go into detail on the paper, but they can see certain things on signatures on MRI that tell them that this kid is going to go on to develop. Okay, so So in fact there is a way to test positive for autism done
this serial MRI, that's what they think right, that's and, and now we have the ninety nineteen, so we can even take it back further by doing what's called whole exome sequencing, sequencing. All the dna on the Express dna of an individual and Rachel's case. We did that and we actually found the mutation in the gene controlling neuronal connections, which it's a lot of sense. If you think moment, artisan yeah, of course, so so there is a way to to show whether children will be more likely to develop autism and there's a year. There is a way to to look at their brain through FM or at a very early age and and also do the do genetic sequence. So it's not simply a matter of how they perform on cognitive tests. Right. That's right! We're getting much better at getting arms around the diagnosis. Why do I think there's so many people that have these anecdotal stories of their child getting vaccinated, especially large doses of vaccines when they hit him with like ten in a row and then all the sudden or me
measles, mumps and rubella is the one that gets repeated over and over again, that's the one that made my child have autism. I've heard that so many times and I've heard it from friends. From friends that have children that have autism they had a child, their child got them mean. His mom's rebellion shot and then immediately? There was a very distinct change in the child's behavior: well, no quest when you get the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine many times, kids cry and things like that, and then autism will then begin sometime between the first and second year of life. So it's logical to want to connect. The two. But now we know it's not even implausible, because we know that if you go back to that MRI at six months of age or go back prenatal e, we can even determine which,
Kids are going to go on to develop autism so and even now, and send links and then complementing complemented our massive epidemiologic studies done on over one million kids that, in fact, a new paper was just released this week, showing that kids to get the MRI get. The MMR vaccine are no more likely to get autism the kids who don't, who don't get the MMR vaccine and the conduct converses. Also true kids on the autism spectrum are no more of likely to have gotten the MMR vaccine, kids, not on the autism spectrum. So it's a combination of that those big studies over one million kids, together with knowing what autism is that completely rules out the possibility right. So these jeans excuse me in the issue with these jeans and then the ability to scan the brain, the serial mri and that so you can tell which children have the propensity. Is it pause
all the children have all these issues and then do not get autism or do one hundred percent of those children with those it. Choose get autism. That's a good question. I don't know I'm a vaccine scientist, so I'm you know the well well I'm about, I just bought a vaccine scientist who's really tried to do a deep dive and autism doing research on the book versus human development right right. Ok, so so what you're saying, though, is that if a child does not have these mutations and does not have these issues that are present and during the serial mri that they will not go on to develop autism? Is that true? As far as we can tell us far as we can tell, so children. Without those issues who get vaccinated have have no problems which most children have no prob right yeah I mean you know: we've learned a lot about the
ask vaccines and the numbers are extraordinary. I, in the risk of a severe adverse event happening after getting a vaccine, is roughly on of. Why and a million between issuing one in a million and one in ten million. So I found an int that report, once a satellite likelihood of getting struck by lightning, is one and seven hundred thousand. So it's you know the life of having a severe event after a vaccine is your odds, are better of getting struck by light then, when you say severe of what do you mean by severe event, though well, which is actually a table, that's put out by the national vaccine, Compensation ACT that includes shoulder injury? That's one encephalitis shoulder yeah. From the actual injection point put getting injecting it in the wrong place, so it goes into the joint or something like that yeah. Is that common? No! No! So
There have been issues where children have adverse effects and reactions to vaccines. What do you attribute those but one one in a million. I think you know in some cases biological variability. I think in some cases in inadvertently only if it's a live virus vaccine, like the measles, mumps rubella vaccine, you have an underlying immune deficiency that wasn't picked up before then. That virus can replicate better, but very rare things like that So as far as you know, Childre and who are healthy, who get a vaccine? It's not biologically possible for them to develop these traits these mutations in the gene and these issues that you see person as best we can tell right now. That seems to be the case right as best you tell right now is it's a great thing to say, but for people that are like
the outside, like what does that mean? I'm not a doctor. I'm not smart enough to understand what doctor hotels is saying right here. What does he say? Well, what I'm doing what we can tell? How much can we tell so here's what we can tell you know stuff. Season of one million children, that there is no link between vaccines and autism. That's number one so let me parse. Let me parse this out tube in tube, it's bits. So there's there's the It is on a one million children showing that vaccines do not cause autism, that's part, one the second and then and then and then I'll do a deeper dive on each of them, the second part, shows not only is their massive evidence that there's no link between vaccines and autism, there's no plausibility, because we know so much about artisan hope begins in pregnancy, income, so good to go back to the first part. The first part is studies and over one million children, one of the things that the anti vaccine lobby does. Is they play this game? What I want not really a game, but they quote what they do is
play this kind of thing of vaccine whack Amole, because at first they alleged it was the MMR vaccine, and that came out out of the study that was published in the lancet in nineteen. Ninety eight another group came along as a no? No, no, we didn't mean the MMR vaccine. We met the five Marisol preservative that used to be a vaccine and the scientific community, not only Democ debunk, the MMR, linked they debunk. The tie, Merece all link then the anti vaccine lobby came along and said said: no, we didn't mean that we're spacing vaccines too close together. Then they changed changed to get and saying now it's the album or aluminum in vaccines. So then, each time the scientific community responds with massive epidemiological study showed there's absolutely none of those things are true, and do you think that it's just when you look at see, if there's one in a million that has an issue with this, then not autism. So whatever those issues are that
they hear these stories and these stories do accumulate because there's three hundred one million people in this country in over one thousand and twenty years of one million. You develop a significant history of cases where children did have issues with vaccines? So these people hear about these stories and people are terrified and obviously you're I have children become very over protective over children. You worry or not right, and then you also don't know like. Why do they get so many shots? All in a row like that? Why does a baby get ten shots in a day that seems crazy? Well, they don't get ten shots in a day. Most affect most of the vaccines are now combined. So, for instance, in one vaccine we can vaccinate against area per tosses. Tetanus polio come off list Influenzae type B, which is a terrible because of of manager lettuce and in some cases, not even hepatitis. Someone shot is protected group
combine and there's all sorts of studies showing that it's safe to combine them and and that's fantastic now you can vaccinate with one shot against diseases so- and these are life threatening disease, The only concern is the child's immune system when they're bombarded with this one do so a lot of times causes, then, is it be tired? There gets sick yeah, but the point is the main system is not bombarded right. That's another kind of a it's, not miss number that the are a misunderstanding. That's put out by the anti vaccine lobby. Remember the child's got the intestines and the respiratory tree is. Is this or our organs of antigen presentation? A baby on average is exposed to hundreds of new and engines every day, so the idea that you're gonna quote overwhelm the immune, system with a vaccine against six diseases just doesn't make any sense. In again this is all phone. Baloney stuff put out by the anti vaccine lobby. Let's, let's be clear,
the anti vaccine lobby owns the internet right now, they've. What does that mean? What that means is they've got they put out, not by some estimates, five hundred and two vaccine websites, so that every time you put the word vaccine into a search engine, whether it's Yahoo or Google you're going to get the anti vaccine misinformation. That's number one. Second, we know now it's amplified social media like Facebook, other forms of social media. So third. You know the look at the Amazon site. I mean it's, it's incredible, so my book this book, the Good NEWS is it's. I think it's right now. It's the highest rated Proact scene book on Amazon. The bad news is the world's ranked about twenty, because there's nineteen other phony baloney and
vaccine books. So it's of the Amazon is the biggest prevent air. Now the anti vaccine books away to gets even worse, then you also have now they've. Please come politicized. Have political action committees, multiple states, lobbying state legislators about fall book with plying them with false information about what backs vaccines do so and and the problem is we don't have a robust system of pro vaccine advocacy to counter it? So we don't really hear as much as we need to from the federal government from the CDC from the surgeon general. So, unfortunately, in this country the defensive of vaccines foster a handful of academics like myself, and you know, I'm an academic. I wrote a book what chance do I stand against this major media?
