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Sherri Tenpenny and James Grundig: Desperately denying that measles kills

Sherri Tenpenny and James Grundig contort logic into pretzels to deny that low vaccine uptake is responsible for measles outbreaks in Samoa and Congo.

Outbreaks always present a problem for the antivaccine movement. After all, besides the misinformation that vaccines cause autism, autoimmune diseases, sudden infant death syndrome, and other complications that they don’t, the other key claims of the antivaccine movement include claims that herd immunity isn’t real, that vaccines don’t work, and that diseases were wiped out more by better sanitation and nutrition than by the vaccine. So when the vaccine uptake in a population falls well below herd immunity and, predictably, an outbreak results, antivaxxers like Sherri Tenpenny twist themselves in knots trying to deflect blame from themselves for the fear mongering that drives down vaccine uptake and to blame something—anything!—else for the outbreak. We are seeing just such a dynamic at work now regarding the measles outbreak in Samoa, which has already claimed 70 lives, ten more than the last time I wrote about this last week and the vast majority of them children under 4:

The good news is that Samoa has now vaccinated 91% of its population with the first dose of MMR.

I mentioned Tenpenny because the other day she posted an article on an antivaccine website entitled The Real Crisis in Samoa, which is a perfect illustration of just what I’m talking about. Basically, she’s trumpeting what has become an antivaccine talking point about the cause of the Samoa measles outbreak. Hilariously, since I first saw this article the other day, she’s added an correction in which she notes that in the first version of her article she had mistakenly stated that the outbreak was occurring in American Samoa, a territory of the United States, rather than in Samoa, an independent nation. I also can’t help but mock how she’s used the alphabet soup of her titles after her name to give herself an air of authority: ” Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO AOBNMM, ABIHM.” First, people who use both “Dr.” and “MD” or “DO” are begging to be mocked for their pretension, and mock them I will. Also, “ABIHM” denotes the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, a board certification by a “board” that basically no one outside of woo world recognizes. AOBNMM stands for American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and denotes certification by that board for someone who has completed training in osteopathic manipulation. Basically, although I frequently point out that in the US DOs and MDs are generally equivalent and that the vast majority of DOs train in standard residencies, osteopathic manipulation is a throwback that all DOs learn during osteopathic medical school that is similar to chiropractic. The vast majority of DOs in the US don’t do it and soon forget it after they graduate from osteopathic medical school. That Tenpenny went above and beyond the basics taught in school tells you a lot about her.

Naturally, she begins with a conspiracy theory:

The speed at which the pro-vaccine forces are working to stomp out freedom of speech, freedom to learn, and freedom of choice is simply staggering. Hijacking the mainstream media and censoring all social media platforms to take complete control of the message shows how far they are willing to go to censure information not in lockstep with the Healthy People 2020 agenda. The plan is to vaccinate everyone, with few exceptions, and to eliminate even the difficult to obtain medical exemptions.

This is a frequent antivaccine claim, first that their speech is being unjustly “suppressed” and, second, that advocates for vaccines are so fanatical that we don’t recognize even medical exemptions to vaccine mandates and, fascist-like, want to force everyone to receive every vaccine. It’s a caricature and a lie, of course. No one—and I mean no one—proposes eliminating medical exemptions to vaccine mandates, as that would be bad for patients. The real story is that antivaccine activists like Tenpenny believe in “medical exemptions” not supported by science because science shows that the conditions cited by antivaxers do not increase the risk of adverse events from vaccination. I’m referring to family histories of autism, autoimmune diseases, and the like, all of which are frequently cited by antivaccine physicians like Sherri Tenpenny as “medical exemptions” to vaccine requirements. They’re not. Contraindications to vaccination are much, much fewer and more specific than antivaxers imagine, and these contraindications will still be accepted as justification for a medical exemption to vaccination. If your child is immunosuppressed, for instance, no one is proposing forcing your child to receive a live virus vaccine. No one. That’s still a hard and fast contraindication to vaccination.

Next up, Tenpenny lists a timeline starting with the deaths of two infants due to a screwup mixing up the MMR vaccine. Tenpenny puts it this way:

July 2018: Two infants died immediately after receiving the MMR vaccine
  • Instead of examining the faulty vaccine or seeking to understand why the babies died, two nurses were blamed and charged with manslaughter
  • They were later sentenced to five years in jail for negligently preparing the vaccines, using a muscle relaxant instead of water to reconstitute the shots
  • After the incident, WHO and UNICEF estimated the Samoan vaccination rate for measles and overall immunization coverage fell from 74% to 31%

Funny, first she claims that Samoa didn’t bother to examine the vaccines that killed the two infants and instead just “blamed” the two nurses and charged them with manslaughter; then she cites the results of the investigation finding that the nurses had been criminally negligent for mixing the vaccines up with a vial of muscle relaxant instead of saline. I discussed this tragedy last week, and a details can be found in this timeline and news report of the trial of the two nurses. It’s also rather odd that, for apparently not investigating, the Samoan government suspended MMR vaccination for nine months after the incident. Why would it do that if it was absolutely certain that the vaccine was fine?

In any case, the rest of Tenpenny’s claim is based on a quote that’s gone viral on antivaccine social media. Here’s an example:

And here’s how Tenpenny put it:

  • June 2019: Robert Kennedy Jr. and Taylor Winterstein, the wife of an Australian rugby player, met in Samoa, just months before the outbreak begins
  • by Oct 1: UNICEF had delivered 115,500 doses of measles vaccines and diluents
  • Mid-Oct: First child reported to have died from measles
  • Nov 15: The Government of Samoa officially declares a state of emergency over measles
  • Nov 26: A national Measles Vaccination Campaign begins, using mobile outreach vaccination teams and special vaccine booths
  • Nov 30: An additional 100,000 doses of MMR shipped from New Zealand.
  • Dec 1: Facilitated via social media, 200 packages of vitamins, probiotics, and superfoods are sent to Samoa. Individuals given “alternative” treatment of vitamin C and vitamin A recover.
  • Dec 5-6: Door-to-Door vaccination begins. Every man, woman, and child was ordered to receive an MMR vaccination, regardless of previous infection or vaccination status. Only the police and mobile vaccination teams were allowed on public roads.
  • Dec 5: The UN calls for more social media censorship to “protect the public.”

