Scientific facts and pleas for personal responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us. Those are the immunocompromised and children too young to be vaccinated. They apparently don't matter to the selfish fools who continue to reject vaccines. These selfish people have blood on their hands, and society has not chosen to hold them accountable.
The University of California-San Francisco has become a strange place. While the university certainly hosts faculty doing world-class research, simultaneously it has become the academic home for conspiracy theorists, including anti-vaxxers and anti-biotech activists.
There's simply no way of knowing what anti-vaxxer RFK, Jr. will say on any given day. One day, he's comparing vaccines to the Holocaust. The next, he's helping spread cervical cancer.
The CDC has reported on the horrifying near-death of a 6-year-old boy in Oregon. As is the case with so many stories these days, he was unvaccinated. He was outside playing -- which is, quite frankly, dangerous if you're not vaccinated -- when he scratched his forehead. Then a horror story ensued.
Some science positions are so well-supported by data that every literate adult should embrace them. For those who reject facts, an appeal to emotion with funny pictures and clever text can sometimes work to persuade. So, let's celebrate some of our favorite pro-vaccine memes. In the science wars, some positions are so well-supported by mountains of data ("vaccines are safe and effective"), that every literate adult should embrace them. Alas, they do not. For people who reject facts, an appeal to emotion might work. Hence, the meme. It's simply a matter of reality that memes with funny pictures and clever text go viral, while the latest research paper from the Journal of the American Medical Association does not. So, let's celebrate pro-vaccine memes.
Like Pig-Pen from Peanuts, a cloud of filth follows Andrew Wakefield wherever he goes. Vaccine exemptions have soared 1900% in Texas since he moved there. Now, he's trying to get anti-vaccine politicians elected.
Russian trolls and the Organic Consumers Association both spread anti-vaccine propaganda and conspiracy theories in an effort to undermine American technology. Worse yet, they actively collude with one other.
The New York Times has done something that it very rarely does: It wrote an editorial in support of biotechnology. Unfortunately, the newspaper has a long history of spreading misinformation about GMOs and chemicals, which seriously undermines the important message in its pro-vaccine editorial.
Anyone who believes that vaccines cause autism shouldn't be in a position of authority. The fundamental problem with someone making such a claim is not that s/he is wrong. Instead, it reveals someone who's conspiratorially minded and lacks critical thinking skills. That's not the sort of person who should be in charge of anything important.
People who sign up for golf tips probably aren't looking for bad health advice. Yet, that's exactly what they got – as well as an unhealthy dose of conspiracy theory – in a recent newsletter sent out by Golf Game Tips.
Municipalities may feel justified in trying to up the ante in the vaccine wars. Drunk drivers who kill somebody can be charged with manslaughter. Perhaps they have a point in saying this law should be extended to those who, through negligence, sicken or kill another person with a vaccine-preventable illness. That is certainly a far more palatable option than filling up tiny coffins.
Causing trouble keeps Russia relevant. It's as if nihilism and cynicism are the two guiding principles of Russia's foreign policy. And if that's not enough, as part of its global mischief-making Russia is assaulting American science and technology.