Dr. Paul Offit on The Colbert Report

Paul Offit on the anti-vaccine movement:

Looks like a win to me. Colbert appears to get it. I like how he doesn’t mention Andrew Wakefield’s name and he asks Dr. Offit a bunch of questions based on talking points the anti-vaccine movement likes to use to frighten parents.


  1. #1 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    Gray Falcon

    Do you have an answer to these questions?

    Why do you speak in absolutes?

  2. #2 Dan Weber
    February 3, 2011

    Everyone is still at risk because terrorists may get some smallpox stocks and release them.

    I know you’re only being a douche, but even if a terrorist got ahold of smallpox, we wouldn’t need to proactively vaccinate. Because in the particular case of small pox, you can 1) tell by simple observation who is sick and contagious, and 2) you can vaccinate after exposure.

  3. #3 Gray Falcon
    February 3, 2011


    Why do you speak in absolutes?

    Here’s your answer:


    Everyone is still at risk because terrorists may get some smallpox stocks and release them. All it takes is for one person in a cave to get infected and get on a plane and then the whole unvaccinated world will get infected and die.

    You were the one speaking in absolutes, I was showing why that was a stupid decision.

  4. #4 augustine
    February 3, 2011

    You were the one speaking in absolutes, I was showing why that was a stupid decision.

    I was impersonating vaccine apologists. It’s pretty obvious.

  5. #5 Gray Falcon
    February 3, 2011

    I was impersonating vaccine apologists. It’s pretty obvious.

    No, you were pretending that they were speaking in absolutes, we were speaking in terms of relative risks. Learn what those are, if you want to be taken seriously. I mean, it’s like suggesting those who want traffic laws are saying “Everyone should drive at ten miles an hour because if they go eleven they’ll cause an accident and kill everyone on the road.” Don’t argue what people aren’t saying.

  6. #6 Rebecca
    February 3, 2011

    Augustine – you claim that heterosexuals are not at risk for getting AIDS. If that is so, why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?

    Also, when people make this argument, they always ignore the fact that the rate of heterosexual transmission among people in sub-Saharan Africa is much higher.

  7. #7 augustine
    February 8, 2011

    Augustine – you claim that heterosexuals are not at risk for getting AIDS. If that is so, why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?

    The high risk groups then are still the high risk groups now even 25 years later.

  8. #8 James R. Adams
    March 14, 2011

    “…why did the CDC report that 31% of infections came about because of heterosexual transmission?”

    Because bi-sexuals have caused the disease to migrate into the heterosexual realm. This does not mitigate the fact that homosexuals are responsible for the vast majority of AIDS.

    Homosexuality results in numerous health problems to those who practice it, including increases in AIDS, other STDs, colon and rectal cancer, and hepatitis. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than 82% of all known sexually-transmitted AIDS cases in 2006 were the result of male-to-male sexual contact. Moreover, gay and bisexual men account for more than 60% of all syphilis cases.

    Homosexuality shortens the life span of homosexuals, on average from 8 to 20 years. Smoking, on average, reduces life span by 7 years. Since we discourage smoking, why would anyone with a lick of sense endorse homosexuality?

    Homosexuality spreads disease to innocent people who never engage in homosexual sex. A prominent example is Ryan White, the teenage boy who died of AIDS after a blood transfusion. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are nearly ten thousand known cases of innocent people in the United States who have contracted AIDS the same way, despite improvements in blood screening. Moreover, there are thousands of innocent heterosexuals (many are spouses) who have contracted STDs via sexual contact with bisexuals.

    Homosexuality costs North Americans millions in higher health insurance premiums because increased health costs from homosexual behavior are reflected in those premiums. In fact, the homosexual lobby has induced some states to prevent insurers from asking potential consumers any medical questions, including if they are HIV positive. As a result, every consumer is paying a higher premium because insurance companies are prevented from identifying clients who engage in high-risk sexual behavior.

    “We cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own up to that and face up to that.” – National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Leader, Matt Foreman. (For the record, AIDS used to be termed GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency)

  9. #9 Militant Agnostic
    March 14, 2011

    Oh look, a homophobic necromancer whose nym links to the infamous quackaloon website Natural News made an off-topic post. You are an ignorant disgusting bigot.

  10. #10 triskelethecat
    March 14, 2011

    @James R Adams: No. In the USA, when it first was noted, it was called GRID – back in the early 1980s. In Africa, where it had been around much longer, it was called other various names – “skinny” for one, IIRC. (And, IIRC also, it’s been around at least since the 1930s in Africa. but I suppose James is like dear old Sid; if you aren’t a WASP, you don’t count).

    Now, go crawl back under your bridge,troll.

  11. #11 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    April 4, 2011

    “I don’t think that this is going to be easy to untangle, but I’m thinking that – given the history between Finland and Sweden (Finland was under Swedish rule for over 600 years) – the results of Swedish and Finnish interbreeding may well give rise to similar observations if there is some degree of genetic homogeneity across the Finnish population (especially including families in which Finnish and Finlands-Svenska populations are both represented). I would expect this genetic homogeneity not to exist between the Baltic Norden populations and the Arctic Norden populations (especially Iceland).

    My research question here would be this: what are the predisposing genes (if such genes exist) that would give rise to any adverse effects in people being immunised against diseases using vaccines?'”


    Seems that the Finnish authorities have read my comment post… seems that they are now looking into genetic factors that might exist in Finnish and Finlands-Svenska families just like I suggested!

  12. #12 DW
    April 4, 2011

    @ David N. Andrews, M. Ed., C.P.S.E.

    Hah! Like I didn’t see that coming! You f#cking rockstar.
    So I guess that now the anti-vaxxers will start arguing that genes themselves are _actually_ an environmental factor, as are vaccines!

  13. #13 Claude
    July 22, 2011

    If it is sound science I’d prefer not to see it used as the straight man material for a comdey act. Dr. Offit is quite full of himself isn’t he? I’ll give Colbert this: he can mock and riducule like few other…not quite what you would call a virtue now is it? I suppose that doesn’t occur to those who get their “science” briefing from the comedy channel.

  14. #14 Sally Offit
    January 1, 2012

    “February 3, 2011 3:42 AM
    127: And I’m not interested in becoming part of the next mercury over-exposure [even granting it may have had nothing to do with autism]
    Assuming that this is referring to the presence of small amounts of a mercury-based antiseptic in some vaccines, why are you calling it “over-exposure” when there is no evidence of any ill-effects? If no harm can be detected to outweigh the drop in the number of cross-infections from an antiseptic doing its job, then it was only an “exposure”.
    It is almost as if Sid Offit has made up his mind and is not interested in good-faith discussion.
    Yes thimerosal is gone but what’s the next issue going to be?
    What was the thimerosal issue?
    Posted by: herr doktor bimler | February 3, 2011 3:50 AM”

    Wow, this discussion is like watching someone try to herd cats.

    Anyone who dares question anything about vaccines is roundly trounced on by the pro-vaccine ‘police’. No wonder Sid has left the building…..

  15. #15 novalox
    January 1, 2012

    And why the hell are you trying to necro the thread, troll?

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