Search This Blog

Sunday, January 13, 2019

How Tennessee Officials Responded to a Politician Spreading Vaccine Misinformation

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  

Kimberlee Kruesi at Associated Press reports on how Tennessee's Department of Health responded to Mark Green, who had just won a US House seat and was spreading the bogus idea.  AP made a public records request and got emails.
Chief Medical Officer David Reagan shared a link to a story about the space agency extending an invite to Stephen Curry after the Golden State Warriors star denied humans had visited the moon. Curry quickly accepted the gesture and took back his comments, saying that he was joking, and believes the moon landing was no hoax.
"With regards to the statements by representative elect analogy from NASA," Regan wrote the morning of Dec. 13, attaching a link to NASA's invite.
"I like it," responded Tennessee Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner.
Dreyzehner then asked if Reagan was suggesting the department invite anyone to have their questions about vaccines answered by the chief medical officer.
"Yes, although I was specifically inviting Rep-elect Green," Reagan responded. "The discussion would likely be informative and helpful, and we may gain a friend."
Hours later, officials issued a blunt statement: "Vaccines do not cause autism. Vaccines save lives," along with an invitation, urging anyone with questions to contact the department. The brief statement didn't mention Green by name.