And:

According to ReliefWeb, UNICEF delivered a total of 115,500 doses of measles vaccines to Samoa since October 1, including the required diluent, syringes and safety boxes, as well as sufficient supplies of Vitamin A. Vaccinations started, with the first death from measles occurs on October 15. Within a month, hundreds of cases of measles were reported and the government declared an emergency on November 15, leading to mass vaccination of everyone, irrespective of age, vaccination status or previous recovery. And then, the government requested USD$10.7M from the UN to prevent “future outbreaks.”

You see the implied message: The measles outbreak started after the delivery of 115,500 doses of measles vaccine to Samoa. Although Tenpenny doesn’t come right out and say it, other antivaxxers (like the one on Twitter) are claiming that the measles vaccine is the cause of the outbreak. Of course, note that the UNICEF report dated November 28 stated that it had delivered 115,500 doses of MMR, along with stocks of vitamin A, to Samoa since October 1, not on October 1, as some antivaxxers are interpreting it.

In reality, the outbreak must have started sometime in September, as Dr. Vincent Iannelli explains:

On October 9, we got the first report of a measles case in Samoa and that it was related to a someone who visited from New Zealand for a conference at the end of August.

But by the time of that first report, at least 86 people had already been tested for suspected measles!

With that many cases already, it should be obvious that the measles outbreak in Samoa started in late September. That explains why UNICEF had begun to send measles vaccines and vitamin A to Samoa in early October.

None of this stops Tenpenny from JAQing off:

  • Now that everyone has been vaccinated, or revaccinated, including adults, another outbreak should not happen for at least the next ten or so years, right?
  • And why did they need 215,000 doses of measles vaccine when the entire population of the country is less than 198,000 and the population of Samoan children, aged 0 to 5 years (which would be given two doses of MMR) is only 22,555?
  • And why do they need all that money after-the-fact?

As Dr. Iannelli also explained, everyone not immune to measles will need two doses of measles vaccine, and Samoa didn’t approach 90% MMR coverage until this week, two months after that news report and over two months after the shipments of MMR vaccine and diluents began. As for all that money? It costs money to mount a huge vaccination program, as Samoa did.

Next come the conspiracy theories:

The book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals written by Saul Alinsky, was published in 1971. The 10 rules he puts forth for ‘community activism’ have been used by many modern politicians to guide their socialist aspirations. Alinsky’s Rule #9 is “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”

Capitalizing on this rule in 2011, Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, expanded on this premise by saying, “First of all, what I said was, never allow a good crisis to go to waste when it’s an opportunity to do things that you had never considered, or that you didn’t think were possible.”

Could armies of vaccinators have been mobilized to innoculate an entire country over two days if were it not for instituting an overwhelming fear of measles?

That’s right. To Tenpenny, the mass vaccination program in Samoa is a socialist plot cooked up to capitalize on a measles outbreak that wasn’t caused by low vaccine uptake but by the vaccine and, of course, lack of vitamin A:

Given this information on vitamin A, was the UN lax in its global health agenda? Were Samoan children provided the twice-annual vitamin A supplement recommended by the WHO and UNICEF? Are the unvaccinated really the cause of the deaths within this outbreak, or was it the lack of vitamin A that lead to a crisis that has been capitalized on by the mainstream for the benefit of the pro-vaccine agenda? Could this travesty have been avoided by giving a pennies-a-day supplement over the last several years? Could the USD$10.7million flowing into Samoa be a form of blood money? I hope the answers to these questions – and many more – will be forthcoming over the next several months. I also hope that reports of vaccine-injured children – and adults – will not be the next epidemic arising from Samoa.

Of course, she notes that the World Health Organization reports that vitamin A improves a child’s chance of surviving by 12-24%, but the document cited makes it clear that that doesn’t just cover measles but the odds of a child living to adulthood. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that adequate vitamin A supplementation does decrease the risk of dying of measles by 24%. Given that it, contrary to what antivaxxers claim, vitamin A doesn’t prevent measles, that would result in roughly 17 fewer deaths and a case fatality rate still well over 1%, which is still horrific. That’s interpreting the WHO statistic as Tenpenny interpreted it (likely incorrectly) and also using the highest estimate for mortality reduction. No, “Dr.” Tenpenny, vitamin A would not have prevented the outbreak and would only have modestly decreased the number of deaths.

Tenpenny’s article is ridiculous enough, but it’s got nothing on an article by James Grundig. In fairness, he discusses another outbreak that’s been far deadlier than the Samoa measles outbreak, namely the measles outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, which has killed roughly 5,000 people so far. His spin, however, is most despicable. After mentioning the deaths from a “generally mild viral infection” (No, Mr. Grundig, measles is not a mild viral infection) and the mass vaccination program being undertaking in Congo, he continues:

This would be news if outbreaks of similar intensity occurred in first world countries, such as the United States or the European Union. But they don’t. Nor do they occur in a similar scale or severity. This means that hygiene, nutrition, refrigeration, and potable water—items many in the modern world take for granted—are the real delta between measles deaths in the Third World versus mild measles cases in the first, which come and go, and rarely result in fatalities. This has been a long-known and well-kept secret by the WHO, UNICEF, and medical institutions around the world even though it has never been discussed and certainly, it has not come forth in any scientific way.

What an ignoramus. It’s long been known that malnutrition is a major risk factor for death from measles. It isn’t a “well-kept secret,” and there’s plenty of scientific literature on the topic. Also note Grundig’s bit of diversion, though. Measles is not spread by food. So refrigeration is irrelevant to preventing the spread of measles except in one way, namely keeping vaccines refrigerated. Potable water is critical to preventing the spread of waterborne illnesses like cholera, but less so when it comes to measles, which is spread primarily through they air by droplet. Hilariously, he cites an article by researchers from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that notes that the “lack of safe water, functional toilets, and handwashing facilities in healthcare settings pose significant risks to patients, healthcare workers, and surrounding communities,” adding that “those environmentalist researchers didn’t say vaccines were at the heart of disease reduction.”

Except:

Combating antimicrobial resistance requires a three-fold approach: first, improving infection prevention and control; second, conserving the effectiveness of existing and future antimicrobials; and third, engaging in research to optimize such approaches and to develop new antimicrobials, vaccines, treatment alternatives and rapid diagnostic tools (31).

