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Would-Be Presidents Flunk The Vaccine Test

Memo Pad Politics

Would-Be Presidents Flunk The Vaccine Test

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It’s not too early for defining moments in the 2016 presidential race, and we just had one. Amid a worrying measles outbreak, at least three potential candidates have failed the test posed by the Great Vaccine Debate.

Initial comments by New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Kentucky senator Rand Paul and former Silicon Valley tech executive Carly Fiorina, all Republicans, suggested they were less interested in protecting public health than in indulging a few parents who think they know more than scientists. The way Christie and Paul have backpedaled tells us even more about them and why their White House quests are problematic.

Paul’s Waterloo came during a contentious interview with CNBC host Kelly Evans. He’s an ophthalmologist who knows full well the value of vaccines, but holding to his libertarian ideology, he would not require them. “The state doesn’t own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom,” Paul said. He also perpetuated an idea that scientists have repeatedly found to be false: “I have heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”

Especially for a doctor, these were astonishing comments. Even more astonishing was Paul’s attempt the next day to deny he meant anything by them. “I did not say vaccines caused disorders, just that they were temporally related,” Paul said. He also invited a reporter to accompany him to get a booster shot then tweeted a photo of the procedure: “Ironic: Today I am getting my booster vaccine. Wonder how the liberal media will misreport this?” What misreporting? Paul said what he said, and it was jarring.

Christie was visiting London when he was asked about vaccines, so he may have been jarred by the context. He started off responsibly by saying he and his wife think vaccinations are “an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health.” But he kicked off a ruckus — and a round of backpedaling by his office back home — when he added that “parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.” Was that a pander to conservative primary voters by a moderate blue-state governor? In any case, it boomeranged — and Christie’s next moves were as revealing as Paul’s. He canceled media availabilities and refused to take ad hoc questions.

Like Christie the moderate and Paul the physician, Fiorina — the former CEO of tech giant Hewlett-Packard — might have been expected to go with the science. But in an interview with BuzzFeed, she emphasized parental choice instead. She said she could understand why parents might think twice about vaccinating a preteen girl for cervical cancer. But she also said parents should be able to decide against measles vaccines despite “mountains of evidence” in their favor. “I think vaccinating for measles makes a lot of sense. But that’s me. I do think parents have to make those choices,” she said.

Fiorina is a cancer survivor who could have been placed at risk by unvaccinated people with contagious diseases. On the other hand, she is thinking of competing for conservative and libertarian voters in GOP primaries. And maybe she knows a lot of affluent Californians who lump vaccines with chemicals and reject them both in a misguided quest to keep their kids “pure.”

So who did this right? Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) offered strong support of vaccines and state and school requirements for them. So did Republican Ben Carson. He is a social and religious conservative, but he is also a retired neurosurgeon who chairs the board of Vaccinogen, a company working on a vaccine for colon cancer. He said people should not be allowed to skip vaccines “for philosophical, religious or other reasons.”

Democrat Hillary Clinton was also a winner. “The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids. #GrandmothersKnowBest,” she tweeted late the day the debate broke out. One wonders how many people worked to craft this masterful tweet, and for how long. It puts Clinton squarely on the side of science, kids and grandmothers, and gives her a hashtag she can use to organize women of a certain age — hers — around a pioneering candidacy. If she runs, of course.

All kidding aside, these are deadly serious issues. Parents who reject vaccines not only put their own children at risk, they endanger those who can’t be vaccinated, including pregnant women, infants under 1 year old, and people with weak or compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. The measles cases springing up across the country are alarming, but they have also been clarifying. It is helpful to know which presidential prospects put science and public health above personal “choice,” and don’t need a backlash to get their priorities straight.

