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Rappin’ Hillary Simpson, #crazymothers, and #DearDoctor: Antivaxers blaming doctors for vaccinating children. Again.

Hillary Simpson created the Facebook group #crazymothers to co-opt the perception that the science-based world has of her and her fellow antivax mothers. Now, she’s cooked up a hashtag and social media campaign called #DearDoctor to encourage mothers to harass their child’s former pediatricians by writing letters blaming them for vaccinating and supposedly causing their children’s autism. Oh, and she does freestyle rap, too. Badly.

It’s been a somewhat slow blogging week, with fewer than usual posts. I’m not sure why that is. One reason is that, for reasons I can’t explain, I totally crashed the other night at around 8 PM and didn’t wake up until nearly 5 AM. Work and all my extracurricular activities must have finally caught up with me. It doesn’t matter, because I’m back in the saddle again, having found a bit of antivaccine propaganda that I’ve been meaning to address. No, it’s not J.B. Handley’s new book on how to “end the autism epidemic,” although I might address that at some point. (No, I don’t plan on wasting several hours of my life actually reading it. There’s no reason to, given how many interviews and posts that our old buddy has done regarding it. They provide plenty of fodder, and, given how long I’ve been following J.B.’s support of antivaccine quackery, I can pretty much predict what’s in his book without reading it. Besides, he basically says what’s in it.) Rather, I’m referring to a new “movement” (if you can call it that) of mothers known as “Crazy Mothers” (social media hashtag #crazymothers), founded by an antivaxer named Hillary Simpson.

According to the group’s Facebook page:

The #crazymothers community was created in hopes of bringing awareness to vaccine injury. We hope to give a voice to all of the crazymothers.

I see what you did there, Ms. Simpson. You’ve appropriated the “crazy mothers” epithet as a badge of honor. I don’t think it’ll work in this case, though, because the things being written in the name of #crazymothers are, well, pretty crazy. In fact, Ms. Simpson herself lays down some pretty nutty stuff herself. For instance, just take a look at what one can only call her personal manifesto, laid down about three months ago. (Yes, #crazymothers doesn’t appear to be that old.) Here she is:

I must admit, I had a hard time not laughing out loud at this video. Ms. Simpson seems to think she’s Eminem freestyle rapping, but she’s so overwrought, and her acting is so very, very bad. Her rhymes and lines most definitely are not anything even coming close to resembling sick. Her dramatic pauses linger far, far too long, to the point of being uncomfortable—and not in a good way. In fact, I couldn’t help but think that she reminded me more of a parody of an Eminem video, with all her rhythmic hand motions in time with her seeming free verse, than an homage or an attempt to emulate his rapping. Yes, Ms. Simpson’s video is basically open mic night at the suburban rap club, and even by those low standards Ms. Simpson’s not very good. If you can’t stomach actually watching the whole thing, you can get a taste of how overwrought the video is by this pasage:

Don’t listen to them. They’re just a bunch of #crazymothers.

[Loooong “dramatic” pause.]

I am a mother.
I am the one who knows the rhythm of my child’s heartbeat.
I am the one who gave life to this baby, no easy feat.
I am that baby’s first food, first sustenance in every sense of the word. Emotionally, physically, spiritually.
Whether the first or the third, I have what it needs to survive and thrive.
And now they’ve grown a little…
As a mother, I know when they need to eat or poop or get a big hug.
I know when they’re hiding.
I know if they’re lying.
I know who hit who first, without even trying.
I know how they like to sleep,
One bundled up, one without covers, and one somewhere in between.
I know all of their dreams.
I know their fears, their hopes. I know their wins and their losses.
I know which ones loves to brush their teeth and flosses
Every day so she won’t get a cavity.
I know how he won’t eat it unless it’s exactly right.
So I’ll make three meals just to avoid a fight.
I know how to keep them safe
How to read the emotion on their little face,
How one needs a nap, while the other needs some space.
I know how to juggle their feelings and toys
And somehow keep it together with all that noise.
And most importantly…
I know what happened to my little boy.

Yes, basically, Ms. Simpson is invoking what Jennifer McCarthy used to call her “mommy instinct,” because all her mommy superpowers let her just “know” what happened to her baby. She just “knows” vaccines injured him. Now, don’t get me wrong. Moms are amazing, and raising children is hard, incredibly hard. However, they are human. They don’t have any special powers that allow them to do and detect things that other human beings can’t, nor do their observations trump what we know about science, which tells us that there is no detectable link between vaccines and autism. Indeed, because the mother-child bond is so very, very strong, one can almost argue that mothers (and fathers, too) can have a hard time being reasonably objective, as a physician, advanced practice nurse, or other provider taking care of children needs to be. Thus any doctor who tries to pursuade one of these “#crazymothers” that vaccines don’t cause autism is viewed as disparaging them as, well, #crazymothers.

Ms. Simpson, predictably, goes on to blame the vaccines her son received at his six month visit for his abdominal symptoms, for recurrent ear infections, food allergies, and, of course, his neurodevelopmental disorder, which she describes as a “fog rolling in” trying to take her baby away from her, thus invoking one of the more offensive bits of imagery that antivaxers like to use to describe autism, that their autistic child is not their “real” child, that autism has somehow taken their “real child” away, their “real child” that they have to “recover” or somehow get back. Particularly telling is how she describes her “crusade” to “bring my boy back” and, above all, to “fix my mistake.” Yes, because to antivaxers, it’s always about them.