empire? Why do you think that exists? Why do you think there is this major media empire? That's against vaccines! That's a great question! What's the mode, What's the motivation number one and number two we're the money coming from but yours real money behind this millions of dollars behind this to put out funny, documentaries and phony books. What's a good phone, the a two point: two! Well, I'm a little reluctant to do it say it because they're so litigious, okay, and in in I don't have the means to defend a lawsuit and the fact that so these documents rights. I do usually don't mean specific showroom, sir. I understand these document. What do you think the motivation is you! You think they honestly believe that vaccines do cause harm vaccines do crowds. I I me autism, I don't know I mean. Is there some kind of other agenda that a half I mean we do know in some cases that the
elements of the anti vaccine lobby are promoting phony, autism therapies, right there doing terrible things like this thing called Ms Witcher bleach, enemas watts, yeah bleach, giving bleach enemas to kiss you couldn't to chill with the children which why bleach, because they're cleansing the immune system, cleansing them of talks and that's really awful stuff there chelation therapy, which is very what is that? That's where the they claim? No kids are overdose with toxic metal, so they give a chemical that actually can chelate the metal, but it can kill it your cm and then put you into a fatal arrhythmia as well they're, also who is doing this chelation therapy or you want you. Can Google, okay, it's or whatever sort of changes? Are these doctors like so in some cases there on doctors and fortunately or other health professionals? And what is it me? I'm sure you started away to get the evidence. Lady gets workers, no evidence and and and then they're doing, hyperbaric therapy, which is really
that's so insulting hyperbaric therapy, is bad well for doesn't do anything for autism, that's right, okay, but it's it's good for recovering from injuries and he under certain selected, sir. But who knows what? Who knows what it's doing to a young kid cry and so you shouldn't be doing that the than the other, then that's one, so how much of this is being driven by initial motivation pedaling these phony ought I can't say my sense is that's not the big piece of this there's also some reports now russian bots and trolls that are amplified. This and sewing political instability in the. But again you add that all up funny autism therapies, the russian bots and trolls? In my mind, that really doesn't get our arms around the big driver? This thing, so I think we really need some good investigative journalist to look
service well. Do you think that there's some sort of a concerted effort, or do you think that sir, but just a bunch of people that really believe that fax means do cause autism. They don't truly understand the science they haven't talked to someone like you, and maybe they have this idea that cemented in their mind and they're, not willing to look at it objectively and look at the full spectrum possibilities and look at the science behind what you guys are saying, because in there had they've been saying, vaccines cause autism, they've been saying, it for so long that, once someone gets that and they're connected to that, it's very difficult for them. A shift gears people have a really hard time, not being mad to an idea. Yeah. No, I agree and you know when I talk and I spend a lot of time going around the country giving a what grand rounds, lectures to hospitals and medical schools. Pediatric ran around so I've had the chance to talk to a lot of pediatricians traditions, nurses and nurse practitioner, even and and more than a few parents, my
impression is most of the parents who are called the so called vaccine hesitant. This is the word of the day are not really deeply. Doug. I mean you: can you can have a conversation with them and explain to them like we're talking now, you know non technical way. You know the evidence showing vaccines, don't cause autism in the lack of plausibility, given that that it begins in pregnancy not vaccinate their kids. There is another percentage and I don't know what the percentages weather one thousand and fifteen percent that are deeply dug in and are wholly invested in this conspiracy. Theory that the that the government is in Cahoots with the pharmaceutical companies and bloody bloody. And then, if you try to talk him out of it, they just think you're part of the conspiracy. So it's it's sort of a no win approach there, but but most parents you can have a good conversation with
yeah, but it's not necessarily even most parents right I mean what what you're dealing with is these people that maybe they're into a bunch of different alternate therapies, a bunch of different kinds of cleansing in here? There's a lot of that nonsense that you find online. Where I mean look, there's legitimate. But I guess, but I guess my point. Sorry, that's ok, please go now, but I guess my is parents don't get the chance because we're so inundated with phony anti vaccine information that they do a Google search or whatever you know, whatever search they do. So what do you think should be done? Should there be a pro vaccine documentary? That makes sense? I think thanks for that, I think there's three things that need to be done. I think, first of all, some of this anti vaccine media empire needs to be dismantled to Samantha Samantha, and then I used to say whether the wrong or right, like shouldn't mean it seems like there, should be some sort of a debate right. There's someone who sang that there's some
that is vaccines, cause debate, you're, saying: there's no evidence of vaccines. Cause debate. Not excuse me. The vaccine, because does it mean you're, saying there's no evidence that vaccines cause autism. There should be a debate where there some sort of like some sort of a monitored conversation. Where you can. Have you versus someone else and break this down yeah, but that that has that's a two edged sword too, because you know, then it gives some false legitimacy to the anti vaccine side. It's like debating the smoking cause cancer, yeah, but doesn't right there already a problem I mean seems like: if there's this many, if you do go, search and you're just overwhelmed with an I've read. It seems like the with the fight is already been lost. If that's the case, that's right so having them legitimacy, let's things not necessarily giving them a legitimacy, it's giving them. If you give you rather a forum to dismiss their legitimacy yeah I mean, I think, in a part of what has to be done is, and this
listen to all sorts of first amendment issues and I'm not a lawyer, but you know the The idea that Amazon now is putting out all of these phony books and and phony documentaries that they're just a distributor right yeah. They don't have to go over every book that so the fine too, but maybe they should. I mean not mine to this call, but maybe there should be some screening. Maybe Amazon may be. Facebook should all be hiring chief scientific officers to no putting some stops on the dissemination of of information, because it's harming children right I mean this is the reason I get passionate about it. The reason I actually wrote the book is is kind of interesting. I and actually happened before all these big measles outbreaks that we've been having yeah, and I noticed that in Texas there was we're right at my laboratories, a Texas Children's Hospital Baylor College of Medicine. We noticed that there was a steep increase in the number of kids, whose parents robbing them out of
getting vaccinated to the point where in Texas we have over six over sixty thousand kids, not getting their vaccines in the state of Texas and those are the ones we know about. We don't know anything about the three hundred and twenty five thousand homeschool kids, so we probably have over a hundred thousand kids not getting vaccinated all because of this misinformation campaign- and I was really troubled by the fact that there was no response to it and that was drove me to write the book. So the point is now Texas is very vulnerable to measles outbreaks and I say measles, more than the others, because that's the most highly contagious disease. What are the what's the danger of a child getting measles, so is there any benefit to a child getting measles in terms of their means system? No, there's no benefit and that's of one of the phony books they put out yeah I'll Melanie's, marvelous measles. I mean it's it's awful. So what did they say in that book? The
I say build your immune system. It does not. It does not. It's remember um. After so, let's go back a little bit. Smallpox was eradicated in the late 1970s through vaccination. One smallpox was eradicated. Ticket Radicata Measles was arguably the single leading killer of children globally. Two point: six million children died every year, a measles because it causes measles, pneumonia, measles, encephalitis, talk about permanent neurologic injury, that's a bad actor measles and deafness at all and then through global vaccination campaigns. We brought it down by the year two thousand to about half a million kids dying, and then the Gates Foundation put up seven hundred and fifty million dollars to create the Gavi alliance. The global lines were vaccines and immunization. We brought it down out of one hundred thousand, but now measles is coming back.
Europe's a disaster right now, we've got eighty thousand measle cases in twenty eighteen in Europe and now it's coming back to the US, and so my worry is this: meet the anti vaccine media empire. Isn't it started out as a fringe group, but now it's really affecting public health allowing a deadly disease like measles to do you think if there's some sort of definitive evidence that shows to the general public like you, could you could show it to them like? This is what causes autism we've narrowed it down to these jeans. And it it has nothing to do with vaccines. If you give these vaccines to people without these jeans, there is no way they're going to get autism. They get autism specifically because of these very Asians in their chain. You just summarize the book Brian, but I mean it we need more than a book yeah the does disturb me. When I hear about all these kids getting measles and and not just measles, but means in some places Polios made a resurgence. Well, pull.
Will you know we're down to about three three countries that still have transmission a wild type polio? It's Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, so hope we were getting arms around polio, but measles is now combat roaring back with the vin having people contracted pole, outside of those areas and in those areas where it's every every now and then some cases pop up right, someone into wherever it ends, can get on to a whole nother topic wherever there's collapse and health systems infrastructure, yeah. Thirty, two from war, political instability. These diseases can come back. Thank come back and the people that are vulnerable, the children that are not immunized, that's right and when you're immunized you're not vulnerable, that's right, yeah! Is it it's a really confusing? for people because on the outside they will people always want to think that big pharma, but I've I've said some things about big pharma and the reason being is pain killers painkillers and anti depressants and there's the it Ssris which over prescribed in the pain to
One kills me because I know people directly that have been addicted to these God, damn things and doctors, are passing them out like candy, so people look at big far. Is being these in the monsters that push this they're? Also, the people that give you things that save people's lives yeah there's a lot going on there yeah, I'm a I'm, a big defender of the big pharmaceutical companies, one of the things that the anti vax the insults, Anti Baxter's her, let as they say, I'm a shill for industry. They say Arma secretly taking money from mark and yaks us with glass all crap. I don't take a penny from them and I and I and that's not even how do you play just buy from the universe and they get paid by the university, and some of that Some of my salary is offset by not grants from nonprofit foundations. Then
This is because, like the National Institutes of Health right, yes and then they say I'm secretly making millions of dollars for vaccines for hook, Gorman Schistosomiasis in shock, as we deal with all that money, because my wife says, if only that were the case right. These are diseases of the poorest of the poor, I'll, never make up a penny on the disease, and- fact you know one of the frustrations I have with the big pharmaceutical companies is: we've tech. That made a lot of progress of their vaccines. We've gone all the way from discovery through early face process, development and manufacturing, and I and e filing with the FDA. Investigational new drug applications were working and kind of stuck at phase one phase, two clinical trials 'cause. We don't have the big, far more money to take us all the way the licensure. So I've had a lot of meetings with the big pharmaceutical companies to see if they can partner with us and so far that hasn't happened so
is: has there ever been any discussion or any interest in creating some sort of a compelling documentary? That's pro vaccination that can counter all these things. Cuz, there's there's quite a few health needed documentaries that I know are horseshit, because I've talked to actual real scientists and clinical researchers. That say, like all the things are saying are wrong and this is by the wrong in this. You could show this the wrong and then, when someone says, hey, hey, I saw this documentary. It says it all. We should eat his toast, they could say, listen man, you gotta, go here and watch the listen I'll show you! Why that's nonsense? Is there anything like right now? So any discussion not right now there are some discussions, but we're a long way off from that and the problem is the anti vaccine. Documentaries are being distributed widely distributed widely sold and those people are talking about it. Here's the other problem ever talk to someone about what I've been doing this a lot lately, where
talk to someone about something that passion about ago, what books you read on it and he's like well, I saw this documentary very and then there are young, so yeah and vectors nineteen dyeable shoes in nineteen nineteen ahead of mine right, but books that are written by actual researchers, people that have spent decades in lab boobs understanding. What's going on you, don't really you know you don't get a lot of from the people that are anti anything right. Well, that's why I wrote the new book. It's a very confusing thing for parents, 'cause, you're, scared. You know you have this little tiny baby that you love more than anything in this world and then the doctors say: hey, we've got this round of vaccines common and you just tariff, are you going to do something to your child's? Can you turn your child into someone who's compromised? and the point is problem:
These diseases are back now, and so it did. The urgency to vaccinate is now more than ever. I mean remember right now. Look what's going on in Vancouver Washington right now with the measles outbreak is under way. The ones who who work greatest risk are infants under the age of twelve months, not yet old enough to get their vaccine so that, if you're, a parent right now living in Vancouver, WA, you're, terrified, you're, terrified right, taking your baby out the wall, murders the public library that vaccine- and I will never give you access right right so now the diseases coming back, because the older kids are catching it yeah and the end to end the anti vaccine lobby. You uses terror terms like personal liberties and medical freedom, where the personal liberties of this parent now who's terrify, Is that a car in when you say her infant anti vaccine lobby? Now I know that Robert Kennedy Junior is he's a he's, a big one he's a big one. And he seems like a very intelligent guy. How could he not be aware of the science behind? What is he getting wrong?
