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Friday, July 3, 2020

Anti-vaxxers and Anti-maskers Are a Menace

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

Mackenzie Mays at Politico:
Anti-vaxxers are morphing into the anti-anything movement. It’s clear to me that some of them are going to have their children show up to schools without masks to prove their point and poke the bear,” California Assembly Education Chair Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) said in an interview. “I don't know what authority schools will have.”
At a June legislative hearing in Sacramento on school reopening, parents wore shirts that said “Make pharma liable again” and “I don’t want a flu shot!” They voiced concerns about unfounded impacts of masks on children being able to breathe and the potential for a Covid-19 vaccine requirement down the road.
Christina Hildebrand, president and founder of A Voice for Choice, a California organization that opposes childhood vaccine requirements, said parents are against mask rules in school because of potential for detrimental social-emotional and educational impacts, like an “ingrained fear of contagion" and an inability to socialize.
Anti-vaccine activists joined conservatives and small business owners in protests over stay-at-home orders designed to curb the spread of the virus. They have also been involved in the harassment of public health officials whose job is to enforce those orders.
Despite no proof of any serious harm caused by masks for the general public, that narrative has continued in the form of arguments for constitutional rights across the nation. Footage of a public hearing regarding a mask mandate in Florida went viral last week after Palm Beach County residents argued that masks are “killing people.”