Un Amor Perdido: CDC Racist Propaganda

The ProfessortexThe CDC has sunk to a new low in manipulative marketing practices. Yes, I know that’s hard to believe, but if you take a look at this fotonovela or Spanish language motion comic book Un Amor Perdido you will be hard put to come up with any other conclusion. It’s the story of Monica and Jorge, a pregnant Hispanic woman and her husband. They go to a prenatal visit with their obstetrician, who recommends flu shots for the whole family. Monica is reluctant. She’s never needed a flu shot before, including her previous pregnancy, and she is understandably hesitant to add drugs to her system that are not required at this sensitive time in her baby’s development. The doctor reassures her saying, “Don’t worry. The flu shot is safe. It has been used for more than 50 years – Millions of people, including pregnant women and children, have been safely vaccinated.” Nice blanket statement, huh? Very reassuring. You would think we’ve always been vaccinating pregnant women with no problems whatsoever. I wrote a blog on the flu shot (Flu Shot Clinic) back in December for which I did a lot of research, and this doctor’s bland reassurance could not piss me off more.

Un Amor Perdido

Un Amor Perdido. A Spanish language motion comic book based on a true story of a Hispanic couple expecting their second child. www.cdc.gov

Firstly, the “regular” flu shot, which is recommended for pregnant women, contains thimerosal. I’m not going to go deeply into thimerosal here (for an in-depth discussion read Evidence of Harm by David Kirby), but it contains mercury, a potent neurotoxin (i.e. kills brain cells), and is a bad idea for anyone. It is a particularly bad idea for someone who has a developing baby inside her. There are “thimerosal-free” versions available, but they are not common and many doctor’s offices don’t stock them. In addition, the “thimerosal-free” is in quotes because even those may contain “trace amounts” of thimerosal as the vaccine manufacturing process involves the use of thimerosal, and the thimerosal must be removed. One hundred percent removal is a more-than-difficult task. Who checks to make sure the thimerosal is removed, you ask? No one. The company making the vaccine has to file a process with the FDA that will supposedly ensure the removal of the thimerosal after manufacturing. No one is required to make sure that it actually does so.

Next, the package insert for Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone, one of the most commonly given flu vaccines, clearly states, “Pregnancy Category C: Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Fluzone. It is also not known whether Fluzone can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproductive capacity. Fluzone should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.” (emphasis mine) According to the FDA, Category C drugs are those where “Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus (emphasis mine) and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans (Zoey’s comment: because that would be “unethical”), but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.” In other words, Category C drugs, like flu shots, should only be used if they present a clear benefit to the recipient.

If you read my previous flu blog, you will know that, in an average year, for every 100 flu shots approximately one case of the flu will be prevented. And if you read the Fluzone package insert, you will know that 30% of all recipients in the age range of pregnant women get headaches; a smaller percentage experience malaise, myalgia (otherwise known as aches and pains), shivering and fever. Approximately 1-2 percent of the recipients of the shot experience those side effects badly enough that they are unable to perform their usual activities. In other words, they feel like they have the flu. Sounds to me like you would be hard put to find even one person in that population who received a clear benefit from taking that drug, while 99% will have taken on the risks for no benefit at all. Does that sound like something that one could “ethically” recommend to all pregnant women? Not to me, it doesn’t.

Fotonovela, A Lost Love. Un Amor Perdido. A true story about flu vaccination for your family and your loved ones. www.cdc.gov

Let’s go back to Jorge and Monica. Despite the fact that they “always follow Dr. Guerra’s advice,” they go home without the flu shot. As Monica still hesitates, Jorge mentions again how they “always follow Dr. Guerra’s advice. Think about that.” (Hmmm . . . Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What do you think the odds are that the CDC is trying to co-opt our motto?) Readers at this website know, often firsthand, what frequently comes of not thinking for themselves and blindly following doctors’ advice: chronic illness and a spiral of increasingly dangerous pharmaceuticals. So, yeah. Think about it.