Follow Jill Lawrence on Twitter @JillDLawrence. To find out more about Jill Lawrence and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Jill Lawrence

Award-winning journalist Jill Lawrence is a nationally syndicated columnist and a contributing editor to U.S. News & World Report. She also contributed to The Surge: 2014's Big GOP Win and What It Means for the Next Presidential Race (2015). Lawrence has discussed political and policy developments on television, radio, and many other media outlets. She was an adjunct professorial lecturer at American University in 2014, teaching on the relationship between politics and the media.

Lawrence has covered every presidential campaign since 1988, as well as historic events such as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress, the Clinton impeachment, the Florida recount, and the 1993 and 2009 battles over health reform.

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38 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila February 5, 2015

    The reason some Americans object to vaccination is not because they don’t want to put “junk” in their children’s bodies, or because they are too ignorant to understand the dramatic benefits of vaccination – including the eradication of diseases such as measles and polio in the USA – but because of religious beliefs. They would rather let their children suffer, and even die, if doing so is consistent with the wishes of a mythical God and their narrow interpretations of the spiritual concept they embrace. In many ways, their “values”, and the influence those values have on their decision making process and actions, are no different from those embraced by radical Islam and every other religious fanatic in the world. Minus beheading, thank God!

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  2. ps0rjl February 5, 2015

    Getting vaccinated is not a personal choice. It is public health. Morons who don’t want to get their kids vaccinated are putting kids who did get vaccinated at risk. As far as I am concerned, if they don’t want their kids vaccinated then they should not be allowed to send them to public schools. I remember having measles. I also remember when the Salk vaccine came out. Public health officials sent a doctor and a nurse to our school to get us vaccinated and all the parents were in agreement with this action.

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  3. The lucky one February 5, 2015

    This is not as simple as Ms. Lawrence makes it out to be. The measles vaccine may be one that has proven its value in terms of safety and effectiveness but that does not automatically extrapolate to all vaccines. I don’t pretend to be an expert on vaccination but I do my own investigation before putting worthless and possibly harmful toxins in my body. The flu vaccine is a good case. The Cochrane Reviews, not funded by pharmaceutical or other parties with profit in mind, cast serious doubt on the value of the flu vaccine in a good year not to mention a year like this where even proponents admit a POSSIBLE 23% effectiveness. The real issue here is that the pharmaceutical industry so dominates healthcare administration that any “recommendations” must be carefully examined. That is not easy given how much medical research is repressed when findings don’t support the bottom line.

    That said, no doubt Bush III, Christie, Paul etc. would be terrible presidents though probably not that much worse than what we have endured since Eisenhower, particularly the last few. Many statements pro and con can be made about so-called Obamacare but what is very clear is that two big beneficiaries are the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries. That’s the biggest problem for us, the corporate world dictates policy both domestically and foreign.

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    1. Independent1 February 6, 2015

      If the pharmaceutical and health insurance industry make some profits while providing Americans with the following life saving benefits; along with millions and billions of savings to taxpayers because of a dramatically reduced number of uninsureds getting healthcare; so be it!!

      See these stats:

      50,000 fewer Americans have died since 2010 because of catching an illness while being in the hospital which needed them to be readmitted shortly after being discharged. This is due to hospital and healthcare providers cleaning hospitals better and doing a better job of insuring that patients got the right healthcare – all in response to pressures put on them by Obamacare.

      And more than 15,000 people’s lives have been saved during 2014 because many people who couldn’t get insurance previously because of a pre-existing condition, or because they previously couldn’t afford it, finally could afford to see a doctor and their lives were saved because what could have been a terminal illness was discovered in time to cure it.

      And hospitals across the nation have saved more than 5.7 billion dollars because they had dramatically fewer people who came in needing healthcare who couldn’t afford to pay for it. Some hospitals, in fact, made a profit in 2014 for the 1st time in their existence – and a number of hospitals were actually able to keep from shutting down because they made a profit instead of losing money once again.