Of course, to “recover him,” Simpson went full “autism biomed” on her child, subjecting him to supplements, probiotics, and massive dietary changes. Not surprisingly, she felt that she was getting better because one day he looked at her and sang. Of course, as I’ve described many times, autism is not a condition of developmental stasis, but of developmental delay. Most autistic children “catch up” to some extent or another; a significant percentage even go on to lose their diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. A key feature of autism biomed is that parents are encouraged to try, try, try, and never give up. If one quackery doesn’t “work” (and none of them do), they’re encouraged to try another.

Also, not surprisingly, given her propensity for autism “biomed,” Simpson is into quackery. After all, that’s what autism biomed is. She goes on about “methuylation pathways” and how mutations in the MTHFR gene (more quackery) impair the body’s ability to eliminate the “toxins” in vaccines. Of course, while there are “toxins” in vaccines, the dose makes the poison and what’s in vaccines are minuscule, far below a level that could cause harm. Personally, I was more amused at her list of “toxins” in the vaccines, including fetal calf serum, monkey kidney cells, aluminum, and more. She buys into the lie that aluminum causes Alzheimer’s disease, and she fully buys into the formaldehyde gambit. (Word to Ms. Simpson: Formaldehyde is a product of normal metabolism, and the amount of formaldehyde in vaccines is far below the amount present in the blood of the children getting the vaccines. I thought of trying to come up with a little rhyme to tell you that, but, unlike you, I’m not going to try to rap when I know I’m no good at it. A man’s got to know his limitations. So does a woman, and, unlike Ms. Simpson, I do.)

Hilariously, she also buys into the “cells from aborted fetuses in vaccines” gambit, one of the more brain dead antivaccine tropes. Her rap about this has to be heard to be believed:

Then there’s the formaldehyde, the egg protein
And, of course, aborted fetal cells
They do try to filter the dead baby stuff out
Which is why it’s listed as an excipient, no doubt
But the study that found injected DNA
Can still become biologically active and mutate
I won’t get into that here, but let’s just say
We have no freaking clue if that’s even remotely safe.
There aren’t enough studies, period.

Uh, wrong. Actually, we do. I’ve written about the whole “fetal DNA in vaccines” trope more times than I can remember, so much so that I’m having a hard time finding a way to express just how many times I’ve written about it. Let’s just say that Ms. Simpson has zero clue what she is talking (rapping?) about. I’m well aware of the “studies” that claim to find “fetal DNA” in vaccines, and I’m well aware of how tiny the amount is and how incredibly unlikely it is that any harm is caused. Antivaccine cranks have even tried to pass a law requiring “informed consent” telling parents that there are “fetal cells” in vaccines.

All of this brings us to the point where Ms. Simpson embraces the term “crazy mothers.” And she does embrace it. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine underground loves it. Really loves it.

Which brings us to a particularly harmful thing that Ms. Simpson “inspired.” I’m referring to something called #DearDoctor. Basically, it’s a movement in which mothers of autistic children who mistakenly believe that their children are “vaccine damaged” are encouraged to write letters to their doctors blaming them for their children’s plight because, of course, it has to be the vaccines and someone must be blamed. You can get an idea of this from a post she did for—who else?—The Thinking Moms’ Revolution (or, as I like to call it, The Not-So-Thinking Moms’ Revolution). It’s an open letter entitled To the doctor who injured my child. She starts about how nice the doctor was:

I’m sure you don’t remember me, but I will never be able to forget you.

I vividly remember your kind eyes and gentle touch, your sense of humor and calm energy.

I remember the tiny toy duck that you always had with you. The one you would slather with hand sanitizer every time you walked into our room.

I connected with you as a fellow mother and felt like you had my child’s best interest at heart. I knew I had made the right decision by choosing you as our pediatrician, and I felt lucky since you were in high demand at one of the nation’s top hospitals.

I figured that I had won the Doctor Lottery and eagerly scheduled our well-baby checkups anticipating our conversation. You were always so nice.

But then:

I told you my worries, my concerns, the stories I had read, and how something wasn’t sitting right with me. I talked to you about a delayed schedule and how I wanted to space them out. I asked you to make sure we only did the “absolutely necessary” ones.

I listened intently as you reassured me that nothing would happen to my baby. I nodded in agreement when you told me that if I was an immigrant then I would feel differently because mothers in underdeveloped countries have seen the ravages of disease. I felt ashamed that my white privilege was suddenly so apparent, and I finally agreed that at my son’s 6-month appointment he would have his second round. I walked out of your office feeling safer and more confident that I was making the right decision to vaccinate my child. You handed me a neon-colored VIS [vaccine information sheet] on the way out and assured me that in your 20 years of practicing medicine, you had never seen a single serious vaccine reaction.

Ms. Simpson might not have meant it that way, but her portrayal shows that this pediatrician really does appear to be patient, kind, and evidence-based in his practice. Indeed, the next part of the open letter reveals the doctor trying to reassure the mother, to point out that there was nothing she could have done. However, like so many other antivaxers from Jenny McCarthy to the whole crews at TMR and Age of Autism, Simpson came to believe that she knew something that doctors didn’t through her “research”:

I started to research. Every single day. I looked up the vaccines, their ingredients and their known side effects. I read peer-reviewed studies and books written by doctors. I found thousands of stories that mirrored mine exactly. I discovered the term vaccine injury. I unearthed the corruption behind the vaccine industry, and most importantly I realized that I could heal him. I began our family’s journey into holistic medicine and gathered a tribe of Crazymothers who echoed my experience.