Here’s where the CDC really runs off the rails: Monica has to be punished for listening to her intuition and avoiding taking a potentially dangerous drug while pregnant. They actually have her die from the flu! Because, despite the fact that the flu shot only prevents the flu in approximately one percent of the recipients and it makes another one percent feel like they have the flu, the result of not getting one – clearly – is death. Clever. By saying, “She didn’t get a flu shot, therefore she died,” they’re implying without having to say it (because that would be lying) that getting the flu shot would prevent Monica’s, or any other pregnant woman’s, “flu,” and, therefore, death. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the majority of ILI, influenza-like illness – what we call “flu,” in the 2000-2001 season, was caused by things other than influenza viruses. In fact, only about 10% of all “flu” was caused by influenza A or B, those contained in a flu vaccine. This year, the CDC claimed about a third of all people with flu-like symptoms tested positive for influenza. That means, at best, the flu shot can only reduce your chance of having or dying of the “flu” by one-third of what it would have been in the first place.

This cartoon and video claim to be “based on a true story.” Frankly, I have a lot of difficulty believing that it is anything other than very loosely based on a true story. First off, very few women of child-bearing age die of the flu, in pregnancy or otherwise. I’ve heard just about every kind of pregnancy horror story there is, and I’ve never known or even heard of anyone who died of the flu during pregnancy. Secondly, the recommendation that all pregnant women get the flu shot is a relatively recent thing (as indicated in the story – Monica, who “always follows Dr. Guerra’s advice” and has a child already, has never had a flu shot). And, thirdly, people who listen to their intuition or their “gut feelings” are rarely sorry, the reason being that those feelings really do serve to protect you and your children. (Read Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift for an eye-opening discussion of this subject.) I had a baby who died. Having attended a support group and a conference for parents of babies who died, and “hanging out,” as I do here at TMR, with a lot of folks whose kids regressed following vaccination, I have heard a lot of parents express regrets. I have never once heard someone say, “I’m so sorry I listened to my intuition.”

And, lastly, I get to what is potentially the most problematic element of this propaganda campaign, and the one I am least qualified to discuss, the blatant targeting of the Hispanic population with this manipulative piece of crap. It strikes me, as a white woman of European heritage, as racist propaganda at its finest – or worst, depending upon your perspective. As husband to a Thinking Mom put it, “Do they think they are too stupid to read on their own and have to do a picture story instead?” TMR’s Tex, who is originally from Panama and is quite proud of her Hispanic heritage, had this to say about it: “I, for one, am disgusted with the CDC for this dictatorial propaganda. Yes, I am saying this kind of material is despotic. The video in question is patronizing, demeaning, misinformative, manipulative and quite frankly . . . racist. It’s an offense to the entire Hispanic community.”

(The language used is indeed patronizing and manipulative. It is a blatant attempt to manipulate emotions and shut down thinking and maternal instinct in the population it is aimed at. I don’t know much about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), but I have heard that those who have mastered it are very good at persuasion. Dave Mihalovic has written a blog about how the manipulation techniques used in these propaganda pieces come straight from the NLP playbook.)

Watch Tex’s reaction and appeal to the Hispanic community to let the CDC just exactly what they think of their demeaning and manipulative effort to get Spanish-speaking people to set aside their own common sense and parental intuition, and risk their health and that of their children by taking a Category C drug when pregnant that has no clear benefit for the average pregnant woman.

Please watch the video by Tex in Spanish.

If you are having trouble viewing this video click here or copy and paste this url into your browser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVmBTSrF6AA&feature=youtu.be

English translation of the video –

I’m Thalia Michelle with Thinking Moms’ Revolution.

I would like to take a minute to publicly address the CDC’s pathetic propaganda campaign targeting the hispanic community.

“Un Amor Perdido” is an insulting and patronizing attempt to influence hispanics into getting a pregnacy flu shot. Using a telenovela format, the CDC tells an overly dramatic tale about an unvaccinated mother who dies of the flu while pregnant, leaving her family motherless.

