Frank Bruni

By Frank Bruni

How many studies do you have to throw at the vaccine hysterics before they quit? How much of a scientific consensus, how many unimpeachable experts and how exquisitely rational an argument must you present?

That’s a trick question, of course. There’s no magic number. There’s no number, period. And that’s because the anti-vaccine crowd (or anti-vaxxers) aren’t trafficking in anything as concrete, mundane and quaint as facts. They’re not really engaged in a debate about medicine. They’re immersed in a world of conspiracies, in the dark shadows where no data can be trusted, nothing is what it seems and those who buy the party line are pitiable sheep.

And, boy, are they living at the right time, when so much information and misinformation swirl by so quickly that it’s easy to confuse the two and even easier to grab hold and convince yourself of whatever it is you prefer to believe. With Google searches, you find the ostensible proof you seek. On social media, you bask in all the affirmation you could possibly want.

The parents who are worried or sure about grave risks from vaccines reflect a broader horror that has flickered or flared in everything from the birther movement to “Pizzagate,” that nonsense about children as Democratic sex slaves in the imagined basement of a Washington pizza joint. Their recklessness and the attendant re-emergence of measles aren’t just a public health crisis. They’re a public sanity one, emblematic of too many people’s willful disregard of evidence, proud suspicion of expertise and estrangement from reason.

read more at NY Times

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Countering False Vaccine Safety Claims – Children’s Health Defense has put together a list of the most common misrepresentations in the vaccine safety debate and provided the facts and references that support the reality that vaccines can and do cause injuries including autism and many other adverse health outcomes. Includes a link to the facts on 19 fraudulent studies the CDC used to claim Thimerosal (mercury preservative) did not cause autism. Mercury was the primary preservative ingredient used in vaccines from 1931-2001 and is still used in flu shots the CDC pushes for everyone, including children and pregnant women. Click http://bit.ly/2BSwndQ

  2. $4 Billion Paid for Vaccine Injuries and Deaths – Federal vaccine damage court awards since 1989 on behalf of those who were injured or died after getting federally recommended childhood vaccines have now topped $4 billion, with claims dramatically increasing in recent years as people learn about vaccine dangers. About $1 billion of that total has been awarded to vaccine-injured victims in just the last four years. Vaccines do not work as advertised and are neither safe nor effective. Click http://bit.ly/2CVlvvt

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