Funny, but that sounds as though the researchers considered vaccines to be part of one of the three pillars of disease control to me. In any case, Grundig repeats the antivax claim that it’s shedding from measles virus “muddying” the numbers from the outbreak, the implication that mass vaccination is accelerating the outbreak. (It’s not. Measles from measles vaccine virus shedding is incredibly rare, worthy of a case report when it happens.) Then he goes further down the rabbit hole and blames acetaminophen:

Now add a fourth dimension to the measles deaths equation: Treatment of the infection. Acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) and paracetamol are used to treat fever, but they both have side-effects. Acetaminophen side-effects include trouble passing urine, “swelling of face, throat, lips, and tongue” and “hives, severe itching, peeling or blistering skin.” In the latter three side-effects, could the skin hives, itches, and blistering from acetaminophen be mistaken for the measles?

He even includes a photo of a rash from acetaminophen and a rash to to measles. I must admit that I laughed out loud at the stupidity and ignorance of this claim, which merits three facepalms, at least.

Godzilla facepalm
Picard read what Grundig wrote.

Seriously, though, it’s not too difficult to tell the difference between an allergic reaction to a medication and measles, the latter of which has a whole additional constellation of symptoms, including fever. None of this stops Grundig from paddling even further up the river of antivaccine nonsense than Tenpenny did:

Could the bulk of the 5,000 measles deaths be a case of mistaken identity? Could one of the medications given to immune-depleted Congolese children produce measles-like infections, with the authorities checking the cause of death due to measles, and not the side-effects from the Ebola medication? This author firmly believes so.

That’s nice. There are authors who fervently believe that the world is flat, that the Holocaust is a hoax, that evolution doesn’t happen, and that ghosts exist. That doesn’t mean Mr. Grundig’s opinion that thousands of cases of reaction to acetaminophen are being misdiagnosed as measles should be taken any more seriously than that of a flat earther on the shape of the planet. Hilarious in his scientific ignorance, Grundig even tries to weaponize the recent finding that the measles virus produces immune amnesia, apparently conveniently forgetting that it takes a full-fledged measles infection to cause that long-lasting damage to the immune system and that it’s been shown that there are nonspecific beneficial effects of vaccinating against measles that go beyond just protecting against measles.

Antivaxxers are clearly desperate. It’s very well established that low vaccine uptake rates leave populations vulnerable to outbreaks, and it’s clear that antivaxxers are contributing to vaccine hesitancy through their fear mongering about vaccines. In Samoa, of course, we already know that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. visited the country in June and that he wrote a letter to the Samoan Prime Minister in November in which he spouted all sorts of claims equally nonsensical to those of Grundig and Tenpenny. We know that another high profile (in Samoa) antivaxxer was treating children with vitamins and discouraging parents from getting their children vaccinated or taking them to the hospital. So antivaxxers are throwing everything they can against the wall in terms of their bad science, pseudoscience, misinformation, and lies and seeing what sticks. That they’re now reduced to blaming acetaminophen for killing thousands of Congolese shows you just how low they’ve descended.

Finally, it is of course true that measles is much more lethal in Third World countries, where poverty and malnutrition are much more prevalent. That doesn’t mean measles is a “mild disease” here in the safety of our rich nations. Large percentages of those suffering from measles require hospitalization, and measles can still kill roughly 1-2 in a thousand due to neurologic or pulmonary. For survivors, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a horrible and fatal late complication of measles that typically manifests itself 7-10 years after infection. Antivaxxers want you to think that it’s only “those” people, mostly brown and impoverished, who die from measles, while for us wealthy white people it’s only a minor disease. They’re wrong. Poverty and malnutrition do make measles a lot worse, but it’s still not a minor disease, the contortions of logic and science antivaxxers go through to blame measles deaths in Samoa and Congo on anything but measles notwithstanding.

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]

119 replies on “Sherri Tenpenny and James Grundig: Desperately denying that measles kills”

Acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) and paracetamol are used to treat fever, but they both have side-effects.

Both? Both!?! “Acetaminophen” and “paracetamol” are the same compound, just differently named (the former common in North America, the latter common in the UK and ??).

If vaccine virus were to shed, provided it hadn’t reverted to virulent “wild type” – so what? Anyone who became “infected” would react in pretty much the same way as someone deliberately vaccinated, as happens with oral polio vaccine but with no evidence of reversion to wild type.

If vaccine virus were to shed, provided it hadn’t reverted to virulent “wild type” – so what?

Lest any of the uneducated anti-vaxxers get any ideas, this doesn’t happen for measles. It sheds rarely but doesn’t cause pathology in secondary contacts and certainly doesn’t revert to wild-type as OPV can.

If paracetamol was so dangerous, the Netherlands would not even exist, and many countries would be in great peril.

Perhaps I gained a little insight about Dr Tenpenny when I watched one of her “instructive” videos; she said that she was not vaccinated herself because her parents were both chiropractors** Thus some advocates have a long history. I do wonder though if during her medical training, internship, residency and work in hospitals vaccines were ever required.

** Del BIgtree claims being unvaccinated as well.

Tenpenny has financial and personal gain interest in jumping on this. Without this sort of thing to use to keep her profile up she would fade into the oblivion she so deserves. She has turned it into a booster dose for her very existence.

Grundig is also basically saying Congolese doctors are incompetent, unable to tell the difference between measles and other conditions. Racist much?

If anything, Congolese doctors are almost certainly in general a hell of a lot better at recognizing measles than the average US doctor. They do, after all, see a lot of cases, while doctors in the US do not.

The more I read of Tenpenny and Grundig the more racist it all was. Like, grossly, blatantly, horrifyingly racist.

Yes, people who are malnourished are more likely to get very sick or die from the measles, but that’s no reason to not vaccinate, and that’s no reason to just be like “oh, whatever”. How can Tenpenny and Grundig be so cruel?

The fact that non-expert anti-vaccine activists think that everything that may have any kind of rash is the same as every other thing that has any kind of rash as a potential symptoms doesn’t mean doctors can’t tell them apart. I guess this is an example of why yes, medical training does help discuss medical issues. This is cringe-worthy.