I for one am disgusted with the CDC for this dictatorial propaganda. Yes, I am saying this kind of material is despotic. The video in question is patronizing, demeaning, misinformative, manipulative, and quite frankly- racist. It’s an offense to the entire hispanic community.

Apparently the CDC believes hispanics are ignorant and must be spoken to as idiots. There isn’t a single reference to science or research in this drivel. There is only a poorly written piece of dramatic hogwash that feeds stereotypes and is designed to brainwash the ignorant. I won’t address all the ways the telenovela format stereotypes hispanics. What I will do is make a plea to my fellow latin-americans to speak out against this blatant form of condescension.

Please go to the YouTube video for “Un Amor Perdido” and comment. Your comments will most likely not be approved, but someone is reading them. Click on the thumbs down symbol as well and let those votes reflect our disgust at being spoken down to. Finally – please write the CDC at 1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta, Ga 30333 or call 800-CDC-INFO and express your views. Thank you for taking the time to stand up for yourself and your community.

~ Professor and Tex

For more blogs by Professor click here.  For more blogs by Tex click here

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15 Responses to Un Amor Perdido: CDC Racist Propaganda

  1. Health Choice Advocate says:

    From a source that I will not disclose, the PR Agency that the CDC hired to do this campaign– HMA Associates– produced the content for the ‘Un Amor Perdido’ campaign. And what’s really ironic, this firm presents itself as ‘experts’ in developing campaigns that target Hispanics!! Wow!

  2. Shedsomelight says:

    Could this CDC campaign have to do with the general autism numbers based on racial demographics? Before last year’s congressional hearings weren’t there numbers that came out showing lower autism numbers in the Hispanic community? I think one of the congressmen during the hearing actually alluded to it, though he didn’t point out which communities suffered more or less than others. Is it possible that language barriers and lack of insurance have accidently protected a population of children who would have otherwise been suffering a higher rate of vaccine adverse reactions?

    I have no doubt that the CDC would have seen that as a call to action – must eliminate that discrepancy before anyone realizes there may be yet another control group out there, aside from the Amish, and the scattered pediatric practices where they don’t promote vaccine products, “suffering” from the positive events of NOT vaccinating, further undermining the CDC’s own contention that they can’t do a vax vs unvax study. How high is the Hispanic population in the U.S. now? Could be a significant finding if their numbers were added into some kind of comparative study.

  3. MamaBear says:

    As a Hispanic grandmother of a vaccine injured child, I am doubly disgusted with latest government propaganda. Understand that the telenovela, in print and on TV, is one of the most popular media in Latin America, especially among young. CDC also plays on the very strong sense of family and male authority in the Hispanic home. On so many levels this is trash, pure and simple.

  4. Christine Thompson says:

    Sorry to post, yet again, but I thought perhaps I may have offended. I saw your article this morning and just went with it. Humor is sometimes the best weapon against this sort of ad campaign sludge. I’ve enjoyed it on this site and on AoA. I understand the less than overt racial tones of the CDC campaign. However, no matter what race, color, creed, religious affiliation we may be this flu campaign is a kick in the gut (yes, pun intended). We’ve heard all the causation studies – from refrigerator mothers, mothers who live to close to freeways, baby names, eating toxic seafood, education levels, older fathers, physically/emotionally abused moms/grandparents and genes, Genes, GENES (Guess Jeans? Not included… yet.) And still they find another way to torment our families. This is an attempt to dilute the thoughtful science going on behind the scenes and quietly in the vaccine injury court.

    • Professor says:

      No worries, Christine. Humor is the only way to handle this stuff sometimes. And there IS a ludicrous aspect to all this. I think we are making so much progress in public perception lately that they are resorting to stranger and stranger methods to maintain their stranglehold on the populace. Yep. Definitely diluting thoughtful silence, but they’ve been doing that for years. Just look at what happened to Verstraeten’s study on thimerosal exposure in the early months.