It is getting wrong is just about everything you know he's formed an organization called children's health defense and start he had a press conference about it. I think it was September October of last here. It is probably one of the best organized anti vaccine groups out there that we do Other things other than vaccines he's doing a lot of things about environmental health and things like that. I don't know any part of that business. I've only followed what he does with vaccines. It's all. It's all nonsense. Why is he doing this about vaccines? Don't know? What's as well, I mean you have to ask: what's what's his motive in what he be a guy, that you would want to have a debate with a have a discussion with, but again I mean I but I'm uncomfortable with the idea of a debate because it's like it's like debating. I don't know it's like debating. Holocaust denier, whether the Holocaust exist. I mean not that this rise. I understand what you're saying, but if you're again
I want to bring this up if you're complaining, there's nineteen books ahead of yours, that are anti vaccine books. You've already lost the battle like it's time to regroup and may be. Regrouping would be confronting someone with actual science information mean you are a real doctor, your guy who actually studies us and you're a man who understands the science, your legitimate academic, you could, you could actually put a dent in this with a real conversation. Yeah potential potentially yeah I mean what would he be able to say like what is his take on it? Well number he's a he's, an attorney and he's he's very clever right and right now he knows. Side are presumably knows how to do arguments in court, and one of my I'm a scientist right, but do you think that he wants to deceive people, or do you think that maybe he's just in correct in his accumulation of data yeah, I can't say what his motivation is, but his is his information, which is, is highly misleading. Now
what else is you say? The lobby is this and organize thing good question and we need somebody who really wants to do a deep dive in this and kind of dissect out the pieces yeah to understand, but it's it's impressive. What you've got out there in terms of the hundreds of websites in the amplification on social media and everything else, is it? Are there just one or two or three groups behind it, or is it a random collection of organizations right that that needs to be looked at? That does need to be what now, what? What do you, I think, is causing autism and do it in your personal estimation? Do you think that it is a that there is a a rise in the factors that are causing autism, or do you think that it's a rise in the under standing of these variables that contribute to it that you could diagnose people within that before they were previously undiagnosed, so
I think most of it is that that were just diagnosing. It more were including individuals on the autism category that, and we didn't before and by the way the numbers are about to go up even more because we're getting better at diagnosing girls and women with autism, which is also quite interesting? These to say, was ten to one voice girls and now we know there a lot more girls and women on the autism spectrum. It's just that there usually more verbal and they can camouflage it better, but they have very high rates of comorbidities, like obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit, hyperactivity, disorder, a lot of the teenage girls with eating disorder. First now, they're finding could actually be on the autism spectrum, so the numbers are bought to go up again I mean that's just an example I mean is I guess what you're really trying to get at is. It is beyond That is there. Is there a bona fide increase
on the number of diagnosis and in that one I'm still not sure about yeah. I read an article about early onset, gender dysphoria being connected to young girls right autism, right yeah, there's a disproportionate number of girls with gender dysphoria, who turned out to be also artistic right. I've heard that as well yeah, that's actually, so it's really fascinating. Think about now under fortune fasting in the Sierra there's, some there's a nice paper by very good environmental scientist, infill Landrigan, who used to be Mount Sinai now, I think, he's a Boston College now and he publishes about five or six. Chemicals in the environment, which, if you're exposed to for long periods of time during early pregnancy, your child will be born with some features that resemble autism
this chemical? So I have to remember all I talk about in the book on what one of them is difficult: valproic acid, which is a psychiatric medicine used as a mood stabilizer. Antidepressant so prolonged use of Deppe coat during pregnancy has been linked to something that resembles autism Socom woman Medicaid it's a common medication, but now that we know this information, we don't use it anymore, and so one of the things, Well, I've been saying to you know: people like Bobby Kennedy and everything else. So if you really want, if you really think there's some environmental linked to autism, we've got a list of at least six chemicals during uh the exposure in pregnancy that are probably causing mutations and things like that that are leading to autism. I don't wait and why isn't anybody looking into that? It's just crazy. So all the focus on those the vaccines and it kind of sucks all the action out of the room so that real understanding, the search for autism gets the
later in some cases, doesn't get pursued at all or the other thing that happens in many state legislatures and things like that. The focus is so much about vaccines that we don't talk about. What his parents really need I mean what do I need for Rachel? We need. You know employment, counseling and help. We need mental health, counseling whoa, So we do after we're gone Rachel right now is living with us. I'm turned sixty. My wife is fifty eight. What happens to us ten, one thousand five hundred and twenty years from now. There's no road map rust, so so all of that gets shunted aside because of these tony baloney anti vaccine argument. That's why I get angry. That's when I start to realize these guys, in addition to affecting public health, are actually hurting autism families as well. Well, that makes sense I mean I can completely understand why this would upset you, especially as a scientist. When you're talking about these various chemicals that you think do contribute to or possibly cause autism. Maybe we
did really concentrate on that and publish something about this. Is this something that is there an article that people can go to? It says something about this? There is I talk about it in the book in the book and I could, if I open up the book, I could provide it for you. Is there any the people can read online about this without going to your book? Probably you know. One of the problems that we face in this country is that we put a lot of scientific articles behind pay walls rise of real source of first and for me, and what they do that. Well, one of the reasons when the things that I've done now is I'm one of the. I founded a an open, Access journal called the public library science, neglected tropical diseases so that anybody with a computer and internet connection in a printer can download the articles for your charge, and we need more of that that's great, but right now, if someone wants to find out these chemicals, they have to buy your book or by some sort of
access to scientific papers. I'm not sure what that particular paper, whether it's behind a paywall or not enough to look mean. Besides measles one other diseases are more prevalent now because of people not vaccinating their kids once that there's three diseases that I worry about the most actually for well whooping cough is another one, so that one, but the other one I worried about is the flu vaccine. Kids aren't getting their flu vaccine last year in the twenty eighteen flu epidemic. One hundred and fifty on vaccinated kids died of influenza despite the wrecker nation of accident. Can you enlightened me on this, because what I've been told is that, Sometimes they get the flu seem wrong. So you can get vaccine, but it doesn't doesn't protect you for the strain of flu that everybody's getting So that's again, something that was heavily an idea. It was heavily pushed by the anti vaccine lobby. Here's the story.
