Dumb or dissembling? We report, you decide

There was a piece of good news on vaccine front this week. The first judgments from the Autism Omnibus Trial were announced, and the special masters (who served as judges) agreed with the rest of the reality-based community in ruling that vaccines do not cause autism. The rulings weren't subtle, using phrases such as "misled by physicians who are guilty, in my view, of gross medical misjudgment". This is the Dover of the "other" ID promotion movement.*

Like any cult, however, the infectious disease promotion movement is unlikely to be persuaded by any level of evidence. This, despite protestations that they are not "anti-vaccine", but simply "pro-safety" or some such narishkeit. Anyone who is "pro-health" will be pro-vaccine, unless they are lying, stupid, or both.

And this brings us back to Dr. Jay Gordon, one of the leaders of the infectious disease promotion movement. After the first judgments from the Omnibus Trial, Gordon wrote two pieces in the Huffington Post, one of the bastions of anti-vaccine extremism. The first is entitled "The Vaccine Court Was Wrong".

First, please note the overwhelming arrogance in such a statement. The entire legitimate medical and public health community, and now the American courts, have concluded that vaccines do not cause autism. But One Lone Dude somehow knows The Real Truth. He is also apparently clairvoyant:

Vaccines as they are now manufactured and administered trigger autism in susceptible children.

This will be acknowledged by the AMA, the AAP, the CDC and the U.S. government at the same glacial pace these august entities followed in supporting the need to discourage smoking because it causes lung cancer, heart disease and other illness.

It will, will it? Why would they acknowledge something that is patently false? Where is your data, Dr. McDouchey? What smoking gun are you hiding from the rest of the world?

He then restates the same lie of which he is so fond--"I'm not against vaccines, just the way we do it now:

I don't recommend dumping vaccines; I recommend changing the level of safety we demand and a rigorous reevaluation of the schedule which now gives a hepatitis shot to a two-hour-old baby followed by six more shots six weeks later. The way we vaccinate lacks solid scientific support and ignores the possibility of increased vaccine safety.

What bullshit---look, asshole, if you really believe your delusion, then you should be laying down in front of the delivery trucks bringing the "poisons" to our children. If not, then shut the fuck up.

His other piece is even more idiotic, in comparing the discovery of the dangers of cigarettes to vaccines. Hiding the danger of cigarettes was an active, criminal denialist campaign. The medical evidence was very clear that tobacco was addictive and caused disease and death. It was just as convincing as the data showing that vaccines do not cause autism, except that the cigarette companies actively hid the data. The reason there has been no "smoking gun" connecting autism and vaccines is because they are not connected. It really is that simple, and anyone who continues to deny it is either lying, stupid, or both.

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*I often use the phrase "infectious disease promotion movement" to indicate those that are against vaccines, the most important public health measure in history. Anyone who advocates against vaccines is de facto advocating for more infectious disease.

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You write:

Where is your data, Dr. McDouchey?

and then later,

look, asshole, if you really believe your delusion,...

So, which is it? Douchebaggery or assholery? Or maybe some combination of the two? (Wait, that would essentially be an enema, which is Orac's purview.) Oh I am so confused!

Also, "infectious disease promotion movement" For The Win. I'll be using that in the future.

yeah, gotta love the "Infectious Disease Promotion Movement" thing. Even though "Oral Bowel movement" might be more the case.

It's all about *damage control*: following recent news about Wakefield's(what I shall laughingly call)"study" and the court decision,anti-vax preachers are making the rounds of woo-friendly radio and blogs,talkin' up the true gospel,singin' those hymns to toxin-free purity,and tryin' to keep the faithful from back-sliding into ...er...uh...reason, sanity, and data.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Feb 2009 #permalink

I don't like comparing cigarettes to vaccines. I'm stupid enough to smoke, but I'm not stupid enough to go un-vaccinated. And I'm certainly not cruel enough to suggest my children or grandchildren not get their shots.

In fact, I remember holding my oldest daughter down (with help from a nurse) to make sure she got vaccinated. I am old enough to remember people who had polio.

Donna said "In fact, I remember holding my oldest daughter down (with help from a nurse) to make sure she got vaccinated. I am old enough to remember people who had polio."

I remember kicking a doctor in the groin who was trying to hold me down for polio vaccine :) (My parents wisely did not get involved in these struggles)

And I also remember classmates with polio, and iron lungs.

By Tsu Dho Nimh (not verified) on 18 Feb 2009 #permalink

Just like Dover didn't end the ID movement, this won't make a dent in the anti-vaccine (or pro-infectious disease) movement. There will be more lawsuits and more idiots slowly increasing the country's infant mortality rate.

Dumb or dissembling? Why not both?

I'm glad the kid gloves are fully off when dealing with this Gordon guy. He could not possibly be more full of sh*t when he lies "I'm not against vaccines." This man is a monster. He is actively encouraging the unnecessary death of innocent children.

sing it, brother. And how do we protect our babies? According to Dr Gordon, doctor to the stars, by not bringing our newborn to collect big sister from playschool and keeping them away from play dates etc. What PLANET does this guy live on??? Planet Nanny?????

Donna and Tsu Dho Nimhm, I remember hiding under a chair in my doctor's office when I was 4 years old. My mom was so embarrassed! They lured me out with the yummy oral vaccine and then stuck me-- what a dirty trick!

Nowadays, in a laughable twist of irony, I'm the one who bugs all my family members to stay up to date on their immunizations. "Ohhhh Mo-om, you're overdue for your next DTaP!"

The thing that always gets me about these "I'm not really antivaccine but" (which reads just the same to me as "I'm not a racist, but [insert appallingly racist thing here]," FWIW) is the "too much too soon" thing. Do these people, despite their ostensible medical training, actually realise how insignificant a few vaccines are compared to the normal immune system challenges an infant has? The world is full of pathogens, babies put everything in their mouths (whether it's a good idea or not), and babies themselves are pretty freakin' germy. Pathogens are pathogens; does the immune system notice that the thing it's mopping up right now might kill you, as opposed to just give you the sniffles?

By Interrobang (not verified) on 23 Feb 2009 #permalink