I began to feel strong.

I had always known that my son had a bad “reaction” to the vaccines, but when I came home one day from getting groceries and saw him standing by the window staring, rocking back and forth, ignoring my loud calls to him, I knew.

I knew that if he ever had another vaccine, that I would lose him into the world of autism.

As is so often the case, that Google University “research” led Simpson down the rabbit hole of risibly bad studies by antivaccine “scientists” like Mark Geier, Christopher Shaw, Christopher Exley, and others. I’d be willing to bet that she didn’t read a single study from a single reputable reseacher because she was looking for information to back up her belief that vaccines “injured” her child, not for information about vaccine safety. Not surprisingly, she found “holistic medicine” (i.e., quackery) and went all in. She found a naturopath and chiropractor and “did years of diet, vitamins, toxic elimination and treated everything without pharmaceuticals.” In other words, quackery.

You might think I was exaggerating when I said that, to antivaxers, it’s always all about them. Always. That bit about how she felt “strong” after her Google University “research” had led her down into the depths of antivaccine pseudoscience and quackery—obviously, she didn’t put it that way, but that’s what happened—is a tell Towards the end of her letter, after she’s done haranguing her son’s pediatrician about how she doesn’t believe him any more and how very, very wrong he was, Simpson brings it back to—who else?—her, because it’s all about her:

You were wrong.

And you were also wrong about me. You were wrong to think that I wouldn’t spend every waking second to try and heal him. You were wrong to think that I wouldn’t catch on. You were wrong to think that I wasn’t educated enough to read. You were wrong to think I wouldn’t be appalled at the corruption of Big Pharma. You were wrong in thinking I wouldn’t find millions of mothers saying “Me too.” You were wrong in believing that I would stay silent. You were wrong to think that I would eventually give up. You were wrong to think that I would forget what you did, and you were wrong if you ever thought I would forgive you.

We injured my child.

I healed him.

And because of that I will never stop telling the world just how wrong you were.

I couldn’t help but think of Donald Trump’s malignant narcissism here, although not quite as bad, as I could never imagine Donald Trump admitting that he had a part in doing anything bad. (“We injured my child.”) However, the part about how “I healed him” after the whole bit about how dedicated she was and how badly the doctor had underestimated her is and how she tried to misappropriate the “#metoo” movement to antivaccine purposes is pure narcissism. I alone can fix it. I alone healed my son. And all of you doctors know nothing.

It turns out that Simpson had announced a campaign to do a “guerrilla marketing campaign for the health freedom movement” two weeks ago and that her open letter was just an opening shot:

The result was the #DearDoctor hashtag, with antivaxers writing letters like this to their children’s doctors. Not surprisingly, antivaxers also used it as an strategy to promote and sell J.B. Handley’s new antivaccine book. Of course, Twitter being Twitter, provaxers took the hashtag and co-opted it:

And:

Yes, Katie Paulson took note of this a couple of weeks ago, and explained why the #DearDoctor movement is horrific for autism acceptance:

As I have read through this horrific and disgusting letters berating doctors, I feel an utter sense of sadness for the mother and doctor. The mother is living in a place of anger and denial. Instead of dealing with their grief, they are throwing stones at anyone that they can hurt. My therapist always use to tell me, “Hurt people, hurt people.”

Of course parents can be angry if something happens to their child. However, there is no valid reason to believe vaccines played any role. Instead of wasting their time and energy beating a dead horse about vaccines, they need to spend their time trying to accept their children.

Absolutely, no child would ever want to read some of the horrible things some of these moms are saying about them. These mothers speak about Autism as though it’s this horrific and deadly disease. That is not the heart of a mother that is accepting their child. No, that is an angry and bitter mother.

No child deserves to have a mother telling the world they are damaged. When they call their children “vaccine injured”, they might as well call them “damaged goods.” Chidren with autism are not damaged. They are different and beautiful.

I see what you are doing, mommas. I know your heart hurts. But taking your pain out on a doctor is misplaced and misguided. Stop deluding yourself to believe a vaccine created the autism. Your child was always autistic. Perhaps you didn’t see it right away. But I promise you they were born this way.

Indeed. Again, the #DearDoctor movement is not about doing what’s best for autistic children. It’s about the delusion that autism has somehow “stolen” antivaxers’ real children and that doctors are complicit in that theft. It’s about the illusion of control. It’s about blame, not acceptance, and she’s not the first to have this idea.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected].com

92 replies on “Rappin’ Hillary Simpson, #crazymothers, and #DearDoctor: Antivaxers blaming doctors for vaccinating children. Again.”

In the manner of Sherlock Holmes the peculiarities in the “Brand New Campaign” video must be noted. Booze on a table, pictureless frames on the wall, an antiquated church bench in front of expensive white leather chairs, and a marriage ring on the opposite hand. All these clues suggest Simpson is indeed a “Crazymother”.

Interesting how all the pediatricians, doctors, nurses, etc. that I have mentioned this to…..have backed up Hillary Simpson…..Oh, wait…NOT the doctors that are getting paid by big Pharma, NOT the nurses who are trying to keep their job because they have a family to support, NOT the doctors who have been murdered because they went public with the truth, NOT the doctors who think they are GOD….(because you are not, you are human). However, there are MANY HONEST doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers who ARE supporting the antivax campaign….and you will NOT silence us…..of course, you will delete this because you don’t want others to see it…REVOLUTION is here!

