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Rev. Al Sharpton’s Harlem antivaccine confab has been canceled!

Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network was scheduled to host an antivaccine confab this Saturday. Then the press got wind of it. Let’s just say that it’s not happening any more—for now.

Shockingly, the good news keeps coming. First, yesterday we learned that the Crown was going to appeal Justice Terry Clackson’s nonsensical decision that David and Collet Stephan acquitting them of culpability for the death of their son due to their not getting him medical care for his bacterial meningitis in a timely fashion and their decision instead to treat it with David Stephan’s Truehope supplements and other “natural” treatments. Yesterday, I also learned of even more good news. Two weeks ago, I took note of an antivaccine “forum” scheduled for this Saturday. The forum was called the Harlem Vaccine Forum. Scheduled to appear on October 19 in Harlem were Rev. Al Sharpton and antivaccine leader Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and a bevy of other antivaccine activists, ranging from the relatively well known (among skeptics) to ones I hadn’t heard of before. What I did not see was a single participant listed who could be characterized, even giving every benefit of the doubt, as pro-vaccine or even relatively neutral on vaccines. It was definitely an antivaccine crankfest.

And now it’s been canceled:

An event hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton’s civil rights organization and poised to raise dangerous anti-vaccine viewpoints in Harlem this weekend was canceled by the group on Tuesday, after physicians and public health officials argued that the event was harmful and targeted the African American community.

“We said both sides must be heard — we haven’t taken a position yet,” Sharpton said, asked about the National Action Network’s decision to host the event in the first place. Sharpton clarified that he was not hosting the event and was not even sure whether he’d attend.

I’m calling it: Rev. Sharpton is lying. How do I know? Well, one of the attendees of the antivaccine crankfest gave the game up on his blog, as I discussed the last time. It’s worth reiterating, so that any newbie who happens upon the article doesn’t have to click the link to find out how. To summarize, Curtis Cost was slated to be one of the attendees. He’s the author of a book called Vaccines Are Dangerous: Vaccines Are Dangerous: A Warning to the Global Community and a blog called—you guessed it—Vaccines Are Dangerous. (Subtlety would not appear to be one of Mr. Cost’s virtues.)

The interesting thing about Curtis Cost is that he was an antivaxer back when Andrew Wakefield’s antivax grift was just a greedy gleam in his eye as he listened to barrister seeking to sue vaccine manufacturers for “vaccine-induced autism” who was offering him hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce “research” to help him do that. No, seriously. Cost was spouting the “toxins gambit” long before I ever coined the term and before Wakefield ever became a household name for his antivaccine activities.

In any event, the Harlem Vaccine Forum was originally scheduled for September 14, but in a post on his blog dated September 13, Cost stated:

My apologies to everyone who was planning on attending the HarlemVaccine Forum this Saturday, September 14. I found out this afternoon that Mr. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke with Reverend Sharpton today and they both decided that they wanted to be part of this forum, but neither could attend this Saturday so it was decided to postpone the event for a few weeks.

With Mr. Robert Kennedy and Reverend Sharpton along with the other great speakers and parents I will have lined up, it will be a very dynamic event with massive news media coverage. We are looking at October 19 for the new date. I should have confirmation on this date later today or early next week.

So, yes, Al Sharpton was definitely lying when he told the press that he was not sure that he’d be attending the rescheduled forum. He himself had spoken to RFK Jr., and the two had chosen October 19 because it was a date when they could both attend. That is not the action of a man who was nonchalant or didn’t care about this event to the point where he might not have attended. Oh, no. He planned on attending, without a doubt, and he was involved in planning it.

I was also rather annoyed at the Buzzfeed reporter who wrote the article, Azeen Ghorayshi, characterizing this event as a “both sides” forum. As I pointed out above, this was anything but. Its headliner was going to be one of the most famous antivaxers in the world, RFK Jr., and every single other participant in the forum (I’m talking to you, Mary Holland and Gary Null, for example) is as antivaccine as he or Curtis Cost is.

That’s why I laughed out loud when I read this:

“In 2019 the antivaccine ringleaders targeted the Orthodox Jewish community to flood them with a phony pamphlet, hold teleconferences, robocalls, and town hall meetings with fake information about vaccines,” Peter Hotez, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, told BuzzFeed News by email. “Now they have their sights set on Harlem to ignite an even bigger measles epidemic on the African American community there. Why Rev Sharpton would attack his own community in this way defies common sense or explanation.”

