Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Larry King Live
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey Discuss Autism; Medical Experts Weigh In
Aired April 03, 2009 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, exclusive Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, partners in life and partners in the search for answers to autism, see how Jenny's son diagnosed with the condition is doing. What is the cause? Is there a cure? Medical experts studying the mystery are here, the pain, the puzzle, the war on autism.
But first breaking news, the massacre in Binghamton, New York, more than a dozen dead and wounded. We're live with the latest next on LARRY KING LIVE. Good evening. Before we get into our major discussion of autism, let's get right to Susan Candiotti for a quick update on what happened in Binghamton, New York today. Susan?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Larry, it's just a horrible tragedy, 14 people dead, including the suspected shooter who's been identified as Jiverly Wong, of Vietnamese descent, described as someone in his early 40s who lived with his parents and sister in Johnson City, New York. This unfolded about 10:30 in the morning, when Wong, according to police entered an immigration center and started firing. They seized two handguns. The people that were shot were shot in the front of the building and he apparently had parked his car at the rear entrance. Two guns were recovered, a .45 caliber and a 9 millimeter handgun, there's been a search of the family home. At this time, a law enforcement source tells me they have not found anything significant and so far there is nothing significant in the background of Wong to warrant much interest.
The two guns that were recovered were registered to him here in the State of New York. As to a motive, that is still unclear at this time. Police are looking into that at this community tries to figure out how something like this could happen here. Larry?
KING: Thanks, Susan. Now let's welcome Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey to LARRY KING LIVE. Yesterday the world was World Autism Awareness Day, you both must be encouraged by all that happened in this subject. You started it.
JENNY MCCARTHY, FORMER PLAYMATE: We have come a long way in the community. When I first had Evan diagnosed with autism. There wasn't much of anything. I had to find out about biomedical treatment on the Internet after I typed in autism on Google and three years later, there's two books and many thousands of children getting better because of biomedical treatment.
JIM CARREY, ACTOR: Jenny has brought so much focus to this problem and that's why I'm here, is I want to bring as much focus as we can to this problem. KING: You married autism. You're not married. You live with autism.
CARREY: When I invited jenny into my life, I invited Evan into my life. When I first met Evan, it was like he was on another planet. I wasn't in the room. There was no eye contact, there was no response to dialogue, there was no response to affection. And over time, I witnessed Jenny pull Evan through the window of unconsciousness and isolation into our world where he is now a fully functioning person who can communicate, who can connect and this is through biomedical treatments, GFCF diet, and the therapies that she's talking about. So I believe that autism in my heart is preventable and treatable.
MCCARTHY: And treatable.
KING: Fully functional?
MCCARTHY: Completely recovered, Larry, completely recovered, and he's not the only one. There's thousands in this community that are getting better.
KING: Why did you go so public? You had an autistic child who got better so why are you here?
MCCARTH: I could have hid and not said anything, and Evan could have blended into society. I made a deal with God, the day Evan was diagnosed with autism, I said if you show me the way, God, and show me how to heal my boy, I will continue to teach the world how I did it. And within one year of that kind of conversation with God, Evan was undiagnosed with autism.
CARREY: But it's still shocking to see how many people are ignoring this information.
MCCARTHY: The AAP by the way has still ...
KING: What's that.
MCCARTHY: The American Academy of Pediatrics I begged and I have sat down with them and said why are you not sat down with our doctors and our scientists who are treating and recovering children with autism and they refuse to this day to sit down.
CARREY: You'd think there is any possibility that a child is being helped, that someone would live and someone would take a look. And the fact is they're not even considering the information, they're not only not considering, they're discouraging it.
KING: But you had a major effect, big story in the "L.A. Times" last week, the number of kids not being vaccinated in the public schools in Los Angeles. However at the same time, doctor friend told me today. Mumps are up and measles are up.
CARREY: We are not saying don't vaccinate. That's the thing we want to get really clear right now with ...
KING: Let's make it clear. MCCARTHY: Yeah, we're not.
CARREY: This is the thing. There's a lot of misdirection going on. We hear the Campbell Browns and people like this that are saying, you can't not vaccinate. No one has ever suggested not vaccinating.
MCCARTHY: Go back to 1989 schedule when shots were only 10 and the MMR was on that list. I don't know what happened in 1990, there was no plague that was killing children that we had to triple the amount of vaccines.
CARREY: What happened back in 1989 that warranted 26 more vaccines?
CARREY: Are all of them absolutely necessary?
KING: Because they want to make money?
MCCARTHY: Of course.
