During the political battle last year over the recently implemented California law SB 277, which eliminates nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates and then later during the campaign for the Republican nomination for President, I used a term regarding antivaccine views. That term was “antivaccine dog whistle.” In politics, as you probably now, a “dog whistle” is a term for coded messages that sound like advocating principles with broad acceptance but to a certain subgroup are recognized as code for something else. The analogy is obvious. Just as humans can’t hear much of a dog whistle while the intended recipient …
This weekend was the 4th of July, Independence Day. It’s the most patriotic holiday of all, at least for Americans. We celebrated it in the usual way, with parades, fireworks, the odd lost digit or two, and barbecues. Unfortunately, there’s another thing that the 4th of July inevitably brings on as well, and that’s the invocation of liberty to support dubious causes. Given what happened last year around this time in California, regular readers probably have an idea where I’m going with this. Yes, I’m referring to antivaccine activists invoking “rights” and “freedom” to justify their refusal to vaccinate their …
Vaccine mandates for school used to be about as nonpartisan an issue as we had in the US. There was broad bipartisan support for policies to assure that children are vaccinated before they attend school, and it was a policy that worked for decades. Unfortunately, increasing politicization of vaccine policy threatens to destroy that consensus and undermine public health.
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.
For credibility, the antivaccine movement needs antivaccine pediatricians, such as Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears. Meet the pediatrician who is the latest rising star in the antivaccine movement, Dr. Paul Thomas. He even claims to have his very own "vaxed vs. unvaxed" study.
Here we go again. Meet Rep-Elect Mark Green. He's following in the footsteps of Reps. Dan Burton and Bill Posey in bringing the antivaccine crazy to Congress, only this time for the people of Tennessee.
Contrary to the stereotype of antivaccinationists as hippy-dippy left wing granola crunchers, in actuality antivaccine pseudoscience is the pseudoscience is the pseudoscience that knows no political boundaries. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that both parties are equivalent. Unfortunately, thanks to the co-opting of conservative activism by antivaxers, the Republican Party in 2018 has become the antivaccine party.
David and Collet Stephan were convicted in 2016 for failure to provide the necessities of life for their son Ezekiel Stephan, who died of bacterial meningitis after his parents treated him with natural remedies, supplements, and naturopathy. Unfortunately, as a result of their appeal, the Canadian Supreme Court has granted them a new trial. Predictably, they are claiming vindication. The verdict is nothing of the sort. The Stephans got off on a technicality, but this ruling will serve as propaganda for quacks for years to come.
Faye Flam of Bloomberg Technology defended Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson against charges of being antivaccine and antiscience. It does not go well. Flam ignores the worst nonsense and misunderstands science.
Recently, Sen. Jim Abeler of Minnesota created the MN Autism Council, an advisory panel tasked with advising the legislature on autism policy. A closer look at the story reveals that Sen. Abeler is a chiropractor, two of the members are antivaxers, and one of them was a founding member tasked with forming the council. This is how antivaccine activism is disguised as autism advocacy.