Usually, when we have something to say about California, it's bad. After all, this is the state that gave us Proposition 65, a smorgasbord of insane public health policies, as well as 38 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. But now, the state has done something good. In fact, very good.
Unless he has a miraculous change of mind and heart, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. will be remembered as a scourge on public health. He'll also be the Kennedy whose words and actions encouraged the spread of not only measles, mumps, and rubella but influenza and cervical cancer as well. What a legacy.
New York Times journalist Eric Lipton, who defended the indefensible by offering support to a group of virulent anti-vaxxers and scam artists known as Moms Across America, is a scourge on public health. The national newspaper recently demoted Jonathan Weisman, a deputy editor based in Washington, DC, for displaying poor judgment. Lipton should face the same fate.
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.