KING: What are you saying? You're not saying don't use vaccines. What are you saying.
MCCARTHY: This is what I'm saying. First of all, autism is treatable and preventable.
CARREY: I have seen this. With my own ayes.
MCCARTHY: The vaccine schedule is too bloated right now. Thirty six shots right now. Back in 1989, the shot schedule was 10 shots given.
CARREY: Ten shots given.
KING: When I was a kid, what did we get, three?
CARREY: It's twice as many as anywhere else in 30 countries in the Western World. We give twice as many shots as any of those countries. Why is that?
KING: We'll have doctors later. By the way, they have a book out called "Healing and Preventing Autism, a Complete Guide". Jenny McCarthy and Jerry Kartzinel, MD, by the way. And Jerry will be joining us in a little while. If it's not it, if it's vaccination and you're not against that ...
KING: What are you against, vaccinate for this and not vaccinate for that?
CARREY: I think we have to choose ...
MCCARTHY: You should educate yourself. We want to empower parents to educate themselves. Do we need to have the chicken pox? Do we have to have hepatitis B shot on the second day of life?
CARREY: I don't think people that are charged with the public health any longer have our best interests at heart all the time. Parents have to make their own decisions, educated decisions, they have to look at the decisions.
MCCARTHY: Space out the vaccines. Delay them till after one, clean out the toxins that are in them. We don't need that many.
KING: Evan is not Jim's child, biologically.
MCCARTHY: I would say God chose him to be his dad too.
KING: How helpful is he?
MCCARTHY: Amazing. He's been my backbone and my supporter ...
CARREY: We have had a great time. It is nothing but a blessing in my life. There is no work to it as far as I'm concerned.
MCCARTHY: And the best witness.
CARREY: It's wonderful to see this kid thrive. And to kid him all day long. He gets a cookie and I say he can't have it. I made a rule. He says, sorry Jimmy, and he runs away and I chase him.
KING: What is still evident about his autism? In other words, if I spent a day with Evan, what about him would be different about him than any kids.
MCCARTHY: Absolutely nothing. Seizures, that would probably ...
CARREY: This is the risk. When he gets a fever we have to worry because there are seizures connected autism, to this disorder.
MCCARTHY: He had a vaccine injury which led to seizures. So we still can't necessarily say that those are healed, but the autism is gob.
KING: When the other doctors are here and they will be on the other side in a while after you leave ...
CARREY: Grab them and stab them for me? This is my nickname ...
KING: What will they say? Why would a doctor not want to know more about what could save a life or prevent a disease? I don't understand ...
CARREY: The AAP is financed by the drug companies. Medical schools are financed by the drug companies.
KING: Drug companies want to keep this going?
CARREY: This is a huge business. Vaccines are the largest growing division of the pharmaceutical industry. $13 billion.
MCCARTHY: They control medical schools. I mean these doctors are not learning about prevention or vitamins or diet.
CARREY: What we're asking is for them to take a loss for the good of our children. That's a tough sell in a board room.
MCCARTHY: And, you know, as a precautionary measure right now. You know, you remove certain medications off shelves because they're deemed unsafe. Why not vaccines?
KING: All right. Hold it. You've got something to say about autism, go to cnn.com/larryking, click on our blog and let us know. We have got a very special blogger with us tonight. You'll meet here later.
More with Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy after this. Stick around.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to make one right here. And one right here.
MCCARTHY: OK, like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MCCARTHY: Just one leaf?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
MCCARTHY: Can you show me your muscles? Let me see how big they are.
Wow, wow, that was good. Do I like Bozo?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Topic tonight is autism. I realize in one hour we're never going to cover all of this. But we will try to give you a good sprinkling of ideas that you can take your own friends, to your pediatricians as well.
Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey remain with us. We're joined now by Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, coauthor of the book we showed you, "Healing and Preventing Autism." He is father of an autistic son. And J.B. Handley, cofounder of Generation Rescue, a nonprofit autism research and treatment advocacy group. Gentlemen and Jenny, in February, a special vaccine court ruled in three test cases representing 5,000 families that the combination of Thimesirol, is that right?
KING: ... containing vaccines and the MMR vaccine are not causal factors in the development of autism. How do you react?
J.B. HANDLEY, COFOUNDER, GENERATION RESCUE: Our kids get 36 vaccines, the MMR is two of the 36 shots. Before their first MMR vaccine, they get 23 other vaccines. Jenny, can you pull up the visuals? This shows very quickly how many vaccines get at their two-month visit, their four-month visit and their six-month visit.
Twenty six vaccines ...
KING: That's every child ...?
