This Guy Lies About Vaccines Without Even Blinking

Maybe he doesn’t blink because it’s a picture, but still..

Dr. Steven Lantier, an anesthesiologist, has penned an opinion piece for The Oklahoman, and, man, does it have some woozies in there.

You can read the whole thing here, but let me just show you one paragraph that should be enough to make you scratch your head…

“There is actually not much science behind “herd immunity.” The vaccine rates in the United States for Hepatitis A (9 percent), Hepatitis B (24.5 percent), pneumococcal (20.4 percent) and influenza (43.2 percent) are many times below their threshold, yet we haven’t had outbreaks of these diseases for decades now. Actually, vaccines often have the opposite effect. Not only can they — and often do — make people sick, it is well documented that vaccinated persons have passed on to others the same virus they were being protected from.”

Jesus Christ, where to begin?

“…(Y)et we haven’t had outbreaks of these diseases for decades now.” Oh, really? When it comes to Hepatitis A: We have had three in the last two years, according to CDC. When it comes to Hepatitis B: There are many, according to CDC. And those are just in healthcare. 

And, influenza… WE HAVE YEARLY EPIDEMICS. Hence, “THE GODDAMNED FLU SEASON.”

Who gave this guy his medical degree? What kind of Mickey Mouse institution taught him medicine?

I’m to mad to write anything else. That up there should be enough. Go to hell, Dr. Lantier, and say hello to Art Briles while you’re down there.

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The Anti-Vaccine Zealot’s Endgame

I’ve met a lot of anti-vaccine people in my life and in my lines of work. Like any other group of people, anti-vaccine people span a wide range of personalities, behaviors and other traits. They are far from being a monolith, but they do share a lot of common characteristics. Some characteristics are good, like caring about their children or working hard in their professions. Other characteristics just plain scare and confuse me.

Yeah, they may care about their children, but they’re willing to lie and bully other people and, thus, set a bad example for their children on how civil discourse should be carried out on topics that are of importance to everyone. Others go as far as to compare their children to animals or say that their children are “lost” or “dead” while the child is right there next to them. They confuse autism or any other developmental delay or intellectual disability with being completely not there. That is, the child hears and in many cases understand their statements.

I can only imagine being that young and wondering why your own parent is calling you a mistake, a dead person, or an animal of some sort (outside of terms of endearment, like “my little bear,” of course).

Then there is the outright hatred the anti-vaccine zealots direct at people they see as their enemies. There’s the death threats and the threats of violence to the loved ones of people who work in public health, medicine, science or something even remotely related to vaccines. They’ll show up in groups to talks by vaccine scientists and spew all sorts of angry rhetoric, sometimes with a lot of spittle, sometimes with hoarse throats from all their yelling.

But what, exactly, is their endgame? In chess, we know that we need to capture the King, getting through all the other pieces while anticipating your opponent’s every move. In football, you get the ball from one end to the other, yards at a time. In baseball, you have to put the ball in play and run around the bases, all within the limits of the 9 innings of play.

That is, there are rules of engagement for those activities and sports. Heck, one could argue that even war has some sort of an endpoint, despite the recent examples of the war on terror. So what are anti-vaccine people aiming for? When will they be happy enough that they stop being so goddamned evil?

Ever since Jenner came up with the first vaccine back in the late 1700s, anti-vaccine organizations and people have lost their collective minds at the prospect of immunization. They created “leagues” and “brigades” to organize themselves against laws and other requirements for vaccination. They said that the smallpox vaccine — made from the cowpox virus — would turn you into a cow, or any other sort of animal.

They lied as much back then as they do today, except that today they have the weapons of mass media and social media to spread those lies farther and faster than ever before. They organize through electronic means and summon up dozens of their like-minded trolls to go to presentations by vaccine scientists and spread even more lies and misinformation. Or they create anonymous or pseudonymous blogs to seed fear and distrust of science in their followers.

And for what?

Do they really think that vaccines will be outlawed or not used anymore? Even if, somehow, vaccine laws are reversed and children are not required to be vaccinated, the parents of those children will still listen to the advice of their physicians and get their children vaccinated. And, if they don’t and vaccine-preventable diseases make a big comeback, the ensuing wave of disease and death would certainly make people think twice about their decision to forgo vaccination.

