Michelle Malkin: Vaccine Skeptics Under Siege
Michelle Malkin: Vaccine Skeptics Under Siege By Michelle Malkin for CNS News
Watch out. Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley have locked their sights on the next targets of a frightening free speech-squelching purge: independent citizens who dare to raise questions online about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
I’m vaccinated. My children are up to date. There’s no dispute that vaccines have saved untold lives. But over the years, I’ve voiced my concerns about vaccine claims and government coercion in my newspaper columns and blog posts. These concerns include my objections to Gardasil mandates for schoolchildren in Texas and California; schools’ threatening parents with jail time for refusing chickenpox shots for their kids; ineffectiveness of the flu vaccine; contamination issues at vaccine plants abroad; lack of data on vaccines’ long-term and synergistic effects on children; and pharma-funded politicians’ financial conflicts of interest.
In 2004, I recounted my family’s firsthand experience with bully doctors who balked at even the mildest questioning of the wisdom of the newborn hepatitis B immunization. When my husband and I asked if we could simply delay this particular shot, as the vaccine is for a virus that is contracted mostly through intravenous drug use and sexual contact, my son’s pediatrician angrily kicked us out of her practice.
Does this informed skepticism make me and other like-minded parents public health menaces, as the World Health Organization has proclaimed? Are we “sociopaths,” as a journalist at The Atlantic once sneered? Apparently so.
At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Washington state’s public health secretary, John Wiesman, demanded that the feds launch a national campaign to counter “anti-vaccine” groups that are spreading what he condemned as “false information.” Weisman called for increased funding from the Centers for Disease Control to combat opponents of the state’s push to prevent parents from opting their children out of immunizations for personal or philosophical reasons. Health officials have blamed vaccine critics’ social media influence for recent measles outbreaks. So Wiesman further urged Twitter, Facebook and Google to “use whatever mechanism they have available to stop promoting pseudoscience.”