You're right lashed partially right. Last year, the there was not a perfect match between the between the of the virus in the vaccine, the killed virus in the vaccine and the wild type flu strain. That was out there, but it was good enough to prevent you from dying and it was good enough that would likely provide. You from being hospitalised, so it would have an effect. Even if you did get that's right, 'cause it was enough cross protection. So that it would mitigate the symptoms, that's confusing to people, because if they have the flu they say, oh well, that it didn't work, that's right, but it did because it preventing you from getting so in dying and again that was a message that never really got out in twenty years. Let's talk about someone like me, who is a healthy person? I've had the flu before, but I don't usually get a flu shot. Let's go busy. You should, especially in azure, especially now as you're getting older, because flu is one of leading is probably the single leading infectious disease killer of adults in the United
it's, but every time I had it, it's really been like just a couple of days out. I rest well, you've got a lot of fluid. You got lucky. My friend says I. What is it like? Yeah health well over an hour or so sure taking care of your means? I mean less. So if you look at the eighty thousand adults who died in the influenza epidemic of twenty eighteen in the United States you're right. A lot of them had underlying things like diabetes, non communicable or noncommunicable cardiovascular disease or underlying respiratory disease. Maybe they were, smokers, but that they are still, but there still thought ridge are still thousands of individuals who are perfectly healthier, died of influenza, we know so you even you, don't get your flu vaccine you're taking a terrible chair and- and not well, I mean what are you risking by getting the flu vaccine busy Bro, you know what you know you know where I know where I get my vaccination Walgreens even better, like we have a big grocery
chain in in Texas a big supermarket called h e b, get up to know how to get, and I get it. I get the injection or in the pharmacy, the farmer. All of my vaccines. I've gotten for the last few years have been given by the pharmacist interesting so couldn't be easier. Are you have you ever gotten the flu since you been getting the vaccine, well, you know I've gotten I've gotten and sick. With like a cold like like a sore throat and feeling crummy. Was that a mild case of flu? I can't really tell ok but you've, never gotten sick right after you got a vaccine. Some people do right, you know something I do get a vaccine and then they have an adverse reaction to it. Sometimes you know, after getting your vaccine, you can go some soreness and you can feel maybe a slight fever There are a few hours or a day, but usually it's fine. What is that? What does that yeah? What is that fever? Why? Why are you getting a fever, because
the vaccine is stimulating the immune system and stimulating the inflammatory system. So, even though you feel like you're getting sick because the vaccine, it's actually good for your immune system, that that's right and you're, not really sick. I mean there's nothing like is nearly as bad as getting the flu on the uh vaccine now that you're getting up there, you have to start considering is the shingles vaccine Xing and that's a that's a great vaccine. It hurts, though, for a couple of days, do you take care of your immune system in other ways, do you take probiotics? Are you cautious about your diet, I'm not as close This is what my diet is. I should be I'm a junk food, a holick actually well. That seems like a terrible thing for your help. That is a terrible thing for my health and something my wife is working on it, but that seems ridiculous for someone who works with health, yeah yeah, sometimes sometimes man, I just I got it right. How often, how often
often do I steal a bag of chips or something like that garbage, I don't know, know no, hopefully not every day, but hopefully not maybe a couple times a week. That's one of the Rachel, my my daughter with autism. That's like our thing is to go to the it's called the burger joint or to shake shack yeah the get a cheeseburger with sticks, the sneak some fries so you live in large. We call it like that mouth pleasure, so much you're willing to sacrifice a little bit. I am yeah, I you know I you know I can. I can see. I have to concede, that's the case. Well, there's I mean I have to tell you, but there's a large body of data that connects poor diet to a host of diseases. That seems like a crazy. Decision for a guy in your line of work there you go sometimes the sometime,
it's, not all brain, it's it it's something else, but I mean if you ate healthy food, I mean you. The thing is your body starts, eating healthy food. You start feeling yeah. No, no question no question about it. Do you take vitamins? I don't take weapons really wow. I don't think the new because most of the American in the American up hold up hold up. You don't think they're needed where you're eating junk food well to help Hopefully I'm not only eating junk food. You know, there's a large body of clinical, research on the efficacy of vitamins, especially vitamins D vitamins. I have taken vitamin d for periods that a recommendation of my internist and what about the fatty acids, which are great for your brain fish oil. All these different thing
their fantastic, I'm not going to I'm not going to argue with you got you got you got it. You got you got it over me! Listen to, but it would. You would have a much better argument. You're making my wife stay here if you're taking care of yourself, one hundred percent instead, but you still need, but you still need your vaccines, I'm sure you do, but vaccines aren't going to prevent cancer. That's true right the there's a lot of diseases or diabetes or cardiovascular disease, or a lot of these diseases are connected directly to diet. Yeah come on. Am I the lifestyle change, yeah good. He said exercise in sedentary life. I try to go on the treadmill for thirty minutes. Try our! I do! Actually I'm pretty good about that. Yeah thirty minutes every morning circle for an actual walk, it's more interest. I do that too. So I don't. I don't know, but I deal with thirty minutes on the treadmill in the morning and then I and my I take a long walk with my wife in the evening. Well, that's good, but it we know that the thing that knocks the crap bodies- the travel. Yes, I find the
very frustrating, because you exercise right and then you eat, you don't! Well you don't control the diet as well. That's. While I have a solution to that and eat well and exercise those those solutions that just do it. You know I treated like I'm brushing my teeth. I brush my teeth every day, yeah I actually says every day too yeah. So when I travel, I don't have an option when I land I go to the gym. This is how it goes I'll, and I get my hotel room I've. Put my shorts on him yeah. I do that too. I do that too, when I see only way yeah, if you have to do it if you've. If say this is just what gets done right this is how you do it yeah? I try to be really compulsive yeah, I right now, I know what I'm gonna do is specially. If it's great, if the hotel is a good gym, the hotel, you know they have weights in the bunch the for all run outside. If you run,
do you not very well, but now we do we're gonna catch a healthy body can't be pushin only chemicals and injectable forms to facilitate health. Fair enough yeah, not chemicals are vaccines, I'm sorry! What's in them? What side of It's some sort of chemical now, no other insurgents right there right, macromolecules. What's the liquid, typically, it would be saline or salt, water and or now what is missing from today's vaccine protocol. If anything in terms of diseases, we should be vaccinating for what they're yeah there certainly are. You know. One of them is a big problem on young infants, especially premature infants, called Rsv Secretary syncytial virus infection. What I come from, it did You know it's a respiratory virus that peaks around the same time the flu does so it's a very severe rest
Tory illness. So this is again one of those. Vaccines. That's not a big money maker, so the bill Melinda Gates Foundation, is trying to provide grants for supporting that one that that's a good one and then they're all the diseases that affect poor people both in developing countries at EVA, among the poor in the United States, were trying to make a facebook? That's the next one called blue marble health, the next one so is not released yet on this is out this. Actually, this actually preceded the focus on now. This book is all about poor people and infectious diseases and that the rise of these infectious diseases he in the United States- that's right. So you know when we think about a so are, are a you know what let let this big campaign to raise, awareness of something called neglected, tropical diseases or anti DC's. These are the most common afflictions of people living in poverty. We call them the most important disease. You've never heard of their diseases like sh
to some, my myiasis and Chagas disease and leishmaniasis. And I've been devoting my life to seeing if we could develop vaccines for those diseases in the nonprofit sector. You know, because the big pharmaceutical companies just don't see just are Take these on so we're trying to do in the nonprofit sector. But this book, the blue, marble health book, came out of earn some number crunching that I did using data from the World Health Organization or something called the Institute for Health, metrics and evaluation, which is based in Seattle, Washington that found something very surprising, and that is most who's. The world's poverty related diseases are not necessarily in the poorest most devastated countries of Africa, meeting like Democratic Republic of Congo or Central African Republic there, but on the numbers basis. Most of these poverty related diseases are actually in the G20 economies. The twenty wealthiest economy,
together with Nigeria, which is now the g twenty country, but as an economy bigger than the bottom three or four. So that was pretty amazed and amazing for me to find that out, because you know at first I wrote, I didn't believe the numbers, because I said well, how could be if their poverty related diseases? Why are the in the twenty wealthiest economies? And then I realized that it's among the poor living in wealthy countries, so the poorest of the rich today now account for most. World's poverty related disease, the end, what what's the cause of this? So what why the link with poverty? So that's a great because one of the things I do in the book is asked that. Well, what is it about poverty? That's making you susceptible I think we really know what I mean clearly in some cases, if you live in poor, dilapidated housing without window screens things mosquitoes and kissing bugs and sand flies can get inside the house or if you look in
poor neighborhoods like in around Houston, you see a lot environmental degradation around around the neighborhood. You see guarded tires that breed in the strip by Miskito were standing water, but I don't. I don't know what what what the tires do discarded so yeah, so one of the best habitats for the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zeca, zika and Chicken go and yellow fever. Are discarded tires? That's what they love so You know if you go into poor neighborhoods you'll see a lot of tire dumping, for instance, and that's those are habitats for that that 80s chip Times living here in southern California. Was that when the water, That's right a little bit of what that's exactly it yeah. You moved into a house once in Encino down the street from here. In fact, and no one and lived the house for about a year and a half two years and the pool had not been taken care of- and I went out into the
when it was green- and there were schools of mosquitoes- we don't have in the state of hellish yeah, so strange so yeah, so yeah, absolutely going to poor neighborhoods abandoned swimming pools things coming out. That's that's were getting a number of these diseases. We don't have very many mosquitoes in southern California. I mean it's really kind of amazing in that regard. Well it to and so you know it's some counties where they do aggressive spraying and things like that. You won't but many counties, probably probably some of the poorer counties, poor districts, you still do well, I mean into terms of the way it is on the EAST coast like I grew up in Boston and in the summertime, you just have a fucking mosquitoes everywhere. They just can't get away from them, and then I've been to Alaska, which is the craziest place. I've ever been to a mile, life in terms of right have you been, I haven't been to Alaska you get out.
A car in the attack. You like a a horde of birds, because you only get one month of the c here exactly yeah. I have some other super aggressive and they're they're, also very large, a big problems along the Gulf Coast of the. U S. We have that a district I miskito and that's why I got so worried about seek a virus in the Gulf Coast of the US. Yeah Miskito another country's obviously contain malaria, mean we've been very fortunate that that's never made it over to here no we we used to have malaria used to be widespread in the United States, both the one that was was a real killer. Disease called falciparum malaria on the Gulf Coast and even been to Illinois in the Ohio River Valley. We had a lot of malaria. When was the last I've. I've acts in the eighteen. Hundreds in fact, there's a whole there's a book written by Dickens. When he visited the United States called Martin Chuzzlewit, and he describes all these sickly people in Illinois and K.
O illinois on the confluence of the Mississippi in the higher river. You clearly describing malaria wow. I did not know so what stopped it? So, that's a great quote: I'm we so there's. Actually a very nice book written by a medical historian at Duke University in a Margaret Humphrey CALL, malaria, race and poverty, and she has a ha. This is what I think she's on to something that it the decrease the malaria dropped in associate with aggressive economic development so that the FDR's,
new deal included. Somebody call the agricultural adjustment act that got people off of off of with agrarian pursuits and put them into factories. Quality housing went up and that's probably what caused a lot of the reduction in these tropical diseases. Member there really disease of poverty right. I spent a lot of time working in China and I'm seeing that player right now in China. China is Cavs very, very aggressive program of the economic development, mostly in the eastern part of the country, but in the southwest part of the country going to unite in Sichuan provinces. You go back in time. Seventy five years, you still see those disease, so do
I think that the best q or or the best way to stop malaria would be just to increase the economy of these areas in Africa, where they're experiencing it clearly, economic development is a very potent driver. Now what it is about economic development. We still have our arms around that yet, but economic development is very important just like for the neglected tropical diseases we study, but you know. Unfortunately, for many countries, economic development is still decades away. So that's why that's the rationale for developing these vaccines? Is it because economic development moves? on to more urban environments with his last tropical diseases. I think that's part of it, although now we're seeing some tropical diseases thrive. Urbanized environments, like you, know, yellow fever and seek a dainty as well. So it's not only urbanization yeah. It has to be urbanization with good planning. That's not done on check that outstrips the infrastructure in terms of water and sanitation.