Asked about NAN’s decision to cancel the event on Tuesday, spokesperson Rachel Noerdlinger said: “When it was ascertained that it wasn’t enough of a cross-sector to have a balanced conversation on both sides, it was pulled.”

That the forum apparently “wasn’t enough of a cross-sector to have a balanced conversation on both sides” by design never occurred to Noerdlinger, but, then, that’s what spokespeople do: Spin, spin, spin.

The hilariously disingenuous statement by Rachel Noerdlinger notwithstanding, it’s good to see that Rev. Sharpton has at least some sense of shame. Light is frequently the best disinfectant when it comes to the germ of antivaccine pseudoscience. Bad publicity works, as, apparently, can criticism from famous scientists:

Certainly, an antivaxer who goes by the ‘nym Fed Up Democrat thinks that Dr. Peter Hotez’s intervention was critical:

A report was published at The Gothamist – a publication that deals with local NYC politics – where Sharpton and his National Action Network were slammed for promoting what they called “dangerous anti-vaccine” ideas. In the Gothamist article Hotez made the ridiculous statement that “now ‘anti-vaccine activists’ have their sights set on Harlem to ignite an even bigger measles epidemic on the African American community there. Why Rev Sharpton would attack his own community in this way defies common sense or explanation.”

Apparently statements on vaccines that Hotez disagrees with have the ability to spread viruses, according to Hotez. Doesn’t matter if the words are the truth. Hotez firmly believes free speech is dangerous. Let’s not forget who Dr. Hotez is; he’s the guy who will throw out insane comments such as that one, but then refuse to debate or appear publicly with anyone who disagrees with his insane remarks.

Dr. Hotez is effectively Bill Gates PR-guy. He is funded by The Gates Foundation and holds the same position on vaccines as Gates, which is that there should be vaccine mandates for everyone on the planet. Bill Gates has gone so far as to say those who choose not to vaccinate “kill children,” an insanely ridiculous lie that is being pushed now in an attempt to label Health Freedom Activists as a “hate group.” If they can smear the Health Freedom Movement as a “hate group” they can censor and silence us; that is the goal.

No, the goal is to protect children from the misinformation that cranks like “Fed Up Democrat” spread, and Dr. Hotez does a very good job of that. As I said above, light is the best disinfectant.

But why did Rev. Sharpton lend his name and organization to hosting an antivaccine event with the likes of RFK Jr., Mary Holland, Curtis Cost, and Gary Null? It could be that he’s not antivaccine but antivaccine conspiracy theories appealed to him on the basis of the poor treatment of African-Americans at the hands of the medical community over the history of the United States (e.g., the Tuskegee syphilis experiment), a history that’s led many African-Americans to be understandably very suspicious of the medical community. Unfortunately, antivaxers know that history. They know how suspicious many African-Americans are of doctors and the medical profession, and they use that suspicion as an “in” to promote their message to the African American community. Of course, more disturbing would be the possibility that Rev. Sharpton is actually antivaccine, and that’s why he was willing to team up with RFK Jr. to hold an event like this. (I really hope that this wasn’t the case.)

Either way, the fact that publicity shut this event down is a good thing. I’ll be watching to see if Rev. Sharpton attempts to reschedule.

ADDENDUM 10/17/2019: And…it looks as though Rev. Sharpton isn’t going to reschedule. Rather, RFK, Jr. and his fellow antivaxers are going to soldier on in a different location on Saturday without him:

HARLEM VACCINE FORUM
Saturday, October 19th, 1:00- 3:30 p.m.

Location Will Be Disclosed Here and on Social Media at 7:00 p.m. Friday Night

New York City, NY

The Harlem Vaccine Forum is still on and will be held in a new location in New York City (convenient to public transportation). CHD is disappointed that the venue had to be changed at the last minute but we are still delighted to host this event!

Compulsory vaccination raises critical human rights issues, including the right to practice religion freely, parental rights, informed consent, the right to education and the right to health. The forum provides a way to discuss these pressing issues and New York State’s decision to repeal the religious exemption to vaccination.

