The grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, is ranting again. This time, she is peddling both misinformed consent about vaccines and likening her struggle to social justice movements of the past as she portrays well baby visits as "vaccine battlegrounds" instigated by the AAP.
Here we go again. Joe Mercola and Barbara Loe Fisher make up a fake "Vaccine Injury Awareness Week" as an excuse to fundraise and spread antivax pseudoscience hither, thither, and yon. Same as it ever was. At least this year, they avoided the gratuitous Nazi references. It must have taken enormous restraint on their parts.
It may be two days after the 4th of July, but it's never too late to deconstruct a holiday-inspired antivaccine rant about "zero tolerance vaccine laws" by the grand dame of the antivaccine movement.
Recently, Dr. Peter Hotez characterized antivaccine groups as "hate groups," and antivaxer Barbara Loe Fisher took great umbrage, accusing Dr. Hotez and the public health community of "bullying" parents of "vaccine-injured" children. Did Dr. Hotez go too far? And what about Fisher's hypocrisy, given that Dr. Hotez has received death threats credible enough to warrant police protection and Fisher herself has sued her critics, in effect trying to bully them into silence?
Antivaxers are marching on Washington tomorrow, as they did in 2008. The cast is different (other than Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Barbara Loe Fisher), but the dangerous pseudoscientific is the same.
Barbara Loe Fisher, Joe Mercola, and other antivaxers frequently deny that the flu is dangerous and that all the promotion of flu vaccines every year is a plot by big pharma to make money based on fear. The CDC argues otherwise, reporting that influenza mortality last season was higher than iit's been in decades. Roughly 80,000 people are estimated to have died last season from influenza or complications from the flu.
With the weekend so busy that the cracks were starting to show in Orac's blogging activity, Orac nearly missed posting. Fortunately, he learned that Dr. Paul Offit received the Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal for his vaccine science and advocacy. Orac is, of course, more than happy to congratulate him.
A few dozen antivaccine activists descended upon Washington, DC to protest and lobby their legislators. The protest itself was not impressive, but pro-science advocates shouldn't let this pathetic march lead them to be complacent. Antivaxers are meeting with legislators, and President Trump is sympathetic to their aims.
If there’s one thing that’s amusing about the antivaccine movement, it’s the disconnect between its members’ perception of their own importance and the reality of it, which is that they tend to be a pretty pathetic, risible band. They post their blogs, full of the rage of Dunning-Kruger, thinking that they are putting forth the most sophisticated scientific arguments that real scientists, who have spent their entire professional life studying vaccines and autism, somehow missed and finding evidence of a link that no other scientist can. Of course, pesky things like rigorous study design tend to get in the way …