When it comes to pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, quackery, and antivaccine nonsense, remember that, very frequently, it's all about the grift. Even when it's not, the grift inevitably takes over.
A week ago, William Shatner Tweeted that he had received an anti-aging stem cell therapy. Perusal of the website of the clinic where he got the cells reveals yet another for-profit dubious stem cell clinic. Is William Shatner the new stem cell clinic pitchman?
Yet another huge epidemiological study finds no association between vaccination with MMR and autism. Same as it ever was. That doesn't stop a particularly clueless antivaxer from trying to "refute" it, to hilariously inept results.
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.
Dr. David Brownstein is a local "holistic medicine" doctor. Unhappy at a pro-vaccine New York Times editorial, he tried to refute it. It didn't go well—for Dr. Brownstein. His self-own was epic.
Hillary Simpson created the Facebook group #crazymothers to co-opt the perception that the science-based world has of her and her fellow antivax mothers. Now, she's cooked up a hashtag and social media campaign called #DearDoctor to encourage mothers to harass their child's former pediatricians by writing letters blaming them for vaccinating and supposedly causing their children's autism. Oh, and she does freestyle rap, too. Badly.
Our old friend anti antivaccine activist J. B. Handley invokes the “vaccines didn’t save us” gambit. It doesn’t go well for him. You could say that he fought vaccine science, but, as always, the vaccine science won.
In this edition of antivaccine Whac-A-Mole, Orac discusses a large study that fails to find a link between maternal Tdap vaccination and autism in the baby. No big surprise there. So, mothers, get your Tdap to protect your baby.
Thanks to the Dunning-Kruger effect, many antivaxers think they know more about vaccines than doctors, scientists, and other experts in infectious disease, immunology, and vaccines. It is this arrogance of ignorance that fuels their antivaccine activism and makes them resistant to disconfirming evidence.
As it does every two years, the CDC has issued its 2018 report on autism prevalence. As in years past, autism prevalence has ticked upward. As in years past, antivaxers have tried to blame it on vaccines. As in years past, they're wrong. Vaccines are not responsible for increased autism prevalence.