      And taxpayers in states across the nation saved millions/billions of dollars, depending on the state, because the taxpayers needed to reimburse far fewer hospitals for millions/billions of dollars in healthcare they provided which patients couldn’t afford to pay for;

      An example of a state that profited handsomely from the implementation of ACA was the red state of Arizona; Jan Brewer pushed the GOP legislature to expand Medicaid and Arizona saw millions in taxpayer savings from reduced reimbursements to hospitals; and Arizona State University has projected that Medicaid Expansion will create 15,000 new jobs in the state by next year; and Arizona will realize 1.8 billion in added revenue to its economy because of the money freed up for its citizens by Medicaid covering their health expenses; and the state should realize 2.8 billion in added tax revenues for 2014-2016 tax years.

      And what’s really sad is not that Democrats have ‘forced people to buy insurance” which has not only saved thousands of lives and saved hospitals and states millions and billions in what would have been lost dollars; the travesty is that the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of Medicaid: 24 Red States not expanding Medicaid have been projected to have resulted in as many as 17,000 Americans dying prematurely in 2014 due to the lack of getting the health care they needed to stay alive. NOW THAT IS A TRAVESTY!!!!

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      1. The lucky one February 7, 2015

        I think the stats you cite are difficult to verify and I’m naturally suspicious of “evidence” being used to support political issues. I’m not saying they aren’t accurate though and logically more access to healthcare should lead to less unnecessary suffering and premature death. But if we accept universal healthcare as a national priority why should we set it up in a way that adds corporate profit on top of the legitimate costs of diagnosis and treatment. Insurance companies add nothing to the equation but cost. A one-payer system would greatly reduce that expense.
        Likewise with the pharmaceutical industry. It’s being run totally by the profit motive. This leads companies to invest research in things that have the greatest profit potential rather than the greatest public need. It also means that we pay greatly inflated prices for meds. The dominance that big pharma has on medical care also affects the integrity and value of much medical research.

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        1. Independent1 February 7, 2015

          The numbers I quoted have been arrived at by experts in health care related oversight, the majority of whom actually work for health care related companies like Kaiser Permanente; and many who also were against the enactment of ACA. So if these organizations are publishing numbers favorable to ACA – my guess is that if anything they are conservative in the number of lives that have actually been saved and in reality may actually have been many more, not less.

          And with regard as to why ACA was not enacted as a single-payer solution, all one really has to do is look at the situation America was in when the ACA legislation was passed: Our country was in the midst of the worst recession it had experienced since the Great Depression with almost 14 million jobs having been lost and Barack Obama trying to figure out how he could bring down 1.4 trillion in deficit spending that he had inherited in George Bush’s last budget.

          People who keep wishing that ACA had been defined as single-payer are really not thinking. With 14 million people already out of work, there was no way that the government could have said in very early 2010 that the maybe million or so health insurance related workers jobs in America were now toast; adding a million or so more to those on unemployment could easily have tipped the balance and thrown America into a full fledged depression.

          And also, at a time when tax revenues were already at historical lows because of the economic slow down, it was certainly not the time to enact huge tax increases (which would have added to the payroll tax that the Americans who were working were paying) that would be necessary in order for Medicare to pick up the health care coverage for another 200 plus million Americans. My sense is that many people who champion single-payer are conveniently forgetting that to do that, would require significant increases in taxes.

          All one has to do is look at Europe where most of the countries t here that offer universal health care to their populations, tax their people at much higher rates than Americans pay; 40% plus in the max tax rate is on the low side for the majority of those European countries and although America’s is 39.6%, when you factor in all the deductions and exemptions and loop holes, the IRS says that even multi-millionaires in 2013 paid an average of only 20.4% of their gross incomes in federal taxes – While by in large European countries do not have all the convoluted deductions, exemptions and tax loop holes that allow Americans to greatly reduce their tax burdens. You can be sure that will have to change when/if America ever enacts single-payer universal healthcare.