That’s actually happening right now in Italy after the populist and somewhat anti-vaccine government saw that measles is out of control.

This is why I and others wonder if anti-vaccine people know that they will be dead and long forgotten and vaccines will still be a thing. After all, no one remembers the leader of the first anti-vaccine group, but we all remember Jenner. So is it worth it to be so goddamned angry about vaccines all the time? Is it worth it to be so anti-science and to endanger so many lives by scaring parents away from vaccinating their children?

Apparently, to far too many people it is worth it, and they will continue to do their worst… Which suits me just fine. It’s job security for me. It makes me stronger. It gives me purpose. But it all would be just a little bit easier if they had a clear mission statement, something they’re working toward and something we scientists could focus on preventing.

Instead, we get idiotic showmen making idiotic documentaries with idiotic talking heads who think they know better. We get fluff. We get marshmallow. We never get raw meat to sick our teeth into, so to speak.

Photo by Robert Whitehead on Visualhunt.com / CC BY

Anti-Vaccine People Are Nuts, and Here’s Proof

ZDogg, MD, (real name “Zubin Damania“) an online celebrity and physician who talks about healthcare issues, recently interviewed Dr. Paul Offit, a pediatrician and vaccine developer. You can hear in the video below how nuts anti-vaccine zealots are. They pounded and pounded and screamed from behind a window to try and interrupt the interview. They really hate Dr. Offit that much, and they’re really crazy enough to think that pounding on windows and screaming like they did is something that is acceptable.

The video is 1 hour and 10 minutes long. The pounding on the windows starts at around 3 minutes 25 seconds in and goes on for a long time while ZDogg and Dr. Offit just ignore them…

 

Barb Loe Fischer Is Using Truisms to Get You to Not Vaccinate

Yeah, yeah. I don’t name people by name, but this one deserves to. Barbara Loe Fischer is one of the architects behind the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act back in the 1980’s. When the whole thing backfired on her anti-vaccine views, because so many cases which required only 50% plus a feather of evidence and not a preponderance of evidence didn’t show vaccine injuries whatsoever, she and her friends became the leading advocates of trying to go back to a system where the lawyers get all the money and the parents who are led to believe their children were injured by vaccines are left holding the bag.

And the bag is empty, by the way.

Before I go any further, let me explain to you a bit of logic. Did you know that antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are most often seen in people who take antibiotics? This is because the antibiotics take out the antibiotic-susceptible bacteria, so all that is left for them to catch are the resistant strains. Makes sense, right?

Well, not if you’re an anti-vaccine zealot. In antivax world, the antibiotics are what causes the resistant strains to be identified in the people who take them. In antivax world, people shouldn’t take antibiotics and that will remedy the whole thing. Or, at least, that’s what I get from this idiotic image that Barbara posted on her Twitter account:

nvic_Meme

See the lapse in logic? Of course vaccinated persons are going to have the vaccine-resistant strains more often… BECAUSE THEY DON’T GET THE VACCINE-SUSCEPTIBLE STRAIN. And, because of this flawed logic, Barbara and the National Vaccine disInformation Centre are quick to tell you that the pertussis vaccine is bad. This is typical behavior for anti-vaccine nuts. They conflate an association with a causation.

Now, notice that they don’t tell you the actual numbers. More often? Does that mean one more case? Two more? 10%? 100% more? Nope, they just tease you with a number in order to get you to look. If they spread this lie enough, they might get one person to believe them and avoid getting vaccinated… Which is one person too many.

Our Military Families Deserve Better Than Dr. Bob Sears

You remember Dr. Bob Sears? He is one of our Douchebags of the Year, and, hence, one of our Douchebags Emerit-Ass. He’s been put on probation by the California Medical Board for, according to the LA Times:

“Sears found himself in hot water because, according to the medical board, he wrote a vaccine exemption for a young boy without obtaining even basic medical information, such as the child’s history of vaccines. He took the boy’s mother at her word when she said her son lost urinary function and went limp in response to previous immunizations, according to the filing.”

