After the passage of SB 276 and SB 714, antivaxers are very unhappy. They show this by likening vaccine mandates to 9/11 and claiming they know the "real reason" for them, big pharma and government "punishing" them and taking away their rights.
While trying to block SB 276 from becoming law yesterday, antivaxers proclaimed themselves the "new civil rights movement." They aren't. Quite the opposite, in fact. Fortunately, SB 276 is now law, their attempts at civil disobedience notwithstanding.
"V is for Vaccine" was an antivaccine protest at the California Capitol yesterday. RFK Jr. and Del Bigtree fired up antivaxers with their usual cocktail of pseudoscience, misinformation, and political posturing as "health freedom" advocates.
Austin Bennett is an antivaxer and chemtrail conspiracy theorist. Yesterday, he approached California Sen. Richard Pan in downtown Sacramento. There, he harangued Dr. Pan and ultimately shoved him, all on Facebook Live. Is the violent rhetoric of antivaxers closer to real violence?
California SB 276, a bill to clamp down on bogus medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, is nearing the finish line and looks likely to be passed into law soon. Why are Scientologists helping antivaxers in a last ditch effort to block its passage?
Harassment of its opponents is a feature, not a bug, of the antivaccine movement, even if the victims are grieving mothers. The idea is to harass and intimidate their opponents into silence.
A week and a half ago, Orac got to travel to San Diego to participate in a panel discussion about the antivaccine movement. Even better, he got to meet two heroes of his, California Senator Richard Pan and Dr. Peter Hotez.
One of the great things about America has been the First Amendment, particularly the right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. These are rights allow us to gather together to protest when we see something that we don’t think is right and want to change. Unfortunately, there is one downside to these freedoms, and that is that cranks, quacks, and outright twits have just as much right to free speech as anyone. Fortunately, my right to free speech allows me to ridicule these twits for annoying people, endangering public health, and in general making publicly making idiots of …
It’s been a while since I paid attention to the movie, but the publicity among the antivaccine movement for Andrew Wakefield’s and Del Bigtree’s movie VAXXED: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe continues apace. Sadly, I missed my opportunity to see Bigtree himself doing a Q&A for the movie when it rolled through Detroit a a week and a half ago, mainly (1) the evening Del Bigtree and Polly Tommey rolled through my neck of the woods happened to coincide with a day that I had to drive to Saginaw for a 7:30 AM talk (hint: it’s nearly a two hour drive …
About a year and a half ago, I began an intermittent series that I called How “They” View “Us.” There are several posts in the series now. Basically, given the amount of nastiness directed at those of us who refute pseudoscience, in particular quackery and antivaccine pseudoscience, by those who believe in it, I tried to envision, quite literally, how “they” view “us.” I even did a talk on the topic at the Science-Based Medicine workshop at The Amazing Meeting last year. Basically, I pointed out that we might think of ourselves on the side of right (and, let’s face …