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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sharpton Cancels Antivax Event

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing disease to spread

Azeen Ghorayshi at Buzzfeed:
An event hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights organization and poised to raise dangerous anti-vaccine viewpoints in Harlem this weekend was canceled by the group on Tuesday, after physicians and public health officials argued that the event was harmful and targeted the African American community.

"We said both sides must be heard — we haven’t taken a position yet," Sharpton said, asked about the National Action Network's decision to host the event in the first place. Sharpton clarified that he was not hosting the event and was not even sure whether he'd attend.
 The free event, which was planned to be hosted by NAN's chapter in Harlem, was slated to come just one month after New York City declared an end to its largest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years. 
To summarize, Curtis Cost was slated to be one of the attendees. He’s the author of a book called Vaccines Are Dangerous: Vaccines Are Dangerous: A Warning to the Global Community and a blog called—you guessed it—Vaccines Are Dangerous. (Subtlety would not appear to be one of Mr. Cost’s virtues.)
The interesting thing about Curtis Cost is that he was an antivaxer back when Andrew Wakefield’s antivax grift was just a greedy gleam in his eye as he listened to barrister seeking to sue vaccine manufacturers for “vaccine-induced autism” who was offering him hundreds of thousands of pounds to produce “research” to help him do that. No, seriously. Cost was spouting the “toxins gambit” long before I ever coined the term and before Wakefield ever became a household name for his antivaccine activities.