inconvenient facts

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home about Big Pharma The Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine:

The Jonas Salk Polio Vaccine:

A Medical Breakthrough or a Propaganda Campaign for Big Pharma?

Dr_Jonas_SalkWhen polio (poliomyelitis) became an epidemic in the U.S. and other parts of the world many people were understandably concerned. Diseases are absolutely frightening. During the 1950’s, polio made the public fearful. In April of 1952, Dr. Salk announced at the University of Michigan that he had developed a vaccine against the polio virus. That same day, the U.S. government approved a license for the immediate distribution of the polio vaccine. By 1954 the U.S. government allowed national testing for the newly developed vaccine which Dr. Salk himself developed by growing a live polio virus in kidney tissues in Asian Rhesus monkeys. He used formaldehyde to kill the virus.

Dr. Salk injected the vaccine into humans with a small amount of the actual virus into the body so it’s natural defenses can build immunity or a defense mechanism against the virus. The first experimentations on humans resulted in 60%-70% who did not develop the virus although 200 people were reported to have caught the disease, 11 of them died as a result. The cause was a faulty batch, but regardless of the outcome, vaccine tests continued unabated. One year after the result, four million vaccinations were given in the U.S. By April 12th, 1955, the Salk vaccine was licensed for distribution after the results were officially published. The release of the polio vaccine prompted criticism.


In December 1960, a health news magazine called the ‘Herald of Health’ published a crucial report titled ‘The Great Salk Vaccine Fiasco: Misuse of statistics, blackout of vaccine cases, cited by eminent Chicago doctor’ By Ernest B. Zeisler, M.D. (which can be found at who disagreed with Dr. Salk’s claims that the vaccine was safe or even useful against polio.  Dr. Zeisler wrote a personal note to the publisher of the magazine M. S. Arnoni and told him that “No newspaper, periodical or medical journal will touch this. Many authorities in this field agree with me, and some have written me to say so and to congratulate me for what they call my ‘courage.’But no medical man will agree with me publicly”. Dr. Zeisler wrote:


On April 12, 1955, results of a 1954 field test were published and the Salk vaccine became a licensed product. Prof. Paul Meier of the School of Hygiene and Public Health at Johns Hopkins University revealed that “the vaccines used in the field trial, which were produced by two of the manufacturers, had been extensively tested in three laboratories and had been found negative for live virus. Many of the lots of vaccine released after the field trial had been produced by other manufacturers and had been tested only by the producer. Therefore, the safety of these lots could not properly be judged from the results of the field trial. All manufacturers had rejected some lots because live virus had been found in them, and therefore Salk’s theory that safety was guaranteed by the method of preparation obviously did not apply

Dr. Zeisler’s report was well documented with evidence regarding the safety of the polio vaccines. He quoted Professor Meier’s statement which was published in 1957 report by Science Magazine. What was disturbing about the vaccine trials that it lacked proper controls and a little less than half was even considered “bias in favor of the vaccinated” which violated the basic principles of scientific research.  Dr. Zeisler quoted K.A. Brownlee from the University of Chicago in the Journal of the American Statistical Association which was published in 1955 described what the field trials actually proved:

The field trial itself had violated the cardinal principles of scientific procedure. As said by Brownlee in the Journal of the American Statistical Association: “. . . 59 per cent of the trial was worthless because of the lack of adequate controls. The remaining 41 per cent may be all right but contains internal evidence of bias in favor of the vaccinated. .. The reviewer . . . would point out that gamma globulin was triumphantly proclaimed effective by the National Foundation after a similar trial . . .”

Dr. Zeisler said that the U.S. Public Health service continued to promote “gamma globulin” or a human blood plasma made from donated human blood that contained antibodies to fight diseases as a way to combat polio.  He wrote “It may be of interest to note that in May of 1954, several months after it had been shown to be valueless in preventing poliomyelitis, the U.S. Public Health Service continued to recommend and distribute gamma globulin “for use against poliomyelitis.” Zeisler criticized the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for not publishing Brownlee’s criticism.   However, the official report of the field trials which proved inaccurate was used by the ‘National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis’ several months later in an effort to promote the polio vaccine to the public in 1955.  So how safe was the polio vaccine according to Dr. Salk?  He was interviewed by LIFE magazine in an article titled ‘Tracking the Killer’ and was asked if his “monkey vaccine was safe” and he answer was “There is no question of ‘how safe is it?’ It is safe, and it can’t be safer than safe’.” The deception committed by the medical establishment and the U.S. government was undeniable as Dr. Zeisler wrote that “the public was deceived into permitting mass vaccination of children with a vaccine which should have been known to be unsafe and which was not known to be of any value in preventing poliomyelitis.” With this proven fact, he added “that certain lots of vaccine had produced a number of cases of poliomyelitis, and within another four weeks all the vaccine was withdrawn from use.”