My response to all the anti-vaccine cult’s lying misdirection, and obfuscation is to note that no matter what the pre-existing condition of the victims was:
Before they caught measles = Alive
After they caught measles = Dead

It is hard to argue with the fact that wild measles killed these children no matter what excuse the ghouls come up with.
.
My next response it to ask when the large mainstream media such as the NYTimes, LATimes, WaPo, CNN, Fox, etc are going to request an interview with RFK, Jr. to ask him for his reaction to the outcome for which he and his insane partners in the anti-vaccine deathg cult have worked so hard and diligently for. 70 dead following his lunatic advice to be more afraid of the vaccine than the ‘benign’ disease.
Is he proud of his work and its outcome?
.
Where are some hard-hitting reporters who can load up on historical RFK, Jr. anti-vaccine quotes and recommendations and grill him how he squares those deadly statements with the obvious outcome which we are now witnessing. Knock him on the defensive and don’t allow him to Gish Gallop and change the subject.
My bet is Junior would not consent to any interview which he did not exert complete control.
He is a pathological liar and one of the worst humans currently on the planet.

” Where are the hard-hitting reporters who can load up on historical RFK,Jr…”

Well, so far it’s been Orac, sceptics and Wikipedia.
What makes me laugh is that people like him ( and woo-meisters) claim to reveal how the powerful are harming the public when THEY are the ones who should be investigated (for giving incompetent information, cosplaying doctors)
Think about it: aren’t they always uncovering corporate or governmental malfeasance or how SBM is the leading cause of death YET when you look closely..

Heh. I looked at Natural News and he has a new video asking ” Is RFK jr the greatest Kennedy who ever lived?’
I think you have to be signed up to Brighteon to play it though.

Of course, note that the UNICEF report dated November 28 stated that it had delivered 115,500 doses of MMR, along with stocks of vitamin A, to Samoa since October 1, not on October 1, as some antivaxxers are interpreting it.

I hope Christine Kincaid is paying attention.

The book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals written by Saul Alinsky, was published in 1971.

Has anyone read Alinsky’s book recently other than rightwing conspiracists? Does Tenpenny follow QAnon yet?
Rightwing conspiracists also have a history of distorting Rahm Emanuel’s comment: https://www.factcheck.org/2011/01/bum-rap-for-rahm/
This tells us a lot about the intellectual septic tank milieu that Tenpenny inhabits.

“You know, I’m getting the impression that Tenpenny doesn’t really care about the answers to her questions.”

What altie does? Their questions are Articles of Faith; to be repeated with devotion, not examination.

I’ve been a bit under the weather the last week or so. Had at least twelve or more doses of paracetamol. No sign of these measles like side effects though. From an anti-vax view point, my experience is a slam-dunk (one for you far side of the ponders) that paracetamol can be eaten by the ton without harm.

It is notorious for causing irreparable liver damage with overdose, so caution is warranted.
Health Canada recently became concerned with the fact that it is an ingredient in a lot of over the counter “combination” products such as cold remedies which can lead to children getting overdoses if parents don’t pay close attention to the labels and give the combo products along with doses of the drug as-such.

It is notorious for causing irreparable liver damage with overdose

Not to mention booze. I’m not sure how long it takes to replenish GSH after a hard night, but I wouldn’t touch it for a hangover, either.

Aye. I’m aware of the real health issues with taking too much paracetamol. Not sure if anti-vaxxers are really set up mentally to deal with the good/bad duality of various drugs and treatments though. I think ‘a ton or none’ ought to be one of their catch phrases.

Just be careful with it, and give your liver a chance to metabolise it properly. If your daily intake is under 4000 mg you should be fine. That’s at most eight of the usual (500 mg) tablets in a day. A week with 12 or so such doses is only around 850 mg per day, very much safe. Things start to get dicey when you hit around 6000 mg in a day, and the chance of hepatotoxicity and acute liver failure starts to get significant. Sola dosis facit venenum.

we already know that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. visited the country in June

RFK Jnr was evidently there on the invitation of the Samoan government.

According to the Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (M.P.C.) Chief Executive Officer, Agafili Shem Leo, Mr. Kennedy and his wife were invited by the Independence committee.
They are in Samoa with a delegation on a different matter.
“He is not here as an official from the United States,” said Agafili.
“They were here for a programme that is not Government related and their visit has coincided with our Independence celebration and were invited to be our V.I.P. guests.”
Mr. Kennedy and his wife sat next to Acting Chief Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson and wife Nynette Nelson.
Justice Vui was seen conversing with Mr. Kennedy throughout the celebration.
Mr. Kennedy and his wife waved at the marchers that saluted the special guests during the procession of the march parade.
Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi had also greeted the American activist before he left the Independence celebration.
It was not possible to get a comment from Mr. Kennedy.
After the official programme in the morning following the parade, Mr. Kennedy and his wife left in a Government official vehicle following other diplomatic corps vehicle.

The implication is that antivaxxers exist at a high level in the Samoan administration and have been doing their part to discourage vaccination (consistent with the country’s cackhanded response to the death of two infants at the hands of incompetent nurses, and the reluctance to admit that an outbreak was happening).

My suspicion: RFK was looking forward to proclaiming Samoa to be a vax-free utopia. Then the predicted outbreak occurred and robbed him of his victory. Naturally he’s pissed. He is too concerned for what is left of his mainstream credibility to personally claim that the outbreak was a false-flag operation started by Big Pharma using bioweapons, but he will quietly encourage his followers to spread that kind of conspiracy theory.

In other news, the number of retracted antivax papers continues to grow.

The latest junk science to bite the dust is Gayle DeLong’s June 2018 paper claiming to find an association between HPV vaccination and lower pregnancy rates.

http://retractionwatch.com/2019/12/10/journal-retracts-paper-claiming-a-link-between-the-hpv-vaccine-and-lower-pregnancy-rates/?fbclid=IwAR0Afdw12BE71nCCRI5RbQYpr4GSOhShMRn4JRaWM6rSGFU4e3KLlAIMC8M

There’s a good analysis on Medscape. Excerpts:

