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Rick Rollens' Testimony Before the California State Senate - January 23, 2002

Rick Rollens' Testimony Before the California State Senate - January 23, 2002 (Last spring, two bills were defeated, in large part by testimony and
lobbying efforts by myself and Dawn Winkler that were before the California
State Senate Committee on Health and Human Services. One of the bills would
have added two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine to the mandatory childhood
immunization schedule, the other bill would have added four doses of Prevnar.
Together, passage of these bills would have added an additional six shots to
an already overburdened childhood immunization schedule. The defeat of these
bills was the first time in California's history that the Legislature said no
to new vaccine mandates. The Committee called for a hearing on the subject of
mandated vaccine policy. Below is the testimony I presented to the Committee
at the hearing this week.)
 
                                                       Testimony
                   Russell's story, one child every three hours, the ultimate betrayal
                                                             by
                                                       Rick Rollens
  
                                                    January 23, 2002         
                       
                                                California State Senate
                                   Committee on Health and Human Services
                                             Senator Deborah Ortiz, Chair
                     "Childhood Immunizations Mandates:  Politics vs. Public Health"
  
  
  
      Madame Chair and Members: My name is Rick Rollens. As many of you know,
I recently worked right here in this building for over two decades for the
Senate serving in various capacities including chief of staff to a Senator,
chief consultant to the Senate Rules Committee, Director and creator of the
Office of Senate Floor Analyses, and as Secretary of the Senate. My 23 year
tenure with the Senate came to an end in 1996 when I resigned my position as
Secretary of the Senate in order to further dedicate myself to the pursuit of
effective treatments and a cure for my beloved son, Russell. I am here today
to share with you the story of my son's case of vaccine induced autism, the
exploding autism epidemic in California, and the politics of
vaccination/public health policy.
  
      Russell began his life as a normal, healthy, and robust child, meeting
all his age appropriate milestones. At seven months old, after receiving a
series of vaccines including his third DPT and first HIB vaccine, Russell
began the slow and insidious process of slipping into the world of autism.
Within hours of those shots, Russell began a nonstop 10 day period of high
pitch screaming, fevers and listlessness...conditions that his pediatrician
nor anyone else in the medical practice ever recognized as an adverse vaccine
reaction. After seven short months of normal development in this world,
Russell's life had changed forever, as well as the lives of all who know and
love him. Even today nearly 10 years later, the physical pain and suffering
that Russell experienced after those shots continues to be part of his daily
life. Physical pain is something that all children with vaccine induced
autism suffer from. Within days after his first MMR vaccination Russell began
his final journey into the abyss of regressive autism - losing most of his
remaining skills, developing severe sleep disruptions, chronic
gastrointestinal problems, autoimmune problems, a worsening of his already
disturbing behaviors, and suffering pain exhibited by harrowing days of
endless crying. Within months, Russell was officially diagnosed with autism.
  
      After months of medical investigation of Russell's condition, including
state-of-the-art brain scans, hundreds of tests and immunological and
neurological work-ups, we consulted a noted pediatric neurologist who
thoroughly examined Russell and reviewed all of Russell's medical history. He
advised us that in part, Russell's brain dysfunction had very likely occurred
as a result of some form of encephalitis resulting in bilateral
hypometabolism in the temporal lobes of his brain. Based on years of
extensive medical investigation that had been done on my son, along with the
strong temporal relationship between the timing of the vaccinations he
received, the reactions to the vaccines, and the onset of the symptoms of his
condition, as well as the scientifically based knowledge that one of the many
serious adverse effects of certain vaccines is brain swelling and
encephalitis… I believe that Russell is a victim of vaccine induced autism.
My story is not unique. I would challenge each of you to talk to many of your
own constituents who are the rapidly growing number of parents of children
with autism. I can assure you that you will hear first hand accounts from a
disturbing number of these parents of a normally developing child, the
introduction and reaction to a vaccine or multiple vaccines, the timing of
their children's regression and vaccination, and the onset of the multitude
of other medical conditions and complications that accompany this acquired
autistic condition.
  