Was the Salk vaccine safe and highly effective? Two Conflicting Reports

The U.S. Public Health Service issued two conflicting reports.  In the first report it stated “that a single inoculation of the Salk vaccine used in 1955 was sufficient to give from 50 to 80 per cent protection against paralytic poliomyelitis” Dr. Zeisler also noted that the second report “two days later it issued another report stressing the safety of the current Salk vaccine.” JAMA released a statement by Dr. Herbert Ratner, an Associate Clinical Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University in Chicago and also a Health Commissioner of Oak Park, Ill which did not agree with the results from the U.S. Public Health Service claimed Dr. Zeisler. Dr. Ratner’s statement said:

The widespread national publicity that followed these reports naturally led the public and the medical profession at large to believe we now had a safe and highly effective vaccine. “However, what was not made sufficiently clear in the reports and press stories that covered the country was that the first report, stressing excellent effectiveness, referred to an earlier model of a Salk vaccine and Hurt the second report, stressing current safety referred to a later model, . . . the Salk vaccine, for which great effectiveness is claimed on the basis of one inoculation, is a product that is no longer on the market nor in the hands of physicians . . . The Salk vaccine, then, which we were encouraged to believe is both highly effective and safe on the basis of recent reports, turns out to be, when highly effective, a vaccine that is no longer on the market and, when safe, a vaccine that has yet to make its appearance and clinically prove its effectiveness . . . during the summer the promoters of the vaccine continued to urge mass inoculations in spite of recognized ignorance on their part

There was an Increase of polio cases in Chicago as of June of 1956. Dr. Herman Bundesen and Dr. John B. Hall (who did not believe the Salk vaccine was the cause) responded to the new findings which Dr. Zeisler noted from a Chicago Daily News report in June 1956:

Dr. Herman Bundesen, President of the Chicago Board of Health, was quoted as saying: “It’s too early to speculate on the efficacy of the vaccine.” This moment of candor was not to recur from then until now. On the same day, Dr. John B. Hall, director of the Cook County Board of Health, said, concerning six cases of polio in children who had received, the Salk vaccine. he did not think the vaccine caused the polio attacks in those who got the disease after inoculation”

During the month of July 1956, Zeisler wrote a letter to Dr. Hart E. Van Viper, A medical Director of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis asking why did he tell both doctors to “take leadership” in their community claiming that the vaccine was 75% effective and therefore it is deemed safe.  What if a real estate agent was trying to sell you a house that had a 75% chance of collapsing, but told you the house was safe regardless of the fact, would you still buy it? Dr. Van Riper’s response contradicted what he said prior to Dr. Zeisler’s letter:

On July 3, 1956 the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis sent a letter to all physicians over the signature of Hart E.Van Riper, its Medical Director, urging them to “give reassurance that the present Salk vaccine is safe and effective to patients, parents and others in your community who still needlessly doubt it … the vaccine is at least 75% effective in preventing paralytic poliomyelitis. . . . Won’t you take leadership in your community and among your patients to see that they get this safe, highly effective vaccine now?”

On July 9, I wrote to Dr. Van Riper, quoting Drs. Bundesen and Hall, and asking: “Why, if the vaccine has been proved to be 75% effective is it still too early even to speculate about its effectiveness? And why, if it has been proved safe is it possible for the head of a health department merely to think that it did not cause infection?”

In his reply, dated July 12, Dr. Van Riper said as to Dr. Bundesen’s remark that “it’s too early to speculate about the effectiveness of the vaccine”: “I can only assume that Doctor Bundesen intended to imply that we could expect an even greater degree of effectiveness in the prevention of paralytic poliomyelitis in 1956 as compared with 1955, . . .”

It seemed that Dr. Van Riper “was assuming” that Dr. Bundesen was betting that the vaccines were expected to be more effective than the previous year.  What was questionable to Dr. Bundesen’s implications was that he started to consider that the Salk vaccine was actually spreading the disease wrote Dr. Zeisler:

That this is not at all what Dr. Bundesen intended to imply is shown by the fact that only two days after expressing his doubt, he called a conference of health authorities to decide whether or not vaccination with the Salk vaccine should not be entirely discontinued in view of the accelerated rise of new cases of paralytic polio in Chicago. Dr. Bundesen obviously was considering the possibility that the Salk vaccine would help spread the disease.

