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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wakefield and QAnon

 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.

 Alex Kaplan at Media Matters:

In late March, Andrew Wakefield -- a disgraced anti-vaxxer who helped catalyze the anti-vaccination movement due to discredited work suggesting a link between vaccines and autism -- appeared along with anti-vaxxer Lori Gregory on RedPill78, a QAnon show currently streaming on Twitch.

Notably, the host of RedPill78 participated in part of the insurrection and also has a monetized Twitch channel with special “Twitch Partner” status, as well as a DLive channel.

During Wakefield’s appearance, host Zak Paine falsely claimed that the vaccines were “directly correlated” with “an explosion in autism,” and in response Wakefield mentioned the coronavirus and suggested that the COVID-19 vaccines were killing people. Wakefield also falsely claimed the vaccines could alter people’s DNA, urged people to take the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine instead of getting a coronavirus vaccine, and without evidence claimed vaccines can cause diabetes. These comments seem to violate Twitch’s community guidelines, which prohibit “encouraging others to commit acts that would result in serious physical harm to groups of people.”