Speakers include: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; Sheila Ealey; John Gilmore; Dr. Phil Valentine; Curtis Cost; Dr. Lawrence Palevsky; Reverend Walter Sotelo; Mary Holland; and many more.

This event is free and open to the public.

Interesting. I don’t recall Dr. Palevsky, the antivaccine pediatrician, being featured in any of the previous announcements for this event. It looks as though RFK Jr. has added some antivax quacks to the mix. I also don’t see Gary Null’s name on the list, oddly enough. I wonder if he backed out, although I can’t see why he would.

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]

68 replies on “Rev. Al Sharpton’s Harlem antivaccine confab has been canceled!”

From “fedup democrat” (who inexplicably follows the Trump party line on everything):

When I interviewed Dr. Gary Null last week about Al Sharpton speaking at the Harlem Vaccine Forum he was adamant not to praise Sharpton until we “heard what he had to say” about vaccines and vaccination. The following 2 paragraphs are from that report:

“The Tuskegee experiment has continued, but now it’s happening to the children,” Null said, referring to the disproportionate damage vaccination is having on African American children. The experiments in Tuskegee were where African Americans were injected with syphilis without informed consent and purposefully not treated for the disease they were given. President Bill Clinton apologized on behalf of the United States Government decades later. “But now we have Dr. William Thompson from the CDC,” Null reminded me.

This is your reminder that antivaxxers will lie about everything.

It was not a good look for the Gothamist that they accepted an antivax fabrication and wording (i.e. Tuskegee = “deliberate infection”). This is how lies become tenets of antivax medphobic faith.

“There is already a distrust in the African-American community of government, of pharmaceutical companies and of general research due to things that have happened..that are legitimate concerns,” said Dr. Oliver Brooks, citing the federal government’s decades-long Tuskegee study where African-American men were deliberately infected with syphilis and denied treatment. “So now this directly taps into that distrust. They did this to us before, now they’re trying to do something to us now.”

It feels like an out of context quote. Dr. Brooks doesn’t say there was deliberate infection, and “They did this to us before, now they’re trying to do something to us now.” sounds like what Brooks has heard, not what he believes.

Christine Rose, if you read the quote, he does say that the men were deliberately infected. But going to the original article, he does criticise Al Sharpton. He could help by clarifying that misconception but still legitimise fear.

It could also be the reporter mischaracterizing the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. Dr. Brooks might have just cited the experiment, and she mischaracterized it that way in explaining what it was to the reader.

… concerns, said Dr. Oliver Brooks, citing the federal government’s decades-long Tuskegee study where African-American men were deliberately infected with syphilis and denied treatment. So …

If this is what we’re taking about, it is clear that the “deliberately infected” bit is not part of the quote from Dr. Brooks, but the words of the reporter.

@doug Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. The reporter said it was a deliberate infection, not Dr. Brooks.

From what I can tell Dr. Brooks has made a speciality of dealing with the shortcomings of health care’s dealings with the black community. I doubt if he is the one that made the mistake.

That’s my somewhat speculative impression.

Right, Clyde, and it’s about par for the course for Null- who can’t be happy about this and other recent developments in his quest for supremacy:
— this event , where he could mis-inform many black people- was cancelled
— his long time terrestrial radio venue, WBAI, has been shuttered, perhaps permanently
— his attempts to implicate Guerrilla Sceptics, SBM advocates and people we know is not going so well- e.g. his FOIA investigation into the internet subterfuges of the wily Dr DG has not struck pay dirt ( see SBM blog, Monday)- yes, this doctor and his cronies sit and plan defamatory bios of good, decent alt med experts on Wikipedia all day through direct orders from Jimmy Wales and then, write up material where they have no expertise like that… that.. “picture hanger woman*, Susan, and Dr Barrett.
Unlike Null whose is an expert in everything.

It is good to see this disinfectant process working. Anti-vaxxers can’t spread their nonsense without social media promotion–it’s their best tool and worst enemy since pro-vaxxers just used it against them to put a spotlight on them.

It is nonsense that they pulled the event because they couldn’t have a “balanced” conversation. In the past anti-vaxxers have played this up at their meetings with empty chairs for the pro-vaxxers who did not attend. They will pretend to be “balanced” but the last thing they want at their event are facts.

