This story is getting a lot of coverage, but no amount is enough: pseudoscientific anti-vaccine proponents like Jenny McCarthy, Vani Hari “Food Babe,” and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are in part responsible for increasing illness and deaths from formerly vanquished childhood diseases like measles and whooping cough. The Hollywood Reporter has done an in-depth investigation of how fashionable pseudoscience is endangering children:
Vaccination rates are plummeting at top Hollywood schools, from Malibu to Beverly Hills, from John Thomas Dye to Turning Point, where affluent, educated parents are opting out in shocking numbers (leaving some schools’ immunization rates on par with South Sudan) as an outbreak of potentially fatal whooping cough threatens L.A. like “wildfire….”
Across California, thousands of children and babies are coughing so violently that their bodies convulse, uncontrollably wheezing and fighting to breathe for weeks. Nearly 8,000 pertussis cases have been reported in 2014 to the state’s Department of Public Health as of Sept. 2, and 267 of those patients have been hospitalized, including 58 requiring intensive care.
Adults can contract the disease, but 94 percent of all cases reported statewide involve children — and the youngest suffer the most. So far this year, three infants under 2 months of age have died statewide from pertussis, a disease commonly known as whooping cough (named for the high-pitched sound that kids make when they inhale after coughing)….
Whether it’s measles or pertussis, the local children statistically at the greatest risk for infection aren’t, as one might imagine, the least privileged — far from it. An examination by The Hollywood Reporter of immunization records submitted to the state by educational facilities suggests that wealthy Westside kids — particularly those attending exclusive, entertainment-industry-favored child care centers, preschools and kindergartens — are far more likely to get sick (and potentially infect their siblings and playmates) than other kids in L.A. The reason is at once painfully simple and utterly complex: More parents in this demographic are choosing not to vaccinate their children as medical experts advise.
Progressives taunt “flyover country” sorts for the anti-scientific beliefs of the minority who don’t believe in evolution and want their religious creation story taught in schools. Meanwhile, progressives are killing people and hurting their own children by adopting pseudoscientific beliefs about harmful side-effects of vaccines that have long since been debunked.
There are risks to vaccinations–idiosyncratic reactions and unusual syndromes have occurred in a miniscule portion of children receiving vaccinations. But having forgotten the much greater danger of death and permanent damage from childhood diseases, these parents believe their own child is better off without vaccines. This goes along with a pseudo-religious belief that “all natural” is a good thing.
It was “all natural” for 50% of children to die before adulthood. It was “all natural” for most people to die before the age of 40. Modern vaccinations and public health measures like improved sewers and water treatment meant you could love your young children without risk of losing them, as used to be the case; and have only two to be likely to see two to adulthood, when before you might have eight to have only three survive. The CDC comments on what a world without vaccination would look like:
Before the middle of the last century, diseases like whooping cough, polio, measles, Haemophilus influenzae, and rubella struck hundreds of thousands of infants, children and adults in the U.S.. Thousands died every year from them. As vaccines were developed and became widely used, rates of these diseases declined until today most of them are nearly gone from our country.
Nearly everyone in the U.S. got measles before there was a vaccine, and hundreds died from it each year. Today, most doctors have never seen a case of measles.
More than 15,000 Americans died from diphtheria in 1921, before there was a vaccine. Only one case of diphtheria has been reported to CDC since 2004.
An epidemic of rubella (German measles) in 1964-65 infected 12½ million Americans, killed 2,000 babies, and caused 11,000 miscarriages. In 2012, 9 cases of rubella were reported to CDC.
It’s great that people are catching on to the benefits of less processed foods and more natural diets. It’s not great that they are starting to believe quacks who promote pseudoscience that will let dangerous diseases run unchecked.
Lemmings gotta lem!
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations
[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations, available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]
Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”
Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.
More on Pseudoscience and Quackery:
Vani Hari: “Food Babe” and Quack
Vani Hari, “Food Babe” and Quack: Where the Money Comes From
Vandana Shiva: Quack
More on Quacks: “Dr. Oz” Testifies He’s a Victim!
“Parallel Science Propaganda Machine”
Mike Adams: Quack Suggests Murdering Monsanto-supporting Scientists
Cleanses and Detox Diets: Quackery
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: Quack