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          1. The lucky one February 9, 2015

            Kaiser Permanente is a health insurer, given the windfall ACA provided them and other insurers I wouldn’t be too confident of their “research”. The people who would have been unemployed by one-payer is a red herring. many could have gone to work for the govt processing claims. The only loss there would have been to share holders and CEOs. I realize the GOP would have fought him on it but they really didn’t have to since he rolled over so quick.

            I don’t see how single payer would have caused tax increases given the huge savings to be had that are now just going to fatten CEO salaries and boost stock prices. Don’t think the ACA is costing many people more though just not being called a tax.

            ” when you factor in all the deductions and exemptions and loop holes, the IRS says that even multi-millionaires in 2013 paid an average of only 20.4% of their gross incomes in federal taxes


            Yes and that is a big problem, they should be paying far more. The “tax burden” may increase but only on the mega rich whereas the ACA is, as has happened so many times before, placing the burden on the middle class.

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          2. Independent1 February 10, 2015

            You don’t see how single payer would have caused tax increases???

            You realize that with Medicare just covering about 1/5 of our population, and our seniors paying about a $100/mo in Medicare premiums, plus possibly another $100-$200/mo more a supplemental policy, that Medicare is running billions of dollars in the red. Running in the red so much that some opponents of Medicare would like you to believe that Medicare could go bankrupt in about 4 years.

            Sorry, but remember, our government does not own the hospitals across America, and I doubt it’s going to try and nationalize them; and it doesn’t own the doctors who provide health care services, nor the labs that medical professionals use. So enacting a single-payer is going to cost BIG BUCKS in the way of increased taxes. All that enacting single-payer would do is cut out the middleman whose today handling the paperwork needed to keep track of pay all the medical professionals (doctors, hospitals, labs) etc. that provide our health care.

            Sorry again, but that is not going to be cheap and it’s not going to be covered by some kind of ‘SAVINGS”!!!

            And if health insurers such as Kaiser, were so t thrilled with the enactment of ACA, why did the health insurance companies and lobby spend millions upon millions trying to defeat ACA in the 1st place; and why did they lie to Obama about actually helping when it became effective in 2014 by trying to hoodwink and defraud the American public by going through with all that fake ‘cancelled policy’ BS???

            Sorry again, but despite the fact that ACA has brought insurers millions of customers, it has also put limits on the profits they can earn; and its required them to provide one heck of a lot better insurance than they were getting away with scamming the American public with by often providing their unfortunate insureds with policies which would have left them holding the bag with maybe hundreds of thousands in unpaid bills – had they actually needed expensive medical treatment!!

            No, if Kaiser Permanente is publishing good things about ACA, it’s because ACA is actually creating good changes to today’s health care sector.

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          3. The lucky one February 11, 2015

            It’s hard to comprehend how removing the profit going to CEOs and shareholders from the healthcare equation would cause an increase in costs. Taxes or premiums, some way or other the money for care has to be raised. That cost will remain no matter what form insurance takes. People would still have to be paid to manage the bureaucracy too but on top of those costs we now have enormous CEO salaries and stock profits to be paid for.
            All of the arguments pro and con all scrupulously avoid the primary factor driving the cost of health care. That is the refusal of a majority of the population to take responsibility for their own well being. Too many want to eat garbage and refuse to exercise and then want medicine to fix them. I realize organics are out of the price range for many but doritos and soda pop could easily be avoided. To be clear I’m not saying that everyone who gets sick has only themselves to blame but there is no question that many do create their own ill health by what they do and what they refuse to do. Most people take better care of their car than of their own body.

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          4. Independent1 February 12, 2015

            I’m not disagreeing in any way with what you’re saying – I’m only saying that at the time ACA was enacted, that it was not the time to move America to single-payer insurance. America was already running a 1.4 trillion deficit, there were 50 million or so Americans, 1/5th of our population that was uninsured, meaning these 50 million were not paying anything into health insurance at the time. There were millions of other Americans both on private and even employer insurance plans who had bare minimal insurance which would have covered very little of their health care if they really needed a bunch of it; and then you have the rest of Americans getting maybe borderline level health insurance coverage from their employers.

