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.
"Things have not gotten as stupid as they are going to get." That was a 2015 tweet from John Tabin, co-host of a podcast called "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Friends." It's fair to say, judging solely by infectious disease stories, that since then his prophecy has been fulfilled several times over.
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.
What explains disparate public health threats such as senseless gun violence and anti-vaxxerism? The answer may come from Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who said that the West had become too focused on personal rights at the expense of duty to one's neighbor.
As winter rolls into spring, we here at ACSH are springing ahead with our pro-science agenda. (Did you see what we did there?) From Fox Business to the Financial Times, here are the places we appeared in recent days.
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.
The media hits keep coming ... and coming ... and coming. Here's where our dedicated experts appeared in recent days, promoting evidence-based science.
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.
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.