HANDLEY: Every child in America. This is the CDC schedule. Saying that the MMR --- or vaccines do not cause autism because of this one vaccine is like having a plane crash, suspecting chemical failure, looking at one wing, saying that one wing is safe so therefore the whole plane is safe.
KING: Doctor, you're a pediatrician.
DR. JERRY KARTZINEL, "HEALING AND PREVENTING AUTISM": Yes.
KING: Your son has autism?
KARTZINEL: That is correct.
KING: When you trained in medical school, did you ever associate vaccines with this.
KARTZINEL: When I was training in medical school I saw one child with autism and they said, Dr. Kartzinel, now, come look quick, here's a child with autism and you'll never see it again.
KING: So it was rare?
KARTZINEL: Yes, it was very rare.
KING: Are you saying it's increased?
KARTZINEL: I am definitely saying it's increased.
KARTZINEL: Well, because I think there are a lot of toxins out there that are in the environment. I think the bloated shot schedule that we now have. We're asking women to get a flu vaccine at six months. And the flu vaccine has never been shown to be safe for fetuses. Yet we're going ahead and asking our women to take that.
KING: I want you all to jump in with something - J.B., I'll start with you. For parents watching tonight, the schedule for vaccine shots, what do we do?
HANDLEY: We looked at 30 other first-world countries, OK, we sorted them by under 5 mortality rates. The U.S. is 34th in the world for under five mortality. We looked at the average number of vaccines given, it was be 18. The top five countries have 11, 13, 11 and 11 vaccines given.
So I would tell you either go back to the 1989 schedule before this whole mess happened or go to Finland's schedule, Sweden's schedule, Norway's schedule and use theirs. Because their autism rates are one tenth of ours.
KING: A lot of people are doing this through educators like yourself. But I'm told that measles and mumps are on the increase now.
HANDLEY: Larry, it's on the old schedule. We welcome the people doing the measles and mumps shot.
KING: You want the measles and mumps shots ...
CARREY: Vaccinate for the measles, vaccinate ...
KING: So people are overreacting in canceling that vaccine.
CARREY: Absolutely, and vaccinate for polio. That is on the '89 schedule. But what happened after that?
MCCARTHY: But things like the rotavirus which is a diarrhea vaccine, we say really?
CARREY: If you have access to clean water and health care, it's very difficult to die of diarrhea.
HANDLEY: We looked at 30 other countries where vaccines were introduced since 1990. The adoption rates for other countries are very low. For flu vaccine, it's one other country. For rotavirus it's two other countries. For varisella (ph) it's three other countries. Twenty seven countries chose not to vaccinate for the chicken pox. The vaccine has been out for 15 years. What are these other countries choosing to do that we're not.
CARREY: That vaccine doesn't work.
KING: Dr. Kartzinel, are you an outcast in the pediatric community?
KARTZINEL: Definitely. Even just the idea of prescribing vitamins or minerals or cod liver oil. The idea of taking an autistic child who is not sleeping the whole not, who is pain, who has got a bloated belly because of constipation saying he's not doing willful stool holding behavior. He's constipated, let's fix it. Let's take care of the pain.
Other doctors aren't doing that. What about the child who's got chronic diarrhea? Why don't we fix it? Why do we have to say when we ...
KING: Are you saying that other pediatricians don't want to learn this?
KING: Don't want to learn it?
KARTZINEL: Exactly. I happened to bring this right here. This is last month's "Journal of Pediatrics" and in it there's an article written, that autism medical home, a physician's survey say doctors do not want to take care of autistic children. They don't want to learn about them. They don't even want them in their clinics.
CARREY: Show me inside there. Show them the inside, get with it here.
KARTZINEL: There is our journal.
CARREY: That's the journal. First page.
KARTZINEL: And you see a big ad for the rotavirus.
HANDLEY: Two of 30 countries in the first world took this vaccine besides us. The patent holder for the vaccine is on the committee.
CARREY: Is on the committee to choose the vaccine for children.
KING: J.B. Handley has a commentary on our Web site. Go to cnn.com/larryking. And read it and we'll be back in 60 seconds with our guest blog correspondence. Stay with us.
KING: We're back with Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel and J.B. Handley. Well it must - I know Jenny is - I don't mean to diminish it, warped on the subject. Jim Carrey has gotten warped on this subject. But as professionals, doctors, what's it done to you as another parent?
KARTZINEL: It's my whole practice. It's everything that I do.
KING: You practice only autism.
KARTZINEL: I was just doing general pediatrics and after my son regressed after the mumps, measles and rubella and my wife said, you broke them now you fix them, that's when I started saying, OK, what can I do?