So this brings me to the thing that I wanted to talk to you about in the first place 'cause. This is what you brought up to me when we were doing this. Sci FI show and you said something to me that has been haunting me ever since that the vast majority, free people that live in tropical climates have parasites, vast jars, yeah, that's right, that's right! There's things like talk so Plasma Gandhi, and so let's look at. Let's look at the hit parade right. The top one is one called Ascariasis intestinal roundworm. The estimates are on a one, hundred million people have ascaris roundworms in their bellies. Well, oh so one hundred selling some more than one in ten people, the planet, mostly people who live in extreme poverty. Four hundred million have hookworm infection. Four hundred million have whip
Saudis are warm me diseases, two hundred million people with scabies, which is an ecto parasite on the on the skin, that causes terrible itching and and secondary bacterial infections. Schistosomiasis is another one. The point is every almost every single person who is an extreme Poverty has one of these. What I called neglected tropical diseases and one of the interesting features about them, is their very debilitating. They not so that not only occur in the setting of poverty, but I think they reinforce poverty 'cause. They make people too sick to go to work they make. Actually we can show they shave IQ points off of kids where they have them well, this is the hookworm can. Right. The idea of the slack jawed sub, right, right, United States of America and now one of the things that we have found so rally I'm here, I'm no faculty working with an environmental activist named Kathryn, Kuhlman, flowers and Alabama found the hookworm is still present in Alabama
explain that to people. So they understand what we're talking about because for the This time there was this stereotype about people that lived in the s they were dull minded and that this could be directly connected to hook Warm faction, which had run rampant right. There is even the term given called. They called the germ of laziness that hookworm infection, because it caused severe anemia. So if you're walking around with terribly anemia, of course, you're going you're two you're not feeling up to working a full day and all that sort of stuff hookworm was widely president present in the southeastern United States. Turn of the 20th century and then, as malaria went down with economic development, so did hookworm infection as well, but we still have pockets in this country in this- wasn't understood at the time right. They didn't know that these people were infected with hookworm. For for
forever, no up until very recently, so the class of hookworm wasn't discovered till one thousand nine hundred. What is that cause? It's called Decatur Amerikanis, the american killer's and that's the name of the worm- and this is from walking, bear or the goes in through the hands or in a enters all parts of the body. So it is very common to get it from walking barefoot, that's right, which was more common, the South right right, and so that's one of the diseases. We've made a vaccine for this non clinical trial team yeah when found that one out I was like, oh my god. Well, that's it. That totally makes sense, because for the longest time was there was that stereo type and then and you find out that is directly connected to a massive infection of this disease. This worm, so these the diseases that are holding back people who live in poverty, originally I thought only in places like the poorest countries in Sub Saharan Africa or SE Asia, but now I realize it's these pockets of poverty across the entire planet that people are affected by these days
these and these diseases can be vaccinated. That's where we're trying to prove that we can make a vaccine again, and there is a hookworm vaccine right now in clinical trials, Justin clinical District, this right now wasn't there a Lyme disease vaccine, but the problem was, it was actually causing people to get Lyme disease. So that's to talk about controversial topic so that so there was a Lyme disease vaccine that was developed. Actually from a colleague of mine at Yale University and it was and they licensed it. I think it was to Glaxosmithkline and they did I left it is they called it lymerix. It was the Lyme Disease vaccine and actually most of the studies suggest that actually work pretty well, the problem was there were a number of people who felt that the back being made them worse, or they said they had chronic Lyme disease that it wasn't effective. So was really a market perception problem more anything else, and ultimately it
at the bottom line of the company, and they they withdrew it from good friend of mine's. Dad got the vaccine and then got Lyme disease. They think he got Lyme disease from the vaccine. Probably not, probably is a weird word well, along with Lyme Disease, that's very nice and I got it from a vendor. No, he didn't get Lyme Disease, no wax impossible possible cause. Lyme disease is caused by the Lyme bacteria. The spirochete called Borrelia Burgdorfer, I and the vaccine is not a live vaccine, a recombinant protein based vaccine. So it's not so there's nothing in that vaccine that could have caused this adverse reaction that they directly attribute to that vaccine. Probably not again, you're saying probably I don't know the patient, I don't know now. I have an exam in the in German, so I hate that I swear, I mean that's the narrative at that household. Again you know what's reinforced by a lot of negative information out there on the internet, what is also reinforced by the fact they pulled the vaccine. Well. They pulled the vaccine, not because it was a
working, but because of market perception and and all that- and that was a time before the number of cases The line disease have really taken off. So it seems strange to me because they didn't pull the measles mumps from billion vaccine because of perception. Why would they pull the Lyme Disease vaccine? Because of perception, I think, The reason was because the cost benefit equation works a little differently. With measles measles as a killer disease Lyme Disease was not a killer disease and end there wrecking people now in some case It seems to be connected to a host of other ailments to correct, like lime. Diseased. It exacerbates a bunch of different, maybe possibly even existing health issues. Well, you have to carefully careful. You know the the listen to another controversial rap whole. I'm not sure we want to get into or not today, but you know,
infectious disease society of America, for instance, is come out with a strong statement, saying that there's really no such thing as chronic Lyme disease and the scientific evidence does not support something called chronic Lyme disease. Yet there are lots of people suffering with chronic debilitating illness who claimed that it's caused by Lyme Disease. Yes, so this is something that is out there right now. Why is there a debate like what is the what why they saying that there is no such thing as chronic Lyme disease? What's there, the evidence is that there's no evidence that they can detect spirochetes in the body. In many cases peep we have had Lyme disease, don't have persistent evidence of having antibodies any longer to to the Lyme spirochete. So it's a whole different area right, but they do have this chronic influ nation and pain in their joint. They have somebody starts breaking down, they have something, but it doesn't seem to
directions to the society of America, which is one of the leading infectious disease bodies in our country, and I'm not an expert on Lyme disease. So I'm not too comfortable going there with you. Are there saying that? There's no f Since that that's actually associated with active infection with Lyme Disease, what are they? How are they describing? And what were they, so in other words, was a what's causing all? Yes, he said unknown unknown on, but isn't a bizarre. The same people got Lyme Disease first and then how these these host of issues afterwards? The I guess part of the problem is in some cases they had Lyme Disease first, in some cases they really didn't have Lyme disease. Unfortunately, number of his unscrupulous healthcare providers even physicians out there that are making the mystic either they're making a misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease, or in some case this is there actually taking everyone.
Comes through the door and diagnosing them with Lyme Disease. I'm sure you're, aware the lone star tick right, red meat. Yeah right, that's really fascinating is yeah yeah, that's another one! That's on the rise correct yeah. Well, actually, all tick borne diseases are on the rise now, possibly because of climate change, which is another factor in our country. This doing that so You know if you look now at what are the big drivers of sections diseases right now in the? U and and not only in the US, but globally, there really some interesting forces and a lot of them are social determinants. So a big one is poverty. That's that's a huge one. The other big one is political instability in war because interrupts public health control measures of, for instance, Venezuela, which was leading public health control and Latin America for deck. It's no know with the collapse of the economy and and the and the shoppers era now into the Midori Medora area. We've got a tear
The situation where we've had me. His return in a big way, so huge numbers of cases of measles well, we've had all the neglected. Tropical diseases come back as well as malaria, Chagas disease leishmaniasis. So it's really interesting how that is destabilizing the whole region, because now Venezuela has one of the largest diasporas of people as big as the diaspora coming out of Syria and Iraq. So now the diseases are moving into adjacent areas of Brazil and Colombia and Ecuador, and has so it's really an and that's another big drivers, political instability, the third one are, we think, is climate change may be very important, so you know why did we see this big surge of Chicken Gagne virus infection in the western hemisphere? Zico Zika? We don't really understand the forces of that what's going on in southern Europe. Right now is quite concerning: we've had malaria return to Greece after it's been gone for seventy years, malaria returned to ITALY,
we're seeing schistosomiasis neglected tropical disease on the island of Corsica. We've got dangi a chicken Union West Nile virus across ITALY, Spain, Portugal, so we're trying to understand why that is and there's some thought that climate change may be a big driver of that now. What other infectious diseases or parasites rather do they have vaccines for today have a vaccine for talk. So with there's no vaccine for toxoplasmosis. There is a prototype, a vaccine that yeah well it's a there's, a malaise a vaccine. It's called MAS, corrects that's the trade name that was developed, supported with a lot of funding from bill and Melinda Gates, foundation and working in partnership with Glaxosmithkline, and that malaria vaccine now has been approved.
Houston children by the European Medicines Agency and it's being introduced now in three countries in Africa, Malawi, gonna and I forget the third one. I think it is tense. Is there an adverse reaction that people have that stuff 'cause? I know the traditional malaria medication I had friends, it took it and had horrible. Mers IBM Larry in this terrible yeah get a very literate dreams, yeah yeah now and so far, no and so there'd be when you say children, how old are the children that there are vast sending with this? Well, the problem that you get into with malaria is that before six months of age, you have maternal antibodies and born in one of the richer born with antibodies from your mother and they'll start to win by six months of age, so the ones who get hospitalized with measles. This was called cerebral.
Area, which is a devastating condition, ought were a severe malaria Nemea, which is also a killer, are those children between six months of age and five years of age of those, the ones that we want to protect now and it's one of the leading killers of children globally, right, right and and we are in the vaccine- sickle some is connected to a correct, great sickle cell. Is it has something to do with people developing an immunity to malaria yeah. I'm surprised you knew that come out from Tiffany Haddish who Tiffany Haddish. How dare you she's a very funny comedian? Okay, I'm sure she is but she's. Well, she's right. Really it's like wow. It's it's not really immunity, but it's a natural protection. So individuals who have the sickle cell trait are seem to be partially resistant to Malaria, Mmhm and
That's the thinking why the gene for sickle cell has been preserved in Africa, for so long is because it does confer some protection against malaria. So it's a reason for keeping the gene in the gene pool yeah. We were actually discussing because a friend that I grew up with hide from it, so it seems to only exist in African Americans or Africans. Is that correct now that there's some other places as well, but predominantly in Africa, Nanmeng, African Americans or people whose ancestors came from these tropical climates right yeah? So it's pretty. It's really quite an amazing story. So so there's, no, no, no vaccine for toxoplasmosis. Is there anything on the horizon. Is there anything we worked on because that's a big one right. It's a real big problem, willing people with HIV Aids, for instance. That's because it reactivates your toxoplasmosis, an we even see it and even see it in kids sometime.
