Antivaxxers Trumping CDC

I’ve always been impressed by the cognitive dissonance exhibited by many in the anti-vaccine community. But it wasn’t until this election cycle thatI comes to understand exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. When I see Donald Trump, a sweat stain that just wont come off your favorite country, tell a lie and then almost immediately say that the lie he told was part of a conspiracy to discredit him. Antivaxxers do this all the time. They’ll say that vaccines cause autism, and then, when confronted with the evidence that vaccines do no such thing, antivaxxers will quickly yell at you and tell you that you’re part of a conspiracy to hide the truth. If the antivaxxer happens to be a parent, pointing out to them that they’re lying or misrepresenting the evidence quickly comes with an accusation that you’re making fun of their child or their situation, or that you’re not a parent and thus have nothing to say on the matter.

Now, this is the part where I tell you that I’m not making fun of anyone… At least not intentionally. I’m sure that parenting is difficult all on its own with a neurotypical and physically able child. So I’m sure that a child with special needs of any kind must be at least a little more difficult. Sadly, for some parents, it is intolerable to the point that they are convinced when people like Andrew Wakefield sell them the idea that killing their child is preferable to a life of challenges. Again, I am not making fun of you if you are an anti-vaccine parent. And, most importantly in this entire discussion, I am not making fun of your child.

A couple of days ago, antivaxxers decided to have a rally in front of CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. True to form, they brough on the conspiracy theories that the government is in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry to, among other things, kill and maime children through vaccines. They made wild claims as well, like their claim that most children will be autistic in the near future from all the vaccines. (The scientific evidence points more and more to a consistent 1% to 3% rate of autism in the general population at all times.) They claimed that there is no such thing as Suddent Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because it’s all about the vaccines. And, when random people walked by, they assailed those people with their stories of horror allegedly brought on by vaccines.

This is the video of one such interaction:

The man in the video is clearly just trying to cross the street but is assailed by this woman, a woman who calls her son “mentally retarded after his vaccines.” The man asks her to “go away” a couple of times, but she just keeps it up. She then goes as far as to take a picture of him — because that’s a normal thing to do in these situations, apparently — and he flips her off.

Well, that flipping off just drove the antivaxxers insane. They started complaining on social media and on their blogs that this guy needed to be found and made pay for flipping off this woman. They launched into conspiracy theories about him being a paid actor or someting

screenshot-2016-10-16-12-20-58
You’re being manipulated alright…

This is all par for the course for antivaxxers. They try to intimidate public health workers (or people whom they think are public health workers) and then claim to be victims if those they are intimidating respond in any way. They lie about conflicts of interest and other improprieties but then claim to be the victims if someone points out to them that they’re selling supplements and scams. Or they cry that they’re being censored when they themselves don’t allow any kind of comments contrary to their beliefs on their blogs.

Antivaxxers are, in my humble opinion, and it’s a good opinion… A lot of smart people are saying I have a good opinion. And, let me tell you, folks, my opinion is so good that your head will spin. My opinion… By the way, if you go ask for someone else’s opinion, their opinion will not be as good as mine, okay? I’m just saying. Because no one can give you an opinion like mine. And, when you’re not famous, they’ll let you grab them by their opinion any time. Anyway, my opinion is that antivaxxers — who are horrible people — antivaxxers are just like Trump. If they don’t lie, they bend the truth. If they don’t bend the truth, they make something up. And if they don’t make something up, they claim it’s all a conspiracy.

 

I'm a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen

3 thoughts on “Antivaxxers Trumping CDC

  1. “… antivaxxers — who are horrible people — antivaxxers are just like Trump. If they don’t lie, they bend the truth. If they don’t bend the truth, they make something up. And if they don’t make something up, they claim it’s all a conspiracy.”

    A-men.

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  2. I’ve long had this “thing”. If I’m crossing the street or walking across the street, I have to be somewhere, at a specific time and as I’m now a bit disabled and walking with a cane, anyone trying to hijack me is considered a threat.
    I’m also a former SF medic, for new readers. That means, I qualified as as SF, *then* went into an intensive, long term course on SF medicine. For those not conversant with acronyms, SF is Special Forces (US).

    So, when so greeted, there’d be a warning, a second warning, a final warning (making it stated as a final warning), then, someone’s knee will go the wrong way. Cane or not, I’m still able to do that.
    Next up, a warning, then to the elbow, turning it in the incorrect direction.
    Continue, I’ll kill my way across the street and not stop to take credit.

    IRL, I’m a *really* nice guy, but I have my limits and I openly express them, then act upon violence directed upon me. Stop my forward progress is violence of one form, I’m infamous for massive escalation.
    That’s amplified by some groups; terrorists, terrorist sympathizers, antivaxers (I’ve been in epidemic zones, I still, to this very day have nightmares that wake me up in the middle of the night and I have enough problems *right now* with a very, very, very ill wife to consider. Adding to my stress only gets reflected back upon you, in very unfortunate ways.

    But, dear antivaxer, do come to me when you’ve buried your 200th child. I’ll *fully* divulge classified operations and information and you’ll end up cleared to know it. Divulge it then, join Manning, save if you clear it first.
    I’m up to 3.5 liters of whiskey to sleep at night, trying to forget children lost due to vaccine preventable illnesses and one incident, the former drives up the ethanol intake. That, plus 5 mg of hydrocodone, due to an injury sustained to my lumbar disc, while protecting my wife of 35+ years from a fall, post-operative from a gallbladder removal *and* a umbilical hernia, secondary to a 32+ year c-section scar failure.

    As for parents that’d love support, we’re there for you in NW Louisiana, no matter how shitty that we feel, we’ll be there for you and your kids.
    We wanted more children, we ended up with 16 pregnancies, one ectopic pregnancy that turned into a problem, due to a Roman Catholic hospital being closest and insurance rules and entering a second trimester (life threatening and non-viable at that point, but said hospital didn’t want to perform an abortion).
    Suffice it to say, some networking ensued, said hospital suddenly ran out of *all* federal funding, while an investigation ensued, they changed their damnable policies.
    One hell of a way to treat a defender of one’s homeland’s family!
    That policy changed, courtesy of some old school networking and rule of law applied. A bit of extra-legal pressure was exerted and the physician who performed the “out of policy abortion” was reinstated.
    Just for a small part of context from where I’m coming from. Seeing villages full of dead children, additional nightmares that you’d want to bring home.

    So, we’re *uber* protective with children. That, all, plus 16 pregnancies, two live births, the one aforementioned ectopic pregnancy.
    Oh, both my wife and I have cared for special needs children, including autistic children, throughout the spectrum.
    Lacking the large family we desired, we adopted families until we were no longer needed.
    We recently adopted a new family, in desperate need, who also manages to handle my wife, who has six to ten falls per week needs.
    And addressing their needs, in a far more superior way than jailing someone due to a medical problem (a combination of drug and ethanol abuse, plus sociological issues).

    While dealing with a failed corporate move, a wife near paralysis, hyperthyroidism and stressed finances.
    Gee, I can’t figure out *why* I drink so much!
    It can’t be a character flaw, both OPM and the Chinese think it’s clearance worthy. 😉

    Yeah, that was a lousy joke, but, it’s bedtime, I’m out of good jokes right now.

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