Barbara Loe Fisher is back. This time, instead of Nazis and the Holocaust, she's comparing vaccine mandates and bad press about antivaxers to McCarthyism and their "persecution" to that faced by anyone suspected of Communism in the early 1950s.
It's ba-ack. In response to efforts to make personal belief exemptions harder to obtain, an old and particularly vile antivax trope is back: Vaccine mandates as rape, with a new #metoo-inspired twist, namely "vaccine injured" children as victims of sexual assault whose assaulters are trying to silence them.
Dr. Gary Kohls is an antivaccine doctor who writes for The Duluth Reader. After Orac criticized him, he decided to strike bacik. It did not go well. Let's just say that Dr. Kohls is good at hypocrisy and projection.
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?
Bloggers at the Age of Autism blog, like most antivaccine activists, vehemently deny that they are antivaccine, claiming instead that they are "vaccine safety" advocates. Their denials are belied by their having published many posts about a "Vaccine Holocaust."
Last week, the Boston Herald published an editorial about how antivaxers deceived a community of Somali immigrants in Minnesota, referring to the spreading of deadly misinformation as a "hanging offense." Antivaxers took an ill-advised idiom and turned it into a threat of mass lynchings, ignoring their own violent imagery about vaccines and portraying themselves as "pro-vaccine," and used it as justification to threaten to publish the home addresses and phone numbers of newspaper employees. Yes, they are disingenuous and hypocritical as hell.
I always wondered how low Donald Trump could go. Now I know. Only I fear this is nowhere near the bottom.
I remember when I first heard on Twitter yesterday afternoon that our President-Elect, Donald Trump, was going to meet with longtime antivaccine crank Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Remembering how Trump had met with antivaccine “hero” Andrew Wakefield before the election and how after the election antivaccine activists were practically salivating over the thought of what Trump might do with respect to the CDC and vaccines, I was reminded of just how much I fear for medical science policy under the Trump administration. I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. For a moment, I actually thought that …
A typical response to a charge of being antivaccine coming from someone whose rhetoric is definitely antivaccine is to clutch her pearls mightily and retort, “I’m not ‘anti-vaccine.’ I’m pro-vaccine safety.” Similarly, a common retort of antivaccinationists who believe that vaccines cause autism, particularly those who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism, is to declare themselves “autism advocates.” Indeed, the bloggers at one of the most wretched hives of scum and antivaccine quackery on the whole Internet, Age of Autism, routinely declare themselves an autism advocacy organization. They’re not anti-vaccine. Oh, no. How dare you call them that? Unfortunately, …
Late last week, something happened that I never would have predicted, and it’s all due to how the politics of the issue changed in the wake of the Disneyland measles outbreak earlier this year. The state that contains some of the most famous pockets of low vaccine uptake and some of the most famous antivaccine “luminaries,” including pediatricians like Dr. Bob Sears and Jay Gordon, as well as actual celebrities like Rob Schneider, Alicia Silverstone, Bill Maher, Charlie Sheen, and Mayim Bialik, actually passed a law, SB 277, that eliminates non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates. It’s now been sent …