But the thing is activated. How so? Well, then what happens? Is it's some countries up to thirty percent of people are actually infected with toxoplasma and the parasite, has the ability to undergo a dormancy state in the body until your immune system get, compromised either because of aids or because, if you get some kind of medison that suppresses your immune system and then it can reactivate it and cause. What's called cerebral, toxoplasmosis versus quite serious so most people handle or toxoplasmosis very well. You know you die with it and don't even know you have it, but in some cases it gets reactivated right now there doesn't seem to be a lot of incentive for developing a toxoplasma most this vaccine. Although I'd be very interested to work on something like, why would there be no incentive? Is such a large scale disease? It's hundreds of millions of people worldwide right, that's right, part of the problem is we have almost no information on the act,
phone number of people who have it and how extensive it is. So we call that disease burden. We don't have good disease burden estimates of toxoplasmosis in to get tested about a bunch of cats. But feral cats, and I'm crazy. Well, there's a good chance here. Your are infected, but as long as your immune systems intact in Europe, now there isn't relate. Disease, that from cats called Toxocariasis and that's a parasitic worm infection we're finding in the United States among the poor and that's a weren't. So what happens is if you go into poor neighborhoods? You know you see a lot of feral cats and dogs in poor neighborhoods. Almost one hundred percent of them have This warm in their intestines and their seating. The environment with eggs in their feces in the feces are spread all over the poor, neighborhoods kids come into contact within the worm, has the ability to migrate to the brain across cerebral toxocariasis, and I I think it's an important cause of developmental delays. It's one of those neglected diseases
in the US and talk about in the book, and there's no vaccine for that is no vaccine for it and we did very little awareness about it. Wow yeah, I've never even heard of it until just now. So this is not rare. I mean in some cases you know up to ten percent of certain populations like african Americans. Living in poverty are infected with it and primary, the pets or does it is it rodents as well, probably mostly stray dogs and it's not even pets. It's mostly straight dogs and cats, and and this is an example of a neglected tropical disease. Here's is a disease of up to ten percent of African Americans living in poverty in the United States, and almost nobody is studying wow right. It can affect the way your mind functions right, it's better, and it's been like now to developmental delays. So everybody wants to know why you know kids living in poverty have developmental delays and people, just assume is because they live in dip.
Arrived environments and that sort of thing, but I think Toxocariasis is an important underlying reason for it I'm in this is an example of a neglected disease. You know we mean Everybody's heard of the bowl right and everyone's worried about Ebola and and the truth is evil is never going to come to. The United States was not ever going to be because it's too difficult to transmit. Unless you have a complete collapse in the health system, we're never going to have Ebola epidemics in the United States, but here's a disease of ten percent of African Americans living in poverty and no ones heard of it and there's no incentive to study it. So that's I'm trying to raise awareness about these poverty related diseases, and that's that's correct. I don't understand why people don't talk about that one. Yet that one seems and right now absolutely it's a no brainer right now, yeah, and so, but you know it's very hard to get people to care about disease, the pop I- and this is one of the striking things about when I wrote the book.
As you know, I've had a lot of success, getting people to care about neglected tropical diseases in Africa and worked with, US agency, for international development to support a package of medicines. That's now begin ministered over billion people annually, and that you know, is one of my proudest of this is helping to raise awareness about, neglected tropical diseases, like we've, been talking medical corpsman schistosomiasis in Africa, Asia, Latin America, but the minute I talk about poverty, related diseases in the US. The lights go out Why is that? I don't know. I can't I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong if had so much success. Getting people to care about NT, deselected, neglected tropical diseases and in poor developing countries. But you know, there's been no response to this book. I mean it is, and the estimates I come up in the book are we have twelve million Americans live in poverty with a neglected tropical disease. Talk
crisis is one of them another one, a shock, this disease and and the list goes on. It's been very hard to get people to care about the poor in this country. That's very strange to me, and I've always said that about the way we treat other countries. We want to send them a need and rebuild these countries, but we don't do anything about these terrible communities that have been terrible in this country for decades upon decades. Right, and so I try to make the point- the world is changed. You know this. This whole norm of global health, developed versus developing its still exist, but it's going away where what we're seeing is general rise in all economies in some african countries of eight or nine percent economic growth, but it's all leaving and the bottom segment of society. And so I don't care where you show me: poverty, whether it's in Texas or Alabama, or G area or Bangladesh, I will show you these poverty related diseases, and you know I know.
What's your name AOC, the congresswoman from New York is talked a little bit about hookworm and I am a so last time I was in Washington. I dropped off a copy of the book in our office, but no response yet she's part pretty busy too yeah she's doing a lot of other stuff. If you had a magic wand- and someone said you could do whatever you want to fix this. What would you do so? I did didn't with a couple of people on the hill and and they asked me that question, what's the magic wand and there's a couple of things one, we need to actually look for these diseases because the problem is there The disease that cause a very subtle like developmental delays, so that, if you're for a kid who lives in poverty with developmental delays. The pediatrician doesn't even think to do a test for Toxocariasis, so they
with that. So we need to raise awareness. We need to go into poor communities across the country and actually take a blood test and actually measure for the presence of that disease or that parasite one two five and the disease. What would you do that? Well, it depends on the disease. In some cases we have treatments for him: the treatment for it's a crisis is a five day course of a simple pilla, valben diesel and cures it and it cures it. Really yeah so that we have have interventions, so one you know doing what I call active surveillance. Looking for these diseases, the other one is really to understand how they Diseases are transmitted. What is it about poor neighborhoods that is facilitating transmission? I think the third problems that diagnostic test themselves, because they are very complicated test sometimes you know the dirt down at the centers for Disease Control and prevention. Our lab, international school of tropical medicine- does a few of them, but it's now
like you know when you go for a you, go for blood work and your doctor and you get a little lab slip from Quest diagnostics. With the you know. The blood chemistry is, the blood counts. There's no box there for tax, a crisis and chagas. So we need more improve test point of care diagnostic it's not just improved test, but just make it more accessible yeah, and so they don't have to send it off to the the seer to in our national school of tropical medicine. Is there a treatment for talks, so there is a tree or for toxoplasmosis. What is it? It's paramythia mean self drug, but it requires a long treatment course. How long I'd have to look up number of days. I haven't treated a patient with toxoplasmosis in awhile, but and it kills it effectively, it can really. Oh. I thought it was something you kept for life. Well, if you don't get treated right. Ok, so and then, if you're immune compromised and it comes back, then that's a problem as well, so most people
would have it really don't even know they have this right. But in most people who have neglected tropical diseases, don't know they have it either so that in Texas, for instance, we have transmission of a parasitic disease chagas disease, it's a cause of heart disease. We in our our members of our faculty were actually able to track down individuals donated blood and the of course, regional blood authority actually found somebody people positive for Chagas disease. They were told to go, see your primary health care provider and, unfortunately, the primary health care providers. Not educated about these diseases, just as a must be a false positive, so you know our faculty tracked them down and were able to get them into treatment. And what is the treatment for talking says it's a it's! A an anti parasitic agent called businesses all and that kills it that can kill if you catch it early enough, but sometimes you don't catch it early, so it becomes systemic. Then you have then
That's why we're trying to develop a therapeutic vaccine for this disease, but again it's a therapeutic vaccine for a poverty related disease. So it's very tough man So the point is these diseases are widespread among the poor and we just don't pay attention to them. Yeah, that's great. So I think again I'd love to hear your thoughts? I mean what is it that we just turn our backs on the port in this country? It's it's disturbing is registered as a dismissive out and then and the disproportionate affect people of color as well right yeah, because you know because it's a link to poverty while also right slavery. Yeah I mean to me in the history of slavery in this country, then the the history of systemic racism in places where they just literally, would not sell homes to people who are african American. All these things are connected to the v. Could contribution of maintaining these impoverished communities and it's been almost no effort whatsoever
other than the people living in the community, trying to do better and raise everybody up right. There's been no effort whatsoever by the federal government to step in and try to rehabilitate like it a lot, a large scale approach to rehabilitating places like the ghettos. If you Dan or Baltimore or you don't really know, I thought I knew what poverty living and I was before I moved to Texas in two thousand eleven I was chair, Microbiology George Washington University, and I thought I thought I knew upon free look like I moved down to the Gulf Coast. It's a different animal. I mean the the depth and breadth of poverty in the Gulf Coast in the southern part of the United States is just extraordinary and it's been very hard to get people to wanna, want, take really take it on and really these these, these poverty related. You think you think, what do you think the cause of it is if you've studied this for quite a the cause of did the yeah I don't know, I don't know
you know. Is it something about american exceptionalism or something like we just don't want to admit. We have poor people. I don't know you know I I wasn't the first to come up. You know to raise this issue about poverty. When I was in high school or junior high school, I was forced to read a book and at the time I didn't care about it was called the other America. It was written by and fantastic. Social activist. They Michael Harrington, who is, I think, someone toys very devout Catholic actually so, and he wrote this book called the other America talks about the hidden poverty off the road. And the actual number of people who live in extreme poverty hasn't changed since that book was written in the early 60s. That book was help was but help Linden First Kennedy then Linda Johnson launch the war on poverty, one thousand nine hundred and sixty four. I dusted off that book and it still it still
