The “LOVE” EMAILS Between CDC’s Diana Schendel and Autism Researcher Poul Thorsen
By the World Mercury Project Team
The Love Birds:
Poul Thorsen, CDC Grantee, Autism Author and Researcher
Diana Schendel, CDC Epidemiologist, Research Health Scientist, CDC, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (and supervisor to Poul Thorsen)
World Mercury Project (WMP) has reported that Centers for Disease Conrol (CDC) autism research scientist turned whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, disclosed fraud in CDC autism research. Since Thompson’s disclosures, even more CDC whistleblowers beyond the subject of autism have come forward describing ongoing research fraud and misuse of funds at CDC.
Now, WMP wants to call your attention to a more recently uncovered scandal: the love notes between Poul Thorsen and Diana Schendel, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
As World Mercury Project (WMP) discussed in our criminal conduct report of Poul Thorsen, Thorsen had an inappropriate relationship with his CDC supervisor, Diana Schendel beginning in 2002. These love notes are an important piece of the autism/vaccine link story. It is highly inappropriate for a CDC supervisor to be intimately involved with a grantee. When CDC managers learned of Schendel’s relationship with Thorsen, the disciplinary response from her supervisor, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, M.D., was equivalent to a hand slap.
As history has proven, the love relationship between Schendel and Thorsen (which includes accepting personal gifts and private retreats) resulted in lack of objectivity and oversight regarding Thorsen’s research activities which, in turn, allowed violations of laws governing protection of human subjects. And, as the indictment shows, the embezzlement of millions of dollars from the CDC.
Previous investigations into Thorsen’s research document a questionable loss of research subjects from studies using the Denmark Psychiatric Registry for which he had access and control. The loss of research subjects skewed research findings toward no association between autism and the mercury-based preservative Thimerosal. Noted epidemiological autism researcher, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, said of the Denmark research in a presentation at the 2007 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Workshop Autism and the Environment, “It was a study looking at the removal of thimerosal from vaccines and the rates of autism before and after. What you can see from this time line, which was not necessarily obvious from the original paper, was that before thimerosal was removed, there was a period of time when only inpatients were in the database, and during part of the “after-removal” period, which covered all the way out to 2000 in this study, there was an interval when both outpatients and inpatients were included. This study, therefore, is not a rigorous design, because as you can see, you can’t really compare the before and after periods because of artifacts in how the database was constructed, and specifically, in how that changed over time.” (WMP emphasis)
The Thorsen Denmark CDC studies were the bedrock of science used to dismiss over 5000 “vaccine court” claims by families who watched their children regress after exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines. And, by not being completely transparent on the dangers of injecting thimerosal into infants, the Thorsen research has resulted in the continued widespread use of this dangerous, neurotoxic vaccine ingredient.
It has now been six years now since Paul Thorsen was indicted for the alleged criminal acts of wire fraud, money laundering and a scheme to steal over $1 million in CDC grant money for critical research. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) also added him to the “Most Wanted” list. Yet Thorsen has been allowed to continue his work, business as usual, with no effort to prosecute him. There has also been no effort to restore the precious autism research dollars allegedly stolen that would help find solutions for families who desperately need answers for their autistic children.
Diana Schendel left the CDC and the United States. Since 2013, she has worked at Denmark’s Aarhus University (Thorsen’s previous employer) as a professor and autism researcher. And, as late as 2015, was still publishing papers on autism with her previous supervisor and current CDC employee, Yeargin-Allsopp.
World Mercury Project asks for:
- Thorsen’s extradition back to the U.S. to face criminal charges;
- a forensic evaluation of the research data used by Thorsen; and
- Retraction of Thorsen’s research used to deny families’ autism/vaccine claims.
The “Love” emails, plus emails regarding the missing money and the cover up.
In a CDC internal investigation of Schendel’s emails regarding an inappropriate relationship and gifts, Public Health Analyst, Joanne Wojcik, reported to supervisors and co-workers Colleen Boyle, Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, Sudevi Ghosh, Victoria Kipreos and Tom Horne that a search for “love” had turned up approximately 330 emails which included at least four potential gifts of wine carafes, earrings, a sword and mountain retreat. In addition to the “love” emails, FOIA turned up emails about the missing money, and attempt to cover up actions:
These notes are between Autism/Vaccine Researcher and CDC Grantee, Poul Thorsen, and his supervisor, Diana Schendel, CDC Autism/Vaccine Researcher.
These notes, minutes and documents are from various meetings. The emails are between Diana Schendel (CDC), Teresa Fulford (CDC), Dorthe Hejl, Søren K. Kjærgaard (University of Aarhus), Joanne Wojcik (CDC), Paul Thorsen, Darlene Carlton (CDC), Coleen Boyle (CDC), Erik Parner, Carsten Obel, Catherine Rice (CDC), Kim Van-Naarden-Braun, Robert Vogt (CDC), Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp (CDC), Ulrik Kesmodel, Clark Denny (CDC), Tina Røndrup Kilburn, Hanne-Lise Falgreen Eriksen, Ashild Skogerø and Jakob Grove.
(Mismanagement & Intentional Collusion by CDC Staff with Principal Investigator Poul Thorsen)
An easy-to-follow overview by Beth Clay for World Mercury Project that puts some of the emails in context with a timeline of events.