            So to provide these people with the kind of healthcare that’s now built into ACA would have been a monumental undertaking with respect to the costs that would suddenly have been dumped on our government. Costs which our government simply wasn’t in a financial position to incur – not during the Great Recession.

            And again, I’m not disagreeing with anything you said in your last post – single-payer in the long run will obviously be cheaper and hopefully when our country gets to it, it will help people live more healthy lives as you point out they need to learn very much.

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  4. Wendy February 5, 2015

    It seems like everyone is missing the glaring red flag on this debate. The problem is that people do not trust our health care system, and for pretty good reasons. Big Pharma is in charge, and the FDA’s role seems to be to protect their profits. Now everyone is upset because so many people don’t know whether to believe them when they say vaccines are safe. They don’t want to risk their children’s health on them when the risk of disease seems lower than the possible risk of the vaccine. If we trusted our health care system, this would not be an issue. Of course people would want to protect their children and their communities from disease. So don’t blame anti-vaxxers for this turn of events. It’s a failure of our health care system.

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    1. FT66 February 5, 2015

      Sorry Wendy I beg to disagree with you. It is not about trusting health care system, it is about what drums politicians and some in the media are beating. Do you still remember those drums which were beaten during EBOLA disease? They came to an halt after Nov. 4th (when the mid-term election was over). After that, you didn’t hear anything NOT even a single person asking where the disease has gone so abruptly? Please try to think about it! It is all about pandering.

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      1. Wendy February 5, 2015

        Politics definitely plays a huge role in what get’s talked about. They LOVE controversy, because it drives donations. But that doesn’t change the reasons behind why some people choose not to vaccinate their children. I haven’t had faith in Big Pharma and the FDA for a few years now. (note that I am up to date on the main vaccinations though. I’m fairly confident in the ones that were developed decades ago.)

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        1. FT66 February 5, 2015

          Wendy, where do these people go if they fall sick? If they can’t trust them on vaccination, why should they trust them to treat them when they are sick?

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          1. Wendy February 5, 2015

            When you are sick, you take the medicine despite the side-effects. It’s not that they don’t work. It’s just that they don’t always do only what you want them to do. I prefer to stay healthy to avoid needing medication. If I get sick, I will go to the doctor. If they recommend a medication, I would first look to alternative medicine to scope out my options. Plants were the first medicine, though they can also have side effects. I am simply aware of the problems, and navigate the best I can.

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          2. FT66 February 5, 2015

            Dear Wendy, Vaccines are medicines as well. They also work the same way medicines do. The only difference is they prevent while medicines cure. Thats why they are both used.

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          3. Wendy February 5, 2015

            Yup. They are medicines that can have side effects aside from the intended ones.

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          4. FT66 February 5, 2015

            Fine Wendy. We will understand each other when every kid is vaccinated, thus doesn’t pass on any disease to others, nor being infected by others.

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          5. Wendy February 5, 2015

            What is there to understand about each other? I am only pointing out why this is even a problem. Don’t you think it’s important to understand why parents are not vaccinating in educated circles? No one is going to win anyone over by calling them “morons” and whatnot, because they are not dumb and are not easily bullied. We have to get to the source of the problem so that we as a nation can be protected from the diseases that haunted our past.

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          6. JPHALL February 5, 2015

            Wendy: The day someone close to you catches a disease from one of these vaccine objectors will be the day you give up your position, Keep in mind that this particular disease was considered extinct in the US until recently.

