Last night we posted on how presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton emerged from her Twitter silence to declare her position on vaccines, noting how her rhetoric as a grandma is different than that of a candidate in 2008. But let’s take a closer look at what she said:
Her supporters loved it, of course, but her science is off.
The Earth is not round, and the sky is not really blue:
Facts matter. Just like the science of the actual shape of the Earth and the color of the sky, the debate on vaccines is more complicated than what’s being discussed by any of the candidates.
For example, Mother Jones reported in 2013 that it’s not the anti-vax movement that’s the biggest problem with unvaccinated children in America … it’s access to vaccines:
The study found that an astonishing 49 percent of toddlers born from 2004 through 2008 hadn’t had all their shots by their second birthday, but only about 2 percent had parents who refused to have them vaccinated. They were missing shots for pretty mundane reasons—parents’ work schedules, transportation problems, insurance hiccups.
This piece from the much-mocked Vox is actually worth a read on last year’s measles outbreak. Blame the Amish who traveled to the Philippines:
The CDC thinks the measles epidemic that hit Disneyland started with an overseas traveler as well:
And this example from Minnesota this year:
So, by all means, let’s have a debate on vaccinations. But that debate must include all facets — not just the tiny anti-vax movement in the U.S. — or it’s just a bunch of political gamesmanship and hot air.