“Within days…the pseudonymous “Orac,” a frequent critic of research linking vaccines to health problems, had posted a lengthy critique of the work. “Where it really gets interesting is the logistic regression including covariates in which the number of HPV shots received (one, two, or three) was related to the likelihood of getting pregnant,” Orac wrote.
“In this model, almost none of the comparisons were statistically significant. The only two where there was a statistically significant result were for the full sample, one shot versus no shots and three shots versus no shots. To me this is a huge red flag that the results are not robust and that there is no dose-response observed.”
Among other issues, Orac also noted that the study did not report on birth control use — a key confounder — in the women surveyed…
“That was followed in August by comments on PubPeer, a site that allows for comments on published articles, by scientific sleuth Elisabeth Bik. Bik called the paper a “very flawed and biased study with the potential of being misinterpreted or misused.” (Disclosure: The reporter of this story is a volunteer board member of the PubPeer Foundation, a nonprofit organization.)
“The paper looked at pregnancy rates in women who had or had not received the HPV vaccine,” Bik told Medscape Medical News. “However, the study only included young women, aged 25-29. Many women, in particular those with a college education, will become pregnant for the first time at an older age, so 30 years or older.”
But in the study, the groups of women who had the HPV shot and the women who did not receive it differed in education levels, Bik noted. In the HPV-vaccinated group, many more women had a college degree than in the unvaccinated group.
“By selectively focusing on younger women, under 30, and looking at pregnancy and HPV vaccination rates, the author’s results appear to show that HPV-vaccinated women had a lower probability of pregnancy. But in reality, the HPV-vaccinated women with a college degree did not have their first baby yet. This is a classic example of a ‘confounding factor,'” Bik said.”

Congratulations to the vigilant sleuths (including researchers in Japan) who pointed out the severe flaws in DeLong’s paper.

Of course antivaxers who hailed this study will now acknowledge its errors and stop citing it, while dropping their claim that HPV vaccination damages fertility.

Yeah, right. 🙂

Could armies of vaccinators have been mobilized to innoculate an entire country over two days if were it not for instituting an overwhelming fear of measles?
Could this travesty have been avoided by giving a pennies-a-day supplement over the last several years?
Could the USD$10.7million flowing into Samoa be a form of blood money?
Could the skin hives, itches, and blistering from acetaminophen be mistaken for the measles?
Could the bulk of the 5,000 measles deaths be a case of mistaken identity?
Could one of the medications given to immune-depleted Congolese children produce measles-like infections, with the authorities checking the cause of death due to measles, and not the side-effects from the Ebola medication?

I see weaknesses in their rhetorical approach.

Yeah, that’s right, now that I reread what was written. Mea maxima culpa. Someone still does love JAQing off, but it’s not Christine. 😛

Given that it, contrary to what antivaxxers claim, vitamin A doesn’t prevent measles, that would result in roughly 17 fewer deaths and a case fatality rate still well over 1%, which is still horrific

The case fatality rate for the Samoan outbreak is over 1%? With a previous vaccine uptake of 31%?

WTF; 1% is HIGH.

Because according to “we of the Communicable Disease Center”:(gag) In 1960, before the MMR; the case rate was 250 (out of every 100,000).

In 1960, before the MMR; the mortality rate was 0.22 (out of every 100,000). Wouldn’t that be a case fatality rate of somewhere around 0.088%?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1522578/pdf/amjphnation00499-0004.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3BBxOj-YMwPmoR7yM6_wUx1gH0K-m9KbtfHnChfUXIkMDLV33iwm6ZfOU

What happened? Lower mortality with no MMR compared to 31% MMR? “We of the Communicable Disease Center” did NOT think measles was deadly BEFORE the MMR.

This self-limiting infection of
short duration, moderate severity, and
low fatality has maintained a remarkably
stable biological balance over the centuries

They said, when ‘gauged from many angles’; heart disease & the common cold were worse.

For example, using mortality as a criterion
heart disease becomes most important.
Short-term morbidity makes the common
cold rank high

And Polio was of ‘low incidence’ but high for ‘public interest’.

For chronic disability arthritis and mental disease dominate.
For public interest and parental concern, in spite of relatively
low incidence, nothing has equaled poliomyelitis

Wtf; they exposed millions to sv40 over a cold-war popularity contest. Public interest. Whatever.

Measles? Lol …

at last there is promise that something can be accomplished by organized health action

So now measles is more deadly than it was before the MMR. That’s quite the accomplishment. Why?

I reply with the same answer that Hillary used
when asked why he wished to climb Mt.Everest.
He said, “Because it is there.” To this may be added, . .
and it can be done

At last; they could do something, What did they do? Tenpeny, RFK jr, Edwin Tamasese, Meehan, blah blah blah. When vaccines stop hurting people; people will stop saying they are hurting people. Very simple. So very simple.

When vaccines stop hurting people; people will stop saying they are hurting people. Very simple.

Christine has moved on from lying, to blaming the targets of her lies for the fact that she is lying about them.

Recall that Christine was earlier regurging the lie about doses of vaccine being delivered to Pacific nations on October 1st, when the reports clearly state that the doses were delivered between Oct 1 and Nov 28. An apoogy for lying would be nice.

@ Smut Clyde, has, Arno, Terrie, Athaic others:

Anti-vaxxers live in denial and need to oppose any information that contradicts their worldview: they attack us because they perceive SB information as a threat- because it is- to their way of existing in the world, They need to maintain the illusion that their children/ or they, themselves, were born perfect and were ruined by vaccines. They are not in the Lady Gaga school of thought: Born this way– I imagine she was writing about something else ( gender, queerness?) but she’d probably approve of my appropriation.

So many of the people I survey twist themselves into knots to deny what research shows– ASDs are largely genetic and begin in utero– and maintain elaborate conspiracies to explain why most scientists, doctors and thinking adults agree: they were PAID to do so. When you see an educated person like Katie Wright pursue ephemeral threads tying ASDs to post vacination brain inflammation, senile plaques as in AD or an unruly microbiome, you know that’s she’s not closely aligned with reality. Brains develop differently and it is even reflected in facial characteristics: How would vaccines do that?
At what point should a highly unrealistic belief be considered a delusion?

In 1960, before the MMR; the mortality rate was 0.22 (out of every 100,000). Wouldn’t that be a case fatality rate of somewhere around 0.088%? [link to paper]

Wait, did you just compare the rate of measles deaths in Samoa, a developing nation with a suddenly swamped health service in the midst of a public health emergency against the USA, a first-world nation that even before measles vaccination had well-resourced ubiquitous health care well practised in patching up the annual toll of measles victims, and use that 10x difference in mortality to imply some vile conspiracy at work?

GTFO, you mendacious monster. You are seriously broken in the head. The vile conspiracy is YOU.

She cites measles deaths per entire population, instead per measles cases. She is either very ignorant or purposefully lying.

Sadly, I don’t think it’s either. Christine is so twisted up in her conspiracy theories, that her brain can only process things in terms of support or challenging her ideas. She needs help, and to stop coming on this website and mentally self-injuring.