On July 27, there were already 203 reported cases of paralytic polio in Chicago. But Dr. Bundesen said: “. . . there were no paralytic cases among children who had received all three shots.” On the same day I wrote Dr. Van Riper the following: “If no child in the area had received three injections, then the fact that none of those with paralytic polio had received three doses is irrelevant and inevitable. In the daily figures which have been given there is always the statement as to how many of those who have come down with paralytic polio had been vaccinated, but never any figure as to how many children in the area had been vaccinated compared to the total number in the area. . . . People are being urged to have their children vaccinated at once, and physicians are urged to further this, with the implication that such procedure will be effective in stemming the tide of the present epidemic. . . . Yet, inasmuch as the third dose is to be given seven months after the first, only the first two could have’ any possible effect this year.”

This letter elicited only double-talk from Dr. Van Riper in a letter dated August 9. Dr. Bundesen continued to issue reassuring statements. On August 9 he stated he was “concerned with the drop off in the number of persons returning for their second shots of vaccine . . . The situation may become critical unless parents bring their children in for their second and third shots when they are due, and for the first inoculation if they have not already had it.”

“Of the city’s 371 paralytic cases— the form against which the vaccine is effective—not a single case has been reported for any person who had the recommended three inoculations. There have been 54 among those getting only one and 13 among those with two”

He also explained how the numbers did not add up according to the Chicago-Sun Times report:

The obvious explanation for this division of the incidence of paralytic polio was, of course, that there were more persons who had one injection than two, and perhaps none who had all three. This was never suggested by the health authorities or by the medical societies or journals. Even Dr. Thomas Francis, Jr., of the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told the university’s medical alumni: “Of all the 113 polio cases in Michigan diagnosed as paralytic, not one case has been reported among those children who had previously received three shots of vaccine.”

On September 29, the U.S. Public Health Service said “three Salk shots have proved 100 per cent effective against polio so far this year.”

Still no indication that anyone had received all three injections! On September 30, I again wrote to Dr. Van Riper: “I have inquired from one of the foremost authorities in Chicago as to how many children in the Chicago epidemic area this summer had previously received -three injections. He said no one knew the answer, but that the number was certainly very small. I then asked him whether to his knowledge any of them had received all three injections, and he replied he did not know. I would greatly appreciate your reply to this question. . .” On October 26, after inconsequential interim correspondence, he finally answered: “I am sorry that to date there has not been sufficient time elapsed since the Chicago epidemic to enable anyone to give a definite answer to the question you have raised. I do know that a study is being made and feel sure this will be made public when it is completed.” But no time was needed after the epidemic to determine how many persons had had all three injections before the epidemic began. In any case, here was a clear admission that no one knew so the repeated assurances of the 100 per cent effectiveness of three doses of the Salk vaccine in preventing paralytic polio in this epidemic, admit of no possible explanation other than either deliberate falsehood with intent to deceive or unconscionable stupidity.

By late November the public had seemingly become so apathetic about Salk vaccination that the pharmaceutical houses and the health authorities enlisted the aid of President Eisenhower, and on November 27 induced him to express alarm that there were 17,000,000 doses of Salk vaccine unused on the shelf and that they could “prevent paralysis or even death.” The Sun-Times quoted Dr. Bundesen as saying: “If everyone 45 or under gets the complete series, there will not be a single case of paralytic polio in Chicago in 1957?(14) thereby asserting that the vaccine in three doses was 100 per cent effective. ” On January 3, 1957, U.S. Public Health Service reported that paralytic polio in the United States had dropped from 10,641 cases in 1955 to 6,708 cases in 1956. This was a decrease of 37 per cent.  The New York Times said “Health officials said the use of the Salk vaccine had undoubtedly reduced the disease but there was no way of knowing to what extent”

The propaganda methods used by the pharmaceutical corporations and the health authorities was to sell the notion that the vaccines were safe and effective despite the fact it was the opposite. Dr. Zeisler mentions a report about a meeting that took place in the New York Academy of Science with records of those who received all three doses of the Salk vaccine actually developed polio.  There were at least 150 cases including several deaths due to polio:

Health authorities said they had no explanation for this decrease. Later the same month it was reported at a meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences that there were records of more than 150 cases of paralytic polio, including several deaths, among persons who had received all three injections of Salk vaccine. Without ever referring to this, newspapers, medical journals and medical societies continued to plug for the vaccine

As Dr. Zeisler summarized in his closing argument proving that his research on the success of the polio vaccine was in fact questionable:

