Connecticut Rep. Josh Elliott set up a legislative forum with four scientists and physicians and antivaccine crank Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. This is false balance at its worst and exactly how you don't do it. [Note ADDENDUM]
Dr. Andrew Zimmerman issued a press release claiming he had been misrepresented in a news report by antivaxer Sharyl Attkisson. He wasn't. Rather, he's been a useful idiot for the antivaccine movement.
As a reporter with a decade-long history of credulously reporting antivaccine conspiracy theories and pseudoscience as news, Sharyl Attkisson is an old "friend" of the blog. This time, she's reporting a new-old conspiracy theory about the Autism Omnibus proceedings. I say "new-old" because she tries to mightily to produce a new version of the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement.
A clinical psychologist named Shannon Kroner invited Orac's alter-ego to a "panel discussion" on vaccines. Let's just say Orac knows a trap when he sees one and didn't fall for this one. However, he thought it wise to write this post to warn other science advocates about traps for the unwary—like this one. Heed Orac's advice!
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.
A few dozen antivaccine activists descended upon Washington, DC to protest and lobby their legislators. The protest itself was not impressive, but pro-science advocates shouldn't let this pathetic march lead them to be complacent. Antivaxers are meeting with legislators, and President Trump is sympathetic to their aims.
Antivaxers are marching on Washington tomorrow, as they did in 2008. The cast is different (other than Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Barbara Loe Fisher), but the dangerous pseudoscientific is the same.
Antivaxers think they have a friend in the White House, and they might very well be right.