Remember that this is the same Dr. Bob Sears who denied ever talking to a writer about a measles outbreak being started by one of his patients, when there were recordings of the conversation as part of Seth Mnookin writing a book. The same Dr. Bob Sears who admitted to just making up his “alternative vaccine schedule” without any science. I mean, seriously, why haven’t we re-nominated him to be Douchebag of the Year again?

As it turns out, Tricare, the health insurance that handles healthcare payments for military members and their families (if they go outside the VA system), doesn’t like physicians who run afoul of the standard of care. And we don’t blame them. Would you spend money on someone who’s so seemingly anti-vaccine? (And that wasn’t the only thing Dr. Bob Sears did that got him in trouble.)

Of course you wouldn’t.

We’re guessing that Dr. Bob Sears doesn’t have a personal mental health counselor because it seems that he takes to Facebook to work things out in his head, and get a lot of loving attention from his anti-vaccine followers. And that’s just what he did when Tricare decided to not pay for his care anymore.

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Somebody call the whaaaaaaaambulance!

You know what? Good! Military families already sacrifice enough without this douchebag placing them at risk of vaccine-preventable infections just by having them in his waiting room. Physicians like Dr. Bob Sears who flaunt making up vaccine recommendations, give out unjustified vaccine exemptions, fail to properly assess the health status of a child after said child gets hit by a hammer, and acts like such a pompous douche do not deserve the privilege to serve as physicians to anyone, let alone children of military parents.

“With Love and Prayers”? People of real Faith don’t lie, Dr. Bob Sears.

Douchebags do.

No, Vaccination Is Not Rape, Assault, or Murder

I’ve got to give it to the anti-vaccine zealots. They know how to tie anything happening anywhere in the world to their cause. A few years ago, when First Lady Michelle Obama posted a picture of herself holding a sign that stated “#BringBackOurGirls” in protest for the abduction of female students in Nigeria, the anti-vaccine activists were quick to act.

This is the original picture:

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And here’s what those weirdos did:

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We’ve written before that autism is nothing like actually losing a child. But too many anti-vaccine types are horrified at the prospect of having to raise an autistic child that, instead of walking away, they try to blame on anyone and anything that fits a pseudo-scientific framework and justifies their anger over a perceived harm. There is no social justice movement that they have not tried to highjack.

They even tried to convince Black communities that they were at higher risk of autism from vaccines.

The latest social movement being attacked by these strange people is the #MeToo movement. In case you’ve been living under a rock, the #MeToo movement is a social justice movement led by women who are bringing to light the fact an unacceptable number of women are harassed and/or sexually assaulted, and that they are not heard by social and/or legal authorities… Or they decide not to say anything because they know they will not be heard.

This movement has taken up the #BelieveHer or #BelieveWomen hashtags on social media after the revelations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were in high school. Dr. Ford didn’t tell anyone then about her attack becase, like too many women, the fear and the lack of social acceptance to her being in a house with boys where alcohol was consumed prevented her from going to anyone for help. It wouldn’t be until she was an adult that she started to deal with her assault. When she saw that Judge Kavanaugh was nominated to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, she spoke up.

Since then, the #BelieveWomen movement has been active in raising awareness that women’s testimonies about their experiences with sexual harassment and assault deserve — at the very least — to be listened to and that the benefit of the doubt needs to be given to them so that all women can feel comfortable in coming forward and seeking justice. Otherwise, as is often the case with impunity, these kinds of assaults will keep on happening.

Well, the anti-vaccine jerks don’t see it quite that way.

Ginger “The Ging” Taylor, a well-known but not exactly well-respected anti-vaccine advocate published a tremendously stupid essay over at Age of Autism (go find it yourself since I won’t be linking to them and giving them the clicks they desperately need). In it, she compares herself to the female victims of sexual abuse… Or, rather, she compares the lack of belief by reasonable people in her stories about vaccines causing autism to the lack of belief by biased people in testimony about sexual crimes.

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The big problem with her argument (like all of her anti-vaccine arguments) is that people who have claimed that vaccines cause autism have actually been heard. They’ve been heard to the point where we’ve spent millions of dollars trying to confirm the elaborate scam put forth by Wakefield and friends. Instead of using resources to accommodate the needs of autistic children and adults, we wasted those resources chasing a monster made of smoke. (Or a “smoke monster,” if you will.)

