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.
On Saturday, The Washington Post broke a story that Trump administration will prohibit officials at the CDC from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “transgender,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Although the Trump administration furiously backpedaled over the weekend and it now appears that HHS was the source of the edict, this an ominous indication that the Trump administration will attempt to impose ideology on the most important public health agency in the federal government.
In January, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. bragged about having met with President-Elect Donald Trump about chairing a presidential commission on vaccine safety. In the intervening eight months, no commission has materialized, but, if you can believe his account, Kennedy has been meeting with government officials to promote his antivaccine views at the behest of the Trump administration. As long as that continues, pro-science advocates can't afford to rest easy.
When HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price announced that Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald would be the new CDC Director, he breathed a sigh of relief because in her previous job as Georgia Commissioner of Public Health she was suitably pro-vaccine and pro-science. He should have looked a bit closer and gone a few years further back.
Because of Donald Trump's long history of antivaccine statements, his meeting with Andrew Wakefield during the presidential campaign, and his meeting with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. during the transition, antivaxers thought Trump would give them what they want. They were wrong, just the latest to realize that they've been conned. Is it so wrong for me to feel serious schadenfreude here?
Alternative practitioners invent and treat fake diseases like adrenal fatigue and chronic Lyme disease. Unfortunately, as a recent CDC report on complications due to treating chronic Lyme disease with long term antibiotics shows, treating fake diseases can cause harm and, in some cases, even kill.
Last night was a bit weird. I think too many days of only getting a few hours of sleep finally caught up to me, and I crashed by around 9:30 PM. So, contrary to usually happens, when I say this post will be briefer than usual, I actually mean it; I have even less time this morning than usual to pump out a quickie post. However, this is the perfect time to look at one thing that probably doesn’t rate a full heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence but that I’d like to take note of anyway. It’s a bit of …
Fake news has become an enormous problem. Here, Orac takes a look at a rather fascinating tidbit of fake news aimed at the antivaccine movement. Did the FBI really raid the CDC with the "CDC whistleblower" showing them what to find? Of course not. But a story like this is nearly irresistible to true believers that vaccines cause autism.
In a (very) few short hours, Donald Trump will take the oath of office and become the 45th President of the United States. I realize that I don’t normally blog about politics, at least other than that related to medicine, but I make no bones about it. I’m dreading 12 Noon ET on January 20, 2017. There is more than enough reason for dread given the likely effect on medical science, at the very least. Also, Donald Trump is antivaccine. He’s shown it through meetings with Andrew Wakefield and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, the former of whom spoke a year …