RFKjr’s Children’s Health Defense claims on Facebook it will hold this event at a later date. I hope that does not happen, but if so, I hope they get the same treatment they just received for their continued targeted attacks on public health.

In my email just now:

Harlem Vaccine Forum

Saturday, October 19th, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
New Location To Be Disclosed Friday Night at 7:00 p.m.
New York, NY

Big Pharma is the largest supporter of mainstream media so we weren’t totally surprised yesterday when they squashed the National Action Network event that didn’t support their agenda. But CHD will not be censored. We aren’t beholden to pharma or the media. CHD chose to move forward with the Forum this Saturday because pharma corruption, perversion of government vaccine data and known vaccine injury risks to our children, especially African Americans, are too great to ignore.

The new venue in New York City (convenient to public transportation) has been secured. But CHD has decided not to announce the location until 7:00 p.m. Friday night. (via email and social media)

CHD won’t be silenced on the lack of vaccine safety. Forcing us to change the venue made the event all the more important, to show the national media that will be there that this is a human rights issue and one on which people will vote, change their state of residence, and fight for until they win.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and other speakers will discuss the pressing issues around vaccines and New York State’s unjustifiable decisions to repeal religious exemptions and to grossly curtail medical exemptions. Free and open to all.

Big Pharma is the largest supporter of mainstream media so we weren’t totally surprised yesterday when they squashed the National Action Network event that didn’t support their agenda.

Oh how adorable, invoke a conspiracy to distract from their own incompetence and lack of cohesion. What contempt these organisers have for their intended audience.

The two “vaccine events” targeting the Orthodox Jewish community in New York in May/June had a similar pattern. The first meeting in Monsey was very much publicized and received well-deserved giant amounts of criticism from public health and pro-vax groups(but the meeting did nonetheless happen). The second meeting a few weeks later in Brooklyn (both run by Del Bigtree) was (due to public protest from the community) closed to the public and much more hush hush and much less attended. Good news is this time (for Harlem) they didn’t get that first large public meeting off the ground and now they have to go into hush hush mode to escape as much as possible that disinfecting light being shined on them. May the attendance be sparse at this rescheduled event.

The new venue in New York City (convenient to public transportation) has been secured. But CHD has decided not to announce the location until 7:00 p.m. Friday night. (via email and social media)

Snort.

This is a sure sign that the event will only be for the true believers. This is what success looks like in battling the anti-vaccine forces. As soon as they have to hide their activities, they cannot influence anyone in the mainstream. You would have thought they might have worked this out, but they are so full of conspiracy theories, they don’t see.

Who’s perverting government vaccine data? Should be an easy one for them to prove shouldn’t it? Raw data says this, perverted data says that….

It is just troubling to see the antivaccine movement preying on communities with justified mistrust of government. I think we can attribute much of their success in bringing measles to the Somali community in Minnesota, the Ukraine community in Washington, and the Jewish orthodox community in New York to that history of justified mistrust.

And it’s not the activists’ children who end up in the hospital. It’s their victims’.

This is just wrong beyond words.

In my email a few minutes ago:

Harlem Vaccine Forum

Saturday, October 19th, 1:00-3:30 p.m.
New Location To Be Disclosed Friday Night at 7:00 p.m.
New York, NY

Big Pharma is the largest supporter of mainstream media so we weren’t totally surprised yesterday when they squashed the National Action Network event that didn’t support their agenda. But CHD will not be censored. We aren’t beholden to pharma or the media. CHD chose to move forward with the Forum this Saturday because pharma corruption, perversion of government vaccine data and known vaccine injury risks to our children, especially African Americans, are too great to ignore.

The new venue in New York City (convenient to public transportation) has been secured. But CHD has decided not to announce the location until 7:00 p.m. Friday night. (via email and social media)

CHD won’t be silenced on the lack of vaccine safety. Forcing us to change the venue made the event all the more important, to show the national media that will be there that this is a human rights issue and one on which people will vote, change their state of residence, and fight for until they win.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and other speakers will discuss the pressing issues around vaccines and New York State’s unjustifiable decisions to repeal religious exemptions and to grossly curtail medical exemptions. Free and open to all.

