Who is evil

Denialism and death threats.

A new book defending vaccines, written by a doctor infuriated at the claim that they cause autism, is galvanizing a backlash against the antivaccine movement in the United States. But there will be no book tour for the doctor, Paul A. Offit, author of “Autism’s False Prophets.” He has had too many death threats…[Offit] is also the co-inventor of a vaccine against rotavirus, a diarrheal disease that kills 60,000 children a year in poor countries.

So…Paul Offit collaborated on the invention of a vaccine that if implemented can save the lives of at least 60,000 children a year in poor countries – and yet ‘antivaccine activists’ think he’s evil and some think he should get death threats. That’s odd.

“[A] few years ago this ceased to be a civil scientific discourse and became about crucifying individuals,” said Dr. Gregory A. Poland, chief of vaccine research at the Mayo Clinic, who says he has had threats against his children.

Vaccines prevent lethal diseases – yet people get so angry about a non-existent link between vaccination and autism that they want to kill or at least threaten people who are working on vaccines. That’s deranged.

Of course, having grown up in a world where lethal contagious diseases, apart from AIDS, are no longer commonplace, they don’t know what it’s like to live with the constant risk and sometimes reality of cholera, typhoid. TB, polio – and measles. But if they’re going to become activists on the subject, then they ought to find out what it’s like. It’s not all that difficult.

Many doctors now argue that reporters should treat the antivaccine lobby with the same indifference they do Holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers and those claiming to have proof that NASA faked the Moon landings.

In other words reporters should treat the antivaccine lobby like whack jobs.

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