Friday, April 19, 2019

Can The Republican War On Science Actually Kill Us?


Tara Haelle's new book, Vaccination investigation made her a natural for the TED talk above, which focuses on the vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal that has been increasingly erupting into unpredictable disease outbreaks that are difficult to contain. her goal was to explain what underlies the irrational fear, that is being adopted by the anti-Science Party (AKA- the Republicans). Trump, for example, likes to carry on in public about crazy and disproven conspiracy theories linking vaccinations to autism.

Can we really blame this new threat on the GOP? You better believe it! Arthur Allen reported for Politico yesterday evening that "most Republicans are rejecting Democrat-led state bills to tighten childhood immunization laws in the midst of the worst measles outbreak in two decades, alarming public health experts who fear the nation could become as divided over vaccines as it is over global warming. Democrats in six states-- Colorado, Arizona, New Jersey, Washington, New York and Maine-- have authored or co-sponsored bills to make it harder for parents to avoid vaccinating their school-age children, and mostly faced GOP opposition. Meanwhile in West Virginia and Mississippi, states with some of the nation’s strictest vaccination laws, Republican lawmakers have introduced measures to expand vaccine exemptions, although it’s not yet clear how much traction they have." A handful of Republican physicians are trying to combat this lunacy-- including Bill Cassidy (LA), Phil Roe (TN) Michael Burgess (TX) and Brad Wenstrup (OH), but they're not getting anywhere.
All states have mandatory vaccination laws, but they vary in how liberally they dispense exemptions on religious or philosophical grounds. That’s getting scrutiny as measles spreads.

Democrats present bills tightening the loopholes as science-based and necessary to fight disease, while sometimes demeaning their foes as misguided or selfish “anti-vaxxers.“ Republicans portray themselves as equally enthusiastic about the life-saving virtues of vaccines, but many are loath to diminish the right of parental control over their children’s bodies, and yield that power to the government.

...Fed by major epidemics in Israel and in Europe, measles has punctured the U.S. barrier of immunity at multiple points of entry in what’s shaping up to be the worst year for the disease since 1993, with 555 cases through early April. Outbreaks in six states include hundreds of cases in ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and Rockland County, N.Y. And the numbers are growing.

“What if God forbid someone dies?” said Jeff Dinowitz, a Bronx assemblyman whose bill to limit religious exemptions has nine Democratic co-sponsors-- but no Republican backers-- in the New York Assembly.

Andrew Raia, ranking Republican on the New York Assembly’s health committee, said he wouldn't support the bill. While not totally convinced by constituents who link their children’s autism on vaccines, and unaware of any real religious injunction against vaccination, he said, “I’m not a religious leader, and I’m not a scientist either, so it’s my job to weigh both sides.”

...Since becoming president, Trump has dropped the subject and scrapped a plan to create a commission led by Kennedy Jr. to investigate a supposed coverup of vaccine’s supposed harms by public health officials.

But officials worry they are “three Trump tweets away” from an even more polarized situation, noted MIT political scientist Adam Berinsky, who has studied communication around politicized public health and scientific issues.

In Texas, the Tea Party and related groups created an anti-vax PAC in 2015. It hasn’t yet gotten its chosen candidates elected, but the very existence of a vaccine-oriented political action committee shows the political salience is growing. Influential voices on the right, including Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson and Alex Jones, have all raised suspicions about vaccines.

“There’s a credulity gap between the parties in regard to science that wasn’t there 25 years ago,” Berinsky said. And Trump could easily inflame the vaccine skepticism, should he weigh in. For a large share of the highly polarized U.S. population, “at the end of the day it’s not the arguments people are making, but who is making them,” Berinksy said.

...A century of vaccination laws has shown that states with the strictest ones have lower burdens of vaccine-preventable disease. Scourges including smallpox, polio and diphtheria have been eliminated.

Rules generally get tighter following big outbreaks of disease, and groups like the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have used the measles outbreak to push for an end to state laws that allow people to refuse vaccination of their kids on religious or philosophical grounds.

In 1972, during a measles epidemic in Los Angeles, public health authorities kept 50,000 children out of school until their parents could prove they were vaccinated. The success of that effort led to a nationwide push for stricter laws and more enforcement.

After 89 people, mostly children, died in a 1990 measles epidemic, millions of dollars were poured into expanding vaccine availability for the poor, and in 2000, the disease stopped circulating in the United States. Since then, every case has been linked to visitors from overseas-- although the virus has then spread here among the growing pockets of vaccine shunners.

So obviously the Republican war against Science isn't just about vaccines and medicine. Please watch the incredible animated video above-- a message from the future by Grandma AOC. And... let me add a little random context from this morning's New York Times, written after the redacted Mueller report was finally released: "The White House that emerges from more than 400 pages of Mr. Mueller’s report is a hotbed of conflict infused by a culture of dishonesty-- defined by a president who lies to the public and his own staff, then tries to get his aides to lie for him."

Weaponizing the Presidency by Nancy Ohanian

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At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the democraps remain afraid to do something that the Republicans might not like, that video of Granny AOC will never happen.

Greed is why the world is in the sorry state that it is. Republicans serve greed. By preventing government from taking action which benefits society as a whole, Republicans create profit opportunities for the greedy to exploit.

It isn't that the Republicans are denying science. It is that they are denying the BENEFITS of science to us, since as proposed no one can make massive profits off the effort. Without profits, the Republicans can't adopt the lavish lifestyle to which they desire to become accustomed through contributions for services rendered.

Eventually, the Republicans will exhaust available resources (read: profit opportunities) through the successful effort to make life too expensive. People WILL die - including many Republicans fighting their competitors over what few profits remain. Those who lose that fight might finally realize what they have done once it is applied to them.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Professor Chaos said...

REpublicans have created their own world in which facts are optional, anything they don't like isn't true, and it is worth measles spreading, or mass shootings in schools, or Florida being underwater as long as it pisses off "the libs."

At 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:46 is only half correct.

the democrap PARTY also serves greed. By preventing government from taking action which benefits society as a whole (when profits are at stake), the democrap PARTY enforces all profit opportunities for the greedy to exploit.

This is why Pelosi, hoyer and the rest refuse to address MFA, GND and peace except to discourage the public from understanding and demanding them. There's less corporate profit in all.

The Nazi party DENIES science. The democraps ignore it when profits could be lessened.

voters for both don't give a shit.

At 12:48 AM, Blogger John said...

I'd suggest the following part: " ... vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal that has been increasingly erupting into unpredictable disease outbreaks ... "

Should read: " ... vaccine hesitancy and vaccine refusal that has been increasingly erupting into COMPLETELY PREDICTABLE disease outbreaks ... "



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