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          7. Wendy February 6, 2015

            Hi JPHALL,
            Bear in mind that once a disease is considered extinct, the risk of the vaccine automatically outweighs the risk of the disease. Now that it is no longer extinct, I’m sure folks will be more willing to vaccinate their children. When I was a kid 40 years ago, I distinctly remember (I really don’t know why I remember this) standing in a really really long line to get my vaccinations. When it was my turn, they told my mom that they didn’t recommend giving me a smallpox vaccination because the risks from the vaccine outweighed the risks of getting the disease, since it was considered eradicated. My mom choose not to give me that one. I got the others, whatever they were. So please don’t vilify people for not vaccinating against diseases that don’t seem like a risk. Have a little compassion! I’m sure most of them will vaccinate now.

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          8. JPHALL February 6, 2015

            I did not vilify anyone! I merely mention that their decision has bad consequences for others and maybe themselves. Your attempt to find justification for their actions is the same as trying to justify deliberately placing others at risk.
            Subject: Re: Comment on Would-Be Presidents Flunk The Vaccine Test

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          9. Wendy February 6, 2015

            No you didn’t vilify anyone. That comment was more directed to the many posts I’ve seen that have. Sorry to offend.

            I believe anti-vaxxers are 100% justified in their actions, and a necessary component to ensuring the public safety. If vaccines are mandated, then Big Pharma will have no reason to work toward increasing the safety of their vaccines. Instead they will be motivated to increase profits by using cheaper and possibly more dangerous preservatives. They will convince legislators that these cheap alternatives are safe, and try to get away with as much as they can. It is very important that people choose to be vaccinated.

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          10. A_Real_Einstein February 5, 2015

            What evidence is there that indicates any adverse side effects from these vaccines? There is no scientific evidence at all. Your option should be to leave the country and take your unvaccinated kids with you.

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          11. Wendy February 5, 2015

            Well, it’s no secret there can be side effects. That’s never been in doubt. Generally they are mild and transient, but anecdotal evidence suggests they can be severe and debilitating. Anecdotal evidence is not scientific, but since people don’t trust Big Pharma, it’s hard to accept their scientific evidence as anything better than anecdotal evidence. I think once we finally figure out what really causes autism, people will relax about vaccines. In the meantime, parents are disinclined to play russian roulette with their children. FYI, I don’t have any unvaccinated kids. I don’t even know anyone who has not vaccinated their kids. I am only conveying the reasons why parents are not vaccinating.

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          12. Independent1 February 5, 2015

            Wendy, the rapid increase in autism didn’t really begin until the mid 1990s or so, by that time, vaccines had been keeping people from getting many diseases for decades. The increased prevalence of autism coincided more with Monsanto starting to develop genetically modified foods than with the increased use of vaccines.

            And if the distrust in vaccines is related to some distrust in our healthcare system, it has more to do with Americans being too gullible in believing the misguided study information they read about from some wacko quack in England who performed one bogus study, than from anything they could prove with regard to America’s healthcare system.

            And it’s unfortunate that there are some individuals whose body chemistry is such that no matter how safe something may be for say 99.5% of the population, they will still take a negative reaction to something in a vaccine. But surprisingly, negative reactions to vaccines are really less frequent than people who react violently to foods such as peanuts or shell fish or some other uniquely allergic stimulus. Yet I haven’t noticed that there’s been any particular habit of large portions of our population shunning the eating of peanuts or shell fish or many other foods which some folks are sensitive too; sensitivity which gives them far more violent reactions than simply developing a nasty trait – many actually end up dying from severe sensitivity to foods.

            But all that aside, take a look at the three charts that will be brought up from this link, which shows just how dramatically vaccines have decreased what were horrendous death rates and brought them to next to nothing.

            Here are some examples:

            Measles: 894,134 cases in 1941; in 1999 -100 .

            Mumps: 152, 209 cases in 1968; in 1999 – 391

            Diptheria: 206, 939 cases in 1921; in 1991 – 1

            Here’s the link for 3 charts you really need to see:

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/03/1361929/-Point-Set-Match?detail=email

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          13. Wendy February 6, 2015

            Hi Independent1, thanks for your reply. Yes, Monsanto is suspect in the rise of autism. It could be the bt toxin making it’s way to our intestines and killing important bacteria, or the massive doses of pesticides it allows them to use. (BPA is another chemical of concern, but not for autism.) I don’t want to point fingers though since I really have absolutely no idea. In my mind, Monsanto is a really evil company because of it’s tactics. But because they are so evil, it’s hard to know what research to believe about them, since any research done is bound to be biased.