KING: Do you know why it causes it?
KARTZINEL: I think again, the mumps-measles and rubella, for my son, it's different for other children, was the tipping point. He had already had problems with other vaccines. He started getting multiple infections. In fact at four months he needed a spinal tap to see what was wrong with him. He had multiple ear infections, multiple antibiotics and when I gave him the mumps, measles and rubella shot, he tipped and became autistic. We lost eye contact.
KING: But you don't know why, you only know that.
HANDLEY: Larry, we know with conviction that vaccines cause brain injury, it's on the Health and Human Services Web site. We're looking for something that's caused this epidemic. It went from one in 10,000 in the 1970s to less than one in 100 today in many states.
KING: Isn't the problem here, Jenny, that people sometimes listen with one ear are going to panic. And not vaccine at all?
MCCARTHY: Probably. But guess what? It's not my fault. The reason why they're not vaccinating is because the vaccines are not safe. Make a better product and then parents will vaccinate.
CARREY: We're not the problem. The problem is the problem.
HANDLEY: The AAP has failed our kids.
KING: Time now for our blog segment. Tonight's special correspondent, watch this, is 14-year-old Carly Fleischman. She joins us via broad band from our home in Canada. Carly has lived with autism her entire life. She petitioned us to appear on the show. Thousands of people signed it. She cannot speak with her mouth as she puts it, but she has a lot to say. And with the help of her computer she says it.
Carly started communicating this way four years ago. Hi, Carly, great to see you. What do you want people to know about living with autism?
CARLY FLEISCHMANN, LKL BLOG CORRESPONDENT: For as long as I can remember I have had autism. I overheard Jim say that he felt like he didn't remember things when he was (inaudible) -- I also know many autistic kids that are exactly the same way. Parents know what I'm talking about. Kids that can tell you (inaudible) or can memorize line for line different movies and TV shows. Doctors would like to tell you that we have a hard time processing information. It's not really true. Our brains are wired differently. We have take in many conversations at once. I have learned how to filter through some of the mess.
KING: Carly, you keep up the great work, we loved having you on the show. We will do it again. You want to talk to Carly. Go to cnn.com/larryking. Say hello. More with Jenny, Jim and our guests right after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: Today I am not a celebrity, today I am a mom of a child who had autism who has a voice that is willing to shake the ground of those responsible until all of our children are safe from harm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Of course there are other sides to this, people who disagree or in part disagree and you'll be meeting some of them at the bottom of the hour. Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, J.P. Handley with us.
A couple other things I want to touch on. Getting away from vaccine for a minute, and there will be even a debate later. What's is it like living with autism?
HANDLEY: I have a son who's recovering so each day is slightly better than the last one.
KING: How old?
HANDLEY: He's six today. It's devastating for families. And I think that all Americans just need to know how devastating it really is. But day to day I see him getting better. And in many ways, that is the tragedy of this whole thing. They can recover. These children are coming back. And Larry, something that is really amazing, AAP truly never looks, they have never talked to Jenny, they have never talked to Dr. Jerry here. He has had dozens of his children in his practice recover.
CARREY: They are saying to these parents, we don't have any answers, we're not looking for any answers and please don't look for your own.
MCCARTHY: And they're not offering any hope and we are. That's why Jerry and I sat down and wrote this book. This is an in depth guide to teach parents.
HANDLEY: They are sure they know what doesn't cause it but they don't know what does.
KING: You have an autistic child, right?
KARTZINEL: That's correct.
KING: What is the first thing you noticed?
KARTZINEL: With Josh we lost eye contact.
KING: What do you mean?
KARTZINEL: He wouldn't look at you anymore. His eyes would deviate. They take a strange posture where they kind of just squint and they kind of see you out of his peripheral vision. And then he became very hyperactive. And then he stopped eating the foods he normally would and only would eat cookies and French fries and cereals that are sweet.
KING: What does the word mean?
KARTZINEL: Autism means turning into self. Auto, self, ism.
KING: Is it worldwide?
KARTINZEL: Absolutely. I take care of children from all over the world.
CARREY: There's an autistic child on every block. We visit friends who have autistic kids.
MCCARTHY: Heywood (ph) University, by the way, just did a study where autism there one in 60 kids in the UK.
CARREY: One in 60 kids. One in 38 boys.
HANDLEY: It was one in 1,000 in 1970. Something has to be causing it.
CARREY: So the number they're publishing in this country is an old number. One in 50 is an old number. It's seven years old.
