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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Jill Stein & Vaccines

Trump has raised unfounded concerns about vaccines.  The Green Party candidate is also wading in those waters.

Jordan Weissman writes at Slate:
Worse, though, was Stein's response during a Reddit AMA when she was asked about her party's stance on vaccines. Her answer was a 380-word evasion in which she allowed that childhood immunizations had “made a huge contribution to the public health” while simultaneously suggesting that Americans have good reason to be wary of the drug approval process and that there's “a lot of snake-oil in this system.” She wrote:
In most countries, people trust their regulatory agencies and have very high rates of vaccination through voluntary programs. In the US, however, regulatory agencies are routinely packed with corporate lobbyists and CEOs. So the foxes are guarding the chicken coop as usual in the US. So who wouldn't be skeptical?
Despite clearly understanding that vaccines are safe, Stein is pandering to her audience by telling them their worries are justified and offering fuel for those fears by painting a dark picture of a corrupt regulatory apparatus. For comparison, consider Bernie Sanders' answer on the same life or death issue, as reported by as reported by the Daily Beast:
“I think obviously vaccinations work. Vaccination has worked for many, many years.” He went on to note, “I am sensitive to the fact that there are some families who disagree but the difficulty is if I have a kid who is suffering from an illness who is subjected to a kid who walks into a room without vaccines that could kill that child and that’s wrong.”
That's a straightforward answer about vaccines. Risking the health of other people's children to satisfy your own minority concerns about medical science is wrong.