So RFK Jr., Null, and crew are going to carry on without Rev. Sharpton.

But what’s great is that the event has to be secretive and hidden from people like us– although I’m sure that they’ll spin that into
“Because we are revealing THE TRUTH and they fear us” or suchlike.

Unless they have direct inroads into the community, the secrecy and the public retraction by Reverend Sharpton should hurt their ability to reach and influence people. I hope this ends up being a true-believers-only thing.

Well, maybe RFK jr either decided that the group is already too white OR
maybe Null’s name is “box office poison” because it can be found on Wikipedia whereas Mary Holland and Pavlevsky cannot.

-btw- Rev Al has a show on MSNBC which may explain why he bailed: the liberal outlet has not been a hotbed for anti-vax with a few hosts being vocal supporters of vaccines.

I may have found out why the woo-tastic Null wasn’t listed for the second event:

on his show ( PRN.FM today – 53 minutes in?) he’s describing the eagles he’s seeing in Texas!
Seems he’s doing serious anti-aging research with medical tests etc ( over many weeks) at his estate in Mineola, TX ( see The Villa website or his regular site). He does “health retreats” for WBAI ( which may now be defunct) where listeners pay 2500 USD a week to exercise, drink juices, eat vegan meals IN TOTAL SILENCE, be “counselled” y him or a woo nurse and listen to his lectures. He says that the place will be “re-purposed” – maybe to do this on a more regular basis? He claims his past efforts have led to amazing results with serious illness but he doesn’t promise “cures”- he just describes them in detail or playes recorded testimonials.
As we know from Dr B, “medical treatment” in TX may be a loosely defined and unregulated commodity.

Null claims close ties to the African American community in NY but I wonder about that because:
— in the past few years, he’s become a wildly obsessive opponent of the Democratic Party when most AA people vote that way
— when he calls for outdoor protests in NYC, ( in the past few months against vaccines and 5G) only a few dozen people ( achingly white) show up : this is documented on videos.
I think that his audience may have shifted away from traditional NY liberals- including Black people, Jewish lefties, gay people and the educated to something resembling a FOX offshoot.

Drug dealers, just wanted to say I know the location of the secret venue. If you each e-transfer me $100 dollars I am willing to share. We need to disrupt those ‘cranks’ and shut them up. Of course, it would be all in the name of protecting kids wink wink. For the transfer, I propose the security question, ‘Who are revolting shills?’. Of course the answer should be, ‘RI’s Choir’. I am looking forward to your transactions.

i think greg long ago abandoned any pretext of integrity or honor when he decided to lie about the dangers of vaccines.

You are assuming he was told the correct address.
Even assuming he does have an address, his antivax friends may know him well enough to give him a false one.

I sometimes wonder if there’s a little sour grapes going on with Greg. Do you think he TRIED to be a shill and found no one would pay him? Someone should tell him to get with the scum de la scum of the anti-vax world. Plenty of shill money in the kitty there.

Greg is with the scum de la scum of the anti-vax world. He is a regular commenter at AoA.

No-one there seems to want to pay him either.

I’m wondering how they talked Sharpton into this gig in the first place. The guy has his brand to consider, and it’s not a good look to be rocking up on-stage in the company of all these puffed-up fraudsters with their self-appointed Doctorates and Reverends and Archbishoprics.

all these puffed-up fraudsters

For us obnoxious scientists and affiliated hair-spliting contrarians, they are fraudsters.
For a lot of people, and to some point for the public at large, they are maverick doctors, TV celebrities, chaperoned by a caring politician from a prestigious family.
Don’t underestimate the appeal of brand recognition and of narrative clichés.

Although I’ll admit RFK Jr’s brand has started to look slightly tarnished. First his family and then recently some media have started to hint that every family has some insane member and in their case it’s RFK jr..

It was a given that antivaxers would play up a conspiracy angle in the cancellation of this event, but they’ve exceeded my expectations. 🙂

As for why Big Al bailed out, I figure it’s unlikely he has any real convictions on the subject, but initially saw an upside in gratifying a paranoid vein about the White Medical Establishment. Then perhaps he got an earful from rational elements in the black community who realized he was being used by white antivaxers who don’t really give a rat’s ass about black children.

