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Trump and the anti-vaxxers

In case you needed another reason to dislike Donald Trump.

President Trump’s embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups.

Public health experts warn that this growing movement is threatening one of the most successful medical innovations of modern times. Globally, vaccines prevent the deaths of about 2.5 million children every year, but deadly diseases such as measles and whooping cough still circulate in populations where enough people are unvaccinated.

Here in San Antonio, 80 miles southwest of the state capital, Texans for Vaccine Choice convened a happy hour to encourage attendees to get more involved politically. The event was among dozens of outreach events the group has hosted across the state. The relatively new group has boosted its profile, aided by a savvy social-media strategy, and now leads a contentious fight over vaccines that is gearing up in the current legislative session.

The battle comes at a time when increasing numbers of Texas parents are choosing not to immunize their children because of “personal beliefs.” Measles was eliminated in the United States more than 15 years ago, but the highly contagious disease has made a return in recent years, including in Texas, in part because of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. A 2013 outbreak in Texas infected 21 people, many of them unvaccinated children.

The modern anti-vaccine movement is based on a fraud. A study published almost 20 years ago purported to show a link between childhood vaccines and autism. The data was later found to be falsified, and the study was retracted.

[…]

Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, predicts that 2017 could be the year the anti-vaccination movement gains ascendancy in the United States. Texas could lead the way, he said, because some public schools are dangerously close to the threshold at which measles outbreaks can be expected. A third of students at some private schools are unvaccinated.

“We’re losing the battle,” Hotez said.

Although the anti-vaccine movement has been strong in other states, including California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, experts say the effort in Texas is among the most organized and politically active.

“It’s a great example of an issue that has a targeted, small minority but an intense minority who are willing to mobilize and engage in direct action,” said Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

We’ve discussed this plenty of times before, and as you know I agree with Mark Jones. There’s no reasoning with these people. There’s only organizing, and making it so that being anti-vaccination – and let’s be clear, that’s what allowing broad parental-choice exemptions for vaccinating children is – is a disqualifier for public office. Either we vote these enablers out, or we suffer the consequences.

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12 Comments

  1. voter_worker says:

    This is one bad thing that Trump isn’t really responsible for and has simply latched on to as political opportunism. Robert F. Kennedy Jr is the primary political bad actor. No matter that Andrew Wakefield was disgraced for producing the faulty autism link study; Kennedy charges on. The upcoming epidemics will be his legacy, not Trump’s.

  2. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Wow, voter, is Trump responsible for any of the decisions he makes? Is trump one of the soulless than is not capable of free will?

    I understand that your response is the typical Republican response to find a Democrat or much worse a liberal to blame for it. But at some point any rational person will get tired of always blaming the Democrats for their decisions.

    I happily await the return of all those coal mining jobs, and bringing back manufacturing to the small rural towns of the wastelands, that is dotted with heroin addicts.

  3. voter_worker says:

    Neither, Democrats can be purveyors of alternate facts and fake news as well as Republicans so your outrage that I’d criticize a Democrat is duly noted, but taken with a grain of salt. Trump is a Johnny-come-lately and a bit player in the anti-vaccination saga. Wakefield’s bogus study which set it off dates from the early 1990s. Kennedy is the politician who has been championing Wakefield’s allegations and introducing his documentary film “Vaxxed” around the country, not Trump. Unfortunately for all of us, when the President lends the authority of that office to anti-science activists, nothing good can result, and in that respect Trump has culpability, but that doesn’t absolve those who have been campaigning against vaccinations for many years.

  4. Flypusher says:

    No one is absolving the LWNJs on this issue, but donnie-come-lately now has a much bigger soapbox than the longtime nutters, and all the responsibility that comes with it. He deserves far more flak than he’s currently getting- this is literally life and death for very young infants, immuno-compromised people, etc.

  5. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Voter I will assume from your reply that Trump gets a pass and let us blame the Democrats they are the bogey men and women.

    For instance the word outrage, is used to poison people’s opinion of me. Below is a link to the definition of the word outrage.

    Why am I outraged, could it be that your response was rabid? Words are used by Republicans to create the atmosphere that they are the rational persons and everyone else is not, especially liberals. It is a word game in which they have become masters.

    Death squads, ring a bell? Death tax? The list is endless.

    By the way what is a liberal? The use of the word is not different than my referring to Trump supporters as Soulless. Why soulless, because they lack empathy for the suffering of others. Example, they care about a child for nine months after that they don’t care what happens to the child. Of course the child does not belong to them.

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outrage

  6. voter_worker says:

    Neither, you misinterpret my remarks. Trump gets a pass on nothing imho. Good lord I mention that a well-known D is part and parcel of the anti-vaxx madness and you’re convinced I’m a Trump supporter! And you didn’t offer any argument or facts to contradict what I said about Kennedy. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/01/10/robert-f-kennedy-jr-compared-vaccines-to-the-holocaust-and-now-trump-wants-him-to-investigate-their-safety.html

  7. Neither Here Nor There says:

    Voter you are right about Kennedy and his belief, now where do I go vote against him? Not sure why he was so important that you bring him up in defense of Trump, yes, it was a defense of Trump. I guess those women that showered him with gold are also at fault he simply ordered the shower, right?

  8. C.L. says:

    Neither, time to renew your prescription.

  9. Neither Here Nor There says:

    C.L.why the Republican insult? Are you incapable of arguing points? Are you one of the Soulless and feel that you have to defend your lack of empathy? Is my insult of Trump offensive to you?

  10. C.L. says:

    Neither, …Secretly thinking your recent political victim rants may require you to double dose your daily mood medicine(s) in reality has nothing to do with my political beliefs or, ultimately, yours. Certainly there are any numbers of ways to argue a point – claiming the subject of your ire has have no (imaginary) soul is a position that will neither allow you to win nor result in a loss. If that’s your intent, to start a conversation, kudos, but if that’s your argument ‘style’, it may be time to draw upon a new playbook.

    Assclowns, some perceived as ‘soulless’, exist on both sides of any aisle – Dems or Repubs hold no monopoly. Every individual could/should only be held accountable for their own actions – certainly I don’t want to be held accountable for yours, and I can guaranty you don’t want to be responsible for mine.

  11. Neither Here Nor There says:

    That is a lot of words C.L. and they say absolutely nothing, in fact you failed to answer any of the questions, heck you could create your question and answer it that is what Republicans and Soulless people do.

    C.L.you don’t know a thing about me, what my moods are, whether I get depressed and stay depressed, but your response while wordy is just that an attempt to attack insult my cognitive abilities. I can’t think or argue because I am on drugs, I don’t do drugs, maybe you do and that is why you think that way?

    Let me repeat your response, both times, is straight out of the Republican play book. There are books that have been written about them, but if one pays attention the attacks are always the same. So C.L. how is your Russian puppet doing?

    So C.L. using your logic (I am assuming that you are capable of that), what medicines did they put you on to make you respond in such manner? Or did they just increase the dose? Did I mention you today for you to insult me? Are you still smarting from the last time? Do you believe in a God C.L.? Did you know that Einstein did but not the same one most bible thumpers do. Is your mind so small that it can think beyond that concept of God only as imagined by Jews, Christians, Muslims, etc?

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