KING: Before you met Jenny, Jim, what did you know about it?
CARREY: I knew "Rain Man" basically that's all I knew about autism. I knew about savants.
KING: Is that autism, by the way, "Rain Man."
KARTZINEL: It's a form of autism, but they talk about this is genetic, but all of the money that they have spent trying to research genetic causes, they might account for maybe less than one percent. That means the other 99 percent, if you're not born with it, you must have acquired it.
KING: Jenny, you have a Web site. What is it?
MCCARTHY: Generationrescue.org. You can go for more information. Also Dr. Jerry will be answering questions after you read my book. At Kartener Health. K-A-R-T-E-N-E-R health.com. Click "Ask Jerry."
KING: Thank you all very much. We're going to here the other side. There will be a debate. We appreciate you coming. Jim, always good to see you.
CARREY: Autism is the canary in the coal mine. I believe that it's telling us that this vaccine program is imbalanced. It's a good thing that's gone too far.
KING: Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Dr. Jerry Kartzinel and J.B. Handley. The book is "Healing and Preventing Autism."
There is another side of what we've been hearing. Can medical experts pin down a precise cause or possible cure for autism? That's next.
KING: We're back. Now the other side. In New York, Dr. Margaret Fisher, chairman, department of pediatrics, medical director at the Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center. In Cleveland, Dr. Max Wiznitzer, pediatric neurologist, Rainbow Babies in Children's Hospital in Cleveland. He's been dealing with autistic children for 25 years.
And in Washington, our old friend Dr. Bernardine Healey, health editor, "U.S. News and World Report" and former director of the National Institutes of Health.
All right, Dr. Fisher, an overview of what we have just heard. What do you think?
DR. MARGARET FISHER, THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: An overview? Well, I think we have heard some very interesting things about autism. I am disappointed that they were so negative about the American Academy of Pediatrics. The mission of our academy is actually to ensure the health and the well-being of all children. Immunizations have really been a part of our effort to ensure that safety.
We know that if you stop immunizing children, you will see the diseases come back. And I know they said they don't want to stop immunizing, but two of those vaccines that have been added since the 1980s are the vaccine against Homofluous (ph) Influenza type B and the vaccine against the Numacocus (ph). These are two very serious bacterial infections that really do harm to children. Before the Homofluous vaccine, there were 20,000 case of invasive disease each year and 1,000 deaths.
That's three deaths a day. We don't want it to come back.
KING: What causes autism, in your opinion? If not vaccines, what does?
DR. MAX WIZNITZER, PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST: Well, we know that in about 10 percent to 15 percent of the cases, we can identify a genetic causation, unlike the number that was quoted before hand. The research as its moved forward and we have been able to look at genes more closely, we can get that information. We also know that from studies, family studies and such, that autism has a strong genetic basis and it's prenatally based, which kids are born with the tendency. Whether they show the tendency at age one month or show it at one year or at two years is very dependent on what's going on with them.
It's not just as simple as saying it's one thing. It's autism, there's multiple reasons why it occurs.
KING: Dr. Wiznitzer, do you dismiss vaccines as not being involved?
WIZNITZER: I do. In fact I'm a bit concerned. Initially the complaint was Mercury. That was disproven. Then the complaint was MMR. That was disproven. Now we've got a new moving target, which is that the combined vaccines all together that do this.
We can only spend our research money so far before we basically say, let's put it where we know for sure we can help, and not just on speculative ideas.
KING: Dr. Healey, what are your thoughts?
DR. BERNADINE HEALEY, FMR. PRESIDENT, AMERICAN RED CROSS: I think one has to listen to the families of these children. I have always believed, you listen the patients and the patients will teach. I think there are many legitimate concerns that families have. And I honestly believe that the focus that we have on autism today and the embarrassing recognition that we know so little about it, in terms of what causes it, in terms of how to treat it, in terms of whether it's dynamic, whether it's structural, I think that says that we have neglected this disease for all too long in the face of this growing epidemic.
We have got to focus on it and we have got to listen to families. And I think that environmental triggers in the context of a genetic predisposition makes a lot of sense. But we don't have the foggiest notion of what those environmental triggers are. Vaccines might be one of those components. Let's respect that and let's investigate it. And I don't think it's been fully investigated.
KING: We'll come right back. If you want more information about autism, go to CNN.com/Autism There's comprehensive information for those of you with more questions. Honestly, we've got it for you. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
KING: Dr. Fisher, isn't Dr. Healey right when she says listen to the parents?