            I believe (but this is not my field) that any child who develops autism right after the MMR vaccine was bound to develop it anyway. I have confidence in the MMR vaccine. Now that we have an outbreak, parents should vaccinate their children. Before the outbreak, I don’t blame them for not doing so.

            But I understand the non-vaccination crowd. I’ve seen the graph showing that the incidence of most of the diseases we vaccinate for fell BEFORE the introduction of vaccines, coinciding instead with more sanitary conditions. Toilets and running water, to be specific.

            But measles is dangerous, and given the outbreak, the risk from measles outweighs by far the risk of the vaccine. Folks should get their kids vaccinated.

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      2. Wendy February 5, 2015

        Hey FT66, now that I’ve thought about this some, wow, the attempted social engineering here is so obvious. Big Pharma wants vaccinations mandated. Step 1: introduce measles at disney land or take advantage of the natural outbreak, Step 2: Lobby politicians for mandated profits… er… vaccines, Step 3: Politicians work to get op-eds out there vilifying anti-vaxxers. Hire lots of people to write comments in support of vilifying anti-vaxxers. Step 4: Make it a Red/Blue issue by putting red politicians on the spot and vilify them for saying stuff most of us agree with because it’s not a red/blue issue. Step 5: Send petition out asking us to also vilify these politicians and please send a donation to our compaign. Step 6: Collect Big Pharma lobby money, get elected, and mandate Big Pharma profits.

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    2. ps0rjl February 5, 2015

      Sorry but I blame these people who do not get their kids vaccinated because they grew up where everyone was vaccinated and they do not realize how much danger they are putting their child and all other children in. Sadly most of these people are white and college educated. The chance of getting an adverse reaction to the vaccinations are infinitesimal compared to the chance of getting a serious reaction and possibly even death from the disease.

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      1. Wendy February 5, 2015

        Well, I mostly agree with you, but I don’t blame the people who are scared to vaccinate their kids. They’ve done a risk/benefit analysis in their heads and come up with the wrong answer (probably). Why? Because we know that the recommendations are based on population statistics, and that the experts are ok with a percentage of bad reactions, and that these bad reactions will not be talked about and will be attributed to anything but the vaccination. It is impossible to talk frankly about possible consequences without being attacked and vilified. So we feel in the dark about the real statistics, and this unknown amplifies the perceived risk.

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  5. FT66 February 5, 2015

    Running for the higher Office on earth is not a joke. All these contenders are not prepared even including Jeb Bush. I watched him yesterday recycling all what was said in the past, in his speech in Detroit. To make the matter even worse, he said he loves his father, brother and will stand on his own. For god’s sake he is still BUSH. To make the matter worst, even republicans are very worried that people will run away hearing the name Bush. It was funny last night watching one republican strategist by the name: John Feehery on Chris Matthew’s Show. The man stated openly Jeb will not use the bumper sticker written BUSH, he will use JEB. Wait a minute sir. The full name of Jeb, is John Ellis Bush. You just take one letter in each name and you get: JEB. Infact in the really sense using the name Jeb Bush means: John Ellis Bush, BUSH. There is no way they can bury the name BUSH. NO WAY!

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    1. Independent1 February 5, 2015

      Jeb’s clearly trying to separate himself as much as he possibly can from not only his family’s but his own past. There were some recent revelations from the time he spent around Boston where it’s told that he had terrible grades and was almost flunked out of school; and also stories of him making it a practice of getting some of his school chums involved in using drugs. Add to that his fiasco with the Terri Schiavo episode where he made her husband Michael’s life absolute hell for at least a couple of years and those are just a few of the episodes he would like to put in the past among many. Jeb’s going to have to overcome a lot of skeletons in his closet if he really hopes to be a serious 2016 candidate.