The considerable increase in paralytic poliomyelitis in the United States during the past two years, despite the progressive decrease in the number of the most susceptible persons (those under 40) who have not yet been triply-vaccinated, does not prove that the vaccine is valueless. But the evidence, biased as it is in favor of the vaccine, suggests that it may be of little or no value. Even more, it suggests the distinct possibility that the vaccine may actually be at least partly responsible for the increase by producing carriers who spread the disease

Before Dr. Jonas Salk’s new found invention of the polio vaccine was announced to the public, it was discovered that Salk performed illegal experimentations on mental patients according to report on the new discovery by Mike Adams titled ‘Dr. Jonas Salk, inventor of polio vaccine, exposed as criminal-minded scientist who conducted illicit medical experiments on mental patientsdescribing Dr. Salk as a “criminal-minded scientist” who used mental patients to conduct his medical experiments:

Dr. Jonas Salk, one of the “gods” in the cult of pharmacology — a man who is credited with inventing the polio vaccine — has now been exposed as a medical criminal who conducted illegal medical experiments on mental patients. This fact has come to light courtesy of the Associated Press, believe it or not, which has been investigating the history of medical experiments as part of a press effort leading up to scheduled bioethics meetings in Washington.

According to the Associated Press, Dr. Jonas Salk co-authored a clinical trial that “injected experimental flu vaccine in male patients at a state insane asylum in Ypsilanti, Mich., then exposed them to flu several months later.” The victims of this medical experiment were described as “senile and debilitated,” meaning that obtaining their rational consent to participate in such experiments would have been impossible. And that means Dr. Jonas Salk — one of the most highly-worshipped figures throughout modern medicine — was conducting this trial in violation of medical ethics and in violation of the law

The article also explains how U.S. Pharmaceutical corporations experimented on prisoners as medical guinea pigs:

And on that topic, the true history of the criminal medical experiments that have been done in order to boost the profits of Big Pharma will absolutely shock you. As the AP reports:

“The late 1940s and 1950s saw huge growth in the U.S. pharmaceutical and health care industries, accompanied by a boom in prisoner experiments funded by both the government and corporations. By the 1960s, at least half the states allowed prisoners to be used as medical guinea pigs.”

This is the result of Big Pharma leaning on state authorities, of course. Where profits are to be made, human rights have never gotten in the way. In fact, as the historical record clearly shows, the U.S. government has repeatedly conspired with the drug industry to use innocent human beings as unwitting guinea pigs in dangerous, deadly medical experiments

However, by 1959, at least 90 countries received Dr. Salk’s polio vaccinations for their own citizens.  That same year an interesting turn of events took place; Dr. Bernice Eddy of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) made an accidental discovery. While she was examining the kidney cells of Rhesus monkeys, she noticed how the cells were systematically dying off. Why was this significant? It was where the polio vaccine originated from. Dr. Eddy’s discovery was quickly dismissed; of course today it would be considered a “conspiracy theory.” Dr. Maurice Hilleman and Dr. Ben Sweet of Merck & Co also managed to isolate the SV40 virus also known as “Simian Virus 40” in the polio vaccinations. In a November 3rd, 2003 issue of the Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, a report in by Michael E. Horwin explains how the “Simian Virus 40” was found to cause cancer in laboratory animals confirming Dr. Eddy’s findings:

Dr. Eddy discovered that the cells would die without any apparent cause. She then took suspensions of the cellular material from these kidney cell cultures and injected them into hamsters. Cancers grew in the hamsters. Shortly thereafter, scientists at the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. discovered what would later be determined to be the same virus identified by Eddy. This virus was named Simian Virus 40 or SV40 because it was the 40th simian virus found in monkey kidney cells

After Dr. Eddy’s discovery was made public, several prominent researchers and scientists including Dr. Salk defended the polio vaccine with little evidence to claim that it actually cured Polio. Dr. Zeisler was not the only medical professional to doubt the effectiveness of the Polio vaccine; Dr. Suzanne Humphries M.D. also stated in the past that a cover-up took place to hide the fact from the public that the polio vaccine was actually spreading polio. Dr. Humphries explains how a deadly live polio virus strain infected the Salk vaccines which led to an epidemic of a polio-type disease such as “aseptic meningitis” or “Acute Flaccid Paralysis” (AFP). Dr. Humphries wrote ‘Smoke, Mirrors, and the ‘Disappearance’ Of Polio’ in 2012 and said the following:

Unbeknownst to most doctors, the polio-vaccine history involves a massive public health service makeover during an era when a live, deadly strain of poliovirus infected the Salk polio vaccines, and paralyzed hundreds of children and their contacts. These were the vaccines that were supposedly responsible for the decline in polio from 1955 to 1961! But there is a more sinister reason for the “decline” in polio during those years; in 1955, a very creative re-definition of poliovirus infections was invented, to “cover” the fact that many cases of “polio” paralysis had no poliovirus in their systems at all. While this protected the reputation of the Salk vaccine, it muddied the waters of history in a big way

