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Friday, March 11, 2022

Russia and Antivaxxers

In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  Russian trolls have spread the myth via social media.  They are also spreading other vaccine disinformation Antivaxxers are doing Putin's work for him

Seventeen House members voted against Russia sanctions this week.  Most have encouraged vaccine skepticism or have ties to the antivax movement:

They are all bad, but on vaccines, Posey is the worst. Seven years ago, at Respectful Insolence, Orac took him:
I’ll also dispense with Posey’s denial that he is antivaccine, stated thusly, “To begin with, I am absolutely, resolutely pro-vaccine. Advancements in immunization have saved countless lives and have greatly benefited public health.” This is almost as risible as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. characterizing himself as “fiercely pro-vaccine.” It’s nonsense. Posey is a man who has been on the side of the antivaccine fringe for quite some time. Heck, he even appeared at the antivaccine quackfest Autism One in 2013 as part of a “Congressional panel”! He even introduced legislation that’s gone nowhere requiring the CDC to do a retrospective “vaccinated vs. unvaccinated” study. As I put it, Posey appears to be vying to take over the title of most antivaccine legislator in the U.S. Congress since Dan Burton retired. Not surprisingly, he has received not-insubstantial donations from prominent members of the antivaccine movement, several with names that, if you typed them into the search box of this blog, would bring up multiple posts packed with pristine Insolence. Whenever someone who is a associated with the antivaccine movement and has demonstrated antivaccine proclivities through his actions so piously denies being antivaccine, a good rule of thumb is that he is almost certainly antivaccine, and in this case Posey is just that.