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?
A year ago, I wrote about some bad science from Italy from Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti, in which an electron microscope was used and abused to claim that vaccines are contaminated with horrific "nanoparticles." A year later, Gatti and Montanari's homes, labs, and offices were raided and their computers seized in an investigation. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine movement has spun a conspiracy theory out of the raid. The real explanation is likely to be much less sinister.
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.
In the US, there is an unfortunate attitude that the parents own their children. When the parents are religious zealots belonging to a church like the Followers of Christ, which believes in prayer instead of medicine, the results are tragic. Unfortunately, we as a society value religious freedom more than children.
Last week, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla approved a ballot initiative to collect signatures that would, if passed, reverse school vaccine mandates, ban GMOs, and demonize chemicals. It sounds like something Mike Adams would have written. Fortunately, 365,880 signatures of registered voters are needed, which makes it unlikely that this will pass.
David and Collet Stephan stand convicted of not having provided their son Ezekiel with essential medical care, which led to his death from meningitis. None of this stopped the "wellness" industry from featuring David as a speaker at its expos; that is, until it started causing bad publicity. When that happened, Stephan was unceremoniously dumped. But the quackery in "wellness" remains unchanged.
There is a type of “vaccine injury” story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call “death by Gardasil.” The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can’t help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child’s demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as …
Yesterday's crank fight continues, as James Lyons-Weiler, antivax warrior and founder of the Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge, stung by Leslie Manookian's attack painting him as insufficiently antivaccine and even a tool of the vaccine-industrial complex, strikes back. Hilarity ensues as he battles Manookian for the title of Most Antivaccine Crank in the World.