Imagine a cold, rainy day in the future. Paul Offit calls a press conference. He walks out, stands there, pale and grim, and apologizes for everything he has ever said and done with regard to vaccines. The next day there are headlines in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Forbes, and countless other major news sources labeling him a quack and a threat to the health of the nation. Calls immediately go out for Dr. Offit to retract and repent. He becomes a pariah. But you can start to see a hint of the Sun behind the clouds and the day has gotten a little warmer.
I am here to say I am sorry. I was wrong. Terribly terribly wrong. Vaccines are not safe and effective, as I have long argued. We must stop. Now. The sooner my fellow doctors awaken from this calamity and see the light, the sooner we can move on from this darkest of dark times in the history of our planet. I am sorry for all the people I have hurt and all the families I have destroyed through my ignorance, ineptitude, greed and fear. I should have known better. The information was out there, but I was unwilling to search and accept and believe. I have no excuse, only immeasurable regret and sorrow. I do not expect forgiveness. I do not merit it. The injuries and deaths have been too great, too many. Effective immediately, I am resigning from my duties and responsibilities as a physician and I am retiring from the practice of medicine and as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. If I could do my life over again, I would do it differently. It has all been a horrible mistake, and I sincerely apologize. Thank you.
As the German physician and immunologist Wolfgang Ehrengut once noted, it may be that doctors [and others] have a negative bias against the harm that vaccines cause, a thick-headed, mind-boggling unwillingness to believe, because “what must not be, therefore, cannot be.” I mean, it just can’t be true, right? Because what would they do if it were true? A more unenviable situation is hard to imagine. But that is no excuse for continuing the charade.