Ohio, you have a definite antivaccine problem in your statehouse. Unfortunately, Ohio is not alone. Antivaxers have outsized influence in too many state legislatures.
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.
The Vaccine Choice Empowerment Symposium is coming, full of antivaccine misinformation and dishonest conflation, and it's coming to Orac's neck of the woods. Should Orac attend, given that the misinformation will be black hole density?
A childhood friend of mine, who is running for office, forwarded me a questionnaire from the Michigan Vaccine Freedom Political Action Committee. It consisted of questions about whether she would support vaccine "choice" and "freedom." Unfortunately, antivaccine advocacy groups are becoming more influential. Now they're trying to lobby like any other lobbying group.
Rachel Bredow is antivaccine and doesn't want her children vaccinated. Her ex-husband disagrees. When Ms. Bredow violated a court order to vaccinate her child, she was thrown into jail for contempt of court. Unfortunately, our local media have not exactly covered themselves in glory covering this story.
The usual stereotype of an antivaxer is a hippy dippy left wing granola cruncher. The case of Texas shows that increasingly the antivaccine movement is right wing. Worse, it's becoming more political and harder for Republican legislators to ignore. I fear vaccine science is becoming as politicized as climate science, with results disastrous for public health.
Remember the scene in The Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood are sitting in the Bluesmobile and come across a Nazi rally taking place on a bridge? Jake says with utter disgust, “I hate Illinois Nazis,” before driving over the bridge, forcing the Nazis to flee and jump into the river below. That’s basically the way I feel towards Michigan antivaccine activists. What’s even worse, though, is when out-of-state antivaccine agitators show up to give aid and comfort to our own homegrown antivaccinationists, which is what happened this week. I’d never actually drive a car at a bunch of them …