FISHER: Absolutely. I couldn't have agreed with her more. Every pediatrician knows that if you want to find out what's the matter with the children, you have to talk to the parents. They're the ones who are living with them. They're the ones who are with them all the time.
KING: So when all these parents say too many vaccines, we have added too many vaccines -- there used to be three and now there's 30 -- they associate that with the cause. Shouldn't your organization or the association listen to them?
FISHER: The organization does listen to them. And we also listen to all of the other parents who are asking us to protect their children with vaccines. In Pennsylvania right now, there is an outbreak, a resurgence of Homofluous influenza disease. Those three deaths that have occurred already this year are in children who were not immunized. There are lots of parents who want to know about the vaccines, who want to know how to protect their children against infectious disease.
Clearly, those are the children, the parents we need to listen to as well. So, yes, pediatricians have to listen to their parents.
KING: At what age should pediatricians start screening for autism?
WIZNITZER: We have screening that is basically recommended at age 18 months and 24 months. Obviously, if there's concerns that are raised earlier, it should be done.
KING: What do you think causes it?
WIZNITZER: I think what it is you're born with a tendency towards it. As Dr. Healey has stated, there's work being done right now trying to look for environmental causes. Are there factors that may tip them over? As far as we know right now, vaccines aren't those kind of factors. But there could be easily be factors that affect the brain prenatally, before birth. We know that exposure to certain drugs before birth clearly can cause autistic features in children after they're born.
KING: Aren't you at least impressed a little with the association of vaccine as presented by the other side? Doesn't that give you pause?
WIZNITZER: I have heard this for many, many years. But, more importantly, I have looked at the actual medical literature. I have looked at what people have said from both sides. I've asked people questions. It's not simply someone coming to me and saying, my child has had a change in his behavior and he looked autistic after he got a certain vaccine.
You need to ask questions more closely. What was the child like before hand? Were there any other features that might have been there? Is that temporal association, that time association actually real? Could it have been longer or could it have been shorter? Most of the time I find out that the associations that the parents were concerned about really couldn't be supported.
KING: Are we just at the tip of the iceberg, Dr. Healey? Is there still so much more to go and to learn?
HEALEY: I think you have nailed it, Larry. I think there is so much more to learn. Simple things like a comparisons of children who have and have not been vaccinated. This is something that we have talked about doing for many years. It has not been done. It can be done through various models, through case control model models. It can be done retrospectively. It has to be done.
Also, looking specifically at the children with progressive autism, the kids who were just fine, and then, shortly after immunization, they have a high fever, likely have an ensefalopothy (ph), and they never come pack from it. We need to look at that subset of patients. Study 500 of those kids.
Do you know, Larry, we have 5,000 children who are in the vaccine course, and they're sitting there in a lawyer environment. The CDC has not gone and analyzed those 5,000 children. These are children that have passed a certain screen, children who have had significant health problems right after they have been vaccinated, usually multiple times, and we haven't connected.
So I think part of what's missing here, we have got to stop all this battling and we've got to honor each other's perspective and we've got to do a lot of research. That's where, Larry, I think there is an inexcusable issue. And that's the lack of research that's been done here. And I really don't believe that this is a closed case from a research point of view. And I think you can talk to the NIH, you can look at what has been discussed in recent panels about what we don't know, and then you will say, let's carry on with research.
And now there's moneys to do it, there's a means to do it. Let's get on it and let's shake hands and do it together.
KING: More about autism in 60 seconds. Stay with us.
KING: Dr. Fisher, are you concerned that so much ground has been made by the other side, the other side has presented in the first half of this show, that you're going to have more problems with autism?
FISHER: No. I'm not sure what you're getting at.
KING: I'm trying to see, when they focus so much on the negative, people are going to drop -- they're going to stop vaccinating. A lot of people are going to stop vaccinating. I didn't mean more problems with autism. More problems with health?
FISHER: Sure. We are concerned that if people stop vaccinating, we will see the reemergence of these infectious diseases. They haven't gone away and we want to ensure that children are protected.
KING: Dr. Wiznitzer, you're not denying the sincerity of these people, though, are you?
WIZNITZER: No. In fact if I could just make a quick comment from what Dr. Healey had mentioned; the NIH is doing research looking at regressive autism. One of my friends who's doing the research tells me she's having a hard time recruiting patients because when people claim regression, it turns out, when she investigates very closely, it wasn't regression.
But going back to what you asked me before, yes, I do not doubt their sincerity in the least. And I think that it's very important that people always voice concerns when they have them. It happens in my practice. It should happen in any doctor's office. However, we need to look at the concerns. We need to be open minded on both sides, so that we can basically look at these issues and say do they have validity or not?
