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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Antivaxxer Spews Falsehoods in Pennsylvania

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.

Saranac Hale Spencer at
It was recently repeated on a “medical freedom panel” hosted by Doug Mastriano — a Pennsylvania state senator who has made dubious claims about COVID-19 vaccines. Among those on his June 9 panel was Steve Kirsch, an entrepreneur who is not a doctor or medical expert.

Kirsch referenced the well-worn falsehood linking the MMR vaccine to autism, but broadened it to suggest that vaccines, generally, cause a host of ailments as well as gender dysphoria and homosexuality.

He told legislators, “The Amish are a perfect example of a large group of people who are largely unvaccinated and there’s no autism — we can’t find an autistic kid who was unvaccinated. It’s very, very rare. In the Amish community — very, very rare. You won’t find transsexuals. You won’t find homosexuals. You won’t find kids with ADD, with autoimmune disease, with PANDAS/PANS, with epilepsy. You just don’t find any of these chronic diseases in the Amish.”

Clips from this portion of the panel are now circulating on social media.

The broad claims are bogus, and so are the claims about the Amish