@Terrie: I agree; Christine Kincaid needs professional help and support. And I say that as a mentally ill person myself. It is one thing to hurt yourself, but quite another to enable your illness to hurt anyone else. That is not something you want on your conscience.

Unfortunately, Ms Kincaid shows no sign of the self-insight required to request that help herself. All I can suggest is that, given that she self-identifies as a medical practitioner, the medical organization that determines her fitness to practise needs alerted to 1. minimize the professional harm she can cause to others, and 2. hopefully guide her onto a path to personal recovery.

Failing that, she can go rot in whatever circle of hell is reserved for Andrew Wakefield and other child abusers as far as I’m concerned, because once you cross that line from victim to perpetrator all gloves come off. Sorry to be harsh, but no-one deserves what those monsters do.

I do not care why Kincaid’s brain is crawling with maggots. I only wish that she would shut up or go away and stop smearing her stupid all over comment threads.

@ christine kincaid

You are a very dishonest person.
Oh, and you don’t do math.
We told you already that the death rate for measles is 1 to 2 /1000 cases in first-world countries. So, surprise, yeah, that could be 0.22 %. Nobody here claimed otherwise.
It’s verifiable, there were recent examples all over European countries. And all over Africa for worse outcomes.

Lower mortality with no MMR compared to 31% MMR?

What has one to do with the other? The vaccine protects you from getting the illness, that you should expect is a lower number of cases. For those who get the illness, it will be business as usual with the virus.

Seriously, get a shrink.

Well that was a word salad of misinformation. I think I will order something more logical and honest.

And why did they need 215,000 doses of measles vaccine when the entire population of the country is less than 198,000 and the population of Samoan children, aged 0 to 5 years (which would be given two doses of MMR) is only 22,555?

Shit that’s dumb and a primo example of why dunderheads like Sherri Tenpenny should not comment on vaccines. The susceptible population exceeds children 0-5 years old, two doses are optimal to prevent future outbreaks and some vaccines are lost due to handling.

I dunno, I think Christine Kincaid just outdid Sherry for “shit that’s dumb.”

Sherri Tenpenny: “Stupid shit on vaccines.”

Christine Kincaid: Hold my beer.

And won’t the 6-12 month olds be needing 3 shots to be fully immunised?

Good question. Those vaccinated at 12 months or older would only need another in a few years for lifelong protection although those vaccinated younger may still get the same protection with a second dose at ~4 years, in part because there is an active epidemic and some may become naturally boosted. It would be an interesting epidemiological study down the road.

I particularly like her slack-jawed, drooling, “deer-in-the-headlights” look @ 01:25 onward where she states that ‘how many days of school a kid misses would indicate how healthy they are and the unvaccinated will be found to have less missed school’.
It is then pointed out that she is unvaccinated and missed the entire 3rd grade…
Her response?
Slack-jawed drooling and stuttering… “But… but… I was sick! And it was good!!!!!”
This is a cretin who is portraying herself as a vaccine expert when she is really an ignoramus.
My cat knows more about vaccines and infectious diseases than this dummkopf.
.

So, playing the game, can we not gather that RFK Jr., brought the measles virus to Samoa to prove that it doesn’t really kill?
s/ if necessary

Quoting Tenpenny

Could this travesty have been avoided by giving a pennies-a-day supplement over the last several years?

1 – forcing people to take little pills seems like government overreach, a.k.a. communism to me. Could antivaxers try to be consistent?
2 – in my back of the wood, the price of one single pill of vitamin A is definitively a few pennies. As in, a few hundreds of pennies. A couple of years of providing pills is going to cost more than two shots of MMR vaccine.

@Athaic, in RI and several other states, routine vaccinations are free so tenpenny’s useless vitamins are certainly more expensive than the MMR.

Samoa is a place where Vitamin A literally grows on trees (Breadfruit, the “new superfood” according to Mercola). Also in the ground (Taro). These are the staples of the Samoan diet… possibly contributing to the obesity problem there (which rivals obesity rates in the US). Tenpenny needs to come up with some evidence that Vit.A deficiency is widespread in Samoa, other than “These are ignorant brown people so they don’t know how to feed themselves properly”.

Kudos to the government of Samoa for getting 91% of the population vaccinated with the initial dose. That took some political will.

Political will, but more importantly the enthusiastic cooperation of the population, who have belatedly realised that antivaxxers are lying to them and giving them advice that boils down to “let your children die”.

One thing they’re not addressing when implying that the MMR vaccine was the cause of the outbreak: where’s the mumps outbreak to match it? And the rubella outbreak? Why would a vaccine containing all three live viruses, that apparently sheds, only shed one of them? And given the recent huge amount of vaccination, how are they explaining that the daily case numbers have fallen?
I sense goalposts about to be moved all over the place.

Also, why would Congolese children have been given acetaminophen in the first place? Isn’t it because they ALREADY HAD measles?

Why would a vaccine containing all three live viruses, that apparently sheds, only shed one of them?

Perhaps they take turns? They’re cunning like that.

@ Maddy

why would Congolese children have been given acetaminophen in the first place? Isn’t it because they ALREADY HAD measles?

Ah, but they are not claiming that acetaminophen is what is spreading measles. Just that children given acetaminophen die from the drug, not from the illness.
But I see why it could be confusing, because indeed, at the same time, they are claiming that the vaccine is spreading the measles and/or that it’s the attenuated virus in the vaccine which is killing people.
While claiming that the wild measles virus itself is harmless.

Several commenters have made claims or suggestions that antivaxxers, or some antivaxxers are racists. Do any of these commenters have actual evidence of this? Because, unless you can provide evidence that racism is part of the antivaxxer mindset, I see this as an unnecessary distraction from the real debate. Also, throwing out random accusations of racism tends to minimise the real the problem of racism.

Antivaxers often ignore or gloss over the toll of vaccine-preventable diseases (and the effects of their rhetoric) in Third World countries. Devaluing the lives of children and adults in those countries has a racist tinge.

Antivaxers (overwhelmingly white) have also sought to exploit minority communities (i.e. Somali immigrants and black families in general) in their campaign of misinformation. The Thompson kerfuffle is just one example of this.

So while charging racism shouldn’t be done lightly, there’s sometimes justification for it as far as antivaxers are concerned.