It appears your comment was not deleted as you expected. Amazing hey? Perhaps you’re just used to this on a anti-vaccination sites which routinely delete posts that provide evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines

Why delete a post that is a text book demonstration of exactly what Orac just spent the last several thousand words demonstrating, if you are lucky you may get your own fisking, though he generally needs more material to work with.

“I am the one who knows the rhythm of my child’s heartbeat”

Yah, sure. Yah betcha. I guess she knows how to listen for a heart murmur.

As a mother who has had to call 911 more than once for the child who has since had open heart surgery: folks like her disgust me.

Rather than disgust, it fills me with sadness, for the mother and particularly the children. My son is high functioning autistic, and while it’s not a condition I would wish for in an ideal world – it is something of an inconvenience for us all, especially him, he is, of course, exceedingly wonderful. Sometimes life deals you an ‘interesting’ hand and you just have to make the best of it for all concerned, especially the child. It takes a little effort, but the sirens call of paranoia and conspiracy can be resisted. She is probably trying to reassure herself as much as anyone that she is a good mother and therefore shifting the blame onto big pharma – quite possibly a belief in God complicates matters too. That quote ‘Hurt people, hurt people.’ is particularly apt. If only it were enough I’d call for hugs all round,

Carl

My son is also autistic. My issue is that he has a severe genetic heart disorder. What disgusts me is that she thinks she would know by some kind of magic everything about her kid. Plus she would be finding a way to blame something other than genetics for the heart disorder.

I am sure that you were told all the things you should do or that you did wrong to turn the child autistic. I got lots of that. What disgusts me are those who claim all heart disease is due to diet, etc. So, again, it is my fault he has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. What angered me was the call from the insurance company nurse after his heart surgery on “prevention.” Someone who should know better.

Thank you. The health insurance nurse actually annoyed me more than the mom on the listserv who told me I was not doing enough for my kid because I refused to try chelation. Le sigh.

The fact that this delightful young man got a double whammy of both neurological and cardiac issues is one reason why I am not a fan of the “worried well.” Especially those who go to places like here or Science Based Medicine to declare that our health is based only on our lifestyle choices. In the last week there has been a doozy at SBM who made that claim, but was confused when I gave him a list of several genetic disorders for him to show how diet or naturopathy would work for them.

He keeps coming back and posting the same nonsense. I am responding only with xkcd cartoons. 😉

What angered me was the call from the insurance company nurse after his heart surgery on “prevention.”

I live in a single pay country. I really cannot grasp such a thing. Intellectually yes I suppose I can believe such crap, but viscerally no. The media would crucify someone who did that.

I envy you. But you may still get that in a single pay country, because they would also work on prevention. But, good grief! Look at the blankety blank diagnosis! HCM is a very common genetic heart disorder.

Yah, sure. Yah betcha.

Modulo spelling, that was the label slogan for Ballard Bitter before Red Hook acquired them.

If her son was getting a second round at six months she was already half sold and predisposed to blame any problems on vaccines. I agree with your assessment of the doctor.

I wonder if she realizes how bad that letter makes her look outside the circle of believers.

I guess it’s another campaign aimed inside, or at least mostly reaching inside.

Cardi B she ain’t.

Well, TMR really needed an injection of energy to enliven it because it has been awfully quiet of late**.
Similarly, AoA seems to be mostly Kim’s feeble jokes or amateur dramatics
Handley’s book is now # 55 at Amazon ( AoA)
Handley and McCarthy were a few miles away from me ( AoA) yesterday however on Tuesday the commenter got both the county AND STATE wrong so I couldn’t find the locale on the net. It was -btw- in a very yuppified, big housed, less diverse suburban town. AS we would expect.

Not only is her “malignant Narcissism” like that of Trump but she also has NO IDEA how deficient her level of comprehension is.
I can’t stand it when anti-vaxxers or woo-meisters start spinning tales about physiology often waxing poetic about the blood brain barrier or something else they just read about, frequently mispronouncing terminology.

An important aspect of being in a cult is having other members to reinforce your beliefs as well as your self-aggrandisement.

** surprisingly, their facebook pages counts over 60K. .

frequently mispronouncing terminology
Hey, English spelling is a nasty thing. It is easy to mispronounce a word if you have never heard it before.

“I’m not going to try to rap when I know I’m no good at it.”

Well, there’s always poetry, which I do about as well she does rap:

An anti-vax mom went crazy
with dubious claims quite hazy;
..The doctors, she raps,
..poison little chaps,
With toxins that make her quite queasy.

“Yes, basically, Ms. Simpson is invoking what Jennifer McCarthy used to call her “mommy instinct,” because all her mommy superpowers let her just “know” what happened to her baby.”

A certain pediatrician Friend Of The Blog uses the catchphrase “No one knows your child better than you do”.

“Handley’s book is now # 55 at Amazon”

It still ranks behind Deborah Diesen’s “The Pout-Pout Fish” (children’s book).

God knows how these rankings get determined. I suspect a conspiracy involving Amazon employees, Chinese shills, AoA and the Masons.

I hope Simpson keeps putting out these awful videos–she’s doing a great job showing anti-vaxxers for the loons they truly are . Truly horrible acting.

