I live in red state Montana where my kids can be exempted from measles vaccinations only for religious reasons (notarized each year and annually renewed) or by verified medical excuse. The recent measles outbreak originated in blue state California, that additionally allows kids to be exempt from measles vaccinations because of personal beliefs, whatever and however any parent or parents define that. Yet the left wing ignorant and reflexive response is to leverage for political advantage this public health crisis -- pointing to the right of course.
Responding to the personal responsibility emphasis by people such as myself, Joyce Behar, big mouth liberal says, “This is the neanderthal thinking on the right that is really scary and dangerous.”
Democratic Congresswoman Diane Degette from Colorado, wants the House Energy and Commerce committee to hold hearings on the measles outbreak, knowing full well that the Republican majority response will be no to this non-jurisdictional request. Set them up. Criticize them as uncaring. Check.
|Hillary Clinton greeting big fan and Goldman Sachs|
CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Clinton Global Initiative.
The supreme irony is the people most responsible for this crisis are avid Clinton and Obama supporters. People who believe in personal responsibility are much more likely to vaccinate their kids than the big state liberals.
Seth Mnookin, who has researched the vaccination topic, was interviewed by Science Magazine. Asked about a "perception that vaccine refusal is especially common among affluent, well-educated, politically liberal parents—is there any truth to that?" Mnookin said:
I think there's a fair amount of entitlement. Not vaccinating your child is basically saying I deserve to rely on the herd immunity that exists in a population. At the most basic level it's saying I believe vaccines are potentially harmful, and I want other people to vaccinate so I don't have to. And for people to hide under this and say, "Oh, it's just a personal decision," it's being dishonest. It's a personal decision in the way drunk driving is a personal decision. It has the potential to affect everyone around you.Mnookin continued,
I think it taps into the organic natural movement in a lot of ways.
I talked to a public health official and asked him what's the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there's a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, "No, really, I'm not joking." It's those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.Lest there be doubt about the validity of what Mnookin says, let us delve into data.
The two states with obviously crisis proportions of non-vaccinations are Oregon and Vermont (ranked number 2 and number 6 by number of citizens calling themselves liberals), The states with the tightest vaccination exemption regimes are West Virginia and Mississippi (well down the liberal list at numbers 37 and 47 respectively).
Mother Jones, that bastion of conservatism reports,
In [a] Pediatrics study, Atwell and her fellow researchers identified 39 geographic "clusters" across California—ranging in size from a few blocks to entire counties—where belief-driven opt-out rates are higher than the norm. The team found higher rates of whooping cough associated with these clusters. For example: Marin County, which had a personal-belief exemption rate of 7.8 percent in 2012—nearly four times the national average—has the second-highest rate of whooping cough in the whole state. These results support the findings of a 2006 study led by Emory's Omer, which found higher rates of pertussis in states that allowed personal-belief exemptions and had easy policies for doing so.
|Resident herbalist Kathy Abascal |
promoting her Vashon Island Diet.
California is not the only state with high-exemption hotspots. On Vashon Island, Washington, 17 percent of kindergartners failed to receive their shots in 2013 due to a "personal/philosophical" exemption. That's nine times the current national average. The year before, Vashon Islanders accounted for 16 percent of all whooping cough cases in Washington's King County, despite housing just one percent of its population.Marin County voted 74.3 percent for Obama in 2012. Vashon Island went 77.6 percent for Obama. So let us blame Neanderthal, reactionary people on the right for being public health risks! Eh, how about it?
Have a wonderful day.
|2008 Prius, winner of the Most Marin County Award, at the 2014, 24 Hours of Lemons road rally.|
Day after I wrote this post Jon Stewart ran a segment -- he agrees. Imagine that!