It might be hard to determine whether these people are actually racist or not because after all, who knows what is really in someone’s mind or heart BUT
it sure looks like they feel that they have a responsibility to “enlighten” groups that aren’t quite as “advanced” or “first world” as they are. Which is not a nice look.

I don’t get it.

If antivaxxers believe that vaccines are worse than the diseases they prevent, or that vaccines actually cause these diseases, then how is anti-vax activism in third world countries racist. In their minds, helping to reduce vaccination rates in third world countries would be doing them a favour. Why would they do that if they were racist?

You say they exploit minority groups – which includes Jewish communities and African-Americans as well as the Somali community you mentioned – but you could also say that they were helping to protect these minority groups from the evils of vaccines. In the case of the Somali community, the antivax view was that the measles vaccine was responsible for their apparent increased rates of autism and they sought to reduce this by anti-vaccine activism. How is this racism?

I guess you could say that their antivaxx activism overcame their racism but that that would remain something for which even more evidence would be needed.

And perhaps anti-vaxxers are predominantly white, but they are also predominantly female; and a larger percentage of African-Americans than white Americans are not vaccinated.

So let’s just call them what they are: antivaxxers.

@ BillyJoe

Why would they do that if they were racist?

Ah. This one is not easy to answer.

If you define racism as “hate group of people because of their (perceived) ethnicity”, OK, most people won’t fill this prerequisite, antivaxer or not.
OTOH, if you widen the definition to “has prejudices against a group of people because of their (perceived) ethnicity”, suddenly a lot of people will fall into the bin of “maybe not exactly racist-racist, but you are not wrong in thinking they are at minimum condescending and making assumption toward a whole ethnic group”.
As an example, colonialism and Neo-colonialism tend to go heavy into the “let’s help the dumb savages” mentality.
Not saying that antivaxers are this, but sometimes the possibility seems here.
There are definitively alt-med purveyors who went in Africa with this mentality.

Look up the trope Mighty Whitey. for more on that.
(note: the article is mostly dealing with occurrence in Western media; counterparts exist in media from other cultures)

Because, unless you can provide evidence that racism is part of the antivaxxer mindset, I see this as an unnecessary distraction from the real debate.

Aside from indifference to anyone but themselves, I don’t think it’s a central tenet. Then again, one doesn’t have to look very hard to find things like this and this. The usual Rothschild conspiracy tropes are as common as dirt. Oh, and both Salk and Sabin have Jewish ancestry.

Your examples refer to individuals who are antivax AND antisemitic. So, yes, if the antivaxxer is also anti-Semitic and, if the vaccine proponent is Jewish, the antivaxxer is likely to use racism in attacking that person. No surprise. Even if antivaxxers are more likely to be antisemitic (or white or female) that does not make antivaxxer groups antisemitic (or racist, or feminist). But you seem to already agree.

In the experience that I have, I wouldn’t say they are overtly racism. More incredibly self-centered and selfish. On the whole, they don’t care one jot what happens to anyone else, so long as they can get their way.

For example, deaths from measles is always the dead person’s fault for being undernourished or somehow or other not following the same diet or medical choices as the anti-vaxxer. It is never because measles is a deadly disease that can kill.

As the majority of anti-vaxxers we come across are white and middle-class and a few dead children from a developing country is seen by them as completely insignificant, or even worse an opportunity to attack vaccines, their posturing takes on a distinctly racist look. I don’t think it helps to call them racist, because I don’t think that is what is motivating them, but I can see why people would conclude that their actions are racist.

It is the casual racism of the 19th-century English gentleman, borne of God-given superiority to lesser peoples; not the focused, compensatory racism of 20th-century American insecure white trash. Their “Helping” is that of evangelical missionaries, and fits neatly into their narcissism.

I do agree it is at most a footnote, not the message itself. Dead kids are dead kids, in every color. Movement anti-vaxxers may not know anything of science or medicine, but they definitely do know how to steal your narrative and turn it against you. Don’t hand them such an easy “out”.

Grundig’s claim that no Congolese doctors can tell the difference measles and drug side effects requires every doctor in the country to be an idiot, which plays to the stereotype of Africa as an undeveloped continent full of uneducated savages, which is part of the “real” problem of racism. I stand by my view that his comment was racist.

Yup. As I said before, if anything, I bet that Congolese doctors are BETTER than American doctors at recognizing measles because they see a lot of it and most American doctors either have never seen it, have not seen it for a long time, or have only seen a handful of cases or less.

Terrie,

“Grundig’s claim that no Congolese doctors can tell the difference measles and drug side effects”

I have read Grundig’s article again. It is full of antivax propaganda including outright lies, but he did not claim that “no Congolese doctors can tell the difference measles and drug side effects”. I suspect you are paraphrasing. But why did you do that? Was it because what he actually said doesn’t really support your claim that his comment is racist? What he actually said could just as easily be interpreted as him saying that the rash of measles and the rash caused by paracetamol are difficult to tell apart. Of course, that’s a pretty stupid claim but, interpreted that way, it is not racist.

This is what he actually said:

“could the skin hives, itches, and blistering from acetaminophen be mistaken for the measles?”

And later:

“Could the bulk of the 5,000 measles deaths be a case of mistaken identity? Could one of the medications given to immune-depleted Congolese children produce measles-like infections, with the authorities checking the cause of death due to measles, and not the side-effects from the Ebola medication?”

There is no mention of the phrase “no Congolese doctors…”
He then shows photographs of both rashes which, at least to his eyes could be mistaken for each other.

This should be a story about antivax misinformation, disinformation, and lies, not racism.

Bullshit. He was JAQing off in a way that clearly implied that not only were Congolese doctors mistaking allergic reactions to acetaminophen for measles but that the BULK OF THE REPORTED MEASLES CASES were misdiagnosed allergic reactions to acetaminophen. That’s racist af.

Orac,

“He…clearly implied that not only were Congolese doctors mistaking allergic reactions to acetaminophen for measles…”

Yeah, no argument there.

My argument was that he was laying the blame on the fact that the rashes are similar. He went to the extent of posting photographs of both rashes side by side to show how similar they were (in his opinion, of course) as well as links to photographs of children with measles. It was all about the similarity of the rashes. He made no mention of “Congolese doctors” let alone that they were incompetent or that they were incompetent because they were Congolese.

“Bullshit”

Sorry that you think my reasoned opinion is bullshit 🙁

(Note: I am not saying he is not racist – I wouldn’t have a clue – just that I could not find evidence of racism in that particular article).

