Thanks to low vaccination rates, we are currently experiencing a large measles outbreak in this country. I’ve discussed vaccines before. My position is that vaccines are one of the greatest inventions in history, that they should be mandatory for public school students (with medical exemptions) and strongly encouraged for everyone else. And I’m glad to see that after spending a number of years waffling, our political establishment, from Hillary Clinton to Congressional and Gubernatorial Republicans are coming down strongly in favor of them.
But … there’s no public health crisis that the Left can’t try to politicize. You may remember last year when they tried to blame the Ebola outbreak on mythical Republican budget cuts. Well, now they are jumping on comments by Rand Paul and Chris Christie that supposedly embrace anti-vax lunacy. This supposedly represents how “anti-science” the GOP is (numerous pro-vaccine statement from every other Republican on the planet not withstanding).
The thing is, neither of them said anything crazy. Rand Paul supports vaccines, although he did apparently garble a statement about vaccines and autism and does think parents should make the decisions. And Christie’s statement was perfectly in line with the conventional wisdom. He vaccinated his kids, he supports vaccines but thinks mandates should be based on the danger represented. Both of these are well within the mainstream debate of whether vaccines should be mandated or not.
So … not really much there. And given the number of Republicans who are issuing strong unequivocal statements supporting vaccination, support programs that help poor people get vaccinated and support vaccination mandates for immigrants, this isn’t really a club to bash Republicans with. For all the supposed “anti-science” positions of the Republicans, this isn’t one. The only place I’m seeing opposition to vaccines is the fringe of both parties.
And I find this attention to Christie and Paul especially odd given that one of the biggest anti-vax nuts out there is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who has often gotten slavering attention from the media as some kind of environmental crusader. But you wouldn’t know that from the mainstream media.
Stop trying to make this a partisan issue, guys. It really isn’t.