today, and that's when I start out talking about my book- blue marble health about that book, the other America by Michael Harrington, that that is a very strange thing. Our acceptance of these can release- and this may have always said that if you want to make America a better place, the best thing to do is not invade other countries or intervene. The best thing to do is try to rebuild the impoverished. Communities, yeah, well Gandhi, Gandhi, people way out on the said. A civilization is judged by the treatment of its minorities and we're not by that quite we're not doing so. Well, you know the we. What country was visited. The United Nations special rapporteur on poverty into a twenty seventeen and his numbers came up with. We have nineteen point four million Americans who live in. What's
extreme poverty, that is it half the US poverty line and roughly around five million Americans living on less than two dollars a day. The same benchmark could use for global poverty everywhere and guess what those Probably all have neglected tropical diseases- five, just just like just like those living in extreme poverty in Africa. Five million people living on fourteen dollars a week to two dollars a day. That's insane. The University of Michigan Center on poverty is also shown that we have forget, get the number to eight seven million families living on less than two dollars a day, which is probably about the same as the five million number Jesus Christ yeah Again, this is not a topic that is very popular. I mean when you, when you see presidential debates. This is this is not Something come not no, nobody talks about it and it can even for disease. I mean who? What are the differences we hear about? Ebola and and latin diseases like that and
Sometimes, on my frustration I say you know where these are imaginary diseases, and yet here we've got widespread diseases of the poor in the US and the lights go out. Remember when that woman came back from Africa and she was a nurse and she had been some in some connection, contacted with Ebola She didn't have it and they want to quarantine air and they stuck around and some. Cabin on the airport, or something crazy like arable it. What did you think about that? I just thought it was so cruel. Is it just the in ignorance of how it's yeah, that's right, how is it transmitted? Well, actually, Ebola. So it turns out is the opposite of measles measles, one of the most contagious diseases known it has a reproductive number of twelve to eighteen, but that means have a single individual gets measles one thousand two hundred and eighteen others get it, because the virus hangs around in the environment and it's so easily
transmissible hangs around you touch this tables right, that's right or even in the EVA, in the atmosphere. So so and that's why you get these really low, merge measles outbreaks, like you're, seeing in Washington State in the end, usually those are infants under the age of twelve months, not yet old enough to vaccinate love the ones wind up, hospitalized and sick. The the ball is just the opposite: Ebola's reproductive, the number of two or three. So unless you're, taking care of a dead or dying, Ebola, patient or someone is recently died, 'cause it's only towards the end stage of the disease that you really get large numbers of virus particles in the body, you're not going to get Ebola, so the reason is being so hard right now to contain. The Democratic Republic of Congo is not because it's so highly contagious is just that the place decimated by the collapse and infrastructure associated with civil wars
even though we have now when Ebola vaccine it's hard to vaccinate everybody, and how is it transmitted Ebola by contact with fluids of somebody with with people, so has to get into your tissues somehow or another right now. Oh, what else should we worry about? You freak me out? Well, what the point is. A lot of these diseases are solvable if, if we just put our mind to it somewhere, these are even aware of it. Well, one of the things I say in the book is because these diseases are so widespread among the poor in the G20 countries. If we could get the elected, the leaders of those G20 countries together to G20 summit and say we're really going to do something about the neglected diseases in our own borders, and I include the United States. We could get rid of two slash three of the world's poverty related neglected diseases right off the bat so a lot of it is political will,
ignorance or lack of awareness and political will? Well it it seems like in this country. Ignorance is a big part of it because uh. This is something I thought about many times, but I didn't know about Cha gotta know about a lot of these other diseases. You're describing yeah no- I mean so- we need to raise awareness about these. That's why I'm so through so thrilled to come here, because just amplify. The number of people have heard of this concept of blue marble, yeah the name that I've given just a different name from global health to to separate separated from the two. So you know coming on here- is so powerful in terms of amplifying that message so again back to the magic want. What what could be done, I mean: is it a funding issue, or is it if at first before that education issue? Well, I think the the there's multiple issues, so I mean, if again
the drivers we've been talking today about promoting these diseases, really tough to do anything about extreme poverty, war and conflict, climate change, climate change clearly person things we can do aggressive, unchecked urbanization, but the other things that you can do is build better tools by that better diagnostics, better drugs, better vaccines and, unfortunately, for these poverty related diseases, there's no market incentive for it, so it falls to academics to professors, people trying to do this in the non profits. And we're doing the best we can, but it's not nearly as good as having access to getting the pharmaceutical companies involved. It also seems like the it would. This would cost an insane amount of money to just go through all these poor communities test. Everyone start distributing these these drugs and what would pay for all that stuff:
Well, you know some people ask me well what with the affordable care act, take care of this and I said well we're two steps away from the affordable care Tuesday to just to standard tv. It not just and David is two degrees of separation away from the affordable care act as were not even recognizing these diseases. Yeah. You got to know about it. First, I mean most, I I would: what percentage of the population even knows about all these parasite created diseases? No, that vaccines don't cause autism yeah. Well, that one is, is that that's the biggest one yeah I mean that's a tough one, and again I don't understand it. I mean I'm just saying it. I'm saying vaccines, don't cause autism, because you're saying it right, you know in the. I think this is part of boat is a lot of p, a part of the problem we're in this boat bunch of people who are scientific.
Illiterate like myself, we're discussing these issues, who don't really know what they're talking like I I saw someone talk about tetanus because some boy had tetanus He was in the hospital for a long time and his his bills hospital bills, like a million dollars, yeah yeah, but because it's an Icu admission right right and they were saying hey, you know: why did this could get a tetanus shot and they get? It goes back the same thing right. The people don't want these vaccines yeah that any prevented. And again I don't blame the parents. I think the parents in some ways are victims themselves or victim of this very aggressive misinformation campaign. That's out there. Tetanus is a big. One, though, is yep tennis tetanus and we have a vaccine for it. That's part of day, what's called the Dpt, that's one of the first vaccines you get as an infant. There's excuse ramming a tetanus case in the United States right and this kid was on backs right, yeah, that's my understanding yeah, I mean. Is there a cure for tetanus outside of vaccines?
Well, I mean there are supportive measures that you can do, but you know they require hospitalization ventilation put on a respirator. It's it's a bad and you I'll die. So it's a it's a awful awful disease. I've seen tetanus working in Central America announced three c case. A technician. Never forget it. What what is at this well, the other name is Lockjaw. Where your muscles go into spasm and- and you including the muscles involved in breathing, so you can't even breathe as a result of it imperative freezes the muscles. What is it, what is doing it what's doing, is in Paris it's actually caused by a bacteria. The bacteria releases a toxin called tetanus toxin. Oh that sounds like a whore, way to go mean these are awful diseases, and I think one of the things that the anti vaccine grouper lobby, as I call it does- is they try to be very dismissive of these diseases. They try to deliberately downplay the effects. I mean you'll see
this stuff on the web measles build your immune system yeah. I have you seen this set yourself as a warning sign. I didn't read it yeah. I just saw it yes. Is it doesn't make any sense? It's it's crap right now and what are they saying? What is the? What is the best thing is just a rash and build your immune system. It makes you stronger it's it's. Something out of from a different planet. I'm aware there could we do. I think. The reason for that becoming popular is because you do kind of help top to parent our kids a little bit too much. They should come in contact with a bunch of different things. 'cause it does build their immune system, correct, well, now. That's an interesting hypothesis called the hygiene hypothesis. That says, you know if you Kids are living in two sterile environment than this can also result in autoimmune diseases, disease and things like that, but it allergies, allergies and I have mixed
about the hypothesis to me: it's not not airtight by any means now you're tired, but it's there's there's some sort of a correlation particular between peanut allergies and keeping peanuts away from children and there was a study showing those Jonathan hates work in one of his books talked about how there study done in communities where they didn't protect kids from peanut allergies. In this much smaller percentage of people, developing peanut allergies versus are they dead, yeah? Well. This is also one of the things that the anti vaccine lobbies doing now that they're in a and when I write a book like this, vaccines, don't cause autism. Now what you're saying remember? I told you about that Wakema business, where they went from MMR to thigh Marisol too. Spacing vaccines too close together to aluminum now there's some groups that are moving away from autism, Alta weather now they're saying is cause autoimmune disease or vaccines cause other neurologic deficits, but it's all it's all flim flam, it's often from what is
there are. There are vaccine courts, though right and vaccine derived vaccine courts and they have handed out payments to people who were injured by vaccines right what it? What is that? So you know it was for and so if you look over a ten period. I think it is between haven't the numbers in awhile. I think it's between two thousand and eight and two thousand and fourteen two one thousand and fifteen. Over that period of time. There were two point: five billion doses of vaccine. Given two point: five billion of which the vaccine courts identified around two hundred that were list of serious injuries that could be that they have a table, love that they could attribute to vaccine. So there were two thousand payouts and of those two thousand and eighty percent. They didn't really think
contributed to vaccines, but they paid it out anyway, 'cause, that's how the courts work and then two hundred where they could really say yeah. It looks like this could be related to vaccine. So you divide two hundred by two point: five billion, that's one in ten million or even two thousand by two point- five billion since that's one in a million in these cases. What was happening to these people other than the shoulder injury that you were talking about, yeah, there's a there's a list, and I talk about in the book. There's actually a table you can download on the web of for each vaccine a list of potential injuries they allow these potential injuries. Is it as we, talking about earlier, is this just biological variability that some people just react differently to different things? I think in some cases we don't know on other cases. You know with the live virus this vaccines, if you have a a severe genetic in immune deficiency, and maybe it wasn't picked up that then there is that risk, but you know,
