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In May 2017, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was invited to meet with Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Accompanying Kennedy to the meeting were Del Bigtree, Informed Consent Action Network founder, attorney Aaron Siri and Lyn Redwood, R.N., MSN, president emerita of Children's Health Defense (CHD).

Several other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials in the executive offices of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) accompanied Collins and Fauci.

For many years, Kennedy — CHD founder and chairman on leave — and many others had pointed out that HHS had not completed inert placebo-controlled vaccine safety trials to validate the inoculations given as a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommended child and adolescent immunization schedule.

This type of comparative trial is the gold standard in evaluating the safety of all types of pharmaceutical products.

When Kennedy asked Fauci to produce just one placebo-controlled study regarding the 16 vaccines comprising the vaccination schedule, Fauci made quite a commotion, rifling through a series of Redweld file folders rolled in on a cart from the NIH archives.

Finally, in what appeared to be feigned exasperation, Fauci gave up and said he would send the studies in question to the meeting participants.

Of course, he never did.

Both Kennedy and Bigtree gave the HHS many opportunities to produce placebo-controlled studies evaluating childhood vaccine safety — but the agency never produced the studies.

Kennedy asked for them directly in a series of emails to Collins finally to be rebuffed in a curt and dismissive letter from Collins, sent in August 2017. So sweeping was the commitment against placebo-controlled trials for vaccine safety that six additional NIH officials signed the letter, which was also sent to Jared Kushner, senior adviser to then-President Donald Trump.

The NIH officials seemed proud of their commitment to sweeping vaccine safety issues under the rug.

Bigtree also sent a letter to HHS asking for placebo-controlled vaccine safety studies and the biennial reports required by Congress regarding improvements in vaccine safety according to the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

After being similarly rebuffed by the agency, Bigtree submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the latter information. After suing HHS in Federal Court, in a case represented by Kennedy and Siri, Bigtree finally received the concession on June 27, 2018:

"The [Department]'s searches for records did not locate any records responsive to your request. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Immediate Office of the Secretary (IOS) conducted a thorough search of its document tracking systems.
"The Department also conducted a comprehensive review of all relevant indexes of HHS Secretarial Correspondence records maintained at Federal Records Centers that remain in the custody of HHS.

"These searches did not locate records responsive to your request, or indications that records responsive to your request and in the custody of HHS are located at Federal Records Centers."
Kennedy didn't stop there, however. In 2019, he reached out to me in an effort to search the scientific and medical literature for any published research study where the health outcomes of vaccinated individuals were compared to those of unvaccinated individuals.

For each study identified, we assembled easy-to-understand graphics with key quotes taken directly from the publication.

Kennedy wanted the studies to speak for themselves with minimal commentary. He posted the results of this work on his Instagram account in real time. Over a nearly two-year period, we highlighted more than 70 studies, including some that intentionally made the comparison and some in which the comparison was unintentional.

After Kennedy was de-platformed from Instagram in 2021, we realized that what we had assembled was an important compendium of information that needed to be shared in book form.

An additional 30 studies were found through the COVID-19 era and the book "Vax-Unvax: Let the Science Speak" will be released Aug. 29 by Skyhorse Publishing. Click here to order your copy today.

This book is important for laypersons, practitioners, scientists and others to get an overview of studies where actual unvaccinated cohorts are used as control groups.

Most of the studies featured in the book are indexed in PubMed, the NIH National Library of Medicine. These are the studies that the CDC refused to do.

The CDC has the ability to compare vaccinated versus unvaccinated children with its private database, the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD). The VSD consists of records from more than 10 million individuals, including 2 million children — a portion of whom are unvaccinated.

Yet the CDC has never compared the health outcomes of vaccinated children to completely unvaccinated children — and the agency won't give independent researchers access to the VSD to complete such a study.

That is why Kennedy and I produced this compendium of studies — to expose to the public the real science behind the vaccination schedule, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Defender on occasion posts content related to Children's Health Defense's nonprofit mission that features Mr. Kennedy's views on the issues CHD and The Defender regularly cover. In keeping with Federal Election Commission rules, this content does not represent an endorsement of Mr. Kennedy, who is on leave from CHD and is seeking the Democratic nomination for president of the U.S.

Brian S. Hooker, Ph.D., is senior director of science and research at Children's Health Defense and professor emeritus of biology at Simpson University in Redding California.