Another interesting fact that Dr. Humphries points out was a Statement made by Clinton R. Miller regarding ‘Intensive Immunization Programs’ on May 1962 before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce in the House of Representatives.  Mr. Miller told the committee the following:

The tendency of a mass vaccination program is to herd people. People are not cattle or sheep. They should not be herded. A mass vaccination program carries a built-in temptation to oversimplify the problem; to exaggerate the benefits; to minimize or completely ignore the hazards; to discourage or silence scholarly, thoughtful and cautious opposition; to create an urgency where none exists; to whip up an enthusiasm among citizens that can carry with it the seeds of impatience, if not intolerance; to extend the concept of the police power of the state in quarantine far beyond its proper limitation; to assume simplicity when there is actually great complexity; to continue to support a vaccine long after it has been discredited;… to ridicule honest and informed consent

Adolf Hitler was once quoted as saying if you “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” More than 98 million people were given the polio vaccine through a well-crafted propaganda campaign committed by medical professionals aligned with Merck & Co. and others in the medical establishment and of course, the U.S. government. In today’s market, the Flu vaccine (High Dose) for people over 65 years old costs 54.99 per dose and the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine costs on average $99.99 according to a Walgreen’s price list. Now imagine the total U.S. population as of 2015 stands at over 300 million. If you do the math, pharmaceutical corporations will reap billions of dollars in profits. The mainstream media (MSM) continues to push all types of prescription drugs and various types of vaccines to the public even during commercials. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that advertises prescription drugs and vaccines to the public. Legal drugs is a lucrative business, you can even say dangerous especially when big pharmaceutical corporations, the media and elected officials in Washington collaborate on foreign and domestic policies regarding health as a national security issue.

However, the good news is the growing numbers of people worldwide who do not trust many big pharmaceutical corporations or the U.S. government when it is involved in vaccination campaigns, most notably the recent case of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who might face a possible lawsuit by the Indian government. An investigation is still taking place.  According to a 2012 article published by titled ‘Confirmed: India’s Polio Eradication Campaign in 2011 Caused 47,500 Cases of Vaccine-Induced Polio Paralysis’ by Dr. Mercola himself  wrote about that the increase of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) was due to the oral polio vaccine (OPV).   NPAFP was now ”12 times higher” with 47,500 cases as the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics reported:

A paper published earlier this year in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics should have made headlines around the globe, as it estimated there were 47,500 cases of a polio-like condition linked to children in India receiving repeated doses of oral polio vaccine in 2011 alone. The incidence of non-polio Accute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) in India is now 12 times higher than expected and coincides with huge increases in OPV doses being given to children in the quest to “eradicate” wild type polio infection and paralysis.

Researchers reported:

“…while India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received. Though this data was collected within the polio surveillance system, it was not investigated. The principle of primum-non-nocere [First, do no harm] was violated”

I agree with Dr. Mercola’s assessment on the growing distrust of vaccinations on a world wide scale when he said:

What you’re NOT learning from the mainstream media, however, is that there’s a growing public movement fighting the profound misinformation about these OPV campaigns being conducted repeatedly among children in India and other nations. One recent published paper has suggested that increased administration of OPV doses among children in India is associated with increases in Accute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP), which is as crippling and deadly as wild type polio paralysis

Dr. Jonas Salk became a legend in the field of medicine in the U.S. and the world. There is the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, San Diego, California, you have Salk scholarships awarded to students every year, the City College of New York (CCNY) and Salk’s “alma Mater” celebrates his accomplishments. In 2014, CCNY stated that it will “honor polio vaccine pioneer’s 100th birthday with symposium on disease he helped defeat.” They even established the Polio Hall of Fame, Yet the failures of the polio vaccines are ignored by the MSM, the U.S. government and the medical establishment. In this case, propaganda for the polio vaccine has won the battle for “Big Pharma” profits, but the war for our health will be won in the end by the people who do not trust any sort of corporate sponsored drugs or vaccines even when old and new diseases occur.  There are better ways to fight diseases, perhaps with a focus on ’Prevention’ rather than to depend on drugs that are produced for the sole purpose of profits.

Timothy Alexander Guzman is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on political, economic, media and historical spheres. He has been published in Global Research, The Progressive Mind, European Union Examiner, News Beacon Ireland,, EIN News and a number of other alternative news sites. He is a graduate of Hunter College in New York City.

Published with the author's permission.

Copyright © Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News, 2015