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  6. RobertCHastings February 5, 2015

    That they are pandering to this particular demographic must tell us just how desperate they all are for votes. Securing the votes of those who are against vaccinations could quite possibly alert other possible supporters to just how pathetic their chances are.

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  7. Daniel Jones February 5, 2015

    This is the reason the Money wants to control all media input–their hired flunkies simply can’t help but be called on their bullshit without that control.
    I don’t even want to *hear* about the Right or the Left, because they are less real than the Money.

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  8. Kat Saved February 5, 2015

    If democrats are willing to force you to buy health insurance, is there anything they aren’t willing to force you to do?

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    1. Independent1 February 6, 2015

      By saying that, you realize of course that by ‘forcing people to buy insurance’, while at the same time “forcing hospitals and healthcare providers to clean up their act”; Democrats ‘forcing” people to buy insurance has done a number of pretty impressive things:

      50,000 fewer Americans have died since 2010 because of catching an illness while being in the hospital which needed them to be readmitted shortly after being discharged. This is due to hospital and healthcare providers cleaning hospitals better and doing a better job of insuring that patients got the right healthcare – all in response to pressures put on them by Obamacare.

      And more than 15,000 people’s lives have been saved during 2014 because many people who couldn’t get insurance previously because of a pre-existing condition, or because they previously couldn’t afford it, finally could afford to see a doctor and their lives were saved because what could have been a terminal illness was discovered in time to cure it.

      And hospitals across the nation have saved more than 5.7 billion dollars because they had dramatically fewer people who came in needing healthcare who couldn’t afford to pay for it. Some hospitals, in fact, made a profit in 2014 for the 1st time in their existence – and a number of hospitals were actually able to keep from shutting down because they made a profit instead of losing money once again.

      And taxpayers in states across the nation saved millions/billions of dollars, depending on the state, because the taxpayers needed to reimburse far fewer hospitals for millions/billions of dollars in healthcare they provided which patients couldn’t afford to pay for;

      An example of a state that profited handsomely from the implementation of ACA was the red state of Arizona; Jan Brewer pushed the GOP legislature to expand Medicaid and Arizona saw millions in taxpayer savings from reduced reimbursements to hospitals; and Arizona State University has projected that Medicaid Expansion will create 15,000 new jobs in the state by next year; and Arizona will realize 1.8 billion in added revenue to its economy because of the money freed up for its citizens by Medicaid covering their health expenses; and the state should realize 2.8 billion in added tax revenues for 2014-2016 tax years.

      And what’s really sad is not that Democrats have ‘forced people to buy insurance” which has not only saved thousands of lives and saved hospitals and states millions and billions in what would have been lost dollars; the travesty is that the Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of Medicaid: 24 Red States not expanding Medicaid have been projected to have resulted in as many as 17,000 Americans dying prematurely in 2014 due to the lack of getting the health care they needed to stay alive. NOW THAT IS A TRAVESTY!!!!

      See this:

      Reply
    2. Wendy February 6, 2015

      I know democrats are trying to make this thing a political issue, but I promise you, people’s feelings about vaccines are not divided along political lines. I’m really disgusted by the attempt to make this political just to drive donations and cater to Big Pharma lobbyists. Mandating vaccines is something only Big Pharma wants, and would be such a bad thing to do. Since our health care system is profit driven, it needs to be regulated by market forces. Otherwise they can use whatever cheap preservatives they want in vaccines. We have to have a say in what kind of risk we are willing to take. That’s the price of having a profit driven health care system.

      Reply
  9. Vincent Vega February 14, 2015

    In related YouTube video, we find the liar-in-chief lying to the face of the American people about keeping their insurance and their doctor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXqKp5B0ZLE&feature=youtu.be&t=1s

    Reply

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