I mean, we did case-control studies, observational studies, cohort studies, and we tested the crap out of the vaccines in the vaccine schedule. Nothing every came out of it. Vaccines simply do not cause autism, and everything is pointing to a genetic cause for autism… A variation of what “normal” is. Everything points to us, as a society, not doing enough for autistic people and even marginalizing them. And one of the biggest sources of marginalization is to think that something is “wrong” with them and blaming vaccines (without any kind of evidence) instead of accepting where the evidence is really leading us and doing something to accommodate their needs.

Anti-vaccine people who highjack legitimate social justice movements are the biggest kinds of jerks.

Bless Your Heart, JB. Bless Your Heart.

You guys remember JB Handley? He’s the guy who can’t seem to get his story straight about the vaccine injury he claims his child received. He’s basically claimed that vaccines hurt his child to the point of causing autism, but he can’t quite nail the timeline. Anyway, he’s always lurking in the anti-vaccine recesses of society, the places where aliens, Bigfoot, and ghosts exist. And he’s back.

He’s written some book about ending the “autism epidemic.” (Note: To our knowledge, Joe Blow Handley [as we assume his real name is Joe Blow] is not an epidemiologist. How he intends to end an epidemic without knowledge of epidemiology is beyond us. Better yet, there is no autism epidemic. Seriously, there isn’t. Nope, there’s not.)  Come on, Joe Blow. When you don’t know the difference between incidence and prevalence of autism, you probably shouldn’t be jumping into the deep end of the scientific pool.

As it turns out, he wasn’t anti-vaccine enough for his friends, and he took to Facebook to whine about it like a three-year-old. Since he didn’t post his screed to the public, only to his friends, one of his friends took it upon themselves to stab Joe Blow in the back and posted a screenshot for the rest of us to see. Ready for some whine with anti-vaccine tear-flavored cheese?

handley

Vaccine abolitionists? Seriously, these “freedom fighters” think that they’re being oppressed to the point of calling themselves abolitionists. This as they endanger African American children by lying to them about vaccination. We’ve never seen a bigger collection of privileged people be so self-aggrandizing. (Except maybe for the Trump Administration.)

True to form, Joe Blow has decided to tone down his anti-vaccine rhetoric and recommend a “reduced vaccine schedule, with many screening tools, delays, etc. rather than an elimination of vaccines.” By now you should know that alternative vaccine schedules are not scientifically nor medically sound, and the douchebag who made alternative vaccine schedules a thing has publicly admitted to making it up out of nowhere:

douchy_response_reddit

No, there is no evidence alternative schedules encourage vaccination, either. If people think vaccines are poison, they’re not going to want a little bit of poison, would they?

In the past, Joe Blow “JB” Handley has stated that he wants to bring the US vaccine program to its knees, but here we see his “softening” about vaccines in the name of convincing more people to come to his side. The health and safety of children, protecting them from deadly vaccine-preventable diseases, you see, is some sort of a game for Joe Blow “JB” Handley.

There is no reliable evidence that 5%-10% of children should “NEVER” be vaccinated. There is no reliable evidence that a lower “vaccine load” would do anything to reduce the number of autistic children… BECAUSE VACCINES DON’T CAUSE AUTISM. In fact, we’d wager that you would get better vaccine advice from Miss Cleo, from the grave, than you would from Joe “Self-Righteous” Blowhard “JB” Handley.

Of course, he closes by mentioning his appearance on a television show. If that’s the standard by which we’re measuring someone’s expertise on something, then you need to remember that Charlie Manson was interviewed by Geraldo, so…

At the end of the day Joe Blow “JB” Handley is just another privileged guy with a ton of cash with a chip on his shoulder about his child. It seems that he sees his child as lost or stolen or dead from autism when nothing could be further from the truth. He uses that privilege and that cash to promote his ideas and get people on his side all riled-up. And then, as you see above, he seems to get all riled-up himself when someone dare criticize him. He’s such a big, fat snowflake.

Folks, get your vaccine advice from your personal healthcare provider, someone who is licensed in your state to deliver care, someone who went to school for a very long time and had his knowledge tested by people who know better, and someone who is not out to be popular and/or on television for the hell of it… Someone who isn’t a self-righteous douchebag.