KING: Dr. Healey, are you pessimistic or optimistic in this area?
HEALEY: I think we haven't had the come to Jesus session yet that says, wait a minute, this polarization is very negative. It's not good for the children and it's not good for the science. Quite frankly, Larry, there is no such thing as anti-vaccine and pro- vaccine. We are all pro-vaccine. We know what Polio is. We know Meningitis is. We know what we want to avoid.
But there are some vaccines here -- let's forget about autism. There are some vaccines here that one -- a parent can legitimately question: giving a one-day old baby, or a two-day old baby Hepatitis B vaccine, that has no risk for it. The mother has no risk for it. That's a heavy duty vaccine given on day two, at two months, at four months. I think those are legitimate questions. I think there has to be more flexibility and we need to have people smiling at each other, saying we're hearing you, let's move forward.
KING: And to be friends.
HEALEY: Let's be friends and nobody's anti-vaccine here.
KING: Thanks Dr. Healey, always good seeing you. Dr. Wiznitzer and Dr. Fisher remain. Returning will be J.B. Hanley and Dr. Kartzinel. One thing is for certain about autism, it's subject to great debate. Opposing sides are here next. They'll get right into it. Don't go away.
KING: All right, our panel now assembles together. I'll start with you, Dr. Kartzinel. What did you think of what you just heard with the other respective doctors in Cleveland and New York.
KARTZINEL: I think they made some very good points, especially about doing studies with children who haven't been vaccinated. When you look at smoking, for example, when you look at smokers and the rates of lung cancer, it didn't become apparent until they compared that to non-smokers. Then the lung cancer rates were high.
We need to look at these diseases, whether it be childhood asthma or attention deficit order or autism, and look at them among those who were vaccinated and compare them to those who weren't.
KING: Are you saying it will show that vaccinations played a part?
KING: How will you respond to that, Dr. Wiznitzer?
WIZNITZER: Years ago, I thought about this idea among the Amish population here in northeast Ohio, to whom I am actually the neurologist. And I went to the public health nurses and said, tell me about their vaccination rates. And I was told that there is a very high rate of vaccination amongst the Amish population. Out of ten thousand of individuals in our population, we have one child with autism. I see all these children.
The fact is, we can't basically use the argument. It's much more complex than just vaccinated versus unvaccinated.
KING: J.B. Hanley, they were saying earlier that they're not against you. They're open to listen to you. They just disagree with what you're saying.
HANLEY: The AAP doesn't listen at all, Larry. They never look at recovered children. They never look at recovered children. They rubber stamp every vaccine on the schedule. Dr. Fisher never answered why so few companies have picked up varicella flue roto virus (ph). Meantime, AAP rubber stamps every vaccine, like Gardasil (ph), which is damaging teenaged girls right now, which will likely be pulled from the market very soon. There is the AAP rubber stamp on that vaccine.
KING: Dr. Fisher?
FISHER: We hardly rubber stamp any vaccine. The American Academy of Pediatrics listens very closely before a vaccine is recommended for use. It goes through extensive trials. It goes through extensive information. All of that information is reviewed very quickly. It's both efficacy and safety information.
There's never a rubber stamp. We work very closely before, while the vaccine is being tested to see if it works, it is safe? And only if it's been determined to be safe and effective is it recommended for use. It's not a rubber stamp.
HANLEY: What about the other countries picked up the vaccine?
FISHER: These vaccines are costly. In addition to the number of vaccines, have you looked at what's happened to the price of vaccinating a child?
HANLEY: We're talking about first-world companies like Germany, the UK, France, Finland who haven't taken on varicella, roto virus, flu, and those vaccines have been on the market for ten years. How can you tell me it's a cost issue? And if these vaccines are so damn important to our kids, why aren't these other countries picking up the vaccines?
FISHER: What I can tell you is the reason we recommend these vaccines in this country is --
HANLEY: You're not answering the question.
KING: Let her answer.
FISHER: I don't know what they do in Germany or the UK or anywhere else, nor do I suspect you know how they make those decisions.
FISHER: No, it doesn't. I'm concerned about how we make the decisions here. And since I have been part of some of those decisions, I know that the information about the safety and the efficacy of those vaccines is looked at very closely.
KING: Doctor, you said earlier -- I think you said earlier, that this is big money and that to the pharmaceutical companies, this is big money. And you implied that the pharmaceutical companies sort of own your profession, true?