It may also have dawned on Al that he would be jeopardizing continued ritual suck-ups from Democratic presidential candidates, especially seeing that the two frontrunners, Warren and Clinton* appear to be solidly pro-vaccine.

Much better for Al to make excuses and pull the plug now.

*let’s not kid ourselves, she’s very much still in the picture, waiting for the Big Three to to exhaust themselves beating each other’s brains out.

Curtis Cost & the Rev. Dr. Phil Valentine are not ‘white antivaxers’, they come from the older ‘vaccination is a conspiracy to sterilize the African-American’ strain of the AntiVax movement, the modern (White) AntiVax movement was created in the 1980s as part of an attempt by lawyers to make vaccines the next Dalkon Shield.

A skeptical YouTuber named Jeff Holiday covered this (& gave a big thanks to Orac btw) he mentioned one of the other attendees Rev. Dr. Phil Valentine along with some rather telling audio.

The first and only report I find on this fiasco:

Joe Mercola’s paramour, Error Elizabeth, reports that “they” cut RFK, Jr.’s mic at the “Harlem Vaccine Forum”:
https://www.healthnutnews.com/breaking-rfk-jr-kicked-off-stage-in-harlem/

Vid of the mic cut at healthnutnews:
@8:46 – View the audience. Gee, it looks like >1/2 are white middle class women and men… hardly the Harlem demographic they were targeting.
It looks like they were right – those who concluded that w/o the Rev. Al and hosted by Junior’s Children’s Health Defense scam that the attendance would just be the same old True Believers™ that always attend.
Doesn’t look like a big recruitment success to me.
.
@16:36 – RFK, Jr.’s mic gets cut by the NWO Aluminutty Jesuit Jooooish Freemasons.
@18:45 – Someone gets on stage to announce the event is “over” and they need to start “clearing out the room” because they are “over capacity”.
Apparently the Fire Marshall or their representative shut it down for being unsafe.
Not that Junior just stand back smirking and grinning while his event is being shut down because it is in violation of fire codes and is illegal.
Yeah, this guy respects the law…
.
Then she presents Junior’s farcical sidewalk liefest address where is seems most of the people really don’t care except the white middle class women who surround their hero.
Did you know that according to Bobby, Jr. California got rid of medical exemptions this year?
And that no vaccine has been tested against a placebo?
And that in CA and NY a child’s long term pediatrician can no longer make a medical exemption decision? (And here I thought the CA and NY clamp down on phony/bogus ME was to stop doctors who have never treated the child and are completely new to the case from issuing a bogus ME.)
Yeah. Nobody sane knows these because they are all a lie.
etc., etc., etc.
The lies flow fast and furious from Junior.
.
Youtube url for the mic cut vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=111&v=K2hq3hbaeZU
Youtube url for Junior’s sidewalk speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=66&v=b6MW1VGS6yg
.
I didn’t listen to most of these vids because listening to RFK, Jr. constantly lie is as painful to me as listening to Dull Bigtwig constantly lie.

More for your amusement:

Here’s an image from Junior’s sidewalk speech to the Harlem residents:
https://thefedupdemocrat.home.blog/2019/10/19/controversy-at-harlem-vaccine-forum/
RFK, Jr.’s loony konspiracee tweet with image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EHSBJyZX4AMsr_5?format=jpg&name=large
Gee, look at that sea of African American faces… (snicker).
I don’t think Junior and the other anti-science, anti-vaccine grifters were too successful in recruiting a large cohort of blacks into their death cult.
.
BTW – That image is of RFK, Jr. at the anti-vax barricades… (For context see his lunatic conspiracy tweet above.)
Can you say “privileged” as in RFK, Jr. has never had to man any barricades or be uncomfortable in any way or be hungry in his entire entitled trust-fund baby life. I wonder if he flies commercial coach instead of private jet to these anti-science, anti-vax cult demonstrations in keeping with his environmental sensibilities… (riiiiight!)