      Since 1980, the number of new cases of autism in California has and
continues to increase at an alarming rate. Throughout the past 22 years,
California has experienced an increasing epidemic of autism, precisely during
the same time period that we aggressively added 14 additional doses of
vaccines to the mandated childhood immunization schedule and increased the
frequency of vaccines given at a younger and younger age. Over 80% (8 out of
10) persons in the entire system with autism were born after 1980...the same
year as California law mandated for the first time that all children provide
proof of immunizations before entering school, therefore requiring for the
first time that all California children entering school receive the full
complement of the then 23 mandated doses of vaccines in 1980. The Measles,
Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine was also added to the mandated childhood
immunization schedule in 1979-1980 as well.
  
      According to data from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS),
autism is now the number one disability entering California's developmental
services system. 2001 brought yet another in a series of annual 20% increases
over the previous year. As documented in a Report to the Legislature in 1999
by DDS, autism increased 273% over a recent 11 year period while the
population of California grew by only 19% and other disabilities including
mental retardation experienced predictable, population adjusted increases.
Over the three year period since the release of the Report in 1999,
California has added an additional 6,600 new cases of fully diagnosed autism.
  
     In a system that DDS estimates will cost taxpayers well over $2 million
for each new child with autism, 2 out of 3 persons with autism in
California's system today are young children between the ages of 3 and 13
years old. California's developmental services system is currently adding, on
average, 8 new children with autism a day, 7 days a week, or one new child
every three hours.  
  
      Vaccines contain numerous potent and neuro toxic agents such as live
viruses cultured in animal tissues, genetically engineered bacterial agents,
preservatives, and extremely toxic chemicals including aluminum,
formaldehyde, and mercury. As you heard in testimony here today, our children
are exposed to 37 doses of these concoctions beginning HOURS after birth,
with the majority of exposure to these potent toxic agents administered
during the first year of life in multiple doses ....All of this happening at
the worst possible time, as it is the most critical time of brain,
neurological, and immune system development. It should provide no level of
comfort for parents of children yet to be born that over 300 new vaccines are
currently in development. It should also be noted, that autism was never even
described in the medical literature until AFTER the introduction of the
mercury containing whole cell DPT vaccine. Adding insult to injury is the
fact that there has never been a single safety study on the short term or
long term effects of the interaction of these potent cocktails of numerous
multiple active agents on the developing brain and immune systems of our
children. I know for a fact that these studies DO NOT exist, because even
when the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) recently went looking for them they
could not find them, and even with a Congressional subpoena served to U.S.
Surgeon General David Satcher in 1999 before a Congressional committee to
produce the studies he says are there, he has yet to produce a thing. Even
the so-called safety studies of individual vaccines, which range from a few
days to a couple of weeks of passive surveillance, are woefully inadequate.
When single vaccine studies are conducted they are paid for by the vaccine
manufacturers themselves, and performed by researchers who receive direct and
or indirect funding from those same vaccine manufacturers. It is an insidious
situation that I compare to having a tobacco company pay for a study produced
by persons who receive funding from the tobacco company, then report that the
tobacco product that has been studied is safe and causes no harm. The entire
system is riddled with conflicts of interest, and driven by profits and
medical arrogance. The system is a sham. When it comes to examining the
question of the link between autism and vaccines, this same conflict ridden
group continues to produce junk science....studies produced not to seek the
truth, but to contain damage control over the growing concern that vaccines
may in fact be causing autism. Even our own Department of Health Services,
Immunization Branch is guilty of this deception.
  
  
      The science on the safety of vaccines and their relationship to the
cause or contribution to the development of autism is simply not there. Not
until independent science, free from the influence of the powerful vaccine
machine, that is currently underway at places like the M.I.N.D. Institute
that examines the biological mechanisms of how vaccines are causing autism in
genetically susceptible children is completed will we discover the truth
about autism and vaccines. Thousands of us have suffered the ultimate
betrayal of trust by blindly allowing our precious children to be injected
with dozens of vaccines....trusting that those responsible for vaccine safety
have made sure that my child and thousands of others like him could not
develop autism after exposure to a vaccine or vaccines. Thank you.