The way she describes her child ““fog rolling in” trying to take her baby away from her” “Bring her boy back” sound a whole lot like how people used to describe changeling children 150+ years ago. And the things you would do to prove your baby was a “changeling” and force the fairies to give your real baby back were horrifying (holding them over the fire comes to mind).

Basically she’s saying because her child isn’t perfect he isn’t really her child, he’s an impostor. How is this kid going to feel when he reads what his mother has said about him?

On a similar note -without mentioning names **- how will certain autistic women feel when they see how their mother posted images of their menstrual stains on a group website’s twitter?

** GUESS!

OMG. Seriously? That’s so … weird. I mean, in general Americans are really not into being open about menstruation. I’m sure there are some super earth-momma types who would do that as part of “welcoming their daughters to womanhood” or some such thing, but that would be about pride. (And can you imagine the eye rolling and door slamming.)

That sounds like shaming. And to Twitter? That’s just plain mean.

I am a special ed teacher’s aide . I work with high school age students. One of the social skills concepts we work on with them is being socially appropriate when they speak with others and/or post pictures online. When I see a supposedly “neurotypical” adult parent willing to put such a private thing on display, I think perhaps the adult has the social and cognitive disability and not my students.

A while ago, someone at RI asked where the ” Vaccines cause…..” ( basically everything) shirts originated : I didn’t recall at the time but linking to the facebook page/ photos Orac lists, I see the crazy ones modelling various incarnations ( in TURQUOISE):
autism, learning disabilities, seizures, brain damage etc.

I was thinking today about what happens if we get hit by a really serious plague without antibiotics and vaccines. In the last two—the plague that hit the Roman Empire at the time of Justinian and the Black Plague in the 1300’s — the death toll was massive. In the Black Plague the estimates were a 50% mortality rate.

No reason to get vaccinated, a plague will only kill most of your relations. If you survive.

I have high functioning autism. Even when things are rough and I can’t communicate, I can still understand what everyone else is saying perfectly well. When I read or hear what these mothers are saying about how much they hate the way their child is, I hope those with severe autism can’t understand. But it’s also possible that they do and just can’t respond. In which case, these crazy mothers are inflicting horrific abuse on their children, by proclaiming so publicly that the child is damaged goods and someone should be blamed. I feel so bad for those poor kids. Not because of the autism, but because their moms can’t just love them.

Somewhere I saw a site selling “Vaccines cause adults.”

Did you know the US has more babies die on their first day of life than all other industrialized countries? What happens to a baby on their first day in the US that ends up killing so many of them? I thought we had the best medical system in the world, but perhaps not.

Does every family in the United States of America have health insurance or access to medical care? The answer to that question is either “yes” or “no.” If you were honest you would be answer quickly.

Are you truly an honest person?

By the way, that question is very important when it comes time to vote in November. Do you vote for kindness in support of health care, or to support the top 1%. Your choice.

By the way, kindness is cheaper in the long run. The healthier the workforce the less likely they will require SSI disability funds. Healthy people pay more income taxes. Think about it.

The US also attempts to save babies born really early, earlier than other countries. While laudable, it does raise the bad numbers. We also have people rationing insulin due to cost and dying as a result.We have a huge insurance/care problem in the US. Babies dying is one effect.

So your hypothesis for this morbid and surprising statistic is that other countries let babies born early just die? And, even if true, you think that would explain this?

“About 11,300 newborns die within 24 hours of their birth in the U.S. each year, 50 percent more first-day deaths than all other industrialized countries combined, the report’s authors stated.”

Do you have any evidence that the factors you mentioned are responsible for USA’s 50% more first day deaths than all other industrial countries combined?

Cleander, does every American family have health insurance and access to health care? The answer is either “yes” or “no.”

Also, if you did care about the health of babies then you would use your vote to maintain access to healthcare. Infant health is tied to the health of mothers and their access to prenatal care. Unfortunately some states in this country are adverse to expanding access to healthcare:
https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdf/10.2105/AJPH.2017.304218

Which says:

Infant mortality rate declined in both Medicaid expansion and non–Medicaid expansion states between 2010 and 2016, meeting the Healthy People 2020 10% infant mortality rate decline objective nationally. However, the decline in Medicaid expansion states was more than 50% greater than in non–Medicaid expansion states. Declines and difference in mean state infant mortality rates by Medicaid expansion were greatest in African American infants, driving the overall infant mortality rate difference by Medicaid expansion and substantially reducing the infant mortality rate racial disparity.

More information: https://rewire.news/article/2018/08/01/some-states-ignore-black-maternal-and-infant-mortality-rates-not-new-jersey/

Not helping to assure that every mother is healthy so that she can have a healthy while whining about infant mortality would make you a hypocrite. So remember to vote, and to look carefully at the candidates’ commitment to increasing accessibility to health insurance and healthcare.

Germany also gives the option of saving really relay born baby’s, so the numbers are worse than most European countries. I just have to ask, are people in the other side of the pond really rationing insulin? That’s sick.

I thought we [the USA] had the best medical system in the world, but perhaps not.

No you don’t. At the very high end it is the best or among the very best in the world.Generally speaking, for the normal citizen it is dicey and for the poor it is pretty crappy.

As a not-particularly-well-off citizen of another country (Canada) I have easy access to much higher quality health care than many, perhaps most, Americans.

for the poor it is pretty crappy

This is a function of location. My MCO is way better than Medicare, but it is only good within the county, aside from ED visits.