what's a what's a one in a million watts of one hundred ten million risk. As I said, we have to keep that in perspective, because the odds of getting hit by lightning is one and seven hundred thousand, and we believe that no, or you know what's the every time you take your child in a car and drive around the neighborhood, I'm sure the risk is far higher than one in a million and the real danger is these actual infectious diseases spreading and the damage they could do damage things like that, they're coming back, yeah yeah, measles is it is an awful disease, causes measles, encephalitis, measles I find it a lot of people that are that are steadfast in resistance to vaccines also believe in a lot of other questionable things. It seems like these things, get lumped into these groups of things that they don't trust the government about right, right, yeah. I think that's part, I think that's probably true
yeah, but that's what I should, but I, which was she government, which was which was injured. Well, you know it was interesting, so I you know, I said we know we need to hear from the centers for Disease Control, mourn the surgeon General now they're starting to speak out, but you people counter that see what part of the problem is people? Don't trust our government, my cell, that's true of some, but I think most people with you know with the. If we had a you know more visible public health force out there, people would listen to it. Well, I think, What you're? What you're talking about in terms of these poor neighborhoods in these parasites, getting system been affecting cognitive development, cognitive development? It who is the other one? Besides charger was Toxocariasis with the crisis, cognitive development, the fact that there is actual cures for these things to mean that estimated in the paper there two point: eight million african Americans living in poverty with toxic rise, this is not a rare disease Joe. This is this. Is a common disease
but it's so unknown, but it's occurring among the poor and chronic and debilitating affection is not dramatic. It's not not even let's not killing people This is mostly- and this is requirements as well. It's probably it's more in common in the south and in the n. Is it because they have longer time to this, because the eggs are the eggs are in the environment in the worm develops with with within the egg, is there any other diseases that are going on that we don't know about yeah. Not to worry about yeah sure, there's other there's a brain. Parasitic infection called Cysticercosis. That one is from eggs, often from India, I have a tapeworm, so that's we're seeing cases of that There's some of the virus is transmitted by mosquitoes one of the ones we don't talk about a lot which is very serious. Infection is W Nile virus infection. That's got very high rates of not only encephalitis, but also
one of our faculty members. Christie Marie is showing very high rates, depression and other neurologic debilitation foreign, that's another one. We could probably use a vaccine for, but there isn't the market incentive. To do it. West Nile virus does come up, though, that lease that's discussed the news people aware of it right. It is right, said it right, but there's no vaccine is a vaccine, but there could be what is it the could that's holding it back. What's holding it back. Is lack of market forces, lack of financial incentive for the pharmaceutical companies to take it on so it is an extremely large investment to develop some along those lines. That's right! Yeah I mean on vaccines are through and investors perspective, tough sell because you know there's a possibility that first of all, you need many years of clinical trials. It can sometimes take two decades from the original conception of a vaccine to actually going through clinical trials, so the hookworm vaccine
working on, we've been doing it since the 1990s, so we're taught king decades long time horizons. When you talk to an investor about something with decades long time horizon yeah. I figured out right the light. The lights go out. I mean the very quickly so weird it's gross right, because this is all we were relying on these private businesses invest money to cure a public health issue. That's right! That's right! That seems kind crazy. Well, so, in response to that what happened was after the Ebola fiasco in two thousand and fourteen, where we didn't have an Ebola vaccine and guinea live we re in Sierra Leone group of individual. This came together, Adavus the World Economic Forum and including the gate foundation, and they put around the put developed this concept or which an organization called Sepi. The coalition for epidemic preparedness
innovation to incentivize biotechs and pharmaceutical companies to embark on diseases for which of pandemic potential, like Ebola. Well like lassa fever, like Mers Coronavirus infection, and that was great, but the problem was they didn't address these poverty related diseases. So those of us who work in poverty related diseases are still kind of the outside. Looking in it just seems like do everything managed by private companies that need to they need to have some sort, a financial incentive to attack these diseases. That seems like a easy way to deal with health crisis. That's right, that's right, and so what I've recommended. As I, the that organization Sepi is great for what it's doing, but we need another mechanism. What I've proposed is that
these diseases are so common among the poor in the G. Twenty countries on these of the twenty largest economies to put together public sector funds are for that purpose. Public sector funds, for investing in developing vaccines and treatments for poverty, related diseases these chronic debilitating diseases and in fact you know, we can show that the using working with health economists we actually work with a terrific health economists. His name is Bruce Lee of all along he's a professor at Johns Hopkins and he change yeah right. He loves it and he yeah. Well, he's been able to show that are. Vaccines are not only cost effective, their cost savings, meaning that their economically dominant that they'll actually save money, The problem she still doesn't help you with the fact that you still need some, but the returns on public health, still need somebody to come along and provide that investment.
Yes, you know so what's happened is our our technical ability to develop vaccines has outstripped r r our financial instruments that we have to do it. So I get a stream of young people in my off this wanted to go into global health. I mean the commitment for this. Each generation. I know they get a lot of bad press, but my impression is next generation. Their commitment to public service is an all time high and they say you know doctor who 'cause, I'm all go into global health, and there a little bit point to really tell them to be a get a law degree because we're ' need the innovation. Now is in the in the finance sector. There's a there must be business model out there. That would work that would figure out how to how to do this. I just don't have the back crafts to do it. It seems like once the momentum is in the corner of this being handled by the private sector and that the private sector has to develop
these vaccines and these treatments and they have to do it with some sort of a financial incentive if they don't have a bucket of gold at the end of the rainbow they're not going to take a ride. That's right! That's right! So fuck, that's crazy, it's great, but that's the reality, and so what the exciting thing about? What I do is you're developing these vaccines for poverty related diseases. There's no road map right now there were clinical trials. I don't know what the Roadmap is to get to licensure turn getting these vaccines out to the public. The terrifying thing thing keeps me up at night, there's, no, both good good. There is how much does it cost to get a vaccine in general, from developmental period to actual application well, the pharmaceutical companies have traditionally said billions, but I don't think that's the case. I think one of the reasons um,
they're doing. That is because there are also recovering their rd costs. You know they're put in money and are in right that they that they risk that they charge in order to? He knows either make a profit, or least even so, for instance, the cervical cancer vaccine? The h tv vaccine that you know when I last look was four hundred and twenty dollars for the three doses. It doesn't take cost four hundred and twenty dollars to make that vaccine. It's just that their recovering there are indeed costs, which is which is fair enough. So one of the things that we're proposing to do for our neglected disease vaccines will delink the RD cost in other mother. If we've gotten grants? Whether it's from the Gates Foundation in the past or or the NIH or the European Union, or the dutch government or the Carless
Sloan Foundation, we're not going to pass those costs on a will. Just you know that was used for our indie and we would just cost for the cost to good. So at least we can get it down to just a couple of dollars, a dose if you'd colors of those now for anybody, this listening this conversation and they have additional questions. Where's the best place. You should guide them it. Would it be your books, probably the books 'cause I the books for lay audiences Medley audience a sort of a mean and somebody with a call university education, but I mean they're, not you know it's there they're published by chance how kings university press so and they are kind of there it's uneven in terms of how weighty they get into the science, but certainly the vaccines not cause Rachel's autism. I wrote it with the idea of parents, vaccine hesitant parents and also the pediatricians 'cause the other problem with pediatrician, says there there in their office and parents are greeting this stuff on the internet. They come and loaded loaded for bear
to the pediatricians office. With all these factoids and the pediatricians like well gee. I never heard that before and then the pediatrician is made to feel stupid. Like he's not keeping up with the science, he is, or she is, but it's just they're not keeping up with the misinformation. So I provide talking points in the epilogue of the book and blue marble. Health is the best resource for people to understand these about diseases of the poor and wealthy countries. Then I have a third book that I wrote a few years ago called forgotten people forgotten diseases that describes the neglected tropical. Diseases. Well, I really hope that what comes out of this is someone gets motivated to create some sort of a documentary really on both subjects. I mean, I think, that we would greatly benefit from some clarity for people that do have concern about autism, that's in a digestible form for good or for bad p, like to watch documentaries, and I hope you don't get to beat up over this because I know the anti vaccine groups are very passionate and
Well, I mean that I don't have a position they they may. I don't know where they would beat me up well, they've ask when they beat me up a lot, I'm sure they go out to you and that they were to call me a shill becoming show for a lot of things will be on leave in the rounder. Jamie has a a teacher that he sells a young jamie dot com, it's around earth, shill right literally, I've been called around earth, show and distributed with their, earth flat there's a lot of those. I don't know if you know I didn't know that, there's a lot, so you get beat up no matter what, if you're talking, but so, but I really think it be, would do a good if somebody did put together a documentary because I don't think most people are away, I think people are just relying on this fear like that vaccines do cause autism, there's also this connection between people that are older, correct when, when older, and they have children. There seems to be a lot more like there seems to be in that may be related to as you get older, your
Burma. Your egg have some genetic instability and more likely to produce mutation. Yes, that's probably the MAC and that would go hand in hand. Yes, the genetic basis of what some and the and the blue Marble health book, I mean what what you've been saying today about these diseases and how many of them exist and how many of them are almost unknown, untreated, right, undiagnosed and just how many people are unaware. I really hope really someone does something about that too, but in the meantime, people to buy your book, are they available in audio as well? Definitely the vaccines not cause Rachel's autism is audio books and I'm not sure about blue marble. Health. Okay, but you can get it on Amazon, thanks for being here, pretty sure it's good to see you again with thank you for raising awareness of all the stuff. I really my pleasure, my pleasure, and I appreciate you, come down here and expo explaining a lot of the stuff for us. It's been a great time. I really enjoyed the opportunity. If you want to
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-12.