  5. Pammypies says:

    I think the CDC in their poor taste is blaming the Hispanic people of bringing illnesses back to the US that have been basically eradicated and using the flu shot (or lack thereof) as their springboard. If they are going to shove propaganda like that down our throats, they could at least have used other nationalities facing the same question, flu shot or no flu shot. But I guess the CDC doesn’t care how it looks.

    The doctor could not push the flu shot on me–I never get the flu.

    • Professor says:

      You bring up a good point. I didn’t even mention the constant harping on “disease-carrying” immigrants, documented or otherwise. That is far less official, though. It is implied by the CDC and expanded upon by reporters and bloggers, and really borders dangerously on hate speech as evidenced by the truly hate-filled comments pieces like that often receive.

  6. Shawn Siegel says:

    What can I say. You guys remain vigilant and truthful.

  7. Donna Powers says:

    Wow! Without the links, I might not have believed something like this. Despicable! I will be running on anger the rest of the day. Because anger leaves me feeling like I’d like to do something rather than just have an internal rant running in my head about the dangers of the flu vaccine I would like to make a couple of suggestions: For moms out there that would like flu prevention, please look into Dr. Isaac Golden’s Homeoprophylaxis program on his website. http://www.homstudy.net Then find a homeopath who has taken Dr Golden’s training and know you have a choice if you choose not to vaccinate conventionally. Your choice is no homeoprophylaxis for flu? That’s OK too…learn how to use homeopathic remedies for flu OR any other infectious childhood illness.
    I don’t usually toot my own horn (but excess energy from anger is compelling me to say something, do something), but I offer this kind of education online through a 12 week course called Vaccine Free: Now What? Free 1 hour phone call Wednesday September 11th, 2013 1-2PM MST on flu prevention and homeopathic remedies to help heal flu. (great handouts too with a recording) In a pandemic, conventional medicine will have NOTHING to offer…no vaccines (a pandemic would mean that the CDC chose the wrong circulating flu viruses for the seasonal vaccine) and questionable antivirals…and no one will be able to get to the hospitals or doctors offices…it will be quarantine. Same goes for outbreaks of infectious childhood illnesses. Conventional medicine will be ineffective for the ordinary person simply because of huge numbers of sick folks…we will be on our own.
    Please check out the course…I want every family to have this kind of information. Learn how to care for your family using homeopathic remedies at home…and this is OK in acute illnesses…just know when you are in over your head and need your homeopath or physician…yes…we do need our physicians…and some physicians are homeopaths too. (Dr Suzanne Humphries and Dr. Jayne Donegan to name just a couple)
    Please forgive me if this is inappropriate to post this. I know you carefully moderate the posts so if it does not go up, that’s OK. I just felt like I had to do something about this situation and this is what I know to do. The offer stands whether the post is public or not. Contact me if you prefer.
    Good thing I am going to workout class now…I feel like throwing stones…big ones!

    • Professor says:

      Thanks for the info, Donna. That’s worthwhile information. We know that there is controversy in the homeopathic community over “homeopathic vaccination,” but it’s certainly information that’s worth considering and discussing.

  8. Adrianne says:

    Bravo!! Love you guys…I had a flu shot in my first trimester. Stupidly trusted my doctor. I firmly believe that was the start of my son’s downward spiral. If only we could go back in time and tell those idiot doctors where they can stick their toxic poisons!

  9. Christine Thompson says:

    Uh, wow? Where to begin. Why don’t they call this campaign “Mommy Committed Suicide/Murder?” I guess Jorge is an accessory after the fact. CPS should have taken poor Nadia away from these parents. Now she’ll never have a little sister to play soccer with because of her ignorant parents. Better yet, let’s get I.D. to create a special Deadly Women episode based on this campaign. I can here the narrator and ominous music now, “These deadly women couldn’t inoculate themselves from believing they know better than the CDC. They destroy the lives and family bonds they vowed to protect. They are… (creepy music swells) Mothers Who Don’t Vaccinate.”

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