Cleander, it is true that the morbidity and mortality rates for newborn infants in the US is abysmal. This fact is widely acknowledged in the medical community.

And no, we do NOT have the world’s best health care system. Not because we don’t have good medical science, or clinicians who are highly skilled and care. Not because we don’t have good hospitals. And certainly it has nothing to do with vaccination, other than the failure of too many people in the community get get vaccinated, and because of lies spread by anti-vaxxers such as your self.

No, our poor outcomes are the result of too few public dollars being directed towards our health care system. It’s due to fragmented care where clinicians in different systems don’t or can’t talk to each other. It’s due to an insurance industry who benefits from denying care. It’s due to policy makers and insurance companies not using the medical evidence they have to use the interventions that work best, as opposed to what makes hospitals and doctors more money. It’s due to the stranglehold Big Pharma has on Congress related to Medicare reimbursements. My beef with Big Pharma has nothing to do with vaccines, and everything to do with their blocking Medicare from using the power of the purse to negotiate drug prices and keep costs down like the VA does.

What happens to infants that die in the country seldom happens the first day, and has nothing at all to do with vaccines except the failure to vaccinate. It has to do with lack of family planning, lack of access to birth control, smoking during pregnancy (especially by lower socieoeconomic groups), lack of access to good prenatal care, pregnancy and midwifery myths spread by psesudoscientists, genetics, failure to breast feed, failure to grant mothers access to WIC, failure to do “Back to Sleep” and a host of other preventable issues.

Quit JAQing off.

@Cleander
I looked from the report your quote came from.
It is mentioned in this article : https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-has-highest-first-day-infant-mortality-out-of-industrialized-world-group-reports/
The end of the article already mentioned several reasons the report’s authors thought about :
Simple measures like using a hand-pumped mask that can help resuscitate newborn infants who aren’t born breathing only costs $5 a day. Also, making sure that mothers have access to simple antibiotics — which costs about $2 a shot — can save up to 500,000 of those babies.

“Antibiotics are very simple and very low tech. It doesn’t take a doctor to administer an antibiotic injection. It can be administered by a nurse,” Miles said.

The problem in the U.S. is that many of the babies born here are premature. Miles said that means that most women, especially poor mothers, aren’t getting enough access to medical care.

“We need to make sure particularly poor mothers get access to quality prenatal care and actually go to the doctor and go to the doctor on a regular basis,” she said.”

Found the original report : https://www.savethechildren.org/content/dam/usa/reports/advocacy/sowm/sowm-2014.pdf
Vaccination is always mentioned in a positive light. The US numbers are discussed p.70-74. You’re welcome.

Two things to remember: The U.S. counts as live births very early births, which other countries do not, and those babies – 22 or 23 week in gestation – are at higher risk. And the U.S. does not have universal access to healt care, and access to good prenatal care can be an issue.

To address what you have in mind, it’s not hepatitis B at birth. Other countries that give hepatitis B at birth – like Portugal, Israel, Australia – have lower rates of infant mortality. Note the two differences mentioned above.

“I was thinking today about what happens if we get hit by a really serious plague without antibiotics and vaccines.”

I’ve actually seen antivaxers commenting about how the Black Death wasn’t really so bad, since the human race survived. That attitude tends to coincide with a “survival of the fittest” mentality, where it’s believed we should let the weak humans die off to keep the the gene pool hearty.

It’s doubtful we’ll need a full test of the effectiveness of plague vaccine, unless someone figures out a way to weaponize pneumonic plague.*

*Recently, TCM ran a noir-esque film “Panic In The Streets”, about attempts to track down a pneumonic plague carrier in New Orleans before an epidemic could result. It starred an enterprising public health service doctor (Richard Widmark) and his supportive but occasionally annoyed spouse (Barbara Bel Geddes). Zero Mostel had a supporting role as a sleazy crook. Elia Kazan (the director) appeared briefly as a morgue attendant.

Not the most gripping of movies, but good atmosphere.

The anti-vaxxers’ “survival of the fittest” attitude could be a way to argue against one of their strongest beliefs- vaccine damage:
perhaps children “damaged” by vaccines are not fit enough, it’s Nature’s Plan**

So why are you bitching, JB Handley and calling for pre-vaccine testing to identify the vulnerable in your fabulous*** new book?

** of course this is untrue
*** as in fable

No, because survival of the fittest means survival of those who don’t need vaccines. Vaccines weed out the wrong people and protect the week, who are not fit enough to survive without vaccines.
It’s not about others, it’s about them. They are the people who are the fittest and should survive, because they have the right attitude, eat the right food and do the right things, to protect themselves and their offspring. The world would be a beter place without the people who need vaccines to survive. (I suppose that is their way of reasoning.)

perhaps children “damaged” by vaccines are not fit enough

As a selective prescriptivist, the use of the superlative in this phrase gets on my nerves.

In the long run, the black death arguably was advantageous as it cut back population, thereby making land cheaper and labour more expensive, increasing social mobility in the process and giving incentive for mechanisation. Also the church lost part of its authority.

Meantime in the U.K., vaccination rates continue dropping, thanks to mommy warriors like this one.

“…one parent, Juliette Bryant, told the BBC she did not want her children to be “guinea pigs” and chose not to vaccinate them.
The mother of three, from Suffolk, said: “I am not anti vaccination, I just don’t believe they are safe enough.”

