I am sure many of you remember Dr. Lee Rogers.  He was the tall and rather young-looking podiatrist who decided to run for Congress on the Democratic ticket in 2012 for California’s 25th Congressional over five years ago against the highly institutionalized Buck McKeon, who was the Republican chair of the powerful House Armed Services Committee.  Rogers gave McKeon the political race of his life, even making McKeon’s face go bright red on a one-on-one debate.  It even seemed this too-close-for-comfort election experience against Rogers while retaining McKeon’s seat that year helped convince Buck not to seek re-election two years later.

So what we learned from that election is that this Dr. Lee Rogers can be a pretty devastating debater when he wants to be.

Little did I know that I would be debating Dr. Rogers myself a half dozen years later on my little old Facebook Timeline.

I even forgot that Dr. Rogers was one of my long-time Facebook friends.  It turns out he signed up as a Facebook friend of  mine after I had interviewed him for this column in this very same space about six years ago.  But he has been such a quiet Facebook friend that I had no idea I would provoke him with one of my Facebook posts earlier this year.

The post concerned my long time suspicion of the way autism over the past 50 years has accelerated in time with the acceleration that has taken place in the same time period of high mercury preservatives in vaccinations among very young and physically vulnerable children.  I admit that coincidence is all that I have one this subject – this very coincidental parallel between powerful new vaccinations and a powerful new plague of autism in America over the last 50 years.

But any lack of confirming evidence hardly makes me feel complacent.  This is because I have been teaching so many autistic children over the past decade and I am wondering more and more where so many autistic children are coming from.  And it is not just the increase of autism.  It is the increase in the bi-polar component as well.  And why are so many of our generation’s children shooting up our schools now, and why is there generally so much mental illness around now?

Dr. Rogers began the debate by answering a post I had submitted of that claimed the nation’s Amish avoided the current plague of American autism by refusing to allow their young children to submit to today’s high-mercury vaccinations.  So, Dr. Rogers, right from Facebook this past February 8 wrote:

I’m sorry. It’s just not true.

Christopher Sharp I understand that you are a physician, Dr. Rogers, but as long as there has been no proof that there is no connection, all we have to watch is the rising incidents of autism tied to the rising use of higher-powered vaccinations on infants. If you say "it's just not true," you need to show the evidence that it is not true.

Lee C. Rogers Actually, and very respectfully, because I appreciate your work, it is the opposite. Science doesn’t prove negatives. The positive association must be proven and it hasn’t. The study that’s often quoted was authored by Andrew Wakefield who later admitting to fabricating the data and his license to practice medicine was revoked.


Lee C. Rogers And, just to be clear, I’m not saying there are no risks of vaccines either known or yet to be known, but the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.


Your reply here...


Christopher Sharp How do we know it’s not being over-diagnosed? That sort of statement makes me believe you are referring to something you were sent about 'how to defend vaccines against the rising autism cases.. But it is an insult to all the families that now have to deal with autism like America has never seen before -- go to the schools and see the expansion of the autistic there.


David Putnam On the other hand, how do we know that the Amish's lack exposure to food additives, and generally more physical activity aren't factors in reduced autism, heart disease and cancer? You need to look at the bigger picture and not be focused solely upon vaccines.


Lee C. Rogers No, it’s that autism is purely a clinical diagnosis and doctors are not infallible. We make misdiagnoses all the time. In the future, when there is a reliable genetic or other test for the condition we may find that some people who had autistic symptoms actually had a different condition.


Your reply here...

Jeremiah Anderson-Perez I thought you were an educator Chris?


Christopher Sharp Part of being an educator is my experience of seeing more autistic kids coming to special education classes every decade.


Jeremiah Anderson-Perez The majority of you being an educator is to defer to evidence aka science.  
I am perplexed how you advocate for the flu shot in one post and then go all anti-science in another.  
Come on man. Have some consistency.


So, you see, I wasn’t simply debating Dr. Rogers, but my Facebook friends David Putnam and Jeremiah Anderson-Perez as well. Since they all know what a public forum that Facebook has become in this day and age, I am sure they are not going to object to their placement here in the public forum of my column.

But advocating the flu vaccination and yet championing a true longitudinal study on the causes and effects of high mercury vaccinations on little children to me is not inconsistent.  I myself have subjected myself full of vaccinations against seasonal flu, swine fly, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis, shingles and two types of pneumonia.  And at the same time I am not a one-year-old and my immune system since my first year has fully grown.  The true scientific reasoning is allowing for the exception to the rule.  And in the area of autism, the exceptions to the rules of some vaccinations being harmless to some very little children have today remained in my thinking all too suspicious.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.