KARTZINEL: Well, that wasn't quite it. But I did show the ad that they put into our journal. But the thing is, in real time right now, what I'm really concerned about is the fact that these children -- we're talking about children who were wounded by vaccines, hundreds of thousands of them. The estimates are now a million of our kids -- we're not talking about --
KARTZINEL: Wounded, they are screaming, up all night. They are financially devastating to these families, spiritually devastating to these families. They can't get medical care. Pediatricians don't want to treat them. They don't take their time to answer the questions. They've got a ten minute time slot.
HANLEY: Larry, we have no idea what the combination risk of our vaccine schedule looks like. At the two-month visit, a child gets six vaccines in under 15 minutes. The only way to test that properly would be to have a group of kids who get all six and a group of kids who get none and see what happens. They don't do that testing. They have no idea.
KING: Doctor Wiznitzer, the CDC says autism impacts about one in 150 children. But is the incidence going up or is it the way children are being counted?
WIZNITZER: It's a very complicated issue. Studies have been done and people have actually looked at this study even this year in their publications. And they've shown that issues such as diagnostic substitution, which means they had previous diagnosis, that we have loosening of the diagnostic criteria. An example would be if, all of a sudden in baseball, we moved the outfield wall 100 feet closer; we pump the players up with steroids, and then say, look they broke the baseball record for home runs over and over and over again.
When you change the rules of how you make diagnosis, and that to some degree has happened, people are loosening up. Kids with social issues are being labeled as autistic. The majority -- I think we can account for at least 80 percent of the increased prevalence with those numbers. There's 20 percent of people still have --
KARTZINEL: How do you propose that we narrow that and make those people go away. They're not going to go away.
WIZNITZER: Let me finish.
KING: Go ahead, doctor.
WIZNITZER: The other 20 percent, we basically have to keep looking. Issues that have been raised by government agencies, either potential environmental factors outside the issue of vaccines? Are there other genetic reasons? Are there other factors that we failed to recognize? That all has to be looked at.
KING: I got to get one more break. We'll be right back. Do you think autism can be cured? That's tonight's quick vote question. Go to CNN.com/LarryKing and cast your ballot. More after this.
KING: A comment from Carly, our guest blogger with autism: "it's the kids that are lost, because the parents are missing the cues by their children while they're wrapped up in all this." Question for Dr. Fisher. There's a debate over vaccine schedules. What do you recommend?
FISHER: What I recommend is the schedule that's been developed by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practitioners. And that schedule has a reason. We know that children are born with the antibodies from their moms, so they're protected for that first six months of life.
The reason we give so many vaccines in the first six months is so that we don't leave those children unprotected. As they lose their mother's antibody, we want them to make their own antibody. Before we had Homofluous vaccine, we began seeing this disease at six months, seven months, eight months, a year. We don't want to leave children unprotected. We want to give them the best possible protection as soon as possible.
KING: J.B. Hanley wanted to respond to something Doctor Wiznitzer said.
HANLEY: I want to talk about this issue of autism prevalence. It's going to be shocking for parents to learn that the CDC and the AAP don't actually acknowledge that there's been a real rise in autism cases. Larry, the Department of Education in 1992, 16,000 kids were getting autism services. Today 225,000. That means in 1992, they were missing 93 percent of kids with autism. Where are all the adults with autism? They don't exist.
These numbers are real. But if you never acknowledge there's been a real rise, you don't have to find an environmental agent that caused it.
WIZNITZER: May I answer?
KING: Go ahead.
WIZNITZER: First of all, in 1992, we weren't counting as much as we are counting now. Number two, families recognized the value of having the diagnosis for their children to get services and there's lots of services and lots of money that follows it. Number three, as these individuals get older, frequently they become less symptomatic, and you may no longer see the full blown features of autism.
And that raises the issue of what do we do with them when they get older? How do we make sure that they have quality lives? How do we make sure they have quality work, quality living resources? That's also something we need to focus on.
HANLEY: Did you see the January study from UC Davis using California's numbers that said unequivocally there's been a clear rise, it's not do to diagnostic substitution.
WIZNITZER: Mr. Hanley, you're misrepresenting the study. I read it. Actually they stated that diagnostic substitution was one of the reasons why that rise is occurring. More importantly, that is not an epidemiological study. That is looking at a database. If you look at the documents from the department there, they tell you not to be used for epidemiological --
KING: We have obviously skimmed the surface. We are going to do a lot more on this in the days and months ahead. I guarantee it. Thank our panelists all.
Monday, Pastor Rick Warren is here. Plus Joel and Victoria Osteen. Right now, it's Anderson Cooper time for "AC 360" coming up now. Anderson?