Yep, they grow ’em over there too.

http://bbc.com/news/uk-england-45565674

Cleander, does every American family have health insurance and access to health care? The answer is either “yes” > or “no.”

You’d have to define what you mean by “health insurance” and “access to health care”, since both those terms encompass a very wide gamut in both quantity and quality. Are you claiming that US hospitals are allowing babies to die on their first day of life due to a lack of health insurance when it could have been prevented had they had better coverage? If US hospitals are simply allowing newborns to die the day they are born for financial reasons then that would go a long way to explaining this embarrassing statistic. If that’s the case though, then that definitely needs to be looked at. I thought hospitals had to at least stabilize a patient regardless of their insurance or lack thereof, so they’d be breaking the law by doing that and should be prosecuted or sued.

I don’t follow the logic of your hypocrite accusation. Your quote mentioned the “infant mortality rate” which is a different data point than the one I mentioned regarding death rates for babies on their first day of life. Given that babies typically spend their first day of life in hospital and death rates are much higher here compared to other industrialized nations I would think that would need looking into, especially given how so dramatically higher it is. If the infant mortality rate is going down in the US, that’s great, but that is comparing it to last year’s US mortality rate not other industrialized countries. US mortality rates in general seem to have been headed down for many years. I believe Canadians, living in more or less a similar environment get a couple extra years to live than Americans.

Citation needed. We will not go by your argument by blatant assertion, especially since you do not understand the importance of access to health care.

Try again, only with actual data. It would help if you read the citation I provided.

Cleander: “I believe Canadians, living in more or less a similar environment get a couple extra years to live than Americans.”

That is because Canada has national health insurance! Now, that is being totally clueless! And you have some idiots in congress who want to destroy the ACA which literally made it possible for millions of Americans to afford health insurance! These idiots are also trying to get rid of Planned Parenthood clinics which actually provide needed services to those who cannot afford it otherwise!

Trying to “explain” stuff to me is hilarious when you do not understand how health insurance and access to health care are important to reducing both maternal and infant mortality.

It has nothing to do with vaccines. It is just a stupid anti-vax argument.

Plus you do not know ho wot click on the link nor read the paper. You cannot even figure out how to read the quoted part. So definitely a hypocrite.

Cleander, your lack of understanding of how our health care system actually works is stunning in its magnitude.

First of all, the statistics on infant morbidity and mortality does not mean they all died as newborns on the first day of life. It means deaths or disability in the first twelve months of life.

Secondly, it is true that under EMTALA (the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act) hospitals must offer a medical screening exam to all persons presenting to a hospital claiming a medical emergency, and if one is found it must be stabilized before transfer or discharge. It does require this regardless of ability to pay, though it does not absolve the patient or family from paying the bill. EMTALA violations are rare, but they do happen. But they are a tiny factor in morbidity rates. See my post above for the problems with our health care system that are at fault.

“You’d have to define what you mean by “health insurance” and “access to health care”, since both those terms encompass a very wide gamut in both quantity and quality. ”

Now this comment is interesting. Are you implying that you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Because under the ACA (“Obamacare”) insurers are required to provide a minimum level of care, which include prenatal care and routine preventative health care. CHIP is another program providing this care for children whose parents can’t afford health insurance.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party has chosen to fight these programs nationwide, enforcing delays in the Medicaid Expansion, and undermining the ACA and CHIP to the point they are struggling to work they way they were intended. Shall I take it you oppose these efforts?

I wonder where Cleander got his/ her information?
Oh, let me guess…

People who have something to sell – either a philosophy or products- often use the same memes and OMIT the facts Panacea includes.

I can provide a few simple rules for evaluating the sources of claims like these:
– does the website have ( or facebook page link to) a STORE that sells products ( vitamins, foods) and/ or media
( films, tapes, books) ?
– does the provider always avoid citing any standard sources like governments or universities for research?
– does the provider have interesting credentials ( degrees from unaccredited schools, mail order, self studies)?
– is the information trumpeted as news, secrets or a great revelation that no one else has access to?

It’s interesting that Cleander doesn’t show us any links or explain where he/ she learned this.

I suspect Cleander is someone who has never ever been pregnant because he cannot. due to that pesky Y-chromosome. The clue was the abject stupidity of how he defined infant mortality and failed to understand where a baby exists a few months prior to birth. Just like all of those old white politicians who call themselves “pro-life” but did not think pre-natal care should be covered by health insurance.

Along with getting annoyed by the “worried-well” who have never dealt with any kind real medical crisis, these guys have no clue about the risks of pregnancy. Neither my first baby nor I would have survived his birth without medical intervention. A birthing center in our city was shut down about thirty years ago because they failed to even take the blood pressure of a woman with pre-eclampsia, which caused the death of both baby and mother. My kids’ preschool teacher lost her first baby due to an incompetent cervix, but did have two healthy boys because of good medical care including bed rest. There are many others I know of just because I have actual conversations with other mothers.

During one of those conversations in a mom/toddler group sometime in the early 1990s one mom was asking how much the births cost. She was a member of a health maintenance organization (which is not part of Kaiser Permanente) so she never saw a bill. A friend of hers was thinking of having a baby, but did not have any insurance, so was going to try to save the money. A couple of us gave her some very shocking news. While my kid’s difficult birth, special ambulance ride to another hospital and a week of care at the children’s hospital was expensive, it did not hold a candle to the high-risk pregnancy of another mother. This woman had phlebitis, so was very high risk, the number she was quoted was something like almost $100,000 in the late 1980s dollars (back when you could buy a house for one tenth of what you can now).

