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.
Unfortunately, Republican politicians and conservative media figures are increasingly joining up with the anti-vaxxers. Even before COVID, they were fighting vaccine mandates and other public health measures.
The anti-vax movement has a great deal of overlap with MAGA, QAnon, and old-school conspiracy theory.
This weekend, a cabal of right-wing figures — some who are looking to win votes, and some who are looking to save souls, have rallied together at the perfectly named Spooky Nook Sports in Manheim, Pennsylvania for an anti-vax, anti-trans, pro-QAnon rally called The ReAwaken America Tour.
Eric Trump, one of the speakers of the event along with a long list that includes Roger Stone, pillow man Mike Lindell and Doug Mastriano, gave the audience a thrill during Friday's kick-off when he called his dad from the stage and played the audio into a mic for all to hear.
"We're gonna call him quickly," Eric said to a cheering audience elated to hear the former president's voice add itself to the frothed up atmosphere.
"So dad, you have an amazing crowd here in Pennsylvania," the junior Trump said to his father, holding up the phone for everyone to scream into it and cheer.
Produced by Oklahoma entrepreneur Clay Clark, the event will close on Saturday with a speech by Trump-backed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who has been vocal about his anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ beliefs during his campaign.
It included a rogues gallery of antivaxxers:Sherri Tenpenny, Simone Gold, Patrick Byrne, Lori Gregory, Judy Mikovits.
As anti-vaxxer Sherri Tenpenny tells people to repent if they got COVID vaccine & then go sin no more, she adds they need to put on the "armor of God." Invoking the armor is a popular line at ReAwaken America events: https://t.co/SRO9eY0CRF— Brian Kaylor (@BrianKaylor) October 21, 2022
At ReAwaken America, Simone Gold compares her efforts against COVID vaccine & participation in Jan. 6 insurrection to witness of biblical Esther. Gold says she's here for "such a time as this." This misuse of Esther story is common in politics today: https://t.co/fTd99GbXtY— Brian Kaylor (@BrianKaylor) October 22, 2022
Speaking at ReAwaken America Tour, Patrick Byrne, former CEO of https://t.co/DbpgtmjVaU, compares vaccine cards to yellow stars for Jews. Also spends most of speech talking about Frederick Douglass as if he would be supporting RAT & MAGA effort. pic.twitter.com/wvQKKPOp1N— Brian Kaylor (@BrianKaylor) October 22, 2022
As another anti-vaxxer speaks at ReAwaken America, it's important to note that they aren't just anti-COVID vaccine. Speakers like Lori Gregory argue against lots of vaccines. This rhetoric superspreads disinformation & puts us all at risk. pic.twitter.com/e7n2YnqV7Q— Brian Kaylor (@BrianKaylor) October 22, 2022
Dr. Judy Mikowitz speaks about Dr. Tony Fauci and vaccine history at The ReAwaken America Tour in Manheim Friday afternoon. pic.twitter.com/rSwH4DuFqQ— Michael Yoder (@YoderReports) October 21, 2022