If I say “There is bird poop on my car” then I logically imply there was a bird somewhere who did it. I’m not imply that someone went around, gathered up bird poop and smeared it on my car. If someone says “Could one of the medications given to immune-depleted Congolese children produce measles-like infections, with the authorities checking the cause of death due to measles, and not the side-effects from the Ebola medication?” they are implying that Congolese doctors are the ones making the screw up. Unless you think measles is being diagnosed by the janitors?

Orac,

“Your argument is not reasoned, and it is bullshit. You just basically admitted as much, whether you realize it or not.”

I respectfully disagree on all three counts, but I have promised to stop so I will.

I absolutely said that anti-vaxxers have said racist things. That’s different (slightly but importantly) than saying that “all antivaxxers are racist” or even that “these specific antivaxxers are racist”.
People say racist things. Most of those people do not regularly engage in other racist behavior, so I choose to call out those specific statements so that those people can choose to change their words (or not). Some of the regular antivaxxers here have said racist things, and I have called them out on it.

There is racism in implying (without stating outright) that Congolese doctors can’t tell the difference between measles and a reaction to Tylenol. Or when someone says that a vaccine was made in India, and implies that the country of origin alone is reason to believe that the vaccine was poorly made. And those things need to be called out.

So why did he go to all the trouble of showing a photograph of a measles rash right next to a photograph of an allergic rash to paracetamol, followed by two links to pictures of children with measles. Seems to me he is concentrating on the rash, and how similar they are, and could be misdiagnosed one for the other. Nowhere does he actually say the words “Congolese doctors”, let alone that Congolese doctors are incompetent, let alone that they are incompetent because they are Congolese. I’ve not read any other articles by this antivax liar, so perhaps he has been more explicit elsewhere. But not this article. For me, it’s just the usual antivax propaganda.

Okay. That was disappointing. I enjoy reading your blogs here and at SBM. And I certainly didn’t mean to get on your nerves. But, yeah, this is your blog, so I’ll stop as you requested. No hard feelings, though, and keep up the good work exposing these antivaxxer liars and other health frauds.

I have some concerns. We know that people who enjoy child pornography sometimes move onto actual molestation when they can no longer get the thrill they seek from pictures. Will antivaxxers tire of vicariously causing death via their promotion of disease move onto actual murder or abuse of children? I call on “vaccine safety advocates” to respond to this concern – I look forward to your reasoned response.

Will antivaxxers tire of vicariously causing death via their promotion of disease move onto actual murder or abuse of children? I call on “vaccine safety advocates” to respond to this concern – I look forward to your reasoned response.

Have you had your Lupron today?

Samoa does have an A vitamin problem:
https://pafpnet.spc.int/attachments/article/692/Samoa%20Household%20Nutrition%20in%20Brief.pdf
But solution is, first eating locally, and secondly, biofortification.
WHO does recommend A vitamin for measles:
D’Souza RM, D’Souza R
Vitamin A for treating measles in children
Cochrane Database Syst Review 2002;(1):CD001479
It reduces mortality caused by sequalae (specially, pneumonia) but children would still die. And actually, it does not cure measles, much less prevent it.
Supplements does not help here either. Recommended dose is quite substantial.

If the recommended dose of Vitamin A is “quite substantial” then the the recommended dose is more than quit dangerous.

Supplement doses are under 10000 IU. WHO recommends 100000, as 2 or 3 doses, not as a perpetual supplement. Samoans may actually lack A vitamin, US citizens generally do not. This is the why the dose in supplements is lower in US, one likes to avoid hypervitaminosis.

Thanks for the promotion, Orac. Our website visits have gone way up and the response has been really good. Thanks for the free advertising. Not sure who pays you to write these hit pieces, but you’ll be hearing a response from us soon. We have a lengthy file on you. Merry Christmas!

That’s nice. I don’t care. Way nastier than you have tried, and here I still am.🙄

Oh, and that bump in traffic? It won’t last. I always use the rel=“nofollow” tag when linking to antivax sites.

Hello, sadistic child hater. Only a clueless heartless full grown adult would think it is okay dokay for children to suffer high fevers, seizures, encephalitis, pneumonia and serious permanent injury including death from measles. Especially if those children are far away and brown.

Oh for heavens’ sake. “We have a lengthy file on you”.
You’re talking like a two-cent Mafia apprentice, attempting to threaten a doctor who has already seen off numerous personal and employment-related attacks by anti-vaccination groups.
You really look juvenile,
pathetic and stupid talking like this. Grow the hell up.

“You really look juvenile, pathetic and stupid talking like this. Grow the hell up”

Don’t discourage her. That lot is forever whining about having their speech censored. I’d positively encourage her to carry on with such drivel. Like Ann who rolled in and, while thinking she had a whole array of gotchas, dropped an easily refuted load of old moldy compost. Ye shall know them by their fruitlessness.

I’m mainly surprised by the lameness and lack of originality of it all. I did laugh out loud when I read the challenge for me to debate Tenpenny.

Orac** has been challenged by Gary Null many times yet …
Oh wait, hasn’t he already answered him, Adams and other woo-fraught culto-preneurs*** right here at RI and in SBM?

Thus Tenpenny can consider herself lucky that he hasn’t gone into detail concerning the error of her ways in a post.
Researchers, real ones, often “debate” in journals by presenting data but woo-meisters like live debates with an audience so that they can play their usual grandstanding games.
Null claims he has never lost a debate in over 40 years when he debated the doctors, the head of the AMA etc. yet we see no tapes or videos, I’ve seen speak him live: he plays his audience in ridiculous, low minded ways ( SBM kills!) and Gish Gallops like a marathon runner- this is carny stuff, snake oil salesmanship, television reality show schlock
.
Maybe Orac can answer these loons in writing with references and his accomplished snark.

** as well as Dr Novella and other SBM contributors
*** I stole that from Natrass

Tenpenny’s website is available. I do not link to it, it is really rubbish. She believes homeopathy, breast thermography and does not accept health insurance. I wonder does she really believe all crap she promotes or is she just in for money.
Homeophatic “vaccines” are bad business. It is possible that somebody sues, the product is certainly defective.

Grundvig wrote a Huffington Post article, “Methane Blowholes”.

Very disappointing. From the title I expected it would be a profile of prominent antivaxers.

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