WDDTY is part of the counter-factual counter-culture that is the anti-vaccination movement. An antivax doctor kills himself as the feds move in on his fraudulent empire? It must have been black helicopters.
Mystery surrounds the sudden death of Dr Jeff Bradstreet, a high-profile anti-vaccine campaigner who treated autistic children. His body was found in a river in North Carolina, with gunshot wounds to his chest, a week after his clinic had been raided by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agents.
Mystery? Not really. While there is ample documentation of conspiracist rumours following his death, there’s no real mystery. He used real therapies with real possibilities of harm – including unlicensed stem cells, chelation and hyperbaric oxygen – on the basis of muddle-headed beliefs entirely divorced from the scientific evidence. His office was raided by the FDA and Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, he had already been caught out promoting pseudoscience in the autism omnibus trial and there was apparently an outstanding complaint against him by the parents of a child he had treated.
He knew well and good that he was using unlicensed treatments and there were previous seizures of his products by the FDA.
A quack who has built an empire on selling unapproved treatments for a refuted cause of autism, who is raided by the FDA, not his first brush with the agency. His empire was about to implode, with massive publicity and possible jail time at the end of the road.
Dr Bradstreet’s body was found by an angler on June 19, and local police are treating his death as suicide and are describing the gunshot wounds as ‘self-inflicted’.
Hardly surprising, really. But never let it be said that the quack community would ever go with Occam’s Razor when a conspiracy theory might explain it in a way they find more ideologically acceptable.
But his family does not believe he did take his own life, and are raising funds online to investigate his death, and want to have “an exhaustive investigation into the possibility of foul play”.
That would be, on the face of it, a gross waste of public money. The FDA doesn’t go around clumsily executing random quacks. Being attacked by the FDA is, to borrow a phrase, like being savaged by a dead sheep. It’s taken them nearly two decades to fail to shut down Houston cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, and his treatments clearly poison people to the point of genuine harm as a matter of routine.
Dr Bradstreet, who was 60, believed that mercury in MMR and other vaccines were responsible for autism—a theory that has also been associated with Dr Andrew Wakefield—and had published several papers about the topic.
The technical term for this belief is: wrong. A massive amount of evidence refutes the claim, and actually Wakefield’s original fraudulent research also did not support it – his belief was that measles virus caused enterocolitis, thus triggering autism, hence WDDTY’s fatuous claim that any link between autism and the gut vindicates Wakefield. While the mercury-MMR-autism delusion might be associated with Wakefield, that’s only because every bit of vacuious anti-vaccination whacknuttery tends to be associated with him, something he does nothing whatsoever to avoid.
He treated autistic children with supplements designed to lower mercury levels in the body.
Which makes him a quack. Pure and simple.
His offices in Georgia had been raided a week before his death by FDA agents, although the administration has refused to reveal the reason for its investigation.
Oh please. No regulatory agency can be expected to reveal the reasons for active investigations, though they may choose to do so in some cases.