@ Reality:

I watched RFK jr here ( which you kindly provided) and at Sacramento; similarly you can view Gary Null at Gary Null videos where he speaks to various anti-vax/ other groups taking it to the streets OR even at the UN or a NY State venue. Here is my general impression:

These guys watched WAY too many old movies wherein an earnest, impassioned orator “speaks Truth to Power”, selflessly exposing himself to the scorn and machinations of the Corrupt Elite whilst representing the Will of the Common People who have NO Voice; he is their Champion and beyond Reproach because he is both Pure and Brilliant, being able to discern the Deepest Undercurrents of Deceit to which compromised journalists and all other Guardians of the Public Trust are totally Blind!
In other words: it’s performance art/ or Old Movie Cosplay.
That’s why sceptics like Dr DG ( see twitter) and other SBM writers instruct us to NEVER debate these charlatans publicly ( unless it’s on the internet in written form where we can present real data and correct them) because they manipulate their audiences through histrionics, emotional grandstanding and Gish Gallops.

Come to think of it. isn’t that what anti-vax trolls do HERE? No data ( or suspect data), name calling, heart breaking tales of woe, eyewitness reports and drama queen tactics. No substance, all surface. Live presenters have an advantage in that they use vocal and gestural techniques best described as Method Acting Gone Bad.

Your fake news website full of disgusting ignorance needs to be shut down! I cant stand your abhorrent tactics and bs. Science is not satire!

#DoTheStudy

If you’re so confident in your bs defend it! Have a real debate not this bs satire unworthy of consideration. You are placing people in danger and protecting big pharma, you and whole whole train of thought makes me want to vomit!

Enough trash talking step up to the plate and do real battle you spineless retards!

Real live debate your experts against experts on the other side!

Websites and social media can not cut!

Let’s throw down in a live forum in front of the public!

Until you show spine enough your bs is rendered moot! Bull and void big pharma protectionism!

Puuha!!

“#DoTheStudy”

What study?

“Enough trash talking step up to the plate and do real battle you spineless retards!”

Yes, please do that. If you are not satisfied with the several large epidemiological that show no correlation between vaccines and autism, then go do it! Design a study that complies with the Belmont Report, and get it approved by an Independent Review Board (no relatives allowed!). Then write a grant to get it funded and submit to places like SafeMinds Generation Rescue, etc. Unfortunately for you the money spigot at the Dwoskin Family Foundation has been shut off because after the divorce Mr. Dwoskin is no longer funding his ex-wife’s hobby.

Come back when your results are published in a highly ranked medical journal. Until then proceed with a debate here by providing the PubMed indexed studies by reputable qualified researchers that shows any vaccine on the present American pediatric schedule caused more harm than the vaccines.

Also you might read about this study: https://sparkforautism.org/discover_article/sparks-pilot-study-finds-genetic-results-for-10-percent-of-families/

Real scientific debates are done with PubMed indexed studies. And if you want to actually help the research, then have your family join this study: https://sparkforautism.org/portal/page/autism-research/

Do some study yourself. Start with Google Scholar search ‘”saline placebo” vaccine’. Antivaxxers lie, you know.

Paul, how is it possible to have a debate between experts? Your experts call anything that contradicts them a lie or a conspiracy. Your experts either repeat the same thing despite evidence to the contrary or change tack as fast as they can to avoid having to put their money where their mouth is…..and then call everything a lie or conspiracy. How can you debate a team of people who’s idea of reasoned argument is to say “I don’t care, it’s not true and you’re a stupid poo head”?

Technically, it’s not a news site. It’s a blog. And, more important, it’s a blog you don’t have to read if it upsets you so much.

”Real live debate your experts against experts on the other side!”

That’s the biggest problem with your proposal. There are no experts in the antivax camp.

It would be uncivil and cruel to subject them to withering defeat at the hands of knowledgeable health professionals.

Pffft!!

Paul Ramirez, I wholeheartedly agree. You see — Orac and ilk know that if they were to ever step in the ring with the ‘cranks’ they would get their clocks cleaned, so they will never –ever!– do that. Shadowboxing with these blogs is more up to their speed, and with their ‘self-anointed’ cheerleaders routing them on from their corner. ‘Go Orac — jab left, and a right, and dance, and swing. Yeah — Orac! The kid has moves!’

