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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Five Star Fiasco: Italy and Vaccines

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.

Jason Horowitz at NYT:
Over a decade ago, an activist in Italy’s Five Star Movement wrote to the nascent party’s leaders to tell them that his law firm, after years of seeking “damages from vaccination,” had convinced a judge that a vaccine was a potential source of autism.

“We’re dealing with a historic legal precedent,” he wrote emphatically.

Today that lawyer, Alfonso Bonafede, is the Italian justice minister, and his populist Five Star Movement leads the government.

The Five Star’s long history of sowing doubt about vaccines may have made its job that much harder as it seeks to convince Italians that a mass inoculation program is necessary to beat back a pandemic that has killed nearly two million people worldwide and shuttered entire economies.