This is why I ask about the availability of health insurance and access to health care in the USA whenever someone brings up the American infant mortality trope.

“Cleander, your lack of understanding of how our health care system actually works is stunning in its magnitude.”

First of all, the statistics on infant morbidity and mortality does not mean they all died as newborns on the first day of life. It means deaths or disability in the first twelve months of life.”

Excuse me? I’m the one who mentioned that “infant mortality” is not the same data point as death on the first day of life. That’s plain for all to see above. Why are you pretending to explain to me what I had to explain to Chris? Chris was the one who conflated the two, not me. Its your misunderstanding of simple medical statistics that is stunning in its magnitude, only eclipsed by your pathological hubris.

Chris is also the one who provided a citation. Cleander, stop being a special snowflake who has not a clue about the issues, especially with the availability of health care to a significant number of American families.

J.B.’s new antivax book is now rated “#1 In Vaccinations” on Amazon. This is better than its previous ranking of “#1 in Immunology” – which is like having a book on the dangers of chemtrails listed as “#1 in Meteorology”.

I find Simpson’s poem incredibly creepy. It’s like she considers that her kid is not a different person but a part of her, and she herself has godlike omniscience when it comes to him.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

That’s a relationship between God and His creature, not between a mom and her kid. As a mother, I find it just sick.

(Shudders)

Marie: “It’s like she considers that her kid is not a different person but a part of her, and she herself has godlike omniscience when it comes to him.”

Thank you, thank you, thank you. That sums it up perfectly.

I am afraid my first comment was clumsy, but it reflected the fact that my first born had medical issues that I had absolutely no training to deal with. One reason I really hated the “mother knows her child best” trope was that the doctor had to tell me about his heart murmur.

I commented on a post on the Crazymothers Facebook page a while ago (never a good idea, but I couldn’t help myself).

The post was about VAERS and the safety of vaccines. I don’t remember the details of the post, but I commented that VAERS data prompted the Rotavirus vaccine being pulled for a time due to safety concerns. I also pointed out how we switched from the oral polio vaccine to the shot because it’s safer.

I was very polite and just pointed out these two facts. My comment was deleted and I was banned. That confirmed for me (not that I needed confirmation) that extreme anti-vaxxers don’t care about facts. They only care about what supports their narrative.

Also, I’m a mom, and unlike Ms. Simpson I never know “who hit who first without even trying.” I got gyped when it came to Mom Superpowers!

“Vaccines cause adults.” Very nicely put. I don’t think a lot of people today remember what smallpox was like. It had been a scourge on humanity for well over ten thousand years, and perhaps billions of children over the millennia never reached adulthood thanks to it. Edward Jenner and his successors eventually put an end to its cruel reign only a few short decades ago. Polio is close to this point, but that last mile is proving difficult thanks to an interplay between geopolitics and the very same kind of anti-science attitudes of these #crazymothers. Measles could be yet another disease that is ripe for similar eradication, were it not for people like that.

It’s everywhere. Amazon.com have one. Some company called CureGear….

These are the people who tout selling a shirt to Chelsea Clinton, right? They seemed to be rather plain compared with other sources.

I also have the equipment to create my own shirt. Though oddly enough the sign I made with Euler’s Formula was lost on almost everyone at the science march. Le sigh.

There is some food for though:
https://www.nber.org/papers/w20525.pdf
For Cleander, US hospital care for newborn is not a problem. Things go bad afterwards.
Then things become interesting. Infant mortality is much higher amongst people with less education (much higher than people in Finland and Austria with similar background), but it is lower in Northeast (actually reaching European level).

Well, it IS the NE but I wouldn’t be surprised if the NW or West Coast is also quite good.
I can’t access the pdf on this machine for some reason.

At any rate,

In other anti-vax news…

RFK jr’s group,( now renamed because “Mercury” doesn’t sound right today ) has sent a letter, actually a manifesto of sorts, to the WHO about vaccines. ( see AoA today)
He signs it America and accumulates quite a group of supporters and cites very interesting research.
I think that many of Orac’s minions might enjoy it much as one enjoys reading Unabomberesque rhetoric or perusing diagrammes in the style of the film “A Beautiful Mind” if you know what I mean.

J.B.’s new antivax diatribe is now listed by Amazon as “#1 Best Seller in Public Health Administration”.

Rumor has it that the book is also quickly moving up the charts in the categories of Conspiracies, Secret Societies and Apocalyptic Brain Dribblings.

“Disability Parenting’?
I suppose the parenting is disabled. At least it leaves a lot to be desired, like protecting children from the harm of vaccine preventable diseases. Not to mention the ‘treatmens’ these people force on their children, if they have a form of autism.

If any gluttons for punishment wish to see/ hear JB LIVE go to @ delbigtree for a recent video discussion of his book ( it’s over an hour, I lasted over 20 minutes- including an appearance by Jenny telling of being stalked by shadowy types)

J.B. now has the #1 Best Seller ranking in “Health Policy” (also #5 and #6 for Kindle and audiobook formats). And there are three other antivax books in the top 13 in that category, led by “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies”, by a guy who boasts of having communicated with extraterrestrials.

Amazon may have a wee problem with how it ranks book sales.

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