Actually, Greg, it’s because AVers like you cheat. You lie, twist, misquote, straw man and use techniques like the Gish Gallop and the Ham Hightail.
Being good in a one-on-one debate is not the same as having a good or even sound argument. In the 1960 Presidential Elections, JFK debated Richard Nixon. Those who heard the debates on the radio or read the transcripts scored Nixon higher, while those who watched the debates live or on TV gave it to Kennedy.

The 1960 presidential debates were illegitimate because Kennedy and Nixon weren’t willing to “step in the ring” with segregationist Harry F. Byrd. He would’ve “cleaned their clocks”, you betcha.

If you debate with Robert Kennedy Jr he would certainly claim that no vaccine is placebo tested, for instance. This is a lie, but saying it is not enough, you must prove it. Perhaps antivaxxers would agree displaying Google Scholar searches? Selective citation is bigger problem. You must read at least some parts of the paper. Audience would get bored.

Anti-vaxxers/ woo-meisters always call for “live debates in front of an audience” AND usually specify what type of audience: the general public. I wonder why that is. Why choose the most average group possible?
These debates are mostly about complicated medical or psychological issues so why not an audience of doctors, psychologists or at least, advanced students in these disciplines?
No, they want the general public to decide who is correct. But what if the general public is not sufficiently informed in the intricacies of science or debating to be able to judge what is meaningful?

The people I survey are able to obfuscate enough to confuse the average person: for example, they continuously ask for studies that are not feasible ( with an unvaccinated group) or likely( with saline only as placebo) and WHY these aren’t done ALTHOUGH they have already been done.. I recently quoted a 2015 study that compared the rates of ASDs in vaccinated and unvaccinated siblings of kids with autism ( the rate was the same). Yet this is never mentioned by anti-vaxxers. A saline study was mentioned by commenters above as well as large epidemiological studies.

A public debate with a general audience is a theatrical event not scientific debate ( much of which takes places in scientific journals that the public knows little to nothing about). PRN’s head honcho states that he has never lost a debate – 40 years ago as a radio personality, he claims he debated all the experts ( top medical experts) about medicine and won every time. BUT does he have recordings of this? He probably got the audience on his side by histrionically narrating all the ills of medicine and how people are dying rather than talking about data and facts ( I’ve seen him live- that’s the programme). Alties like him make up data as well which they toss out to they fans. Julian rightly illustrates why television vs radio worked for Kennedy over Nixon: he looked and sounded better whilst Nixon may have made the best points. This debate involved more general newsworthy topics not scientific topics so the audience of voters was appropriate.

Anti-vaxxers will NEVER allow a fair debate ( over the internet or in journals where opponents can respond to their maneuvering and falseness and they don’t have a stage ) because they can’t use their bag of tricks.

These debates are mostly about complicated medical or psychological issues so why not an audience of doctors, psychologists or at least, advanced students in these disciplines?
No, they want the general public to decide who is correct. But what if the general public is not sufficiently informed in the intricacies of science or debating to be able to judge what is meaningful?

What to make of this elitist tripe?! So if the average person is too stupid to understand the intricacies of ‘vaccinology’, what is the point of these blogs?

Vaccinology could be explained to a layman. Antivaxxers could field in experts, and their claims could be evaluated. Some interesting conflicts of interest would be obvious. Lots of papers contain “plausible hypotheses” for Vaccine Court, too.

Vaccinology could be explained to a layman.

Careful here. It’s technically true, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

We biologists and physicians use a lot of specialized jargon, unconsciously – and wrongly – assume that our listeners remember correctly some basis of biology seen in highschool or elsewhere.
We also tend to assume listeners don’t come with a baggage of wrong assumptions or misunderstood data of their own.

I had a ‘learning’ experience some times ago, while trying to introduce ‘Cytosis’, a biology-themed board game to my non-scientists pals from my board game club. I barely managed to reach all of them. OK, maybe I suck at teaching. But for laymen, processing a truckload of information in a small time is no small task.
Part of it is subjective. If I had swapped names like RNA, carbohydrate, Golgi, etc for names like Elf, Orc, and koala, I suspect I would have had an easier time explaining the game.

tl;dr: explaining science to laypeople is a talent. I don’t have it. Much.

@Athaic – “tl;dr: explaining science to laypeople is a talent. I don’t have it. Much.”

Well, at least you try, you’re patient and usually kind. If you really want to be understood, avoid using sarcasm.

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